Mallorca: an island of stark contrasts

I’ve always been a bit nervous of Mallorca on account of its British package holiday reputation, but I had heard from many people that it was also surprisingly scenic and boasts some wonderful mountain walking in the Tramuntana range. My plans for Easter weekend had fallen through at the last minute, and the weather in the UK was not promising much respite from the cold and snow, so I decided to book a sneaky trip away. My criteria were fairly simple: somewhere warm, cheap and that promised at least a modicum of strenuous activity. I knew from the trip description that it wouldn’t be particularly challenging, but there’d be sun, mountains, beaches and even a monastery. How bad could that be?

Cala de Deia

At this time of year, fhe weather can be a bit hit and miss, but we weere very lucky to have no rain until the last day, and even then only in the afyernoon when a torrential thunderstorm hit. I’d wisely picked that day to get lost while cycling around a nature reserve and the surrounding roads – possibly not the smartest idea, but it was a great day out despite the weather, and still warm despite getting soaked to the skin.

S'Albufera nature reserve

S’Albufera nature reserve

The sea was a bit cold for swimming in April – even a cautious dip of the toes in the water was sufficient to draw a few swear words, and I decided that I wasn’t really that interested as there were plenty of other ways to expend my energy, so I settled for admiring the views.

Cala de Deia

Cala de Deia

During the week, we were able to enjoy a huge variety of scenery. In Puerto de Soller I climbed up to the watchtower on the hillside and enjoyed some spectacular views of the Northern Mallorcan coastline.

Northern coastline at Puerto Soller

Northern coastline at Puerto Soller

After a night spent at the Sanctuario de Lluc (a monastery set in the mountains, and the first sanctuary on the island, dating back to the 13th century), I chose an optional walk to the summit of Puig Tomir. The going was more challenging, especially as the combination of a restless night and a mixup with the breakfast booking had left me rather short of energy, but I was very happy to put my lungs to the test with a couple of stiff climbs.

ascent of Puig Tomir

ascent of Puig Tomir

I’d been saying all week that I was slow up hills, but no one really believed me until the final ascent, when for the first time that week, I was one of the slowest!

Puig Tomir

Puig Tomir

But the views at the top were certainly worth the effort.

views from Puig Tomir

views from Puig Tomir

Our final two nights were spent in the bustling town of Puerto de Pollensa, and the stark contrast from the previous two nights spent in the monastery was immediately apparent, with tourists, bars, restaurants, holiday homes and far too many British people. Not really my cup of tea, but the beachfront was still very beautiful, and it was easy to hire a bike and escape back into the mountains or even just cycle along the beachfront for miles.

beach break after a very wet cycle ride

beach break after a very wet cycle ride

In summary, Mallorca is a great place to spend a week of walking and, if you wish, relaxing (obviously the latter doesn’t apply to me). If you also want a taste of sailing, it’s an even better place to go, as you can even combine the two with an adventure on the Rozamar, the latest brainchild of our walking guide, who loves nothing more than to share  his knowledge and love of the island and its activities. I definitely wouldn’t be unhappy about returning.

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One Response to Mallorca: an island of stark contrasts

  1. Pingback: Should you ever do the same trek twice? | Expand Your Limits Just A Little Bit More

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