Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Majorca: The Weather & When To Go

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

maj 2

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.

 

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Majorca

Posted on: August 26th, 2015 by admin No Comments

Majorca

Most travellers know the Balearic Island of Majorca boasts some of the best beaches, nightlife and seafood in Europe. However, there are quite a few things even seasoned Majorca tourists don’t know about their favourite holiday spot:

1. Majorca has been occupied by humans for several millennia, at least since 5,000 BC. There are several impressive archaeological sites on the island dated to Bronze-Age occupation. The first Roman “tourists” arrived in 123 BC, taking over the island. Package holidays to the island have been available since 1952.

2. Majorca was under frequent attack by pirates for several centuries. This led to the construction of a series of imposing castles, fortresses and a chain of Torres, watch towers, lining the coast. Only a handful of Torres remain today. One of Majorca’s biggest castles, the 700-year-old Castle Capdepera, is a fine example of this type of anti-pirate strategy. It lies some 48 miles/77 km distance from Palma.

3. Majorca regularly wins awards for its delicious and elegant wines. The vineyards grouped around the village of Binissalem in the interior of Majorca produce red varieties like Syrah Monastrell, Merlot, Manto Negro, Sauvignon and Tempranillo, while white wines include Chardonnay, Parellada and Prensal Blanc.

4. One of Majorca’s most famous home-grown dishes is a sweet pastry called ensaimadas, only available on the island, where it has been consumed since the 17th century, making it one of Europe’s oldest documented recipes.

5. Another favourite Majorca delicacy is the spicy sobrassada, a cured sausage made from loin pork and pork bacon and spiced with paprika, salt, pepper and aniseed. Boiled, they’re eaten with…pretty much anything that’s going, but are particularly good with seasonal salads made from locally grown tomatoes and peppers.

6. Majorca’s house prices weathered the European financial crisis far better than other parts of Spain because here demand for high-end properties always outstripped what was available. Let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to live in Majorca for most of the year?

7. Rural tourism is beginning to boom. The Balearic government now permits small historic farmhouses to be converted into charming guesthouses and B&Bs. If you love hiking holidays and want to escape the bigger beach resort’s hustle and bustle and have a truly relaxing holiday, stay in rural hamlets like Llubli, Costitx, Petra, Algaida and Sineu, which are being promoted by Turismo de Interior now.

Majorca is an island full of history and fascination and no visitor should simply restrict themselves to the beaches – glorious though they be.

Majorca – Good Beaches, GOOD Sports

Posted on: August 12th, 2015 by admin No Comments

majorca cycling
There is absolutely no debating that Majorca boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the whole of Europe, evidenced by the fact that so many tourists flock to the island every summer. What is perhaps less known, however, is the breadth of sports that are available to experience. Here is a handful of the best sports that Majorca has to offer when you don’t want to spend the whole day on the beach.

1. Jet Skiing

It is no surprise, given the lush waters that surround the island, that Majorca has a great reputation for jet skiing. There are plenty of places around the island that offer jet ski rentals for individual and large groups. Please note that the law in Majorca requires a boating licence for unlimited access, but you can still hire one with set boundaries.

2. Sea Kayaking

Another popular water based sport is sea kayaking, a very popular choice given the nature of the island’s crystal clear, calm waters. Kayaking is a great way to spend time on the sea for those who do not want to worry of handling a powerful jet ski or any other motorized craft.

3. Scuba Diving

Tourists who want to see what is underneath the surface can partake in scuba diving adventures. There are diving schools on the island that offer experiences for all abilities from novice to expert, and the island has a stellar reputation when it comes to the healthy and safety of its scuba diving excursions.

4. Golf

If you prefer to partake of sporting activities on dry land, then why not pick up a set of clubs and try your hand at a round of golf? There is nothing quite like hitting 18 holes in the glorious sunshine, and the Majorcan golf courses present fun sport among some of the most beautiful landscape that the island has to offer. Even if you don’t have the best handicap, you will certainly enjoy the scenery on the way round.

5. Cycling

Another popular land based sport in Majorca is cycling; a pursuit that has gained in popularity immensely over the past decade. Bicycles are easily hired on the island in various locations and going on a bike tour allows you to see much more of the island than if you were on foot. With activities for all fitness and cycling proficiency levels, there will be something on offer for everyone.

5 Spanish Wines You MUST Try

Posted on: July 29th, 2015 by admin No Comments

spansih wine
Spanish wine has come a long way since the advent of package tours in the 1960s, when British holidaymakers first uttered the words el vino along the Costas and then in its historic cities. Although the industry cannot boast the centuries of tradition from which some of its neighbours benefit, today its vineyards can rival the quality of those in some other European countries and there are treats to be enjoyed.

Marqués de Riscal Gran Reserva

Take for instance this blend of Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo made from grapes that are more than thirty years old, with the wine being aged in American oak. With its complex aromas it ages well – the 1945 vintage is said to be one of Spain’s finest ever. One of the first bodegas to employ the Bourdeaux method, the Rioja estate also stands out for its Frank O. Gehry-designed silver and pink City of Wine building.

Compañía de Vinos Telmo Rodríguez Altos de Lanzaga

Gypsies have always played an important part in Spanish culture, so it’s fitting that one of its best winemakers should wander the country in itinerant fashion, to find and preserve a tradition under threat from commercial interests. Telmo Rodríguez respects both his budget and high-end bottlings, and this top-end offering is mostly Tempranillo with some Garnacha and Graciano.

2013 Rioja Valdepomares

Take a drop in price but not in taste with this modern rioja. Grapes growing in the cool Avesa sub-region produce reds free from hints of oak ageing, which is obvious from its underlying fruit flavours of cherry and raspberry on a tannin base.

Martires 2013 Finca Allende DOCa Rioja 100% Viura

Being barrel-fermented in new French oak brings touches of lime, lemon, peach and honeysuckle to this fresh but powerful white. Produced from 1970-planted vines in one hectare of loamy clay soil in Briones (Rioja Alta), Martires debuted only in 2008. It was worth the wait and even the higher price tag.

Vinarius Viura-Verdejo, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León 2010

This much more modestly-priced unoaked viura is mixed with fragrant verdejo, and its hints of tropical fruit offset by crisp notes of acidity are reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc. This area in the heartland of Spain around Madrid endures hot dry summers and cold winters and is best known for its reds. Whites are produced on a smaller scale but they deserve just as much serious attention.

¡Salud!

The 5 Best Beaches in Majorca

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

mallorca

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.

The History Of Majorca In 5 Minutes

Posted on: May 27th, 2015 by admin No Comments

Majorca

This stunning Spanish island with it’s 3,439 miles of picturesque coastline is far more than just a beach holiday destination. This part of the Balearic coast is steeped in a rich and intriguing history, that will leave you wanting to discover more than just the beach. The following is a 5 minute history on this sunshine filled land to really get you looking forward to your travels.

These picturesque islands are thought to have been naturally created over 150 million years ago; Majorca is presumed to have been formed as part of the Balearic mainland and eventually broke away. This particular group of islands have been ravaged by invaders and settlers throughout the years; On the plus side, it has left us with the incredible holiday destination that we enjoy today.

A Simplified History Of Invaders and conquerors through the years 700BC – 145AD; The Baleares Islands were largely dominated by the Phoentians, until the Carthaginians came along.

123AD; Majorca is conquered by the Romans, eventually turning the island into a Christian dwelling.

1203-1229; The Baleares islands are taken over by the Almohadian tribes from Algeria and Denia. Three months worth of battles finally lead to Catalan King Jaume I of Aragon taking the throne in Majorca.

1879- 1898; Skipping ahead, through many bloody battles and Majorca finally has a rest from the torrent of invasions. This period was known as ‘Gold Fever’ because of the increase of money coming into the country due to trading wine and almonds.

1935-1939 This time bought the devastating Spanish Civil War, The ‘Gold Fever’ was officially over.

2015 Majorca has finally been granted the peace that this stunning island deserves. With a maximum rainfall of just 55 inches for the whole year, this holiday destination is a favourite for travellers from all around the world.

Today, Majorca and its capital of Palma continue to grow year by year; In 2014 the main airport into Majorca saw 23.1 million tourists walk through on their holidays. As well as tourists, this fantastic holiday destination offers work for immigrants from all over Europe and Africa. The rich and chaotic history just adds to the draw of this island as a holiday destination.

Your 5 Favourite Things To Do In Majorca

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

mallorca
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.

The Top 5 Museums and Art Galleries in Majorca

Posted on: January 8th, 2015 by admin No Comments

Museums and Art Galleries

For those seeking an alternative experience of the largest Balearic island to the usual partying and sun worship, Majorca has a wide range of museums and art galleries to choose from.

1. Museu de la Mar
The Museu de la Mar, or the Port of the Sea, is situated at the Port de Sóller and is a celebration of that port’s maritime history. The museum resides within a medieval chapel, the Oratorio de Santa Caterina, and showcases a range of seafaring memorabilia in respect and remembrance of the settlement’s centuries old reliance on the sea for survival.

2. CCA Andratx Art Centre
The CCA Andratxt Art Centre is a must see for admirers of post-modern creativity. On showcase are a variety of artistic mediums, including installation, sculptures, paintings and photographs. Located in Andratx, near Palma, this gallery displays exquisite artworks from Spanish as well as international artists.

3. Museu de Fang (Majorcan pottery museum)
The Museu de Fang, or the Clay Museum, contains examples of Balearic pottery with an emphasis on local Majorcan items. This museum, housed in an old windmill, serves as a reminder of the thriving local pottery industry that has existed here for centuries. It is both an art gallery and a museum, in its way, because the often functional objects on display are works of art as well as cultural and historical artifacts.

4. Casal Solleric
Located in Palma, capital of Majorca and the Balearics, this art gallery resides within a magnificent 18th century baroque building and exhibits contemporary paintings and photography. Visitors may enjoy the contrast between the historical setting and the contemporary exhibits.

5. Es Revellar Art Resort Galleries
This art gallery resides in the magnificent Es Revellar estate, located in the municipality of Campos and dating from the 15th century. Serving as both a hotel and an art gallery, it practices the concept of land art, that is the use of beautiful surroundings to induce pleasant emotions. Works of art including sculptures as well as multicultural and historical artifacts melt into exquisite gardens and gorgeous stone villas.

Feeling Festive: Your Guide to Spending Christmas in Majorca

Posted on: December 15th, 2014 by admin No Comments

Christmas Beach

Understandably, the idea probably hasn’t struck you yet but why not spend your Christmas in Majorca? Bizarre as it may seem, many people across the UK often go abroad for this special time of the year, some of them every year without fail!

Majorca, a widely known and recommended destination in its own right, is one such place where the Christmas period brings the same sense of relaxation, just with an intriguing twist you’ll want to go back for again and again.

Majorca, as you probably know, has a long-established and thriving tourist industry, and many popular resorts and attractions do shut down over the winter, so it is important to choose your resort carefully, according to what you’re wishing for this Christmas. Though it may not be as straightforward as in the height of summer, you’re sure to find an area with a holidays schedule suited to you. Whether you’re looking for action, relaxation, culture and history or shopping, there will be a resort somewhere across the island where you’ll find just what you’re looking for.

Now onto the other qualms you may be having. I’m sure that before you set off on a trip away from Britain you’ll want to know something about the weather. Odds are you won’t need to worry about that at all; most days in the Majorcan winter see a good amount of sunshine, and can often reach temperatures of up to 17°c and rain is exceptionally rare, though it can get significantly more chilly in the evenings. Though this prospect could well have seized your interest already, you may not know anything about Majorca, and are now left wondering where to stay and explore. Some popular resorts such as Palma Nova and Magaluf barely notice the festive period, but if you don’t have a preferred destination in mind, most people new to the island choose to visit Palma city itself. This metropolis is a thriving cultural centre for a very tight-knit community, offering endless streets of bars, restaurants, boutiques and shops open all year round, ensuring you’ll never be looking too long for the next big thing to see and do!