Welcome to Marlow’s Map of Mallorca12th June 2017

Marlow’s Map of Mallorca is your unique map of the island, created with love and accompanied by an idiosyncratic guide to Mallorca’s most beautiful, intriguing and characteristic destinations.

Here is a full size version of the map.  The PDF can be downloaded from here.

More text and descriptions can be found below the image.

Welcome to Marlow’s Mallorca

Take a journey to discover Mallorca’s out of the way places and experience the essence of the island.

We hope you enjoy this map as much as we did making it. It’s by no means comprehensive. So if you discover somewhere we’ve missed, please share it with us. If you don’t mind, that is.

Brought to you by Charles Marlow & Bros, professional real estate agents and enthusiastic amateur cartographers.

Marlow’s Map of Mallorca is the fruit of years of wandering around the island and stumbling across all kinds of delights. It’s our privilege to share what we’ve discovered with you.

Three Mallorquin adventures

To the beach

On an island with some of the most beautiful beaches anywhere in the world, Cala Varques, on the east coast, is one of the loveliest. It is, however, a little remote. But that adds to its charm.

There are no restaurants, bars or bathrooms at Cala Varques so you’ll need to bring picnic food and plenty of water.

If you’re driving, aim for the road that runs from Porto Colom to Porto Cristo (Ma-4014) and look for a turn down a dirt road to Cala Falco. Coming from Manacor (Ma-4015), turn left and you’ll see the sign for Cala Falco almost immediately.

Drive down the dirt road for about ten minutes and park when you start seeing cars. It’s not easy to turn around so don’t go too far. You’ll see a metal fence in front of you with a hole in it. Climb through and walk for around 15 minutes to the beach.

You’ll be greeted by a sandy beach and crystal clear turquoise water. There are caves you can swim into at the base of the low cliffs to your left. If you like to sunbathe and swim naked, the next beach along to your right is nudist. Reach it by wading around or climbing over the small rocky outcrop that runs into the sea.

Cala Varques is best experienced in early or late summer but, even in August, it’s never packed. Whenever you go, try to arrive as early as you can and set aside a whole day to let the beach work its magic.

Among the artists

Deià on the north-west coast of the island is a village unlike anywhere else in the world. It perches in the middle of an enormous bowl that turns pink at sunset, midway between the mountains and olive terraces that tumble down to a tiny, rocky bay or cala. The village was made famous by the British poet and author Robert Graves who settled in Deià in 1929 and lived there until he died.

Pretty much singlehandedly, Graves created the notion of the village as a special place with its own mysterious energy. Whether this is true or not, Deià has certainly attracted more than its fair share of artists, musicians, writers and eccentrics and still does.

Begin your perfect day in Deià by walking or driving down to the cala for a dip or just to breathe in the view. If you see an inflatable jellyfish hanging from the entrance to the restaurant on your left when you’re on the beach, don’t swim.

We would politely insist that you spend an hour or so at La Casa de Robert Graves a short walk from the village on the road to Soller. Much of the house remains as it was when Graves and his family lived there. A visit to La Casa is always quietly inspiring.

You might also like to visit the poet’s grave up at the church. He is buried underneath a majestic cypress tree under a stone that simply reads ‘Poeta’.

If you’d like to look at art made by Deià artists, stroll up to Belmond La Residencia and follow the sign for Sa Tafona, the hotel’s charming gallery. This is open to the public and free of charge, as long as an event isn’t taking place.

There are many places to eat and drink in Deià. We suggest you call into the bar or restaurant that feels right for you.

Mallorca’s mystic heart

30 minutes’ drive east of Palma, the Puig de Randa rises out of the island’s fertile central plain. In the 13th century, Randa was the home of the legendary Mallorquin mystic Ramon Llull. It was here that he received a divine revelation.

According to Mallorquin legend, the words ‘God said to Llull’ are captured in the lines and dots that appear on the leaves of a mastic tree in the monastery at Randa, named the ‘written shrub’. Today, there are three monasteries. The Santuari de Cura where Llull lived is the largest and houses his original manuscripts.

The view of the island from the top of Randa is spectacular.

