Mallorca is the largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands. Although parts of the coast have been despoiled by mass tourism, the landscape inland is still exceptionally beautiful. The island has two mountain ranges, each about 40 miles in length. One of these, the Serra de Tramuntana, runs parallel to the west coast, where dramatic cliffs fall directly into the Mediterranean. Mallorca’s terraced hillsides are dotted with picturesque villages. Perhaps the most striking is Deià, which has long attracted writers and artists. Avoid the big package-tour beach towns on the outskirts of Palma and visit during the shoulder seasons.
Where to Eat Lunch
A favorite spot for lunch is Restaurant Miramar (Passeig Marítim 2), the best option in busy Port d’Alcúdia. Settling onto the spacious terrace during a recent trip, we started with grilled baby clams and then tucked into an epic arroz negro — or paella made with rice, cuttlefish and cuttlefish ink — garnished with red peppers and broad beans. Tel. (34) 971-545-293.
Scenic Hiking Trails
Mallorca has some lovely beaches, but many visitors choose the island as much for its hiking trails. One particularly scenic route is the ancient five-mile Son Castelló path from Deià to Soller, which affords splendid views of the coastline.
Artà’s Lively Market
On Tuesdays, I like to visit the pretty town of Artà for its lively market. In the surrounding region, the crafts of basketry and pottery still flourish.
The Island of Olive Oil
Olive oil has been produced here for centuries, and the silvery groves are a feature of the island’s landscape. The local oil made with young green olives has a strong, fruity, slightly bitter taste, while oil produced with ripe olives has a sweet finish and is pale yellow. Sa Cisterna (Calle Cisterna 1, Alcúdia) and Botigueta de Sant Miquel (Calle Sant Miquel 79, Palma) both carry a fine selection of Mallorcan olive oils, along with other local delicacies.