“Mallorca?” my friend Sam asked. “I don’t really see you as a Mallorca type.” I took another sip of my wine, laughing.
“I know,” I responded. “I don’t think I’m a ‘Mallorca type’, either. But I looked up the town where I’m staying, and it looks really beautiful and relaxing. Plus, I’m staying in a secluded villa.”
“How far is it from Magaluf?” Sam laughed.
“Hopefully far, far away,” I said, playfully slapping him on the arm.
Let me backtrack. For those of you who don’t know much about Mallorca – often spelt Majorca – it is the largest island in the Balearic Archipelago of Spain, located in the Mediterranean. Perhaps you’ve heard of its neighbour, Ibiza. And the thing about these islands is… they’re known for their partying. For their stag-dos, hen-dos, their all-night hedonism. They’re known for amazing nightlife, for clubs and house music, for a really, really fun time… if that’s your definition of a fun time, that is. And that’s the thing – that’s not my definition of a fun time. I don’t want to go out and hit up clubs full of 18-25 year olds doing shots of unidentifiable liquid. I like to party, I like to dance, I like to drink, but, much as my friend Sam said, I’m not exactly a ‘Mallorca type’.
But yes, you guessed it, I was completely, 100% wrong. I am totally a ‘Mallorca type’. I just didn’t know the truth about Mallorca, and that the paragraph I just wrote only describes a very small part of the island. The rest of the island – outside the area of Palma/Magaluf – is absolutely gorgeous, filled with sleepy Spanish villages, olive groves, and secluded beaches, and I will be writing more about my time there (and how to spend the perfect week on the island) soon. It’s also home to some of the most beautiful villas I’ve ever seen.
So let me backtrack even further. I hadn’t really considering visiting Mallorca until Travelopo contacted me and asked if I’d like to stay in one of their villas. To stay in a villa – is there anything more romantic-sounding than that? I even wrote about wanting to do that, albeit in Cinque Terre, Italy (quite ironic, given that I’ve now been there twice this year already) in a post last year about my 2016 travel goals. The opportunity came at a great time, as I had wanted to take my mum on a trip for a while, and I decided that this would be a nice Mother’s Day gift.
When I travel, I usually stay in hostels or boutique hotels. When I travel with my parents, we usually stay in hotels, or, like the time my mum took my family to Nicaragua, a condo or house that’s rented out for the week. The villa I stayed in on Mallorca, however, was something else. Three bedrooms, all of them full of natural light, and two full bathrooms. A beautiful foyer where sometimes my mum and I would sit and read. A fully-equipped kitchen, dining room, and sitting room, although we spend most of our time outdoors. And seriously, with a pool and a yard like that, why would we spend any time anywhere else?
Because that’s all we did. Seriously. We had these grand plans for the island, plans involving our rental car and days exploring the coast. The villa was so nice, however, that it instantly felt like home… albeit a gorgeous, peaceful home with a sparkling pool. We went through so many bottles of cava sitting by that pool, just reading, talking, lying in the sun. When I say it was the perfect holiday, I mean it – it was nothing but relaxation, good food, good wine, and laughter. While we did explore the nearby towns of Pollensa and Puerto Pollensa (both only a short drive or cheap taxi ride away), everything we wanted (and needed) was right there in the villa.
And while this may have been my first real stay in a villa, this experience has converted me. Beamed ceilings, whitewashed walls, a stone fireplace, a gated driveway, a tropical garden… it really did feel like paradise. And the price wasn’t so bad either – this particular villa starts at £927 per week. Yes, that sounds exorbitant, but I broke it down… if you rented this villa with some friends (it sleeps six people), it’s actually cheaper than most hostels in Western Europe and definitely cheaper than most hotels on the island, coming in at around £22 per person per night. We ended up eating out only twice, because the supermarkets were only a 15 minute walk away and we loved cooking all of our own Spanish food. I am already crafting plans of returning next year with a group of friends, spending our days in the sunshine. It turns out I really am a ‘Mallorca-type’ after all… the island and the beauty of our villa totally surprised me, and I hope to be back again soon.
Does this sound like a perfect holiday to you, too? Have you ever stayed in a villa before?
Many thanks to Travelopo who offered me a complimentary stay while I was in Mallorca. They offer deals on villas all over Europe, if you’re interested!
This sounds lovely. It’s like the best surprise when a place ends up being the opposite of its stereotypes. I love the idea of renting a villa like this in Spain, France, or Italy (or really anywhere–those are just the first that come to mind when I think relaxation and delicious food). I think my next trip post-UK/Ireland (only a few weeks away!! Ahh!!) needs to be one that basically involves some grade A relaxation. And probably needs to be somewhere really warm in the middle of a New England winter. *starts thinking* 🙂
I know, I’m totally planning other similar stays! I was totally blown away by the villa experience and, as mentioned, if there is a group it’s actually really affordable. Thanks for your comment, Paige!
