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  • OPINIONS FROM OUR CUSTOMERS (2015)

    Opinions from customers that booked through our web site

    Opinions Hiper Rent a car Mallorca

  • Where to find us

    Mallorca Airport pick ups - Minibus to office

    Menorca Airport pick ups- Minibus to office

    Ibiza Airport pick ups - Minibus to office

  • SAN JUAN PARTIES IN CIUTADELLA

    Public festivals in Minorca have been celebrated for centuries and originated from San Juan Parties which take place in the Ciutadella from the XIV century. The day of John the Baptist, patron saint of the Ciutadella, is celebrated.

    They are unique and spectacular. For some days, the city becomes a place where more and more arrive to enjoy exiting and friendly parties, and where the locals offer their hospitality and traditional products from their land to visitors.

    During the festive days, the locals eat cold meat like sobrasada, carni, xua (a kind of sausage), cuixot and sweets such as ensaimada with chocolate. The typical drink for these days is the "gin amb llimonada", a mixture of Minorcan gin and lemon juice. All around the island except for the Ciutadella, this drink is known as “pomada”.

    The festivities are connected to the horse, seen as a heritage from the city's Arabic past. The central ceremony are the “jaleos” (or dance of the Minorcan horse) among the crowd. The riders lift their horses on their back legs while the locals and visitors (who actively participate during the ceremony) try to touch their chests. It is said that it is not only a question of ability from the rider but also nobleness from the animals, as one of their many qualities are its docility and obedience. The native Minorcan horse is completely black and is dressed with golden ribbons and colourful carnations for the occasion. To match the look of the horse, their riders must always wear black and white.

    . The four estates from the ancient Minorcan society are represented in the ceremony, called “Caixers”: the nobility, the church, the artisans and the peasants. These are chosen by the locals every two years.

    The daily timetable:

    The celebrations start the Sunday before San Juan (día des “be” or day of the lamb) at 9 in the morning with the first flute melody opposite the “CaixerSenyor” palace (representing nobility). From there, the procession starts the route that will go through the Citadel will be accompanied by the “Homo des be” (man of the lamb) dressed with lambskin, crosses painted on his feet and arms, while carrying a live lamb on his back. He represents Saint John the Baptist.

     

    On June 23rd (San Juan's Eve) at 14:00 at “CaixerSenyor” palace, the “Flabioler” (flautist) requests permission to retrieve the knights and to let the party begin. By then the horses are already in the streets, and the “caragols” start, the horses walk around the old quarters of the Ciutadella while performing the "Jaleo” and surrounded by a crowd. One of the most important “caragols” on this occasion is the Caragol des Born. The war of the hazelnuts is also celebrated on this day, as well as the journey leading to San Juan Misa, where you can join the horses and their riders (caixers) on their way to San Juan chapel (8-10 km approx.) where they will perform a mass.

    On June 24th, the day of San Juan, the celebration starts at 8 am with the withdrawal of the guards who give way to the first "caragols". On this day, besides the official ceremonies, we can enjoy equestrian games known as the games of Pla. The festivity ends late at night, after the Caragol de Santa Clara and the last flute melody from the “CaixerSenyor” palace.

    It is recommended that visitors wear comfortable clothes and footwear to fully enjoy the day.

    *Pictures taken by Minorcan staff.

  • RECOMMENDATIONS WHILE VISITING MENORCA

    Miniguide Menorca                                                                                                                 Printable version

     

    The name of this beautiful island comes from Minorca (smaller than the island of Majorca – menor means “smaller” in Spanish).

    It was declared a Biosphere Reserve on 8 October 1993 by UNESCO.

    If you decide to visit Menorca, our 10 recommendations are:

    1-    Binibeca

    A coastal area located in the southeastern part of the island. It belongs to the municipal area of San Luis and is located 8 km away from the capital of Mahón.

    A distinction is traditionally made between two areas: Binibequer Nou (Nou meaning “new”) and Binibequer Vell (Vell meaning “old”).

    Binibequer Nou is the beach area (200 m long and with fine sand) and the Cala Torret (a bay that has a small town with shops and restaurants).

    Binibequer Vell is the town founded in 1972 emulating the old fishing towns with its white buildings and narrow streets. It is undoubtedly one of the primary points of interest for visitors to the island. Lastly, together with Binibequer Vell we find beautiful cliffs called “Las Ollas,” with natural stairs made of stones and rocks which can be used to get to the sea and enjoy the water.

    2- Lighthouses in Menorca

    One of the representative characteristics of Menorca is its 7 lighthouses:

     

      1. Faro de Punta Nati (Punta Nati Lighthouse) (Ciudadela): 42 metres above sea level and with a range of 16 miles. Built in 1912 to prevent constant shipwrecks in this area of the island.
      2. Faro de Cavalleria (Cavalleria Lighthouse) (Es Mercadal): 94 metres above sea level and with a range of 22 miles. It was inaugurated in 1857 and has not undergone any significant modifications since then. Just a few metres away from the lighthouse is a museum, and behind that is the small and welcoming Cala Santa Teresa.
      3. Faro de Favàritx (Favàritx Lighthouse) (Maó): 47 metres above sea level and with a range of 16 miles. One of our favorites. The nearby beaches of Presili, Capifort, Morella and Tortuga, with their coarse, dark sand, are some of the most pristine on the island.

