Steve's World Blog Information and articles on cities, towns and villages around the world.

February 19, 2011

Cala Dor Majorca

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Holidays,Spain,Travel — Tags: , , — needahand @ 5:17 pm

A large, rather touristy resort built around a number of small coves and bays, Cala D’Or is situated on the east coast of Majorca, and developed as a holiday destination somewhat earlier than many of its counterparts. This former fishing village, is now barely recognisable as such, and styles itself as a rather upmarket resort, based around its chic marina. A quick look at the boats in the harbour at Cala D’Or, will tell you that this is a resort favoured by the well-heeled, though don’t let this put you off, if you are planning a visit, as there is plenty of affordable accommodation to be had in Cala D’or, with a choice of hotels and plenty of self-catering villas and apartments to rent. When the weather is good, the place to head is the beach, though in July and August, get there early to get a decent spot, when the weather is not so good, try visiting one of the local street markets, such as at Porto Colom or Felanitx.

Cala Bona Majorca

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Holidays,Spain — Tags: , , , , — needahand @ 12:42 pm

Another Majorca fishing village, turned holiday resort, Cala Bona is a good spot for water sports enthusiasts, and its appeal to holidaymakers was increased by the addition of three man-made beaches. Somewhat quieter than its better known neighbour Cala Millor, Cala Bona (which means “Good Bay”), provides an ideal location for a laid back family holiday. When the weather is sunny, the place to be is the beach, and with 3 to choose from, you should be able to find a decent spot. While you are staying in Cala Bona, take some time out for a trip on the glass-bottomed boat, and get an interesting insight into the varied sea life to be found off this part of the Majorca coast.

February 17, 2011

Cala Egos Majorca

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Holidays,Spain — Tags: , , , , — needahand @ 4:44 pm

Beginning a short series of articles on Majorca resorts, I am starting with a little known but still fairly popular coastal resort on the east coast of the island. Cala Egos (I haven’t been able to find a meaning of the name!), is close to the better known Cala D’Or, and its residential areas are very close to the marina of Cala D’Or. Cala Egos is a mostly residential area with numerous large villas, and also a number of apartment complexes, it has some bars and restaurants, and has easy access to a number of small beaches and pretty little coves, for which this area is well known. A stay in Cala Egos would suit those looking for a quiet family holiday away from the hustle and bustle of Magaluf and similar resorts. Majorca Map.

September 23, 2010

Santa Ponsa Verdemar Apartments

Santa Ponsa Verdemar Apartments

Santa Ponsa Verdemar Apartments, Majorca.

A good choice for your accommodation in the popular resort of Santa Ponsa on the holiday island of Mallorca in the Spanish Balearic Islands, is the Verdemar Apartments complex, located in Calle Ramon de Moncada close to local amenities and beaches. Apartments in the Verdemar Santa Ponsa offer rooms with bathroom, balcony, kitchenette, safe, etc, complex facilities include 24 hour reception, restaurant, bar, laundry, room service, and meeting facilities, there are also leisure facilities including outdoor swimming pool, ideal when the weather is hot. Santa Ponsa is situated on the south-west coast of Mallorca, close to the resorts of Magaluf and Palma Nova, and just 18 kilometres from the island’s capital Palma de Mallorca, it has excellent sandy beaches, a pleasant climate, and good amenities for both daytime and night time entertainment. Apartments are available in the Apartmentos Verdemar Santa Ponsa from around 26 euros per night (£22), perfect for your stay in the Balearics.


August 20, 2010

The Sol Calas de Mallorca Resort

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Holidays,hotels,Spain — Tags: , , , , — needahand @ 9:05 am
Sol Calas de Mallorca Resort

Sol Calas de Mallorca Resort

One of the most attractive and popular holiday destinations on the island of Mallorca, the Sol Calas de Mallorca Resort would be an ideal choice for your stay on the island. Set in twenty five thousand square metres of landscaped gardens and offering 875 rooms in either of three accommodation blocks (Sol Mastines, Sol Chihuahuas and Sol Balmoral), the Sol Calas de Mallorca is certainly a beautiful place to enjoy the wonderful Mallorca weather and atmosphere. Overlooking 2 of the three beaches of Calas de Mallorca on the east coast of the island this hotel resort has several swimming pools and children’s play areas, each of the hotel blocks has its own restaurant, lounge and pool, and stages for both daytime and night time entertainment. The resort of Calas de Mallorca itself has some excellent facilities and is a tranquil place away from the hustle and bustle of Mallorca’s major resorts, it is situated in the Manacor district, and is around sixty seven kilometres from the airport at Palma de Mallorca. Rooms in the Sol Calas de Mallorca Resort are offered from around 38 euros per night (£32) a great price for a desirable location. Calas de Mallorca is on Mallorca’s east coast, between the resorts of Porto Colom and Porto Cristo.


