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Mallorca Tips and Favorites

Discussion in 'Marriott Vacation Club' started by stslc, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. stslc

    stslc TUG Member

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    We are excited about our most recent II trade. Traded 1BR of our Mountainside Gold Week into a 3BR at Club Son Antem next May. We've been to the Marbella area Marriotts but never to Mallorca.
    We plan to rent a car to explore every corner of the island. May will be a bit early for beach time but we plan to spend some days on the sand and riding bikes.

    Looking for some of your favorite places to dine and things to see and do. Favorite beach/cove, spot in the mountains, little hidden away cafe or restaurant?

    Please share your faves.
    Thx in advance
     
  2. Pompey Family

    Pompey Family Guest

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    That's a very good trade! You're in for a treat, Son Antem is our favourite resort although I know it's not to everyone's taste. It is a bit rural but that's fine when you have a car. It's an easy 20 minute drive from the airport, the closest town is (edit) Llucmajor which is a five minute drive from the resort. Here there are some good restaurants in the main square however be warned......if you have no experience of driving extremely narrow roads in an old Spanish town then consider parking outside the old town or get a taxi. Driving aside you can find yourself searching high and low for a parking space in the old town during busy times.

    May is an excellent time to visit. Don't assume it's not beach time, whilst the sea is not warm it will most definitely be sunbathing weather. We tend to go in May and October and it's perfect weather, not too hot and ideal for exploring the island.

    Palma is my favourite Spanish city and there's plenty to see there along with some great restaurants (I don't recommend restaurants as it's all too subjective).

    This is a worthwhile guide to 36 hours in Palma, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/spain/majorca/articles/36-hours-in-palma/

    Another iconic attraction is the old wooden train that runs between Palma and Port Soller. It travels through the Tramuntana mountains and provides some fantastic views. It can be busy though and parking is often difficult to find in Palma. I would recommend going on a day when there are no or few cruises docked and also pick up the train at Bunyola. This is a small town at the base of the mountains. You can park at this little station for free and it is from here that the journey enters the more scenic portion. Stop off a Soller and enjoy a great lunch at one of the many excellent restaurants.

    Also in the mountains is the town of Valldemossa, another worthwhile trip. https://www.seemallorca.com/valldemossa

    Arta is another lovely old town which is dominated by a fortress at the top of a hill and inside is an old church. The views from the fortress are impressive and the town is full of narrow cobbled streets with museums, independent shops and plenty of restaurants. Nearby are the Caves of Arta, hugely impressive caves full of stalactites and stalagmites which can be viewed on guided tours. I would suggest visiting the caves in the morning and drive to the town of Arta to climb up to the fortress and then have lunch in the town.

    I wouldn't bother with the Drac Caves. Very overrated and touristy. Whilst the caves themselves are impressive you're ushered rapidly though them by a guide ending up in an amphitheatre filled with benches. If you're unlucky enough to be amongst the first to arrive in this chamber you'll have a long wait, possibly up to 40 minutes whilst the room fills up before finally being serenaded by a trio of musicians being rowed in a boat across the underground lake in front of you. This bears no relevance to the caves and is simply a naff tourist trap. The stampede towards the narrow exit at the end is also frustrating. The Arta caves are a far better option.

    There is a very good market at nearby Campos. The resort staff will advise you of when the local markets are on. Expect stalls of the most amazing cheese, meat and vegetables alongside independent shops selling a variety of artisan goods.

    Mallorca is an easy island to explore and nowhere is more than 1 1/2 drive away. It's a real gem of an island and is often overlooked by many Americans who are keen on concentrating on the Spanish mainland.

    You don't specify when in May you're going. We'll be there during the last week with a number of friends as it is the May half term so if you're there at that time then expect it to be busy and I'd like to apologise in advance for my noisy children. However the beauty of Son Antem is the individual pools per eight villas which means that the resort never feels crowded and very often you can be the only ones at the pool.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
    enma, MULTIZ321, taffy19 and 3 others like this.
  3. bazzap

    bazzap Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    A very helpful response to stsic.
    I am sure you meant to write that the closest town is Llucmajor
    (Estepona would be a very long drive and ferry trip - haha)
    We will be back in Son Antem in just a few days now, if there any specific questions anyone has.
     
  4. stslc

    stslc TUG Member

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    Thank you for all the tips and links! We are going the 4th-11th with friends. Leaving the kids at home for this one.
     
  5. Pompey Family

    Pompey Family Guest

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    Haha, yes! Too many Spanish towns in my head.
     
  6. stslc

    stslc TUG Member

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    So we’ve added a few days in Amsterdam to ride bikes through the tulips. Looking at flights from AMS to Mallorca, the two non-stop options are Transavia Airlines and Easyjet. EJ is slightly less expensive. Any experiences/opinions on which would be a better experience? We will likely be checking a bag each.
     
  7. bazzap

    bazzap Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I know nothing about Transavia, but typically take 4 or more return flights with Easyjet every year.
    From our experience, they are definitely one of the better low cost airlines.
    We have always found them to be fair value, dependable, mostly on time and of a good standard.
     
