Mallorca’s touristic hotspots are, of course, overcrowded, but the beautiful northeastern coast of this gorgeous island in the Mediterranean Sea offers the most pristine beaches and secluded villages.
This part of the island is really not for bling-bling seekers, they are left with plenty of other locations on Mallorca. The rest of the island been set on getting more commercial, cooler, and snappier over the past decades, the northeastern portion with its soft golden light, the impressive azalea bushes, and rustic olive groves has pottered along in all tranquility.
Why or just how this area has succeeded in remaining under the radar truly is a great mystery, but the fact of the matter is that here you still can find authentic historic villages, as well as the most stunning sandy beaches of the entire island.
A not-so-well-kept secret is Cala Agulla, but you can also take a 30-minute walk from Cala Mesquida’s unspoiled dunes to picturesque tiny Cala Moltó. There you’ll see many goats just nibbling away on beach grass and you can relax comfortably among the sun-dried seaweed that surrounds the beautiful unspoiled beaches.
This is Spain as it used to be. Where the locals prepared fish on their beachside barbecues and drank the water that was running down the hills from the freshest mountain springs. Let’s hope this will stay the way it is.
Check also out Cala Torta bay. This bay is usually not marked on maps, so look for signposts. This stunningly beautiful little beach is tucked into the cliffs of the Albarca Mountains. The seawater is funneling its way inland, and one minute it’s raging wildly from the booming waves, and the next minute it’s dead calm and mirror-flat.
This is where you’ll find the Cala Torta beach bar, an insignificant shack that serves simple but sensationally fresh and tasteful seafood. They serve generous meals of prawns and crayfish, cuttlefish, razor clams, or mussels, and there are people who say that a little further, just over the hill, Colònia de Sant Pere, the fish tastes even better!
Although today, Colònia de Sant Pere’s old fishing port is mostly occupied by bobbing yachts, the place is still recognized for the unique ‘vivers’, seawater-filled pools that allow local restaurateurs to keep the daily catch fresh for a long time.
The Balearic classic dish of salt-baked sea bass, the snapper ceviche, and the wild red-tuna sashimi at Sa Xarxa are all top-of-the-line, and at Es Vivers, just next door, the steamed mussels, the whole-baked turbo, and the skate escabeche, are all unsurpassed.
If you can find the Sa Bernadeta spring (near Betlem), you really should try the water. There are old people in the area who say they never drank anything else, and to be honest, they all looked like they were some 30 years old. Well, water is the key to growing the juiciest, plumpest, produce, so it doesn’t come to any surprise that all of the food is so good around here.
This part of Mallorca is so different from the island’s Tramuntana region. The small town of Artà, for example, is the modest and sleepy little capital of the area but comes to full life on Tuesdays when the local market gets into full swing. Check out the baskets filled with the finest fruit and the freshest vegetables. This is also the place where you can find the Santuari de Sant Salvador fortress, neatly located on a hilltop.
The old railway station of Artà has now been turned into a place where local artists and craftsmen can showcase their handicrafts and products, such as their ‘Licor de Hierbas’ (beware, it is a bit on the strong side..), and the old, unused rail tracks now are a 29 km (13.5 miles) bicycle path that goes all the way south to Manacor.
You can rent bicycles here, and for those who don’t want to pedal the stretch back, can also be picked up by a van that’ll take you back at a modest fee.