After Randa, take the short drive to the sleepy, traditional village of Montuiri for authentic Mallorquin pa amb oli at S’Hostal at Carrer Constitució, 58. Pa amb oli is Mallorquin bread rubbed with garlic and tomato with olive oil drizzled on top and served with cheeses, Mallorquin sausage and ham and delicious pickled samphire. The pa amb oli at S’Hostal is the best we’ve ever tasted.

Detour home via Binassalem, the island’s wine-growing district and pick up a bottle of the island’s finest from one of the bodegas.

Illustrations by Carole Chevalier

Santuari de Lluc

The sense that you’re heading somewhere mysterious builds as you follow the twists and turns of the road to Lluc. When you wander into the monastery grounds, the air feels alive with ancient magic.

The Santuari de Lluc in the green foothills of the Tramuntana mountains – called the Serra by Mallorquins – has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries. We won’t spoil the story by telling you the reason why.

Every August, thousands of people make a night pilgrimage from Palma to Lluc. The 48-kilometer walk has to be experienced to be believed.

Magaluf

Step out onto the glorious beach at Magaluf and you’ll understand why generations of sun-starved tourists flock here. It arose out of the sun, sea and sand for just that reason.

But it’s also going a tiny bit upmarket without losing any of its in-your-face hedonism. So, alongside the amusement parks, you’ll find a rather smart beach club or two.

If you want to belt out your favourite song at a karaoke joint then dance until dawn surrounded by sunkissed raving strangers, make for Maggers. Of course, what happens in Magaluf, stays in…you know the rest.

Orient

Wander the streets of the tiny village of Orient and you begin to grasp what the island was like before the arrival of mass tourism in the 1950s.

The village sits in a perfectly green valley, overlooked by mountains. Perhaps it’s these which create the strange microclimate that keeps Orient always a few degrees cooler, even in the height of summer.

Orient is a jewel of a place. It’s also a perfect start and end point for walks that are less arduous than hiking in the Serra de Tramuntana. Look for the Salt des Freu.

Cap de Ses Salines

When you see what people have created on the rocky beach at Cap de Ses Salines, next to the lighthouse, we can guess what your first question will be. We don’t know the answer and we like it that way.

Pick your way over the rocks down to the sea and you’ll discover the water is crystal clear and perfect for snorkelling.

After sunset, head for the nearby S’embat music bar at Ses Covetes. The food is delicious, especially after a day in the sun and the music is often surprisingly good and funky.

A day drifting through Palma

In our opinion, Palma de Mallorca is one of the most quietly beautiful cities in Spain, if not the world. We don’t have space here to do more than scratch the surface of Palma but we offer you a starting point.

Breakfast in Santa Catalina

The area around Santa Catalina market is packed with bars, cafés and restaurants, each as good as the other. Santa Catalina market itself is expensive. For good, much less expensive produce, head for Pere Garau market in the east of Palma.

Art in Casa Solleric

Casal Solleric on the Born, which is free, usually has an exhibition worth seeing and offers a rare chance to step inside a grand Palma house. You might also like to visit Es Baluard, perched on the old city walls, and see the permanent collection of Mallorca landscape painting.

Lunch

We’re guessing that you’ll want to taste traditional Mallorquin food. Head for Calle Apuntadores at the bottom of the Ramblas and try Bar Dia, a funky Palma institution, or the rather more sedate La Cueva opposite, a favourite with the Palmanese (if that’s a word). Always a good sign.

An afternoon merienda

A merienda is a light snack eaten mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Can Juan de S’Aigo, a 200-year-old café in the back streets of the Old Town and unlike anywhere else in Mallorca, is the perfect place to have yours.

In summer, try the incredible almond ice-cream and a quarto – possibly the softest sweet roll ever. A cup of thick, gloopy chocolat a la taza is perfect on a cold winter’s day.

Shopping

There are some wonderful little boutiques in the narrow alleys tucked away on both sides of the Born which runs down from Jaime III to the cathedral.

Dinner

We like to head out to Portixol, a 20-minute walk south-east along the shore from the cathedral or a short taxi ride. Portixol was once a simple fishing village and, miraculously, still has that kind of vibe, especially when the sun is going down.