    1. Faro Punta San Carlos (Punta San Carlos Lighthouse) (Es Castell): 22 metres above sea level and with a range of 12 miles. This is the oldest lighthouse.
    2. Faro Illa de l’Aire (Illa de l’Aira Lighthouse) (Sant Lluís): 53 metres above sea level and with a range of 18 miles. Located on a small island at the entrance to the Port of Mahón, it can be accessed from Mahón or Sant Lluís.
    3. Faro de Cap d’Artrutx (Cap d’Artrutx Lighthouse) (Ciudadela): 45 metres above sea level and with a range of 19 miles. The Cap de Artrutx Lighthouse crosses with the Capdepera Lighthouse on the island of Majorca, thereby illuminating the channel that separates the two islands.
    4. Faro de Sa Farola (Sa Farola Lighthouse) (Ciudadela): 21 metres above sea level and with a range of 14 miles. The last inhabited lighthouse on the island.

    Our most recommended lighthouses are the ones at Cavalleria and Favàritx beacuse of the landscapes that surround them.

    3- Monte Toro (“Bull Mountain”)

    Monte Toro is the highest mountain on Menorca (358 m), located in the municipality of Mercadal.

    On a clear day, visitors can make out the entire island and even the northern part of the island of Majorca from the mountain’s peak. Visitors will also find there the Shrine of the Virgin of Monte Toro (patron saint of Menorca), built in 1670 on top of a former Gothic church.

    With regard to the mountain’s name, there are two versions. The first says that it gets its name from the fierce bull that guarded the mountain and which angrily got in the way of some monks who were attempting to reach the peak. However, the bull, upon seeing the crosses carried by the monks, became peaceful and guided them to where the image of the Virgin Mary was, from that moment on known as “Our Lady of the Bull.”

    The other version, less romantic but more believeable, states that the name comes from “tor,” which in Arabic means height, so “al-tor” would mean “that which is high.” 

    4- Fortaleza de La Mola (La Mola Fortress)

    A military fortress whose construction began on the La Mola peninsula in 1849 using the most advanced defensive strategies of the time period. One of its primary objectives was to defend the port of Mahón against the continuous attacks it had suffered during its history. In 1852 it was inaugurated with the name of Isabel II even though it was still being built. Construction was finished in 1875, although by that time it was already outdated because of the progress in artillery technology that had been made.

    In 1849 work began on the Fortress of Isabel II, built on the peninsula of La Mola, in the Port of Mahón (Menorca), with three objectives: to defend the port, build the base of operations for the entire army on the island, and serve as a security stronghold for the army. In 1896 a second phase began, during which modern batteries and cannons with a range of 40 km were installed. 

    The fort has never been attacked.

    5- Cova d´en Xoroi

    A natural space located atop a beautiful cliff on the southern coast of the municipality of Alaior.

    This place also has a unique legend that says that a man who would later be called Xoroi came to this cave. He was probably a pirate, the only survivor of a shipwreck, and made the cave his shelter. A short time later, a young woman who was about to get married disappeared from the country houses nearby. Years went by and nothing was heard of this woman until after a heavy snow, footprints leading to the cave appeared. When the men reached the cave, they found Xoroi, the missing woman and the three children they had had together. Xoroi, realized he was cornered, jumped into the sea together with his oldest child, disappearing forever. The woman and her two other children were taken to Alaior, where they spend the rest of their lives.

    Today, it is a pub during the day and a dance club at night. Formed by several terraces and balconies, our recommendation is to visit in the late afternoon to witness a magnificent sunset.

    6- Centro Histórico Ciudadela (Ciudadela Historic District)

    Ciudadela is the most populated city in Menorca and bisphoric seat of the island. It was the capital of the island until the British occupation of 1714. Visitors will not want to miss walking through its narrow streets, such as Qui no passa* (“He who does not pass”) or Ses Voltes (“arches”) which begin at Plaça Nova or Plaça Espanya (New Square or Spain Square) and end at the Ciudadela Cathedral. Heading for the Town Hall we find Plaça del Born (Borne Square), surrounded by old palaces and a magnificent theatre. From the Plaça des Born, visitors can make out the port of the City, which forms part of the historic district and is well worth visiting.

    *The name of this street refers to the outbreak of the plague in 1646. Every afternoon a carriage would pick up the bodies of the deceased to avoid further outbreaks. However, the carriage could not fit on this street and thus its name.

    7- Puerto de Mahón (Port of Mahón)

    This is the second-largest natural port in Europe and for centuries has experienced numerous conquests and reconquests by different European nations. It currently has both industrial and commercial uses. Its seaside promenade lined with restaurants, bars and some shops makes it a very nice setting worthy of walking through or making a stop to eat something.

    8.- Beaches and Coves

    The more than 50 beaches and inlets in Menorca are its primary claim to fame. Menorca is the Balearic Island that has suffered least from the construction boom thanks to the conservative spirit of its inhabitants, and therefore has best preserved its natural landscapes. Its beaches are true paradises. In this case it is difficult to make a recommendation because it depends on each person’s likes and needs. One of the most popular, because it is different from the ones we can see in other places, is the Playa de Pregonda (Pregonda Beach). To get there, one must walk about 30 minutes from the Playa de Binimel. Also, from Pregonda visitors can swim to a nearby small island which has its own beach.

