With their own cuisine, culture & history, a holiday in the Balearic Islands is distinctly different from mainland Spain – here’s why:
– Amongst Europe’s most popular tourist destinations, the Balearics are well set up for a getaway.
– From Sobrassada to lobster stew, the distinctive Balearic cuisine is enough reason to travel to the islands alone. The local diet includes lots of seafood, pastries, wine & cheese.
– The islands appeal to people of all ages – from beach-loving kids, to party-loving teens, those seeking luxury and relaxation as well as those seeking a more active break.
– Popular activities in the islands include yachting in Ibiza, mountain biking & hiking in Mallorca and sports including golf & tennis – tennis great Rafael Nadal hails from Mallorca.
– With very little rain and many sunshine hours throughout the year, it’s always a good time to visit the Balearics and take advantage of the Mediterranean climate.
Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera & More…
Made up of many islands – big and small – the main Balearic Islands frequently visited by tourists include Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera. Some of the minor islands include Es Vedrà, Sa Conillera, Dragonera, S’Espardell, Ses Bledes, Santa Eulària, Plana, Foradada, Tagomago & Na Redona. Home to over 1 million people, the islands are a melting pot of nationalities – popular with South Americans, Moroccans, Italians, Germans & Brits for decades. Mallorca, the largest island, is home to around 80% of the native population. Palma de Mallorca’s airport – unsurprisingly – is one of Spain’s busiest.
Highlights of the Balearic Islands
The Balearic Islands really have it all, and there are plenty of places to experience here. Each of the islands has something of its own personality; Mallorca has the most variety, Ibiza is high-octane, and Menorca is famously the most laid-back. With unique reasons to visit each, choosing the island you want to get away to can be near impossible. Luckily, despite some subtle cultural differences, the islands also have a lot in common. Highlights of the Balearic Islands you can find on all of them include crystal clear blue water and white sandy beaches that look almost Caribbean. You’ll also be able to find family-friendly resorts and adults-only hotels on each of the islands too. Whichever island you end up choosing, you’re sure to fall in love with the Balearics…
Where’s the best spot to holiday in the Balearic Islands?
With so many possible holiday destinations, we thought we’d help narrow it down for you. It’s entirely possible that we – as one of the premier luxury resorts in the Balearic Islands – could be accused of a certain level of bias. But truthfully, there are many, many options for great places to holiday in the Balearics. Here is a shortlist of five to consider:
The Tramuntana Mountains; Call us biased, but the location of the Castell Son Claret – high in the dramatic and beautiful Tramuntana Mountains – is tough to beat. For those that love active breaks, there’s no better place for hiking and biking in the Balearic Islands. Equally, there’s no nicer place to relax away from the noisier parts of the islands, secluded in some of Mallorca’s stunning nature. You can also get some high quality, Michelin-starred food up here. Ours isn’t the only luxury resort in the Tramuntana Mountains, but it might just be the best.
Palma; The capital of Mallorca and the largest city in the Balearic Islands, Palma is a great choice for the city breakers and sightseers. Palma’s airport welcomes 29 million people per year, and while many go around the island to the beach resorts, many also stay in the city itself. With good reason; highlights of Palma include the breath-taking La Seu – Palma’s Cathedral – and the Arab Baths. Bellver Castle and the Royal Palace of La Almudaina are also worth visiting. Shopping, culture and a wide variety of restaurants round off the great reasons to visit Palma.
Port de Sóller; Away from the busier resorts in southern Mallorca – Magaluf and the like – you can find calm and relaxation by the sea at Port de Sóller. A pretty bay bookended by two lighthouses, visitors can enjoy a relaxing day on the sandy beach. An elegant, century-old Tramway connects the inland town of Sóller with the port & beachfront, and trips up to the hills south of the town provide an unforgettable view of this sweet holiday destination.
Western Ibiza; One of the most sought-after destinations for party-lovers for over 20 years, Ibiza also has a softer side to explore. The west of the island is the best of both worlds. The town of Sant Antoni de Portmany was described by Time Out as ”the clubbing capital of the universe”, but along the coast, in quieter areas, you’ll also find luxury hotels & resorts. Somewhere every young person should experience at least once, Western Ibiza has it all.
Mahon; The laid-back capital of Menorca is perfect for anyone that want’s a little bit of everything. Not busy enough to be hectic like Palma or the busier parts of Ibiza, Mahon (also known as Maó) still has lots to see and do, with plenty of castles & market squares to wander through. One of the largest natural harbours in the world, boat-lovers will find paradise in Mahon. The port city is also great for seafood, and is home to Mahon cheese and – allegedly – the birthplace of mayonnaise.
With so many great holiday destinations to choose from, we wish you a wonderful holiday in the Balearic Islands – wherever you decide to go, we’re certain you’ll want to come back again and again!
