It’s taken me 30 years of travelling abroad to get to Majorca and I haven’t the faintest idea why. I’ve always thought that the biggest Balearic must be a holiday hero for a reason, but I unconsciously dibbed myself out of what’s probably the worst kept secret in Mediterranean summer holiday destinations! Well, now I can say I finally get it.
Honestly, I think that my missed Majorca opportunities stem from the fact that although we’d hit that other Balearic beauty, Ibiza, on three separate occasions when I was a kid, we eventually found Greece when I was 16. It was right about the time I was about to break free of family holidays and start planning my own trips, and to say I fell in love with Greece on that first visit would be the understatement of my life. I adore it, as anyone who reads this blog regularly will know!
But fortunately for me in recent years, a full-time job, an extreme obsession with travel bargain hunting, and let’s face it, a dollop of luck, has lead me to a reality where it’s possible to go on hols more than once a year. I can get a Greek fix and also think about going somewhere else these days! Bonus! And of course there’s one place that’s been floating around on my wishlist for years – Majorca. This year, when I found a week in early June at the right price, I knew it was time to see what I’d been missing!
We joked at home that it’s a rare occasion for Mr Holiday Addict to have visited a place I’ve never been to myself. But back in his *ahem* youth, he served his time in Majorca’s famous (infamous?) Magaluf. And I think that’s the beauty of Majorca for a holiday from the UK – the island is large enough and varied enough to truly be a place that offers something for all ages via a short 2-3 hour flight.
Now, I can’t speak for much of Majorca, but I can certainly tell you about where we stayed – Cala d’Or.
Situated on the island’s east coast, I liked the look of Cala d’Or when I read that local regulations meant high rise buildings were a no no. This seemed to mean that the look of the place came over a bit more chic and authentic than some of the other popular holiday resorts. Each to their own, but I’m not a fan of towering beach hotels, and the almost Ibiza inspired architecture round this neck of the woods meant I got some good vibes when doing my research.
I also liked the idea of the small calas around the coast, as opposed to great big beaches – sheltered coves are perfect for when you want to go safe swimming in the sea with a toddler like our Holiday Baby. There is also a lovely marina to wander round (lined with restaurants) and a largely pedestrianised area of streets in the centre of the town that promised to make family strolls with the buggy a doddle. It ticked all the boxes, and now we’re back home, I’m happy to say that Cala d’Or delivered!
I really did want to explore more of Majorca, though. And we had certainly pondered the possibility of a day out to the island’s capital, Palma, before we travelled. But this wasn’t the trip for that in the end. We just plumped for some family fun in the sun with long, leisurely dinners featuring plenty of local tapas (and sangria, of course).
I’d say Cala d’Or is a great spot if you have young kids, or if you maybe have kids who are grown. There was enough variety to keep both families and couples happy without both groups of travellers having to be on top of eachother. That being said, it might be hard to avoid children in the school holiday season. This is a classic beach resort and I’m sure it’s heaving in July and August. But in May, June and September? I don’t think you can go wrong if you want a week away somewhere warm and lovely.
As for me? Well, I don’t think I’m done with Majorca – it’s a big island so I definitely fancy shortlisting a few more of its places for the future. And then there’s Palma. From what I hear, it’s worth a few days as a city break destination in itself – and you all know I love a good city trip! Hmm. Maybe I’ll just check Skyscanner while I eat my lunch…
For a beach with facilities like buggy/wheelchair friendly access and toilets, try Cala Gran. There are also sunbeds and umbrellas to rent and a couple of beachside bars and kiosks for lunches, snacks and drinks.
Two restaurants we enjoyed for good quality Spanish food were La Bodega (a busy and bustling place in the centre of town with a tapas centred menu) and Celler Ca’s Brau (a family run spot, tucked away up a side street near Cala Gran Beach). Both were also great for kids.
Accommodation wise, we stayed in Aparthotel Cala d’Or Playa which has self catering apartments with an option to stay bed and breakfast or half board if you wish. The location was an easy reach to all amenities including both Cala Gran and Cala Esmeralda beaches. It wasn’t super fancy, but it had what we needed and the staff were great and attentive. It’s definitely a family place though, so you might want to give it a miss if you aren’t travelling with little people.
For a more grown up trip, have a look at Inturotel Cala Esmeralda (adults only). Just opposite the hotel there is a snack bar/restaurant with come lovely views since it overlooks Cala Esmeralda itself (kids are allowed in here, but it’s a nice spot).
Take the mini train to get appreciate the full Cala d’Or area. It also takes you right into the marina where you can eat your dinner watching the boats. I’d recommend doing this early on your trip so you can find your bearings and get some ideas of the places you might like to visit.
What do you think? Do you fancy a holiday in Cala d’Or? And do let me know if you’ve been to Majorca and have some suggestions as to where I should go next!