Mallorca is the perfect spot if you’re looking for an island with a child friendly vibe coupled with stunning scenery, dramatic coastlines and shallow turquoise water. With over 200 white sandy stretches to choose from and an array of charming Spanish towns, Mallorca is definitely one for every sailor’s bucket list.
Read on to find out Double Match Racing World Champion and America’s Cup Host, Simon Shaw’s top five favourite spots, while on a week sailing holiday aboard a Moorings 434 power catamaran with family and friends, including former Sugababes singer, Siobhán Donaghy.
With honey-coloured Moorish streets, aristocratic townhouses and Baroque churches, it’s hard not to see the allure of Mallorca’s bohemian capital city. Simon recommends to go off the beaten track to find a plethora of “Soho-style restaurants and independent boutiques”, just off the bustling square of Plaza Mayor.
Close by, along the riverfront, you can also spend the evening dining on fresh octopus carpaccio, seabass ceviche and grilled scallops at a number of local restaurants with a great view of La Seu. Simon mentioned that before they left The Moorings Palma base the following morning after the briefing, the base manager gave them some tips on must-do-stops that moulded the anchorages they stopped at across Mallorca’s coastline.
Punta Sa Foradada
Their first major stop was at Punta Sa Foradada, a small beautiful cove nestled in the Son Marroig Estate. Famed for its impressive landscapes including the landmark rock with a hole in it, from which Sa Foradada took its name, it’s understandable why this place made one of Simon’s top five spots. The couples’ anchored here for the afternoon, where Siobhán enjoyed snorkelling in the cobalt blue waters, while the rest relaxed onshore collecting shells, ending the day kicking back with a delicious tapas meal at sunset.
Sa Foradada, is one of those family restaurants you’ll remember long after your holidays ended. Known for its traditional paellas cooked over a wood-fired grill, the couples’ tried the restaurant’s traditional pa amb oli’, seafood paellas and eclectic selection of local Spanish wine. Simon comments that, “the restaurant was only accessible by boats and local families which gave it a really authentic feel. We didn’t feel like tourists at all”. With simple décor, and quirky rustic touches such as dried peppers and strings of garlic and hanging from the ceiling, they were open to the elements overlooking gorgeous Mediterranean views of ancient olive trees and orange-hued sunsets.
If you’re in the area, just ten minutes away by boat, takes you to the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site of Deià. This idyllic village of green shutters and ochre-coloured houses is perched in a ravine at the foot of the Teix Mountain. Its beauty has attracted a prolific amount of artists for decades, transforming the village into a cultural hub. The group anchored in Cala Deià, a small cove with clear waters and rock pools. After docking, they spent their time relaxing in Ca’s Patró March, a popular seaside restaurant after its appearancein ‘The Night Manager’ an international TV mini-series, based on the John Le Carré book.
Placida Torrent de Pareis
Simon’s also recommended Placida Torrent de Pareis, one of the most scenic and mountainous regions located along Mallorca’s dramatic north-west coast. The group spent another idyllic afternoon swimming in the turquoise waters just off the small beach cove. While there, Simon and his friends took some great aerial photos of the surrounding area, describing the scenery as “very Lord-of-the-rings-esque” and “breathtakingly spectacular”.
Regardless of its secluded feel, the small cove in Torrent de Pareis is a hotspot for tourists and can get pretty crowded, but luckily that didn’t seem to bother Simon and his family as they could just relax on board their catamaran, soaking in the panoramic views. With its generous open layout, the couples were able to enjoy a sunset BBQ that evening using the electric grill on the top deck. The babies, Babar and Ford, were very happy hanging out and roaming around the Cabins with Simon claiming, “the whole boat is one big, giant play pen.”
Port de soller
The picturesque village of Port de Soller, situated in a large horseshoe bay on the west coast, was another spot that made the top of Simon’s list — and it’s easy to see why. Nestled at the foot of Serra de Tramuntana, the village was notoriously difficult to get to, until tunnels opened up the region in the 1990s, which helped to preserve Port de Soller’s unique charm and rich culture.
Today, the quintessential Mallorcan fishing village, boasts an effortless mix of historic, rustic stone houses, kitsch art galleries and vintage trams, making it hard not to spend the day exploring this beautiful village. Simon suggests taking the tram with your family past the lemon and olive groves towards Plaça Constitució, a lively square of local cafes with a backdrop of the stunning Baroque church of Sant Bartomeu for dinner. Apart from its sheer beauty, the village is also a great place to stock up on supplies and food for the babies in local supermarkets.
Located in between the seemingly barren landscape of Porto Cristo and Cala Morlada lies the secluded, shingle beach of Cala Petita. “Motoring towards the entrance, our GPS couldn’t even pick up on where we were…that’s when you know you’ve come across a real hidden gem”, Simon comments.
Around a fifteen minute sail away from Mallorca’s famous Drach Caves, Cala Petita is best visited in the late afternoon when the sun turns the striking pink rocks a deeper shade. The tiny cove is a spectacular anchorage Simon said, where “in the middle of this beautiful nature reserve at sunset, we got an amazing glimpse of tortoises crossing the path with epic views in the background. It was definitely a money-can’t-buy type of experience with the family”.
Palma is one of the most famous Olympic sailing areas in Europe, which is why sometimes people overlook it as a family sailing holiday destination, but really, “Mallorca blends all the elements”, Simon explains. To really get a feel for Mallorcan culture, book a trip off-peak in September and get away from the crowds at a time when temperatures comfortably sit in the mid-twenties. If you’re on the search for a holiday with quintessential Spanish towns, mouth-watering cuisine and some of the world’s most dramatic Moorish coastlines, you’ve come to the right place.
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