We’re fast approaching Valentine’s Day, February 14th, when couples are allowed to indulge in schmaltz and, unless we have cast iron self-esteem, those of us of the single persuasion have our noses slightly put out of joint.
I came to Mallorca because of lurv. So, the island will always be a supremely romantic place for me. But I’ve also had an adult-sized portion of living here on my own.
Fortunately, Mallorca offers a heart-shaped chocolate box full of romantic things to do on Valentine’s Day. And if you want to hide away from it all, there’s always the great outdoors.
So, let’s get those pesky couple recommendations out the way. Why not try some of the suggestions on this list? They were compiled by a man who is to romance on Mallorca what Robert Graves is to goddesses.
(The amazing Lust emporium seems to have vanished so, ahem, ‘adult toys’ are what you’re after, I can’t help you.)
Ask an expert
I didn’t want to skew my suggestions too much in the direction of ‘white male of a certain age with an unhealthy love of heart-shaped boxes of chocolates’. I began by asking Maria Garde, Charles Marlow’s Mallorca West Coast Sales Director, for her suggestions.
Maria told me ‘I’ve lived on the island for almost seven years and been in a relationship here for six of those, so I’ve tried a bit of everything on Valentine’s Day. From a romantic dinner for two in Palma Old Town to sitting on the sofa with pizza and a bottle of wine.’
I’ve done all of those too. And the island is packed with places where you can gaze adoringly into each other’s eyes over sizzling gambas. For me, this has to be somewhere overlooking the sea. Sadly, the restaurants I’d recommend in Deià are closed until the end of March. But you’re spoilt for choice in Palma.
My favourite is the restaurant at the Hospes Maricel, which describes itself as Mallorca’s ‘most emblematic’ hotel. I’m not sure what it’s an emblem of but it’s muy romántica. If you want to go all in, the hotel offers a Valentine’s Getaway at a special price.
As I’ve mentioned on this blog more than once, the Maricel overlooks the tiny cala where movie star and romantic god Errol Flynn stayed for at least one summer. It’s easy to imagine him sauntering into the Maricel restaurant, bronzed goddess on his arm.
Apparently, however, he preferred the Hotel Bon Sol up the road in Illetes. Although this is a perfectly good hotel, it doesn’t have quite the same swoony vibe as the Maricel.
Then Maria’s romantic recommendations took an intriguing turn. ‘I have a firm favourite,’ she said. ‘A few years ago, when Valentine’s fell on a Sunday, my boyfriend Vicente and I went for a hike to La Trapa, near Sant Elm. It was sunny, pretty warm, and we took a pa amb oli picnic to eat at the top as we gazed at the island of Sa Dragonera. It was very romantic! (If you take away the sweat, and me complaining about being too exhausted to take another step for most of the climb.)’
Find out more about the walk to Sa Trapa here.
One of the great things about going for a romantic walk on Valentine’s is that it isn’t exclusively for lovebirds. And you’re far, far away from heart-shaped boxes of chocolates.
After this, Maria was on a roll. ‘There’s a company on the island that rents out classic VW camper vans, fully equipped with a kitchenette and so on. Wouldn’t it be amazing to rent one of these for the night, go get lost somewhere in the mountains and wake up by the sea, with maybe even a refreshing, wild skinny dip in the morning to wake you up.’
It certainly would. Here’s the link for Mallorca Adventure Vans, people. What are we waiting for?
Andreas, West Coast Rentals Manager, claimed first of all that he’d never celebrated Valentine’s. Anyway, Andreas told me, ‘So, for this Valentine’s, I ended up being inspired by my colleagues. It appears, there’s a lovely page with discounts for Mallorca residents that shows discounts for some of those big, fancy golf hotels etc. So I’m planning a surprise spa-dinner-hotel night for my girls.’
In case you’re wondering, Andreas is not referring to his harem. He has a little daughter.
Ida, who handles Charles Marlow’s social media, mentioned Girl Gone International to me. As the name suggests, this is an international non-profit organisation that helps combat social isolation among women who live in different countries. The have more than 250,000 members and are in over 150 cities, including Palma.
According to their Facebook page, the Mallorca branch of GGI is having a Galentine’s Brunch at 10am on 15 February (this Saturday). They say ‘Galentine’s Day is the best fake holiday in the calendar! It’s a day for celebrating the love you have for your lady friends so let’s get together and catch up with older amigas and make new ones to get us through the rest of “winter”.’
Find out more here.