Some years ago I decided to surprise a dear friend of mine with something different for her birthday. I wanted to give her an experience and something that we could both share. Her being a wine lover, I took her on a Mallorca Wine Tour tour. This is one of the nicest experiences that we have had together here in Majorca and one we can really recommend.
The idea of having a train take you through the wine region of Binissalem while enjoying the landscape is very special and that is one of the things what makes this tour so unique. This wine tasting tour takes you to some of the best wineries of the island and lets you know their history and taste their award winning wines, accompanied by gourmet snacks (typical Majorcan tapas).
The guides on the tour are very knowledgeable and passionate about wine and will teach you about different grapes that are only grown on the island and help you improve your wine tasting skills. Who could say no to that! They have different types of tours to choose amongst and if you are curious and want a life time experience see mallorcawinetours.com for further information.
The training industry has always been an industry in constant development. The different training trends are replaced by new training methods, or old ones that have been freshened up, continuously. I myself have trained for my entire life and have had time to try out many different sports and forms of training and what I have noticed in recent years, is that the personal training has won a lot of terrain. We seem to want to determine exactly what and how we want to train and above all when it suits us to train. Flexibility and quality are particularly important in our usually stressed everyday life. I myself have tried different forms of personal training and think that if you at any time in life can indulge in training a few weeks with a personal trainer, you should really go for it. You get such an incredible kick and perform that little extra and push yourself to the limit, something that is really difficult to do when you train on your own. There is a lot to choose from in Mallorca, but here are some tips on different trainers that I have tried and that I liked very much.
Aurelio is a licensed personal trainer who originally comes from the football world but who is now engaged in personal training in general. His focus is on different types of outdoor training; running, yoga, stretching, core training, functional training and complementary training for golfers, cyclists, runners and tennis players. You can train individually with him, in couple or in groups. I myself go to his fast-paced and fun functional group training where we train to good music and look out over the fantastic Golf Son Muntaner’s green areas. For more information contact Aurelio (speaks English) via mobile 0034 646793009.
Silvia García del Castillo
Silvia is a licensed physiotherapist and a pilates instructor. She is very disciplined and technically skilled at really all types of training she instructs in. Silvia performs her training sessions mainly at the Pure Fitness Club in Palma but is flexible and sometimes goes home to people who prefer training at home but could also do open air trainings. With Silvia you can do pilates, stretching, functional training, cardio training, preventative training and much more. If you want to push yourself a little extra, Silvia is an excellent choice. She is originally Mallorcan but speaks fluent English. For more information contact via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mateu has been around for a long time in the sports world and especially in the racket sports tennis and padel. He was the champion of the Balearic Islands in tennis for 10 years, multiple champion in the Balearic Islands in padel and is the current champion of the Balearic Islands in the +50 class of padel. Mateu was a long-time gym manager at the legendary MegaSport Center but and is now the current owner of Pins Padel where he gives private lessons in padel. He works with all levels, beginners as well as those who want to fine-tune their tecnique or those who simply want to develop their game. Mateu adapts to his student’s level when he plans the training sessions and has very dynamic exercises. If you have never tried padel then I can warmly recommend you to try and why not try with Mateu! You are guaranteed to sweat and a good laugh at the bargain. For more information, please contact Mateu at 0034 687404841 (he speaks English).
For all of you who enjoy a late breakfast, we will now recommend our selection of the best places to eat brunch in Palma. The brunch, a mix of breakfast and lunch, has become something of a trend over the last few years. And what is better than combining sleeping until late with a long sitting over a lovely breakfast and a glass of cava in the company of good friends. Or why not surprise your girlfriend or boyfriend this Valentine´s Day with Sunday brunch? These are some of our favorite places for brunch.
At Hotel Nakar, in the center of Palma, a full Sunday brunch is served every week. The Cuit restaurant looks out over Palma with a fantastic view over the rooftops. The brunch offers everything from hot rice dishes to excellent cold cuts, and pastries. Enjoy the brunch and the excellent view while the house DJ plays music.
At OD Portals, about once a month, a unique Mexican brunch is served combining delicious cocktails with Mexican mariachi music. It costs 28 euros which also includes a welcome drink. The brunch is served from 13-16 pm on set dates.
