Flights are Affordable and the Island Is at Its Best #
There are many things us expats living on Mallorca might be differing on, but there is general agreement about one thing. Springtime is the best season on this island. To those of you who are not living here and have to brave a northern clime of snow and sleet, low-hanging lead-grey skies and general lack of light and colour: Think Mallorca when you crave the sun and need a spring break. Let others flock to the Canary Islands, the Caribbean or Bahamas to get their fix of vitamin D. As appealing as these options sound, apart from not being the most affordable ones these winter in-spots are inundated at this time of year with thousands of tourists who have all had the same idea.
On Mallorca on the other hand, winter and spring are a quiet when life returns to its authentic self. What the island offers apart from peace and tranquillity? A nature awash in spring colours, a sea of fragrant almond blossoms, days warm enough to wear a t-shirt and sit in the sun in a café terrace sipping your café con leche. Plus an abyss of hidden trails and towns to explore at your leisure.
A word of warning: You might fall in love with the island. This is what happened to many of us who live here: we flew in for short break to escape the dismal weather, and came back – to stay.
You feel like booking that flight now? Our writer Zoe Holmes has all the details for you.
Who to Fly With #
During the peaceful months of November- April, there aren’t too many flights to the island. However, there are a few main providers from the larger UK and US who do offer regular flights at affordable prices.
Throughout the year, both Manchester and London (Gatwick and Stansted) operate regular flights to the island. As soon as we enter the month of March, daily services from Bristol, Newcastle, Bournemouth, Doncaster, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Liverpool become available too. With a flight time of just 2 hours and 15 minutes, and some flights starting at just 27€ pp (each way) you can have a break away without burning a hole in your pocket.
There are 29 airports that will fly you into Palma de Mallorca, albeit with a detour via Barcelona. Journey time is anywhere between 9.5-11 hours. The average cost of 500€ pp (return) seems relatively cost-effective considering you’ll be travelling halfway across the globe!
Where to Stay #
To make your dream of a spring break come true, you will of course need affordable accommodation, too. Here are Zoe’s personal recommendations:
The capital city of our gorgeous island is dotted with hotels, guest houses and private properties galore. It’s hard to narrow down the best options (as there are just so many to choose from) but here are some options that may take your fancy.
Hotels offer a stress-free solution to travelling, and you’ll be hard pushed to find a more convenient one in Palma than Apuntadores 8. Rated as one of the best hotels in the city centre, based on its central location (just 5 mins from all main attractions) a spacious double room with city views could be yours for just 86€ per night (based on 2 people sharing). Offering a beautiful roof terrace overlooking the spectacular harbour and impressive cathedral, as well as the option to add on breakfast for just 8€pp - Apuntadores 8 is perfect for your winter/spring city break!
Apuntadores 8, Calle Apuntadores, 07012 Palma de Mallorca / +34 971 713 419
For a real price-crunching bargain, hostels are the perfect option, and Palma has a large range to choose from. One of the most popular and stylish is Brick Palma. Situated in the attractive Old Town of the city, it offers dormitory style accommodation or private rooms. With a wide price range from 17€ pppn (single bed in 6 bed dormitory) to 120€ pppn (2-bedroom apartment) you can be sure to find something that fits your budget and needs. Brick offers a trendy bar, urban decor and a wonderful location. What more could you want?
Brick Palma, Carrer des Forn D’en Vila, 3, 07002 Palma / +34 620 513 207
There are several sites that display private properties, possibly the most well-known is AirBnB. From around 95-100€ per night, you can hire a central apartment, fully equipped and just a short distance from all the main attractions that the city has to offer. Other sites that list similar properties are booking.com and homeaway.com. Be prepared though that some properties (villa-style in particular) might be a little further from the centre than hotel or hostel accommodation.
Southwest: The Andratx Area #
This Andratx village and Port Andratx are sure to have you falling in love within an instant. Nestled within the Tramuntana mountains and situated on the south west coast of the island it is popular with locals and an international community, too.
Many of the hotels are located within the Port of Andratx, where the views are spectacular, and you can even do a bit of celeb spotting whilst sipping a glass of something at the water’s edge. Now, it must be noted that this is not the most affordable area of the island, however it does benefit from operating all year round, and not regressing into a quiet and sleepy state like other areas of Mallorca.
For a relaxed getaway at a reasonable price Aparthotel La Pergola offers the perfect retreat. A standard double room, for a long weekend break, will cost 275€- which isn’t too bad considering the central location just a short distance from the spectacular beaches of Camp de Mar and Sant Elm and merely yards from the harbour. If you ask me, it’s hard to beat for a low season break
La Pergola, Avinguida s’Almundaina, 16, 07157 Port d’Andratx / +34 971 67 15 50
Although Andratx itself doesn’t bode any hostel-style accommodation, the nearby town of Peguera most certainly does. In summer a lively area particularly popular with German tourists, it offers great beaches and is a great choice for hikers thanks to its proximity to the mountain range. Hostal Neptuno is just fifty yards from the beachfront and twenty from the bus stop, meaning explorers or beach bums will be satisfied here! At just over 200€ for a long weekend during April, it really is great value for money!
