Our first ever family holiday abroad was to Puerto Pollensa, so for me, the place will always be hugely sentimental to me. Booked as a last minute half term package deal, it really was the perfect holiday; sunshine every day, fun and laughter every day, not to mention the wide eyed wonder of my young boys experiencing the beauty of the Mediterranean for the first time.
Maybe due to this sentimental attachment, we have been back to Puerto Pollensa many times, both with the kids and without, the most recent being last summer with the boys in tow, now aged 20 and 22! As time progresses and the years roll by, Puerto Pollensa remains the same, my very own personal time machine.
In the past I’ve always been very sceptical about people who return to the same place year on year, proudly boasting like a badge of honour that this is their 25th year in Costa Del Blah Blah, feeling that with a huge, beautiful world out there, it showed a startling lack of imagination. As I get older though, I’m starting to see the appeal; there is something quite comforting about returning to Puerto Pollensa. It’s like visiting an old friend after a long time; maybe superficially a bit different on the outside but deep down, still the same. There is still a whole world out there I still want to see, but I will never ever be averse to a sneaky week in Puerto Pollensa.
The whole family have our familiar checklist of things to do in when in town committed to memory, which we faithfully work through the minute we get off the bus. First and foremost, Puerto Pollensa’s number one attraction is its beautiful coastal promenade called the Pine Walk. Starting off on the edge of the main centre, and heading east, it is an approximately 1km walk along a pine fringed pedestrianized path to the edge of town. The scenery is stunning, just unbelievably pretty and tranquil. You pass several little toddler sized beaches, a few piers you can lie on to soak up the sun, of shady benches every few yards from which to read a book, have a chat or just soak up the scenery. From the vista of Puerto Pollensa it almost looks as though you are looking out on to a lake due to the sheltered location of the bay and the fact that the Alcudia peninsula is directly opposite. This means the sea is nearly always sheltered and calm, perfect for swimming in. No visit to Puerto Pollensa is complete without a daily stroll up and down the Pine Walk. I should mention that if you head west out of town towards Alcudia, there is also a massive white sandy beach, with the usual deckchair rental, beach cafes and water sports if you prefer, but for me, the Pine Walk wins hands down.
We have a number of regular excursions on our Puerto Pollensa mental checklist, which have to be completed in order to fulfil our trip down memory lane. There are a couple of not too difficult walks that are mandatory; one is down the Boquer Valley and the other is to the neighbouring resort of Cala San Vincente. The walk along the Boquer Valley is to a cute little beach with the odd mountain goat for company. The whole walk there and back from the centre of Puerto Pollensa takes around 3 hours, the only difficult bit being the scramble up and down to the beach. The beach is completely undeveloped and there are no roads down there so take lots of water, as you will not be able to hitch a ride back in to town. For the walk to Cala San Vincente, which takes about 90 minutes, there is little shade going over the top of the hill so I would recommend at reasonably early start and plenty of water. The good news is there is a bus service between the 2 towns if you can’t face the return journey. There are some great views of the sea and Puerto Pollensa on this walk if you are looking for good photo opportunities.
Another frequently completed outing for us is a trip to Playa de Formentor, further east along the coast from Puerto Pollensa. It can be either reached by bus (the cheap option but crowded), taxi, or by taxi boat. The taxi boat is a great way to travel but definitely not cheap, I can’t remember the actual fare but can remember being quite shocked when we did this. The playa at Formentor is amazing though, with beautiful sandy beaches and pristine clear blue seas, where swarms of fish can be seen at the dock. It’s a great place to spend a day chilling out.
Other places to visit in the vicinity are the old market towns of Alcudia (not to be confused with the popular resort Playa de Alcudia just round the corner) and Pollensa. Both are beautiful old historic Mallorcan towns where you will get a more authentic Spanish experience than in the beach resorts. There is a good Sunday market in Pollensa, but beware the rugby scrum if planning on getting the bus there during the holiday season.
Puerto Pollensa is a big enough place that unlike some resorts, it doesn’t completely shut down over winter. It has a significant ex-pat presence as well as the locals, and maintains industries other than just tourism. However, it is fair to say that tourism is its main bread and butter, so if you’re looking for an authentic slice of Spanish village life, you’ll be disappointed. It is extremely popular with the Brits, albeit the young family/middle aged couple demographic rather than Club 18-30. Therefore the entertainment, restaurant choices and nightlife are very much tailored towards this. Whilst there are tapas bars, there are also numerous pizzerias, steakhouses, Indian, Chinese and Mexican restaurants catering for the international crowd. It’s certainly not the known centre of the gastronomic world, but you can still get a decent meal. There are lots of ice cream parlours, patisseries, and cocktail bars if you so fancy. There is also the obligatory Irish bar, but definitely no rowdy nightclubs. The town does not have an edge to it, it feels very safe, is very clean and is very civilized.
Links to More Places
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Cala San Vincente, Spain, Balearic Islands, Majorca
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Palma, Spain, Balearic Islands, Majorca
Soller, Spain, Balearic Islands, Majorca
Agios Stefanos And Kassiopi, Greece, Ionian Islands, Corfu
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Barcelona, Spain, Catalonia, Barcelona
Bonifacio, France, Corsica, Southern Corsica
Calella De Palafrugell, Spain, Catalonia, Costa Brava
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Valle Gran Rey, Spain, Canary Islands, La Gomera
Cala Blanca, Spain, Balearic Islands, Menorca
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Kefallonia, Greece, Ionian Islands, Kefallonia
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Puerto De La Cruz, Spain, Canary Islands, Tenerife
Playa Blanca, Spain, Canary Islands, Lanzarote
Kamari And Santorini, Greece, Cyclades Islands, Santorini
Pinarellu, France, Corsica, Southern Corsica
Mainland Orkney, Scotland, Orkney Islands, Mainland
San Sebastian, Spain, Canary Islands, La Gomera
Agate, Spain, Canary Islands, Gran Canaria
Santa Cruz, Spain, Canary Islands, Tenerife
Alicante, Spain, Valencia, Alicante
Granada, Spain, Andalusia, Granada
Seville, Spain, Andalusia, Seville
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