Discovery Tour on Mallorca
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Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic islands and is recognised for its beautiful countryside. The island enjoys an excellent year-round climate and splendid mountain scenery. On this holiday we discover the stunning coastal scenery, traditional villages and the Serra de Tramuntana mountains.
- Port de Sóller and the northwest coast
- Sóller and hilltop villages
- Lluc Monastery and Pollença
- The city of Palma
- The romantic towns of Valldemossa and Deia
Great Reasons to Join Us:
- Great value: all prices include ensuite half-board accommodation, plus five full days touring with plenty of stops at places of interest and short walks of up to 2.5 miles.
- Expert leader: Discover the hidden Mallorca with our knowledgeable leader
- Accommodation: Enjoy good quality accommodation and magnificent sea views at our hotel in Puerto de Soller
- Sociability: we pride ourselves on the sociable atmosphere of our holidays - explore together, eat together, relax together
The 4-star Hotel Porto Sóller occupies a commanding position overlooking the bay. It enjoys splendid views over the colourful harbour to the majestic mountains of the Serra du Tramuntana beyond. The hotel has recently undergone a major refurbishment and now offers our guests a high standard of comfort with a contemporary twist.
The hotel staff, many of whom have worked at the hotel for many years, radiate a warm and friendly welcome.
Hotel Porto Sóller has 126 en-suite bedrooms, most with a balcony or terrace, and views towards the bay.
All bedrooms have a television, hairdryer, safe deposit box and air conditioning.
In front of the hotel there is a lovely swimming pool and terrace which overlooks the bay. This is usually open when our holidays operate, depending on the weather.
There are comfortable areas in the hotel where you can just relax, chat with friends or read a book.
Our holidays at Hotel Porto Sóller are on a Half Board basis and include breakfast and evening meal.
There is an extensive selection of hot and cold options for breakfast from a self-select buffet.
Hotel Porto Sóller provides a three-course meal with choices and is normally served as a buffet. During the course of the week there will be Mallorcan speciality dishes, in which the chef takes special pride. There will be a vegetarian menu option but if you have any special dietary requirements we recommend that you discuss your preferences with the hotel management.
There is also a well-stocked bar serving beer, wine, and spirits.
Lunch (payable locally)
You can buy picnic lunches from the hotel (order the night before). Alternatively, you could buy lunch ingredients from one of the many shops in Puerto de Sóller. On some days it may be possible to buy ingredients or eat in a local café during the day; your leaders will advise you of all the options.
Each evening your leaders will tell you about the next day's activities and answer any questions you may have. During the evening you may like to listen to some live music, a blues evening, Spanish guitar or join in an optional organised evening activity, such as a quiz.
During your Discovery Tour you will have the opportunity to visit many fascinating places of interest. this is the proposed programme, but our HF Holidays' leader may adjust it at their discretion, taking into account factors such as weather or local opening times or the wishes of the group.
Porto de Sóller and the northwest coast
The picturesque harbour town of Porto de Sóller is one of the most photographed in Mallorca and we’ll discover why as we begin our day with an orientation walk around the town. We’ll have time to explore the pleasant streets and shops and enjoy the promenade walk around the lovely horseshoe bay.
Boats depart regularly from the marina and we will cruise along the splendid stretch of coast northwest of Porto de Sóller past dramatic cliffs which tumble down to the white beaches. One of the highlights is a small quiet cove, Cala Tuent, with its backdrop of mountains and small 13th century church. We continue onward to Sa Colobra from where it is possible to visit the magnificent gorge of Torrent de Pareis, the 'Torrent of the Twins'. A box canyon, the spot where the river meets the sea, is one of the most dramatic sights on the island.
Sóller and hilltop villages
Sóller, whose name reputably comes from the Arabic suilar – meaning 'golden bowl' – is famous for its orange groves. The town is a delightful tram ride up into the mountains on trams that date from 1912. After a wander through Sóller’s narrow lanes, which are lined by 18th and 19th century stone houses adorned with fancy grilles and big wooden doors – the former dwellings of the region’s rich fruit merchants – we’ll arrive in Plaça Constitució where we can sample tapas, pastries and ice cream.
