“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 by Our Founder, Memphis Holland #
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. Marcia 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 Marcia did this for her but Marcia 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.
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
This year, Holly and Ulla, two of my fabulous co-workers and I had a spa day. We were celebrating their birthdays. Holly 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 Holly 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. For more on local spas, click here >>
A Meal with a Love Interest
In Palma this winter, the weather is warmer and sunnier than usual. We recommend The Boathouse on the Paseo Maritimo because the setting is divine, the staff is super friendly, food is delicious, and easy parking next at the harbor makes this place our top choice. If you have anyone who has mobility issues, this is the place. Prices range from €5-27/person with an afternoon tea/coffee plus dessert offer of €8/person. Winter hours are set for 10:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Where? Avenida de Gabriel Roca, 33B, Palma de Mallorca / Phone: +34 971 73 41 14 7 / theboathouse.es
Finding restaurants open on Mallorca in winter can be a challenge. Even Cappuccino’s closed for February. Whatever place you want – wherever you live on the island, call for a reservation. My husband and I will go to one of our favorite Mallorcan restaurants, Es 4 Vents in Algaida. We like the authentic Mallorca and this place has it all including the best food and the best prices. This is restaurant has a mention in the Michelin Guide and is always full. Call for a reservation first because this is a local’s hangout. You can have a full meal for two including tapas, glass of wine and dessert for a bit over €50.
They speak English but try a bit of Spanish so you can feel more local.
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 / +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.
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 millions of people visiting a year 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
14 February, 2020