Palma de Mallorca, 31st Oct 07
OFF SEASON MALLORCA - TEN SUGGESTIONS FOR A WINTER BREAK
Mallorca, one of the Brit’s favourite overseas holiday destinations, continues to attract approximately nine million tourists annually. However, out of the busy summer season the island has much to offer the visitor.
1. Walk and Stay in Rural Properties
Rural tourism has regenerated Mallorca’s interior as people discover an alternative to the classic sea and sand resorts. The specialist tour operator, Inntravel, offer clients the opportunity to walk throughout Mallorca and stay at “agroturismos” (accommodation in rural areas) at the same time. For further information go to: www.inntravel.co.uk.
For more information on a wide variety of hotels on Mallorca and short break packages please go to:
Walking & Guided Walks
Palma – Sample a range of walks on different themes and areas of the city. Cost is €10 euros p.p. and all the walks are featured in several languages. Check with the local tourist office or website for more details: www.itineraris.org or Tel: + 34 971 720 720.
Calvia – (south west) 15 walks are featured in Valerie Crespi Green’s “Landscapes of Calvia”, available at all local tourist offices for 1 euro. Calvia Town Hall also organises guided walks throughout the winter season, including a special “Almond Blossom Walk” in February, as part of its “Winter in Calvia” programme for holiday visitors. Information: www.calvia.net.
Soller – (western mountain region) here two multi-lingual experienced guides are available throughout the winter and spring. They feature a variety of walks with different fitness level and can be contacted via their website: www.mallorcamuntanya.com.
Walks along ancient stone paths
These paths, which have been restored over the past few years, run mainly through old bridle ways close to the higher peaks of the Tramuntana mountain range. The route is divided into eight stages and each stage will have its own refuge when the restoration is complete. To date, two refuges are now open; Tossals Verds & Muleta. For further information in English go to:
Mallorca’s Walk & Eat Guide
In addition to Valerie Crespí-Green’s hiking guide book; “Landscapes of Mallorca”, she has now compiled a guide called; “Walk & Eat on Mallorca”. Both books are available in the UK from Sunflower Books.
Mallorca has a network of 1,250 kilometres of roads and approximately half of these are made up of minor and secondary roads, which over the last few years have been renovated and adapted for bicycle touring.
There is something for everyone whether amateur or professional, as the main cycle routes pass throughout the length of the island and feature long flat plains, gentle and steep slopes and spectacular mountain routes (approximately 20% of these roads pass in between the mountains). In addition, new signposting and special cycle lanes have been introduced. Further information and maps are available in local tourist offices.
The island currently has 22 courses in operation, two of which are private and two more are scheduled to open before the end of the year. The most recent to open include :
Golf Park Puntirò, which is located 10 kms from Palma near the village of Sineu. The 18 hole par 71 golf course has been designed by the Nicklaus Team. Information: Tel: (+ 34) 971 60 38 51 www.golfparkmallorca.com.
Son Muntaner. This 18 hole course is located in the prestigious Son Vida area close to Palma. Information: www.arabellagolf.com Tel: + 34 971 791210.
Golf Son Gual is an 18 hole (par 72) course located in the grounds of an old estate and is approximately 15 drive minutes from Palma’s International Airport. Information: Tel: + 34 971 791 532 www.son-gual.com.
For more information on all golf courses go to: www.infomallorca.net.
4. Helicopter Rides
Mallorca is simply stunning from the air. For visitors who want an exciting ride around the island, contact: Sloane Helicopters, Tel: + 34 971 794132 www.sloanehelicopters.com.
5. Discover Local Food and Wine
A whole food and wine culture has developed alongside the growth of agroturismo with an increasing demand from visitors to sample local produce and take it home. Vistors can follow the “Good Food & Wine Routes” featuring over 40 producers of local wine, olive oil, sausage/pates, cheese, almonds and fruit. More information: www.illesbalearsqualitat.com.
Award winning British sommeliers, Gordon and Carol Forrest are now organising wine tours, which are aimed at anyone with an interest in wine. The price of 95€ per person includes, transport, wine sampling and lunch.
Further information: www.majorcawinetour.com or Tel: + 34 971 495 422
Get cooking with Michelin Star awarded British chef, Marc Fosh, at his own “food emporium” in Palma called Fosh Food. Each class lasts just over two hours and starts from 45€ per person to include food, wine, water, coffee and a recipe to take home. Further information: www.foshfood.com
Explore Local Markets
On every day of the week, villages and towns across the island have their own regular markets. Each market has its own character reflecting the local produce of that area. Some of the most popular include: Santa Maria (Sunday), Sineu (Wednesday), Inca (Thursday) and Pollensa (Sunday).
