Mallorca: Intoxicating landscapes & haute cuisine
Just off Spain’s east coast, the island of Mallorca is known as much for its pockets of well-preserved architecture and culture, as it is for superlative beaches. The largest island in the Balearics, Mallorca is a great jumping-off point for sailors who want to explore the beautiful Balearic Islands of Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera. But don’t rush off before you have had the chance to get to know the island. With a reliable southeasterly in the west and northwesterly in the east and balmy weather, Mallorca offers ideal sailing conditions. Drop anchor off one of the numerous white sand beaches and bays and swim, dive or simply soak up the sun.
Both main cities, Palma de Mallorca and Manacor, have a long tradition of culture, religion and heritage. With more than 400,000 inhabitants, Palma de Mallorca is a big city and the harbour is generous. Yachts up to 50m can berth here but there are a number of other marinas and anchorages scattered around the coastline. Hit the water for some snorkelling, windsurfing or paddle boarding. Or head inland and use stony paths that wind their way up the soaring mountains to mountain bike and hike. The lowlands feature a peppering of old windmills while inland the landscape is strewn with olive groves, orange and almond trees.
Once in Sóller, catch the nostalgic wooden streetcar to Port Sóller, the track winds through orange and olive plantations and several tunnels crossing the Tramuntana
Explore beautiful, uninhabited Sa Dragonera national park: 500m wide and 3.2km long, a paradise for birdwatching and reached only by yacht
In 2016 there are seven Michelin starred restaurants on the island – and one two-star, a first for Mallorca. Dine at Zaranda – owned by chef Fernando Pérez Arellano in the 5-star Castell Son Claret hotel in Es Capdellà