Against misconceptions: where the music is quiet, the food authentic and the views are dreamy…
To many this balearic island might be known as a yearly Walhalla for partygoers and all-inclusive lovers. And while in certain parts, Mallorca seems to be entirely in the hands of ‘Ballermann’ frequenters, there is a different side to it. A side where life slows down: the music is quiet, the food is authentic and the views are dreamy. Party nights are traded for morning swims and village strolls; the laid-back vibe covering certain parts of the island is what we are looking for. We visited and gathered our favorite spots for a weekend getaway against Mallorca’s misconceptions.
If there is one thing you need to see here, it is the terraced hillsides. Banyalbufar is situated on a steep hillside, literally falling into the sea and serves as a prime example of man’s ability in creating farmland out of inhospitable environments. Surrounded by the Tramuntana mountain range, Banyalbufar offers magnificent views, winding roads stretching down to the sea, various coves and beaches to choose from as well as the fishing port of Es Port de Canoge. Start early to make use of the cooler temperatures and take the hiking route.
Making your way to Valldemossa is a breathtaking experience in itself. While driving through the winding streets of the UNESCO world heritage site Serra de Tramuntana you can take in the blonde stone houses surrounded by green forests of olive, almond and oak trees. Lying in an idyllic and absolutely picturesque valley, Valldemossa has not quite managed to stay away from tourism, but that did not take away its charm.
The narrow, cobbled streets which are sprinkled with cafes, art galleries, shops and restaurants will keep you strolling for hours. In summer, the occasional cruise ship day tours will fill the streets, but during off-season you will only have to share this place with the locals. Pass by the ‘Mirador de Miranda des Lladoner’ to have the best city views and continue to visit the town’s Real Monastery. Standing there, you will be transported to the past. Imagine the entire village gathering on the main plaza, children playing, parents dressed up for sunday service, elders chatting in the cool shade under the trees. Welcome to the Spain of another time.
Spotting the red tiled roofs of the stone terraced houses while approaching the village, you quickly understand why Fornalutx is often referred to as the ‘prettiest village in Spain’. High up the Tramuntana mountain range, Fornalutx has traditional rustic charm. The mountains in combination with coastal views bring hikers and bikers all year round. Its surrounding countryside is dotted with citrus and olive groves, bringing an unmistakable Mediterranean vibe.
Set between the Tramuntana mountain range and the sea, Deià ranks high among most idyllic villages on the island and is often the prime example for the other side of Mallorca. Impressive views, lush green surroundings, ochre-coloured houses and a laid-back vibe. Factors which not only draw in the relaxation seeking tourist, but has also attracted foreign artists over the years, with Robert Graves being the most known. Choose for pleasure eating and drinking amidst the impressive views or opt for a more active afternoon, hiking in the hills above Deià. Especially the cooler months are just made for heading out on a scenic walk or a half an hour stroll down to Cala Deià.
If you want to enjoy that perfect tranquility a bit longer, there is only one choice to take. Belmond La Residencia; with gardens overlooking the waters of the Mediterranean Sea and a dramatic backdrop of the Tramuntana mountain range, even Princess Diana and Robbie Williams have chosen this spot as their Mallorcan home.