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The Complete Luxury Travel Guide To Mallorca

Travel Intelligence

Known affectionately as 'Ibiza's big sister', Mallorca has become one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. With some of the most picturesque beaches in Europe, a diverse and fascinating history and culture, and now some of the most inviting modern conveniences, Mallorca has become something of a luxury paradise.

Whatever your tastes - from simply soaking up some Balearic sunshine, to rubbing shoulders with some of the elite clientele attracted to the island - this complete luxury guide to Mallorca will give you a comprehensive insight into one of Europe's most well-loved travel hotspots.

Contents:

Luxury Food in Mallorca

Food is a vital part of any luxury travel experience, and Mallorcan cuisine offers travellers an array of exciting and intensely flavourful Mediterranean cooking. If, like many travellers with a taste for luxury, you enjoy sampling the most authentic local food, then the island has more to offer than most.

Mallorcan cuisine is famously vibrant. Sharing many features with traditional Spanish (and particularly Catalan) cooking, diners in Mallorca can count on an abundance of fish, fresh and flavourful mediterranean vegetables, and an assortment of cereals and legumes.

Mallorcans love food that's light, fresh, and low-fat. During a luxury stay on the island, travellers should seek out traditional dishes such as Tombet (courgettes, potatoes, eggplant and red peppers baked in tomato sauce), Frit Mallorqui (vegetables and offal fried together with an assortment of spices), and the immensely popular Bunyols (the Mallorcan take on the fried doughnut).

During a luxury holiday in Mallorca, if you plan to try your hand at cooking your own Balearic feast, you can pay a visit to one of the island's many small markets. These are held in almost every town, village, and city across the whole of Mallorca, and are an integral part of daily life on the island.

Each town tends to hold its market on a specific day, and these vary across the island - meaning whenever you decide to visit, you should have no trouble seeking out everything from glistening freshly-caught fish to delicious veg straight from the field.

Trying your hand at Mallorcan cooking can be a fun experience to share with loved ones, and visiting a market or two is a lovely addition to a holiday. During a luxury visit, though, the restaurants you choose to visit will play an even more important part. Fortunately, Mallorca is replete with an assortment of some truly exceptional establishments for you to enjoy. A few highlights include:

Bona Taula

With a name that means 'good table' in Mallorqui (one of the commonly spoken languages on the island), Bona Taula serve luscious Mallorcan and Spanish cuisine at their charming establishment, nestled in the village of Calonge.

The restaurant has been immensely popular since it opened some 20 years ago, and it's not hard to see why: the decor is charming both inside and out, the portions are generous, and the food is simple and exceptional. Locals and travellers alike rave about their meat dishes, which are grilled over an open fire.

Sa Foradada

Sa Foradada might seem a little off the beaten track. Yet while this restaurant certainly isn't easy to get to, it provides one of the most unique and memorable dining experiences in Mallorca.

Accessible only by boat (or a 40 minute walk down a winding track, if you feel active), Sa Foradada is renowned for its exceptional paella - cooked over a wood fire, naturally - and breathtaking ocean views, delighting travellers with a taste for the finer things since 1972.

Zaranda

While local charm and traditional authenticity are important qualities that many travellers appreciate, top quality food is the biggest draw for most luxury travellers. As culinary experiences go, Zaranda is practically unmatched.

Awarded their 2nd Michelin Star in 2017, Zaranda (nestled in the luxury Hotel Castell Son Claret) offers some of the most outstanding gastronomy not only on the island, but throughout all of Spain. Flawless and artistic presentation, exceptional creativity, and unforgettable flavours - this is Michelin cooking at its finest.

Getting Around in Mallorca

Whatever your tastes and preferences, and whatever you plan to enjoy during your stay in Mallorca, getting around the island required a little forethought. While public transport is available - a bus network connects most of the island, and a rail network exists between the capital of Palma and an assortment of the outlying towns - during the hot summer season things can become intensely crowded and slow, making public transport suitable only for short journeys.

A two-tiered taxi system often presents a better option, with evening and weekends costing slightly more than weekdays, and prices increasing with a large number of suitcases. As such, many travellers find that the best option is to rent a vehicle for the duration of their visit. There are plenty of car rental services available on the island, but during a luxury visit to Mallorca, those looking to indulge in only the finest things can consider hiring a high-end sports model or even supercar - so that even the journey to each place you choose to visit is unforgettable.

