September in the UK is when the weather starts to turn. It starts getting dark early and its getting chilly. This is when most of the UK starts to look to extend the summer by heading off to Europe for one last ditch attempt at getting a tan. This is exactly what I did in late September of 2015, when I headed to Palma for a cheeky sunshine holiday. With September 2016 around the corner, my recent trip has me thinking I need to plan another trip ASAP!
Palma de Mallorca is an island in Spain. It is often frequented by the Brits–so much so that my Mum was in fits of laughter when I told her that I was headed there. Apparently this makes me a “Proper Brit”, who needs citizenship, when you have the travel history?! There is some amazing property for sale in Puerto Pollensa here and I’d love to live in a hot country! It would be amazing!!
We flew out on Monarch, who do seasonal flights to the island. In a few hours, myself and my travel buddy Liam, were in the 25 degree heat. We had pre-booked a rental car through rentalcars.com –a tip here, book through the website, but add insurance when you get to the counter, as it is more comprehensive. We stayed just out of the old town in an Airbnb property, that was perfect for us –we had a room each, which is a bit of a luxury as we are used to sharing.
We headed out that night for a late dinner, there are loads of wee restaurants in squares, that are open late, this is Spain after all. We settled in and had some delish squid (my fav) and sangria. Sangria is a must in Spain, it’s almost good for you, it has fruit juice in it! We were really late getting into Palma, so we had an early-ish night that night.
The next morning dawned warm and sunny and we headed out to the Old Town to explore. The old town is walled and has beautiful gardens and avenues laid out around it. Inside there are wonderful cathedrals and lovely little lanes to wander down and explore. We grabbed a lite lunch to eat as we walked and finished off with amazing gelato. The symbol of Palma is a bat, so everywhere there are monuments to bats, some of them did remind me of the batman symbol, so if you have kids, they will love this feature.
That afternoon, we were keen to hit the beach. So we headed out of Palma, about two hours out of town to Colonia Sant Jordi. There are beautiful beaches here and they were simply stunning. We picked one and walked about 200 metres through the bush to a beautiful beach. The best thing about beaches in Europe is that most of them have bars on or very near to them. So we stopped for a quick mojito before getting out our pearly white skin for some sun. The
water was very warm and very clear. I convinced Liam to swim out to a buoy and back and we spent ages enjoying the water. We headed back to the beach for another drink, whilst googling a hotel to stay at. We got very
Universal Hotel Marques is a beautiful hotel. When we arrived, our room was not quite ready, so they offered us a glass of prosecco whilst we enjoyed the sunset. I captured this photo as we sat and relaxed:
The sunsets in Palma are stunning, they certainly deserve the applause that they get from the tourists (not us, but yes people really do clap the sunsets!) The sky feels larger here, I am not sure how that is possible, but it is. It feels like the island is on its own and that there is lots of breathing space. It really adds to the feeling of relaxation. The hotel has a beach and a pool and the rooms are very nice, clean and have huge bathrooms.
After the sunset, we had a shower and headed out to Laos – a café, restaurant, pub and chill out space, within a 10 minute walk from our hotel. It is very chic here. The food is divine, the service excellent and the presentation impeccable. We shared a meat and seafood platter and some Spanish white wine. The chill out area upstairs is lovely. It has nice chilled music, ambient lighting and comfy spaces for you to begin your evening. The drinks are reasonably priced and the staff make you feel really comfortable.
On our way home, we walked past one of the massive salt mines on the island. Of course I know where salt comes from, but when it is in mountains and not quite dry, it has a sulfur smell and it is odd to touch.
The next day was unsurprisingly perfect. I was keen to hit the beach, so after a massive brekkie–honestly, this buffet was huge–we headed straight there.
What I love about Europe and their beaches, is that anything goes. Topless, no worries. Overweight, no worries. Kids, no problem. I felt right at home in my swimmers and no one blinked an eyelid. It would not be a holiday of mine, if something odd didn’t happen. I nearly made it through this holiday, but alas, it was not to be.
On the last day of our holiday, I was stung by a jelly fish. I was swimming and really enjoying it. A wee girl and her brother were playing near me when she started to cry, I thought that her brother must have done something too her, and so did her Dad, as he started to tell him off. Next thing I know, I am given a jolt in the arm. And then I realize that the wee girl was stung by a jelly fish. It looked like some seaweed so there is no way that you could have avoided it. I got out of the water rather calmly and headed to the beach, as I really had no idea what to do.
Liam, who is normally rather calm, was worried and sent me to the life guard straight away. He had some stuff in a spray bottle that instantly calmed the stinging sensation– it did not smell like vinegar but was so good. I took some over to the wee girl as well, who was still crying. There was only one thing to do now, and that was have some drinks and sunbathe it off. Liam kept checking on me and making sure I was ok and even convinced me to head back into the water before we headed back to the airport.
The drive back to the airport was stress free, we both had that beach feeling–and beach hair – and were so relaxed. And that is what Palma is all about. You will arrive in Palma, probably still worried about work and a bit stressed out. You will leave Palma, with a tan, beach hair and a sense of calm. As usual, I did not want to get on the plane to go home, I always hate bursting the holiday bubble. Lucky for us, we had booked a British Airways flight with our avios, so we travelled home in luxury.
So, if you are chasing some sun, if you need to relax, if you want to spend time with your family or friends, and if you want good food and yummy sangria–head to Palma, you will not be disappointed!