Last year, Ollie and I left our holiday planning to completely the last minute. Trying to sell the flat and a particularly stressful period at work meant that our free time was consumed with other priorities and we found ourselves with 6 weeks until our pre-planned annual leave with nothing booked.
We managed to find a last minute deal via Voyage Prive to Mallorca, Spain staying at Fergus Hotel (now Cabot Hotel) in Puerto Pollencia. We hired a car while we were there and explored the Island, visiting a variety of authentic towns, beaches and attractions.
It turned out to be one of the best, most relaxing and easiest holidays we have ever been on.
This year we found ourselves in a similar situation with the exception that we were committed to going back to Mallorca.
We toyed with the idea of going back to the same location and hotel as both were faultless but eventually decided to explore another side of the Island in Cala D’Or.
We stayed in the Marhotels Ferrera Blanca and again, decided to hire a car for the majority of the trip so that we could continue discovering Mallorca and what it has to offer.
Having been fortunate enough to have visited this beautiful island twice I feel compelled to share some of my favourite aspects of both trips to help others enjoy their time here as much as I did.
Puerto Pollencia verses Cala D’Or
I am glad to have visited both areas of the Island and I guess it depends on the type of holiday you are after.
Puerto Pollencia is the quieter of the two locations and I would probably recommend it more to families with small children or couples who are looking for a slower paced holiday.
The beachfront is long and a good number of lovely restaurants and quieter bars line the beautiful, sandy hub of the area.
The Pine Walk, a scenic promenade along the seafront, in particular is a lovely thing to do in the early evening when the weather turns cooler and the sun is setting over the mountains.
Cala D’Or by comparison is much more of a busy town with bustling bars staying open until late and restaurants spread across the area. There are several smaller beaches within the coves which makes for a fabulous snorkeling experience if this is the type of thing you are after.
If you plan to hire a car whilst you are in Mallorca (and I thoroughly recommend that you do), Hyper Rent A Car is probably the most reasonable car hire company on the Island that we have found. With offices in a variety of locations around the island (including Cala D’Or, Puerto Pollencia and Palma Airport) you are never far away from the luxury of your own transport to enable you a slightly more independent way to explore.
It is well worth committing to a slightly longer, but incredibly beautiful, drive along the mountains to get to your destinations. The views are fabulous and unlike anything you will see anywhere else.
Places to Eat
With both hotels we stayed at, we opted to go down the all inclusive route mostly because the deals were good and when you simply want a bottle of water (or gin and tonic) you don’t need to pay again, leaving the overall cost of the holiday fairly predictable.
However, we did make sure that we went out to eat a few times and two places in particular that I would recommend are:
We stumbled on this restaurant when we were exploring the area and fancied a break and a coffee. The restaurant do not tend to take guests who are just there for coffee but as they were relatively quiet we were welcomed in.
We sat outside, next to the beautiful harbour overlooking the boats, shaded from the blazing sun with a canopy overhead.
While were were there we were sat next to several couples who were having a late lunch (or early dinner depending on which way you looked at it). The food looked lovely and a gentleman who was tucking into a lovely plate of fresh fish noticed my interest and suggested that we try coming back for dinner as the food was incredible and the service excellent, a real favourite with the locals.
We decided right there and then that we were coming back and when I paid the bill I booked us in for dinner for the upcoming Saturday.
We were not disappointed. The food was just as good as it looked and the atmosphere was gently busy with waiters greeting familiar faces and making recommendations to new customers.
If you decide to stay in Cala D’Or, Porto Petro is just a short 15 minute drive with plenty of on street parking. Es Bergent specalises in fresh fish and the prices are so reasonable. I would thoroughly recommend a meal here but would probably suggest going for lunch as opposed to dinner due to the views of the harbour which we quickly lost when it became dark.
Valldemossa is probably one of my favourite places to visit in Majorca. Mostly to wander down the cobbled streets and enjoy the authenticity of it.
We walked past S’estret on the way to a small art shop and Ollie immediately pointed it out and suggested we head there afterward for a snack before heading home.
It was much smaller then I was expecting (there are only 4 tables with no reservations) and we were lucky that another table had just left. We quickly browsed the menu which was tapas orientated and decided to select 4 dishes to share.
We opted for the Hummus with yukka chips, Crispy bread with tomato and olive oil, Meatballs with a tomato sauce and a Caprice salad (which was not on the menu outside).
All the dishes arrived in stages and were simple, yet delicious and the quality of the ingredients was the main focus. We enjoyed everything and were particularly impressed with the mozzarella on the caprice salad which melted in your mouth. A far cry from the rubbery plastic cheese that we pick up from the local supermarket.
I would always suggest visiting Valldemossa anyway (outside of this restaurant) but while you are there, why not hop into Valldemossa’s number 1 place to eat for an authentic, Spanish lunch at a great price.
Happy Holidays in Mallorca – Part 2 will focus on things to do when visiting Majorca.