Castell Classics are the annual highlight of classical music in Mallorca, a pleasure for ears, eyes and palate: Magical musical moments meet fine cuisine in a unique ambience. Thanks to our close collaboration with the best European opera houses and festivals we are able to stage newcomers and stars on a private event on the beautiful grounds of Castell Son Claret. Every summer, we wrap classical music in culinary elegance paired with the unique nature in which our luxury hotel is set. At open air and very close to the stars you will experience classic evenings which are unique at its kind in Mallorca. At Castell Classics, we present selected young talents from Milan’s La Scala and the Salzburg Festival as well as established opera stars with international fame. We are proud to support these young talents and to welcome them on our open-air stage in front of the wonderful castle.
The evenings are accompanied by a gala menu from our culinary teams. Fernando P. Arellano ́s two Michelin-starred Zaranda and our Restaurant Olivera pamper guests´ palate and surprise with masterpieces of Mediterranean cuisine. The unique symbiosis of classical music, finest food and a fabulous castle ambience make Castell Classics one of the most popular events in Mallorca every year.
ACCADEMIA TEATRO ALLA SCALA
THE MOST TALENTED YOUNG SOLOISTS FROM MILAN
On 6th June, at the kick-off of the Castell Classics 2019, we kindly welcome the best young talents of the Accademia Teatro alla Scala Milan. The young artists present an excerpt of their current program under the open sky. The evening starts in our beautiful Mediterranean garden with finest Italian antipasti and an exquisite wine selection. Afterwards, Fernando P. Arellano and his team will spoil you on our terrace in front of the magically illuminated backdrop of the Castell Son Claret with an exquisite 3-course menu including wine selection. The young opera stars lead the evening, enveloping the entire grounds of the Castell Son Claret in a romantic setting.Let the night fade away with a walk through our moody illuminated garden, watch the stars and smell the wild nature of Mallorca.
THE GRADUATED SOLOISTS FROM THE YOUNG SINGERS PROJECT
On the 4th of July, our guests of the Castell Classics 2019 will experience a festive evening with the Young Singers of the Salzburg Festival. For the seventh time, the young talents will present highlights from their current program at Castell Son Claret. The façade of the Castell will be shrouded in elegant lights, the chirr of the cicadas attend the audience and the young classical stars take you on a summer night’s journey. The classic evening starts with an elegant welcome is in our garden above the cascades. A light aperitif buffet as well as selected wines will get you in the mood of the musical summer night. Thereafter, you will experience a unique performance in private atmosphere and very close to the singers on our terrace in front of the romantic castle. The young artists play with the audience and offer their skills on stage while Fernando P. Arellano and his team from 2 Michelin star restaurant Zaranda and our Restaurant Olivera pamper your palate with a fine menu. A doubtless unique event under the starry sky!
ZURICH OPERA HOUSE
SOPRANO OLGA KULCHYNSKA AND BARITONE KONSTANTIN SHUSHAKOV
The highlight of the Castell Classics 2019 will be the summer rendezvous on 17th August with soprano Olga Kulchynska and baritone Konstantin Shushakov, both from Zurich Opera House. Olga Kulchynska was born in Ukraine, studied music theory and singing in Kiev and became a member of the Young Ensemble of the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow in 2013. She gained international fame with performances at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Lincoln Center in New York and Theater an der Wien, as well as at the Bavarian State Opera. Konstantin Shushakov has a similar career. The baritone was born in central Russia, graduated from the Russian Academy and began his career in the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. As we do on all summer Castell Classics events, we welcome our guests in our lovely Mediterranean garden with a light appetizer buffet and fine wines. Afterwards, the classical stars will be enchanted on stage in front of the beautifully lit facade of the Castell Son Claret. The evening will be accompanied by a fine menu from the masters of Restaurant Olivera as well as the two-Michelin starred restaurant Zaranda inspired by chef Fernando P. Arellano.Enjoy a unique classical event in private atmosphere with fine cuisine!
DONT MISS THE MAGIC…
CASTELL CLASSICS 2019 PROGRAM
Teatro alla Scala from Milan:
Soloists of the Accademia
Start: 19:30 hrs
Price: 205 € per person
Young Singers Project 2019
Start: 19:30 hrs
Price: 205 € per person
Saturday, 17. 08 2019
Zurich Opera house:
Olga Kulchynska & Konstantin Shushaskov
Start: 19:30 hrs
Price: 205 € per person
MAGICAL MUSIC MOMENTS BY CASTELL SON CLARET
Welcome cocktail, gala menu, wines and concert “al fresco”.
Concert tickets are also available with accommodation and airport transfer
Mallorca is a paradise for outdoor sports: 300 days of sunshine, pleasant temperatures and perfect infrastructure make every athlete’s heart beat faster.
Mallorca and sport, a perfect relation – At least cyclists and golfers noticed many years ago that Mallorca is the perfect destination to combine pleasure, sports and holidays. Cyclists had been the first ones who established an own tourism sector in the off-season and golfers strengthen the quality tourism and find variety on 24 golf courses and magnificent fairways with sea views.
The summer belongs to the water sportsmen. Then it gets colorful and lively in the waves when canoe-rowers, stand-up-paddlers, swimmers and divers share the cool water. To find a place for each passion is no problem even in the high season thanks to 550 km coast line.
Even hikers discover the variety of Mallorca sport possibilities and encourage the Tramuntana mountains, especially in the off-season. It’s not just busy pensioners on vacation who climb the peaks, also locals and families are drawn to the mountains. They seek relaxation and tranquility and are rewarded with spectacular views.
