Mallorca: Port de Soller & Palma

At work we’re always reminded not to write our presentations in the format of ‘what I did in my holidays’, but rather to think about what overall message we’re trying to convey and construct our slides in that manner. The story needs to be strongly weaved throughout each slide, and if it’s just informing others of what we did then it has no place in the story and is scrapped.
I try to bring that ethos here, but you know what, sometimes I just want to write about what I did on my holidays. I’m not at work! You can’t make me!

So back to the point. Last weekend I had the pleasure of just 4 days in the Spanish sunshine on the beautiful island of Mallorca. This is what happened.
After a brutal 3am wakeup call and a miserable stint in Luton airport, I was on my way to Palma. The flight is only 2 hours which is a great length for a flight. Long enough to really get into a book, without getting too hungry. I spent the flight listening to Beach Music by Pat Conroy. It’s an epic of a book, and after 22 hours I was nearly finished. It is a great book, but wow is it long.
Upon landing, I found our taxi driver and waited for the two other colleagues who’d be sharing the taxi with me. You see, we were on a work trip – a team building excursion that happens once a year. Last year we camped in the New Forest, so this was quite the treat.
40 minutes of citrus trees, terraces and mountains later we pulled up to our hotel. We stayed at the Jumeirah Port Soller, and it was incredible. I was checked in with the aid of a refreshing glass of juice and a cold towel, and shown to my room by an enthusiastic bell boy. The hotel is quite new and the staff all seem so proud of it – with good reason. 

I just couldn’t get over how blue the sea was.

We had about 30 seconds flat to settle into our delightful rooms, and then it was on with the activities.

That afternoon was spent on a teambuilding activity of a treasure hunt around the local towns of Port de Soller and Soller town. We mostly stayed in Soller town but we did get the tram between the two locations. 

Unfortunately, I was so busy completing the trivia portion of the treasure hunt (long story) that I did not enjoy the tram journey as much as I should have. I thought I’d be going back on it, so I didn’t pay attention – but sod’s law, that didn’t happen so now I’m kicking myself.

The town itself was super pretty, and I’d like to go back and explore properly one day.

That evening we had a barbecue put on by the hotel, which was amazing. We had the most gorgeous view out over the water from the tables, and the food was delicious as well. When the sides are this good, you know you’re in for a treat.

The next morning was an early start as we all headed out on boats for the day. There were 30 of us, and we were split evenly across three big boats. We puttered out of the harbour and along the coast for about 45 minutes, and it rained the entire way. What was that about Spanish weather?!

Eventually we pulled into a secluded harbour, which had a cool rock with a hole in it. Some brave souls jumped into the sea, but then not one, not two, but 7 people were promptly stung by jellyfish. Ouch! 

Packed lunches were distributed, at which point I realised that the repeated reassurances that there would be gluten free food for me were premature, as there was none. Given we were bobbing in the ocean, there was nowhere else I could get food, either. Kind colleagues donated the fruit from their packed lunches so mine consisted of two apples and a banana. Not amused. Soon enough we decided to head back to harbour, as an after lunch swim didn’t seem to be on the cards. 

The weather had brightened up a bit, so it was a much nicer cruise back into harbour. Some folks were feeling rather green around the gills by this stage (not to mention the stung ones, not to mention the hangry ones) so our skipper put his foot down and got us back on solid ground in record time. 

We spent the rest of the afternoon in or around the beautiful infinity pool back at the hotel. I really didn’t want to leave – I could have happily set up camp there for the rest of my days.

The pool did seem to stretch on into infinity – the blue of the pool mixing into the blue of the ocean, and then into the blue of the sky. Over the edge of the pool had been planted lavender, which gave a beautifully scented swim. Then we decided to investigate the spa…

I’m very glad we did because the views were just as incredible. Sat reclining in the warm jacuzzi with a view up and over the mountains is etched onto my mind. It was so relaxing! We gave the various saunas, hammams and salt rooms a go but to be honest they’re not really my thing. I quite liked the ice room, but mostly just for the décor.