  8. Gemini Chica

    Gemini Chica TUG Member

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    My hubby uses Transavia regularly and finds them good, he says he would put them on par with Easyjet, so go with best price/times!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  9. Gemini Chica

    Gemini Chica TUG Member

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    Also try Vueling and possibly KLM and Iberia.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. bazzap

    bazzap Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    These airlines all require 1 stop though for the AMS-PMI route.
     
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  11. Pompey Family

    Pompey Family Guest

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    Never flown with Transavia, Easyjet has been fine. People often encounter problems with strict hand luggage rules however as you're checking luggage this shouldn't be an issue.
     
  12. stslc

    stslc TUG Member

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    Another Mallorca question: We want to rent nice road bikes to make this a biking holiday and ride several of the popular routes on the island. Does anyone have any experience with a great bike shop on Mallorca they would recommend for rentals? Thanks!
     
  13. TravelTime

    TravelTime TUG Member

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    I am staying at St Regis Mallorca in April.
     
  14. taffy19

    taffy19 TUG Member

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    What an interesting thread and the reply from the Pompey Family.

    I would love to do this still with my sister and cousin from the Netherlands. My sister would like the idea of a rural island but my cousin, most likely, would like the other two Marriott resorts better. They both love the beach so what do you recommend?

    My sister loves some of the beaches in Algarve in Portugal. Are the beaches as nice at the two Marriott resorts on the Spanish Mainland as the beaches in Algarve?
     
  15. bazzap

    bazzap Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We love Club Son Antem and the island of Mallorca generally, staying there twice every year.
    However, it is a quiet, rural resort spread around two golf courses and a car is essential.
    The excellent beaches are a good 20-30 minutes drive away, so this may answer the question for your cousin.

    The two mainland resorts are right on the beach, but in my view anyway these beaches do not compare to the Algarve ones sadly.
    However, they are great bases for visiting the fine towns, pretty perched white villages and surrounding countryside of the Costa del Sol.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  16. taffy19

    taffy19 TUG Member

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    Thank you, Barry. My cousin loves to play golf so that may make it more attractive to her. My sister is a real beach bum. Are the beaches nice on the Island of Mallorca? She would be the driver too and could rent a car there.
     
  17. bazzap

    bazzap Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    75FDDF74-D810-47EC-85DE-BB5A1655CACA.jpeg
    There are many beautiful beaches and coves on the island
    https://www.mallorca-beaches.com/en/
    The nearest is probably Cala Pi (in the photo)
    Our favourite is in the National Park at Cala Mondrago
     
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  18. Pompey Family

    Pompey Family Guest

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    Cala Pi is very nice, and quite a spectacular location surrounded by the cliffs and with incredible clear water. The only downside is that it is very small and quickly becomes crowded in the summer.

    Es Trenc which is a bit farther from Cala Pi is long, sandy and considered one of the best beaches on the island. It is also very popular but as it is quite big it doesn't feel as busy, avoid going on a weekend as you'll end up parking a long way from the beach unless you're there very early.

    Further south there are more lovely beaches situated in national parks and reserves and because of this there are few amenities if any.

    In the north and northeast there are a number of hidden coves that often can only be reached on foot or by boat. I haven't explored any of these as we're not great beach lovers and if I'm in the north you can guarantee that my main interest is in seeking out great restaurants for lunch. We also prefer being by the pool, and the luxury of the individual pools at Son Antem is the proximity to your villa. The kids much prefer playing in the pool and then being mere seconds away from the villa barbecue.

    Much of our time at Son Antem will involve spending the mornings exploring somewhere, followed by lunch before returning back for an afternoon of relaxing by the pool.

    Whilst the resort is described as rural it's not as rural as some people imagine. The town of Llucmajor is reasonably large and is the closest to the resort and whilst it is possible to walk there there are no pavements or such to facilitate this. It is however a five minute drive. It's not a particularly attractive town with the exception of the old town which has a pleasant town square containing a number of cafes and restaurants. There is also a market held there (I think on a Wednesday) where you can buy some good quality fruit, vegetables, charcuterie and cheese and also plenty of poorly made goods!

    Palma is only around 20 minutes drive away and in that respect it makes the resort less rural and actually closer to a major city of interest than many other Marriott resorts.

    The beaches at the two Costa Del Sol resorts aren't particularly enticing. The one at Playa Andaluza is quite small and rocky whilst the one at Marbella Beach Club is larger it still looks a bit scruffy. These are public beaches and the resorts have little control over them and whilst the staff do attempt clean ups it is often to no avail. Playa Andaluza however has created a 'beach' area in the resort where there is an area of sand surrounded by palm trees and contains a number of sunloungers, hanging chairs etc. The beach is a mere stones throw away from this area, the other side of the resort wall so you have the feeling of being on the beach but without the downside of being on the beach (stones, rubbish and hawkers).
     
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