When you think of Mallorca, what springs to mind? Sun, sea, sand and Magaluf nightlife?… In summer, tourists storm in the masses and even though it’s lots of fun enjoying a lively atmosphere; making friends at the pool or restaurant and sharing the beach with like-minded holidaymakers, sometimes you prefer discovering and experiencing the quieter, hidden pleasures of this blissful paradise. Check out our 7 favourite things to do during winter in Mallorca:
1.Dust off your hiking boots. Winter is the best time to hike in Mallorca with perfect cool temperatures that don’t leave you in a heap of sweat as they would during springtime. The Tramuntana mountain range boasts an abundance of unspoilt land to climb from Andratx in the South to the spectacular views of Formentor in the North, walking the well-marked trails of Valldemossa to Deia or Soller to Pollença. Don’t just go for a day; make the most of it and hike the whole weekend, taking advantage of the refugios which are hostels located at different zones along the trail housing comfortable dormitory-style beds, warm fires to keep your toes warm and toasty and dinner and wine to reward a full day’s hike. It’s a great way to escape day-to-day life and look down on Mallorca from viewpoints you never knew existed.
2.Join the cycling community. Every year, as soon as the summer season dies down, the cyclists come out of hiding and set out to take advantage of Mallorca’s empty roads and serene landscape. Probably the best route for this is Coll de Sóller. This route crosses the Serra Tramuntana, from Palma towards the port of Sóller. And the best bit? The Sóller tunnel was built in 1997 meaning that most traffic is now diverting to this tunnel, a great convenience for cyclists who can enjoy the old road without the usual nightmare of unfriendly, impatient motorists.
3.Experience a wine tour. With most of Mallorca’s terrains perfect for vine-growing, don’t miss out on taking yourself on one of its most popular wine tours. The best places are Binissalem and Santa Maria which are a short journey from Palma city centre either by bus or train. We suggest going by train so you can admire the charming countryside on the way.
4.Get lost in Palma’s Old Town. Truly, the best way to discover the Old Town is just to let yourself get lost in it. Wander through this maze of small, windy streets, peering at all the Renaissance, Baroque and Gothic architecture; discover places like the Basilica of Sant Francesc or the Museu de Mallorca and the array of small boutiques selling traditional Mallorcan olive oil, salt and herbs and spices. Getting tired? Sit yourself down and enjoy a full, Mallorcan-style breakfast (tostadas: tomato, and serrano jamon ham if preferred, spread on toast with olive oil and salt; freshly-squeezed orange juice and a café con leche) at one of the many cafés dotted around the Old Town.
5.Visit the sights. Palma at this time of the year is perfect for a city break. The streets are empty of tourists and you’re able to walk around for a good amount of time without the sun getting to you so much you want to dive head first into the sea at Palma’s Ca‘n Pere Antoni beach. Rent an audio tour at La Seu, the city’s striking 14th century cathedral, to learn all about this place of worship where once stood a mosque before great architects like Gaudí started working on it. You also have the Bellver Castle which offers spectacular views of the whole of Palma, reaching from just before Magaluf to past the Ca‘n Pere Antoni beach towards Portixol.
6.Enjoy getting fit for summer. Trying to get into shape after the Christmas holidays can be difficult, especially if you’re not a natural fitness fan. However, we’re sure that the spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea will motivate you. Why not buy a second-hand bike or pair of rollerblades and take advantage of the easy bike lanes alongside the beachside running from past Palma cathedral all the way through to S’Arenal, the German side of the island. Or if you find it difficult to stay motivated yourself, join a community of people also wishing to enjoy Mallorca, stay in shape and meet new people. Connect Lingus is the perfect choice for this. Weekly aerobics classes, language exchange meetups and outings to local nightlife means you’ll never be alone or bored in winter.
7.Paint the town red. Heading out for classy drinks with friends? The old district of Santa Catalina has everything you need. It’s packed with cosmopolitan places to dine and enjoy a relaxing evening of cocktails and good music. The same goes for La Lonja, the cocktails are admittedly more expensive there but worth it for a night filled with great food, atmosphere and people. On the other hand, if you really fancy letting your hair down, hail a taxi down to Palma’s Paseo Marítimo. Even though the big internationally-known clubs like Pacha are normally closed during low season, there’s a diverse array of bars and clubs depending on your music taste: feel at home with pop & chart music, experience Spanish music or dance the night away in the Brazilian club Made in Brazil (we’re not too sure you’ll learn all the moves in one night but it’s certainly fun to try!)
Now that you know Mallorca has a lot more to offer than just sun and beach, (even though that’s certainly a good enough reason to visit!) what are you waiting for? Go get on your rollerblades, hiking boots or dancing shoes!
If any of these activities sound like something you would like to do and want more information, Gran Isla Hotels reception can offer you advice on what hiking trails are best to take, how to go about renting a bike and any other tourist information you require.