This is a post from Katie Belle
With enough rain at home during the past few months to last anyone a lifetime, it’s time for a bit of Spanish sunshine. Visiting Spain, with its laidback lifestyle and balmy temperatures never fails to make me happy. Couple that with the abundance of cheap flights, and a visit to the Balearic Islands is the ideal antidote to the British weather.
Alcudia in Majorca has been recommended by fellow travellers as a place, thankfully, bereft of rowdy Brits, so I decide to check it out. I’m visiting in low season for some peace and relaxation – and it means it’s the ideal time of year to enjoy good hotel rates. There’s a wide choice of accommodation in Alcudia with everything from tiny blocks of self-catering apartments to huge all-inclusive complexes like the BelleVue Club, renowned as one of the largest resort complexes in Europe.
It’s also easy to get to Alcudia from Palma. If you don’t want to hire a car or pay for a taxi, you can do what I did and take the bus from the airport into Palma city centre before walking 300m to the main bus station to catch the L351 to Port d’Alcudia for the 40 mile bus ride.
I base myself in the old town, a part of Alcudia steeped in history and character with well-preserved houses dating back to the 13th century and a Medieval Wall that you can walk around.
I spend a happy morning bartering in the market, which is held twice a week in the old town, before exploring Alcudia’s historical winding streets, finally venturing out of the town walls to see the Roman remains at Pollentia.
Good food and fine wine
The area boasts a plethora of restaurants, serving everything from British fayre to traditional Spanish cuisine so choosing just one for dinner is tricky. But, fellow travellers have suggested the Mirador de la Victoria which is perfect on a February evening. A warming fire is lit in the main restaurant as I choose from a menu that is heavy with traditional Majorcan specialities. I opt for moorish, garlicky Almond soup, followed by melt-in-the-mouth suckling pig, all washed down with the house Majorcan red. The terrace, with its sea views, looks perfect for summer evening dining.
For a cheaper lunch option, I discover the Melu restaurant serves a good-value set menu featuring local seasonal food at only 8.50 euros for three courses, including a glass of wine.
The beauty of staying on one of the Balearic Islands is the ease with which you can island hop by jumping on a ferry. And, this part of Majorca is nearest to its neighbour, so, the next day, I take a day trip to Menorca to visit its capital Mahon, the only city in Spain with Georgian architecture.
Leaving at 10am, the ferry to Ciutadella takes just one-and-a-half hours so it leaves plenty of time for exploration during the day. It’s a bit breezy when I travel, but the sun is shining and I manage to find a sheltered spot to relax and catch some early spring rays on deck.
Getting the bus to Mahon, once we dock in Menorca, is the perfect way to see some of the island’s spectacular scenery during the hour-long journey. Owned by Britain during periods of time from 1713 up until the Treaty of Amiens in 1802, Mahon has a unique, Georgian feel different to anywhere else on the island.
It is no wonder that the British Navy was interested in Mahon, as it has the second deepest natural harbour in the world after Sydney in Australia being 5 km long and up to 900 metres wide.
I had a great day Mahon enjoying a lovely lunch at one of the restaurants that line the marina, but is was soon time to get the bus and head back to Ciutadella in time to catch the ferry.
With a few more days left in Alcudia, there are plenty more attractions to see, not least the stunning blue flag beach at nearby Puerto Alcudia and the Caves of Drach, but they will have to wait for tomorrow. I spend my evening soaking up as much of the historic atmosphere of Alcudia’s old town and treat myself to the five-course menu at the Genestar. Owner Joan Genestar changes the menu daily, depending on what is available at market that day. It’s a feast of traditional Majorcan produce and wine that’s the perfect end to my day.
This post was written by Katie who is a rookie travel and food blogger. You can follow her adventures on twitter @delightsomeblog.