I felt the same way about Ibiza. I had a hilarious/terrifying experience at a club because I was convinced by my brother-in-law that I needed to experience a “water party,” but aside from that nightmarish place, the island was a gorgeous mix of beaches, landscapes, and home to one of the most memorable (in a good way) meals I’ve ever had.
That villa looks gorgeous! I would love to get one in Ibiza or Formentera.
Ha ha, oh no… well at least you experienced it once…?! I would like to see Ibiza, I’ve heard it’s beautiful! Thanks for your comment, Katie…
What a lovely idea! That’s really smart to rent out a villa as a group. I’d imagine you’d get so much bang for your buck that way, plus the chance to create awesome valuable memories with those that you’re holidaying with. Honestly, I don’t see a downside to this.. It’s a win win! All that is needed is to rally up friends and family but they probably won’t need much convincing 😉 haha. I would love to this some day soon 🙂
Yeah, when I broke the price down it was super affordable… why would you do anything else?! I hope you get to experience a villa like this one very soon, Ella! Thanks for the comment. 🙂
What a lovely way to spend time catching up with you mum! The property looks fabulous and that pool…!
I know, it was the perfect way to spend time together! I easily could have stayed by that pool for another week…
This looks so nice! I have stayed in awesome airbnb rentals, but never a villa!
I would definitely recommend it!!
This is the kind of Mallorca holiday I could get on board with – pure relaxation!
Yes, it was so amazing! I would do it again in a heartbeat.
The Villa looks stunning, I think my family might just try that this year
I hope you do, it was so worth it!
I felt the exact same way when I visited Mallorca in January. I was expecting an island full of partygoers and drunken teenagers. Instead, I ended up exploring the coast and discovering the picturesque villages of the island’s interior, and I was definitely surprised! I so inspired that I wrote a blog post about all the places that prove Mallorca is more than just a party island.
It definitely is! I’m glad to hear that you had such a great time, too. Thanks for your comment, Danny!
I’d stay anywhere if it had a villa like that! What a lovely relaxing trip – and great Mother’s Day gift 🙂
I know – the villa was so amazing that it totally made the trip! 🙂
Such a wonderful place to relax! I so hope that the three of us can do something like this very soon!
I hope that, too! That would be incredible…
Villas are a great idea when you go away with friends. I got one in Fuerteventura a few years back and it was awesome! Private pool and everything!
Hi, I love the article, and I’d really love to hear from people on my post below. Any comments much appreciated! : )
Fellow travelers of Mallorca,
I would like to ask some questions for my upcoming early September 6-day trip to Mallorca. We are thinking to stay in Palma for 2 days and to spend 4 days near a beach. Just FYI we have a 6-month old baby who will be on his first international travel : )
Basically I am trying to resolve my desire to avoid the “mass market” (I’d like to stay in a quaint charming village) and “sleepy town” (I’d like there to be something going on in the evenings) in the Southeast of Mallorca. My question is generally whether Santanyi is a quaint village with enough nightlife to make it a perfect place to stay, or is it really more sleepy, suggesting that because we will be in the Southeast we should sacrifice our hunt for the idyllic and “unspoilt” and just stay in one of the resort towns of Cala d’Or, or somewhere in the area.
After seeing some pictures of Santanyi, I got the impression that it was a vibrant, charming little village and we decided to base in Santanyi for excursions to Cala Llombards, Cala Ratjan and the Cala d’Or area beaches. After walking the town via google, I got the impression of Santanyi was that it closes at 4 or 5 o’clock, a bit on the sleepy side with very little activity after 5p… I plan to be at a bar/restaurant from 5 or so daily, and am curious whether the village has real Mallorcan food, and also if it is as quaint and charming a village as you’ll find in the Southeast.
Also, it is important to us to have local Mallorcan cooking and culture.
Any general and specific thoughts you might have are greatly appreciated.
Just wanted to post a quick follow-on to my trip – your advice was super. In the end, we arrived in Palma, and drove through to Andratx where we made the trip up the cordillera, which anyone should put on the schedule. We drove Sa Calobra and la corbata, which we both agreed was super amazing and some of the most intense experience of the trip – but do it in full daylight. We did Cap de Formentor, which also ranks on must do, along with Pollenca. Pollenca is a place for some time, and if you don’t have time, for one night – it’s that village you’re looking for. We headed to the Cala d’Or area where we stayed, which I’d have preferred to stay a bit more “quaint village” – but you might be staying in a completely different area if you wanted that. Porto Petro is the place for dining. We drove through Santanyi quite a lot going around, and it didn’t seem like a place to stay. Our choices of beaches were perfect for those with a baby. Es Llombards and numerous others in that area were off the charts, without advanced hike for the serenity factor.
[…] – but beyond that, I was clueless. After a few years of living in London, I had the chance to visit Mallorca, and all of my preconceived notions about the island were thrown out the […]