Reality show ‘Love Island’ has cemented its place in the hearts of the nation as interest in the tanned, toned contestants competing to remain coupled up and retain their place in a swanky Spanish villa seems to show no signs of waning. However, even those who have failed to be gripped by the contestants’ quest for love can’t deny the show’s main star – the island itself.
Away from the notorious party resorts, the island of Mallorca offers rugged cliffs, pine-fringed coves and azure views that stretch as far as the eye can see. In terms of romantic, breathtaking scenery, you can’t get much better than this beautiful Balearic. It’s an island you can not only fall in love on, but also fall in love with.
Here are a few of the best things to do when you visit:
The official capital of the Balearic Islands is the honey-hued city of Palma, located in the south. Take a stroll around its pedestrian-friendly promenades – look out for the awe-inspiring Gothic Cathedral for photo opportunities aplenty – before rewarding yourself with the delectable dining scene that’s fast turning Mallorca into a gourmet paradise. Explore the vibrant indoor market of bohemian Santa Catalina, the winding alleyways of La Lonja and the fishing quarter of Portixol; whether it’s a fresh catch-of-the-day, hearty Mediterranean stew or mouth-watering locally-sourced wine that appeals, foodies will be in their element in this glorious seaside city. You can also catch the cute narrow gauge wooden train from Palma to Soller in the north – a fun way to explore the island, why not let the train take the strain?
Fans of the Great Outdoors will be delighted to hear that there’s more to Mallorca than beaches. The mighty Serra de Tramuntana is a dramatic limestone mountain range with towering peaks that stretch up to 1,370m. The region includes the famous Sa Calobra – a favourite climb amongst serious cyclists – and the GR221 dry stone path, a long distance walking trail based on a network of ancient footpaths that are gradually being restored. Hike sections of the route and watch a tapestry of historic monasteries, glittering reservoirs and traditional villages unfurl before you.
Mallorca’s best attribute is its sparkling collection of beaches – truly the jewel in this Balearic’s crown. From stretches of fine golden sand to pebble coves with crystalline waters, there’s a beach for every taste on the island. Try the picturesque bay of Cala Sant Vicenç for natural beauty and snorkelling; Cala Mesquida for sweeping sand dunes and chattering birdlife; and Es Trenc for powder-soft sands and plenty of space.
Explore the island further with a trip to the northern town of Pollenca, or even base your stay in this charming part of Mallorca. The Sunday morning market with its eclectic range of clothing, ceramics and fresh food is worth timing your visit for, while the stylish boutiques, cobbled streets and outstanding view from the top of the 365 Calvari steps will help while away your afternoon.
As you prepare to jet off on your very own Love Island experience, don’t forget to purchase the right travel insurance for your trip. Medical Travel Compared can help you find the best policy for you – even if you have a pre-existing medical condition.