The other weekends, a Tasting brunch is served for 25 euros which includes drinks.
Hotel Hospes Maricel is located just outside Palma in Cas Catalá. The breakfast at the hotel has been nominated the world’s best breakfast by Madrid Fusion, Spain’s most prestigious gastronomic event. And they do live up to their reputation with a breakfast menu that offers dishes such as gazpacho of blood orange and peach with basil ice cream, deconstructed potato omelet with truffle brioche and caviar among many others. The generous breakfast costs 49 euros and in the summer it is served on the beautiful terrace overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. A sitting takes between two to three hours, so prepare for an extraordinary experience.
Santosha serves an international menu inspired by the owners’ travels and love for Mallorca. The cozy restaurant gives a homely feeling and the ingredients are largely organic and locally grown. The brunch is served Wednesday to Sunday between 10 and 13 and the set menu consists of a fresh fruit salad and avocado toast. The price is 9.50 euros.
Saint Lucia carries a long tradition in Scandinavia, but actually she was an Italian saint from the IV century. Saint Lucia´s day, on December 13th, is typically celebrated in different regions in Italy, as well as in Catalonia and in Scandinavia, where the day has become an important event to lighten up the dark December, and bring faith, hope and a reason to believe in good things to come. Many are the legends that accompany St Lucia martyr, defined as a carrier of light. One story tells that Saint Lucia was carrying food and aid to the Christians who were hiding in the catacombs in Rome during the IV century. To have her hands as free as possible, she lightened up her way with a crown of candles on her head. Another legend tells that Lucia was a Christian from Siracusa who was killed for her faith. Her violent death and martyrdom is symbolized by the red ribbon worn together with the white dress in the processions on St Lucia’s day. St Lucia has become a Christian festival of light, and coinciding with the Advent season, also viewed as an event signalling the arrive of Christmas and the light of Christ.
In Scandinavia light is very much needed under the darker winter months. There are many theories on how the legend of Lucia came to Sweden. It could have been brought by priests, German traders, or even by the Vikings from their adventures in southern Europe. The Italian legend has in Sweden been fused with different pagan traditions, which include the typical procession with white-dressed “Lucias”, and the male counterpart, songs, typical sweets and a lot of candles filling the air with joy and light. Churches and schools are filled with music and Christmas carols. This tradition has now also reached Mallorca, where you can enjoy the typical Lucia concert on December 13th in the beautiful cathedral of Palma. The Swedish School is organizing this concert, and it has already become a popular tradition among Swedish, International and local residents.
After a warm fall, winter is coming to Mallorca, and the sierras this weekend were covered with snow creating a magical landscape. Even if the snow never tends to stay for a long time on the island, the atmosphere in December is one of Winter-joy, preparing for Christmas. For inspiration and enjoyment there are several Christmas markets where both adults and children can enjoy activities and different traditional and international dishes. Stay in Palma to walk the adorned streets or visit villages around the island and breathe in the special ambience during this time.
20 December – 6 January
Starting on December 20th, Puerto Portals will be full of festivities, shopping and food in a warm atmosphere adorned with lights and set to traditional music. Childrens’ activities are free and include storytelling, craft workshops and face painting.
21 November – 6 January
Plaça Major is adorned with lights as always for this season, and the yearly market is filled with stalls selling Christmas decorations and gifts.
Alarò, a village 20 minutes drive from Palma offers traditional ambience during its annual Christmas market in the middle of December.
By the foot of the mountain Na Burguesa, with beautiful architecture and views over the sea, Genova is a unique area in Palma. Keeping its picturesque atmosphere of a typical Majorcan village, Genova nowadays also has many international residents. Some of the most attractive new projects on the island are located in Genova. Recently we have listed a beautiful project of five townhouses (MFP059) managed by a local renowned developer.
