“You always gain by giving love.” Reese Witherspoon
True, you could decide to simply ignore it. After all, Valentine’s Day is not a Mallorcan invention. This celebration arrived on the island only recently. Traditionally, the Day of Lovers was celebrated on October 21st, Saint Ursula’s Day, called ses verges or “Day of the Virgins”. This was when the Romeos sneaked to their Julias’ fiercely guarded homes, positioning themselves in the shrubbery under windows and balconies for a night of serenading, a romantic (and fun) event that continues to be celebrated in some villages on the island (although nowadays, it seems, some take it as an excuse for too much drinking and painting the whole town red).
A Little History of Lovers’ Day #
In 469, Pope Gelasius first introduced February 14th as the official day to bless married couples in honor of Saint Valentine, and although the Catholics deleted the Saint’s celebration from their official calendar in 1969, it was too late to put an end to it – it had taken root in many places all across the world.
Whether Saint Valentine was a historical figure or is a summing up of different life stories cannot be said with certainty. The narrative most often told (and most befitting the day as it is now celebrated) is that of the Roman Valentinus who was tortured to death for officiating weddings for soldiers who had no right to get married. As the legend goes, while in prison he healed the blind daughter or a guard and, before being led off to execution, sent her a letter signed “Your Valentine”.
In modern Spain, the Día de San Valentín or Día de los enamorados ("Lover’s Day“) is celebrated in a similar way as in the UK where, since the 15th century, it was a favorite society pastime to draw lots to form Valentine’s couples who then sent each other little gifts or cards.
Young, Old, Single Married: A Few Ideas #
Random Acts of Kindness
Sounds like a cliché yet this is the best way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I had a girlfriend who worked in a building on a busy six lane road. She would watch for a very hunched over elderly lady to cross the street every day at her lunch hour. May friend would “show up” at this time and cross the street with the woman who walked so slowly the light always changed before she could get across. The elderly lady never knew that my friend did this for her but this dear friend of mine felt better knowing she was helping someone stay safe. Find your own variation on this theme and do it without getting any public acknowledgement or praise.
Along the same lines, buy a bag of dog food and donate it to a shelter or volunteer for the day to help your neighbor take out the garbage. Any small act of kindness spreads love and that is the whole point of this day.
If you want a personal touch, join Open Mind Mallorca on Facebook. People who have needs - emotional or physical - post and others answer the call for help. It's a great way to connect with the local community of both expats and native born Mallorcans.
Select a Charity and Give Yourself for the Day
Take a look at our directory of charities and find one that appeals to you. Then, get moving in helping others. This opens the heart and spreads love better than receiving a diamond ring. Contrary to what the song says, diamonds are not a girl’s best friend. Offering yourself for the day cures depression and loneliness plus it stops that dreaded sense of isolation that comes in winter on Mallorca.
Girlfriends Day at a Local Spa
Fabulous co-workers and I had a spa day. We were celebrating our birthdays. One of the friends treated all of us to fun tokens of affection. Now, I am wearing a friendship bracelet, using new ear buds and have a fragrant candle that was purchased at Natura in Palma. Tokens of love and friendship come in many forms and you don’t have to spend a fortune to share affection. Remember, no diamonds this year but you might opt for splurging at one of the local spas. If so, click here
Share a Meal - Dining in or Taking out #
COVID has slowed down the entertainment on the island. Many restaurants simply haven't survived with the lack of tourist business. This is all the more reason to splurge at your favorite or local place to help the owners stay in business. We list a few of our favorites here. If you drop us a photo and short description, we'll include your favorites too. Send emails to Restaurant Stories.
One of our absolute island favorites is Es 4 Vents. Easily located in Algaida, the food is delicious, authentic and reasonably priced for the food and service. To eat like a local, check out this place.
Another place that serves good food and is open this time of year is Il Carpaccio in Santa Ponça. You’ll most likely find something on the menu board that suits you whether you are a vegan, carnivore or a flexivore. Make sure to call now to get a reservation because they will definitely be full on Valentine’s Day. This place is a little more expensive but yummy, memorable and they let you bring your dog who can stay under the table if you can’t bear to be parted from your furry friend.
Where: Avinguda del Rei Jaume I, 96, 07180 Santa Ponça
Phone: +34 971 964 162
They speak English, German and Spanish plus Bulgarian and probably a little Russian.
One last mention – if you are in the north of the island – one of our favourite restaurants is Cellar La Parra. This is authentic food and in Puerto Pollença with easy access from Palma, Pollença, Can Picafort and Alcúdia. The food is delicious and not too expensive. But you MUST make a reservation. This is a local’s hangout. We took a neighbour last year and for the three of us with drinks, tapas, entrees and dessert, the cost was less than €70.
Where: Calle Juan XXIII 84, 07470 Port de Pollença
Phone: + 34 971 86 50 41
The Most Romantic Ways to Celebrate #
There are many reasons to call Mallorca the “Love Island,” not the least one being that we all adore this place so much. Year after year, thousands of couples come here to seal their loving commitment and celebrate their wedding here. It goes without saying that Valentine’s Day in Mallorca can be supremely romantic. We have thought up a few ideas for you just in case you feel sending a card and giving flowers isn’t quite enough.
- Choose a spot facing west and watch the evening sky together! During the winter season, we get the most fabulous sunsets imaginable and there is nothing that equals this setting for a lovers’ tete-à-tete.
- Pack a picnic and some warm blankets and head into the rural heart of the island in the dusk. Wait for night to fall – and for the show to start. Read all about Stargazing on Mallorca>> It will be a night you’ll never forget!
- Book a visit to the Palma Cathedral Rooftop Terraces. The joint feeling of awe the views inspire will solder your connection more firmly than any golden ring.
- Do you remember Harold and Maud? One of THE most romantic love stories I’ve ever seen in a movie, if you ask me. There is a scene where Maud throws a love token Harold has just given her into a lake – because in this way she will always know where it is. Write your love messages on a pebble (ok, you may take a stone if it’s longer) and then walk hand in hand to find your unforgettable, eternal keep-it-safe spot.
- Bake muffins for your Valentine – that makes twelve chances to write your heartfelt messages onto little pieces of paper. Make sure to use poison-free ink and roll your messages up tight before you push them into the raw dough you’ve filled into the cups of your tray. I hope your loved one has a hearty appetite …
- Plant a tree together – or better plant two, close together, so that their branches will intertwine. Over time, this symbol of love will spread and weave its branches all the way up to link heaven and earth.
- Climb a mountain together – why not the Galatzó? I promise you, up on the summit, with the world at your feet, you won’t need any words to express your love. You will feel it!
Whatever you do, wherever you find yourself, spread the love. Kindness is an underrated commodity and the only one that we’ve found to be returned by more measure than any other gift. Here on Mallorca, we have people from over 128 countries, with almost a million expats living here. We all bring with us our cultural traditions. On this Valentine’s Day, our wish is that you find a way to feel love and to give it in return. That is the spirit of this holiday - - may we spread the love this and every day.
You have more ideas? Please share! Send us your photos and videos of your most romantic moment on Mallorca.
#ValentinesDay #Mallorca #Islandoflove
By Ulla Rahn-Huber
10 February, 2023