There are so many opportunities for sport activities in Mallorca … We only want to introduce some and betray the best places. Some are worth a short trip, others are almost unknown, but they all combine the passion to move outdoor in a dreamlike nature.
RUNNING SPORT IN MALLORCA
Mallorca is an island of running lovers. Locals and tourists are running day and night along the promenades and prove their skills on numerous running events.
The most famous international running event is the Palma Marathon which leads through the old town and along the sea promenade. Professional participants certainly won´t have an eye for the lovely boats and monuments along the way but hobby runners appreciate the varied route. The Palma Marathon is a two days event with marathon, half marathon and a children’s run as well as numerous side events. If you want to participate in the Palma Marathon save the date for 2018: 14th October.
Our tips for best running routes: A six-kilometer jogging track is located on the grounds of Castell Son Claret. The path is marked, unpaved and leads through oak forest and almond orchards. An overview map is available at our reception.
Another beautiful running track in our area is the new footpath between Es Capdella and Paguera. It leads through the “Vall Verd”, the green valley, with its beautiful meadows, almond trees and sheep herds. It is worth the detour back over the forest. About halfway on the left, a hiking trail sign leads you to untouched nature. After a few kilometers, you will reach the road connecting Es Capdella with Andratx and return to Castell Son Claret.
Have fun while running!
HIKING IN MALLORCA
Did you know that the Tramuntana range in Mallorca was awarded World Heritage Status by UNESCO in 2011 and that there are 30 peaks of more than 1,000 meters high? The highest mountain, the Puig Major, is 1,436 meters above sea level. Unfortunately, it is a military area and not accessible but hikers can climp the second highest mountain, the Massanella, next to Puig Major.
The 90 kilometer long Tramuntana mountain range in the west of Mallorca is an ideal hiking area with numerous marked trails, shelters and impressive views of the sea. The high-altitude mountain character should not be underestimated: Climbing the highest peaks requires endurance and sure-footedness. But there are also many easy trails in the mountains and the coastal regions which are suitable for families and those who rather prefer to stroll along olive and orange groves.
Our tip: Castell Son Claret is located next to the highest peak in southwest Mallorca. Puig de Galatzo is a 1,026 meters high peak and definitely worth a climb. From the summit the view sweeps over the whole island, even Ibiza is recognizable on clear days. The route to Galatzo starts next to Castell Son Claret and leads by the grounds of Finca Galatzo – initially flat then steeply uphill – in about 2 hours to the summit. Take a picnic and enjoy the view!
CLIMBING ON MALLORCA
Psico…what? Psicobloc (also Deep Water Soloing) is a form of solo climbing over water and had been established in Mallorca! Psicobloc is one of the most unique and purest forms of climbing. Elite climbers like Chris Sharma do regularly visit Mallorca to push the envelope of technical climbing and experience the special challenge afforded by Psicobloc. The risk is low and even beginners and children can try cliff climbing. After all, there is nothing better for the little ones than to fall into the water. The coastline of the southeast around Santanyi is ideal for psicoblog but specialized outdoor agencies also offer climbing in the southwest.
But it´s not all about water – Mallorca has also established itself as one of Europe’s premier rock climbing and sport climbing destinations. There are many spots all over the island and outdoor agencies offer guided tours.
CANYONING IN MALLORCA
Yes, we also have this sport in Mallorca! In winter, many canyons in the Tramuntana Mountains fill with water, making them ideal for hiking, climbing, abseiling and swimming. All this is canyoning – a multi-action sport.
Ideal months for canyoning in Mallorca are from October to April when plenty of rain falls. Then experienced guides take their guests to the so-called “torrents”, dry rivers in the limestone which have dug deep gorges in millions of years. Popular torrents are Torrente Coanegra, Torrente Na Mora and the Torrente Sa Fosca. Sa Fosca is even among the top 10 canyons worldwide!
SOCCER ON MALLORCA
Locals are real soccer fans and almost every village has its own ground. The island club RCD Mallorca plays only in División B, league two, but that´s irrelevant because the stadium in Palma is worth a visit anyway. There are guided tours that take place on different days. Or if you are lucky there is a match with FC Barcelona super stars.
TENNIS SPORT ON MALLORCA
Mallorca is the home of tennis legends Rafael Nadal and Carlos Moya and the sport is practiced in almost every village.
In 2016, the first WTA tournament on Mallorca celebrated its premiere. At the Mallorca Open, the world’s best women’s tennis players compete on the new grass courts in Santa Ponsa and prepare for Wimbledon. The Mallorca Open takes place in June.
Castell Son Claret offers its own tennis court and lessons upon request. Reservations are made at the spa reception.
STAND-UP PADDLING (SUP) MALLORCA
With 550 km coast line and 300 days of sunshine there are so many water sports activities in Mallorca. But we only want to list one which is particularly popular and even attracts yoga fans: stand-up paddling. Stand-up paddling requires balance and body control. Similar to canoeing you move with a paddle but the specially developed surfboard challenges the user if you do not want to constantly fall into the water. Fun is guaranteed once you master the technique.
