Find something for everyone on this Balearic Bohemia

Contrasting landscapes, crystal-clear coves, and the cosmopolitan capital of Palma are why many holidaymakers migrate to Majorca over the summer. But the Balearic island also has a lovely collection of picture-perfect towns and villages, which each comes with a wealth of events and activities to offer.  Our Majorca expert, The Luxury Travel Book, let’s us in on their recommendations for where to go and what to do.


If history is your thing

Begin in the old town of Pollensa, originally founded in 1229 with the Catalan conquest of Majorca. The town has been conquered many times since, over the centuries, all of which has contributed to its rich history. Visitors can now explore its emblematic buildings, including the Calvari, the Parish Church and the Cloister of Sant Domingo. Don’t miss the Museum, located in the old cloister of the Dominicans, which dates back to 1588.

If you’re a creative type

In the early part of the last century, the beguiling beauty of the town and the area became an attraction for artists, writers and musicians. This artistic bunch were inspired by its allure, and Pollensa continues to draw many visitors for the very same reason year after year. The Festival de Pollenca takes place every August, and is a celebration of a wide range of music – including classical, contemporary and traditional from lesser-known places – along with film and literature.


If you like to get active

Pollensa offers some great outdoor pursuits for those who like to get their bodies moving,

The 9-hole Pollensa Golf Club is just 2km from the town and is spoilt with spectacular views of the Serra de Tramuntana and the bays of Pollensa and Alcúdia.

For hiking enthusiasts, take the 30-45 minute walk up to the Puig de Pollensa. The Puig de Maria is an ancient monastery which sits on top of a mountain next to the town, with wonderful views to the bay, Cap de Formentor and the Tramuntana mountains. There is a lovely little café at the top where you can treat yourself after your climb, as well as picnic tables if you’re organised enough to pack your own spread!

Cycling is a popular activity throughout Majorca, with an abundance of routes to suit single cyclists and groups of all levels. The abundant countryside and spectacular scenery around Pollensa make this an ideal area for cycling enthusiasts. One of the best-known cycling routes on the island can be found here: Port de Pollensa is at the foot of the windy 20km road, which finishes at the Cap de Formentor lighthouse.

If you’re craving relaxation

Just north of Pollensa, you will find some of the best beaches in Majorca, often less crowded than others. Puerta Pollensa is about 10 minute drive away, where you can rent boats, windsurfing equipment, small catamarans and water bikes. From Puerta Pollensa you can drive a little further or take a boat to Formentor beach, which is more secluded and even more beautiful.


On the north west of Majorca, on the coast between Soller and Valldemossa, is the breathtakingly beautiful, delightful village of Deia.

Robert Graves, the British poet and writer, spent his adult life in Deia, and the idyll is still home to numerous artists, writers, and musicians. You can see what inspired his writing and poetry while absorbing the atmosphere, taking in the vistas, and people watching with a coffee in one of many cafés and restaurants Deia has to offer. You are also welcomed to explore Graves’ home, which has been refurbished and opened to visitors in 2006.

Once you’ve had your fill of Deia’s bohemian streets and delectable cuisine, it’s well worth making the quick trip to Valldemossa. The charming village was home to composer Frédéric Chopin and his partner George Sand in 1838, while he recuperated from illness. Some of Chopin’s greatest compositions were created here, and his music has become part of the essence of the island.


Winding our way north, we find ourselves in picturesque Port de Soller. Another adorable village with intimate narrow street and ancient buildings, it was originally built as a seaport for the town of Soller.

The drive along the mountain road from Deia to Port de Soller is seriously scenic and comes highly recommended. However, a popular alternative way to travel is by the historic railway, which has connected Palma and Port de Soller since 1912.

During your visit, make sure you pop into Soller’s Museum Ca’n Prunera. The institution is dedicated to contemporary modernism, and features impressive works by Toulouse-Lautrec, Klee and Léger.


Making inroads inland, from Deia and Valldemossa, we discover Alaro. Charmingly traditional, the town makes a good base for those looking to explore the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, both on foot and by bike.

Alaro is well known for its hiking trail, an old stone road which begins in the town and traverses up past the 15th century castle. The climb takes about two hours, with picturesque picnic spots and a restaurant along the way. Once you reach the top, you are treated to spectacular panoramic views of the countryside and the sea. The surrounding area is also great for cycling too, if you prefer to explore on two wheels.

Not far from Alaro is Binissalem, is also just a short drive, full to the brim with vineyards and rich wine-making tradition. There is a hugely popular wine festival, Festa des Vermar, held in September, which celebrates the annual grape harvest with parades, grape-crushing competitions and wine-tasting contests. We’re sold!


