As great as it is visiting new countries and places nothing is quite as wonderful as going to a place specifically to visit friends.
Many of my oldest and closest friends are spread all over the world. They live elsewhere in Australia – Melbourne, Sydney – they live in London, France and Spain. And as my husband is Scottish (we met in London) we also have lots of family and friends spread across the UK.
This year we’ve been lucky enough to catch up with friends in two different countries – France and Spain.
Was it that we were mesmerised with happiness seeing our friends that made Mallorca seem so special? I’m not entirely sure but I do know we fell head over heels in love with the place.
Our friends had only this year moved from their home in Madrid to Mallorca.
At first we weren’t sure we would be able to fit Mallorca into our tight itinerary or find an affordable flight there. But find it we did and so we set out for a (too) short visit to the Balearic island.
All we really knew of Mallorca and the other Balearic Islands, Menorca & Ibiza, was from when we lived in London. The islands are a popular holiday destination for the Brits.
We were spoilt by our friends who met us at Palma de Mallorca airport and then took us to a lovely square in the centre of the city for a dinner of tapas and sangria.
The main city Palma de Mallorca is so elegant. There are marble pavements and gracious buildings. As in Barcelona, there are plenty of buildings from the Art Nouveau or Art Deco period (known as Modernismo in Spain). They are sometimes quite quirky indeed and reminiscent of the Gaudi designs of Barcelona.
Speaking of Gaudi, the famous Barcelona architect did in fact have a connection to Mallorca. At the turn of the 20th Century he oversaw the restoration of the Palma de Mallorca Cathedral.
The massive gothic cathedral commands a striking position above the Palma cityscape.
On Sunday we made the short, spectacular drive into the mountains through the beautiful mountain villages of Valldemossa and Deia. The weather was moody but the mist on the mountains just added to the atmosphere.
In Deia we saw this pretty water fountain.
We continued on to Soller and had lunch at Port de Soller.
The waterfront is lined with lovely restaurants.
We enjoyed the lunch special of paella at El Pirata.
Back in Palma we were taken to the Cappuccino cafe. All their cafes are housed in glorious old buildings dotted across the city. We visited the San Miguel branch and sat in the lovely garden courtyard by the fountain.
There were many surprises to be had in Mallorca.
The sights were incredible. The food was incredible. The shopping was incredible.
Our hotel, the Almudaina, was reasonably priced for a huge split level spotlessly clean quad room right in the centre of town. (No pool, parking off site in a scarily small garage so probably not ideal for a resort style holiday but great for our short city visit.)
Next visit to Mallorca will have to be at least a week. Perhaps in an apartment or a beachside resort with plenty of time for exploring the island as well as lounging by the pool.
Thank you to our friends for welcoming us to their new island home and introducing us to Mallorca.
The Balearic Islands of Mallorca, Menorca & Ibiza are situated in the Mediterranean Sea off the west coast of Spain.
Tourism information can be found by clicking here.
We travelled to Mallorca on the “interesting” discount airline Ryanair
Many airlines and seasonal charter flights provide direct flights from the UK, France, Spain and other European centres to Mallorca Airport
And if you like shopping as much as our teenage daughter, Palma has all the high street fashion brands including fabulous Spanish brands Mango, Zara (as well as the divine Zara Home), Pull & Bear, Bershka, Desigual & Camper.
We enjoyed some lovely meals in Palma de Mallorca including these great restaurants: