THE JOURNAL

The Magic of Mallorca: Finding gems off the beaten track

Sarah-Louise and Christopher take us on a journey to their favorite spots on Mallorca in search of sun, sand and solitude.

There are a few places in this world that have something special in the air. They're different for each of us: a city may speak to some, a tempestuous coastline or uninhibited beach to others — but what they have in common is that they help you find yourself, fire up your imagination and make the pressure of the day-to-day melt away. For us, Deià in Mallorca is one such place.

 

Set amongst an archipelago of Spanish islands, Mallorca is the largest of the Balearics located in the Mediterranean Sea. Whether it’s the simple aesthetic of island life, fresh Mediterranean cuisine, or the peaceful blunt cliffs and calming coves, Mallorca has attracted artists, jetsetters and bohemians for decades.

A rooftop view of Deià, Mallorca, Spain
— A rooftop view of Deià, Mallorca, Spain
Sarah-Louise at Belmond La Residencia Pool
— Sarah-Louise at Belmond La Residencia Pool

Rising with the sun

With Palma’s sun-washed facades and palm-lined streets fading into the rear view, we set off north, replacing long, busy roads with gentle winding highways. As the mid-morning rays kissed the rocky outcrops, we rolled down the windows, let the cool air rush through the car and made the ascent into the Serra de Tramuntana. One bend and then another, and then Deià — a tapestry of golden-toned fincas clinging to the hillside amid terraced citrus groves and cascading palms, it was glorious.

 

Life atop the Mediterranean hillsides deserves to be lived slowly, and our destination was the iconic and effortlessly beautiful Belmond La Residencia, a place that knows luxury, and life — is best served chilled. Set between the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, the rustic 16th century guesthouse is steeped in historic charm. A feast for the senses, the immaculate gardens are bursting with vibrant bougainvillea and the sweet scent of orange trees —sunny private verandas are paired with glistening pools and breath taking views of the village below. Once the home of novelist Robert Graves and loved by international artists and art lovers, La Residencia is home to over 750 works of art from local painters, including an exclusive exhibition of work from Joan Miró.

Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world, you change things slightly; you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life and travel leave marks on you.
— Anthony Bourdain

Savor the catch of the day

The crown jewel of La Residencia is the enchanting El Olivo, a favorite of guests and locals alike and perhaps the finest restaurant in Mallorca. The enchanting setting and exquisite cuisine is unrivalled. Dine on the candlelit terrace under the stars and take your pick from Executive Chef Guillermo Mendez’s star-studded menu and equally impressive wine list — both created with passion, attention to detail and love, a culinary voyage through the Mediterranean and a true taste of the Balearics.

 

A steep twenty-minute hike through olive groves leads you to the iconic Cala Deia Beach, a tranquil pebbled alcove with turquoise waters and heaps of charm. No longer a secret whisper, the jewel of Cala Deia Beach is Ca’s Patro March; a rustic seafood restaurant perched along the cliff side, overlooking the ocean below. Built into the rocks and blending flawlessly with its surroundings, Ca’s Patro March serves up the best seafood on the island, caught fresh each morning. Order the colorful mixed seafood platter or clams in garlic and wash them down with a bottle of crisp rosé before heading for a dip in the deep blue.

— Breakfast at El Olivo at La Residencia
— Christopher in Valldemossa

On our final day, we ventured to the charming village of Valldemossa, exploring the old town and revelling in the ancient buildings and awe-inspiring views. Set upon an idyllic valley’s edge in the midst of the Tramuntana Mountains, this village is steeped in old-world charm, it is home to delightful cafes and quirky boutiques and its ancient blonde stone houses create a beautiful contrast against the surrounding forests of olive, oak and almond trees, and the blue sky above.

 

Where to next? Follow the @iwcjournal Instagram to find out.

Sarah-Louise Marks and Christopher Phelps run the popular travel blog "The Adventures of Us". The London-based couple are sharing their breathtaking escapes on The Journal in a special travel series. 


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