With only 72 hours on the clock to discover the largest island in the Balearics, I packed my phone, my drone and my passport and caught a flight to Majorca with travel photographer Hannah Young.
Embarking on a collaborative adventure with a like-minded, travel obsessed foodie meant that we’d never miss a meal (music to my ears) and that we’d do whatever it took to find all the places on our pre-plotted map, even if we had to sacrifice sleep (which we did). It was totally worth it. In 3 days, we spent more time driving than we did sleeping. We covered 1000km of road, overtook at least a million mountain cyclists (this is the only number i’ve exaggerated) shot 10gb of video footage, took 425 photos and successfully ticked off 10 of our ‘must see’ locations.
With time of the essence and a very ambitious list of boxes to tick, we hired a car, bought some snacks, applied some sun cream and made a bee line for the Serra Tramuntana.
We cruised through the winding village streets of Banyalbufar on the central west coast and OMG’d at hundreds of vertical terraces in the hillside but with no time to deviate away from our planned route, we bypassed this town known in Arabic as ‘vineyard by the sea’ (I know!) and headed for Torre Del Verger.
This scenic hangover from a 1579 medieval watchtower is one of the most photographed sites in Majorca. It’s crazily close to the edge of the Mediterranean – you can see just how close in the drone footage we featured in our Majorca Roadtrip Video. The views over the western coastline were breathtaking.
Next we headed north to the incredibly picturesque Spanish village of Valldemossa which scored a whopping 10/10 from both of us, it was so pretty. We took more pictures here than anywhere else on the island and I liked it so much i’ve decided that it deserves a blog of its own so while you wait for that, I’ll leave you with a few snaps of this charming, Chopin reminiscing village.
Moving on, further north still, we arrived in Deià. It’s easy to see why this small mountain village was historically so popular with artists and writers. The landscape of stone houses and olive groves against steep cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean sea is absolutely beautiful.
We visited the Son Marroig museum, the former mansion of Archduke Luis Salvador. The house and gardens are stunning and the views from the white marble pavilion over the Sa Foradada peninsula are heavenly.
We drove down a windy 3km track to Cala de Deià – one of the very few beaches on the west coast. It’s a small rocky cove with a shingle beach and a beautiful clear blue bay scattered with anchored yachts – perfect for a spot of pre-sunset drone action.
Day two of our Majorcan adventure started in flip flops as we headed 20 miles west of Palma to the blue flag beach at Camp de Mar in search of Restaurante Iletta. Sitting on a rocky islet 30ft from the beach, surrounded by crystal clear waters, we ordered fresh fish and convinced our Facebook followers that we were having lunch in the Maldives. It was absolutely surreal!
Moving on from the golden sand and green seas at Camp de Mar, we drove 5 minutes east to Cala Fornells beach and couldn’t believe the contrast. We were definitely back in Majorca, this place is BLUE! The bay is surrounded by pine trees with a mix of sand, rock and manmade sunbathing platforms. The view from the terrace at Hotel Coronado is really beautiful. If I was visiting Majorca for a relaxing beach holiday – this is where I’d like to stay.
Our last stop for the day was the exclusive resort of Port d’Andratx – One of the most picturesque harbours I’ve seen in the Med, lined with lovely bars and restaurants where we decided to grab a quick bite to eat before setting up Hannah’s camera kit in anticipation of an awesome sunset. As it turned out, our ‘quick bite to eat’ was prepared by one of Majorca’s renowned sushi chefs at a restaurant called Sumailla and as true sushi lovers, we were both pretty delighted with this feed which set up me up nicely for an evening of sunset photography skills lessons. Lesson number one: be prepared to climb across rock pools and get wet feet to find the perfect shot spot!
As our time in Majorca was coming to an end, we only had half a day left before our flight back to London and I was keen for some more drone flying action so we decided to get up before sunrise and head south-east to Es Pontas on the Santanyí coastline and fly over the amazing natural rock arch. It was incredible!
Our early start also allowed us a cheeky few minutes to visit Cala s’Almunia before breakfast and the final leg of our epic road trip. This tiny bay is accessed by 120 steep steps and a short walk over a rocky ridge which leads to the smallest beach I’ve ever seen, absolutely pristine, with a view of a charming (and very tiny) fishing village.
Our last port of call was the northeastern peninsula – all of it! We drove the entire route to the most northerly point possible – Cap de Formentor. For many, the viewpoint of Mirador des Colomer is far enough. Here you can see across the entire peninsuala with views of Pollenca and Alcudia but apparently, this wasn’t enough for us. We wanted more. We wanted to summit! So, we carried on driving another 15km of winding roads through beautiful pine woods, passing countless views of weird and wonderful rock formations, through the En Fumat mountain tunnel until we reached the lighthouse at the tip of Cap de Formentor. Honestly, it was a pretty scary drive but the views were incredible. By far the most dramatic landscapes I’ve seen off mainland Europe. We were literally cruising through the clouds looking down over 400m cliff drops, it was quite an experience and one I’d only recommend if you have the patience to crawl behind cyclists and queue for a view once you reach the top.
With 90 minutes left to kill before heading back to Palma, we descended back to sea level (384m) for a pre-flight bite to eat and a stroll along the Pine Walk promenade in the lovely bayside town of Port de Pollenca whilst soaking up our final sea views in this idyllic family friendly resort.
Trying new foods and finding out what the locals eat is always high on my travel agenda but our munching hours in Majorca were limited. There were no life-changing food discoveries on this trip so my quest to find a world-class Tortilla Espanola continues. There was an apparent lack of veg on this Island and I’m not sure if a bowl of olives constitutes one of your 5-a-day? Hoping so… we ate plenty. There were a few noteworthy feeds which I will share…
- Flame grilled steak and chicken skewers at Ca’n Torrat – a barbecue grill restaurant just outside of Palma.
- Fresh fish at Restaurante Iletta – It’s worth a visit just to feel like you’re having lunch in the Maldives and if you like Sardines, you’ll be ecstatic.
- Sushi at Sumailla with a stunning view of the harbour at Port d’Andratx. There’s no shortage of cuisine choices in this part of town but if you like Sushi, you won’t be disappointed. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth every penny and the amazing sunset view is a bonus.
Having slightly overestimated how much we could achieve in three days, we definitely have unfinished business on this island, hence the blog post title ‘part 1’. There will be a sequel at some point in the future for sure.
Until next time… Adios Amigos!