WANDERLUST: Mallorca Magic

Photos: Jamie Neben

Armchair travel with superyacht chef Jamie Neben as he sails in the Mediterranean.

Mallorca is the largest of the Spanish Balearic Islands, sitting about 200km off mainland Spain in the Mediterranean ocean. With its stunning beaches, dramatic cliffs, and clear waters it’s no wonder it’s called the crown Jewel of the Islands.

Mallorca boasts over 400km of hiking trails and is a bit of a cycling mecca with many big cycling teams training for the Tour de France.

Sadly, with not much time to explore, I swapped the push bike for a scooter to explore the island. I highly recommend visiting the main city of Palma (dubbed a mini-Barcelona by some) which can be difficult at the best of times to navigate and park, in its maze of streets…. but the architecture is truly amazing, you’ll always be looking up.

The city itself can be dated back to at least 2000 years when it was founded by the Romans. There’s a neat wine bar or tapas in practically every street you turn to.

They even have one of the first and few remaining circular castles with a great view of the city (see picture).

Don’t forget to check out the cathedral. (See picture).

After a quick bite, I headed north. If you take the highway that heads up the centre of the island it cuts a lot of time off the coastal trip.

My first stop was Mirador Es Colomer in the north-west of the island that offers a panoramic view. After that I headed to Sa Calobra Road or the Snake Road, dubbed as Spain’s most dangerous road and with over 50 hairpins and average gradient of seven per cent.

I need to mention that most of the road has no centre line, and you share it with coaches, cars trucks and cyclists. (See picture)

The picturesque Port de Soller known for its artisan ice-cream is worth a visit. If you are heading that way, you can take the old wooden train from Palma.

Provided you get a table reservation, I recommend visiting ES Verger a quirky restaurant known for its slow roasted lamb, made famous by Rick Stein who said it was the best lamb he had ever tasted.

Arrive early and work up an appetite. There is a wicked hike up to Alaro Castle that starts at the restaurant. The restaurant itself is in an old, converted farmhouse and barn sitting up on the hills behind the town of Alaro. Adios, until next time.

Related: WANDERLUST: Breathtaking vistas