Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

Guide to Sailing in Majorca

Posted on: June 15th, 2016 by admin No Comments

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Mallorca is a beautiful place to go sailing at almost any time of year. Benefiting from the warm climate of the Balearic Islands, which also provides superb sailing winds, Mallorca possesses dramatic coastlines, secluded coves and excellent harbour facilities for sailors.While the ideal time to sail around Mallorca is May to October, when the warm summer sun and light breezes offer prefect conditions. This does, however, mean that the seas can be crowded at this time of year. Those visitors who prefer a less populated ocean may well prefer to visit during the winter or spring. The weather is still good for sailing during the winter months, and the Mediterranean region remains relatively warm, though it is necessary to take more notice of weather conditions and react accordingly at this time of year.

Many of the island’s bays and coves are well protected from harsher weather, providing an excellent environment for new sailors to learn in, and practice their skills. Due to the island’s geography, and the direction of prevailing winds, dangerous swells are rarely experienced by sailors who keep in relatively close to the shoreline.

Mallorca has 544km shoreline to explore, and there are many fine bays and harbours in which to anchor. Porto Cristo provides sailors with a very large marina and an easy anchorage in a sandy seafloor. The water is beautifully clear and perfect for swimming. If a visitor wants to spend some time soaking up the sun on a sandy beach while ashore, then anchoring at Colonia Sant Jordi is a good idea. Here, amidst the calm waters of the south east corner of the island, are located some of Mallorca’s finest beaches, in the shape of Ets Estanys, Es Trenc, Es Dolc and Es Carbo.

Of course, people do not just go on holiday for the sailing, and Port d’Andratx, on the island’s south western corner, has some fine bars and restaurants overlooking its marina. Just up the coast from there is the resort of Sant Elm, which, as well as its nightlife, is a gateway to the Natural Park of Sa Dragonera.

Overall, Mallorca is a superb choice of destination for the seasoned or novice sailor. Its gentle climate, beautiful coastline and excellent waters, as well as its onshore hospitality, make it one of the jewels of the Balearics.

10 Interesting Facts about Mallorca

Posted on: June 6th, 2016 by admin No Comments

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Well known for its glorious weather, fabulous beaches, vibrant night life and varied history, Mallorca is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. However, there are many intriguing facts about Mallorca that many people are unaware of.

1.) Mallorca is the largest island in Spain, so it comes as no surprise that its original name derived from the Latin term ‘insula maior’, which translates to ‘larger island’. Over the years the name has gradually changed to Mallorca, incorporating the Castellano ‘ll’ pronunciation.

2.) Mallorca’s history is fascinating. The first recorded settlement dates back to 3000 BC, but ancient burial sites have been unearthed that date back to 6000 BC. The island was invaded by the Romans in 123 BC and was subsequently conquered by the Byzantines, the Moors and King James I of Aragon. Because of this varied history, the architecture and ancient ruins found on the island are very diverse.

3.) Although Mallorca has a population of around 900,000 inhabitants, almost half of these people live in the capital city of Palma.

4.) Mallorca has two large mountain ranges: Serra de Tramuntana and Serres de Llevant. Serra de Tramuntana has recently been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status and its highest mountain, Puig Major, is the highest mountain in the entire Balearic region.

5.) It is estimated that over 6,000,000 visitors travel to Mallorca each year. However, it isn’t just holiday-makers who travel to this stunning island. Boasting a varied terrain and over 400km of hiking trails, hikers and cyclists visit Mallorca in vast numbers. In fact, recent figures suggested that over 35,000 cyclists visit Mallorca each year, including both professional and recreational cyclists.

6.) The island’s most spectacular and most visited tourist attraction is La Seu, a huge cathedral that dates back to 1230. A great deal of restoration has been completed over the centuries and recent additions have been created by famous architect Antoni Gaudi.

7.) Mallorca boasts a wonderful collection of cave systems, including Coves del Drach which can be found on the east side of the island. Visitors travel from all over to see the impressive underground lakes, stalagmites and stalactites.

8.) With a glorious Mediterranean climate and average temperatures of 21°c, Mallorca boasts over 300 days of sunshine each year, making it a year-round destination for holiday-makers seeking sun, sea and sand.

