Think of the Balearic islands and you automatically imagine a clubbing holiday, stag weekend with the lads or something similar. More club 18-30 than what you’d really find across the islands, which prove to be a great destination for a long weekend to take in some sun, enjoy beaches and incredible cuisine.
Palma de Mallorca is one of these destinations as it no longer serves as a gateway to the clubs (even though Magaluf is a short journey by car). The island has always had a picturesque medieval streets but these are now filled with lots of unique shops and it’s easy to get lost strolling through the narrow streets. Go early enough in the morning and you will find yourself strolling all to yourself!
As a result of growing tourism, Mallorca is filled with great hotels and resorts. Within Palma and amongst the medieval streets in old town many hotels are now cropping up. One such hotel is Sant Francesc Singular. It is situated in a small square next to the Basilica which it is named after: St Francesc. The hotel is a mere 10 minute walk from the waterside, in an old mansion with a quiet courtyard, excellent rooms, great service and a small rooftop area with a pool and bar which serves great cocktails.
Mallorca is full of beautiful beaches as one would expect. Two of these Beaches are within fairly close proximity of another and are around 45 minute drive from Palma, which can be reached by rental car which is very easy to acquire in central Palma. Cala Llombards, is a narrow long beach which lies in between two rocky outcrops covered in pine woods.
That’s if you can find it – it took us a good 30 minutes to find our way down. When we did, we were pleased by our effort. The water is clear and great for snorkelling. The only thing to keep in mind is that the beach is full of sunloungers and parasols, so it can get really busy unless you get there early.
The real gem, though, can be found across the street and through walking a little over 1km. Calo des Moro, has beautiful turquoise clear waters and is only 30m wide and surrounded by rocky cliffs and as Calo Llombards, pine trees. It is a relatively unknown beach, can be hard to find and does not have any signposts. Simply walk down a small steep path which leads past a set of houses and you will find it. Although secret, it is a very small beach, so again it is recommended to get there early to get a good space to put your towel as there are no sun loungers. It is great for snorkelling as the other beach and you can also swim out to a rope to try and scale one of the small cliffs if you’re feeling adventurous!
On the way back to the hotel, we nearly always take the opportunity to visit the local coffee roastery. As we had a hire car, we drove in to central Palma, parked up and visited La Moleinda, which didn’t disappoint. On the way back to the car, we noticed that Rose Velvet Bakery was close by, also on our “to do” list, so paid a visit for a sneaky pastry.
When you’ve recovered from your day out to the secret beach, it’s time to test out some of the great cuisine which the old city has to offer. If you are after some traditional Spanish Tapas, you can’t go wrong by going to Taberna 5s set on the quiet side street of Calle Can Brondo 5 Bajos. They offer excellent service and great food. As usual there is plenty of seafood options being in Spain, but their steak options really were a home run for us!
If you are after some more modern Tapas (can’t get enough tapas) then El Neo is a great choice. A stylish Gastro Bar, which serves innovative and fusion tapas which are filled with unusual touches such as Duck meatballs with a l’orange and sweet potato chips and Red tuna tataki with mango puree. Alternatively, there are mini sliders (burgers, effectively) served as main courses and El Neo is also a great place to stay for some drinks and cocktails as it tends to get lively in later in the evening.
Should you want to go somewhere more traditional there is Abaco. It is a traditional bar which you pass through old wooden doors to find a bar covered in flowers and fruits on the floor. The architecture, decor and ambiance and loud classical music all contributes to an excellent atmosphere while you sip on your cocktails.
Another great way to enjoy your day while staying at the Hotel St Francesc is to enjoy the shops that are scattered around the old town. There are all the designers brands you’d expect from a city housing yachts in the marina. All of these are a short walk and most off the narrow cobbled streets of old Palma.
A surprising favourite which you will also be able to find across Spain is the Tea Shop of East West company. This shop is home to more than 120 varieties of teas, black, white, red, green and herbal and they have some great season varieties. Our favourite is the spicy Christmas green or the red rooibos, which we try and pick up every visit, although these two are only available in the last quarter of the year, for obvious reasons.