The Most Beautiful Island Americans Have Never Heard Of: Mallorca, Spain

My thoughts two months ago when someone in Madrid mentioned Mallorca: “What in the world is Mallorca? A type of food?” Me two days ago: “I. LOVE. MALLORCA.” I had never even heard about it two months ago, and now I am astounded by the beauty one island in the Mediterranean can offer. Located east of the mainland of Spain, comprising one of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca is a wildly popular vacation destination for Germans and the British. After all, it’s only a 2-hour flight from the cold of Cologne to the warm beaches of El Arenal. Three days wasn’t enough to fully soak in the island, but it gave me a taste!

IMG_7896.jpgThe city of Palma is the capital of Mallorca and is the most populous city in the Balearic Islands. Looking in one direction, you see the Palma Cathedral, a 400-year-old cathedral spanning 1 and 1/3 football fields. In the other direction, you see the Royal Palace of La Almudaina, an official royal residence from the 14th Century.

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Palma Cathedral

My favorite aspect of visiting the island was that I went in November, out of peak season. Our last day there, my friend and I wanted to expand past our charted territory of El Arenal and Palma out toward other beaches. After spending 5 minutes on Google, I found the beach I wanted to visit: Camp de Mar. Thanks to Google Maps, I loaded our directions from our exact location to the beach, including walking maps and bus routes. Google makes international travel unimaginably easy.

After 2 hours of bus rides and €3, we hopped off at the Camp de Mar bus stop. Nobody else on the bus exited here, which may have been a good sign not to get off. But we didn’t regard it. The beach was a 2-minute walk away. Along the way, we passed 1 open restaurant for every 4 that were closed. As we approached the beach, it suddenly hit us that there was not a soul in sight! What? A private beach on a Spanish island for free? This area of Mallorca had obviously closed for the season, and it made for a beautiful experience! Mountains in the distance, clear blue waters at our feet, and a peaceful drizzle upon our faces. We spent two hours trying to make sense of the area’s beauty. If an island I never knew about two months ago could be one of the most beautiful sights I have beheld, then what else could possibly be out there?

After shivering from the light rain, we came to the only open restaurant in the area. About to order food, and the owner says, “No more food for the day. The chef has already gone home!” Wow, business really was dead here. A few hours and a few cafés con leche later, and we ventured back to the busy part of the island.

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Camp de Mar

And how could I forget Sóller and Port de Sóller! Nestled in the northern part of Mallorca, Sóller is an old-style town set against the backdrop of the Tramuntana Mountains. After a delightful ride along the wooden, city-wide train, we walked out onto a lining of rocks reaching from the beach into the sea. All that surrounded us: a port full of sail boats and smaller fishing boats; a 200-meter gap between two mountains, with a lighthouse on each peak; and layer upon layer of small hotels, each one set higher and further back than the last.

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Port de Sóller

What a beautiful trip! Looking forward to December’s journey toward Cologne, Germany for the German Christmas Markets, and a day in Milan, Italy!

As a last note, who ever said international travel was too expensive? My round-trip flight from Madrid to Mallorca was €45; the hostel was €15 per night; groceries were €10; and bus rides were €1,5. Four days in Mallorca totaled close to €150 for all expenses. And for December, my flight from Madrid to Cologne was €28, from Cologne to Milan was €10, and from Milan to Madrid was €30.

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