9.) There are more than 3,000 restaurants on the island of Mallorca so visitors can indulge themselves on traditional Spanish cuisine, freshly caught seafood and international dishes from all over the world.

10.) Mallorca’s largest nightclub, BCM, boasts the biggest foam machine in the world and is a great place to go to dance the night away and enjoy water, foam and popcorn parties.

Walking in Majorca

Posted on: April 8th, 2016 by admin No Comments

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Walking Mallorca; the Mediterranean’s gem

From pristine coastline to magnificent mountain ranges, Mallorca’s natural beauty is fast attracting keen walkers, and finding its way onto the ‘to do’ list of many more. Still, though, Mallorca remains a largely undiscovered paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering quiet trails, great scenery and close contact with nature. Mallorca’s best known trails are concentrated in Mallorca’s two mountain ranges – the Serra de Llevant in the East, and the Tramuntana range in the West. These two unspoilt areas have avoided the trappings of mass tourism, protected not just by the nature of their terrain but also government protection including national park status.

Mallorca offers walking experiences for all abilities, from gentle town and village walks to longer distance hikes. For cliffs and coastal views, the ‘Atalaya de Alcudia’ route is hard to beat, beginning in S’illot on Mallorca’s Easterly coast, gaining height to reach the Atalaya from where spectacular views are possible, before descending to Bon Aire through pine forest. Another highlight of the East is the Cala Torta route to Cala Rajada; expect Mediterranean flowers and scents in Spring.

If it’s peaks you seek, the Sa Retata ridge is an unbeatable choice, with three in store on this circular route. The views are, naturally, panoramic, and offer particularly good views of the islands interior reservoirs. The first viewpoint, L’Ofre, is noted for it’s distinctive cone shape, from where the route continues to Na Francesca and the sparse Sa Retata. Too, the Pilgrim’s Steps walk to the Lluc Monastery offers height on what is Mallorca’s most popular walk. A monastery is also on the menu on the ‘Sa Trapa’ route from the South-Western village S’Aracco.

The list of fantastic walks and possibilities on Mallorca is endless, so it’s lucky Mallorca is a true all year round destination. With mild, only occasionally cold winters, a warm Spring and Summer, and a relatively dry Autumn, the time is always right in Mallorca. Plus, travelling off-season offers additional peace and tranquillity, quiet accommodation, and lower prices. Whilst car hire offers additional flexibility, good public transport (including Mallorca’s famous histoirc railways) means Mallorcan walks are remarkably easily accessible.

Learn 10 Simple Spanish Phrases Today

Posted on: March 23rd, 2016 by admin No Comments

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When you’re visiting a country like Spain, it can be a little daunting if you don’t speak the native language. If you don’t understand the most basic words, your vacation may not be as much fun. It’s a good idea to learn a few phrases in order to develop your conversational skills. Communicating with people in Spanish will certainly make your travel experiences more memorable and enjoyable. To get you started, here are the top 10 most popular Spanish phrases that every traveller should learn.

1. If you get lost somewhere, you will need to ask a local some simple questions. Always start with the question “¿dónde está?” (where is). Some of the most common examples include: “¿Dónde está la estación de ferrocarril?” (Where is the bus/train station?) “¿Dónde está un restaurante?” (Where is a restaurant?) “ ¿La calle ” (the street).

2. “¿Cuánto cuesta?” (How much does it cost? Or what is the price?)

3. “¿Qué hora es, por favor?” (What time is it, please?)

4. “Yo entiendo, yo no entiendo” (I understand/ I don’t understand)

5. “Yo quiero un boleto, un hotel, un taxi” (I want a ticket for a hotel, a taxi)

6. “Necesito ayuda”. (I need help)

7. “¡Buen viaje!” (Have a good vacation!)

8. “¡Lo siento!” (I am sorry!)

An alternative way to apologise is saying Perdón. This is a more common way of saying sorry, however, if you are looking for toilets, you can use this phrase “Perdón, pero dónde están los baños? (excuse me but where are the WCs?)

9. “¡No se preocupe!” (No worries!)

