The first time I visited the Spanish island of Mallorca, I was amazed by how much it had to offer – far more than overcrowded beaches and overpriced restaurants a quick Google search would have you believe. Fast forward a couple of years and this is still a place I keep coming back to without hesitation, again and again.
Mallorca is the largest island in the Balearic Island archipelago and is located in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s known for partying (the notorious Malgaluf) and endless beach resorts (which are admittently, jam packed full of British and German tourists). However, away from the mayhem of the nightclubs and boutique shops, lie some pretty spectacular sheltered coves and limestone mountains. And the best part? Everything is easily accessible through Mallorca’s cheap and efficient public transport system!
Having now had the opportunity to scour the island from every side, I’ve decided my favourite place to base myself is in Port de Pollença – the most northerly town in Mallorca, about an hour drive from the capital of Palma. The reason? Well, if you’re like me, I get tired of laying on the beach like a pasty pancake pretty quickly, and Port de Pollença offers the perfect base for a weekend of more than just sun and cider. Below I’ve named my top 4 ‘must-do’ activities if staying in Port de Pollença. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!
1. Hiking From Port De Pollenca To Cala Boquer
Behind the busy streets of Port de Pollença lies the quiet and peaceful Serra de Tramuntana mountain range. A brisk 10 minute walk from the centre of the port puts you at the base on this easy-to-intermediate level hike. The trail is approximately 6.5km round trip with only a small ascent/descent of 150m along the way and only takes about 40 minutes to walk. It boasts some impressive and stunning views of the Tramuntana mountain range and takes you between the town of Cala de Sant Vicenç and Formentor to a small bay area that is otherwise only accessible by boat (or goat).
The path is usually very quiet and your only other company apart from a few locals or tourists will be mountain goats showing off their nimble skills as they jump and run along the rocks. There are many goats on the mountains here but they don’t seem to be very fazed by human company. It’s definitely not a walk for flip flops so sensible shoes are a must for this one, trainers or lightweight walking shoes would be ideal and be sure to take plenty of water.
Cala Bóquer is a virgin creek of boulders and gravels, formed by a wild inlet of the sea that is introduced about 300 meters inland. From the beach we can see in the distance the island of Colomer and behind Pal Formentor. On the left side of the cove there is an “escar”, a construction on the seashore that serve to keep the boats and fishing implements used by fishermen. Bring water, food, your swimming trunks and a camera. There are no facilities, shops, or anything man made other than the fisherman’s escar. The views are stunning!
2. Hiking From Port Del Soller To Cala Deia
Even more stunning, is the hike from Port De Soller to Cala Deia. Start your day early and catch a bus from Port de Pollença to Port De Soller – the bus will take roughly 45 minutes to an hour to get from one port to the other. The hike itself will take you about 3 hours if you set a good pace.
Just on the outskirts of Port De Soller is where the hike begins. You head along an ancient cobbled path that used to act as a trade and communication route. This path leads us up the mountain, winding through private olive groves and affording spectacular views down onto the harbour below. At times you might feel a little lost as the signs are far and few in between, but follow the arrows and you should be okay. I did this without a map and eventually found myself descending to the cove of Cala Deia – a lovely swimming spot with two fantastic (but crowded) sea food restaurants. There is no sand at this beach, only rocks, so if you have water booties I definitely recommend them!
Make sure you pack plenty of water as this is a fairly tough and long hike – essentially in the Spanish summer heat! But the lunch and beach waiting for you at the end are well worth the effort. To return home, walk into the town of Deia and catch the bus back to the port. Be careful though, they don’t come regularly!
3. Scuba Diving In Formentor
For just 60 Euros you can try your hand at scuba diving with Action Sports! They go every afternoon at 13:45 or at 15:45. This is a perfect diving introduction for beginners.
I went to the Formentor Island dive site, which is a little island in front of Formentor beach. This island has a big cave outside of the water, a spectacular view from the boat. Underwater you can start the dive in 6 meters and you descend gradually following the wall to a depth of 18-20 meters. Keep an eye out for resident Moray eels and nudibranches. At about 14 meters you will swim through a big hole at the top of an arch. This dive site is full of fish – you can find schools of barracuda, octopuses, groupers, moray eels, cuttlefishes, squid, scorpion fish, nudibranches and different breams!
4. Standup Paddle Boarding In Alcudia
Snorkeling, paddling and cliff jumping – what more could you want! This stand-up paddle boarding (‘SUP’) tour along the coastline near Alcudia is one of the best water activities I’ve ever done. For 60 Euros you get a 3 hour guided tour with Bellini SUP Centre (based out of Port de Pollença), that includes free transfer to the meeting spot and all equipment hire (including a snorkel!). The friendly guides take you to some amazing coves and through an incredible ‘blue grotto’ type cave. The best part? They take lots of fun photos of you in action on their waterproof GoPro which they email to you later that day so you don’t have to worry about bringing your camera – score!
Have you been to Mallorca? Please share your experience in the comments below!
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By We Are Travel Girls Contributor Emilia Drozda
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