July 29, 2010

Palma de Mallorca Part 2

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Spain,Travel — Tags: , , — needahand @ 2:32 pm

In a previous post we looked at a little of the history of Palma de Mallorca, in the Balearic Islands, Spain, and visited some of the main attractions, this week we will look at what else Palma has to offer. A great place to start your day would be a morning stroll along Palma’s waterfront, with the city stirring for the day, the busy fish market bursts into life, the Es Moll de Pescadors hosts the Llotja del Peix (Fish Market), here you can pick up fresh prawns, sea-bass, mullet, sardines and much more, but you will need to be early as it opens at 6.00am.

Little is left of the Arab occupation of Palma, but well worth a look are the Banys Árabs (Arab Baths), which date from the 10th century and would have originally been part of a nobleman’s house. The domed horseshoe arches, are supported by a dozen columns in various styles. Possible salvaged from an earlier Roman building, the steam room had underfloor heating, with a separate ‘cooling off’ room, next door. The Arab Baths are located in Carrer Can Serra and are behind the Museu de Mallorca, which is the most significant museum in Mallorca, covering over 3,000 years of the island’s history, from the early Talaotic Period, through the Roman and Arab occupations, up to the present day, with exhibitions by modern day Mallorcan artists.

To take a break from the ancient and historical, you might fancy a trip to the market, in the Plaça Olivar you will find the vibrant Mercat Olivar, a covered market offering a huge range of consumables, most notably fruit and seafood which are displayed in mind boggling quantities and varieties. While you are there try out one of the tapas bars, where the market workers eat, here you can taste some real Mallorcan tapas.

If you wish to do a little shopping whilst in Mallorca then Palma is the place to do it, the main shopping area is in the Plaça Juan Carlos I, which is located beside the cathedral, here you will find numerous big stores such as El Corte Ingles, interspersed with smaller shops. Shops generally open at 10.00am and close at about 1.30pm, the evening session is from 5.00pm to 8.00pm.

When you are all spent out you could take a look at the Poble Espanyol (Spanish Village), a sort of Spanish theme park, where you can see reproductions of famous buildings from Madrid, Toledo and Cordoba, visit handicraft workshops, eat traditional Spanish food and get a lesson in Spanish architecture through the ages.

Getting back to culture one of the many churches worth a visit is the impressive Basilica de Sant Francesc, originally from the 13th century, the façade was rebuilt in the 17th century. The church houses the tomb of Mallorca’s most famous citizen Ramón Llull (1235-1316) a wealthy courtier from Palma, who later became a hermit after a failed seduction attempt, he was later stoned to death in Tunisia, for attempting to convert Muslims to Christianity.

While there is still plenty to see in Palma, you could perhaps wind down your visit with an evening stroll up the Passeig des Born, a tree-lined promenade, which has long been the centre of city life in Palma. Have a coffee in one of the al fresco cafés and relax after a busy day in the beautiful Palma de Mallorca.

Palma de Mallorca Map.

June 22, 2010

Palma de Mallorca

Filed under: Balearic Islands,History,Spain — Tags: , , — needahand @ 9:53 am

The capital of Mallorca (Majorca) and of the Balearic Islands, Palma de Mallorca is home to almost half the resident population of the island, and also welcomes millions of visitors each year by way of its International Airport.

 The city itself has some wonderful attractions including the famous La Seu Gothic cathedral, which boasts one of the biggest stained glass windows in the world with 1,236 pieces and measuring some 11 metres across – amazing.

 Founded as a camp by the Romans in about 123 BC, Palma de Mallorca became an important port on the Mediterranean trade route. Known as Medina Mayurqa to the Arabs, its name is actually taken from the Roman city of Palmaria. Much of the original Roman city still exists below the present day city, and Roman remains are being found all the time.

May 19, 2010

Mallorca Spain

Filed under: Balearic Islands,History,Spain — Tags: , , , , , , — needahand @ 4:00 pm

Though it may seem a world away, the beautiful island of Mallorca is easily reachable from the Costa Blanca region and well worth a visit if you have a few days to spare. A short flight from Alicante airport or a ferry ride from the resort of Denia, will see you on the holiday island in no time.

Mallorca (normally called Majorca in the UK) is the biggest of the Spanish Balearic Islands, the other main islands are Ibiza, Menorca, Formentera and Cabrera, Mallorca itself is often likened to a continent rather than a small island, due to is rich and diverse landscape, which varies from the alpine like mountains of the Serra Tramuntana and the Serra de Levant to the flat fertile plains of central Mallorca. The island is also rich in flora and fauna and its natural parks such as the wetlands of S’Albufera in northern Mallorca, provide important protection for hundreds of bird and animal species.