We now take a scenic half hour stroll to the tiny old stone village of Biniaraix, passing orchards and farmland criss-crossed with ancient irrigation channels and dry-stone walls. Nestled in the foothills of the Serra de Tramuntana, the village is extraordinarily pretty. There is the option to take the mini-bus here for those not wishing to walk. Our next stop by coach is Fornalutx, often described as the most attractive village on Mallorca and certainly it has a superb location, set against the towering Puig Major and surrounded by orange and lemon groves. The quaint village fans out from the miniscule centre and the streets are still cobbled to facilitate mule traffic
Lluc Monastery and Pollença
Today we travel to the Monestir de Nostra Senyora de Lluc, the Monastery of Our Lady of Lluc, the spiritual centre of Mallorca and a place of pilgrimage for over 800 years. The story is that a little statue of the Virgin (La Moreneta) was found by an Arab shepherd boy (Lluc or Luke) who had recently converted to Christianity. Highlights include the monastery church and its enjoyable museum and the pretty Jardí Botanic.
Founded by the Romans in the foothills of the Serra de Tramuntana, Pollença still has much of its old-world charm with narrow twisting streets and charming stone houses. The pride and joy of the town is its Via Crucis ('The Way of the Cross') a long steep and beautiful stone stairway graced by ancient cypress trees. If you climb all the 365 steps, you will pass the stations of the cross on your ascent; alternatively you could take a taxi to the top of the Calvery Hill to visit the much revered 13th century statue at the top of the stairway.
The city of Palma
The one-hour journey on the vintage train to Palma is a delight as it rattles through the mountains down to the sea. The town of Palma is an exuberant, attractive and culturally alive city whose Old Town is full of handsome renovated houses and beautiful arcaded squares. The port is dominated by the 13th century Sa Seu, Palma Cathedral, the second largest Gothic cathedral in the world. Among the treasures within are the tombs of Mallorca’s first kings. Also standing in a prominent position is the ancient Palau de l’Aludaina, a graceful amalgam of Gothic and Moorish styles, part of which is still used for royal apartments. Other highlights include the Arabian Baths, the fascinating Museu de Mallorca, housed in a 17th century palace, and the medieval Basilica de Sant Francesc.
The romantic towns of Valldemossa and Deia
We will take the coach today to Valldemossa, another contender for Mallorca’s most beautiful town. Its picturesque old town spills down a hillside surrounded by farming terraces created 1,000 years ago by the Moors. Near the bottom of the hill is the 13th century parish church dedicated to St Bartomeu, one of the patron saints of the town. The top attraction however is the former monastery complex including the cloisters known as the Myrtle Court and the former royal palace. The monastery was at one time used as a hotel and two of its more famous guests were the composer Chopin and the French writer George Sand.
Finally we will arrive at the tiny village of Deià, its warm sandstone houses set in a dramatic ravine that plunges down into the sea. Towering over the town is the modest 18th century church of Sant Joan Baptista. The village is mostly associated with the English novelist and poet Robert Graves and over the past 50 years the town has been beloved by many artists including Picasso and writers like Anaïs Nin.
All transport (hired minibus, or local transport) is included in the price of your holiday, but for flexibility we do not include entrances (allow £35 per person).
Discovery holidays involve active sightseeing and you should expect to spend lots of time on your feet. Optional short walks of approximately 2½ miles allow you to stretch your legs and see the best of the local scenery.
Free day – on our 7 night holidays we allow one free day where there is no organised excursion. This is an ideal opportunity for you to relax, enjoy the hotel facilities or explore independently.
An introduction to the area
Since the 1960s, Mallorca has been a popular package tour destination and each year millions of Britons head for the island’s main resorts to enjoy their week in the sun. Increasingly, however, the island is being recognised for its beautiful countryside. With an excellent year-round climate and splendid mountain scenery, it provides the ideal location for a spring or autumn walking holiday.
Our base is the attractive coastal town of Puerto de Sóller whose buildings line the promenade around the horseshoe shaped cove. The island’s northern coastline is particularly dramatic and can be enjoyed on walks to the Cap Gros lighthouse and the picturesque village of Deià.
Inland rise the splendid mountains of the Serra de Tramuntana. The lower slopes are richly planted with groves of olives and oranges, which steadily give way to evergreen forests and the open mountainsides beyond.
Palma, the capital of Mallorca, is easily reached by taking the tram to Sóller and then using the vintage electric railway from Sóller to Palma. The train journey across the island takes about an hour and makes an enjoyable activity in its own right. Once in Palma the historical city centre can be easily explored on foot.