    9.- Gastronomy

    The typical products made on the island are Mahonés cheese with denomination of origin, sausages made of pork such as sobrasada (a brick red-coloured paste for spreading on bread), carnixua or cuixot. All of these products can be packaged for transport while travelling.

    Salsa mahonesa (Mahonesa sauce): There are several different stories about the origin of salsa mahonesa, but most point to the beginning of the sauce being in Mahón, giving it its name.

    Some of the main dishes in Menorcan cuisine are oliaigua (vegetable and bread soup), filled aubergines, lobster caldereta (we recommend eating it in one of the restaurants in Fornells), and rice with crab legs.

    Sweets: Bamba (sponge cake), pastissets (pastries in the shape of a flower with five petals), carquinyols (small sweets made of dry dough). Although originally from Majorca, sweets called ensaimadas and crespells can also be found.

    Other: formatjades (typical during Holy Week, but can be found in bakeries year-round)

    Drinks: The typical drink is gin amb llimonada, a mix made with Menorcan gin and lemon juice which is known as pomada on the entire island except for in Ciudadela. The Gin Xoriguer distilleries are located in the Port of Mahón and can be visited from Monday to Saturday. There are many places where bottles of this famous liqueur can be purchased.

    10.- Shopping

    Avarcas: These are typical leather sandals from Menorca. They have become popular outside of the Balearic Islands because of the comfort they provide and how easily they can be combined with any type of clothing.

    Leather products: There are many leather, footwear, clothing and accessory makers open to the public. The prices are not the cheapest, but the products are artisanal and high-quality.

    Costume jewelry: It can be bought in shops and street markets. Our favourite is the market that sets up at the entrance to the Port of Ciudadela every night during the summer.

    The primary shopping districts are Ses Voltes in Ciudadela and Moreres and Carrer Nou in Mahón.

    +All photographs have been taken by our team from Menorca.

  • IBIZA MEDIEVAL FAIR (From 11th to 14th of May 2017)

    In May, like all years, there will be a medieval fair in Ibiza which takes place in a fortified area of the city known as Dalt Vila (declared UNESCO World Heritage in December 1999).

    Besides the beauty of the walls we have to mention its street, which become full of colour during these days. Going up through the portcullis you'll be able to find a combination of people dressed with costumes from the period together with locals who go to watch the fair and walk around the cobbled streets of the area until they reach the Cathedral, where the citadel of Dalt Vila ends.

    The noise and the happiness that fills the street transport you to medieval times.

    The fair lasts three days through which you will be able to find people acting in the street, spice markets, dancers, chocolatiers, etc. It is also recommended to eat in the market stalls where you can find anything from a lamb roasting for hours to a couscous made by Moroccans dressed with sultan clothes cooking together with fire-spitting fakirs, snake charmers playing the flute or dancers belly dancing. All this turns Dalt Vila into an incredible mixture of smells, colours and flavours.

    You can also take advantage of your trip and visit the local museums, the Cathedral and Santo Domingo church.

    For those who get tired of long walks, there are buses going from Dalt Vila and Vara del Rey (modern city centre) available during these days.

    You cannot miss it if you're on the Island during these days. We think this is an incredible experience to recommend to anyone.

    Opiniones Hiper Rent a Car

  • Easter

    Holy Week is the annual religious celebration that commemorates the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. The dates of this celebration vary depending on the calendar of a given year.

    This year it is celebrated from Sunday, 09 April (Palm Sunday) to Monday, 17 April (Easter Monday). While these days are celebrated in the rest of the Balearic Islands, there are some peculiar details that distinguish them from other places since, perhaps because of the nature of the island, the processions here are carried out with greater austerity and meditation.

    The most noteworthy activities in these celebrations are the processions (religious parades in which associations follow an icon). The most well known procession in Palma is the Procesión del Cristo de la Sangre (Procession of Christ in Blood, on Maundy Thursday) in which 33 associations leave from the Plaza del Hospital in the afternoon in order of seniority (from the newest to the oldest), travelling through a large part of the city until reaching La Seu (the cathedral). The 33 associations or brotherhoods of Catholics are led by the Mounted Municipal Police, the Tamborers de la Sala (drummers) and the penitents, who go on their own.  

    During Holy Week, also worth noting is the lowering of the Holy Christ from his altar to Palma, called the Davallament (Good Friday in La Seu) Viernes Santo en La Seu) to a horizontal position in front of the main altar for the besapiés (feet kissing). Also noteworthy are the Davallaments of Felanitx, Pollença, Artà and Sineu.

    The week of celebrations ends on Easter Sunday when most towns celebrate the procession of Encontre, which shows us a resurrected Jesus being reunited with his mother.

    Dates: 13 and 14 April.

    Typical foods during Holy Week: crespells (sweet biscuits), robiols (sweet dessert made of biscuit dough and filled with cottage cheese or jam),  empanadas (pastry dough usually filled with meat and peas), and frito Easter dish (made with a mix of vegetables, potatoes and lamb).

    Easter

  • ALMOND BLOSSOM

    It is the end of January, when the temperature begins to rise, the time when the island of Majorca is covered by a white and pink blanket of petals from the blooming almond trees, creating a spectacular landscape.