That evening, 4 of us shared a taxi into Palma, and met up for dinner after we’d checked into our lodgings. I chose for us, and picked the amazing St Lorenzo’s restaurant. If you’re gluten free (or just like good food and good service) you absolutely have to visit this restaurant. The proprietress was so, so friendly and the food was delicious. There was a lot on offer that was gluten free; meatballs, calamari (in batter!), pizza, patatas bravas, and the grand finale was a dulche de leche crepe which I’m still dreaming about.

We left the restaurant having been mistaken for a group of actresses (not sure this is a compliment or an insult?!), and I went to meet S fresh off the plane.

The next two days were a lot less action packed, but a lot more food-and-drink packed (which is the way I like it!). We returned to St Lorenzo’s for the crepes, and Patricia was kind enough to let us take away extra for our breakfast the next morning. 

We totally failed to find anywhere else to eat that was half as good, so we figured we’d just go with what we knew to be amazing. Sidenote: I’m totally convinced that Coca Cola Light, which you can only buy on the continent, is superior to Diet Coke. Anyone else share this view…?

We basically just enjoyed wandering around the city in the sunshine, looking at pretty old buildings… 

…and eating whenever we fancied it.

What do you think of what I did on my holidays post? Is this kind of straight recap a bit of a snooze fest, or your preferred way of reading about people’s trips?

I’ll leave you at the port at Palma, the sun hot on our heads and a gentle breeze making the sails chink musically against the masts.

Until next time, Palma!

-Rachel


Linking up with ChristineSaraLauren Bonnie for Travel Tuesday, with Malinda for Wednesday Wanderlust, and with KateEmily Kerri for Wanderlust Wednesdays.

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36 Comments

  1. 7th July 2015 / 23:49

    You make the list of activities work, don’t worry! That restaurant does look epic, as does that incredible swimming pool!!! Can’t wait to get to Palma someday!

    • 8th July 2015 / 13:35

      Oh good, I’m glad you think so. The restaurant was so dreamy! I could have eaten those pancakes alone all weekend. And the pool… no words. I hope you do make it to Palma, let me know if you do!

  2. 8th July 2015 / 08:46

    I love reading this way about people’s trips. I think that you already might encounter endless amount of posts about something but a person telling the story of what made this trip special is priceless. Plus, I got total work envy. Where do you work and how can I apply? haha!

    • 8th July 2015 / 13:34

      I’m glad you liked it, and thanks for your feedback. I suppose I get so used to seeing all these buzzfeedy lists that I get nervous about posting something more ‘pedestrian’! But if it goes down well then I may just keep doing it!

  3. 8th July 2015 / 13:35

    That swimming pool!! WOW! Such wonderful pictures. And teh food looks amazing.

    • 8th July 2015 / 14:05

      The pool was unbelievable. I’ve only ever seen things like that in magazines before! It was an amazing place to swim. Like swimming off the edge of the world. Food was pretty darn good, too!

  4. Kerri Taylor
    8th July 2015 / 13:38

    ALL that food – omg. and well the sights too. it just looks majestical there! breathtaking. thanks for linking up girl! xo

    cheshirekatblog.com

    • 8th July 2015 / 14:04

      Oh my it was so good. The sights were an added bonus! It was a lovely lovely place to spend a long weekend.

  5. 8th July 2015 / 14:03

    Wow that sea! That pool! The food! Ha I need to talk to my boss about doing this for our department! 😛

    • 8th July 2015 / 14:04

      I know right! Such a treat. I highly recommend it! Good luck with your boss 😉

  6. 8th July 2015 / 15:36

    Wow, you have a cool job. 🙂 Such beautiful views! I do like this kind of post, following you along on your journey. I like the lists and general tips posts too, but the “what I did” posts are great because you get to know the blogger while still seeing great photos and learning what to do.

    • 10th July 2015 / 21:13

      Trust me it’s not like this every day! I’m pleased you like the “what I did” posts, I just feel like I’m being boring when I write them but maybe I’ll go with it more often! I do have a tendency to ramble though so need to keep it in check sometimes… Good point about the getting to know you part, too. Thanks for the helpful feedback!

  7. 8th July 2015 / 16:53

    Those views are amazing! And that food!

    • 10th July 2015 / 21:09

      I know, right!? I can also vouch for the food. Delicious.

