Published Tuesday, 06 May 2014
A lone seagull was doing the same thing, no doubt enjoying the view of the beach, the mountains and the sea - or it could just have been looking for some bread.
If it had been high season, the seagull would probably have been watching me race down to reserve a couple of sunloungers before anyone else, but as I mentioned in a previous article, I enjoy visiting places outside the "tourist season". Primarily this is because you get to see the real place and not the one that is presented to visitors, but it's also because you don't have crowds of people to contend with and, frankly, it's cheaper. That's why my fiancée and I found ourselves in Mallorca for the last weekend of the Easter holidays.
There is no doubt that Magaluf attracts people from all walks of life. From the "Nikki Beach" private club, which attracts the trendy jetset who arrive by yacht to enjoy champagne and fine foods, to the Sol Wave House which is home to a "twitter hotel" and beach club, to the bars where a pint is less than a Euro - everyone can find somewhere to suit them. Obviously, my fiancée & I would have been found at Nikki Beach had it been open, sadly, we were out of season and 2 weeks too early, but the pints in the local bar were great!
Of course, we need to deal with the elephant in the room. Magaluf is known for its reputation as the summer party capital of the island, and probably Europe, to some extent. It has resort hotels like Mallorca Rocks, clubs like BCM and bars that serve 24/7, all centred in one area of the town.
These are easily avoided if that is not your jug of sangria. We did venture onto the infamous Strip to see what all the fuss was about but (and I know I sound like an old party-pooper) got bored of not being able to walk ten feet without another "cheeky chappy" type youth try to increase their commission by pushing us into whatever bar they were there to promote. The town is also full of places to buy "English food", though why anyone would feel the need to sit down to a Sunday Roast with all the trimmings in 30 degree heat is beyond me! It should be said that there's also plenty of opportunity to sample Mallorcan and Spanish cuisine in the quieter areas away from the "Strip".
Magaluf is found in the Calvia region of Mallorca (www.visitcalvia.com). It is rapidly becoming a year round destination with over 300 days of sunshine and regular scheduled flights from the UK & Ireland. Granted, out of season, not all hotels and attractions will be open (much like Portrush in early January but warmer) however, it gives those that are a chance to shine.
We stayed at the very well-appointed Sol Antillas Barbados hotel, which is situated on the beach at the "quieter" end of Magaluf. There are 2 large pools and smaller kids pools, an entertainment programme and the opportunity to stay "all inclusive". We enjoyed Breakfast and Dinner at the hotel and were presented with a great selection of local and world choices at the buffet. The waiting staff were superb and everyone was made to feel welcome. Clientele while we were there consisted of couples and families, the hotel is not normally frequented by the stag or hen groups.
A great way to see beyond the resort is to take an excursion out to sea. We chose the "Cruceros Costa de Calvia" which left from a jetty on the beach and took us on a cruise along the coastline to some hidden coves. There was the chance to swim off the boat and enjoy viewing some of the spectacular natural scenery of the unspoilt coastline.
You can get even closer to nature on one of the many wildlife walks or cycle routes in the area. These are graded so that everyone can have the chance to take part should they wish.
Visit Calvia launched the "Magaluf Revolution" recently, which focuses on promoting the quality of the holiday experiences available in the region. With a number of new luxury properties opening, as well as a wide variety of thrilling family attractions, the region is developing substantially and offering an authentic holiday experience which I am happy to confirm is far removed from the typical holiday associated with Magaluf. Whilst there is no doubt, visitors will have a more lively (and loud) experience in the high summer, the town is worth considering for short break during the rest of the year.
Getting there is easy, the resort is around 25 minutes by taxi from Palma Airport and there are frequent buses to and from the historic city of Palma. The resorts of Palmanova and Santa Ponca are also nearby.
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