Well, now that my strategy-planning mind is at work, I cannot stop. I’m researching and making decisions to come up with a concrete plan, and so I ran into this helpful little article from the New York Times. Here is the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/29/travel/29hours.html
It is a known fact that NYTimes only provide so much many free articles to read per month. So I will copy and past the article here, too.
36 Hours in Majorca
A cliff near the town of Banyalbufar. More Photos »
MAJORCAN summers are infamous for the swells they attract: the billionaires on their megayachts, the movie stars at their mountain estates. Michael Douglas has a house in Deià, and in nearby Sóller, there is an outpost of the Ashram, Malibu’s answer to asceticism, at which studio heads pay thousands of dollars a week to eat like vegan hippies. Then there’s that other summer crowd, the European lads who flood the developments that spread out from lovely, medieval Palma and make the beach scenes there cautionary tales of the evils of alcohol. During the off-season, which runs from fall to early summer, however, this mountainous, gnarled island is largely yours. Set yourself up with a rental car (there’s a lot of driving to be done on this island) and prepare to be hypnotized by ancient terraced landscapes with twisted olive trees, the tiny medieval villages and the extraordinary food and wine.
4 p.m. 1) SHOPPING FOR SPECIALTIES
Palma’s medieval and mostly car-free streets have plenty of charm on their own but also are home to little pleasures in the form of shops offering local specialties. First off, head north up Passeig des Born and make a left onto Carrer de Sant Feliú for a visit to Rialto Living Palma (Carrer de Sant Feliú, 3C; 34-971-713-331; www.rialtoliving.com), a kaleidoscopic store selling home furnishings and clothing and augmented by an art gallery and a cafe, all set in a converted theater. There are bolts and bolts of striped cotton duck fabric for 39 to 45 euros a meter ($51 to $59 at $1.32 to the euro), which is no bargain, but the colors are stunning. On a nearby sunken side street is a grocery store, Colmado Colom (Calle de Santo Domingo, 5; 34-971-711-159), which carries a required Majorcan souvenir: the Balearides flor de sal sampler (16 euros), a selection of five flavored sea salts, from hibiscus to olive. Back home, you will sprinkle them on everything you eat. Another possible stop is Palma’s 800-year-old cathedral, La Seu. Like many Gothic churches, its massive and empty volume hits you like a freight train. After navigating the cathedral and twisting streets of Palma, you might need a pick-me-up: the Cappuccino Palau March (Carrer Conquistador, 13; 34-971-717-272; www.grupocappuccino.com), part of an island-wide chain, has a kind of swanky blankness, and a killer view; have a cup of the cappuccino (3.30 euros), alongside the well-heeled Germans you’ll find sitting on the outdoor patio.
8 p.m. 2) QUAFFING WITH NATIVES
You can drink wine by the centimeter, or order an Estrella Galacia, the Spanish equivalent of Budweiser, at Bar Dia (Calle Apuntadores), which draws a local crowd for its tapas (starting at 5 euros), its hierbas (anise-based liquors not unlike ouzo; 2 euros) and its crispy quarter chicken (6.50 euros). The owner will be sitting in a corner smoking and playing cards with his mates, and couldn’t be less pleased to see you.
9 p.m. 3) BY THE BARRELS
At La Bodeguilla (Calle de Sant Jaume, 3; 34-971-718-274; la-bodeguilla.com), there are 300 wines on the wine list, ranging from a Château Pétrus 1999 for 1,450 euros, to a locally produced organic red for 14.50 euros. The restaurant is quiet, with an appealing red and black décor. You can eat on glass-topped wine barrels (but beware: that’s the smoking section) or farther in, by the extensive cellar. (Locals call it the Barrel Bar.) The menu de tapas (24 euros) includes two standout morsels: the carpaccio de pulpo (octopus) and the ravioli de morcilla (fennel-flavored blood sausage tucked into a delicate noodle pouch). Sheep are as much a part of the Majorcan landscape as its olive trees, so it’s no surprise that the baby lamb (18.90 euros) is predictably delicious, as is a local wine, a smooth red, Bodegues Ribas Sió (29 euros a bottle).
11 a.m. 4) A FRAGRANT JAUNT
On the northwest corner of the island, the village of Deià, butter-colored and antique (it dates to the Moorish era), is a hub for the walking trails and mule tracks that lace the Serra de Tramuntana, the mountains that surround it. It’s also the home of Hotel la Residencia (Son Canals s/n; 34-971-63-9011; www.hotellaresidencia.com), a celebrity magnet with stunning views. Follow the little trail just opposite the hotel’s parking area for a sweet half-hour walk over stiles and along stone terraces lush with almond lemon and orange trees and wild lavender. You might even see wild asparagus.
