When your sister and brother-in-law have a well-known travel blog, Living in Another Language, sometimes you get to tag along on their adventures! Thanks to them and Travelopo Villas, we left the fall weather of Germany for the slightly warmer, sunshiny island of Mallorca, Spain, to stay at a private villa. Five adults and two tots made for quite the group, but if there ever is a spot for a relaxing family vacation- Mallorca would be the place to go!
Our villa was located just a short drive to Palma beach (Ca’n Picafort), the harbor and shopping district, and was close to plenty of markets and restaurants. Prime location! Far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the tourists and busses, but close enough to never feel completely out of the way from things to do.
Tip: This was the first time for my husband, myself, and our two kids to fly on Ryanair. I would recommend for all Ryanair family travelers to choose your seats at the time of purchase. They will not always group you together, as we found out. The next time we booked flights with Ryanair we made sure to pay the extra €8.50 (give or take) per seat to ensure we would all sit together! Also, always print out your tickets TO and FROM your destination before you fly, so you don’t have to pay at the counter.
Our stay in Mallorca was a chance for us to relax and enjoy a stress-free vacation, but the days we did not spend at the villa or the beach, were spent exploring the island! We took a windy, slightly intimidating, narrow, but scenic road to Cap de Formentor in Pollenca, Mallorca. The lighthouse is located on a small summit with rocks and road on one side and steep cliffs on the ocean-side. The Mediterranean Ocean was a beautiful, deep blue on the day we went, and we were able to hike around the lighthouse to find the best views.
Tip: It was incredibly busy, even for a weekday. We went around noon, but discovered that it would have been much better to have arrived when the lighthouse opened at 10am. Parking was very difficult and almost impossible if you attempted to arrive in the afternoon. For those with small kids: Strollers are not necessary or efficient, and we carried or helped our small girls through the crowds and over the rocks while exploring the vicinity around the lighthouse.
The day it rained in Palma, we drove to the Drach caves in Porto Cristo. Another major tourist attraction, with a bit of a hefty price tag per ticket, but the cave in itself was very large and beautiful! It was a tour, so you were sort of herded on with the rest of your group until you reached the end- a fantastic and spacious cavern with a clear lake (Lake Martel). There, we were treated to a short classical music concert by live performers arriving on boats. Our children did not enjoy it as much as the adults, but it was still an enjoyable experience and made the price-tag and number of tourists in the cave worth it!
The harbor at Palma de Mallorca was a favorite spot to eat good food (and ice cream) and walk around looking at the various shops and cafés. We tried the famed and traditional pastry of the island, the Ensaïmada, and even bought a few to take home (actually, I think we still have one in our freezer). If you go to Spain, they can be found at nearly all cafés or bakeries, and are delicious served with hot chocolate or coffee. They are a must if you are a foodie traveler!
The girls loved the beaches most of all, and could have played there all day if possible. Sadly, the weather was not as warm as we wished, especially on the beach, but we still made the most of it and had a great time!
Next time you think of planning a trip to Europe, keep Mallorca, Spain in mind for your family vacation. There are plenty of rental car options (we had a small van for our group), and most have car seats or boosters available for rent so you will not have to bring your own for the kiddos. If you want to explore the island, renting a vehicle is a must! All you will need is your international drivers license and a GPS (ours was built in to the van), and you are good to go! There are numerous family activities that we did not cover during our time there, so if lighthouses and caves are not your thing, there is still plenty to do.
If you have any questions or would like to tell me what your own experience on the island was like, let me know through a comment below or personal message!
Missing island vibes,