Things to do in Mallorca
Fancy a break from the tennis? here are some other things you can get up to whilst in Mallorca
Mallorca has its fair share of fine (if over-populated) beaches, but few can compare to the idyllic coves that crenellate the Menorcan coast. Many can only be reached on foot, and with their fine bleached sands and pellucid shallow waters, it doesn’t take a great leap of imagination to fancy yourself in the Caribbean. The twin beaches of Cala Macarella and Cala Macarelleta, and Cala en Turqueta in the southern part of the island are some of the best. Divers, meanwhile, are spoilt in Menorca, with visibility of up to 30 metres (100 feet) and water temperatures of up to 25 degrees Celsius during high season.
The Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, stretching down Mallorca’s west coast, is the island’s most spectacular natural asset, offering memorable climbing, hiking, cycling and bird watching, and little tourist development. A good introductory hike is the route up to the ruined monastery of La Trapa (9km. Circular. 3hrs, with possible extension) in the south-west; more experienced trekkers should try the popular Tossals Verds (13km. Circular. 4hrs 30mins) route. If you prefer to see the serra from the comfort of a car, a drive along the coastal road from Port d’Andratx to Sóller should not be missed, with some of the most dramatic scenery to be found in Europe.
Works of art
Palma’s art scene has notably improved over the past few years, with the opening of modern and contemporary art mecca Es Baluard, Museu d'Art Modern i Contempoani de Palma in 2004, and with the strengthening of its popular Nit de l’Art (Art Night, 3rd Thur of September). Miró’s time in Palma is underdocumented outside of Mallorca; the Catalan artist had several prolific years of artistic creation in his studio on the outskirts of the city, which can be visited. Outside of the Mallorcan capital, there’s an unlikely and original art find in the form of the Fundación Yannick y Ben Jakober (sculptures are dotted around the island and a collection of more than 140 painting of children are exhibited former subterranean water cistern) on the Bay of Alcúdia, while the village of Deià is something of an enclave for expat artists;
The islands’ local industries (aside from tourism) are deeply connected with national identity, being centered around heritage crafts such as shoe-making, glass-making and the production of local foodstuff, such as the emblematic ensaïmada pastry and sobrassada sausage – both of which are unmissable for foodies. Town markets are a good way of appreciating local products, with some of the best ones to be found in Palma, Alcúdia, Artà, Sineu, Inca, Bunyola and Santanyí. Mallorca’s wine industry is a growing sector, with tasting tours available in the island’s main vineyard region of Binissalem (see Tasting tours below), while gin has been the tipple of choice in Menorca since British rule in the 18th century; Maó’s Gin Xoriguer factory runs tours. And for a trip back in time, to when citrus growers on the west coast used to take their products to Palma’s markets, take a trip on the old-school Palma–Sóller