Anyone wishing to venture outside the Arabella Golf & Spa Resort and explore the surrounding area can borrow one of our luxury cars. But whether you're zipping around in a sportscar or travelling in a more leisurely style: there are charming villages, beauty spots and wonderful landscapes to discover in every direction.
The tug of the north
A trip to Valldemossa is a must for all music lovers and the nostalgically inclined. The first person to purchase a holiday property in Mallorca was Archduke Ludwig Salvator. Actor Michael Douglas and his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones now live in his villa S’Estaca. The manor house is situated on the Valdemossa-Deià road and is open to the public as a museum. But the beautiful view from the property's terrace almost out-dazzles the exhibits.
Frederic Chopin and the author George Sand spent a winter in the Carthusian monastery of Valldemossa. Sand describes her experiences in her book "Winter in Majorca". Today, concerts are regularly held in the monastery.
One of Mallorca's most charming nooks is the little town of Sóller, which lies in an almost circular natural bay with deep blue sea, a sandy beach, rocky headlands, expansive citrus plantations and high mountains which provide shelter from three sides. Be sure to take a trip with the Orange Express, a veteran tram line through the old streets of the little town, which passes through orange plantations to the Port de Sóller, four kilometers away.
The mountains around Sóller, part of the Serra de Tramuntana range, enjoy a reputation as a varied hiking region. There is many a challenging route, even for the practised mountaineer, for example a descent through wild fissured torrents such as the Torrent de Pareis or the Torrent de Mortitx. Free climbers can enjoy the climbing routes close to the sea on the cliffs near Sóller or the Cala Santanyí in the west of the island.
The most important place of pilgrimage in Mallorca is the Monastery of Lluc. The fabric of the current building originates from the 17th and 18th centuries. But the monastery was first established at this location back in 1250, at the spot where a shepherd boy called Lluc is said to have discovered a picture of the Virgin Mary. The monastery is the point of departure when climbing the 1348-m-high Puig de Massanella. And it is certainly worth the effort, for the view from the peak is overwhelming.
The winding 13.5-km-long road to the northernmost point of the island, the Cap de Formentor, is sure to raise the pulse of every keen driver. It leads from Port de Pollenca to Cap Formentor and is a masterpiece of the Italian engineer Antonio Paretti. The bays Cala Figuera, Cala Murta and the Cala Pi de la Posada are located along this impressive steep coast – beckoning with the prospect of a refreshing dip in the turquoise waters.
Over 250 caves have been discovered in Mallorca. In the past, they served as hideouts for the pirates who once terrorised the Mediterranean. The Coves del Drach in Portocristo are among the largest and most beautiful drip stone caves on the Balearic islands. To the sound of classical music, visitors can float over the underground lake on a boat and feel a little like the Bavarian King Ludwig in his replica cave in Castle Linderhof.
One of the longest and most beautiful sandy beaches on the island, with a rambling dune landscape, is located between Colònia de Sant Jordi and Sa Ràpta. Here, windsurfers and yachting enthusiasts can enjoy their sports to the full. The sand here slopes very gradually into the sea, making Es Trenc ideal for families with small children.
Romantics should be sure to take in a sunset from the lighthouse at the mouth of Port Andratx. As it sinks into the sea, the sun bathes the port and the luxurious villas of the former fishing village in a golden light. Just a few kilometers inland, lies the old Mallorcan town of Andratx, in the protective shadow of the fortified church Santa Maria. On the outskirts of the town, art exhibitions and concerts are held in the former Arabian country castle Son Mas.
Town, country, nightlife – the vibrant south
Even in the Middle Ages, Palma de Mallorca was dubbed the pearl of the Mediterranean. Wander through the maze of alleyways in the old town and discover the many architectural witnesses of the city's over 2000-year-long history. The best area to stroll through in Palma – bustling with elegant shops – begins at Placy de la Reina.
La Seu Cathedral is Palma's landmark. After ousting the Moors, King Jaume I began its construction in 1229. It took over 300 years to complete. Today, La Seu is among the four most beautiful churches in the world. The famous Catalan architect Antonio Gaudí called La Seu "the greatest and most perfect example of Gothic-style architecture in terms of harmony, construction and mechanics". As many as 18,000 people throng to the great festivities held within the cathedral, which are often attended by the Spanish royal family.
Es Baluard: The new museum for contemporary and modern art, is housed in a corner rampart of the renaissance city wall at Passeig Marítim. The three floors of this unusual museum are interconnected by ramps, balconies and galleries. Sculptures, paintings and installations are exhibited in an area of 2,500 m2. Admire the works of art and spectacular views over the city and the bay, extending over Castell de Bellver and the cathedral. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10 am to 8 pm, (16 June – 30 September. Monday to Sunday 10 am to midnight). Entrance fee 6 euros.
Make the most of Palma's vibrant nightlife on the small square in front of the erstwhile maritime trading exchange Sa Llotja. A host of tapas bars, clubs, restaurants and music bars are dotted around the square and in the alleyways beyond it. One of the most popular haunts is "Abaco" with its lavish decoration of flowers.