Alcudia in Mallorca

Hot foot to Mallorca!
‘If you think you know Spain think again!I remember that advertising slogan from a few years ago. Spain has constantly reinvented itself in the wake of huge economic turmoil to keep the tourists coming back. Very probably deriving benefit from the misfortunes of other popular holiday destinations like Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt, Spain is enjoying the favour of the sun seeker as much as ever.

We travelled to Alcudia on the Balearic island of Mallorca in early June and stayed in a chic boutique hotel called Alcudia Petit Hotel within the walls of in the old town of Alcudia. This is a very upmarket little place and still only about 20 minutes walk from the long white sandy beach and incredibly  shallow crystal blue waters of Alcudia bay if you need to get to the ocean.The hotel was in a great location and had a superb restaurant with a charming courtyard attached.

Fruit fortress

The old town has lots of pretty, windy streets with lovely shops and a wide range of great places to eat within a very compact area. You can walk around the old town walls and get a great view s over the town and out towards the Bay of Pollensa. You can visit the beautiful church of Sant Jaume or the real old bullring. I think they still do bullfights here but it’s not something I support, although I know it is part of Spain’s cultural heritage. I would always want the bulls to win and they never do..

Would you like to chat a Matador?

I love markets and Spain has lots of lively markets all over the island almost every day of the week. One of the biggest and best just happens to be in Alcudia on Tuesdays and Sundays. There is an amazing selection of fabulous fresh fruit and vegetables displayed with typical Spanish flair. There are gorgeous cheeses, cured meats and sausages. 

Cheese dreams tonight

All kinds of nuts, herbs and spices compete with Spanish nougat and other sweet treats for your attention. Apart from things to eat, there are also lots and lots of other goods which will undoubtedly tempt you to part with your Euros. Beautiful Mallorcan pearls aren’t cheap but there are lots of more affordable jewellery options as well as leather goods, arts and crafts andlots of lovely summer dresses.

Yes we have some bananas!

 Bright and colourful ceramics are a particular favourite of mine. and I did buy lots of pots and jugs and bowls, all of which required wrapping up in clothes and transporting carefully home in my hand luggage. My house is stuffed to the rafters with delicious ceramics, I think it’s a definite addiction. The market starts at 8am and runs until 1pm so you do need to get yourself out of bed or you will miss all the action!

Pots, pots, pots!

Mallorca has the best beaches in the Mediterranean and indeed one of its beaches S’Amarador was selected as the ‘Best Beach of Europe’ in 2008. Port d’Alcudia has an incredibly long stretch of perfect white sand and is shallow for such a long way out that it is really ideal for families with children or those with a fear of submersion.

Up up and away!

Cap de Formentor just up the coast from Alcudia, is a mountainous view point out over the Mediterranean. You can gaze out into the endless blue with the other tourists, but beware of the pick pockets. My brother spotted a couple operating up there using the distraction technique (one occupies the target and conceals what the other one is doing with a scarf.)  We wanted to report them but there was no one to report them to!

Love locks never go rusty

Beach life on Mallorca has the usual beach front cafes and bars, water sports and straw umbrellas for hire with their rather cute straw ‘quiffs’ dotted along the beach. Just off the beaches are the customary shopping, eating and drinking places – everything you could want for the perfect seaside holiday.

Quiff sand

As well as the usual eateries catering for the English abroad there are lots of delicious local alternatives. In the old town we had some fantastic meals. Gazpacho, cod with pureed potato and scallop broth, salmon with roasted vegetables and chicken and dill pasta with cream. Of course Tapas restaurants abound and there is always the accompaniment of fresh bread with aioli (garlic mayonnaise) which is impossible to resist. 

Panoramic portions at Satyricon

One restaurant we tried was the Satyricon in old Alcudia town which had an original Roman mosaic on the floor and had been an old theatre with beautiful frescoes on the wall and ceiling, and classical statues adding to the ambiance.  If you are still feeling peckish you could try one of the many types of ice creams and sorbets on offer. My water melon sorbet was absolutely delicious.

Wine wise, there is an excellent choice here and it’s much cheaper to buy than in the UK. There is a local Mallorcan wine that is very acceptable and I particularly enjoyed a Tempranillo Rose called Vina Albali. Of course there is also lots of classic Spanish Cava for those who like a bit of fizz.

Vino Collapso

Mallorca really does have something for everyone.  Beautiful beaches, countryside, mountains, markets, history and lovely old towns. There is fine food and wine to be had here as well as something for the tighter budget and of course glorious summer sunshine and a fantastic coastline ideal for exploring by car or motorbike.

Mallorca’s pleasant subtropical climate is one of the reasons why the island remains so popular. It doesn’t really rain in the summer months at all and has an average of 10-11 hours of sunshine every day. It stays nice right into the autumn months here and the sea also stays warm until October.
My recent visit reminded me why Spain has been a top holiday destination for so long, hopefully I’ll be back again before too long!