No matter how long you’ve lived on the island or how many times you’ve visited, there’s always something else new to do in Mallorca. As we look forward to the coming year, I asked the members of the Charles Marlow Mallorca team what was top of their Mallorca 2019 wish list.
I spoke to Jonny Greenall of Balearic Helicopters about how Nikol’s Mallorca 2019 wish could come true. Jonny has been flying in Mallorca for over 18 years.
Balearic Helicopters offers a choice of tours ranging from 15 minutes to a trip round the entire coastline of Mallorca that takes over two and a half hours. The most popular tour is the 45-minute flight, which, Jonny said, ‘is great value and gives you a really good idea of what Mallorca looks like from the air. The client chooses the route.’
For Jonny, the Tramuntana Range in which Deia sits is the most impressive part of the island. ‘I’ve been flying for 19 years and have flown all over Europe,’ he said, ‘but I still think the Tramuntana has the best views anywhere. I never get bored flying along the mountains.’
The company also offers the Heli-Dining option. ‘This involves a sightseeing tour,’ Jonny explained, ‘landing at one of our partner restaurants for lunch and continuing the tour afterwards. This is extremely popular with people wanting to celebrate a special occasion.’
In the winter months – like now, Jonny only needs a couple of days’ notice. In the summer, four or five is best. The company has a fleet of R44 helicopters and several pilots based in Mallorca so availability shouldn’t be a problem.
Jonny has very kindly offered a €50 discount on any Balearic Helicopters to readers of The Deia Olive Press. All you need to do is say you read about the company here.
Andreas told me: ‘One thing I absolutely have to do in Mallorca 2019 is cliff-jumping. It doesn’t have to be a 25-meter fall or anything, but I’d like to find, visit (and hopefully re-visit various times) a good place to jump into the water from a cliff.’
I spoke to my friend Alfonso Ochoa of Mills & Honey, who’s an expert when it comes to organizing all kind of outdoor activities on the island, including cliff-jumping.
Mallorca is ideal for cliff-jumping. Alfonso told me that the most popular place is the stretch of coast between Mal Pas/Bonaire – just past Alcudia – and the Victoria Hermitage. The jumps start small and get higher, but people don’t have to do every jump if it makes them feel uncomfortable. The water here is usually calm also. So it’s a good place for Andreas to make his Mallorca 2019 wish come true.
There’s also a fantastic sea cave at Mal Pas/Bonaire that you can walk into.
Andreas should allow at least an entire morning or afternoon for a cliff-jumping excursion. Sea conditions tend to be better in the morning. The best times of the year to go are between July and September.
Alfonso is a fan of cliff-jumping himself. ‘It’s the perfect way to spend a complete summer day around the water, swimming and having fun. One of the things I like when I take guests and families cliff-jumping is to see people go a little out of their comfort zone and try higher jumps. It’s great to see them overcoming their fears and, in my opinion, this is a fundamental part of personal growth.’
Mills & Honey charges between €45-90 per person per excursion, depending on the number of people. Everything is included except transport. Transport can be arranged separately, or people can meet the guide or guides at a meeting point near the start of the excursion.
The website of Kite Surfing Club Mallorca claims that the best place to practice and learn kitesurfing is where they’re based, in the enormous Bay of Pollensa. They ask anyone who’s interested in learning to kitesurf with them to book well in advance to take advantage of the best wind conditions and have space to practice.
If you become a member of the Kite Surfing Club, your first three hours of lessons are free, and you become a member for one year. You can choose from one, two, or three-day courses and you learn for three hours a day. The club provides all the necessary gear and insurance.
When it comes to his Mallorca 2019 tango wish, Charlie need look no further than team-mate Andreas for advice. Andreas’s Argentinian friend, long-time tango teacher and DJ Victor Ariel Yuryevic, has a studio in Palma called Inspiración Tango. ‘It’s a lovely place,’ Andreas said, ‘and there are classes most nights during the week. I’d definitely drop by for a beginner’s class.’
Andreas, a passionate tango aficionado, is hoping to start beginner’s tango classers in Deia one night a week, maybe between April and October. If anyone is interested, email email@example.com or call +34 637 869 675.
As Andreas said, ‘It would be fantastic to create a small tango community in the Deia area!’
‘I got myself a paddle board last year,’ Maria told me. ‘I love it because it allows me to go out into the sea without getting too tired from swimming. It’s especially satisfying in summer when the beaches can get so crowded. I feel completely at peace when I’m away from the beach. My Mallorca 2019 wish is to take my board out as much as possible and paddle from one beach to another during the summer. We must take advantage of all these beautiful waters surrounding us!’
And where would Maria like to paddle? ‘Along the Es Trenc and Ses Covetes coastline and then, although it’s a bit more of a challenge, the wild and beautiful West Coast of course.’
Unlike the other members of the team, I’m keen to go on an inward journey this coming year. Ever since I first heard about Vipassana retreats, I’ve wanted to experience one.
I meditate daily but I’ve never done anything as intensive as Vipassana so I’m extremely curious.
Vipassana means to see things as they really are. It’s a way of transforming the self through self-observation. The outcome is meant to be ‘a balanced mind full of love and compassion’.
The principle of non-reaction is central to Vipassana. So, even if sitting and meditating for hours becomes torture, the goal is to be objective about what you’re feeling. In this way, you learn not to avoid knee-jerk responses to what life throws at you.
My friend and yoga teacher Agnes Kru did an eight-day Vipassana retreat at DIMA, the Mallorca centre for conscious living, in 2016. She shared her experiences with me.
‘DIMA is an Osho centre run by a German lady named Kanika. It’s very close to San Juan in the Mallorca countryside. There’s nothing around, just nature, a small forest and lots of birds. The centre is a big house with lots of rooms. It’s the opposite of luxury. It’s rustic.
‘You share a bedroom and bathroom. But because you don’t talk, don’t call anyone on your phone, try not to look at people and don’t even read, it doesn’t matter if you’re alone or together.
‘It wasn’t pure Vipassana. Because it’s an Osho centre, the Vipassana element is mixed with Osho ideas. You do Osho dynamic meditations in the morning at 6am, for example. These involve screaming, dancing and generally letting go.
‘The practice unfolds itself. It’s different for everyone. Although you don’t speak to people, by the end of the retreat I felt I knew them. Maybe I became more sensitive to energies.
‘Once a day we did a mindful activity. For around an hour we practiced doing things we do in the outside world without much thought like cooking or gardening in a meditative state.
‘It was my first experience of a retreat and I loved it. I love silence. That’s why I went to DIMA. I had enough space. The combination of absolute silence and being able to scream, dance and go crazy was perfect. I went there to find out something and I definitely found it. The retreat had a very positive effect.’
I have heard stories of people finding Vipassana tough and wondered if Agnes had any particular insights to share.
‘If you decide to go on a Vipassana retreat, practice sitting cross-legged as much as you can before you go and do exercises to open your hips,’ Agnes said. ‘I’m a yoga teacher so I’m used to sitting like that. But if you’re not reasonably comfortable sitting, the retreat can be more about overcoming pain than anything else. If the whole experience of being on the retreat starts to get too much for you, there’s always someone you can talk to in an emergency. None of us needed to do this.’
Is your wish simply to spend more time in Mallorca and be able to enjoy all the amazing things the island has to offer?
We’d be happy to talk to you about buying or renting your dream home on Mallorca’s magical West Coast. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0034 971 636 42.