September 23 to 29, 2018.
Mallorca, or Majorca, as the locals spell it, is a small island off the west coast of Spain. Part of Spain’s Balearic Islands, Mallorca is a common vacation spot for many Europeans. Locals told us that they hardly have Americans visiting there. Many times we were mistaken for British vacationers because we spoke English. It made us laugh. Even though we visited in late September, there were still plenty of people enjoying the sandy beaches and the last bit of summer. Cala Millor, the specific area we stayed in, was a hot spot for many Germans. Our Ryanair flight from Frankfurt-Hahn was packed full!
Location, location, location!
When I was searching for places to vacation, I did a quick Google search of the “best beaches in Mallorca,” since we already knew we wanted to go to the island. Cala Millor, on the east side of the island, was one of the highest on the list. I was even more set on this location after finding a cost-effective hotel, thanks to Booking.com
Home away from home
We stayed at Hotel Morito, about a 5-minute walk to the beach. By car, the hotel is nearly an hour from the Palma de Mallorca airport, on the west coast. The three-star hotel was good for the price. We paid approximately 600€ for 6 nights. The water pressure was strong (super important to us!), it was close to the beach, and the room was clean. The hotel offered theme nights, an Elvis impersonator concert one night, classical piano music another, and Taco Tuesday including both food and entertainment. There was something almost every night we were there. The hotel also had a gym and pool (kiddie and adult) available for those looking to get their tan on, without getting sand between their toes. The view from our balcony was incredible. We had an ocean-view room and I’m so glad we did.
We couldn’t have expected much else for the cost, but we did wish the room had more amenities available, like better WiFi and shower products. The food at Morito was good, too. Breakfast and dinner buffets were available, as well as a limited lunch menu. The hotel employees were friendly, and many spoke English or knew enough English to fill in the blanks of our broken Spanish. We would stay there again.
Where to, sir?
Taxis were readily available, but we used mostly our legs to get around! Cala Millor is the type of location where having a car is more of a hinder than a help. The roads are small and filled with lots of walkers and bikers. Taxis were not only easy to find but relatively cheap, too. For many destinations, there is a flat-rate that the drivers charge. PRO TIP: tips tend to be included in the final charge, under the name “supplements.” Of course, you can always give an additional tip. We did and I’m sure the taxi drivers appreciated it.
The majority of our time was spent walking to places. Cala Millor is a very accessible walking town. If you happen to get hungry or thirsty, there are plenty of restaurants on each street.
If you prefer a mode of transportation a little more strenuous, rent a bike. We rented bikes two days we were there. Again, the cost was so affordable. For about 3.50€ a bike, per hour, we were able to take bikes out on the town. We used Rent a Bike Cala Millor, which had three different types of bikes (city, cross-trek, and mountain) to choose from. My husband rode the cross-trek bike which allowed him to ride along the sand better than I, who rode the city bike. I was a tad too short to fit on the cross-trek! The rides were exhausting at times, but we got to see some pretty incredible things along the way.
Gotta stay busy!
We didn’t just soak up the sun on the gorgeous beaches of Cala Millor; we took advantage of some of the activities and sights the area had to offer.
To the southern end of our coast, there was an old watchtower named Castell de n’Amer. The watchtower originated from the 17th century and was used as a way to protect the island. You can tour the tower for free and get a glimpse of what it may have been like for 17th century Spaniards.
Take caution, however, the stairwells are very narrow and windy, and the doorways are low. My husband, at 6feet tall, was barely able to go under them without hitting his head! The location also has a small restaurant, with a full menu, drink options, and seats overlooking the cliff. From the Castell, we could see across to the other side of the coast, making for an incredible view. We found the best way to get there was to ride our bikes, but many people also walked to the area.
Another day, we visited Cuevas del Drach. Located in Porto Cristo, about 15 minutes south of Cala Millor, the caves make for a cool, figuratively and literally, event. Tickets are available online, for 15€ per adult. If you purchase online, you’ll save some moneyyyy. Who doesn’t love that?