Mallorca was one of the pioneers in mass tourism during the 1960’s and 1970’s and many of its popular resorts became over developed, but don’t let that put you off the place, get away from the built for tourism resorts (mostly gathered on the south coast), and you will find some charming little towns and villages, which remain much as they have for hundreds of years. Though almost nowhere is Mallorca is totally untouched by tourism, and most places rely on it, in one way or another, there is plenty to see that has not been spoiled by it.

Mallorca was first inhabited in around 5000 BC and its first organised culture was known as the Talaiotic Culture which built settlements in Capocorb Vell and Artà in  1000 BC. The Talaiots left their mark in the form of great stone towers which can still be seen today (the neighbouring island of Menorca is particularly rich in these structures). The Romans conquered Mallorca in 123 BC and called it Balearis Major, they built their capital at Pollentia (Alcudia) and introduced vineyards and olives, though it remained an outpost of the Roman Empire and less important than the Spanish mainland. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Vandals arrived on Mallorca, persecuting the Christian population, though their control was relatively brief and they were ousted by the Byzantines who restored Christianity and order to the island, under Byzantine control Mallorca became a province of Sardinia.

The next major year in Mallorca’s history was 902 AD when the Moors invaded, incorporating the island into the Caliphate of Córdoba, the Arabs called it Medina Mayurqa and set to work improving the irrigation of the island with their advanced techniques, introducing new crops such as oranges and almonds.

Mallorca was re-conquered for the Christians in 1229 by King Jaime I of Aragon, his son Jaime II was later to become the 1st King of Mallorca.

Mallorca suffered numerous pirate attacks throughout the 16th to 18th centuries and a number of watchtowers were built around to coast to warn the inhabitants of these attacks.

In late 1936 during the Spanish Civil War, Mallorca was attacked by Republican troops, the attack was repulsed and the island remained in Nationalist hands throughout the war (1936-39).

Mass tourism arrived in the 1960’s with the opening of the Son Sant Joan Airport and Mallorca catered for this modern invasion by developing its southern coastline, in 1983 the Balearic Islands became an autonomous region of Spain, with Palma de Mallorca as its capital.

Mallorca Map.

May 15, 2010

Manacor Mallorca and Surroundings

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Spain,Travel — Tags: , , , , , , — needahand @ 11:48 am

Some inland towns in the east of Mallorca include the second largest town on the island, Manacor, an industrial town which is renowned for its artificial pearls. The pearl factories are a major tourist attraction for the town and thousands of visitors arrive each week to watch the pearls in production, the pearls are made from glass beads, covered in resin and fish scales, they are hard to tell from the real thing. Another small inland town is the charming Felanitx, famous for its ceramics, it is worth visiting for its 13th century church of Sant Miguel. Further south is the honey-coloured Santanyi, built from the same stone as Palma cathedral, Santanyi is a former fortified town, with much remaining of its fortifications, its coastal are Cala Santanyi is a popular holiday resort. Ending with another little coastal resort to the north near Capdepera, Cala Ratjarda is a pretty little resort in an area of rugged coastline, this former fishing village has become popular with holidaymakers seeking a quieter holiday. Manacor Map.

May 9, 2010

Porto Colom Majorca

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Holidays,Spain — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 3:41 pm

Founded in the 13th century, the small fishing village of Porto Colom on the south-east coast of Majorca, is now a popular but generally unspoilt holiday resort, which retains much of its traditional charm. The picturesque natural harbour is one of the best on the island, and is dotted with local fishing craft, which still ply their trade along this coast. The fine beach at Cala Marcal is safe and clean and great for families, offering the usual facilities, and enjoying the splendid Majorca weather. Porto Colom has a reasonable choice of facilities and is renowned for its seafood restaurants, supplying meals of freshly caught fish. The town has a regular bus service with the capital Palma de Mallorca. Porto Colom Map.

February 20, 2010

Cala Millor Majorca

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Holidays,Spain — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 4:05 pm

Located to the north of Porto Cristo on the east coast of Majorca, the beach resort of Cala Millor is one of the most popular holiday destinations on the island. Boasting superb beaches (the main beach is over a mile long), and a good range of facilities, Cala Millor is a great choice for a family holiday, of course another factor which is a major attraction is the wonderful Cala Millor weather, which is very reliable during the months May to October. Tourism began in Cala Millor as far back as the 1930’s, though the main boom did not gain pace until the 1970’s and 80’s. Worth a visit whilst in Cala Millor is the wildlife park, Safari Zoo, located about a mile to the south of the resort centre. Cala Millor Map.

