WHERE TO STAY
Puerto Pollensa: La Gola reserve is right in the town of Puerto Pollensa – you can easily walk around its woodland, scrub and lake each day in search of birds, including a variety of herons. Pollença: A few miles west, has a more traditional feel, and is small enough to walk around in a morning. Hotels include the five-star Son Brull, one of Mallorca’s best. Soller: Just inland from the north-west coast. Visit the Jardin Botanic and the Museu Balear de Ciencies, a natural science museum, and the striking Esglesia de Sant Bartomeu. Alcudia: Retains its medieval walls, narrow, cobbled streets, many historic buildings. Public transport is very cheap. The Airport Bus runs to Palma every 15 minutes. If you are not staying in the city or the port, get off the bus at the Plaza d’espanya, go down the steps past the train departures to the bus station, used by the red and yellow TIB buses. The 340 bus to Puerto Pollensa takes just over an hour and costs only €6. It usually leaves from bay 14. Visit Deia: This idyllic village was the home of Robert Graves, poet and author of I Claudius. The views are wonderful, and you can walk down to Cala Deia, a small shingle beach in an attractive cove. It boasts two restaurants (open only in the summer season), with fresh fish as their speciality. There are plenty of walking trails in the hills above the village. Walking: Spring and autumn are ideal times for walkers, although summer walks include some along the Boquer Valley. There’s a good walk over the mountains to Cala Vincent, with fantastic views of Cala Carbo – you’ll find a couple of lovely bars by the water’s edge serving food. Another great walk starts just off the Formentor Road at Casa Velles. Park on the left and walk through the woods on the opposite side to Cala Murta, a lovely quiet cove. Close by, walk from the Formentor road to the tower of Albercutx. Park at the first mirador, and the road to the tower is opposite on the right. There are spectacular views of Puerto Pollensa and Alcudia in the distance.
Watersports: Scuba diving is popular around Puerto Pollensa. Also very popular in the harbour is kiteboarding. There is a kite and surf school halfway between Puerto Pollensa and Alcudia which has a large range of equipment and is located directly opposite the beach where most of these sports takes place. At the harbour, as well as jet skis, there are yachts and catamarans, all of which can be hired and enjoyed.
Cycling: Mallorca is a favourite destination for both leisure and professional cyclists, but you can just as easily, simply use a bike as a means to explore the island. More ambitious cyclists go to Cap Formentor, a very demanding route. There is a small café at the first mirador, frequently used for its spectacular views. There are numerous rental shops in the ports, but prices vary, so shop around.
Eat and drink local: North Mallorca has excellent restaurants, bars and vineyards, so make sure you take the chance to sample the local cuisine, which not surprisingly features seafood heavily. Restaurant Jardin, in Alcudia, has an international reputation, and chef-owner Macarena De Castro is the proud possessor of a Michelin star, so it is certainly worth a visit!
GETTING AROUND OTHER THINGS TO TRY