A few companies can provide this service, with Autoeurope and Apex Luxury Car Hire standing out as particular highlights. Autoeurope offer an assortment of high-end vehicles such as the BMW 7 Series and Bentley Continental, while Apex offer a chance to get behind the wheel of some of the world's most sought-after luxury cars such as the Lamborghini Gallardo and Huracan, and the Rolls Royce Phantom.

The History of Mallorca

Much of the focus of modern luxury travel lies in the experiences we enjoy, not just the things that we buy. When visiting a destination that's soaked in such a rich and storied history, understanding a little about the narrative of where you're staying can only make your visit feel more authentic, and perhaps even more meaningful.

Mallorca has seen many people and cultures take command of its shores throughout history. The results of these constantly shifting ties to various cultures and society can still be seen today - making Mallorca a perfect destination if you value a little history lesson during your luxury travel adventures.

The island was colonised by the seafaring Phoenicians in around the 8th Century BC, who ruled until their conquest by the Roman Empire in 123 B.C, following the Second Punic War.

For nearly a millennium, Christianity thrived in Mallorca under Roman rule, with many churches being constructed. In 902 A.D, Mallorca fell under Moorish rule, who remained in control of the island until James the Conqueror launched an invasion in 1229.

The ensuing medieval period has resulted in some of the most interesting historical architecture in Mallorca, with watchtowers dotting the coast. The island's continuously shifting cultural influences have led to an assortment of castles and ruins that can still be visited today, most notably the reverential ancient Roman town of Pollentia.

Luxury Sightseeing in Mallorca

With so much to see and do on the island, planning which sights you intend to take in during a luxury trip to Mallorca can be a little daunting. Travellers can rest easy in the knowledge that the island really does have something to offer everyone: whether you enjoy soaking up some culture, or spending time among the elite at a high-end luxury hotspot. A few highlights to explore for yourself include:

Puerto Portals

Recognised as the glamour hotspot of Mallorca, Puerto Portals is a beautiful marina that regularly attracts the top-tier traveller and the ultra-elite. Everyone from Bill Gates to Jim Carrey has been seen at this high-end haunt, and it's more than likely that you'll bump into at least one famous face during the summer. With over 600 moorings for an assortment of luxury yachts, and a quayside flanked by leading international designer boutiques selling everything from jewellery to swimwear, Puerto Portals is the epitome of luxury indulgence in Mallorca.

Valldemossa

This charming stone village in Mallorca is situated just under 20 km from Palma, and was declared by the great composer Chopin to be the most beautiful place in the world. When you visit the 13th century monastery he called home, it's easy to see why. The forested, rolling hills and surrounding countryside have attracted countless travellers with a passion for the outdoors, and have made this charming settlement one of the prettiest and most treasured villages on the island.

Deia

Another charming and idyllic village in the north of the island, Deia has been a popular destination for travellers for centuries. As the years have gone by the village has embraced the arts in particular, becoming a hub for artists, musicians, and writers; the poet Robert Graves even made Deia his home in the 30s. The nearby Cala Deia is a small and lovely beach to visit and enjoy some sun, and the villages bars - such as the popular Sa Fonda - attract a cohort of exceptional musicians.

Es Torrent de Pareis

For those who enjoy getting out and about in nature, Es Torrent de Pareis is one of Mallorca's finest sights. This stunning natural gorge is one of the largest canyons in the Mediterranean - but pay special attention to the small but quaint sandy cove at its foot, hidden among some jaw-dropping limestone rocks. It's the perfect spot for those who enjoy climbing or hiking, and it's one of the most picturesque locations on the island.

Portocolom

This delightful fishing village retains almost all of its original charm, and presents a perfect day out for those looking to soak up some traditional Mallorcan culture. The village was once a bustling port, but has since become something of a tourist retreat for those seeking a quaint and quiet stay. A pretty, sandy beach, scuba diving schools, and an assortment of local vineyards all set the scene for a tranquil luxury experience, whatever your taste. The ancient burial site of Naveta is also nearby, making Portocolom the perfect spot for some historical sightseeing, too.

