For our last summer bank holiday in August, we knew we wanted to take advantage of the long weekend and go somewhere extra special. Living in London, you definitely don’t get to experience summer like we are used to on the Jersey Shore – so we knew we wanted warm weather, a beach & relaxation. We’d been hearing a lot of buzz about Mallorca, so we decided to give this little Spanish island a try.
We arrived early on Saturday and quickly dropped our stuff off at our Airbnb, located in Old City, the heart of Palma. The neighborhood we stayed in was so quiet, like surprisingly quiet. We honestly hardly saw any people until venturing further out to the main roads. The super narrow and windy cobblestone streets felt like they hadn’t changed after all of these years. Just the occasional person stopping by the tiny storefront bodega to buy some fresh fruit. We set out to do some quick exploring and roamed around the Mercat area, popping in and out of shops. We also treated ourselves to a prosciutto appetizer from Viandas des Salamanca before hopping on a train to the town of Soller.
The Ferrorcarril takes about 45 minutes and what is so cool about this trip is that the trains are the old open air wooden cars which adds a nostalgic feel to the ride. There are also some really spectacular views through the Serra de Alfabia mountain range, with a winding route that goes in and out of tunnels all the way up to Soller.
Soller is nestled between the hills and still remains very residential. The main square of Placa Constitucion is where most of the action happens, and only includes a few restaurants and cafes. We were lucky that on Saturday’s they have local vendors set up selling everything from clothes to jewellery to pastries and their claim to fame…. fresh Orange Juice. Soller grew rich in the early 1900’s from orange and lemon exporting – pretty cool. We walked around for about an hour (it’s not very big at all) and just enjoyed this truly authentic Mediterranean town.
We headed back to Palma and went straight to Portopi. This is the western most area of Palma and probably the most luxurious due to the fact that many people on their yachting adventures tend to dock here. We got very lucky with timing because Joe happened to have an old colleague from work who was in Palma at the same time vacationing on a YACHT. He invited us to hang out for lunch and some swimming, which we gladly accepted. This 150-foot boat, sorry, yacht, was incredible. It was essentially brand new and finished beautifully. It had jet skis, a hot tub, a treadmill, a staff of 10 (for the 4 people staying on the boat…) and every other amenity you could imagine. Being it was my first time on a yacht, I was extremely impressed. Especially because I was greeted with a delectable glass of rose and continuously fed by the Chef without having to tell anyone I was hungry. How did he know I would love some freshly made humus and crudites?! Anyway, it was a lovely afternoon and we were both so happy we got to experience Palma in a way we never expected.
Palma is known for its fresh seafood so Joe and I knew we wanted to make sure we indulged in some while we were visiting. We went to an amazing restaurant on the water called Ola del Mar. It was a beautiful night so we were able to sit outside where we dined on some delicious grilled gambas al ajillo and tuna tataki.
When we were researching Mallorca, a lot of articles were calling it the next Ibiza, which I think was why Joe was so on board. Therefore I left the partying details to him. We ended up at a place called Tito’s, where we might have actually been the first people in the club at around 11:30pm. I’m sure most of you know, but people in Spain literally don’t finish dinner until midnight – so despite being on the early side – we got to do some good people watching and were able to booze up before it got really crowded. It was definitely an interesting place, with live performers and dancers. Kind of similar to some of the bigger nightclubs we’ve been to in the U.S. – just a little more over the top. Never the less ,we stayed on the dance floor all night 🙂
The next day I had a surprise planned for Joe (since I didn’t buy him a birthday present, I’m a bad wife). I wanted to do something extra special and looked into fishing or going on a catamaran – but decided to take it to the other extreme and just do a day bed rental at Palma’s top beach club, Purobeach. It’s funny – Palma itself isn’t known for its beaches despite being right on the coast, so to make the most of our summer holiday, a luxurious pool was the next best thing. We literally lounged & swam the whole day – drinking delicious fruity frozen cocktails along the way. We stayed all day and were able to catch a really beautiful sunset. It was seriously the perfect, most relaxed day. I couldn’t speak more highly of this place – so if there is ever a Puro near where you are vacationing, I highly suggest stopping by.
We hadn’t done the whole Spanish tapas thing yet this trip, so decided on Forn de Sant Joan for dinner. So glad we found this place because the food and wine were really good – we had deep-fried lobster with some buttery-Parmesean sauce that was ah-ma-zingggg. Still drooling….
The next day we actually had a good amount of time before our flight, so we decided to do some more walking around Old Town to see some of the sites. The most famous landmark in Palma is definitely La Seu Catherdral. Like most parts of Spain, the architecture is very Gothic, which you can see all throughout the city. We walked down Passeig del Born, which is lined with tons of shops and restaurants. We ducked in and out of stores as this sleepy town slowly started to wake up on a Sunday. I found so many cute little boutiques carrying brands I never heard of. One of my favorite things about being in Europe is discovering new stores that I don’t feel guilty about shopping in. Some of my favorites in Palma were: Nice Things, I Miss Sophie, Systemacation, and bossa (omg, the best jewellery). Joe even found this really cool vintage store, Unico New & Vintage Lab, that was selling soooo many old basketball jerseys. He was literally in heaven. Too bad they were all kid’s sizes, otherwise he probably would have come with a few more to add to his collection.
With our time in Palma winding down, we headed back to the flat to get our stuff. We hopped in a taxi and arrived at the airport really depressed that our holiday had come to an end. As we were looking up at the board, we both quickly realized that there were no flights to London listed. WTF did we do?! As we both scrambled for our phones, we realized that our flight was for 17:25 (aka 5:25pm) not the 15:25 (aka 3:25pm) we thought (we are obviously still having trouble with this whole military time thing….). Since we were at the airport by 1:30pm, we had almost 3 hours to kill. The one section we did miss in Palma was Can Pastilla, a public beach area that is lined with tons of restaurants, beach shops, and hotels. Definitely a more built up area, but only a quick trip from the airport, so we decided to grab some lunch by the sea. Although this is a nice area, it was a little built up and did feel more commercial – definitely more for Spanish locals to vacation rather than visitors. It was a bonus to get to see this part of Palma, but assured us that our decision to stay in Old Town was the way to go.
Mallorca was an amazing trip and although we only got to see one small section by staying in Palma, we’d love to go back and visit Pollensa known for its beautiful beaches and seascapes. Mallorca also offers great biking & hiking experiences which we would like to fit in our next adventure. I think the part I am most sad about is all of the incredible vineyards we missed out on. BUT – this just means all the more reason for us to go back!
Mini trip to Soller
Old City Palma