Genova has its own church, school, healthcare centre, library, bakeries, and many nice restaurants. The village also keeps its traditions with yearly festivities in the summer, coinciding with the patron Saint San Salvador’s festivity in August. Genova is the perfect place for those who want to live in a quiet area with village feel, and still be close to Palma and the sea. The beaches of Cala Nova and Cala Mayor are within a short drive or a nice walk away. As family attractions, you can visit the Caves of Genova, and also the beautiful Castillo de Bellver and the large green area that surrounds the emblematic castle is within a few minutes’ walk. Palma centre is easily reached by bus or car, and there is actually also a nice bike path from Genova towards the old hospital Son Dureta and Santa Catalina. On the other hand, great beach clubs such as Zhero and Puro Beach Illetes, as well as the popular shopping centre Porto Pi, are all reached within a 10 minutes’ drive.
To give you an idea of some of the nice restaurants in Genova, here is just a few:
Kaskai – Creative Mediterranean cuisine in a simple yet elegant atmosphere. Kaskai on the top of Na Burguesa offers one of the best views over Palma.
La Rueda – Together with Casa Jacinto and Can Pedro (all located in Genova), La Rueda is one of the classic restaurants on the island with grilled meet and a great wine selection. La Rueda invites to a genuine warm atmosphere and some Spanish and South American specialities.
Es Mussol – A charming restaurant with a beautiful terrace and a varied extensive menu with Majorcan specialties, as well as salads, crepes, meet and fish and delicious homemade desserts.
La Ximbomba – Located in a wonderful Majorcan house with a lovely patio, La Ximbomba runs an Italian kitchen, offering pizza and other Italian specialties, salads, as well as typical Majorcan dishes. Here you can taste one of the best “pa amb olis” in Palma.
Lume – In beautiful settings, Lume is located in a Majorcan stone finca with garden and patios. This restaurant offers the best of the Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine, with high quality products and sustainable meet.
Maria Larsson, Team Assistant @ Mallorcaresidencia
The Free Tour concept has been around for quite a while but it is a relatively new way to discover cities compared to the traditional tour concept. Many of today’s travelers will likely be aware of, if not familiar with, free walking tours as they’ve become increasingly popular and present in key destinations. The Mallorca Free Tour have been walking through Palma since 2014. The tour takes about 2 hours and starts at 11:00 in front of the tourism office below the Cathedral. The visitors learn more about the history off Palma and gets to discover more than the sun, beaches and Calas of the island. The tours are offered in English and Spanish and cover the old town, visiting the most important monuments, streets, buildings and charming corners of the city.
So how can the tours be free? The tours are ‘free’, because unlike regular tour providers’ services, there is no set price for taking a tour, no prescribed fee to pay regardless of the tour experience itself. Instead, you are free to ‘tip’ your guide as you see fit after your tour. This is perhaps a ‘strange’ idea to get used to initially. Furthermore, tipping your guide at the end of the tour means the power is yours. Although not obligatory, you decide what the tour was worth and the value-for-money ratio is determined by you so there is no risk of being ‘ripped-off’ or feeling like you didn’t get your money’s worth.
In the vast majority of cases, the tour guides who offer free tours are independent, freelance tour guides. Free tours allow them to be self-employed with a lot of flexibility for working. Also, these local freelance guides get to inject their own personality into their tours to really give you their local perspective, show you their city, and give you their best tour. The experience tends to be colored by the guide themselves rather than just relying on a standardized ‘tour’ or ‘script’. This makes for a more authentic, passionate, and rewarding impression of a place and people, history, and culture.
All in all, the free tour concept is a win-win scenario for both the traveler and local guide. The free tours are an exciting alternative way to discover cities and remain in control of what you spend on a city-tour while supporting passionate local guides and ventures.
Massar Midgley Mahdi, Team Assistant @ Mallorcaresidencia
Most of our readers know what tapas are, and among many it might already be a favourite, but maybe you don’t know the history behind and what tapas stands for. It is said that King Alfonso X (1221-1284) was the one who introduced this tradition that has become emblematic for Spain. He ordered all hostelries not to serve any wine without an appetizer or snack. This was to avoid too quick inebriation. The small dish was placed on top of the glass or jug, covering the beverage. Cover in Spanish is tapa(r) and therefore the word tapas.
