A Majorcan love story - the inside scoop on the island
My first experience of Majorca was 13 years ago and it was definitely a memorable one. My, then girlfriend, Kim, was about to celebrate her 30th birthday. I had secretly arranged with her boss to book some annual leave so that I could surprise her by flying off to Majorca for a few nights to celebrate. What were we celebrating? Hopefully our engagement!
I proposed on the morning of her birthday and miraculously she said yes. A few short hours later, we were in Sóller which, if you're in need of some respite from the little ones, is absolute heaven. Sóller is stunning, situated on the northern side of the Tramuntana mountains and accessible by breathtaking mountain roads (or a tunnel if you're in more of a hurry). A beautiful historic market town with great restaurants and boutique shops, Sóller has the best of both worlds, as it is still perfect for occasional beach days due to its proximity to Port de Sóller, a small coastal village. Situated in a picturesque bay, Port de Sóller has a child-friendly sandy beach, numerous bars, a wider range of hotels, and now, a new marina. Jumeirah hotels have fairly recently built a new resort too, so the vibe is definitely more upmarket than it was a decade ago.
We fell in love with the villages and towns while exploring the dramatic mountainous coast of the northwestern part of the island. Fornalutx, Valldemossa, and Orient are picture-postcard-perfect but our favourite by far is Deià. So much so, that during this first trip of ours to the island, we decided that we should get married there.
After a few minor logistical issues (our first baby!), we postponed our wedding (and caused a fair number of flight cancellations). But finally, we were married in the beautiful church we had seen in Deià, 24 months later. We had a pre-wedding party down in the Port de Soller where drinks were flowing and had our wedding reception in the finca where we were staying. There are some amazing homes in this area and ours was perfect for huge families with kids, just like our group for the wedding.
We've been back to Majorca many, many times since. Primarily with 3 daughters in tow and normally with friends. Anna, our first, is now 11, Chloe 9 and Brooke 5. Kim and I also managed to sneak back for a break (without the kids!) pre-covid which was amazing.
We would highly recommend all of the places we have stayed, but here are some favourites:
- Pollenca, also known as Pollensa, has an amazing market square and lovely restaurants inside its old town. Filled with honey-stoned buildings and cobbled streets, it’s truly picturesque.
- Alcudia is a well-known favourite for families coming to Majorca but the old town is really something special. With immaculately preserved medieval walls and a maze of old narrow streets, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Plus, there are fantastic dining options for all ages, even in the old town.
- Port de Pollenca, also called Port de Pollensa or 'Puerto Pollensa', has a great variety of accommodation, a lovely beach with very calm waters - perfect for the young ones, and great food options. From our recent visit, I can highly recommend Ca'n Pescador
- You’ve already heard why we love Sóller and Port de Sóller, but I’d also love to recommend a fantastic boat charter company - Sóller Charter Experience. Ran by Aitor, who is brilliant with kids, we’ve had many adventures exploring the coast, all thanks to them. If you're looking for a culinary treat - consider visiting, perhaps one of our favourite eating spots on the entire planet, Béns d'Avall - it’s just down the coast.
- Deià is small but fantastic. Be sure to walk or drive to Cala Deià while here. There’s a fantastic fish restaurant and fans of the Night Manager drama series may recognise it from a certain opening scene.
- For an adults-only trip, Fornalutx and Orient as both stunning villages but much more suitable for when you’re taking a break from the little ones.
- One final hidden gem, that I’m genuinely a little reluctant to promote because we love it so much is Cala Figuera, found in the southeast of the island. It's a little fishing village in a tiny bay. There are crystal clear waters and an incredible restaurant that we've been to far too many times. You can find some great budget options that have immaculate facilities and super friendly owners. If you're staying for a week or more, consider renting an apartment with a pool. From certain hotels, you can also dive and swim off the rocks as well.