FIVE questions
you should
ask ...
Speak to one of our travel
within 5 rings

Which of these is important to you?

  • Concierge style service. Your own dedicated travel manager who'll look after you until you travel.
  • Better value. Exclusive fares you won't find online to save you money.
  • 24 hour helpline. A worldwide team just a phone call away if you need help while you're overseas.
  • Top on Trustpilot. More highly rated than all our competitors with 98% saying they'd book again.
  • Risk free. Fully licensed with Client Trust Account to protect your money. ABTA, ATOL protected.

Your calls always answered within 5 rings.

You've read the reviews so why not call us NOW?
Tell us what you need. We'll find you a solution
Europe Reviews 7806
Europe Offers 33
Europe Fly-Drives 12
Balearic bliss

West is best on Mallorca

Kate Amey enjoys a soul-soothing stay at the luxurious Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel and Spa on Mallorca...

There is so much more to Mallorca than Magaluf. I had never been to the largest of the Balearic Islands before heading to picturesque Port de Soller and, admittedly, prior to my visit, the first (and only) thing I associated with Mallorca was the infamous resort town.

Es Fanals Restaurant Terrace

However, from the picturesque hill-top location of the Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel and Spa, which is nestled among the Tramuntana mountain range, you'd be hard-pressed to believe you're on the same planet, never mind the same island.

Just a 30-minute drive north from Palma Airport, this five-star hotel houses 121 sea or mountain facing rooms spread across 11 buildings. All boast a private balcony or terrace, complete with a cushioned sunbed to take utmost advantage of the sea views.

Sa Talaia Pool Bar Terrace

The casual bistro specialises in seafood and regional tapas, including several varieties of paella, but it's the location - at the highest point of the resort - that is its most noteworthy feature.

Book in for supper to enjoy the sunset views over the Mediterranean. The resort's Cap Roig is a more formal affair known for its fresh local seafood and impressive tasting menu that changes seasonally.

While it may be tempting to lounge by one of the hotel's two infinity pools, a 10-minute walk down the hill leads you to the small harbourfront town of Port de Soller, home to the only beach of note along Mallorca's north west coast.

There's a promenade lined with cafes, touristy shops and plenty of water sport and climbing rental facilities.

The area's known for its cycling routes, one of the more famous being the Coll de Soller, which crosses the Tramuntana and connects Palma with the port of Soller. In fact, the resort of Alcudia in the north is a favourite of Britain's pro cycling team, Team Sky, during the winter months due to its challenging landscape.

While I'm the type of person who prefers an exercise bike to a brutal uphill climb, my travelling partner did - successfully, I might add - take on the 38-mile ride, which included 55 switchbacks and six miles of incline.

The area is also a great base for walks and hikes, such as the hour-long trail that takes you to the Cap Gros lighthouse, offering panoramic bay views. For those who prefer to go further afield, there are plenty of tour companies offering Tramuntana mountain treks, both in organised groups and privately guided walks.

Riding the tram at Port Soller

On Saturdays, a gentler walk will lead you to Soller town centre where you can take advantage of the extensive pop-up marketplace. Don't want to walk? A tram runs along the promenade to town, about three miles away.

Until mid-afternoon, you'll find everything from jewellery to local artisan goods and fruit - the area is famed for its Navel and Canoneta oranges. In both Port de Soller and Soller, there are also plenty of al fresco dining options available too. And, conveniently, Jumeirah runs a regular shuttle service into town.

Another highlight of the sprawling Jumeirah Port Soller is the Talise Spa which boasts a hydrotherapy pool and ice cave. There are regionally-focused treatments too that give a nod to the citrus groves, almonds and olive oil native to the area.

One thing's for sure: a stay here will banish any preconceived notions you may have once had about the infamous Spanish island. And, for the record, I still have not been to Magaluf.

First published in the Mail Online -  April 2016

More articles below...

For more inspiration, read what travel writers have to say...

Montenegro rediscovered

A new-found clamour for glamour awaited Jeff Mills in this chic little Balkan country

Highlife in Cannes

Film producer Frank Mannion tells you how to live like a star here

Loving Lyon

Giles Milton revels in the culinary capital of France

Good Morning Crete!

Charlotte Hawkins recharges her batteries on the Greek island

Magnificent Madeira

There’s a reason the capital is called Fun-chal, says Louise Thomas

Luxury afloat

On a super-yacht, Stephen Cole proves big isn't always best

Greek cliff-hanger

Louise Saunders discovers an iconic hotel carved into the volcanic cliff face

Milan glamour

Deirdre Fernand explores this treasure-house of culture

Florence in a flash

Italy's famous art capital wows with culture galore and delicious food

I just adore a parador

From magnificent castles to luxurious converted convents, Dave Balow takes a tour

Weekend in Seville

This Spanish city is perfect for a short break

Turkish delight

Yoga enthusiast or not, you'll love this oasis of luxury, says Sofia Zagzoule

The Durrells' Corfu

Read Thomas W. Hodgkinson's guide to their enchanting isle

Break for Rome

David Dillon and his sons discover the Italian capital

San Sebastian

A feast for the eyes and the tastebuds, as Martin Symington discovered

Modern Montenegro

James Hughes-Onslow reports from the Balkans

Greece is still divine

And this family resort is heavenly, says Jeremy Daniels

Sparkle at the Ritz-Carlton Abama

Anne Murray takes a lingering look at a hotel of unabashed luxury

The Marbella Club

The Spanish resort is still full of panache, as Mark Palmer discovered

Cypriot ultra spa

How did destination spa Anassa measure up?

Warm up in Iceland

Sky News presenter Kay Burley luxuriates in a steaming lagoon and marvels at the Northern Lights

Kefalonia's hue

Martin Ogden makes his very own Odyssey to the idyllic haven

Who couldn't love Lisbon?

Caroline McGuire gives you the lowdown on this perfect city break

Falling for Formentera

Ibiza's neighbour - but quiet and chic, as Mark Palmer discovered

The heroic island

Miranda Seymour reveals why fans of the magical holiday spot of Malta return every year

La Dolce Vita in Portofino

Sarah Turner discovers Hollywood’s heyday at the Hotel Splendido

Simply baking in ancient Greece!

Bake Off star Candice Brown has a delicious time in Halkidiki

My Mykonos adventure

Denise van Outen's dream of exploring a Greek island comes true

Madeira madness

Taking free-kicks in Madeira with Cristiano Ronaldo

Towering Tuscany

Take me back to my dream destination, says Mark Palmer

Dining in Palma

Sarah Gilbert savours the delights of Palma on a plate

Portugal's pousadas

Magnificent hotels with wall-to-wall history

Seductive Sardinia

Why Sardinia was a dream worth waiting for, says Lisa Brady

Vibrant Valencia

Is this cultural treasure house Spain's finest seaside city? Michael Hodges gives his verdict...

Croatia's Islands

Frederick Tratt explores the unspoilt gems off Croatia's fabulous coastline

Croatia's Tuscany

Unspoilt Istria does a great impression of rural Italy, writes Jane Horrocks

Florence and Milan

Make a long weekend in Italy twice the fun

Twin cities

Connect two fascinating cities by train on a European mini adventure

Not quite what you're looking for?
We can easily customise an offer to suit your exact requirements