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Mallorca (Majorca) Living – Features & Services

 

Sports

Mallorca (Majorca) is blessed with no fewer than 24 championship-standard golf courses and 360 days of sun per year making it a golfers paradise with tournaments for both professionals and amateurs being staged throughout the year. Sailing is another highly popular pastime due to the island´s position in the calm basin of the Mediterranean and its breathtakingly scenic coastline. The largest of the Balearic Islands hosts numerous regattas where tourists flock to sail the lazy waters between more than 500km of sun-kissed shores. Of course every variety of water sport can be enjoyed, even in some of the most secluded coves and calas. The colourful underwater world makes diving a revelation and taking to the skies on a para-sailing or wind kite adventure opens up new horizons. With acres of lush green countryside and a dramatic forest backdrop the island presents the perfect nature retreat, popular with birdwatchers, botanists, cyclists and trekkers, both on foot and on horseback. Specially organised sports holidays include running trips, with one route traversing the majestic Tramuntana mountains between Pollensa and Alcúdia crossing the Peninsula to secluded coves which can only be reached on foot or by boat. Another of these culminates in a long swim out to Na Moltona, an island reef in Es Carbó bay where, by then totally refreshed, you can relax and take in the views.

 

Beaches

With over 60 blue-flag flying beaches on the island of Mallorca you can almost throw away the guide book and head for your closest bay. In the sleepy northern resort of Cala Sant Vinc­ente the rolling hillsides of Cavall Bernat drop to the sea at Cala Molins. The north-eastern coastline features the family friendly resort of Alcudia with its three-and-a-half kilometre sandy beach, busy fishing port and natural lake. Playa de Sa Canova stretches toward Son Serra de Marina, a relatively windswept resort where surfing, windsurfing and kite-surfing are popular activities. Moving down the east coast the scenery loses the ruggedness of the north as you head toward the picturesque and popular resorts of Cala Millor, Porto Cristo (famous for the Caves of Drach) and Cala D’Or (Golden Cove). Cala Millor boasts the longest beach on the eastern coast, stretching from Cala Bona to the natural park area of N’Amer. Here a busy promenade lines the beach providing bars, shops and restaurants for the beach-weary holidaymaker. In the south-east of the island, S’Almunia, boasts the pine-backed, sand and pebble beach of Es Maquer with impossibly clear, blue waters overlooking an ancient fisherman’s wharf. The southern beach of Es Trenc’s with its fine white sand is often compared to the Caribbean but the smaller cove of Es Pi, named for the pine trees surrounding it, is a more intimate choice and certainly worth negotiating the steep stairway down to it. The resorts of Palma Nova and Magaluf, to the west of the capital Palma, require no introduction. However, even the party capital of Magaluf has an extensive and distinctively beautiful beach, and that of Palma Nova, whilst busy in the summer, is safe and family friendly. It has to be remembered that the reputation of these two principle resorts was initially established on the attraction of the coastline in the vicinity. On the north-western coast, Port d’Andratx is one of the most exclusive resorts in Mallorca and a magnet for celebrities many of whom own property here. Rumoured to be the resort without a beach Andratx would counter that criticism by pointing out the delightful Cala Fonoll to the west of the harbour. Port de Sóller is another popular area for luxury home buyers. Situated in the north-western part of Mallorca on the coastline of ‘Serra de Tramuntana’ it consists of two beaches one of which is a narrow strip of sand with bars, restaurants, cafés and shops. The second beach, Platja d’en Repic, is a five minute walk from the first and is more natural with a steep slope into the sea.

 

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Shopping

The sophisticated capital city of Palma offers the most varied range of shopping opportunities on the island with its upmarket boutiques on Avinguda Jaume III and the Passeig des Born along with the unique, specialist shops lining the Placa Major. A branch of the Spanish department store El Corte Ingles adds a sophisticated, cosmopolitan air to the capital, whilst the Centro Comercial Porto Pi – 2km from the heart of Palma is a modern shopping mall of the type found in the vicinity of most international cities. The east coast resort of Cala D’Or boasts a good selection of stylish gift shops as does the exclusive Port d’Andratx. The north eastern town of Alcudia, with its historic, but still bustling, fishing port is one of the best places to browse and buy local arts and crafts.

 

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Boating

Boating is yet another summer holiday passion that can be practised throughout the year in Mallorca. The island´s 32 ports are furnished with more than 16,000 berths a testimont to its maritime roots. Dating back to the first tourists of the 1920´s all kinds of sailing has brought big business to Mallorca, from fishing boats to luxurious yachts. Taking into account the island’s remarkably calm waters and sunny skies, the possibilities for all that is nautical are endless.