We end our trip in picture-perfect Port d’Andratx. This quintessential fishing village is also one of Majorca’s most exclusive resorts.


For the rich and famous

It is clear to see why Port d’Andratx is such a popular haunt for celebrities and yachting enthusiasts; exceptional restaurants and bars are set around the happening harbour, making them ideal hang outs from which to watch the sun go down.

For the culture vultures

And there’s plenty on offer for the explores among you too. Remnants of the island’s rich and varied history are evident here, including the watch towers of Sant Carles and Sant Francesc, built to defend the area from pirate attacks. You’ll find the remains of a19th-century monastery – Monasterio de Santa Maria de la Trapa de Santa Susana to give its full name! – hidden in the nature reserve of La Trapa. From here, there are spectacular views out to sea and over to uninhabited Sa Dragonera islet. You can take a short boat trip over to Sa Dragonera, which has been a natural park since 1995, and explore the coves and hiking trails.

The Contemporary Arts Centre in Andratx hosts exhibitions featuring photography, sculptures and paintings by both local, national and international artists. The CCA also offers an artist-in-residence programme, which makes studios available for artists.

For the outdoorsy types

Interestingly, the Andratx Golf Club was designed by the famous Gleneagles, from Scotland! It is well-known that the 18-hole championship course is one of the most difficult and challenging in Majorca.

The lively Club de Vela marina has moorings for 500 boats and offers sailing lessons and canoeing during the year. The port is always full of life and oozing with character, as the fishermen bring in their daily catch. You can buy their fish fresh off the boats during the evenings.

Typically, the impressive scenery around Port d’Andratx’s attracts curious hikers and cyclists. The dramatic coastal hill roads can be enjoyed on foot or on wheels, and cyclists can venture deeper into the countryside towards the Tramuntana mountains for more challenging rides.

For the beach babes

For those in search of sun, sea and sand, there is a sprinkling of small beaches at the port which give easy access to crystal clear waters. And if you have your own transport, neighbouring Camp de Mar and Sant Elm resorts have large sandy beaches you can spread out on.


To find out more about Majorca and the most luxurious apartments available to rent, contact The Luxury Travel Book


Related Reading

Pocket Guide to Majorca

Pocket Guide to Spain

Where to Sail the European Seas

What to Eat in Europe

The end of August means back to work for many, however, you don’t have to say goodbye to summer by enjoying a September holiday in certain sunny holiday destinations across Europe. With hot yet not stifling temperatures and fewer crowds, it can be the best time of the year to travel. Here are some of our favorite – and sublimely sunny – spots.

Greek Isles

The end of summer is an excellent time to go to the Greek Isles with hot weather carrying over into September is still hot and virtually no clouds in the sky. The southerly islands of the Dodecanese and the Cyclades experience gorgeous weather even into October. Across the whole archipelago there are also many fewer tourists, leaving the beaches and café terraces for savvy late summer/early autumn travelers. However, be sure to check the ferry schedules as their frequency can decrease dramatically after the high season – not that being “stranded” on a fabulously sunny island would be all that sorrowful! You could always extend your stay at one of our experts outstanding villas or avoid the issue of getting around altogether by hiring out your own private yacht.

Where to Stay in the Greek Isles.

Amalfi Coast

With Italian and other European holidayers back at work, you’ll almost have this legendary coastline all to yourself. Enjoy balmy days in the low 20s c (low 70s f) as you amble through the narrow streets of colorful villages, take to the waters on a boat ride out to enchanting Capri or simply sit on the terrace at your private villa sipping some crisp prosecco, bathed in mellow sun and refreshed by the gentle sea breeze.

Where to Stay on the Amalfi Coast.


This small archipelago boasts some of the Mediterranean’s best September temperatures (around 27°c / 81°f), making it ideal for those craving the heat. This under the radar destination is perfect for anyone seeking a great cultural and gastronomic getaway. You can have an even more authentic experience by holidaying on the lesser know of its two islands, Gozo, where you might be only one of the few travelers wandering through its charming villages. You can also admire its spectacular coastline boating, diving, snorkeling or swimming.

Where to Stay in Malta.


With warm late summer days averaging 26°c / 79°f, Majorca provides posh appeal draped in divine sunshine. The largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands, it features excellent dining, breathtaking sandy beaches, and seductive secret coves. Dating back to Roman times, its stylish and attractive capital city of Palma has a wide range of fabulous fine and casual dining, excellent boutiques and lively bars. Anchor your yacht in the bay or retreat from the buzz of town to the privacy of an exquisite private villa overlooking its captivating turquoise waters.