There are several companies who rent SUP boards and offer courses on the beaches of Calvia, e.g. in Paguera, Portals and Port Adriano. Some even offer yoga lessons on the wide SUP board. It is worth a try…
Your favorite sport is not listed? Or do you want to experience something special on your holiday in Mallorca? Ask us about the possibilities. There is almost nothing you can´t do on this beautiful island … have fun!
Exploring Mallorquin wine with Sebastien Longo our Sommelier in Zaranda, best Sommelier of Mallorca 2017.
His great knowledge, the wide reference letter and the clear and calibrated advice to the diner were the distinctions that made him obtain the award.
Would you like to learn a little bit more about Mallorcan Wines?
If you keep on reading you will find an Interview with our awarded and beloved Sommelier, we hope you enjoy it!
It seems astonishing but, in the two years since Charles Marlow’s Deia Olive Press has been in existence, we’ve never written about the Mallorquin wine scene. To correct this oversight, I spoke to Sebastien Longo, sommelier at the Restaurante Zaranda at the splendid luxury hotel Castell Son Claret. Zaranda is the only Michelin two-starred restaurant in the Balearic Islands. Tucked away on the edge of charming Es Capdellà at the foot of the Serra de Tramuntana mountains, Castell Son Claret is the former finca of an estate dating back to at least 1450 and possiibly the most charming luxury hotel in Mallorca. Set in lush gardens, with just 38 suites and rooms, the hotel is a retreat from the hustle and bustle of modern life. This helps create a delightful atmosphere of intimacy and exclusivity.
Along with the Zaranda and Olivera restaurants, the hotel’s Castell Bar is the perfect place to relax with a signature cocktail after an idyllic day spent in the pool, gardens, spa or Moroccan-style hammam.
A short history of winemaking in Mallorca
Before we discussed the contemporary Mallorquin wine scene, Sebastien was kind enough to educate me in the history of winemaking on the island.
A market for wine existed in Mallorca as far back as the sixth or seventh centuries BC. But it wasn’t until 123 BC when a Roman army led by Quinto Cecilio Metelo conquered the island that vineyards were introduced into Mallorca. During the thousand years of Roman occupation that followed, Mallorquin wine grew in status until it was possible for Roman historian Gaius Pliny the Elder to announce that ‘Balearic wines are compared with the best in Italy’.
After the Moors conquered Mallorca in 903, a period of three hundred years during which the island was subject to Koranic law followed when alcohol couldn’t be consumed. Despite this, vineyards continued to be cultivated that took advantage of the sophisticated irrigation systems invented by the Moors that watered the olive terraces. There’s also evidence that wine was drunk in Mallorca while the Moors ruled the island.
When Mallorca became Christian again in 1229, one of the first things Jaime 1 did was to grant licenses for wine to be cultivated in Bunyola, Campos, Felanitx, Manacor, Porreres and Valledmossa. Between the 14th and 18thcenturies, winemaking became one of the economic mainstays of Mallorca. Mallorquin wines were traded all over the Mediterranean.
Up until recently, the golden years for winemaking on the island were 1865-1890 when the devastation of the French wine industry caused by phylloxera led to a rapid growth in the number of vineyards in Mallorca. So much wine was shipped to France from the ports of Palma, Portocolom and Alcúdia that some shipping companies did nothing but export wine.
Sadly, phylloxera arrived in Mallorca in 1891 and rampaged through the island’s vineyards. Production was drastically reduced until it didn’t even cover domestic consumption and wine had to be imported. Many vineyards were given over to almond growing.
Although Mallorca’s vineyards began to recover at the beginning of the 20th century, island winemaking continued to suffer setbacks. During the Spanish Civil War, land was given over to cultivating essential food crops. The tourist boom of the 1960s caused the children of many Mallorquin vintners to leave the wine business for tourist hospitality. Cheaper wines from the Spanish peninsula began to be consumed in bulk.
In the 1990s, Mallorca’s winemakers began to reverse the decline by improving the quality of wine grown on the island. They took greater care of the crops and embraced the latest technological innovations in winemaking. This led to a revival in Mallorquin wines made using native island grapes. Today, high quality Mallorquin wines have unique characteristics and a distinct personality.
Thanks for setting the scene for us, Sebastien. Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I was born in Argentina and lived in Bolivia, Brazil, the United States and Italy before arriving in Mallorca ten years ago. I’ve worked as the Castell Son Claret Beverages Manager for the past five years and I’m also the restaurant sommelier for Zaranda. I’m biased but I’d say Zaranda is the greatest restaurant in Mallorca. It’s heaven for lovers of gastronomy and I work with a fantastic team.
My bosses give me absolute freedom to do what I think is best for the hotel and the restaurant.
Also, I love Mallorca. It’s an amazing place. Everywhere you visit is beautiful. The climate is ideal. It’s very safe. People are educated, and I’ve never felt like a foreigner. If you have the best job in the world and live here, what more could you ask for?
Coming back to wine, how is the Mallorquin wine scene different from that in other parts of Spain?