    The main area of almond production on the island of Majorca, because of its microclimate, is the midwest area, including the municipalities of Marratxí, Bunyola, Santa Maria, Sencelles, Lloseta, and Selva, among others. Another area worth mentioning is the southwest and the municipalities of Manacor, Sant Llorenç and Son Servera. We recommend that you visit some of these routes in one of our vehicles or on a bicycle.

    The almonds are harvested in late August and early September. The traditional method is by hitting the branches of the trees with wooden poles, causing the fruit to fall onto nets that have previously been placed on the ground at the base of the trees.

    The Majorcan almond has a sweet flavor and contains more proteins, fatty acids and carbohydrates, thanks to its low wáter content due to the Mediterranean climate and the non-irrigated farming system on the island. Its primary component is oil, which can be as high as 60%. These properties make the Majorcan almond high-quality and specially recommended for pastry-making, and it forms part of the oldest culinary tradition on the island. It can be eaten raw or toasted. 

    Some typical dishes made with this ingredient are ice cream, el gató (sweet cake eaten with ice cream or hot chocolate in winter), nougat candies or nuelas at Christmas time, and almond milk (a century-old recipe originally from the friars of Santa María del Camí). They are also used to prepare main courses such as escaldums, a kind of chicken stew.

    Not only is the almond valued in gastronomy, but also for its highly nutritional properties, and the aroma of its flowers is used in perfumery and cosmetics, since they are used for making a number of products such as perfumes, creams, oils, soaps, etc. (all of which are available in perfumeries).

  • OUR PHILOSOPHY

    HIPER RENT A CAR was founded in 1969, and since the very beginning the principles upon which the company has rested have been transparency and respect for our customers and high standards for ourselves.Many years have gone by and the market has experienced significant changes, but today we continue to follow these same principles because of our conviction that doing so is the only way to do things right.

    How do we apply these principles to the current situation?

    Transparency: We strongly believe that the customer must know what the final price of his or her rental will be, and we do not believe in requiring him or her to read the fine print in order to know what the final amount of the car rental will be.

    During the entire reservation process, our system includes all items that generate additional charges (for example, delivery outside of business hours). In this way, the price that we indicate on your invoice will be what you end up paying. Not a euro more.

    Respect: a fair price. We believe that our respect for our customers is best embodied by offering them a fair price; in other words, a price that is in line with the service rendered, taking into account that we are a local business whose simple yet consolidated and efficient structure allows us to greatly adapt. We do not earn money from charging customers for petrol.

    Do not forget to take these things into account when comparing our prices with those of other companies.

    High standards: All of us at the company are seriously committed to the goal of improving every day thanks to the help of our customers, who are our greatest inspiration. No matter how satisfactory our service is, we never believe it is enough.

  • B2B AGENCIES AND PROFESSIONALS

    Hiper Rent a Car S.A. is the leading rental car company in the Balearics with 48 years of experience and offices on Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza.

    We are pleased to offer you our b2b car rental booking system.   This is a very simple system which only requires that you fill out a form and you will obtain a client code with which you may begin to book through this website.   Fast and easy to use. 

    Through our b2b you will be able to benefit from our best prices and offers for your clients.  Our prices and conditions are transparent and easy to understand.  There are no hidden costs or cancellation fees.  The degree of satisfaction from our clients is very high.

                    Some of the services available:

                    -  Airport service             

                    -  Deliveries in any of our offices in touristic areas

                    -  Hotel deliveries

                    -  Possibility of fast pick up service (free): CHECK IN on line

                    -  Possibility to cancel, add extras etc., on our web site automatically.

    If you are interested, send us an email to contacto@hiper-rentacar.com and we will send you more information

    REGISTRATION FORM

       
  • OUR 20 FAVOURITE MALLORCA BEACHES

    It has been very hard to choose only 20 beaches from all the ones in the Island.  We have selected the ones which, in our opinion, are the best (this list of 20 beaches has been made through voting amongst the over 50 workers from the offices in Mallorca).  They are not categorised according to preference but according to area:

    1.- Playa de Formentor (POLLENSA):

    Sand beach, it can be accessed by motorway and has parking spaces.

    Type of beach: semi-urban

    Activity level: high.

    Beach longitude: 840 metres

     Average width: 8 metres

    2.-Cala Molins (Cala San Vicente, POLLENSA):

    Sand beach, it can be accessed by motorway and has parking spaces.

    Type of beach:  urban

    Activity level: high.

    Beach longitude: 45 metres

     Average width: 50 metres

    3.- Playa de Sant Joan (Manresa, ALCUDIA):

    Sand beach, it can be accessed by motorway and has a terrace for parking.

    Type of beach: semi-urban

    Activity level: medium

    Beach longitude: 110 metres

    Average width: 60 metres

    4.- Coll Baix (ALCUDIA):

    Pebble beach, only accessible on foot. The car must be parked in Alcudia, and you must walk for approximately 5 km along unpaved paths (about 45 minutes). We recommend not wearing beach footwear when doing this route.

    Type of beach: isolated

    Activity level: low

    Beach longitude: 220 metres

    Average width: 50 metres

    5.- Cala Agulla (CAPDEPERA):

    Sand beach, it can be accessed by motorway. It has paid parking spaces.

    Type of beach: semi-urban

    Activity level: high

    Beach longitude: 520 metres

    Average width: 50 metres

    6.-Cala Gat (CAPDEPERA):

    Sand beach, it can be accessed by motorway. It is possible to park near the area.