Where to Stay in Majorca.

The Western Algarve

Bordered by one of Europe’s most beguiling coastlines of jagged low white cliffs and dreamy coves, the Western Algarve draws those looking for a relaxed luxurious escape surrounded by exceptional beauty and enveloped by warm temperatures through early autumn. Base yourself in a sleek clifftop villa and spend your days lapping up the sunshine next to a marvelous infinity pool, stroll through quaint whitewashed fishing villages or devour succulent seafood on a terrace overlooking the sparkling Atlantic Ocean.

Where to Stay in the Western Algarve.

Saint Tropez

This chic seaside spot in the South of France isn’t only glitz and glamour. The village itself is immensely charming and September visitors can observe more of its true local life as most of the tourist mobs have gone home, also leaving you to savour sparsely populated beaches and lovely mid 20s c (mid 70s f) temperatures. At the end of September, the town plays host to the Regatta Les Voiles de St Tropez, when over 300 sailing yachts from across the world converge to compete in a week of racing and festivities, a must attend event for sailing enthusiasts or avid people watchers.

Where to Stay in Saint Tropez.


Summer extends far into September on this captivating Italian island – a destination for those in the know, where you you can cruise through its aquamarine waters on a luxurious speedboat, zoom past its ravishing, rugged landscape in a red Ferrari and dine on incredibly fabulous Mediterranean cuisine in its lovely seaside ports. The more adventurous can spend their days hiking along its coastal paths or kayaking around its sublime beaches while those in need of some rest and relaxing can savor the island’s splendor right from their terrace of one of the island’s impressive villas, like the Villa Paradiso by Villas and Apartments Abroad.

Located on the waterfront at Portisco Bay, the Villa Paradiso was designed by the famous Italian architect, Ferdinando Fagnola. The gorgeous contemporary and ultra comfortable villa was built into the hillside and is surrounded by a beautifully manicured one-hectare estate. It has two spacious living rooms, seven bedrooms, a gym, a panoramic swimming pool and is equipped with the latest high tech devices. What’s more, since the end of the season is approaching, you may be able to have a fantastic luxury getaway to this divine island at a discounted price.

“This is the time to grab the opportunity to afford you a longer lasting summer holiday at stunning villas that would otherwise not have been possible if you tried booking a month ago,” explains Sylvia Delvaille Jones, director of Villas and Apartments Abroad. “ The villa owners around Europe that we work closely with are willing to listen to negotiate a better rate for our last minute clients.”

To learn more about this magnificent villa, or others available in some of Europe’s best destinations in late summer and early fall, contact Sylvia at Villas and Apartments Abroad here.



Made up from a dozen different seas, hundreds of gorgeous beaches and thousands of picturesque towns, Europe offers some of the most exquisite sailing in the world, especially in summer. From May to October, holidaymakers take to the high seas to enjoy the continent’s incredibly diverse scenery, some of the most spectacular of which is only visible from the water. Whether you’re debating between yachting along the dramatic coastline of Mallorca, boating around the sun-drenched Greek Isles, touring lesser-known gems of the French Atlantic shores or docking in at the colorful towns of the Amalfi Coast, we can sail off into the sunset together thanks to these great insider tips on where to go, where to stay and which yachts to take.


Balearic Islands – Spain

Spain’s Balearic Islands provide some of the Mediterranean’s best sailing. Mary Vaira of El Sol Villas recommends using the island of Mallorca as your base. For centuries, it has been the maritime crossroads of civilizations from the Greeks and Romans to the crusading French knights and the conquering Moors. The island features gorgeous crystal waters and scores of beautiful beaches that are only accessible by sea. Sail along its western coast to discover secluded bays, peaceful coves and quite possibly the island’s most stunning landscape.

El Sol Villas has access to this incredible yacht that sails out of Mallorca. A Mangusta 108, the stylish 33.50m (109′ 10″) yacht is both sleek and powerful. It accommodates six to eight guests in three en-suite double cabins, plus a fold-out double bed in a day cabin ideally suited to children/nanny. Each cabin is equipped with TV, DVD player and sound system, the master cabin offering large flat screen TV. The main salon has a comfortable seating area equipped with a flat screen Sky TV and DVD player and leads to a further dining area with removable roof section. The large aft deck is perfect for sunbathing or outdoor dining.

El Sol Villas can also organize yachts that depart from Ibiza and along the Costa del Sol in Marbella. For more information regarding any of these options, contact El Sol Villas here.

