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

April 13, 2012

Cala Vinas Majorca

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Holidays,Spain — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 9:00 am

Cala Vinas Majorca – Cala Vinas is situated to the south of Magaluf on the western side of the Bay of Palma in Majorca, it has a relatively small beach and is surrounded by hotels and villas, some of which are located directly beside the beach. Cala Vinas is a popular tourist destination, handy for the airport at Palma de Mallorca. North of the bay towards Magaluf are tha caves of Cala Vinas and to the south the Cap des Falco.

See a map of Majorca here:

August 15, 2011

Palma Nova Beaches Majorca

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Spain — Tags: , , — needahand @ 11:16 am

Palma Nova Beaches Majorca – One of Majorca’s most popular seaside resorts Palma Nova is located not too far from the capital Palma de Mallorca. Attracting thousands of visitors each year this fine resort is well known for its lovely weather conditions, its sandy beaches and its good amenities. Palma Nova has three beaches in all, with the main beach being situated close to the harbour and close to the main residential area of the resort, this beach is about half a mile long and has fine white sand. The beach is backed by the seafront promenade which is lined with bars and restaurants. On the beaches you will find the usual amenities with parasols and sun loungers available for rent, with pedaloes and water sports also on offer. Just eighteen miles from Majorca airport, Palma Nova is easy to reach and in a great location.

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.


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 28, 2010

Castillo Hotel Son Vida Majorca

Filed under: Balearic Islands,hotels,Spain — Tags: , , — needahand @ 10:36 am
Castillo Hotel Son Vida Majorca

Castillo Hotel Son Vida Majorca

Surrounded by the beautiful 18 hole Son Vida golf course, the charismatic Castillo Hotel Son Vida is one of the most popular in the area, which is in turn extremely popular with golfers due to there being 3 fabulous courses in a small area. The Castillo Hotel has 171 well presented rooms which all have the usual facilities expected of a top class hotel including bathroom, mini-bar, air-conditioning, internet, heated floors and coffee making facilities. The Castillo Hotel Son Vida located west of Palma, is housed in a building which dates from the thirteenth century, providing a unique atmosphere, making a visit to the hotel a memorable experience. The hotel itself of course has lots of facilities with swimming pool and sun lounging area for enjoying the wonderful Majorca weather, tennis courts, games room, internet, health spa, fitness centre, massage, salon and restaurant, all set in stunning grounds. The Castillo Hotel is situated within easy driving distance of Majorca airport, which is located in nearby Palma de Mallorca. From the airport you can easily obtain a taxi or transfer, or you may choose to obtain a car hire vehicle and make your own way to the hotel.


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.

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 17, 2009

Valldemossa Majorca

One of the big attractions on the cultural tourist route of Mallorca is the small town of Valldemossa, which sits in the mountains north of the capital Palma de Mallorca. What makes this place so special is that for a short time in the winter of 1838-39, it became the home of French novelist George Sand and her lover composer Frederick Chopin, who went there to escape the gossip of Paris, and also in the hope that it would aid Chopin’s bad health (he suffered from tuberculosis). Ironically that winter Valldemossa weather was not kind to its new visitors and it remained wet and windy for most of their stay. The celebrities were also apparently given the cold shoulder by the locals as they were not married, and George Sand wrote a derogatory book about their stay called “A Winter in Mallorca” in which she called the local inhabitants savages and thieves. Their visit has still not been forgotten and the book can still be found on sale in the town! Valldemossa Map.

September 6, 2009

Can Pastilla Majorca

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Holidays,hotels,Spain — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 9:35 am

Ideally located on the Bay of Palma, the popular family resort of Can Pastilla is a good spot for a holiday or a winter break, its safe sandy beach is ideal for children, gently sloping into warm Mediterranean waters. The beach is backed by a palmed promenade which stretches all the way to the neighbouring resort of El Arenal, along the promenade you will find plenty of bars, restaurants, shops and arcades for your entertainment and amusement, and in the evenings the promenade comes alive and offers great views across the bay to the neon light capital Palma de Mallorca. Not to be missed is the pretty little harbour, with luxury yachts moored alongside traditional fishing boats. There are a decent selection of hotels to choose from in the resort one of the most popular being the Linda Hotel Can Pastilla, which is located near to the beach and facilities, other hotels include the Hotel Balear, the Hotel Balmes, the Hotel Bari and the Hotel Baltic. The weather in Can Pastilla is of course typical of Mallorca in general being hot and dry during the summer and generally mild during the winter making it an all year round location. Can Pastilla Map.

August 18, 2009

Andratx Mallorca

The charming old Mallorca town of Andratx sits in the shadow of the 3,366 foot Puig de Galatzo mountain at the south-western end of the island, overlooked by medieval watchtowers, built to warn of raids by pirates and renegades in centuries past. The fortress like Santa Maria church is well worth a visit if you are in the town. Completely separate from the old town is the equally old port and harbour area, previously just a tiny fishing village, it has been transformed into a popular and exclusive resort, visited by the rich and famous who moor their luxury yachts in the new marina. Andratx has some famous residents including the likes of Tom Cruise and Claudia Schiffer who both own homes there. Andratx and the whole of Mallorca is blessed with a fantastic climate and Andratx weather is particularly pleasant during the summer months, but also quite agreeable during the winter months. Andratx can be accessed from the MA-1 from Palma de Mallorca, you can see a map here: Andratx Map.

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