    Type of beach: semi-urban

    Activity level: high

    Beach longitude: 40 metres

    Average width: 20 metres

    7.- Cala Mesquida (CAPDEPERA)

    Sand beach, it can be accessed by motorway. It is possible to park near the area. Last 200 metres must be done on foot.

    Type of beach: semi-urban

    Activity level: high

    Beach longitude: 300 metres

    Average width: 130 metres

    8.- Cala Mandía (MANACOR):

    Sand and gravel beach. It can be accessed by motorway.

    Type of beach:  urban

    Activity level: high

    Beach longitude: 80 metres

    Average width: 120 metres

    9.- Cala Sa Nau (FELANITX)

    Sand beach. Access by motorway up to Colonia de Sant Jordi (Platja des Port). From there you must walk 2.3 km.

    Type of beach: isolated

    Activity level: low

    Beach longitude: 1,400 m

    Width: 45 m

    10.-Cala Mondragó o Cla de Sa Font de n´Alis (SANTANY):

    Sand beach, it can be accessed by motorway. It is possible to park near the area.

    Type of beach: semi-urban

    Activity level: high

    Beach longitude: 75 metres

    Average width: 60 metres

    11.- Cala Llombards (SANTANY):

    Sand beach, it can be accessed by motorway. Large parking space free of cost next to the beach.

    Type of beach: semi-urban

    Activity level: high

    Beach longitude: 55 metres

    Average width: 150 metres

    12.-Caló des Moro (SANTANY)

    Sand beach accessible by motorway up to half a kilometre before arriving. You must park the car in Cala Llombards, at the start of the motorway leading to s´Alminuia. From there, you must walk. Near the end (last 20 metres) there is a steep descent on stones.

    Type of beach: isolated

    Activity level: medium

    Beach longitude: 30 metres

    Average width: 20 metres

    13.- Playa des Trenc (CAMPOS)

    Sand beach, it can be accessed by motorway. Paid parking space. There may be nudists.

    Type of beach: isolated

    Activity level: high

    Beach longitude: 1,900 metres

    Average width: 22 metres

    14.-ES Carbó (SES SALINES)

    Sand beach. Access by motorway up to Colonia de Sant Jordi (Playa del Puerto)

    Type of beach: isolated

    Activity level: low

    Beach longitude: 1400 metres

    Average width: 45 metres

    15.-Cala Tuent (ESCORCA)

    Gravel beach. Motorway access.

    Type of beach: isolated

    Activity level: high

    Beach longitude: 100 metres

    Average width: 32 metres

    16.-Playa de Llucalcari o Es Canyeret (DEIÀ):

    Small rock and stone beach. Access by motorway up to Llucalcari, the last 300 metres must be done on foot. There may be nudists.

    Type of beach: isolated

    Activity level: medium

    17.-Calo des Canonge (BANYALBUFAR)

    Rock and gravel beach. Access by motorway (curves for the last 6 km.). You can park near the area.

    Type of beach: semi-urban

    Activity level: medium

    Beach longitude: 70 metres

    Average width: 20 metres

    18.- Playa del Mago o Portals Vells II (CALVIÁ)

    Sand and nudist beach. Motorway access. You can park near the area.

    Type of beach: isolated

    Activity level: low

    Beach longitude: 20 metres

    Average width: 5 metres

    19.- Cala Fornells (CALVIÁ)

    Sand beach. Motorway access. You can park near the area.

    Type of beach:  urban

    Activity level: medium

    Beach longitude: 80 metres

    Average width: 4 metres

    20.- Playa de Camp de Mar (ANDRATX)

    Sand beach. Motorway access. You can park near the area.

    Type of beach:  urban

    Activity level: high

    Beach longitude: 180 metres

    Average width: 60 metres

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  • MINIGUIDE MALLORCA

                                                                                                                                                            Printable version

     

    If you have chosen Mallorca as your holiday destination, you certainly won't regret your choice. Our main advice is for you not to be only satisfied with visiting the area surrounding your Hotel, because you will be missing many important sites to see in the island. This is our list of 10 things you should definitely see or do:

    1.- The Cathedral: Mallorca Cathedral or La Seuis located in the central area of Palma's old quarter, and on the bank of its bay. This privileged location helps enhance its majesty.

    The origins of this 6,600 m2 building dates from the XIV century when James I, after conquering the Muslims in Mallorca in 1229, ordered its construction on the great mosque of Medina Mayurca as a temple of Christian worship and dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

    It took two centuries to build it although it has gone through continuous refurbishments and changes even to this day. Because of this constant transformation the cathedral has incorporated all kinds of architectonic styles throughout its seven centuries of existence: Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Neo-classic, Modern and Contemporary. The resulting unit has unequal harmony and beauty.

    Next to the Cathedral we find the Almudania Royal Palace.

    2.- Palma: It's the capital of the island and the whole Balearic archipelago consisting of the islands of Mallorca, Minorca, Cabrera, Ibiza and Formentera. The Romans founded this city in 123 BC after being conquered. It is believed that its name refers to their victory, symbolised by the palm of the hand. It is a very common mistake to call the whole island Palma de Mallorca. This denomination only refers to its capital, and the correct way is to say Palma (without saying "de Mallorca"). In this pretty city we see the combination of historical and cultural value areas mixed with modern buildings which, thanks to tourism, make Palma into a very cosmopolitan city. We advise you to spend at least one day in the area, which will not be enough to see everything but will give you a general panorama if you cannot stay longer.