  8. Lauren Bochicchio
    8th July 2015 / 18:12

    What beautiful pictures!

    • 10th July 2015 / 21:08

      Thank you! I’m glad you liked them!

  9. 8th July 2015 / 18:16

    I love Mallorca – we have spent the last two trips with the kids visiting the island, last year we made it to Port Soller and Soller – the children LOVED the tram ride and as we did the train to the tram they were in even more awe of the place. It’s a wonderful island not at all how I imagined it to be as I have spent much of my life avoiding the Balearics and other areas of the continent.

    • 10th July 2015 / 21:08

      Ha yes I know what you mean about the Balearics – they do have a bit of a bad name, don’t they?! It’s the first time I’ve been to any of them, and I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a genuinely beautiful place. Did you find it kid-friendly in general? And I’m so cross with myself for not paying attention on the tram! Sounds like I really missed out!

      • 10th July 2015 / 21:17

        Out of the main tourist areas like Palma, it was amazingly kid friendly. We did one of the lesser known caves (coves de campenet), Sa Colobra early before the coaches arrived and walking up the gorge as well as Pollensa and Puerto Pollensa. I don’t know whether because my kids know a little Spanish and I speak it fluently, but all the locals we met were so friendly and kind with the kids. They are a little disappointed that we aren’t going back this year but Orlando and the East Coast of Florida has cheered them up.

        • 14th July 2015 / 17:16

          I can imagine the Spanish speaking went down very well. I try but my Spanish is pidgin at best! And I’m sure Florida will be a decent enough consolation prize… Sounds alright to me!

  10. 8th July 2015 / 19:12

    Gorgeous pictures! I was in Palma on a cruise stop last year so didn’t get to explore it nearly as much as you did. I’ll definitely have to go back and stay there 🙂

    • 10th July 2015 / 21:06

      Ooooh a cruise. Where else did you stop? I’d definitely recommend a slightly longer visit – I for one would like to go back to the countryside and the coastline in particular. Just so beautiful.

    • 10th July 2015 / 21:05

      Thank you! Yes, it was pretty magical. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. 9th July 2015 / 05:11

    These places are so gorgeous! The food looks amazing too. I need some island time!

    • 10th July 2015 / 21:05

      They really, really were. I just couldn’t get over the scenery; I didn’t realise the hotel was so up high on the cliffs. Island time is the best kind of time 🙂

  12. 9th July 2015 / 12:04

    I could easily suffer through a team building trip if I got to do it here!

    Thanks for joining in #wednesdaywanderlust

    • 10th July 2015 / 21:04

      Yeah, it wasn’t really a hardship…. there’s no covering that one up!

  13. 9th July 2015 / 17:37

    The infinity pool looks so serene and relaxing! Gorgeous photos and the food looks amazing too!

    • 10th July 2015 / 21:03

      Seriously, it was out of this world. I was more relaxed than I’ve been in ages! Glad you liked the photos!

    • 10th July 2015 / 21:02

      It really is different, isn’t it?! I always wish I could take more back with me. Stupid plane liquid restrictions! Yep as work trips go I really can’t complain 🙂

  14. kim - Kiwis Say Oui
    15th July 2015 / 21:40

    Hi we visited Minorca this year and it was fantastic. Beautiful and hot and really relaxed. I like the narrative style of the blog too. More truthful than all the ‘paid advertisement’ style travel blogs around!
    #wednesdaywanderlust
    http://www.kiwissayoui.blogspot.com

    • 15th July 2015 / 22:26

      I haven’t heard a great deal about Minorca I have to say. What kind of things did you do/place did you stay? If it’s anything like Mallorca then I may have to pay a visit! Thank you for your kind words about the blog – it really means a lot.

      • kim - Kiwis Say Oui
        15th July 2015 / 22:33

        Mahon in Menorca is lovely and you have to visit the beach at Punta Prima. We were just there on a cruise for one day. The food everywhere in Spain is absolutely divine and really cheap.

        • 16th July 2015 / 14:51

          Sounds good to me. And I totally agree about Spanish food; it’s some of my favourite. Every time I go I can’t get over it!

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