I’d say the main difference between us and the peninsula is our geographical position and climate. Because we’re in the middle of the Mediterranean we have a much more changeable climate which affects winegrowing. Also, many winegrowers in Spain only make wines using autochthonous grapes and here they use a wider variety, which makes for more diversity in the wines.
What would you say is trending in Mallorquin wine?
As I said before, more and more people are returning to native island grapes. I know of wineries that have spent almost 10 years recovering their original vines. Each day, wineries are searching for an identity for themselves and their wines. It will take time but since I’ve been on the island, I’ve seen a significant qualitative change.
Organic and biodynamic wines are becoming more popular. There is very good soil here and nearly all the wineries are small so it’s not that difficult to be ecological and have a sustainable viticulture. Biodynamic wine is produced as naturally as possible – avoiding pesticides, for instance. Almost all the wines on the menu at Castell Son Claret and Zaranda are at least organic.
What is the approach to wine at Castell Son Claret and Zaranda?
The quality of the wine in our establishments is fundamental to our philosophy. We understand that wine is essential part of living the good life and believe in offering the widest possible choice to suit all tastes.
Today we have around 500 different labels from around the world. Many of these are productions of less than 1000 bottles and unique, absolutely sought after pieces.
What are the most popular Mallorquin wines at Castell Son Claret and Zaranda and why?
We always try to offer something different for our guests, which is why I’m constantly looking for different styles, grapes, blends and prices.
Do you have a favourite Mallorquin wine and what are you currently enjoying?
I have my favourites but you’ll have to come and visit me to find out!
Seriously, I’m always trying something new and try not to repeat a wine. But drinking wine is not mathematics. I choose what I want to drink when the time is right, depending on the company and the weather.
How will your wine drinking change as we move into the winter?
It’s logical that red becomes more prominent, but I always insist that there are many winter whites with plenty of volume and structure that can be enjoyed at almost the same temperature as a red.
Thanks for that tip, Sebastien, and for sharing your impressive knowledge with us.
Now that we’ve got the ball rolling with our Mallorquin wine coverage, we’ll be returning to the subject every month. If you’re a oenophile or just curious, be sure to watch this space.
Blog and Interniew by www.charlesmarlow.com specialists in luxury properties in towns of Valldemossa, Deia, Soller & Fornalutx such as villas, town houses, fincas & apartments.
No trip to the island is complete without taking a walk on one of Mallorca’s beautiful beaches; the deep blue sea at your feet, the pure sea air in your lungs.
Yet selecting the right beach to visit here is tricky. The offer is wide and varied: on the 550 kilometres of Mallorca’s coastline there are 340 beaches, from small stone bays to long sandy beaches. From the lonely Calas, which must be hiked, to the tourist paradises with all the amenities nearby, there’s lots to choose from.
Here, we introduce you the best beaches in Mallorca, our personal recommendations, and reveal why our Mediterranean water has that deep blue colour – unique to this part of the world.
Cala, Playa or Bahia?
You will likely see these three words a lot in Mallorca during your search of the perfect beach. It makes sense to know how Playa, Cala and Bahia differ.
“Cala” literally means “bay”, and designates a small sea access with a sand or stone beach. The east coast of Mallorca is particularly renowned for its Calas and small bays, which are often surrounded by shady pine forests. On the west coast of Mallorca you will find many rocky Calas, some only accessible by dizzying hiking trails. But here you can also find – at least in the off season – the so often sought-after “lonely bay”. It should be noted that many of the small bays, which are only accessible by foot, are not monitored by lifeguards. They also have no infrastructure – neither restaurants nor umbrellas and sun loungers. All the same, the peace and quiet of these places can offer a lovely experience.
“Bahia” also gets translated as “bay”, but is how the Spanish refer to larger bays. Examples in Mallorca are like those of Palma, Alcudia and Pollensa – not beaches.
“Playa” or, in Catalan, “Platja” are long sandy beaches, and are the most tourist-friendly. You can find many of them in the north of Mallorca. In the south, the well-known sandy beach “Es Trenc” is the epitome of Caribbean-like dreamland. Es Trenc is of course under protection, with dunes that run into pine forest; there are hardly any buildings here, but some cool bars invite you for a sundowner (or two).
Why is the Mediterranean Sea around Mallorca so blue?
What is the use of the most beautiful beach if the water is not turquoise? The Mediterranean is simply not the Mediterranean without blue waters. And just in Mallorca, the many shades of blue are striking.
The water around the island of Mallorca is particularly clear and transparent, the bright sand contrasts to dark areas of sea grass and rocks. The crystal-clear water we owe to the Poseidon grass, also called green treasure, on the seabed. This grass is abundant in the sea off the Balearic Islands. The protected Neptune grasslands and algae filter the water, making them extremely important for the marine ecosystem of the sea.
“Posidonia oceanica” in Latin, this grass can be perceived by tourists as annoying when the dead brown remnants are flushed to the beach. Even yacht owners are often ruthless and anchor in the seagrass meadows. In order to prevent this, anchoring berths and buoys have been anchored to the seabed on many beaches and bays in Majorca, where boats can moor. This is because we need the seagrass with its photosynthesis to clean the water, and fish use the seagrass meadows as a retreat. In addition, seagrass plays an important role in the protection of the beaches: it slows down waves that wash away the sand. The discarded leaves, which are washed ashore, also counteract erosion. This happens, for example, during storms. They also feed crustaceans and shellfish.