Places of particular interest in Palma include:
The Cathedral, built in gothic splendour some 500 years ago, is known as the Seo by the Mallorcans. Look out for the Puerta del Mirador (an opening in the wall facing the sea) designed by Guillem Sangrera, the Trinity Chapel and the Royal Chapel. The side chapels and the cathedral museum are good examples of baroque architecture.
The Almudaina, or royal palace, where the king and queen of Mallorca once lived, was constructed on the remains of the Muslim castle (free entry on Wednesdays for EU passport holders).
The Lonja houses the provincial fine art museum and is one of the best examples of city gothic architecture in the Mediterranean area. The building was also designed by Guillem Sangrera.
The Paseo del Borne is the main thoroughfare in the old part of Palma. You will see medieval buildings flanked by elegant palace facades as well as 19th century apartments. These palaces were mostly built in the 17th and 18th century and they give the city a noble, rich and vaguely Italian air due to the influence of the Venetians from Genoa and Venice.
Valldemossa - an attractive town to the southwest of Sóller which is also visited as part of the walking programme. However you may wish to explore the town more fully on your free day. The former Moorish hamlet of Valldemossa retains all the old charm of an ancient Mallorcan village, with its narrow winding streets and rustic stone houses. Originally the site of a Moorish palace, the buildings were later the retreat of King Sancho. Later, Carthusian monks built a monastery and when they were expelled from Spain in 1835, private owners took over the monastery and rented the cells to travellers. This is where Chopin and George Sand lived in 1838, occupying cells in the Monastery soon after the Monks left.
Boat trips - boats depart regularly from the marina and will take you along the coast to the beach at Sa Colobra. This is a magnificent stretch of coast and this boat journey will give you a totally different view of where you may have been walking. Once at Sa Calobra it is possible to visit the magnificent gorge of Torrent de Pareis.
Shops & facilities:
There are plenty of shops, bars and cafes in Puerto de Sóller, and the market on Saturdays in Sóller is also fun to browse around. Two small shops, close to the entrance of the hotel sell bread rolls, local cheeses and salamis which make ideal lunch snacks. In general not much English is spoken by shopkeepers and restaurant staff, but a smile and a few words of Spanish work wonders!
‘With flight’ holidays
For flight times and prices please see the Dates & Prices tab.
We offer flights from Heathrow, Birmingham and Manchester (regional flight supplement £75) to Palma.
If you book a ‘with flight’ holiday with us, we automatically include transfers between the airport and the hotel. The coach transfer to Puerto de Sóller takes 45 minutes.
All our overseas holidays can also be booked without a flight. This is ideal if you are travelling from overseas, or prefer to make your own arrangements from your local airport. If you choose this option the transfer to the hotel is not included.
HF Holidays can help you to reach the hotel in the following ways:
HF Holidays’ transfer coach from Palma airport. These are timed to meet the HF Holidays’ flights (provisional HF Holidays’ flight times can be found on the dates and prices tab or call 020 8732 1220). Cost per single journey is £15.50. Please note that HF Holidays is not responsible for your onward travel if you fail to meet the transfer coach under any circumstance.
Our Airport Taxi service operates at this resort, offering quick and easy transfers for guests booking their own flights. All prices are per taxi for single journeys, allowing you to mix and match different transfer options. Transfers must be pre-booked. Please call 020 8732 1220 for more details.
From Palma airport by taxi transfer £80 per taxi single journey.
Heather has a background in heritage conservation from both a professional and personal perspective. She has a passion for historic places and likes to find the unusual and extraordinary facts that will help to bring a visit alive. She enjoys sharing her love of historic places and her respect for contemporary architecture and always tries to cater for everyone by including a variety of places, spaces and building types to enrich the experience. She has a good knowledge of architecture and social history and a great enthusiasm for the setting of buildings.
Sandy Smith is a university academic, specialising in geology and environmental sciences, and has written books on these topics. She is particularly interested in the origins of landscape, both natural and human-made. She leads HF Holidays’ Walking and Leisure Activities holidays in the UK, Europe and worldwide.
Dates & Prices
|29 Apr 2017||
PSLEL - Discovery Tour Mallorca
Flight - Outbound
Flight - Return
|29 Apr 2017||
PSLEL - Discovery Tour Mallorca
Flight - Outbound
Flight - Return
|29 Apr 2017||PSLEL - Discovery Tour Mallorca||7||£949.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Double room for sole occupancy: £19 per night
- Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person