Don't believe George Sands who wrote A Winter in Majorca!
George Sands wrote A Winter in Majorca as an autobiographical travelogue published in 1842. It recounts a trip to Mallorca (Majorca is the UK spelling) in 1838-1839 with Frédéric Chopin. Back in the mid-1800s, Mallorca was a very different island. The cold and damp humidity seeped into the joints of most people. They sat around the llar de foc to stay warm. Many older homes in the countryside have fireplaces that are more decorative but you can see the seating around the outer walls.
Life today is vastly different. Here are my eight reasons to winter in Mallorca.
The Sunshine #
Why mention the sun as one of the top things about Mallorca in winter, you wonder? Well, even though this island can brag about having sunny weather 300 days a year, it’s during the winter you will appreciate it the most - not because it’s cold, dark and gray as in Northern Europe, but because, let’s be honest, during the summer the sun can be unbearable if there is no shade to be found and you’re not close to a cooling water hole.
In the cooler season though you crave the sun to keep you warm. Suddenly you enjoy letting those warming rays hit your face while having an outdoor lunch or a morning coffee on your terrace. Yes, we’re not kidding, morning coffee in the sun is a reality even in winter!
The Parties #
Wintertime is the time for parties and fiestas. Of course, there are the obvious ones, like Christmas and New Year’s Eve, but December marks just the beginning of the festivities. During January and February, you get to greet the Three Magi, dance with the devils at Corre foc and join the biggest barbecue you’ll ever see at fiesta de Sant Sebastià, just to mention a few. The streets are turned into a glimmering, sparkling light spectacle and Palma turns into one big party. (Well, almost.)
This year is different - COVID restrictions have us socializing in smaller groups and safe bubbles. The city streets are beautifully decorated so walks with friends outside, properly masked, offer a festive atmosphere. We're all hoping that next winter, we'll be able to celebrate our local fiestas.
The Sunsets #
We’ve already mentioned how wonderful is the winter sun, and as lovely it is to enjoy during the day, it’s just as beautiful to watch it set. In winter, its low position in the sky, the clear winter air and the calm atmosphere creates the most stunning sunsets!.
The Beaches #
Sure, the beaches are amazingin the summer and one of the main reasons why so many people choose to come to this lovely island. But while beaches are mainly for tourists in peak season, they are definitely a place for the locals in winter. All the lounge chairs and umbrellas are gone, it’s just calm and open sandy coves, with enough room for soccer games, playing fetch with your dog (who is allowed on the beach in winter only) or just contemplate the stunning unspoilt setting. The noise and buzz are gone, it’s just you and the sound of the waves.
The Nature #
It’s not just the beaches that are amazing in wintertime, nature itself is as green and lush as it gets. There’s no time like winter for hiking[[LINK TO ULTIMATE GUIDE Hiking]] or bicycling on Mallorca. Keep in mind, the average temperature in December is 17° Celsius (73° F), which means a light jacket and a good pair of shoes is normally all you need for a day out. Discover and enjoy the fabulous mountain views in crisp winter air or the flowers and soothing streams in the forest hills. There are hiking trails all over the island, and best of all – in winter you won't have a problem finding a parking spot when you get to the starting point. Check out two ofthe most amazing hiking trails on the Island in our ULTIMATE GUIDE Hiking.
Locally-grown Fruit #
Winter means fresh orange juice! Or marmalade, or lemon pie or just a deliciously sweet peeled fruit, grown and picked on our Mediterranean island. Mallorca has numerous citrus fruit groves and most famous of them all are in the Sóller valley, best known for its oranges and lemons. But you’ll find tangerines and grapefruits on the Island, too. Harvesting starts in January, so head for the nearest market and stock up on Mallorca’s finest vitamin C.
…and Veggies Found in the Wild #
When you’re done picking and eating the oranges, there’s yet more to be found in nature to please your palate: In late winter/early spring, wild asparagus is a popular and tasty treat you might find when leaving the city behind to explore the greener parts of Mallorca. Look for firm, light green spears with crisp tips. If they’re hard to break they’re usually from an old plant. Best go for the tender young shoots.
The Spas #
Most of the hotels that remain open during low season offer real bargain prices. What’s even better though are the residential discounts you can get in some places if you are among the lucky ones in possession of a residency card. In this case, you can enjoy a night (or day) at one of the most luxurious spa hotels on the island for less than half the usual price, the offers sometimes including both dinner and accommodation. Treat yourself and that winter-weary body of yours with a warming massage, a soothing swim or a sweaty sauna session. How’s that for affordable!
By Maria Strömqvist
4 January, 2023