    This is our proposed route: Park the car in S´Hort del rei(at the base of the Cathedral. From the airport you can get here by following the sea, before arriving to PaseoMaritimo). Going up Conquistador Street you will get to Plaza de Cort, this is where the Ayuntamiento (city hall) is. There is another square next to this one, Plaza Santa Eulalia, and through it you will arrive at Morey Street, with one of the best stately homes and patios of the city; at the end of Morey Street, you'll see the Cathedral. From there, going through the Arab baths you can get carried away and wander the narrow streets which constitute the old quarter of the city until you go back to Plaza Santa Eulalia again and then take Colon Street and arrive at Plaza Mayor (Main Square). At the Main Square you can take the stairs going down to Las Ramblas (a pedestrian street full of flower stands) going through them and leaving the Main Square behind.  At the end of Las Ramblas to the left, take San Jaime Street (if you have a look on the right you'll see a typical Mallorcan oven on the corner) and you will get to Rey Juan Carlos I Square and Paseo del Borne (coming from San Jaime street to the right of Juan Carlos I Square you have Jaime III Street. This street, together with Paseo del Borne, is one of the main commercial areas in town). Going through Paseo del Borne you will arrive to Plaza de la Reina and Antoni Maura Avenue. At this moment you will be next to the parking space where you left your car. We recommend, however, that you turn right and get close to Lonja, the old fish market. Its Gothic architecture and the fact that it is surrounded by many bars and restaurants makes it the perfect place to have lunch or dinner.

    There are many other interesting sites in the city such as Olivar Market (mainly selling fruit, vegetables, meat and fish) or Bellver Castle (you can see it from the top of PaseoMarítimo): it's the only circular castle in Europe.

    3.-Valldemossa and Deià: We think you shouldn't miss Serra de Tramuntana (declared a World Heritage Site in 2010 by UNESCO) which takes its name from the fact that it is located in the North East of the Island and thus protected from the cold winds of the North (the tramontana). In this case we recommend visiting two of its municipalities which, due to being close together, are ideal to dedicate one day of your holidays. In the municipalities of Valldemossa and Deiá you will find several fountains surrounded by abundant and leafy vegetation, transmitting an extraordinary atmosphere of relaxation.  Its narrow and cobbled streets enhance the charm of these places.

    The Monasterio de La Cartuja in Valldemossa has its origins in the Palace king Jaime II of Mallorca ordered to be built at the beginning of the XIV century so that his son Sancho would find some relief from his asthma. Once the Mallorcan dynasty reached its end, the Palace fell into disuse and was given to the Monks to turn it into Cartuja. For over 4 centuries the Cartujan Monks dwelled in Cartuja until they were evicted from it in 1834, and the building shifted into private hands. It was during 1838 when Chopin travelled to Mallorca accompanied by writer George Sand and rented a cell in the monastery when he composed some works and George Sand wrote the famous book "A Winter in Mallorca" where he criticises the traditions and customs of the people of Malloca. The monastery has taken in many illustrious people such as Rubén Darío, Melchor Gaspar de Jovellanos, Santiago Rusiñol or the archduke of Austria, Lluís Salvador, among others.

    The "cocas de patata" (a traditional local candy) are ideal to eat with ice-cream in summer or hot chocolate in winter. They are offered in any café or they can be bought at any bakery.

    On the way to Deiá you can also visit Ermita de Valldemossa, where a small community of Mallorcan hermits dedicate their lives to prayer and penitence.

    In Deià you cannot miss a visit to its colourful port; and if you are feeling up for a half-an-hour walk, you can end your day with a relaxing bath in its cove. Even though it's distant, it's usually crowded, especially during July and August.

    If you have enjoyed this visit, another town worth mentioning is Estellencs.

    4.-Soller and Puerto de Soller:  Just a walk around the town and its port turns into a fascinating experience.  With 13,000 inhabitants, Sóller is Sierra de Tramuntana's commercial and cultural centre, as well as the starting point of many trekking paths through the mountains, the seaside and the beautiful "valle de los naranjos" (orange tree valley). The main square with its impressive church, trees, cafés and the mountains as background makes this place as one of the best in the Island. Surrounded by narrow streets and many shops, traditional houses and the old train station, the meeting point for locals and tourists, especially when the market is open (Saturday). Apart from enjoying the landscape and the atmosphere, in the Port you'll be able to have a swim or board the ship heading to Torrent de Pareis.

    It is advised to take the Palma-Soller train (opened in 1912). It is a unique experience that you won't regret. The trip will take you about 55 minutes.  Although you can also take the train at other stations nearer Soller, during the busiest seasons (July and August), it is a better option to board it in Palma to ensure a seat. We think it's worth enjoying the landscape while being as comfortable as possible.

