Forget nightmare visions of Magaluf’s tattoo parlours and burger bars; as a holiday to Majorca from Glasgow Airport will reveal, Majorca is a tiny oasis of year-round sunshine, picturesque towns and some of the best beaches in Spain.
A tapas trail in Palma
Food, as the busy Mercat de l’Olivar makes clear, has a central role in Mallorcan life. Along with toothachingly sweet ensaïmada pastries and excellent Syrah wine, tapas are a big deal in Palma and as a result, there’s no shortage of places to try them. Start with the Ruta Martiana, a Tuesday night tapas route that takes you to 12 Old Town venues, all of which offer a beer and a plate of tapas for €2. Eateries sometimes change, so pick up a list of participants at the tourist office on Plaça de la Reina before you go.
Explore the sea caves
Majorca’s craggy coastline is peppered with spectacular sea caves, many of which can be reached without getting on a boat. Among the loveliest is the Cuevas del Drach near Porto Cristo which combine a cathedral-size cave complex with a shimmering blue lake. Also worth a visit are the Cuevas de Artà near Canyamel which include the ominous-sounding Chamber of Purgatory and Chamber of Hell. For light relief, try the gorgeous Cala Llombards near Santanyí, a pretty little cove backdropped by craggy cliffs and blessed with white sand and cobalt sea.
Take the train to Sóller
The train to Sóller from Palma is not your average train; it’s a lovely old wooden locomotive that cuts through a landscape dotted with olive groves, citrus orchards, pine forests and tunnels beneath the majestic Tramuntana Mountains. Once in Sóller, head down to the picturesque harbour for a seafood lunch or admire some of the pretty art nouveau houses.