MALLORCA--A few questions..

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Apr 30th, 2010, 04:01 AM
  #1
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MALLORCA--A few questions..

The subject of a Mallorca vacation was introduced on another thread (http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ravel-next.cfm), and I would like to continue the discussion here. I was almost all set to begin booking a trip to Puglia when I received an invitation to stay in a rental house on Mallorca. I am hoping to find decent air connections from the US so that I can include both destinations in a September vacation.

The rental house is outside Ariany, 9km east of Sineu on the Es Pla plain. Can anyone comment about this location? One of our concerns is that we will have to drive long distances (30 minutes or more) in the dark after dinner. How is the restaurant scene in Sineu? We want to focus on Mallorcan cuisine; I am very interested in food and eating would be a prime motivation for the trip. Our stay would be about 6 days and during that time, we hope to spend a day in Palma (about 30 minutes or so from Sineu, I've been told; I know there are good places to eat there but I am worried about the drive back after dinner) as well as time exploring the western coast and the north around Pollenca and Alcudia.

I am interested in food, swimming, great scenery, local life (food markets especially) easy walks (not hiking). Time frame is mid September.

Also: Will I hear any Spanish/Catalan spoken on Mallorca? The island seems so overtouristed that I am concerned that I will feel as if I am in a German or British holiday camp. I noticed that many restaurants are run by foreigners. I want to visit SPAIN!!!


I hope Markrosy and SteveJ, and others who know the island well will comment. Adding Mallorca to my own Puglian trip will mean complicated/expensive flights connections and an overnight in a Rome airport hotel. I am looking for opinions and more information to help me make an informed decision. Particular concern is the location of the house. Another big issue is the flight routing (see this thread if these things interest you:

http://www.fodors.com/community/air-...ng-jfk-pmi.cfm


There is so little on this forum about Mallorca and the Balearics. Please feel free to comment. Your help and advice will be much appreciated! Many thanks!
ekscrunchy is offline  
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Apr 30th, 2010, 05:09 AM
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The mass tourism is focused on the Southern beaches, esp. the Playa de Palma (that whole crescent from Magaluf to Arenal, Europe's low cost bathtub), around Andratx (more upscale), Pollenca (bit more middle class), and the resort towns on the Eastern coast which are also mostly tourism-driven settlements but not as huge as the Playa de Palma, for example.
As you already know or assumed, the Western coast has much less tourism, at least no true mass tourism.

You will encounter not only tourists but also permanent residents from other parts of Europe or the world wherever you go, also in the rural areas. True, there are many rural restaurants run by foreigners - often fincas that got converted into small hotels or restaurants. But if those foreigners hadn't done it, those restaurants would not exist as those rural dwellings had been abandoned in former decades. And you'd be stuck with one very authentic but also very lonely bar in the center of the village. The whole island has no more than 800K inhabitants but around 10 million visitors - so as much bad influence the tourism had/has, it also makes a huge variety of restaurants a sustainable business which otherwise simply would not exist.
But if that does not scare the King of Spain to have his holiday domicile on Mallorca, it should not scare anyone off

The plains do get quite hot. 30C-35C would not be uncommon during the day. I can't say anything about specific restaurants, but places like Sineu or Petra are just 10 or 5 min drive from Ariany.

What is spoken by the locals will be Mallorquí, a Catalan dialect. Also official street signage will be in Catalan/Mallorqui - but that is usually not much of an issue for the auto traveller. The only thing worth looking up in any (online) dictionary or a short summary of Catalan phrases would be the translations for the weekdays. That comes handy when trying to decipher when on-street parking is allowed or prohibited.

If you catch a day with good visibility, you could go up Puig de Randa (between Algaida and Llucmajor) for a 360 degree lookout over the whole island.
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Apr 30th, 2010, 06:01 AM
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Ek...

I'm bookmarking this thread because for some time now I've had an interest in going to Mallorca. Long story, but years ago my dad was there (in his Navy days) and loved it...I know it has changed drastically since then, but he always wanted to go back with mom. I'd like to some day in the (preferably) near future go with mom. So, I'd like to hear what information pops up on this thread. Of course, Italy seems to always win out in our trip planning! I know you can understand that feeling! ;-)
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Apr 30th, 2010, 07:02 AM
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Sineu is a small place almost in the centre of the island, so theoretically well placed for everywhere. It's a plesant little town with a weekly market. However, the main motorway on the island runs roughly North to South, so going East to West from there takes longer.

Sineu is easily reached via the motorway to Inca and then turn East. From Palma, you're only about 30 minutes away. Inca is a biggish town with a good street market, but not a touristy place. It has some good restaurants and you probably will need some Spanish there. Sineu is not known as a destination to eat, although there are a few restaurants of average quality there.

Manacor, the artificial pearl centre of the island is a 20 or 30 minute drive, but doesn't have much else to recommend it. Pollenca and the coastal Puerto de Pollenca are again 20 or 30 minutes away. Pollenca has several very good restaurants. The port is touristy.

In all, Sineu wouldn't be my choice of base for Mallorcan break, because as you have rightly identified, everywhere is a drive away, unless you take a cab.
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Apr 30th, 2010, 07:04 AM
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Sorry....pleasant....
Lifeman is offline  
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Apr 30th, 2010, 08:00 AM
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Ariany is pretty much in the middle of nothing and in the least interesting part of Mallorca. You have to drive to every place which is of interest for a tourist.

Food: There are just a few restaurant which are worth mentioning in your area. One is in fact pretty close, it is Sa Placa Petra, just 4 km south of Ariany. Another restaurant is in Sineu, Can Joan Capo, and a third one north of Manacor, La Reserva Rotana. You will find the really good gourmet restaurants on the coasts, mostly on the western coast, and in Palma.

Swimming: you need pretty long drives (20km) to get to the beaches.

Great scenery: Sorry, you find great scenery at the West Coast, at least one hour driving time from Ariany.

Local life (food markets especially): Can't say anything how local life is in the plains.

Easy walks (not hiking): Most of the ground on Mallorca is privately owned and there is no trespassing. There are hiking trails in the mountains, but, I hate to say that, you have to drive there.

In sum, Mallorca is a very beautiful island, but I am afraid your place is located in the least desirable part of it.

You asked for language: the native language is a Catalan dialect, but everybody speaks Spanish and most people in the tourist business speak English.
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Apr 30th, 2010, 12:49 PM
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Many thanks for the extensive and frank comments. The idea of Mallorca arose because friends were offered this particular house. But perhaps it might be better to pass up the opportunity and instead, plan a future trip with a more ideal base. I passed on the comments to my friends and I will also do more reading and perhaps return with further questions. I have two guidebooks to Mallorca and the brief reading I've done so far certainly echoes most of the opinions above.

Cowboy: I do appreciate your comments about the positive impact of tourism on the island.
I think I/we often forget that aspect of the issue--not only when talking about Mallorca but also many other regions of southern Europe...

Again, many thanks...
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