The form and size of the ”tapa” vary according to the region. Even the name changes in some of the regions in Spain. In Aragon and Navarra tapas is ”alfira” and in the Basc country it is ”poteo”. In some parts of Spain, especially in the South, you would never get a beer or a glass of wine served without a bigger or smaller snack coming with it, while in other regions, tapas has become a delicacy and very rarely served automatically with your drink.
In Mallorca you can find Mediterranean tapas, as well as Basc or Southern variations. You may enjoy everything from the more traditional dishes (olives, cheese platter, ham), to more modern creations, mixing flavors and spices from different cultures and kitchens.
Palma’s yearly tapas festival will soon take place, and if you fancy a tapas route before that, please see below a list of our team’s favourite tapas places on the island:
Ana Fiol – Cas Cotxer in Sa Pobla and La Vieja in Plaça Flassaders, Palma
The yearly Tapas festival in Palma will take place 28 November – 2 December. This is a great opportunity to explore the gastronomic Palma and let your palate try out different specialities from several star chefs around the city. On November 26th a jury will name the winners in the three categories TaPalma 2018, Thematic Tapas, and Cocktail. The jury consists of renown chefs and critics, and the competition takes place in the Palacio de Congresos, close to Portixol. There are usually around 30 participants, and during the festival, the restaurants create different routes that you can follow in different areas of Palma. These will soon be published on www.tapalma.es. Last year, 2017, Rodrigo Vallejo from the restaurant Shamrock took 2 gold prices, while Alberto Garcia from Little Italy and Lorenzo Bagur from Meson Can Pedro brought home silver and bronze.
Massar Midgley Mahdi, Team Assistant @ Mallorcaresidencia
In Palma many clients nowadays choose to go for an investment in a new project. It is indeed the ideal option for those who are looking for a modern concept in harmony with the local architecture, and who want to be a part of the selection of material or details in the design. At Mallorcaresidencia we have different collaborations with different developers, Domum Investments is one of them. The founders are three professionals with long careers in design, architecture and development of new constructions. Each one of them specialist in their field, they form a solid team that inspires a lot of confidence. They have been working together for four years, starting with projects in Son Vida and Santa Catalina, and now expanding to the areas of Son Espanyolet (MFP027) and Son Armadams (MFP017B), all neighborhoods in Palma with a lot of local spirit.
One of the fundamental aspects of their work, is precisely to respect the local environment and architecture, incorporating new, natural and subtle elements that support modern life and the customer’s demands, who are mostly Swedish. The strength of the company is gained thanks to the experience of each of the three partners; Pep (CEO), Fernando (Project Manager) and Jorge (Head of Design). That they can dedicate their time to what they are most passionate about, is one of the main ingredients for their success. Their gentle and warm refutation is at the same time very professional, and this reflects the subtlety and naturalness that are present in all the projects of this Majorcan developer.
The collaboration with Mallorcaresidencia and the connection to the Swedish client, is something that has been occurring in a natural way, since the ideas and demands of the Scandinavians are meeting the proposal that the three pillars of this company were already developing. They comment that the taste and demands of the Swedish client, fit very much with the ideas of the three, both in terms of design, as in project development and ways of working and communicating. Every Friday they visit the production sites, and customers who are not in Palma, are sent photos, and virtual meetings are also held, so that the client can follow the evolution of their new home. Communication and trust are fundamental in the relationship with customers. Fernando comments that there have been cases in which the client has only come to Palma once or twice during the entire construction period. This is also where the work of the real estate agency comes in. At Mallorcaresidencia we want to function as the connective bridge between developer and client, facilitating the communication.
This Majorcan team offers a complete service, throughout the purchase process, from the search of the ideal site to the key delivery, and also in after-sales. The option to buy new production is a great option, both for the client who knows exactly what he/she wants, and wishes to be part of the selection of materials, or for those who want to leave everything in the hands of a professional team. Pep and his colleagues also carry out commissioned projects, where the client chooses everything, from the location to the interior design and materials.
Pep, Fernando and Jorge say that the Scandinavian taste coincides with theirs, as well as with the Mediterranean architecture and Majorcan details, which makes the creative and productive process much easier and fun to carry out. Jorge remarks that they take care of everything during the whole process, and they are aware of all the client’s requests. In Palma there are almost no unbuilt lots, so most of the works are rehabilitation or new construction of buildings/sites in very poor condition that are brought down. Pep believes that the next areas of Palma to be explored, will be La Soledad and El Terreno.