 

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Nigthlife

From the sophistication of Palma to the hedonistic abandonment of Magaluf, Mallorca positively thrives at night. BCM is Majorca’s largest club with a capacity close to 5000 on three levels it features world-renowned DJ’s and state-of-the-art lighting and sound. Pacha is one of Palma’s most established clubs elegant and suave, it is frequented by celebrities and fashionistas who enjoy the ambiance created by top international DJ’s. Discoteca Menta in the north eastern resort of Alcudia is popular with all nationalities and has a long tradition of providing a party way into the early hours. If you prefer a daytime or early evening vibe, the trend for party beaches has certainly reached Mallorca with the likes of the Nikki Beach Bar and Chi Lounge, chill-out bar. The island also has a huge diversity of stage shows, spectaculars and live music venues, ranging from Mallorca Rocks, featuring top rated artists on the music scene to the ever popular Jazz Voyeur Club a 16th century mansion, in Palma serving food and soulful, live jazz. In Palma’s historical centre of Casco antiguo, there is a great selection of fashionable bars situated on charming narrow lanes. Zona Darsena Can Barbara is favoured by the younger crowd whilst Paseo Mallorca, in the very centre of the capital has numerous elegant cocktail bars for the more mature.

 

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Families

Activities for kids of all ages abound in Mallorca and most resorts are truly family friendly. In the north-eastern resort of Porto Cristo the Safari Zoo offers the chance to see giraffes, monkeys, zebras and gazelles – to name a few. Aquacity, El Arenal in the south, offers water slides and rides for young and not-so-young. Whilst at Boogie Baby in Palma Nova, once a month, combines a live DJ set with an outdoor bouncy castle, facepainting, bubble machine and soft play area. Also, you can take in the fantastic Pirates show and visit the Katmandu fun park.

 

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Accommodation

The island’s primary source of revenue having been tourism for many years, so, Mallorca has, understandably, accrued a vast range of accommodation of all classifications and suitable for all ages. In recent years the shift has been very much toward sustainable tourism, consideration for the environment and conservation of the island’s natural beauty. Along with this, a demand for accommodation of the highest quality, has seen a hike in the popularity of agroturismo and rural hotels, private villas, apartments and homes in rural, inland settings. In the face of growing competition, larger hotels and traditional beach resorts have improved their facilities and advertised the same commitment toward sustainability. The good news for visitors to the island is that the re-generation of all accommodation from the simplest hostel to the largest 5 star hotel, will prove beneficial to all visitors to Mallorca as this naturally beautiful island continues to flourish.

 

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Congress & Business

Many of the larger hotels offer congress facilities situated in ideal locations for team work and group leisure activities. However, for a venue offering special character, take a look at The Mallorca Convention Bureau. It is a non-profit association aiming to promote the benefits of Mallorca as a destination for business conventions. Its website boasts a wide array of suitable properties ranging from former wine cellars in Binissalem, to an Aquarium, Casino and Beach Club. All these venues have been adapted specifically for group travel and conference facilities are listed on the site.

 

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Spa & Wellness

The beauty of natural surroundings naturally leads to the notion of inner beauty. For this reason there is no shortage of spas and well-being centres on the island of Mallorca. Some are hotel based but there are a number of private retreats. Relaxing therapy ranges from massages with exotic oils to yoga and meditation in the quest to find inner peace. The Arabella Spa in the southern resort of Palmanova offers a personalised holistic approach, with 14 treatment rooms, Jacuzzi, dry sauna, hydro-pool, jet shower, ice cave and fitness centre. The Oliveda Spa is integrated into a converted monastery near Pollenca in the north of the island which is now the five star Hotel Son Brull. The independent urban treatment centre, Vital Spa s’Aigua Blava in central Palma advertises a wide range of massage and hydrotherapy to help treat and prevent various ailments. Facilities here include hydro-beds, Jacuzzi, water jets, Turkish baths, sauna and relaxation area. Body massages , hot stones and foot reflexology are also available. Many therapists, specialists and personal trainers on the island will also visit private homes to give one-to-one consultations and group therapy can be enjoyed on a variety of specialised trips.

 

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Restaurants

Michelin star restaurants are not in short supply on the island of Mallorca, eateries that have been recognised for their gastronomic flair include: Es Fum in Costa d’en Blanes, and Restaurante Jardín in the Port of Alcudia, where Macarena de Castro became Mallorca’s first female chef to bestowed the honour. The chef at Es Racó des Teix in Deià was also awarded a Michelin star back in 1991 and more recently staff at Restaurant Zaranda near Llucmajor and Es Molí den Bou, Sa Coma received the ultimate gastro stamp of approval. So it goes without saying that Mallorca has some of the greatest restaurants in Europe, and many of them enjoy breathtaking views over the sea and beautiful contryside. However, the taste of Mallorca can be equally savoured in a modest tapas bar, a seafront restaurant or a palatial establishment on Palma´s Paseo Maitimo. The choice of restaurants is vast, wherever you are on the island, but to ensure a taste of the island cuisine passed down over centuries, browse the menu for one of the following dishes. Frit mallorquí casserole, which has an exquisite flavour either made with meat or in its fishermen’s version. Try the thick broth: sopes mallorquines, and stuffed aubergines, along with arros brut. Given the history of the Balearics there are influences of Arabic cuisine in the aromatic and slightly sweet flavours. More Spanish in origin are the traditional cured meats, which include sobrassada, botifarró and camaiot, as well as the flavoursome local cheeses. However, the dish most associated with Mallorca is probably the humble but delicious sweet breakfast bread ensaïmada.

 

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