I can't remember the first time I went to Mallorca as I've been there countless times for so many different purposes; family holidays, girls weekend, romantic break (Ben and I went here on our first holiday so it's a little bit special for us). It really does have a little bit of everything. Ben's mum has a little place in the Santa Catalina area of Palma (you can rent it if you like, here) so it's the perfect place to escape to for a bit of R&R. Although I've visited Mallorca a lot, I didn't really know Palma itself before we came out last year. Our agenda consisted of two main priorities: sunshine and avoiding every single stag and hen do from the UK (and all that goes with it).
the biggest G&Ts you have ever seen. at Zanzibar, Santa Catallina
It's a beautiful little city with a lot going for it - all the history, views, restaurants and nightlife you could really ask for. On our first time we wondered into the old town and to an infamous little tapas bar called Bar Dia - recommend it for "simple style" tapas; nothing fancy but you'll guess by the number of Mallorcans and the possible queue by good it is... We ate as much calamari, dates with bacon, tortillas, padron peppers and meatballs that we could physically fit into us for around 40€ (£35).
the harbour at Portals Nous, pick a boat..?
The two main beaches we go to are both about a 15 minute journey from our apartment by bus (which costs between 3€ and 5€ return, and run every 10/15 minutes). Illetas is a great spot with a fantastic beach including a little beach "club" called Virtual on the rocks where you can have a sunbed for the day for 20€. The other has a very different feel as is more within a holiday village called Portals Nous. Wonder down the beach (through the clearest water you've even seen) to get to our Favourite Bar In The World Ever, Roxys. It's consists of a shed turned into a bar/kitchen, a handful of beach beds, chill-out playlists (you'll want your 3G working as you'll be Shazaming a lot) and deck chairs. Just go, you won't regret it. Super fun, and when it gets too hot dip in the water (optionally with your wine glass) to cool down.
More from Roxy's Beach Bar...
As for Palma itself, I can't recommend Santa Catalina enough. It's got an extremely local feel and staying in the area means renting an apartment rather than a hotel. You can walk to the old town in 15 minutes, and directly in the area is a fab food market (go early to avoid disappointment, and pick out your fresh fruit, vegetables, fish etc), great furniture and nick-nack stores (B Connected is a personal favourite) and coffees (Fibonacci and The Room are great for breakfasts). Bar wise, definitely check out the local-style bar Zanzibar just to see the size of their G&Ts for yourself... They tip the bottle into your pint size glass. Eat beforehand, or your night could well finish there. If you make it past bootcamp stage, Havanna down the road is a great place for an equally strong drink and stays open into the early hours...
Amazing food at Patron Lunares, Santa Catallina
As for restaurants, definitely give Bunkers a go. Run by an Italian with a penchant for surfing (who also cooks all of the food behind the bar, in a kitchen the size of a shower room) the menu is exceptional - we enjoyed thai duck followed by papardelle with venison, followed by limoncello, followed by more wine. A new discovery for us this time was Patron Lunares. JUST AMAZING. I mean, just look at the calamari. Really cannot recommend it enough, kitchen opens at 8pm - worth getting there early to avoid disappointment.
amazing turbot at Bunkers / forcing Ben into a couple selfie...
I'm back there in August for a girls long weekend, and Ben is doing the same in September. As it's only 2 hours away (unless you fly with Monarch, where we had a 26 hour delay - yes really) I can't recommend it enough. Style wise, I've got a few outfit posts going out this week but essentially its casual cool. You don't need much: bikini, shorts, tees and some half-smart heels for the evening if you want to. Here was what I packed into my hand luggage:
green and white print shorts, Reiss / leopard print bikini, Triangl / palm print trousers, Ganni / cashmere halterneck, Whistles / breton tee, Saint James / green bikini, Reiss / black sandals, Topshop / cropped lace tee, Topshop / bracelets, Astley Clarke