Kimberlee Oo

When I booked my ticket to Mallorca, I was imagining sublime white sand beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters and a bronzed version of myself, sipping fruity sangria and snacking on patatas bravas. And yes, while all of this is possible in Mallorca, there are also lots of high-rise resorts and all-inclusive package hotels. Which is fine if you’re looking for an easy, hassle-free, all-you-can-eat-and-drink holiday, but I was after something a little more authentic.

Luckily, my boyfriend and I had booked a car so we were free to drive all over the island. It is indeed a beautiful place; you just need to know where to go (and where to avoid).

Skip Es Trenc, go to Cala Llombards instead

We stumbled upon Cala Llombards by accident. I’d read that Es Trenc was the most beautiful beach in all of Mallorca so of course we wanted to go and check it out. As did about a thousand other people. It was mayhem – I’ve never seen a beach that busy, noisy and jam-packed with people. You literally had to tiptoe around towels and umbrellas, and even then, you’d still kick sand in someone’s face.

However, I was determined to find some of these so-called ‘secret beaches’. We got back in the car and followed some rundown signs to Cala Llombards. Best decision ever. The beach was smaller but there were only about a handful of people lounging around the sunbeds or drinking cold beers at the beach bar. There’s also a rock ledge that you can walk around and jump off the cliff into the deeper waters.

Spend a day in Pollença

Pollença, in the north of the island, was a pleasant surprise. It’s a pretty little mountain village, filled with terracotta-coloured houses and a lively market. We walked up the 365 Calvari Steps to admire the view from the hilltop chapel and grab a much-needed bottle of water.

 

We left Pollença and continued to drive all the way to Cap Formentor and its lighthouse, which took us on a long winding road where the occasional mountain goat would pop out to bleat ‘hello’. The road also curves over one of Mallorca’s most remote beaches – Cala Figuera. However, we only admired it from afar since it was a steep 20-minute walk down to the bottom and we’d definitely had our fair share of steps for that day.

 

One thing I learnt about Mallorca: the most beautiful beaches are also the most difficult to get to (hence why there are no tourists). Be prepared to walk for 15-30 minutes to get to those secluded spots, but it’s worth it when you get a postcard-perfect beach all to yourself.

Do a boat trip to Cala Varques

My advice? Book a boat trip. The best spots are completely remote and wild, which makes them pretty hard to get to. A catamaran or sailing day trip lets you stop off at several different coves and beaches that you can’t access any other way.

 

Sea caves and grottos are everywhere along the coast. The easiest way to get to them is by boat, and many will have snorkelling gear on board for you to use free of charge.

We spent our last day on a small sailing excursion that made its way down the east coast with several swimming stops. Cala Varques was by far the highlight – we dropped anchor out further from the beach and the water was unlike any blue I’ve ever seen. Because our group was so small (11 people maximum), our captain took us to another secret grotto where we could snorkel through a hidden sea cave.

 

Things to know:

  • Cala Millor is like the Cancun of Mallorca. There are lots of British and German tourists here so don’t expect tapas, paella and Spanish specialities – it’s more likely hamburgers, fish and chips and schnitzel. We found a lovely restaurant in Cala Bona called Sa Punta. Book in advance.
  • Hire a car. Mallorca is the biggest of the Balearic Islands and is very mountainous so it can take a surprisingly long time to get from one side to the other.
  • Palma is definitely worth spending time in – it’s a lot less touristy than the beach resorts and has some stunning old cathedrals and castles.

Kimberlee Oo is a freelance writer and French-English translator who moved to Paris in pursuit of the perfect croissant.

Instagram: @kymbali20; Snapchat: kymbali20

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance. You should always read the PDS available from your travel insurance provider to understand the limits, exclusions and conditions of your policy and to ensure any activities you undertake are covered by your policy.