10. “hasta pronto” (See you soon)

The top 10 phrases are not just helpful but they’re also most commonly used in Spain. If you make an effort and speak with the native locals, they will appreciate your attempts at becoming part of their community. It won’t be long until you are ready to learn more words and phrases and improve your Spanish.

Sailing in Majorca – Balearic Bliss

Posted on: February 3rd, 2016 by admin No Comments

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One of the best ways to see all of the beauty that Majorca has to offer is on a sailing trip. While relaxing on deck you can soak up the warm sun and view the island from a whole new perspective. Sailing round the coast will show you the true variety of landscapes found on Majorca, from palm-fringed beaches to bustling fishing ports, tiny coastal villages and towering cliffs. Day trips are an ideal way to sample some of these hidden delights, but yacht charters are also widely available if you’d like to spend more time out on the waves.

Majorca is well known for its stunning beaches, many of which are not easily accessible from inland. A sailing trip allows you to visit remote and hidden coves, so you can enjoy some peace and tranquillity away from the busy tourist areas. Cala Boquer, on the north-west coast, is one such spot – only accessible on foot or by boat.

If you enjoy a more active holiday, most sailing trips will offer opportunities for swimming and snorkelling. Other water activities, such as water-skiing and wakeboarding may also be available. Fishing is another popular option, with a wide variety of fish found in local waters – including giant swordfish and bluefin tuna, which pass through at the end of summer.

The position of the Balearic Islands means that Majorca enjoys ideal conditions for sailing much of the time, particularly during the summer months. Reliable breezes and sheltered coves make the island an excellent spot for beginner sailors to learn some new skills. Port de Pollenca, on the north-west coast, is well-known as an excellent spot for this.

A sailing trip is also a wonderful way to see more of the local wildlife. Dolphins are regular visitors to the surrounding waters and keen birdwatchers will enjoy spotting the many different sea birds found in the area. In the south-east of the island is Colonia St Jordi, where boats trips can be taken to the Cabrera Archipelago, a collection of 19 islands that form a national park where lots of great wildlife can be seen, both on land and in the water.

Sailing trips are widely available and set out from many different ports all around the island, so wherever you’re based there’s sure to be at least one within easy driving distance.

15 Handy Spanish Phrases For Beginners

Posted on: November 4th, 2015 by admin No Comments

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While the grammar may be fiendish (just ask an advanced speaker of Spanish to explain the subjunctive to you), beginners in this beautiful Romance language will be pleased to hear that, unlike in English, having a strong accent shouldn’t prevent native speakers from understanding you. And of course, having even a little Spanish will be seen in a very favourable light when you’re visiting any Spanish speaking country (or país hispanohablante). Read on for 15 easy phrases to get you going.

1. ¿Cómo se dice … en español?
A very useful phrase: it means “How do you say …. in Spanish?”.

2. ¿A qué hora abren las tiendas?
What time do the shops open? To ask about one shop, say la tienda rather than las tiendas.

3. ¡Hola! Buenos días/Buenas noches/Buenas tardes!
This means “Hello! Good morning/goodnight/good afternoon”. It’s important to note that in Spanish the word for “day”, el día, is masculine, so you say buenos, while la noche and la tarde are feminine, so you say buenas.

4. ¿Te gusta…?
This simply means “do you like…?”

5. ¿Hablas inglés?
“Do you speak English?” – not that you will be needing it, of course!

6. Hábleme en español/Puede hablar español conmigo
These are two different ways of saying “Speak Spanish to me”.

7. ¿Dónde está?
This means “Where is…”. For “where are”, say ¿Dónde están?

8. Uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho, nueve, diez.
These are the numbers one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, and ten.

9. Dos cervezas, por favor
Two beers, please!

10. Me gustaría un vinto tinto/blanco, por favor.
I would like a red wine/white wine, please.

11. ¡No funciona!
It doesn’t work! This can be used in a variety of situations, it’s a great catch-all phrase.

12. ¿Cómo te llamas?
what is your name?

13. Yo necesito…
I need… . You can also just say “necesito” on its own, or “yo quiero”.

14. El hotel está al lado del bar
The hotel is next to the bar.

15. ¡Hasta luego!
See you later! You can also say Hasta la próxima.