Mondrago National Park

Many luxury travellers value the opportunity to see the natural beauty of their surroundings, unmarred and unspoiled by modern intervention. Mondrago National Park, in the south east of the island, ticks all of these boxes. Offering visitors unfettered access to crystal clear teal waters, icing sugar sandy beaches (often regarded as some of the best in Europe) , and sublime canopies of enormous pine trees, Mondrago National Park receives its fair share of visitors - but protected status ensures that its natural beauty remains untouched.

Train of Sóller

While there are a variety of reasons why public transport on Mallorca might not appeal to the luxury traveller, one train ride certainly stands out. A railway, built in 1912, runs all the way from Palma to the valley of Sóller.

The track runs through an assortment of the idyllic villages of Sierra de Tramuntana, an area famous for its beauty and abundance of orange trees. The trip is a memorable and exciting way to experience the vast beauty of Mallorca first hand, and a delight for children and adults alike.

Palma Cathedral

Located in the island's capital of Palma, this Gothic Roman Cathedral is a architectural wonder. Often known as La Seu, a name used by multiple churches, the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma is a sizeable 121 metres long, and remains one of the most popular sights to visit in Mallorca. Lovers of architecture and history can enjoy a tour of this incredible gothic structure, with facades designed by a number of renowned architects, including the modernist Gaudi.

Luxury Spas in Mallorca

Another staple of the modern luxury experience, a visit to an exquisite spa can be the ideal way to rest after a day or two of sightseeing, or to indulge in a little pampering and rejuvenation. Mallorca is home to an assortment of high-end and luxury spas - a few of the best include:

Biomar Spa

Situated just 300 metres from the delightful Sa Coma beach, Biomar Spa offers guests access to a unique Hydrothermal circuit. The treatment includes massage seats with water jets, a Turkish bath, ice fountains, cyclonic showers, a solarium and micro bubble beds (along with several other stages) - all of which contribute to a memorable and invigorating luxury spa experience.

The Meliã Cala D´Or Hotel

The spa at the Meliã Cala D´Or Hotel is spacious, expertly designed, and endlessly luxurious. With its pairing of beauty and massage treatment parlours - as well as a gym, Turkish baths and a sauna - the spa has everything you could want in a luxury wellness centre. The Ayurvedic and Shiatsu massages are a particular highlight, along with their assortment of superb facials.

Pure Spa at the Hilton Sa Torre

For those seeking something a little more exclusive, Pure Spa at the Hilton Sa Torre is a must visit. With a chic and luxurious interior design, Pure Spa offers guests a chance to completely relax with a treatment or two based around the 'Five Pillars' principle. Each sense is stimulated and engaged from the moment you walk in, and their top-quality massages, facials, and other treatments are some of the most indulgent imaginable.

Golf & sports

For those who prefer to get out, about, and be active during their holidays, Mallorca has plenty to enjoy. In particular, golf players have a wide variety of choice when it comes to courses and resorts, with the island playing host to some truly standout greens, and the island also features a superb tennis centre.

Son Antem Golf Course

With the largest driving range in Mallorca (which is capable of hosting an astonishing 200 players at once) the two courses at Son Antem feature 36 holes of vast open fairways, speed-focussed greens and intelligent course architecture, replete with challenging hazards. The resort is one of the biggest golf academies in Europe, and offers 3 putting greens, as well as practice bunkers and target greens. Better yet is its setting, with a backdrop of beautiful olive trees, and breathtaking views of the Randa mountain.

T Golf & Country Club

Opened in 1978, T Golf & Country Club is one of the most revered courses in Mallorca, and a popular choice among local and visiting players alike. With towering pines surrounding its courses, the views from the 11th and 8th holes are worth the visit alone, and the rugged natural beauty of this course is something players will remember for years to come.

Tennis Centre Paguera

Tennis is hugely popular in Mallorca, and if you prefer the courts to the course, then the Tennis Centre at Paguera is arguably the best option. Sitting just outside of the capital of Palma, this is more than just a set of tennis courts. The centre features 15 outdoor clay courts in one of the sunniest and most popular spots on the island, all of which are surrounded by a ring of stunning palm trees and natural foliage, giving the resort a private and exclusive feel. With a pool, terrace and an in-house physiotherapist, the centre has everything the travelling player needs to enjoy a match or two in the most idyllic of settings. Luxury travellers are sure to 'love' it.

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