Winter Music in Mallorca
The local government has put together a comprehensive guide to winter activities include a series of monthly classical concerts throughout the island. In many cases the concerts are free to attend. Monthly information is available from local tourist offices. Information: www.illesbalears.es
Check out the new winter line up at the Jazz Voyeur Club in Palma’s old town featuring a range of national and international jazz musicians. www.jazzvoyeur.com. The Blue Jazz Club at Palma’s Hotel Saratoga is open Thursday and Friday evenings when mainly local bands are featured. www.bluejazz.es.
Palma claims to have more art galleries per capita than any other Mediterranean city. Year round, the island features a varied schedule of exhibitions in its museums, for example;
“Between Picasso and Dubuffett” – The Jean Planque Private Collection at La Caixa Foundation - 14/12/2007 to 24/02/2008.
Jean Planque amassed a collection of the most important artists of the 20th century and features paintings by Braque, Cézanne, Clavé, Degas, Dubuffet, Gauguin, Léger, Monet, Palazuelo, Picasso, Renoir, Tàpies and Van Gogh. Open Mondays to Saturdays, 10.00 – 21.00, free entrance. www.fundacio1.lacaixa.es
“The M & M Collection – A Passion for Photography” – at the Es Baluard Contemporary Art Museum - now until 06/01/2008.
This exhibition comprises of 190 photos from a private collection of the famous Swiss photographers Michel and Michèle Auer. The work of many of the top contemporary photographers is featured including work by Cartier Bresson and Man Ray. www.esbaluard.org
Unveiled earlier this year, the new mural of internationally renowned Mallorcan artist, Miquel Barcelo, took seven years to complete. This spectacular, three dimensional ceramic mural depicts the miracle of the loaves and fishes and covers 300 m2, in Saint Peter’s Chapel in Palma’s famous gothic cathedral. In addition, Barcelo designed the chapel’s five stained glass windows, all of which are 12 metres high. For more information on his work: www.miquelbarcelo.org.
Jakober Art Foundation and Gardens - Alcudia
Founded in 1993, this art foundation is a must for any visitor interested in art, and is now open all year round to the public. The main attraction is a collection of more than 130 portraits of children from the major royal families dating back from the 16th- 19th century. There is also an open air sculpture trail around the gardens which includes its famous Rose Garden www.fundacionjakober.org.
The Robert Graves Museum – Deia
The Ca N’Alluny Finca, which was built by the celebrated British poet Robert Graves in 1932, is now open to the public. The Robert Graves Museum provides a general overview of the author’s life and works and features some of his most personal documents www.fundaciorobertgraves.org.
7. Visit a Spa
The island now features over 50 established spas on the island and 17 of the largest and most comprehensive are listed in a new brochure called “Spas” available from all tourist offices. This year two new ecological natural spas have entered the list; The Blau Porto Petro Spa at Porto Petro (east coast) www.blau-hotels.com and at the Nixe Palace Hotel just outside Palma, www.hotelnixepalace.com. For more information go to: www.illesbalears.es
and look under the section on “health tourism”.
The majority of shops throughout Palma and throughout the island are open throughout the day (although some traditionally close at lunchtime). The strength of sterling makes Mallorca particularly good value for the British on a wide selection of goods over prices in the UK. A good shopping guide to the island is available from all local tourist offices.
9. Ride on the Soller Train.
The ever popular antique train starts from its own station in Palma’s Plaza España and ends in the historic town of Soller. The train takes a spectacular route through the mountains and, if you catch the right train, it stops enroute so that passengers can enjoy a wonderful viewpoint high above the mountains and overlooking the town of Soller. When you arrive take time to see the station’s exhibition featuring a collection of Miro paintings, Picasso ceramics and various black and white photographs of the two artists at work. Further information from local tourist offices.
10. Experience a Local Fiesta
At this time of the year there are many fiestas apart from Christmas and New Year. Saint Anthony – the patron saint of animals – people bring their animals to be blessed to the local church (17th January); Saint Sebastian (January 20th) is the patron saint of Palma and all the plazas feature different types of live music. Bonfires and barbecue grills are lit around the city so that revellers can grill their own supper as they enjoy the music. Information: www.infomallorca.net.
For further information, please contact:
Mallorca Tourist Board, Dominique Carroll / Anna Skidmore,
Tel:(+34) 971 725 396 Fax: (+34) 971 713 540
Further Press Releases:
GOOD NEWS FOR MALLORCA IN 2012 (09th Feb 12)
THREE KINGS - THE FESTIVITIES CONTINUE! (05th Jan 12)
FESTIVE SWEETS CAN BE HEAVENLY (05th Jan 12)