The ticket includes a tour of the extensive underground caves, as well as an underground concert and a boat ride in one of the world’s largest underground lakes. We enjoyed touring the cave, however, it would have been more enjoyable if the number of people at one time was decreased. Many people were stopping in the walkways to take photos, which is totally fine, but not when there are close to 100 people behind you! At the end of the tour, a classical music concert is performed on boats in the lake. The experience is one to remember, especially when the lights go out and your eyes are guided only by a few lights in the water and the music. Again, the number of people in the cave drove us crazy! It took close to 15 minutes for everyone to be seated and for the concert to begin. The old people sitting in front of us literally fell asleep waiting for the show to start. We enjoyed the experience, but would probably not visit again.
The most exciting thing we did in Cala Millor was ride jet skis! I had not ridden jet skis before and was nervous. Jake likes to drive fast and is pretty fearless, so I didn’t know what to expect. The experience turned out to be fantastic! Jake and I shared a jet ski and rode along Mallorca’s west coast. I never in a million years thought that I would ever be riding a jet ski, or anything for that matter, in the Mediterranean Sea. We rented the jet skis through Jet Ski Balaer, at a rate of 124€ for an hour. This price included the jet ski, a guided tour, and photos of our time on the water. Phones were not allowed so we solely relied on the guides from the company.
*Unfortunately, we are still waiting for our photos. I’m dying to see them!*
It’s fueling time!
Last, but not least, my favorite part of every trip. During our time, we became regulars at a local café called Bar Café San Francisco. We chose it initially as a cheap alternative to the hotel restaurant and were pleasantly surprised. The atmosphere was inviting, service was exceptional, and the food was even better. My favorite dish was a salad with feta cheese and eggplant, along with their sangria and frozen coffee (café helado). Jake enjoyed their pasta, sandwiches, and draft beer (cerveza).
The first restaurant we ate at in Cala Millor was Cafe del Sol, located on the water. If you’re trying to stick a budget, this spot may not be for you. It’s not overly expensive but is a little pricier than Bar Café San Francisco. The sangria here was so delicious! We got a liter of it for 13.50€. The seafood dishes were delicious, too. I tried pasta with tuna and pesto, pasta with salmon, and a house salad that included smoked salmon, avocado, and other greens. All of the dishes were enjoyable. Jake had a cuttlefish dish and later a salmon sandwich.
Each night Cafe del Sol featured live music, which you could enjoy while watching the waves crash against the moonlight.
Buffalo Steakhouse allowed us to enjoy a little piece of home in Mallorca. With dishes ranging from t-bone steaks to loaded nachos, this restaurant featured many dishes you would find at Texas Roadhouse or Longhorn Steakhouse, with a side of Chipotle. Jake had a burger with fries, which he enjoyed lots. I dove into a veggie tortilla with a side of fries and guac. LOVE. My tortilla was so delish and left me full for hours. The sangria there was to-die-for.
Cafeteria Gayma wasn’t located on the water, but on the busy road near our hotel. They offered a 7-tapa (appetizer) selection for about 25€. We honestly had no idea what we were eating but they were delicious!
We surmised that the tapas included lamb, chicken, cheese, and seafood. I enjoyed yet another sangria there. Service was good at Cafeteria Gayma. We would visit again.
One thing I especially wanted to try while in Mallorca (other than sangria) was paella. A traditional Spanish dish of saffron rice mixed with anything from seafood to pork to plain ol’ veggies. We decided to stop at Sa Caleta, another restaurant by the water, to indulge in some paella. *drool* We ate seafood paella and I devoured my portion so quickly, it was gone before I knew it! Yet again, the sangria was scrumptious.
I like sangria. Can you tell?
Our visit to Cala Millor was memorable and very enjoyable! Next time we visit we hope to explore the east side of the island with attractions such as the Palma Cathedral; Royal Palace of La Almudaina; Sant Francesc Church; and Bellver Castle, home to Mallorca’s history museum. A snorkeling excursion is on the list, too!
Fun fact: Take bike ride north of Cala Millor and stop at Cala Bona. The site has beautiful views where the edge of the Cala Millor inlet is visible. There are also plenty of places to stop for a quick dip or bite to eat!
Until my next adventure,