Music

There are plenty of nightclubs on the Paseo Maritimo if that’s your thing, including big names Pacha and Titos.

For jazz, try Jazz Voyeur on Calle Apuntadores or the Blue Jazz Club on the top floor of the Hotel Saratoga on Paseo Mallorca. There’s a jam session featuring the cream of local musicians on Monday nights.

Useful things to know

1. When you’re planning a day exploring Mallorca, remember that it takes around an hour to drive from one end of the island to the other. Unless you’re driving in some of the more remote parts of the mountains, the roads are good.

2. The best way to experience the island is to find a spot that feels right for you and stay there for as long as you can. There’s something epic about arriving at a beach early in the morning and staying until the sun goes down.

3. In the spring and early summer the sun in Mallorca is much more powerful than it feels and it’s easy to burn. It also gets cold quickly when the sun goes down. Use suntan lotion during the day and take something warm for the evening.

4. When you’re preparing a picnic, try meaty empanadas, vegetarian coccorois, coca – a kind of pizza made without cheese or tomato sauce that dates back to the Romans – and sweet ensaimadas. Pa amb oli, Mallorquin bread drizzled with olive oil, rubbed with garlic and tomato, is delicious with a good cheese or ham.

5. Although Mallorquins are happy to loll nearly naked on the beach, this is still a rather conservative island. Dress modestly away from the beach especially when you’re entering churches or religious buildings.

6. We’ve discovered that the best thing about eating out in Mallorca is to find a place you love and go back again and again. Most restaurants have a menu del dia – a fixed price lunch – and some of these are amazing value for money.

7. The only way to discover somewhere on the island that makes a perfect paella is to find it yourself.

8. In our experience, most Mallorquins are warm and friendly underneath that sometimes gruff exterior. But they’re not polite in the way that many northern Europeans are. They secretly find English politeness funny.

9. Bring books with you especially if you’re a voracious reader. If you’d like to read up on the island before you arrive, Bread and Oil and Tuning Up at Dawn by Tomás Graves are well worth seeking out as well as the standard guidebooks.

10. See how long you can go without photographing anything. You need to really see Mallorca.

Why we made Marlow’s Map of Mallorca

This may surprise you to know but we’re not professional cartographers. Charles Marlow & Bros is actually an independent family-run real estate agency based in Deià, Mallorca and Ibiza. We made this map to share our inside knowledge of the island and because we want to do our bit to help preserve and protect Mallorca.

Marlow’s Map of Mallorca is our way of introducing you to some of the places we’ve discovered through years of exploring, listening to native Mallorquins and people who’ve become island aficionados.

Over the years, we’ve learned that Mallorquins are proud people who believe their island is the finest place on the planet. That may well be true. In all our travels, we’ve never seen more beautiful beaches. There’s also something mysterious in the air here we’ve never sensed anywhere else. We will always be grateful to the people who have shared their knowledge of this island with us.

Whether they’ve introduced us to an out-of-the-way beach or a restaurant that makes frito mallorquin that’s simply out of this world, let’s say we’re honoured that they have taken us into their confidence. We repay them with our respect and a deep commitment to help preserve and protect the island we’ve come to love. We sincerely hope that you feel the same.

Help us protect and preserve Mallorca

When you purchase Marlow’s Map of Mallorca you’re contributing to the protection and preservation of this island for generations to come. Proceeds from the sale of Marlow’s Map of Mallorca go to the Charles Marlow Foundation which supports non-profit organisations on the island.

Discover The Deia Olive Press

Mallorca awakens a hunger in many of us. We embark on what is often a lifelong journey to discover as much as we can about the island we love.

The Deia Olive Press, our blog, is the result of our never-ending attempt to understand Mallorca. Every week we write about the history and culture of the island, its artists, writers and musicians, and causes and events we believe our readers would like to know about.

We invite you to visit www.charlesmarlow.com, press The Deia Olive Press button and take a deep dive.

Gracias!

The team at Charles Marlow would like to thank our friends Christer Söderberg and Alex Amengual for sharing their favourite places on the island with us, Carole Chevalier for designing and illustrating the exquisite object you hold in your hands and David Holzer for writing the equally important words.

To download a copy Marlow’s Map of Mallorca click here.

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