When you think of Formentor in the northeastern section of the island of Majorca (Mallorca), picture a secluded, sheltered cove, a beautiful beach, swimming in crystal clear water, and being surrounded by breathtaking natural scenery.
Getting To Formentor Bay
Although scary, the view alone makes the drive to Formentor Bay on the famous Peninsula Road unforgettable. There are high cliffs that drop steeply into the sea, pine forests, unusual rock formations, breath-taking viewpoints, a variety of sea birds, a silver-domed lighthouse, and an old watchtower (Talaia d’Albercutx). The mountains rise to more than 400 m (1,300 feet).
Where to Stay in Formentor Bay
The world-famous luxury Barcelo Hotel Formentor stands alone on a spectacular peninsula on the northern tip of the island. It is surrounded by pine forests, lush gardens, and steep cliffs that lead down to the sea and a sandy bay where yachts often lay anchor. You can relax in two swimming pools or take a sauna bath in a health and beauty centre located on beautiful sun terraces. The hotel offers a variety of restaurants, and the terrace bar features a pianist in the evenings. It has been known since 1929 as a place to pamper the rich and famous. It was also where Agatha Christie wrote her Problem at Pollensa Bay after she spent time at the Barcelo Hotel Formentor.
Nearby Puerta Pollensa
You can take a 40 minute boat ride or 20 minute public bus to the family holiday resort of Puerto Pollensa. One of the prettiest locations on the island, it was originally a fishing village, though now bursts with activity compared to the quiet of Formentor. The large marina in the horseshoe bay is home to many luxury yachts. And with over 100 restaurants and cafes serving a variety of international cuisine and fresh seafood dishes, visitors need never be hungry. You will want to enjoy the famous Pine Walk that runs for two miles along the beach where people stroll in the evenings. Here, you will see sand sculptors and painters creating art while enjoying the melodious sounds of local musicians. The clean sandy beaches that slope gently down to the warm shallow Mediterranean Sea are perfect for children and for many water sports. From here, you can head into the Tramuntana mountain range by hiking or biking. This area is also home to many beautiful, migrating birds in spring and autumn. For the best views of these birds, make your way to the Albufera wetlands which is now a protected area of the island and close to Alcudia.
Puerto Pollensa is only a few miles from the old Roman town of Pollensa, which features historic sites as well as narrow, cobblestone streets. Here you can experience the Sunday special market which sells fruit, vegetables, flowers, clothes, and more. The local olives in the cafes are flavored with pickles and are delicious!
Calvari is a small chapel in Pollensa with 365 steps to climb to get there (or more steps from the upper town square). To make the climb even more enjoyable, there are gift and pottery shops lined up along the way and be sure to take in the breathtaking views north of Majorca from the top.
The landmark Illa D’Or Hotel is poised on the water’s edge and provides panoramic views of the bay from its terraces. This air-conditioned hotel with 119 bedrooms, features an attractive dining room, a large cocktail bar, two swimming pools, a sauna, gym, and a health and beauty center.
If you want an unusual experience, take a bus to Palma and ride the 100-year-old Edwardian steam train that has vintage rail cars with mahogany panels and brass fittings. The train goes through mountain tunnels and ends up in orange groves before it gets to the old fishing town of Soller. At Soller you are greeted by a wide selection of seafood restaurants and pastry shops.
Written by guest contributor Ross Fraser for EuropeUpClose.com