Majorca: The Weather & When To Go

Posted on: September 9th, 2015 by admin No Comments

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The island of Majorca, the largest of the Balearic islands off the coast of Spain, is blessed with a warm Mediterranean climate and enjoys average temperatures of 21°C throughout the year. The beautiful scenery, rich culture, vibrant party atmosphere and clement weather makes this island a popular place to visit and a dream location to live. The driest months are in June, July and August while the wettest months are in September, October, November and December.

The Winter season.

Majorca’s mild Winter is the time of the almond blossom that occurs in January and February, an event celebrated by the islanders because of the economic importance of almonds and an appreciation of the natural beauty of the blossoming trees. Winter sees the island’s lowest number of visitors so a number of bars and restaurants may be closed at this time. Daytime temperatures range between 15°C and 18°C while nighttime temperatures seldom fall below 5°C.

The Spring season.

There are a number of fiestas held in Majorca during the Spring, when average temperatures range between 20°C and 24°C, including the Fiesta de Sant Fransesc and Festa de Sant Jordi in April as well as the May Day celebrations in the following month which heralds the coming of Summer. As rainfall decreases and daylight hours increase, heightened numbers of travellers arrive on the island’s shores as the peak Summer season approaches.

The Summer season.

The warm and hot Majorcan Summer marks the island’s peak tourist season, when thousands flock to its pristine shores from throughout Europe and the rest of the world. The beaches are a major attraction for sunbathers and swimmers and the nightclubs and bars draw in crowds of party goers looking to have the Summer of a lifetime. Daily sunlight during the Summer months is between 10 and 11 hours while average temperatures rest in the late 20s and low 30s.

The Autumn season.

Autumn in Majorca may bring increased showers and fewer hours of daylight but the average temperatures remain generous, ranging between 20°C and 25°C, and the Mediterranean waters are still warm enough to bathe in swim in. A major advantage of visiting the island in the Autumn is that the Summer throngs are dissipating, meaning that the island is less crowded and accommodation prices decrease, allowing for a cheaper holiday with fewer people around.

 

The 5 Best Beaches in Majorca

Posted on: June 3rd, 2015 by admin No Comments

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Cala Deià, near Sóller

One of the few beaches situated on the rugged west coast of Majorca, its pebbles and coarse sand are sheltered by cliffs and pine forests. The beauty and special light quality of Cala Deià are celebrated by artists, who set up on the terraces above the secluded rock pools. The clear water is ideal for snorkelling and swimming – writer Robert Graves once lived nearby and visited the little cove for a daily dip.

Playa de Muro, near Alcudia

For something completely different, head for the north coast and its miles of golden sands. Watersports enthusiasts will love Playa de Muro, which boasts excellent facilities and disabled access. Edged by pine and juniper trees and backed by dunes, this Blue Flag resort is close to the Albufera nature reserve, the island’s largest wetland expanse. With its shallow waters and hotels opening on to the beach, the bay is perfect for families and young children.

Cala Torta, near Artà

If the thought of turquoise-blue sea and fine white sand makes you happy, choose the north-east side of the island. The intermittently windy conditions of Torta make it popular with surfers, and its deep crystal-clear water attracts snorkellers. You can strip off or not, as you prefer, as this destination is laid-back but not designated as solely a nudist area. Reach it by way of a bumpy car ride and a walk through the dunes.

Es Trenc

Make for the more sheltered south coast for this well-known strip with a Caribbean feel. Despite its isolation the natural beauty of this resort-free location attracts crowds, but in this protected zone you’ll find solitude among the sand dunes, tamarind trees and wetlands, home to marine vegetation and migratory birds. Windsurfing is the main activity, with facilities including lifeguards and disabled ramps, while others will appreciate its tradition as an unofficial nudist beach.

Ciutat Jardí or Ciudad Jardín, Palma

Combine the history, Art Nouveau architecture, elegant shops and general buzz of Majorca’s capital with breath-taking views of the Bay of Palma from this appropriately-named city garden. Stroll or cycle along the promenade as far as Arenal or act cool on rollerblades. The shallow sea is safe for small children who will also appreciate the large playground, while the extensive facilities on offer will suit families, with disabled members well catered for.