Hostal Neptuno, Rosal 2, 07160Peguera / +34 971 68 57 11
In the Andratx area, private properties make up for a large percentage of the touristic accommodation in this area, from fincas to penthouses. Prices of course vary, and providers such as AirBnB and Booking.com offer a variety of property options. For those of you who like your own space, and enjoy dining out or coming home to cook I would certainly recommend this option.
North: The Alcudia Area #
The ancient town of Alcudia on the north of the island attracts visitors year after year; yet it is during the months of November-April that it is at its most beautiful. Just 45 minutes from Palma, with exceptional public transport links, and nestled within rocky terrain perfect for ambitious cyclists or hikers, Alcudia offers everything and more. The quaint old town transports you to ancient Mallorca and the expansive market every Tuesday and Sunday allows you to sample so many local delights!
You couldn’t get any more central than Fonda Llabres Boutique Hotel. Situated within the very heart of Alcudia’s old town, and offering panoramic views across the rolling mountainside, it is simply breath-taking. Whilst downstairs from the accommodation you will find one of the oldest and most popular restaurants, the hotel itself oozes modern style, with chic finishes and quirky designs. The rooftop bar is the icing on the cake, for those of you wishing to enjoy a martini as the sun sets. The market is visible from your bedroom window, the beach and harbour a mere 15 minutes' walk away, and the bus stop in the adjacent street. And with a double room for a long weekend in April at just 202€ it is affordable, too.
Fonda Llabres Boutique Hotel, Plaza Constitución 6, 07400Alcudia / +34 971 54 50 00
The Hostal Brisa Marina lies directly on the waterfront, offering sea views from almost every room; and with such stylish interior (after a recent renovation) it’s hard to believe this is a hostel and not a 3 or 4* hotel! With an abundance of water sports and boat trips available throughout the year, as well as hiking trails through nearby La Victoria and Bonaire; and of course the S’Albufera nature reserve, you’ll be kept very busy! A long weekend between March and April will set you back between 150-175€ (based on 3 nights and dependent on room type). Can’t grumble at that!
Hostal Brisa Marina, Paseo Maritimo 8, 07400Port d’Alcudia / +34 971 54 62 72
Alcudia is primarily made up of hotels and apartments, as much of the private property is residential within the area. However, if you are prepared to hire a car, there are fincas aplenty on the outskirts of the town, heading towards nearby Pollensa and Puerto Pollensa. As with all resorts on the island, it is worth checking with all the well-known providers of private accommodation, to ensure you secure the very best deal!
Northeast: The Cala Millor Area #
The north east coast has a reputation for shutting down during the winter season, and whilst it does become rather quiet; it is far from closed. Cala Millor appeals primarily to the German market during the summer months, yet in winter and spring, visitors from mainland Spain are drawn in by its tranquil coastal setting.
The Marins Playa is large modern hotel, suitable for both couples and families alike. Appealing to an international clientele, this beachfront hotel is one of the finest within the area. Situated between Cala Millor and its neighbour, Cala Bona, customers can enjoy the pleasant stroll across the promenade and meander through the small shops and bars that are scattered along the coastline. Cala Millor boasts a brilliant trail up to the Castell Punt d’Amer, which is suitable for experienced hikers and Sunday strollers alike; and once reaching the summit the views are undeniably beautiful. A long weekend (3 nights) with a double room (including breakfast) is an affordable 214€.
Marins Playa, Carrer na Llambies 41, 07560 Cala Millor / +34 971 58 58 05
The Hostal Saturno is central, clean, simple and affordable. At just 37€ per night you really can’t go wrong. Situated in the main high street, and almost opposite the taxi rank everything you need is within walking distance. The British hosts have been running the property for many years, and do everything to ensure you have a pleasant stay, and are always on hand to recommend sightseeing spots within the local area.
Hostal Saturno, Carrer de la Flor 13, 07560Cala Millor / +34 971 58 64 95
This particular area of the island doesn’t have much to offer in the way of private property, although further afield in Son Servera there are fincas available to rent for holiday purposes.
So, if you’re living in a northern clime and suffer from lack of light too much sleet and rain, don’t despair. A trip to Mallorca is within reach and, as we promised, won’t break the bank. Hop on a plane, and enjoy the indescribably beautiful feel of the warm rays of the spring sun on your face.
DISCLAIMER: All information contained in this article, especially the prices quoted, has been carefully researched and was correct at the time of publication, but are of course subject to change. Please, check before booking!
By Ulla Rahn-Huber
9 February, 2020