Impressively beautiful project just recently delivered to happy clients
When it comes to new projects, the Spanish law offers very good guarantees: guarantee of 1 year on surface elements, 3 years’ warranty on all functions related to pipes, gas, water, electricity installations etc, and 10 years’ warranty on everything that affects the structural solidity. Fernando emphasizes that, beyond the guarantees by law, as developers they are still very present in the after-sales. Before saying goodbye to this professional team, I ask them about their favourite projects: Pep and Jorge coincide in MFP050B while Fernando prefers MFP017B, since this project is more challenging as Project Manager. Thanks to their long experience and passion for what they do, and their mutual respect for each other’s field of expertise, indeed they form an exceptional team. The individual commitment and united effort is what define them.
Maria Larsson, Team Assistant @ Mallorcaresidencia
Santa Catalina was historically home to the fisher men, thanks to its location close to the sea and the port of Palma. Nowadays it becomes more and more popular among visitors and part time residents, and the international flair in combination with the genuine streets and facades, create a homey and lively atmosphere. Market shoppers blend with workers, visitors and yacht-people and day long the terraces are filled with coffee-drinkers enjoying in the sun. During the latest years, many restaurants, bakeries and cafés with international and/or fusion cuisine have opened and there is something for each taste. At Thomas Bakeshop Boutique, e.g, you can find delicious Majorcan roasted Arabay coffee, sour-dough bread made by the Austrian baker Thomas, and hummus made by Michelle from Beirut.
Thomas Bakeshop Boutique is just opposite our office on Calle Anibal in Santa Catalina. I believe it is one of the best bakeries on the island, thanks to the quality and variation of the tasteful and nutritious bread, the excellent coffee, but also to the generosity and atmosphere that the owners create.
Thomas Bakeshop Boutique is a lot more than a bakery, at least to me it has become a reference and a symbol of the new times in Santa Catalina. Thomas Bakery is a result of 2 people’s dream, and it has become a hub for the multicultural population of Palma and Santa Catalina. A Colombian visitor who enjoys his coffee here every day, very rightfully said once that this is not at all a “normal place”, it is the Tower of Babel!
Some 3 years ago, Thomas (originally from Austria) and his wife Michelle (a globetrotter born in Beirut), were looking for the possibility to move back to Europe after many years travelling the world, when a beautiful opportunity came up: There was a bakery for sale in Can Pastilla on Mallorca. They moved here and took over the business. Sometime later, in April 2017, they opened their shop in one of the most frequented streets in Santa Catalina. Only entering the door, you sense something different in this place. Michelle is full of stories, and the most beautiful thing is to see that she is fulfilling her dream.
Michelle and Thomas met over 20 years ago in Dubai. Thomas was already there, a pastry chef trained in Viena, and Michelle worked as a training manager at an intercontinental hotel. Many times, they sat at the Café Mozart in Dubai, dreaming with their friends about one day opening their own bakery. I ask Michelle why they didn’t open it back then. She smiles and says: It is a good question, but it wasn’t our time yet. When you have a dream, you have to go for it, but time will show you when it is your moment. We still wanted to travel, Michelle tells me. Living and working abroad was our life style. And life over and over again showed us that when you desire something clearly, it will come to you. For example, we were both working a time in Lebanon, but I was asking my boss for something different, and a great job opportunity came up in Cairo. I accepted it without even telling my husband. A couple of days later he was offered a job in Cairo too. Our move there was meant to be. Like all the other travels.
I am happy that their latest journey brought them to Palma. I love to get inspired by people who follow their dreams. And if you want to enjoy a delicious morning coffee, and one of the best breads in Mallorca, this is the place. Either you are just stepping in to get the day’s bread, or to enjoy your breakfast, Michelle has always time for a chat, and among the other visitors you find yourself for a moment immersed in the Majorcan Tower of Babel.
Maria Larsson, Team Assistant @ Mallorcaresidencia