Your 5 Favourite Things To Do In Majorca

Posted on: May 6th, 2015 by admin No Comments

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Although a small island, Majorca is a veritable treasure trove of things to see and do. Let’s take a closer look at five of the best things to do in Majorca!

Ride the train to Soller.
Constructed over 100 years ago, the wooden railway was originally used by farmers to deliver citrus fruits to Majorca’s capital city of Palma. Today, visitors can board the train in Palma and take a 17 mile journey through mountain tunnels, past forests and groves, to arrive in the charming town of Soller. Take in an hour’s worth of the islands natural beauty, and do remember your camera!

Visit the Aquarium.
One of the most popular attractions on the island, Palma’s modern aquarium makes for a fantastic day out for visitors of all ages. Built in 2007 and home to over 7000 different species of marine life, the building itself sits just 50 metres from the sea. For the more daring adventurers, there’s even the opportunity to dive with the sharks!

Bask in Alcudia’s historic beauty.
Alcudia is a popular and modern resort, but for those of us who enjoy a little culture, the old town is well worth a trip. Ancient walls surround the maze of medieval paths and alleys, providing tourists with an authentic taste of Majorca. With pavement cafés, colourful fiestas, and a bustling weekly market, Alcudia’s old town is the perfect place to while away a few hours.

Experience the Wild West.
Western Waterpark is situated in the town of Magaluf. As a complete family favourite, the park has facilities for toddlers, kids, and adults alike. Alongside the obligatory waterslides, there are relaxing rides for some chill-out time as well as professional diving events. Plenty of places to eat and drink make Western Waterpark a full day of absolute fun!

Take in the City.
Majorca’s capital city of Palma is a must-see destination in its own right. La Seu Cathedral, particularly, is a breathtaking sight, especially by night. With tapas bars, chic shopping, and the bustle of city life, there is something in Palma to suit any taste. Football fans can take a look at the Iberostar Stadium, home to RCD Mallorca, the only Spanish league club on the island.

Take a hike! The most breathtaking places for a hike in Majorca.

Posted on: March 30th, 2015 by admin No Comments

There’s More to Majorca Than You Think
Majorca is widely perceived in the UK as a family holiday spot or a party destination, but once you get outside of the built-up resorts, you’ll be amazed by dramatic cliffs, deserted coves, and the lovely Serra de Tramuntana, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the “Cultural Landscape” category.

While in Majorca, make your life easy with your own set of wheels: hiring a car at Majorca Airport means you’ll have the independence to really explore the island for yourself.


Breathtaking Views
Puig de Massanella, standing proud at 1367 metres tall, is the island’s second highest peak, and it’s praised by Lonley Planet for its beautiful Alpine-style slopes and incredible panoramas.

There are many locally-based island companies who can help you find the right trek according to your levels of ability and adventure, with trails such as that of Banyalbufar ranked easy (it incorporates a wine excursion!) right up to the challenging” 3-hour climb up the slopes of Puig Galatzó.

Be Independent
If you feel more like striking out on your own, many local companies can offer lots of advice on places to hike. The walk from Camp de Mar to Sa Mola takes in delightful coastal views, a gorgeous beach, and a sunny fishing village. Following an 11km route, you can finish the day with a fresh, local seafood dinner in Port d’Andratx.

Port d'Andratx - Majorca
For something a little more strenuous, the Dry Stone Route around the western coast of Majorca is a popular 8-day trek. This 135km hike through the mountains includes hostels en route for tired walkers, and starts at Port d’Andratx, finishing at Pollenca.

Adventure lovers can also enjoy kayaking, caving, rock climbing, scuba diving, canyoning, and mountain biking on Majorca- it’s a perfect place for outdoor types, with a pleasing subtropical climate and lush green vegetation. While mountain treks are better avoided in the hotter months, hikers will find the off-season to be a more favourable time of year: accommodation is cheaper, the weather is cooler, and the summer crowds are nowhere to be seen. Perfect.