While algae are found all over the world, the Mediterranean, and especially the Balearic Islands are the Eldorado of the Posidonia oceanica, as well as being 40 metres deep, when the water is clear enough for photosynthesis. Interestingly. Seagrass grows very slowly and can grow very old. At Formentera, seagrass that is around 100,000 years old has been discovered.
Mallorca: The best beaches
It is not easy to choose a beach as the most beautiful. Here are the opinions of tourists and locals apart. Mallorcans prefer to go to the beach with a cooler, a folding chair and with the big family in tow – they hardly need any infrastructure. However, tourists tend to appreciate the bars for sundowners, with sun bed rental and water sports & activities. The thing everyone can agree on is crystal clear water and sand…
The top ten beaches in Mallorca according to Trivago
In a recent survey by the travel portal Trivago.es, various beaches in Mallorca were voted among the ten most popular in Spain. In the top ten are the Platja de Muro in the north of Mallorca, followed by the beach of Cala Millor on the east coast. Colonia de Sant Jordi in the south and the Playa of Port d’Alcúdia in the north also made the list.
The best beach in Mallorca according Ryanair guests
Ryanair has named Caló des Moro beach in the southeast of Mallorca as one of the ten European beaches that can compete with Copcabana in Brazil in their recent blog “Into the Blue”. Irrefutably true is the statement: “You do not have to cross the equator to find dream beaches.” The small beach in Mallorca is only 40 meters wide, convincing visitors with fine sand, crystal clear water and excellent opportunities for diving and snorkelling. The long journey to this Playa is well worth the effort.
Our recommendations for the best beaches in Mallorca
The north-east can offer particularly natural bays and beaches. From the Cala Agulla in Cala Ratjada, a long sandy beach with infrastructure and pine forest, leads a shady and worthwhile trail to Cala Mesquida, which can also be reached by car. The Cala Mesquida is sparsely populated, high sand dunes reach to 1 kilometre into the country and the colour of the water is in no way inferior to the Caribbean.
The west coast is impressive, rough and wild. Only a few small bays can be found on the cliffs, but they are all the more romantic. Especially the Cala Deia is often used as a movie set. Easily accessible from Deia via a hiking trail or by car (parking is available), the bay offers some summer cottages, a rocky beach and a wild-romantic restaurant reminiscent of Robinson Crusoe. The restaurant is only open in summer. Also on the west coast are the bays of Estellencs and Port de Canonge worth a visit. Here, small fishing boats anchor in the deep blue water, a stone beach leads into the sea and simple but typical beach bars invite you to eat and have a drink.
In the north some of the best beaches in Mallorca are found, but also some small bays which are worth a swim stop. The Cala San Vincente is one of them; even the journey is extremely spectacular, because the view extends far beyond the north coast to the sea. Cala San Vicente is a traditional fishing village that made some concessions to tourism, but still retains its old charm.
And we have another insider tip for those who are looking for a “lonely bay”. The bay on the island of Dragonera, quite easy to reach from the Castell Son Claret. While you may never be truly alone there, it’s at least never crowded due to the location. Drive to Sant Elm, a romantic fishing village that has kept its charm. From Sant Elm there are connections several times a day (except in winter) with a small boat to the offshore island, which is under protection. On Dragonera there is practically nothing except 3 lighthouses, hiking trails, lizards, a small harbour and a lot of peace. Be sure to take a picnic with you!
Castell Son Claret wishes you a relaxed day by the beach!
Movies are a kind of fiction but also inspiration. Often we get inspired by lovely places shown in movies and then plan a trip to the location of the shooting. So, cinema and TV give us the opportunity to get to know new places we might never have thought of and give us a taste of country, people, culture and nature.
With this blog, we want to introduce the 20 best movie productions in Mallorca. We want to inspire those who never visited the island before and test the knowledge of those who already spent holidays in Mallorca. Discover incredible landscapes of the Mediterranean and learn curiosities of some film productions. The movie titles are linked to the Spanish TV version or trailer, depending on availability.
“El secreto de la Pedriza” was the only film production of Balear Films and also the only one in which the actor Francisco Aguiló Torrandel directed himself. The film is a blockbuster typical of the time, filmed outdoors and with a certain tourist documentary background as a promotion for Mallorca. The story comes from a novel by Adolfo Vázquez Humasqué from 1921, a peasant drama about smuggling, love and police. The movie was filmed in Sa Foradada, in the Torrent de Pareis and in Son Marroig, typical mystical places in the Serra de Tramuntana. “El secreto de la Pedriza” is richly decorated with fantastic images of the island and shows how the landscape has changed over the decades by building and construction. Therefore, almost ninety-two years after its premiere, this movie is a pleasure for the eyes. The film premiered in 1926 in the Teatro Principal and was a great success.
