Discover more about holidays to the beautiful islands in the Balearics Find out more here.
First trip to Majorca
The 5.30am pick up was much more pleasant than it had been during our winter trips, coinciding as it did with the singing birds and the sunrise.
I was excited for my first trip to Majorca and even packed the sun cream, although I knew it was optimistic given the busy week ahead of us!
As we flew into Palma, the island’s stunning mountains were in full view, even more so for those on the left hand side of the plane – in other words, for my boss Richard who “forgot” to tell me that this was the best seat in the house…
Our itinerary was a mixture of meetings with existing suppliers and potential new suppliers, and hotel visits, intertwined with zig-zagging across the island in the hire car.
Our first stop was in Cala Millor, to the east of the island, at one of our hotels for 2016, the Allsun Sumba and Borneo Resort. This hotel has a lovely, relaxed feel but there are also enough restaurants and little shops around to keep you amused.
Despite losing an hour when we landed, I somehow woke up before my alarm on Tuesday and decided to go for a run along the coast.
I ran along the promenade; the sun awakening and the sound of the waves washing against the shore were calming and beautiful as always.
I joked with Richard that running should be part of the Holiday Creator’s job description – with so little free time, it’s a great way to get to know a place and discover things off the beaten track.
I took a coastal path up towards Sa Coma, lined with yellow flowers and bushes and ran past a bar and restaurant that jutted out into the sea, looking down on Cala Millor to the left and Sa Coma to the right.
It was a gem of a place to enjoy a cold cerveza or some tapas, with the sea and the sky swallowing up the view. I made a note to self to return one day!
That day we met a supplier in Cala Millor and another in Calas de Majorca, visiting Porto Cristo on route; from here our passengers enjoy the Caves of Drach excursion.
Whilst eating lunch I was spoiled by one of my favourite sounds, the clinking of the boats on the harbour and the lapping water underneath them. The relaxed feel was replicated in the restaurant, where we’d aimed for a pit-stop meal.
We left over an hour later after being attended to by a typically relaxed and languorous Spanish waiter. It’s no wonder they take three hours for their lunchtime!
I realise that it’s not always practical but there is something very admirable about the time and effort that Spaniards dedicate to eating and spending time with each other over meals, taking pleasure in unwinding and savouring their delicious cuisine.
Needless to say we finished our day at about 7.30pm in Palmanova, when a lot of Spaniards get back from the office due to their extended lunches.
Here, we continued searching for possibilities to expand our Majorca hotel range. In this area you’ll find cove after cove, each with its own character, sandy beaches and lines of restaurants.
Take your pick from two tempting coves at a great value clifftop hotel in Majorca Find out more here.
In the evening we headed to Santa Ponca where pine trees huddle to create welcome areas of shade around the centre and many of the hotels look out on to the sea.
I was relieved to find a kettle on our arrival this evening after a long day, then immediately embarrassed by my own very English tendencies.
Sitting out on the balcony in the evening, answering emails and doing some reading, I was wholly grateful for this cornerstone of British culture! Spain however is renowned for its great coffee and many of our meetings begin with the warmth of its rich smells.
We went from Santa Ponca to Palma on Thursday to meet a big international supplier at their offices. Luckily we discovered that the satnav was mistakenly taking us to the Disney Store in the heart of Palma before we actually arrived there!
As somebody new to the job I love the fact that you can build relationships with people in the industry, get to know them and in some instances become very good friends.
Being able to communicate in Spanish makes this much more feasible and sustaining a proper dialogue with somebody, whilst learning colloquial phrases and hearing the tangs of various accents is an amazing feeling – and the reason I studied languages at university.
We were invited to lunch by a supplier in the heart of Palma, a city which was made the capital of the Balearic Islands when they became an autonomous region in 1983.
The gothic cathedral is as colossal and impressive as the 500 years it took to build and can be seen as you enter the city from the harbour side. Palms and birch trees are scattered all over.
The city is busy and certainly has a colonial feel; it’s very pleasant wandering around the streets and crossing the river that runs through the centre.
It feels like a place where you can breathe and slow down, unlike Manchester or London perhaps, helped undoubtedly by its position on the sea and the mountains in the far distance.
The tapas lunch was delicious. We had jamon iberico, a cured meat seen as a delicacy in Spain, and pinchos, which are small sandwiches. “Pincho” means spike/point, referring to the cocktail sticks that traditionally hold these tapas together.
There were also meat skewers, bread and alioli, the insanely garlicky mayonnaise, and olives (of which I must have eaten about 100 during the week!).
The supplier at this meeting promised me I could drive a Porsche when I return on my next trip.
I’m not sure he would have shaken my hand if he’d have seen my parallel parking around Folkestone; unfortunately I’m not sure my overdraft would be adequate to cover even the slightest scratch on a Porsche, but it’s always nice to be offered!
In the afternoon we headed back towards the east coast, further north this time to Puerto Pollensa. The backdrop of the mountains in the north makes driving in Majorca a pleasure, although you have to concentrate given the many groups of cyclists on the roads!
Majorca is where many of the top cyclists train and Richard believes he saw one of the stars of team Sky– the island certainly wasn’t lacking in red-faces and lycra!
After meeting with a local agent called Jaume, likely named after Jaume I of Aragon who reconquered Majorca after Moorish control from the ninth to the thirteenth century, I went running up the coast towards the Formenta peninsular.
This resort is a personal favourite of mine. The pines and proximity of the mountains give it a lush feel and the beach runs all along the edge of the water, interspersed by the occasional jetty.
I even managed a quick dip in the sea, renowned for its stillness due to the depth of the bay. Swimming between the patchwork of bright blue and navy waters, glimpsing the iridescent shine of the fish below, was a refreshing way to end the week.
A week had flown by. What I saw of Majorca was beautiful and I knew that the silhouetted mountains still held the beautiful mountainous towns of Deia, Soller and the LLudc monastery in their might for my next visit.
We just had time on Friday to visit a couple more hotels before heading to the airport and back to the office in Folkestone, to work on the fruits of our labour!
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