Mallorca – small, pretty and expensive

Mallorca is the biggest island from Spanish Balearic Islands. It is currently the most accessible destination in the Mediterranean see by plane. One can get the flight tickets from Linz, Berlin or Vienna for €20 so I decided to set off in that direction too.

The island itself is quite small. That’s why I wanted to explore it completely so that I wouldn’t need to visit it again and continue in my expedition. Apart from traditional resorts, there are interesting caves across the island and especially the mountains in the western part are worth mentioning.

Transport

There is a perfect bus network across the island. You may experience some shortcomings in the mountain area but that’s somehow expected. I preferred to take more free and independent way of transport and since a car or a scooter rental was too expensive, I chose a bike.

Mallorca by foot

Do you fancy mountain hiking and camping in the wilderness under the stars? In that case, there is one of the most beautiful European mountain tracks GR221 for you. This route connects the north and the south coast of the island and it goes through the western mountains. I took just a few kilometres by foot and I can confirm that (as it is with the long routs in general) there are some incredible parts as well as very dull ones. What I did enjoy thought was that the mountain terrain offers a lot of flat, soft spots to place a sleeping bag.

Mallorca by bike

There are nearly no bicycle lanes in Mallorca. Most of the time, I had to take simply the road. Nevertheless, there was no significant traffic unless you go somewhere between the resorts. Some bicycle lanes can be found in the towns. Truth to be told thought, I can’t remember to break so many rules in my life when it comes to no-entries, one-ways and no-turns. Nevertheless, just one ride through a town did the job here. It didn’t make much sense to me because there was plenty of space, no traffic in the streets and often even two car would fit in the streets side by side.

You may find some bicycle lanes in towns

I enjoyed the most riding through the mountains. Doesn’t matter how many metres I had to go up the hill, there was always an amazing downhill ride as a reward afterwards. I could enjoy a view of a sea hundreds of metres below when I looked to the left and mountain peaks on the right, perfectly smooth roads and beautiful towns…

Amazing mountain roads

What I really don’t recommend is riding the bike in summertime here. The bike I had was quite shitty and in combination with my 15kg bagpack, hot weather and dry air it was all giving me a proper hell. Especially out of the mountains, the riding was literally a suicide. The boredom of my psyche did not help much too.



Perfect road, but absolutely no shadow

Hitch-hiking in Mallorca

I really don’t enjoy riding up the hill all the time too much so I swapped the bike for hitch-hiking. I must admit that I was very successful. Out of four attempts, I had to wait longer than 10 minutes just once until picked me up. Only in one case it was a local person, the rest were tourists so I could have some chat too.

Accommodation

The accommodation here is very expensive. It’s unlikely to find a place for less than €40 per night (including hostels). All cheaper rooms are sold out quickly so better book your place in advance. It will be the most significant cost item in your travel budget anyway. The prices of cheaper hotel, hostels and AirBnB are often very similar so I’d suggest searching across all these platforms.

Do not miss out

Palma

Palma is the capital of the island. It is probably well known due to the cathedral of Virgin Mary, which is one of the biggest Gothic cathedrals in the Europe. You can enjoy walking in the wonky, narrow streets in the centre or visit Bellver castle above the city. Of course, you may choose to go to a beach as well. Nevertheless, I was a bit disappointed with Palma.

Valldemossa

It’s a small town in a middle of mountains but it is probably the most beautiful town I’ve ever visited. You can explore its full potential in an hour or two including a view from a ruined tower above the town. Take a notice of the pictures that every house has by the main door.

Soller

Soller is the most frequently visited mountain town. There is a direct historic train connection from Palma. To the east from the town, there is probably one of the prettiest parts of GR221. It is going steeply up the canyon above Torrent de Biniaraix spring.

There is a good opportunity to enjoy a beach at Port de Soller, which is located to the northwest from the town. It is not a classic long beach but a smaller bay surrounded by rocks. Make sure you take a walk to a lighthouse on the left side of the bay, it’s worth it.

In the town centre there is Plaça de la Constitució square with fantastic church of Sant Bartomeu.

Alcúdia

This northern town is nearly the typical example of a traditional resort. However, unlike the other towns, this has a beautiful town centre surrounded by town walls. It is actually possible to have a walk on the walls around a part of the town.

PS: There is a perfect dentist. Very short waiting time, pleasant person and according to the Google reviews even cheap. Maybe it’s just me, but I think that €50 for an x-ray and antibiotics prescription is quite a lot.

And since you are there already, it is certainly worth going to Formentor. It is the most northern place of Mallorca with spectacular cliffs.

Portochristo

If there is a must-visit place in Mallorca, I’m sure it would be the caves near Portocristo. Apart from enormous cave complex with stalagmites and stalactites, also a concert and boat trip can be fully enjoyed there. The entry fee was surprisingly fair (€15).

There is also the most beautiful beach in Portochristo, at least out of all beaches I have visited in Mallorca.

Other

The most of the non-resort towns offers a historic town centre with narrow streets, churches etc. However, none of them impressed me a lot.

The map of Mallorca is literally covered with cave signs. Unfortunately, most of them are located on a private or military land.

The highest mountain of Mallorca is Puig Maior. Officially, there is no way to get there because a military base lies on the top of the mountain. Well you know… 🙂 I have my ways.

Nit de Foc

The highlight of my journey was The Night of The Fire. It’s a celebration, which is held for one weekend in a year there. It was the craziest event I’ve ever had a chance to attend! A gang of maniacs wearing hell-creature-like costumes equipped with a selection of fire ‘things’ was fighting their way through crowd of people in the streets. For about two hours, they were probably in a competition with each other on a mission to burn the most t-shirts of the people watching their strange activities. Zero safety – the fire-fighters were just ‘somewhere’ around. I still don’t get it that something like this is possible in the safety-obsessed Europe!

Conclusion

Mallorca is small, pleasant but expensive island. If you can spare some money and want to enjoy your holidays go for it. Get the flight tickets, rent a car or scooter and do enjoy the beauties of the local mountains.

If you fancy sleeping under the stars, it’s a good option too. After all your travel budget won’t suffer that much from expensive accommodation.

The rest of the people should rather think twice about the visit.

 

Jíja

 

translated by Radka

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