The party town of Magaluf might have coloured our opinion of Majorca, but Cala Sant Vicenç, an old fishing village on the opposite side of the island, is a world away from all that with small bays, dramatic cliffs and goats on the beach…
Chatting with colleagues before this much-needed holiday, when I mentioned I was heading to Majorca it was greeted with a few cat calls and shrieks of ‘oi oi’.
This part of the Balearic Islands is rather unjustly known for its party centre Magaluf, and it’s not hard to see why when my wife and I disembark at Palma airport surrounded by gaggles of men and women, some looking rather worse for wear (at 1pm). When leaving the airport, it’s literally a choice of turn left or right for a very different holiday experience.
The partying spirit has long left me, so thankfully we took a right and ended up in the beautiful town of Cala Sant Vicenç. Life moves a little slower here and it’s all the better for it. We were staying at the quaint Hotel Cala Sant Vicenç, part of the Discerning Collection, which boasts just 38 rooms and suites. From the off you could tell this was a family operation where every little thing matters to those behind the scenes. Service throughout our stay was exemplary.
Taking the lift to the third floor may be a claustrophobic experience – our six foot plus host wisely took the stairs – but the room was anything but. Mediterranean tones dominate the immensely comfortable setting, with a balcony that offered views of the hotel’s swimming pool and the nearby beach too.
With temperatures 30 degrees plus, we braved a stroll down to the beach and encountered something rather startling – a mountain goat, happy as Larry strolling around sunbathing tourists. He even posed perfectly for our cameras.
Mountains rise up all around you, a dream for hikers, but given the heat, we decided to head to one of the small tavernas dotted around Cala Sant Vicenç
Mountains rise up all around you, a dream for hikers, but given the heat there was no chance of us donning our walking boots. Instead we decided to head to one of the small tavernas dotted around Cala Sant Vicenç – a much better choice.
For those (unlike us) who are keen on an energetic holiday, hiring a bike to get around is a great way to see nature at its best, as well as work off a few pounds when heading to the nearby Port de Pollença.
We took a taxi – of course – but it is a fair old walk from one end to the other to take in the area’s busiest nightlife spot. Whatever your persuasion, you will find it here, from shopping to boat trips, to more bars and restaurants. There’s a lot of competition, particularly around the main port, but walk down further and you will uncover some gems.
Head the other way and you arrive at the town of Pollença. It’s like stepping back in time, with many of the houses there built in the 17th and 18th centuries. Life reverberates around the main square, Placa Major, with the highlight undoubtedly the Esglèsia de Nostra Senyora dels Àngels (Our Lady of the Angels), which was built by the Knights Templar.
Back at the hotel, we spent the majority of the holiday enjoying the service. Bars and restaurants may be dotted around, but the hotel’s very own Restaurant Cavall Bernat is known as the best place to eat. The reputation was justified: the food was universally excellent, especially their seafood paella that left me fit to burst.
Our break was over all too soon and we were back at Palma, London bound. There were plenty of groups waiting to board who looked broken, but for us we felt on top of the world – turning right was the best decision we made.
Discerning Collection offers 7 nights at Cala Sant Vincenç in October for two people from £965pp on a B&B basis including flights and private transfers; discerningcollection.com