Mallorca in the Balearic Islands, Spain

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The Balearic Islands lie in a cluster 50 miles east of the Spanish mainland in the Mediterranean. At the end of July, we sailed from Cartagena on the southern coast of Spain to the largest of the Balearics, Mallorca. We skipped over the westernmost islands of Ibiza and Formentera, knowing that we would visit later in the summer. The quiet motor-sail was 196 miles and took us about 30 hours.

We fell in love with Mallorca almost immediately! It is a beautiful island of stunning contrasts and deserved to be explored by our sailboat as well as by land. In the north, the towering Tramuntana mountains rise straight from the sea, and in the south, rolling hills, sandy beaches and white limestone cliffs dominate. In addition to the amazing natural beauty, Mallorca also features the cosmopolitan city of Palma, and quaint port towns with cobblestoned streets, casual restaurants, bars, and jaw-dropping views. The port towns of Andraitx, Soller and Pollensa were just some of our favorites!

We spent almost a month sailing and exploring Mallorca, but can’t wait to return!

Sant Elm, a picturesque fishing village with turquoise water and a white sand beach, was our first anchorage in Mallorca.

Very happy for his first dip in the blue-green water of the Balearic Islands.

Our first week on Mallorca we sailed completely around the island, poking our “nose” in the stunning calas (coves) that dot the entire breathtaking coastline.

Cala Llombards
Cala Santanyí
Just a few of the dramatic mansions on the cliffs of the east coast of Mallorca.
Nestled in the pine trees of the Pollensa coastline, the Hotel Formentor peeked into our anchorage for the night. Famous for entertaining European royalty since the 1920’s, the Hotel was quite unassuming, but so fortunate to have a spectacular natural surrounding – as were we!!

Sailing out of the Bay of Pollensa around the barren bluffs of the northwest coast of Mallorca
Absolutely no wind afforded us the chance to fly the drone off the boat – a risky proposition when the winds are strong!

Cala Sa Calobra – the most spectacular and famous cove in Mallorca. Surrounded by vertical cliffs with a tiny rocky beach at one end, it is one of our favorites. Packed with visitors and boats during the day, the picturesque cala becomes calm and peaceful at night.
The narrow pebbly beach at Sa Calobra is squeezed between the soaring cliffs.

Reddish-orange ribbons of sunset at anchor in Sa Calobra.

Our land exploration of Mallorca began with a walking tour of Palma, the largest city and capital of the Balearic Islands. At first glance Palma seems quite modern and cosmopolitan, but as we wandered into the heart of Palma, the town became much more interesting. From the awe-inspiring Gothic Cathedral to narrow, winding streets to markets filled with produce and local products to delicious local restaurants – there was something to see at every turn.

The view of the city of Palma from the Mirador Parc De La Mar.
The Royal Palace of La Almudaina
The fountains in the gardens of the Hort del Rei near The Almudaina
The Santa Iglesia Catedral de Mallorca
The streets of Palma

Every imaginable kind & color of fruit, vegetable & meat at Palma’s Mercado Olivar.

Mira was nestled in Puerto Soller, one of our favorite anchorages in Mallorca. It is a cozy beach town encircling a perfect turquoise bay. Protected from the sometimes vicious winds of the Mediterranean, Soller is a sailor’s heaven and haven.

Determined to continue exploring Mallorca by land as well as by sea, we rented a Vespa for two days to tour the renowned west coast of Mallorca.

On the first day, we started in Soller and headed north through amazing towns and the craziest, most stressful, twisting road we’ve ever seen!


This was our view of Puerto Soller from one of the mountain roads high in the hills.
Another amazing shot of one of our favorite places in Mallorca.
Reservoir Cuber and de Gorg Blau

The best paella we’ve had in Spain at the Restaurant Es  Vergeret, perched on a cliff high above Cala Tuent.
The view of Cala Tuent from Es Vergeret.

Our second day of Vespa touring we headed south from Soller. Narrow, cliff-side roads wound us through some amazing coastal Mallorcan towns.

The town of Deia
The town of Valdemossa
Produce markets are sprinkled through the towns.
The town of Soller.

Magnificent sunset at anchor in Puerto Soller ended our beautiful day of Vespa touring.
One of our last sunset cocktails in our favorite town, Puerto Andraitx.
Our last anchorage in Mallorca near the port town of Pollensa.



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