Five Star Greece Yacht

The Greek Isles – Greece

One of the most breathtaking places to sail the European waters is touring around some of Greece’s thousands of islands. Many popular sailing routes circle the Cyclades, the Dodecanese, the Sporades, the Saronic Islands and the Ionian Islands. Cruising the Aegean’s deep blue waters, you’ll pass phenomenal rocky cliffs, hilltop monasteries, olive groves and ancient Greek temples. Coming into port you’ll find yourself wandering through charming fishing villages with their whitewashed houses, narrow cobbled streets, and tiny churches. At the end of the day take in the awe-inspiring sunsets on the deck of your yacht or villa with a glass of local wine or ouzo.

If you want to cruise the Greek Isles in the utmost style and comfort, Ileana von Hirsh of Five Star Greece has several yachts in her repertoire; one of the newest is the fabulous O’Leanna. The 44m (144’ 3”) craft which sleeps 12 is run by a ferocious manager who controls every last detail to sheer perfection. Its huge, bright salon is large enough for an elegant lounge and dining area decorated in classy beige tones and sophisticated furnishings. It offers the ultimate in relaxation with a massage room, spa shower and a Jacuzzi on the sundeck. But what is Ileana’s favorite feature? The design of the master cabin with sliding walls that open onto its own private deck, making fluid indoor/outdoor living that is a rare find on a yacht.

In addition to this and other opulent yachts, Five Star Greece has a vast range of luxury villas dotting the Greek Isles. Contact them to learn more about their repertoire at this link.


For an alternative “on the waters” experience in Greece, Elena Fotiadi of White Key Villas suggests combining a villa rental with a rib boat (pictured above). Spending your summer holiday in a luxury villa allows you to unwind and enjoy life at your own pace and schedule. Due to Greece’s endless coastlines and islands, adding a luxury rib to your villa rental actually allows you to have your own private summer realm, as well as the option to privately explore the myriad coves and neighboring islands.

Should you choose to holiday in a beautiful villa in Mykonos, Elena recommends spending time cruising the southern coast of the island which will allow you to visit the most popular, fun beaches and end up on the uninhabited island of Dragonisi for your own castaway experience. For a calmer ambiance, she suggests exploring the mystical island of Delos, which you can first tour with a professional guide then spend the afternoon snorkeling in the nearby coves of Rhenia island. For the more adventurous, embark on your own private “island safari” by visiting Syros and Tinos or Heraklia, Schinoussa, and Koufonissia or Paros and Antiparos.

To learn more about arranging your Greek villa and rib boat, contact White Key Villas at this link.


The Atlantic Coast – France

While the French Riviera on France’s Mediterranean coast usually attracts most holidayers in search of the beach or for sailing, Annie Flogaus of Just France suggests the country’s west coast as a unique alternative. The area combines pristine sandy beaches, charming towns, lovely scenery and fabulous seafood; the best way to take all of these in is by sailing along the Atlantic coast and stopping in at its dozens of islands and picturesque ports. Dock in at Ile de Ré for some fresh oysters, tour the dramatic coastline of Belle-Ile or moor off of Ile d’Yeu to sunbathe in a secret cove.

Just France has the ideal base for exploring the region. Located in the refined seaside resort of Biarritz, their luxury Atlantique apartment is right above the Miramar beach and a two minutes walk from the famous Hotel du Palais. The elegant and bright four bedroom duplex is part of a private villa. It is decorated in a fresh contemporary way with marine tones and has spectacular ocean views from every room as well as a spacious terrace to enjoy a meal en plein air.

For further information on this apartment or their many other apartments and villas close to the French coast, contact Just France here.

The Amalfi Coast – Italy

With its hidden coves, small islands and colorful towns clinging to the hillsides, Italy’s Amalfi Coast is a splendid jewel of the Mediterranean and best appreciated from the sea.

A sail along the coast will take in the beautiful cities of Sorrento and Salerno, however, you can enjoy a great few days at sea visiting the neighboring islands. The most famous is undoubtedly Capri, a holiday destination dating back to Roman times; today it attracts a star-studded crowd of Hollywood actors and billionaire businessmen. The smallest island in the Bay of Naples, Procida has remained relatively untouched by mass tourism. Here you’ll be seduced by its pink, blue and lime green houses, quaint villages and fragrant lemon groves. Circle around the volcanic outcrop of Ischia to admire its graceful vineyards, chestnut forests and rocky hills, then lower your anchor to spend the day picking through ancient necropolises or merely relaxing at its thermal hot springs.

You can take one-day or multi-day sailing trips while having a longer stay in one of the exceptional villas along the Amalfi Coast. View some of the options from our Italy experts on this page.