Soñando Sunday: Mallorca
Recommended time of year to visit and length of visit: Mallorca is beautiful all year round but the tourist season (when everything is open) is from March to November. Some towns even close down during the winter months because they don’t make enough profit to stay open. Be warned, Mallorca itself is an island about 1,500 square miles. You can see a big portion of it in 3-4 days, but you can also spend more time exploring.
Fun Fact: Mallorca is named because it is the largest (mayor or in Mallorquín, a version of Catalan that is spoken here―'major') island in the Baleares―Mallorca, Menorca (the smaller island), Ibiza, and Formentera being the most popular. Mallorca is also the name of the capital of this Autonomous Community.
Top three must-sees:
1. La Catedral de Palma and the centro: Palma de Mallorca is the capital of the island of Mallorca, and the cathedral there is beautiful. Started in 1229 and finished almost 400 years later, this cathedral is massive and well worth a visit, even just to walk around it. Famous Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi even worked on its restoration for a time. Walk around the rest of the city center (I recommend getting a bit lost) to really see the ‘personality’ of this city.
2. A road trip through Valldemossa, Deià, and Sóller: I personally recommend these three small towns, but there are other places that are equally charming that you can visit. Most of these quaint villages you can visit by bus or train, but renting a car will make it easier. When visiting the pueblos make sure to get out, stretch your legs, and explore whatever historical buildings are around.
3. Las Playas: There are so many beautiful beaches in Mallorca that many tourist visit the island just to play in the sand (and have a drink while they do it). My Mallorcan friend recommends the Playa Es Trenc, Playa de Formentor, Caló des Moro, Playa de S’Amarador, or any other beaches on the northern part of the island. However, I will say that all the beaches I saw were beautiful and I was happy to walk along any bit of sand I saw.
One thing to eat: Ensaïmada (in Mallorquin)
This traditional Mallorcan food is a spiral shaped flaky pastry made principally with flour and pork fat―saïm, in Mallorquín. While pork fat may seem strange to those of us who are used to butter in pastry, it is common in Spain and the pork fat used in Mallorca is unique to the Balearic Island region. This dessert can be served plain or can have added sweet elements such as nutella-like filling or apricot-jam topping. I was too busy digging in to this sweet breakfast food/afternoon snack, so check out this link to see a picture!