Are you looking for somewhere to go this autumn, a warm place in the sun, a winter holiday?
Mallorca, at this time of year, transforms into something quite lovely and it is always a mystery to us who live here, why more people don’t visit out of season.
Gone is the scorching heat, but so too is the traffic and the vast numbers of people. Locals start to relax after the season ends, kids go back to school, the pace of life changes. This is when the Mallorcans enjoy Mallorca, this is when winter sun in Mallorca is a treat.
I am sitting by the beach in Mallorca. It is mid October and the local meteorological agency website, aemet.es, says that the temperature in Puerto Pollensa is 19ºC, that is 66ºF. It is warm and sunny, in fact, it is quite hot for October.
Granted, it isn´t winter yet, but the summer season has ended and we have definitely entered autumn.
Schools have started everywhere by now and parents have to go back. How about a weekend break? At least you would get the rays and often, a weekend is all you need.
Fashionable because it is cheap and yet extremely rewarding, a weekend break in winter sun in Mallorca means you can leave home early morning and be sitting in a small sunny square in Mallorca having lunch, by midday.
And that is no exaggeration. I have tested this many times. A 9 am flight will land in Palma de Mallorca airport by 11.30 am, you could have collected luggage and a car and be on the other side of the island, enjoying the winter sun in the square in Puerto Pollensa, by 1.
Is this true, you may ask? Is there really winter sun in Mallorca? After all, Mallorca is a small island in the Mediterranean and that’s not all that far away. Can it be hot in Mallorca in the middle of winter when it’s pouring with rain in the UK? Can it really be so different, just 2, 5 hours flight south? The answer is a resounding, sunshine filled yes.
I have added a temperature and weather chart below, to give you an idea of the average highs and lows and daylight hours. The high temperatures in August haven’t taken on board the fact that Mallorca has lived a massive heat wave this summer with temperatures soaring at almost 40 ºC and these things can never be exact, obviously, but it will give you an inkling of what you can expect in terms of winter sun in Mallorca.
Now, if you are going to enjoy the stylish side of the year in Mallorca, the chic elegance of winter in Mallorca, then you may as well go all the way and stay at a stylish hotel too.
The big tacky resorts close down in autumn so you won’t be going there for your winter sun in Mallorca, even if you wanted to.
But the boutique hotels in Mallorca stay open much later.
There are many, and the number is growing. Boutique hotels are popping up all over the city and in the villages. Up in Puerto Pollensa there is a great little hotel bang in the middle of town, one row back from the beach and one road from the main square.
Agatha Christie based her short story, "Problem at Pollensa Bay and other stories" here in Puerto Pollensa, during a visit in the early 20th Century. She describes it as "...a small hotel standing on the edge of the sea looking out over a view that in the misty haze of a fine morning had the exquisite vagueness of a Japanese print...".
Whether you are here for a relaxing, romantic break, a weekend away or an outdoor holiday, luxury or adventure, nautical, gastronomic, or a little bit of everything rolled into one, Mar Calma Hotel is a perfectly stylish and friendly base for catching some winter sun in Mallorca.
And one of the best things about this delightful little boutique hotel is its location.
Mallorca sometimes feels like many islands rolled into one. It is trendy and tacky, elegant and crass, it has proper 1000m high mountains and the big blue sea, clubs and Michelin stared restaurants. Given the diversity and extremes, where you stay in Mallorca, even out of season, even for the winter sun in Mallorca holiday, will determine what kind of holiday you have.
Puerto Pollensa is a good bet. It is set on the vast open Bay of Pollensa, in a magical triangle, with Formentor lighthouse to the north and the beautiful medieval village of Pollensa to the west, in the foothills of the Serra de Tramuntana Mountains.
I used to wonder at the lycra clad cyclists, pedalling furiously uphill to Formentor, the hikers and trekkers, rambling into town from the Tramuntana Mountains, I couldn't see the attraction really. It looked uncomfortable... winter sun or not.
But then I tried it.
It is silent and majestic in the Serra de Tramuntana Mountains. It's great for training, loved by the pro-cycle teams and top triathlon athletes, but also by the trail runners, the mountain bikers, bird watchers and hikers. People from all over head this way for winter sun in Mallorca's most stunning natural landscapes, and now, so do I.
Sports and activity is all very well, but there lots of other things to enjoy in the winter sun in Mallorca as well.
Mallorca was discovered by artists and poets long before. In fact the list of eminent personalities to have lived on the island is huge. George Sand brought her lover, Chopin, to the north of the island in 1838 and wrote "A Winter in Mallorca", Agatha Christie, mentioned earlier, stayed in Puerto Pollensa, Robert Graves lived in Deià.
There are people, like myself, who love traipsing through museums and art galleries, going to see exhibitions... I find it fun and stimulating and frankly, if I´m honest, it makes me feel a little bit cool.
So, aside from enjoying daytime winter sun in Mallorca, there is a rather good arty start to the season, which happens in mid September, the Nit d’Art, night of art, which marks the beginning of the winter art calendar and the opening of the cities galleries. It is a unique event of art, performances and music. It is also a fiesta.
In Spain, and Mallorca is no exception in this respect, most gatherings, regardless of whether they are religious, agricultural or cultural, are fiestas, or turn into them and the island, in its quest to preserve its culture and traditions puts great energy and enthusiasm into its local winter festivities.
If you are around in autumn and winter it is worth checking at least one of these fairs. You have plenty to choose from. Two of my favourite are the olive fair in Caimari and the Wine harvest fair in Binissalem, every different produce has a fair to mark its harvest and weekly markets in all the villages are fun to watch even if you don’t feel like buying, cooking etc.
I like the idea of exercise, and active, healthy holidays, but if I really want to relax, then it’s got to be passive, relaxing in winter sun in Mallorca spells spa.
There are health retreats, yoga classes, and lots of spa and wellness centres to choose from. Some of the good boutique hotels have their own on the premises. Mar Calma Hotel, though small and urban, has a wonderful hot tub on the rooftop terrace and offers spa and wellness facilities topped with stunning views of the Puerto Pollensa marina.
Now, no winter sun escape to Mallorca would be complete without eating out.
Traditional paella on the beach may be unlikely at this time of year, but you can have one in the mountains near Lluc in the fabulous restaurant of Es Guix. I am quite excited about this, as I only just discovered it and can't quite believe I hadn't done so before. In terms of enjoying eating out in the winter sun in Mallorca, this place tops them all. Food is delicious and the views of the natural pool and surrounding mountains are spectacular. Only opens for lunch and weekends in the winter.
For more info see: Bistros, Cafes, Beach Bars and Restaurants in Puerto Pollensa