I always have mixed feelings when looking for sunny destination for holidays in Europe in May. Temperatures are usually quite decent but it’s not yet hot enough to swim in the sea, and it might even be to cold for a swimming pool. There is nice summer weather in Canary Islands all year round, but we’ve already been there and wanted to try something new. So this year we chose Majorca in for two reasons: Lily’s school in the end of May and also my 6th month of pregnancy, which put us a little bit off from far away destinations especially after reading Zika, dengue and other health alerts on WHO website. I don’t usually exaggerate these type of messages, and know that the real risk is relatively low, but in these special circumstances just wanted to have a peace of mind.
My expectations were not the highest to say the least, I always imagined Majorca as a rather mediocre place with not so divine beaches, where hordes of people fly for hen and stag do’s and start their non stop 3 day party as soon as their plane takes off. Just the stereotype I had in my head. But as it turned out much to my surprise, if you stay away from famous party spots of the island, like for example Magaluf, you really can find peaceful and quiet places, with beaches that actually really look like on Google Images. First we bought our flight tickets, checking and comparing prices for a couple of days to get the best deal, then we started looking at specific places and hotels. We landed in Palma de Mallorca late in the evening, spent the next day there and in the afternoon we headed to Cala Mesquida. After three amazing days there we went to Alcudia for a week, stayed in Playa de Muro in brilliant Iberostar Albufera Playa hotel). Our original trip plan was a bit different, I’ll get to that in a moment.
Undoubtedly the best thing about all three places we visited were the beaches and the sea with perfect water – warm and shallow even long distance from the shore. I try to avoid putting my leg above the knee in the water of lower temperature than the water in my bath tub (so far I found it in the Maldives and in Australia, of which the latter was probably even hotter than the bath tub), but the waters in Majorca felt pleasant even to me. Beaches in Palma and Alcudia were really vast and long, water just perfect for much loved by kids jumping through the waves game. Beach in Palma, despite it being public, city beach is really awesome, I’m not sure if it’s always like this but the water there was the warmest, and there is lots and lots of shells of different size, colour and shape, we absolutely loved searching for most perfect ones, and then comparing, who’s got the best collection.
Cala Mesquida is a rather small beach, but its turquoise, clear water like in the Maldives (almostJ) is sure to take your breath away. It really is beautiful, perfect for families with small children, who are a vast majority of all the visitors here. Cala Mesquida is located in a bay, that’s probably why there are no big waves here, you can walk and walk and water is not getting much deeper, which is a brilliant for kids. If you are planning to go there I highly recommend the hotel we stayed in – Viva Cala Mesquida Resort & Spa. It’s very convenient for pushchairs, and there are lots of fun places and attractions for the little ones. There are 2 soft plays, kids swimming pool with pirate ship and slides. I don’t think older kids will be bored either, after all big swimming pool, the beach and the sea are great attractions themselves, aren’t they? Lush vegetation, well maintained hotel grounds, delicious food makes the stay there a blissful experience, it’s nothing like typical all inclusive hotels, where everything is pretty much average, and you are more likely to get depressed there than get some rest.
I would encourage you not to stay at one place for the whole duration of your holidays, splitting your time between different location makes it so much more interesting and gives you the chance to see more and get to know the island/country better. And if you end up in not exactly postcard pretty spot it won’t be a disaster because you know you moving somewhere else in let’s say 2 days. That’s how we changed our plans and didn’t stay in Puerto Pollensa, which we booked for a week, because as it turned out when we got there, there wasn’t a proper beach, just narrow shoreline with big stones (not enough time for a proper research). Instead we decided to go to Alcudia for 5 days, and to Palma for the final night and day. If you use websites such as booking.com, hotels.com etc. to book hotel, always go for free cancellation option if available, it will allow you to move freely and change plans even in the very last minute. Also if you are planning to move around a lot it’s best to examine closely all your suitcase content and ask yourself that difficult question: do I REALLY need it, or will I with high probability survive couple of days without it? Sensible packing is a skill I am yet to master. I struggle with not stuffing my suitcases to a breaking point, so that the only way to close and zip them is to sit on them. I am at risk of total embarrassment, because in the event of an airport staff requesting to open my luggage, it’s sure to explode and cover the terminal surface with all my personal belongings. This time was no different as I packed half of the house, convinced we were staying at one place. As we unexpectedly changed plans, we ended up cursing our giant suitcases weighing what seemed to be a tone, every time we had to move them from the car to the hotel and back. So my piece of advice to myself and to you is to reduce number of suitcases to a minimum. You can always wash your clothes, and I heard it’s been scientifically proved you can actually survive couple of days without body lotion. So rather than getting irritated every time you unsuccessfully try to find something, go for minimalistic option (proven soothing and relaxing effects) and don’t waste half of the holiday on rummaging in your bags.
While we were staying in Palma, we visited two small beaches, hidden in the bay – Cala Comtessa and Xinell. I wouldn’t bother to go there, because despite being really pretty they are so overcrowded it’s impossible to find room to put your stuff, let alone to lie down and sunbathe, if you don’t mind being your limbs being stepped on and having sand thrown into your face by fellow beach goers. Besides if you’ve already been to Cala Mesquida, any other beach cannot really compete with it.
Hidropark and Aquarium in Palma are very popular attractions for kids, for cooler days it’s worth visit Jungle Parc on the way to Cala Comtessa i Xinell, an adventure park with zip lines which would be perfect for cooler days.
Before you book your hotels and decide which places you want to visit, check it first on Tripadvisor.com. To me it’s the most valuable source of knowledge and I always check reviews, rating before I book anything. Based on number of positive reviews you can make informed decision if the place is worth visiting or not and be sure you’re not making a mistake. People upload real raw photos, so you can quite easily pick up things not necessarily mentioned anywhere else, i.e. that your apartment is not exactly right at the beach, as the official photos might suggest, but actually you need to cross couple of roads to get there. So the thorough research is a must, but anyway reading reviews and browsing through photos is really interesting and absorbing. I promised myself not to go to the same place twice, but to visit something new every time (until I see the whole world, then I choose the places I want to go back toJ), but I think we will go back to Majorca one day, maybe even sooner than later. It’s relatively cheap, close, warm, safe, kids friendly, it’s a dream destination for a spontaneous, not requiring much preparation holiday, so if you discovered any other beautiful spot in Majorca let me know, I’ll add it to my list of things to see next time.