    If you decide to travel by car, you will have to go through the only paid tunnel in the island, but still a better option than taking the alternative road. Finally, we recommend its typical products: prawns, oranges and olive oil. If you are still eager for more, there is another nearby pretty town:  Fornalutx

    5.-Pollensa and Formentor: Another advisable excursion to spend the whole day is to visit Pollensa and Cape Formentor located in the North of the island. Pollensa's main attraction lays in its diverse landscapes and its bay. Pollensa port is a fishing port packed with terraces and bars giving the place a particular feel. Sitting in any of them while contemplating the mountain and the ocean is a real luxury.  Cape Formentor has high cliffs which sink into the Mediterranean, creating a stunning landscape. It is not an excessively long journey (19 km from the Port of Pollensa), but because of the curves and the narrow road, it is advisable to drive at a low speed, especially if this is your first time travelling there. This condition of the road may extend the trip for another 45 minutes, mainly during peak season, where there are more vehicles in transit or parked along the road.  Once you have visited Cape Formentor, you cannot miss a swim in its beach (Playa Formentor).

    As some of the area's attractions we can mention the Party of Moors and Christians where the locals play a big part.

    6.- Alcudia: Nor far away from Pollensa we find the municipality of Alcudia of great historical and cultural value, as it is here that we have the remains of the Roman city of Pollentia (ancient name given to Alcudia that must not be confused with Pollensa) as well as two wall areas, one medieval, the other one from the Renaissance. The large number of beaches are also worth mentioning: large, small, sand beaches, pebble beaches, etc. and S'Albufera Natural Park which can be visited (with prior permission, the tickets are free of charge). We advise not to leave the visit for the last minute, since the mosquitoes can become quite unpleasant.

    7.-Fishing villages: Besides the above-mentioned towns (Deià, Puerto Pollensa, etc) we will mention the town of CalaFiguera and its municipality of Santany (not to be confused with CalaFiguera beach in Pollensa). It is a picturesque town consisting of two ravines which still preserve the fishermen's houses.

    8.-Beaches: There are 207 beaches in Mallorca: 153 sand beaches, 13 gravel beaches, 21 rock beaches and 15 pebble beaches (rocks eroded by the sea). It is very difficult to recommend one beach, since it depends on personal taste or the needs of each person. But what we can state is that there are beaches for all tastes, from long beaches with thin sand to distant coves you can only get to by foot or sailing.

    9.-Gastronomy.Some of the most typical dishes from Mallorca are:

    Frito: it has many variants. It's a mixture of certain vegetables, potatoes, spices and meat or fish, all fried in oil. We especially like the way this is cooked in the village of Sineu where all the ingredients are chopped very thinly. In addition, this town located in the heart of the Island opens a market each Wednesday morning; a great opportunity to purchase traditional home-made products (for example: sobrasada). We locals usually visit this market when we want to fill our shelves. Warning: frito made with meat usually includes some extra ingredient such as liver or blood. Although it is very tasty, we understand it can be shocking if you're not used to this type of food.

    Soups: There are summer soups and winter soups. Their difference lies in the fact that they are made with different types of vegetables, depending on the season. They are served with very thin slices of hard bread (the sopas) and they usually also come with poached eggs. Exquisite!

    Cocas: They have many variants, the main ones being vegetable coca and trampó (pepper and onion). It is like the dough used in pizzas with vegetables on top. They are often sold in portions in bakeries, so they are a good option to eat during mid-morning or in the afternoon.

    Pork sausages (sobrasada, camaiot and longaniza): made in the traditional matances, every part of the pig is used in some way. The most important products are the sobrassada (a reddish paste to spread on bread), the camaiot (sausage cut in loaches) and longaniza (like sobrassada but less cured). You cannot leave without trying it! If you really like it you can find shops where they sell these products properly packaged.

    Ensaimada: the most famous and traditional pastry in Mallorca whose origin is not completely known.  The main ingredient in the dough is saim or pork fat. The dough is shaped as a spiral, giving it its characteristic look. It can be llisa (without filling) or stuffed (with chocolate, Cabelld'àngel or cream). If you wish to take some home, you will also find places that will wrap them for your journey.

    Tumbet: seasonal dish with aubergines, potatoes, spices and tomato sauce. Delicious.

    Trampó: Very simple seasonal dish very successful among the locals. It's a simple salad with tomatoes, onions, white pepper, salt and olive oil.  The secret is in the quality of the ingredients, especially tomatoes and olive oil. If the ingredients are just right, eating trampó can be a sublime experience.

    There are sweet and sour dishes here, since the Mallorcan cuisine is very varied: pork loin with cabbages,crespells, apricots coca, stuffed aubergines, empanadas and cocarrois (during Holy Week), etc.

    Of course, as in any seaside area in Spain, there are any seafood and fish options.

    Other popular markets are Santa María or Felanitx (both on Sunday).

    Regarding drinks, a typical liqueur, and herbs can be sweet, bittersweet or dry. Like most liqueurs here, they have a very strong taste and are only liked by those who are used to drinking them. We recommend the bittersweet ones with ice.

    10.- Shopping:

    Once more, the commercial area in Mallorca is just the same as in other major cities as far as shops or stores are concerned.  Many big forms have opened their shops in the island taking advantage of the great amount of visitors we have throughout the year.  In the capital, Palma, the main shopping areas are: The Avenues, Porto Pi Commercial Centre (at the end of PaseoMarítimo) and Jaime III Avenue, the latter being our favourite because of its location and for housing the most fashionable brands as well as the most popular and accessible. It is not only in Palma that you can go shopping.  In some municipalities there are some very attractive and exclusive stores (for example, in some of the above-mentioned towns: Alcudia, Pollensa or Sóller).