1:30 p.m. 5) CAFE WITH A VIEW
Cafeteria Sa Font Fresca (Via Arxiduc Lluis Salvador, 36; 34-971-639-441) is a small cafe that overlooks a stream and many backyards. There are no culinary fireworks, but the terrace is a lovely spot (or head inside for a televised soccer game and its smoking viewers). Have a bocadillo de jamón and a cold beer (5.30 euros).
3 p.m. 6) GOING THE DISTANCE
Head southeast on the vertiginous coastal road called MA-10 to the town of Banyalbufar; the trip may be the loveliest and the most terrifying drive you’ll ever undertake. Lookout points are strategically placed. At the Mirador Torre del Verger, you can climb the little tower and have a Kim Novak moment gazing at the surf crashing at the cliffs below. Follow the coast until the road veers left toward Andratx, and keep going till you hit the sea again, at Port d’Andratx, a picturesque fishing village and resort town.
5 p.m. 7) COFFEE BY THE SEA
There’s a Cappuccino outlet in the middle of Port d’Andratx (Avenida Mateo Bosch, 31; 34-971-672-214), and it’s situated perfectly for watching the fishing boats come in. Have a coffee before you visit the fish market here, which is a particularly satisfying one, with a vast array of often unidentifiable local sea critters.
8:30 p.m. 8) DINNER ON A GRAND SCALE
Cavernous with a haute-medieval theme, Oleum (Calle Castillo de Sonnet s/n; 34-971-147-000; www.oleum-mallorca.com), in the nearby village of Puigpunyent, is in a 17th-century estate’s olive pressing room; the huge press is still here, and it sets the scale for everything else. Dinner is elaborate, and draws heavily from local sources. Cordero de la Tramuntana is lamb flavored with rosemary and Mahones, a creamy cheese. For an accompaniment, try the Oleum’s own label, a blend from a Majorcan winery, Macià Batle. Entrees are around 30 euros; wines by the glass range from 7 to 14 euros.
Noon 9) FUSION POWER
At the top of a high-walled street in the village of Orient, about a 40-minute drive from Palma, is Mandala (Calle Nueva, 1; 34-971-615-285), a Spanish-French-Asian fusion restaurant nestled onto the side of a hill. Bright rows of arugula and herbs glow green in the garden out the back, under a bleached-out Tibetan prayer flag. With its Gauguin-like island-themed portraits and medieval hangings, Mandala’s cozy rooms are where you want to settle in for a nice long (say, two or three hour) meal. Lamb fillets with apples in a saffron-red wine sauce are smoky and complex; the farm chicken breast curry with homemade chutney is delicate and savory. A Greek tartlet with pears in a red wine mascarpone cream may be the dessert you’ll never forget. Dinner for two without wine, about 50 euros. Reservations suggested.
American, Continental, Air France, Delta and a mix of other carriers fly, with connections (in London, Düsseldorf, Madrid, among other cities) to Palma. A recent online search found prices starting at about $600. Palma’s airport is about 20 minutes outside town; a taxi costs about 16 euros, about $21 at $1.32 to the euro. Most car rental companies are represented at the airport; however the best prices seem to be had at Goldcar Rental, a Spanish firm.
Puro Oasis (Urbano Montenegro, 12; Palma; 34-971-425-450; www.purohotel.com) is in the heart of Palma, on a tiny street just off the Passeig des Born, the city’s main drag. It’s gloriously, hilariously pan-ethnic-hip, dressed all in white, as is its friendly and beautiful staff. Standard rooms during the high season (April through October) start at 195 euros., about $257 at $1.32 to the euro.
For a feel for the countryside, consider the sonorous, majestic Gran Hotel Son Net (Calle Castillo Sonnet s/n, Puigpunyent; 34-971-147-000; www.sonnet.es) in the village of Puigpunyent, just northwest of Palma, which is set in a 17th-century finca, or estate. With its stone walls, its Hockneys and Chagalls, and its velvet accouterments, it is solemnly luxurious, and takes itself very, very seriously. It is also alarmingly expensive: Rates range from 340 euros for a classic room (a perfectly adequate though dimly lighted room with two twin beds overlooking the front drive with a bathroom as big as the room itself, like all the Son Net bathrooms) to 1,050 euros for the royal suites, which are entire apartments with their own gardens.