December 10, 2009

Cala Mondrago Mallorca

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Holidays,Spain — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 12:59 pm

If you are visiting the island of Mallorca this year and are fed up with the crowds and drawbacks of mass tourism, you might want to consider heading for somewhere a little quieter. One of the recommended places for visitors of this ilk is the beautiful Cala Mondrago, situated in the south-east of the island. Having just a couple of hotels and very little else to attract those seeking a pulsating nightlife scene, Cala Mondrago will not keep you occupied for long, if you are looking for more than a relaxing beach holiday, but if it is the beach that you like, you will find one of the finest on Mallorca and in fact in the entire Balearic Islands region and with the fine climate that goes with it, you might just think you are in paradise. To say there is nothing to do here is a slight exaggeration, as nature lovers will be attracted by the Mondrago Parc Natural, which surrounds the resort and comprises 2,000 acres of important wetland with enough bird species to keep even the most ardent twitcher happy. For those who just have to visit a rowdy club or disco at night, you will just have to head into nearby Cala d’Or for the evenings and get your fix of noise.

December 8, 2009

Calvia Soller and Deia Mallorca

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Spain,Travel — Tags: , , , , , , , , — needahand @ 6:57 pm

Three attractive Mallorca towns, which may escape the attentions of holidaymakers visiting the island, are nevertheless worth taking a look at, the towns in question are Calvia, Deia and Soller. Calvia, the administrative centre of a region which contains some of the best known resorts in Mallorca, lies in the foothills of the Tramuntana mountains, and is set amongst olive groves and fertile agricultural land, take a look at its 13th century church, the Calvia region has a rich historical heritage going back to the times of the Romans and beyond. The picturesque mountain town of Deia, was a popular haunt for expats during the First World War, and will always be associated with English poet Robert Graves who lived there for many years and is buried in the church there, Deia is also the home of the renowned Hotel la Residencia. The last of our towns is Soller, located at the end of the Palma “toytown” train, and dominated by the Puig Major mountain, its coastal arm Port de Soller is a popular holiday resort. Worth a visit in Soller is the Balearic Museum of Natural Sciences and Botanical Gardens. If you are holidaying in one of the coastal resorts such as Magaluf or Santa Ponsa then you may need to hire a car in order to visit these interesting towns, although organised trips may be available from your local tourist office. Sporting enthusiasts staying in the resorts of the Calvia area will find plenty to keep them occupied, water sports facilities are plentiful along the coast and golf is especially well catered for with the 3 courses of Santa Ponsa Golf nearby and the Club de Golf de Poniente adijng to the variety.

October 24, 2009

Puerto Pollensa Majorca

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Holidays,Spain,Travel — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 1:33 pm

The harbour area for the ancient Majorcan town of Pollensa, is known as Puerto Pollensa. For many years a popular destination for rich tourists to Mallorca, Puerto Pollensa was the subject of a 1936 short story by the famous author Agatha Christie (Problem at Pollensa Bay). The present town still retains much of the charm that it would have had in Agatha Christie’s day and has not been ruined by concrete tower blocks, as has much of the Majorca coastline. The colourful Majorcan fishing boasts are however being largely superceded by luxury yachts, though the hope is that they will not replace them entirely. The attractive Pine Walk which runs beside the harbour of Puerto Pollensa, is a wonderful setting for an evening stroll, before settling down for a delicious meal in one of the local restaurants. The region enjoys a splendid climate and Puerto Pollensa weather is ideal for sunny summer holidays or pleasant winter breaks, so why not visit the picturesque Mallorcan town of Puerto Pollensa soon.

October 19, 2009

Arta, Petra, Sineu and Capdepera Mallorca

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Spain — Tags: , , , , , — needahand @ 7:22 pm

Four lesser known towns on the island of Mallorca in the Balearic Islands, Spain, that may be of interest should you be visiting are Sineu, Petra, Arta and Capdepera. Some charming little towns, they all have a different history to tell. Sineu, located in the centre of the island was where King Jaime II built his royal palace, much of which exists to this day, and presently home to an order of nuns, you can also visit the Nostra Senyora de los Angeles church originally from the 13th century. Petra was the birthplace of Mallorca’s most famous son Fray Junípero Serra, famous as the founder of California after being sent there to found missions for Carlos III at the age of 58, visitors can see the house where he was born and the font where he was baptised. Arta is a charming little mountain town which was an Arab stronghold during their occupation of Mallorca, the town still has many remnants of its ancient fortifications, the nearby Ses Paisses is one of Majorca’s best know archaeological sites. Lastly we visit Capdepera, another ancient town dominated by its medieval castle – the largest on Majorca, a castle has existed here since Roman times and has been rebuilt numerous times by various civilisations. The nearby Caves of Artà, with immense cathedral sized caverns and interesting rock formations are well worth a visit.

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