“Jack el Negro” has been a co-production of France, the United States, England and Spain; an adventure movie produced in Mallorca in 1949. His premiere at Avenida Palace 1950 was a social event. The film was staged by Julien Duvivier and José Antonio Nieves Conde who also produced Alexander Salkind (Superman). The lead actors in the feature film were George Sanders, Herbert Marshall and Agnes Moorehead, best known for her role as Endora, Samantha’s mother in the famous 60s hit series “Haunted”. Also some well-known Spanish actors and artists, such as Lola Flores, Manolo Caracol, José Nieto, Jose Jaspe, María Teresa Campos, etc., were involved in the filming, as many Mallorcan background actors. The film tells the story of Mike, a captain whose ship “Jack the Black” often sails the Spanish shores to carry contraband. Mike feels that his stage as a smuggler must end as soon as possible. He is tired of being harassed by the Spanish Navy. One day, as he sails through Mediterranean waters, his boat encounters a ship that has just been shipwrecked and carries political refugees. Among them is Ingrid Dekker, a young woman who soon feels attracted to Mike. The film features several scenes in Mallorca: Jonquet, the Paseo Maritimo in Palma, Cala Blava, Cala Santanyi, Torrent de Pareis and many more.
The director of this film production in Mallorca was Nathan Juran. Sinbad embarks on a dangerous journey full of adventures to the mysterious island of Colossus with the intention of breaking the spell of a devilish magician against the princess he is in love with. To save her life he has to fight numerous monsters, such as the man-eating Cyclops, a skeleton with a saber, a wild two-headed bird called Roc, and a fire-breathing dragon.
“La mujer de paja” is a film by Basil Dearden starring world-famous stars such as Gina Lollobrigida, Sean Connery, Ralph Richardson, Johnny Sekka, Alexander Knox and Laurence Hardy. The film tells the story of Charles Ritchmon, an English financial magnate who has been in a wheelchair for years and marrying his nurse Maria. The wedding was staged by Maria and Anthony, a millionaire’s nephew: If Ritchmon dies, Maria inherits a huge fortune and her accomplice is to receive a million pounds. Charles dies during a cruise through the Mediterranean. Maria and Anthony state that the tycoon is still alive until they arrive in London, but then the police unexpectedly intercedes…
“El verdugo” is one of our favorites and undoubtedly a movie not to be missed. Luis García Berlanga was co-directed by Rafael Azcona who received the CEC Award for Best Original Act. The film tells the story of José Luis, an employee of a funeral home who wants to emigrate to Germany to become a mechanic. His girlfriend is the daughter of the executioner Amadeo. The two want to marry but the financial resources are rare. So, Amadeo, who is retiring, tries to persuade José Luis to apply for his job which would entitle him to a house. José Luis accepts his father-in-law’s proposal with the hope that he will never have to perform his shameful ministry.
A winter in Mallorca
This movie by Jaime Camino tells the story of Chopin and George Sand’s stay in Mallorca. The film was shot in the Serra de Tramuntana, Son Moragues and the Valldemossa Charterhouse. The story: The Moldovan society welcomes the adulterous relationship between George Sand and the six-year-old musician Frédéric Chopin who is severely ill with tuberculosis. When the two travel to the island with the idea that the mild Majorcan winter will be good for Chopin’s health they do not find accommodation. Only the inhospitable Valldemossa Charterhouse without any comfort is offered to them. Besides the difficulties of their relationship, the fragile health of Chopin and the presence of the children of George Sand there is lack of understanding and hospitality of the locals.
Under the direction of Orson Wells, this movie is a reflection that has emerged on one of the themes most emphatic in his filming career: the duality between the real and the fictional. The result is a great documentary on fraud and counterfeiting that focuses on the character of the forger Elmyr de Hory and his biographer Clifford Irving who also wrote the deceptive biography of Howard Hughes. The film tells of Hughes captivity and Welles’s career which began with the radio broadcast of a false Mars invasion: “The War of the Worlds”. The film was shot in Ibiza, not Mallorca, but given its value, we would like to list it in our series of the “20 Best Movies filmed in Mallorca”.
Jaime Chávarri, born in Madrid, directed one of the most-filmed places in the Tramuntana mountains, the La Raixa estate. At the time of the production, there was a high budget available and allowed a cast of top actors as Imanol Arias, Fernando Rey, Alfredo Mayo, Amparo Soler Leal and Ángela Molina. The film premiered on April 8, 1983 in the Auditòrium in Palma with great anticipation. The slogan of the premiere was: “There are no more paradises than the lost.”
This movie was directed by Manuel Iborra in Ibiza and Mallorca with national star cast: Veronica Forqué, Antonio Resines, Pepón Nieto, Carlos Fuentes, María Adánez, Silvia Abascal, Felipe Martínez, Liberto Rabal, Clara Sanchís and Francisco Algora. The movie is a comedy that reflects the seventies in Spain at the peak of hippie flower power motion. A family, untypical for this time, spends their holidays in Ibiza with sun, love and problems. The father, an actor, has never cared enough about his family. The mother, who sacrificed her career as an actress for her children, lives her vocation with body and soul. And the boys will learn for life on this vacation…
The movie “Bert”, directed by Lluís Casasayas, was produced entirely in the Serra de Tramuntana. The shooting was extremely complicated and so the movie got the epithet “damn” from his director. It tells the story of the protagonist Fermí Reixachs who has to find a friend that has disappeared in the Serra de Tramuntana.
