Are the tourist crowds of Alcúdia driving you up the all or do you just fancy a short trip away from your resort? If you’re looking for a fun escape then this list is for you!
These are the top five things that I enjoyed while staying in Alcúdia. They all helped me to relax during the busy summer season on the east coast of this Spanish island.
1. S’Albufera Natural Park
This is probably my number one recommended spot to get away from it all, as this stretch of wetlands is ever so peaceful. It is next to Port d’Alcúdia and the entrance is on the main coast road. You walk along the main entrance causeway and the reserve office will issue you with your free ticket. They give you a map so you can walk or cycle around and there are hides to spot wildlife.
There is excellent birdwatching here and you can spot ospreys, harriers, peregrine falcons, hoopoes, black-winged stilts, long-eared owls, egrets, herons and warblers amongst others. If birds aren’t your bag, you can also spot martens, weasels, lizards, tortoises and turtles.
2. Platja des Coll Baix
This picture doesn’t do justice to the beautiful Coll Baix beach. One of the most enjoyable parts for me was the slightly hairy walk down the cliff from the car park that you have to take in order to get here. I recommend wearing decent shoes as my sandals were no good for scrambling over rocks.
The beach is very remote so there are no facilities here and anything you need, including water, you need to bring. If you are unable to do the steep climb, you can take a boat trip here and swim to the beach.
There are some very friendly goats down here who may approach you looking for a snack.
3. Dinner in Pollença
My favourite night in Mallorca was when we all had dinner in peaceful Pollença. The main square is sophisticated and spacious so kids can run around and burn off energy. It’s lined with restaurants offering a range of cuisine including fantastic Mallorcan tapas. I treated myself to a chilled glass of white wine and a sorbet to finish!
4. Drive along Cap de Formentor
The drive to the lighthouse on Cap de Formentor is more about the journey than the destination. The winding roads give excellent ocean views on both sides and it’s an opportunity to feel the wind in your hair. At the end of the road is the Far de Formentor lighthouse where you can get a drink, look for birds and take some photographs. Word of warning that the cafe can be quite expensive.
If you have kids then it can be a fun game to see how many of the local Mallorcan goats they can spot along the way.
5. Sunrise and dolphin boat trip
If you get up early enough in any country, it’s usually possible to beat the crowds (unless you’re in India going to the Taj Mahal). This is certainly the case in Mallorca and the calm ocean gives you an uninterrupted view of the sun coming up. As if this isn’t an incredible start to the day in itself, you can combine a sunrise boat trip with a dolphin safari.
There are very active pods of bottlenose dolphins that ply the Mediterranean Sea and you can get some great sightings here. As a seasoned dolphin watcher, this is the most time I’ve ever been lucky enough to spend with one group of dolphins. They stuck around for about 20 minutes and they were very easy to see due to the lack of waves.
Always make sure that your operator adheres to the rules around dolphin protection legislation as these creatures can become stressed by boat or human contact. We didn’t see any of this behaviour on our trip but it’s always best to make sure so you can fully enjoy the experience.
Discovering the natural beauty and rugged landscapes of Mallorca really changed my opinion on this lovely island. The only time I’d been previously to this trip was Magaluf which wasn’t a very cultural experience. Port d’Alcúdia had similar tourist crowds but it is more for families than partygoers.
The beauty of everything on this list is that they are only short journeys which gives you ample time to recharge yet enjoy the buzz of Alcúdia when you return.
If you love reading about Europe then check out my book, the European installment of my Backpacker Confessions series. Girl vs Europe: A Tale of 43 Countries is out now.