I’m very happy to arrive in Alaró, the third stop on my trip. Once again I’m in the Tramuntana mountains. I instantly take to this pretty little village and I adore the central position my apartment has, right in the middle of the village by the market square. I have a small balcony overlooking it, and I at the back I have a terrace overlooking the village, the mountains and one lonely palm tree.
I like that I only have to cross the square to buy fresh bread at the bakery in the morning. And also to have good restaurants on my very doorstep. But the best part here is that I have a sneak peak at village life from my vantage point on the balcony, without being noticed.
The restaurants are frequented by locals and occasional visitors, not the other way around. I’m happy to see that there is a very active local scene here, just like in Esporles, after my brief visit on the southeast cost where tourists seem to dominate the scene. Though I’m sure there are still some nice unspoilt places there too for me to discover later.
It’s Saturday evening and the square is full of people. Children of all sizes are playing. People are chatting and having dinner. There is music playing and then the dancing starts and it doesn’t take long until the villagers are in full swing.
When the ladies, mostly ladies and one or two brave men, start to dance an animation to a Michael Jackson song that does it for me. I’m in love with this place!
Next day I’m not very keen to go on a hairpin drive again, so I head north to Alcudia to the beach there. Distances are very short here. But the sheer number of tourists that descend on Mallorca in summertime is staggering. Nobody sensible living here actually goes to the beach now. They wait till after August when everything is back to normal again. And absolutely nobody local goes on a Sunday. Well I didn’t think did I? So the 30 minutes or so that it normally takes, well we can say it took a bit longer…
I’m amazed that I actually manage to take a photo with hardly anybody in it, as the beach when I finally reach it is, surprise, overflowing. But the water is lovely and it is a beautiful beach. I manage to find a stretch with what I guess is mostly local folks and enjoy an hour or two here more in the sea that out.
My lovely landlady Silvia takes me to a house in the village that used to belong to her mother, to show me how she has done it up. It’s a huge old town house with high ceilings and beautiful old tiled floors. She has really done a great job of modernising it, but keeping old furniture and props, giving it a wonderful ambience.
Two days a week the fish van arrives, bringing fresh fish directly from the port of Palma. It’s a family business and they have been doing this for generations. And I do eat fresh fish most days on my trip, as it’s so delicious. I did wonder how they managed to get fresh fish here. Now I know.
Bye Alaró, I’m now in Llucmajor, which is one of the bigger towns on Mallorca. Here I’m staying in a town house, in a large family home. Not so big as the one I visited yesterday but big enough for me to feel a bit like I’m rattling around in it, staying as I am by myself. It has some nice features though.
Like these old hydraulic tiles on the floors. I especially adore this graphic one.
Llucmajor is a proper town, perhaps not as pretty or charming like the villages in the mountains, but it does have a very nice square, Plaza España, that is quite large. I like the tall old buildings that are found around the square.
The oldest cafe Café Colon, dating back to 1928, has wonderful architectural features.
I like Cafè Aràbic, a popular spot with the locals, where I have breakfast and lunch. Thanks Maria and Sinéad for the tip.
The square is even nicer in the evening, when it’s all lit up and the people are having dinner at the various restaurants. There is a very relaxed vibe here.
Arta is a small town in the far northeast corner that I have been looking forward to visit. Unfortunately something happened and the home I booked is suddenly not available for reasons unknown. I learnt this just two days prior my arrival. This tedious start makes the stay here not quite as I had imagined. Although the problem solve itself in the sense that I do get another place to sleep somewhere else, it’s a disappointment nevertheless, and I decide to cut my stay short. These dark clouds kind of sums up my emotions at the moment. This is the view from the restaurant on rooftop of Forn Nou where I have a really good dinner with excellent food.
Despite all, Arta is a beautiful old town, set on a hillside with streets winding up to the hill top chapel of Santuari de Sant Salvador. The Serres de Levant mountains form a beautiful backdrop and it has a very nice and authentic feel to it. And I did meet some very delightful and friendly people. I will come back one day and give it another go, for sure.
I find a nice place to have lunch, here in the shade in the yard of Sa Gripia. I do have a soft spot for these courtyards in Mallorca.
The last town I visit is Felanitx. It’s the fourth largest town on the island. It couldn’t be a more different experience than Arta. Here I get a warm reception from the homeowners Carolyn and Klaus, like I’m an old friend. In their home I have a nice room and private rooftop terrace just like in Esporles. Couldn’t be happier.
But I also get the most sumptuous breakfast ever that is included in my stay. Look at this generous spread! We also have the most interesting talks late in the evening till way into early morning and when I leave we part like old friends. This is what staying in homes is all about! Thank you Carolyn and Klaus!
I didn’t have very high expectations for the town itself but it turns out it has some unexpected highlights. This is the most genuine town in the sense of it being totally unpretentious and still a bit rough around the edges. I spot quite a few houses that are ripe for a total renovation. No fancy or trendy restaurants as such. It’s also a town with quite a large Arabic population that I haven’t come across anywhere else. It does have a beautiful old church and I do know that there are some hidden gems here.
And I have one of the best dinners on my trip here at Ca´s Solleric, owned by a local chef that has returned to his hometown. It’s up there with some the best I had in Palma! This is the exquisite starter and it’s absolutely delicious!
I find a really nice shop called Mart Gallery, which has a mix of art objects and lovely clothes. It’s owned by Cat and we had a really good and long chat. She too has come back to her hometown after been living abroad for a number of years in Ireland and in New York. Couldn’t help going away without a purchase or two. After all one cannot have too may dresses right? So summing it up perhaps Felanitx is a town to keep an eye on…
Close to Felanitx is Porto Colom and I’m here to have swim in the sea. The last on my trip! I really like this place. Don’t have time to explore the village, but I’ll do it the next time I’m back.
I’m having lunch at a beach bar here called Blue Bar. Love it when there is a small restaurant next to a beach. It’s so much nicer sitting at a table then having a packed lunchbox on the beach. And it gets you into the much needed shade for an hour or two. Nice!
Now I’m heading to Palma. Join me there!
Copyright and photo: Anita Martinez Beijer