The film premiered with great success at the Spanish Film Festival of Málaga, in the same year 1998 it won at the Atlantic Film Festival and International Festival l’Alternativa de Barcelona. However, there was a disagreements between the producer and the Ministry of Culture which led to the film not being commercially released, making it a cult movie. Only recently, after 17 years, it was shown in cinemas.
The Valencian director Sigfrid Monleón was nominated for the Goya Prize in 2000 with this movie. The story: Lluís Dalmau, a young university professor, is deported to an island because of his political activities. It is the year 1969 and the island is philosophizing about its future: tourist urbanization with foreign capital or finding a way to prevent the bankruptcy of the traditional salt industry that has sustained the island’s economy from time immemorial. Dalmau postpones his escape plans and begins an affair with Feli, an attractive farmer’s wife.
“Sword of honour” is a movie by Bill Anderson with Hollywood actor Daniel Craig. The story takes place in 1939 and tells of Guy Grouchback, an Englishman living in Italy. He returns from exile to fight with the British Navy during World War II. Several of his comrades will die in honor of her country behind the enemy lines.
This film, directed by Julio Medem, won two Goyas in 2001, one for the best new actress and one for the best film music. The film was not shot in Mallorca but on Formentera. However, it should be listed because of its importance and geographical proximity to Mallorca. The movie tells the story of Lucía Paz Vega, a young woman who works as a waitress in the center of Madrid. After the mysterious disappearance of her friend Lorenzo she decides to travel to the silent island of Formentera where she gets faced with the dark side of her past relationship.
At this point, we would like to present two great movies by a Majorcan director, Daniel Monzón, who staged the beauties of the island:
The story: Lucas Santos, also known as “El Santo” (Antonio Resines), is a thief who is constantly in jail. Tired of botched robberies he dreams of the big robbery that brings him publicity in media. His wife (Neus Asensi) is a sympathetic and attractive woman who occasionally works as a stripper in a nightclub. After building a crazy gang of inexperienced thieves, Lucas decides to steal the most valuable painting in the National Museum Reina Sofía: Pablo Picasso’s Guernica
The story: David (Timothy Hutton), a science-fiction writer, is invited to a lecture on an island where he meets Silvia (Lucía Jiménez), a Spanish-American tourist. Suddenly, a series of mysterious suicides begins. Something or someone is making the victims o suicide…
Agustí Villaronga, another acclaimed and successful Mallorcan director chose local settings for his documentary film about the poet Miquel Bauçà. With the actors Pep Tosar, Manuel Bronchud, Pepa Charro and Daniel Fuster the movie tells the story of life and work of the Mallorcan poet Miquel Bauçà (born in Felanitx 1940 – died in Barcelona 2004).
This movie filmed in Mallorca is a romantic comedy by Francesca Joseph that tells the story of the American Larry who succeeds neither personally nor professionally. He lives in a small town on a beautiful Mediterranean island (Mallorca) which is famous in Europe due to a well-known composer who lived there and composed most of his works. Larry tries to savor some of the composer’s fame and decides to organize a concert in honor of the composer. But several people disturb his project: his faithful and neurotic companion Miranda, the beautiful muse of the composer Helena, his younger brother Dickie, the famous pianist Narciso Ortega, the rebellious and obstinate daughter of Larry, and Sweetie, a talented cellist.
For his debut, the Majorcan director Toni Bestard chose his own island as well as the Irish actor Colm Meaney and Goya winner Ana Wagener. The story: Mark O’Reilly, a mysterious traveler, arrives in a small Mallorcan village and settles discreetly in a deserted old shop. The neighbors will soon be thrilled that Mark wants to reopen the shop but one detail is unnoticed for all: Mark does not want to open the store; he does not even speak Spanish. The true intentions of the traveler hide behind an old Polaroid photography that has led him there in search of answers.
This American production, directed by Pascal Chaumeil, brought Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collete and Aaron Paul to Mallorca. The movie tells the story of four people who congregate on New Year’s Eve to commit suicide. After a while, they decide to go on vacation together to reflect. The film story takes place in Tenerife but was shot in Mallorca. Do you recognize the beach and the restaurant?
Finally, we would like to present a commercial filming with great directors and actors who belongs to the “20 best movies filmed in Mallorca”: various advertising spots of the beer brand Estrella Damm.
“Mediterráneamente” is a series of commercial spots that captivates with Mediterranean clichés: sea, friendships, beautiful places, good food, love, sun … and a summer hit!
These are the links to the spots that were filmed on the Balearic Islands. Do you recognize every single island?
We hope you got inspired with this post about Mallorca and its beauties. Finally a quote from Arturo Pérez Reverte: “I like the Mediterranean, because you have to navigate through history, you look at the sight of a Roman temple, you dive with a piece of Phoenician amphora, the gods live here, you can see these Homeric sunsets … it’s luck.”