The warm, sunny and still days of the Mallorca January calms offer the perfect opportunity to revitalise in the middle of winter. Read what they mean to me.
Around this time of year a few years ago I was walking from Fornalutx to Soller. Somewhere up above me on a twisting, turning road that ran between orange groves I heard children laughing. When I turned a corner I saw a boy and a girl watching a pair of tiny kid goats leap into the air with what looked like sheer joy at being alive. I swear the goats were jumping three feet off the ground. I’d never seen anything like it. Within minutes I was laughing too.
Whenever the Mallorcan January calms arrive – those strangely warm, sunny and still days that always take me by surprise – I remember those two kid goats leaping for sheer joy on that glorious morning.
The January calms, or La Calma, are one of the best-kept secrets of Mallorca. You have to live here or have taken a chance on a winter break to the island to have discovered them.
This is the perfect time for long walks, as long as you start early enough in the morning to not be caught on the mountain when the sun starts to go down. The sun is hot but not fierce. It’s warm enough to make walking a pleasure. The air is cool, pure and seems to sparkle. You’re also much less likely to turn a corner and be met by a phalanx of walkers tip-tapping away with their Nordic walking sticks.
When I walk in the mountains during La Calma, I feel like I’m stepping out of time.
My favourite walks at this time of year end at a beach. I find it hard to resist swimming here at any time of year. If you’re like me, La Calma is pure joy. Tucked away beaches like my favourite, Cala Varques on the east side of the island are often deserted. Sa Font Celada and Cala Sequer are also amazing. Even popular beaches like Cala Deià can be as close to empty as they’ll ever be. The water is, of course, shockingly cold but crystal clear and can be millpond still.
And there’s no-one around to hear you scream in shock when you submerge yourself.
To my mind there are few things more life-affirming than a swim in the Mediterranean at this time, even if you only go in for a few seconds. And you have the delicious feeling that you’ve achieved something with your day. Which makes you perfectly entitled to a cup of chocolate a la taza and a plate of wonderfully greasy, sugary churros.
With calm comes contemplation. La Calma is when we reconnect with what makes Mallorca so special, the gently seductive power that makes us love this place. It’s when we re-energize, ready for whatever the coming year is going to throw at us.