    Besides visiting the island to do some shopping, you can also acquire traditional products, and you will not be disappointed when looking for places to buy them: traditional leather products (Inca), wicker products or llatra (Son Servera), blown glass (you can visit many factories which exhibit the process) and textile goods (for example tablecloths).

  • MINIGUIDE IBIZA

    Here's our choice of 10 "must see" places from Ibiza:                                                                                          Printable version

     

    1.-DALT VILA: This is perhaps the most representative image from Ibiza.  Dalt Vila means "high area of the city", and it is the old quarter found inside the wall. It has been declared World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1999.

    We recommend accessing this area through "el Portal de sesTaules" (this name refers to "sestaules", the type of wood which was used as a drawbridge in order to defend the city). Then we find el Patio de Armas (Parade Ground), a room with ten rounded arches where the first hippy market of the Island was established.

    The Tourist Office advises three possible routes to walk around this fortified city. Free brochures are offered at the tourist information desks so that you can have more details about these sites, but you can also visit them without a pre-determined route, simply walking where your curiosity takes you.

    Apart from the wonderful entrance (SesTaules Portal) and the parade ground, you can visit the bastions ( 6viewpoints surrounding the wall, which offer panoramic views in all directions), de Vila square, Santo Domingo church, Ibiza Town Hall, the Cathedral, San Jose street, La Almudaina, Dalt Vila Castle…

    The area holds many restaurants, shops and street artists. There is a very special atmosphere during the evening and night.

    The second weekend in May the Medieval Fair of Ibiza is celebrated. For a few days, the city goes back in time to the XV century with great realism. Streets are crowded with knights, damsels, jesters, bird trainers, salesmen and artisans. All over the city we can discover tasty culinary options.

    2.-IBIZA CITY (VILA): The Vara de Rey walk could be considered the most central part of the city. To the right, facing the Port, there is a tourist information office (it is not the only one) where all kinds of brochures and maps are offered, free of charge and very useful and interesting. They contain information about beaches, suggested routes around Dalt Vila, hippy markets, etc. Very close to this area we can find the Plaza del Parque(Park Square), very lively and full of bars, perfect for a rest. Generally speaking, this part of the town is very pretty. Walking, we arrive at the Plaza del Mercado (Market Square), where the market previously stood. Although some stands can still be found, the mainmarket is located in a more modern part of the city. In the same Market Square there is the “El Portal de SesTaules” and Barrio de Sa Penya very close to it. One of the most unique and crowded streets in this neighbourhood is Mare de Deu street, or commonly known as “la calle de la Virgen”(Virgin Street), full of shops and viewpoints. There we will find some stairs leading to barrio de La Marina (commercial port). Around its centre we find the obelisco a los corsarios (corsair obelisk), the only public tribute to pirates in the world.  During the late evening several hippy stands are placed in the area, and at night the most famous discos tend to offer their advertising parades, very original and colourful, giving life to the place. All pedestrian streets located behind the port also form part of the essential circuit around town.

    3.-MARKETS: The main markets are Hippy Market and Las Dalias.

    Hippy Market opens every Wednesday, normally from April to October, from 10 to 19. Address: Escanar, Punta Arabí

    Las Dalias opens every Saturday in April from 10 to 20. They remain open until 18 during winter (from November to March). There is also a night market on Mondays and Tuesdays during peak season (from 19:00 to 1 am) and on Sundays in August (from 19:00 to 1 am), a special market for kids on Thursday nights and a special market at Christmas. Address Km. 12 CTRA. EIVISSA- SANT CARLES. The smallest one but perhaps the most charming is Hippy Market.

    The truth is that nowadays there are not many true hippies left since most of them have become very commercial, but even so it is still worth visiting one of them at least. You can find a bit of everything: clothes, jewellery, silver, ceramic, craftsmen stores... it's very unlikely that you leave the place without having bought something.

    In both cases we advise you to confirm times on the actual market's websites since there may be changes: www.lasdalias.es   ywww.hippymarket.es

    4.-SUNSETS: You cannot miss the sunsets in the island. There are many ways in which you can enjoy them. There are some cafés or strategically-located bars where you can listen to some music while watching the Sun go down. Perhaps the most well-known is Café del Mar or also Kumharas. It is advisable to arrive some time in advance to be able to get a good view. Another option is to watch the sunset from some beach or cove, for example in SesVariades (San Antoni), Cala de Bou and perhaps the most popular of them all Playa de Benirrás, where the kettledrums sound until the Sun disappears. Just amazing.

    5.-CUISINE:

    We recommend the “bullit de peix” and the dessert “flaó” as typical dishes to try.

    Bullit de peix: It consists of two dishes. The first one is a tray with different types of fish and Ibizan herbs, all covered with a sauce made of fish juice and soft aioli.  Then a thin layer of rice is served, which can be eaten directly from the pan.

    A little lighter version is the Salmorra, which is the same but without aioli sauce (this is only cooked in certain places).

    Flaó: mint, lamb and goat cheese pie (it has to be tender to be good). It doesn't go off quickly so it's a good option to take back home. There are several bakers in the island where they will specially wrap the pie for your journey back.

    Other typical dishes are the “el sofritpagés” (stir-fried vegetables with potatoes and meat), pagesa salad (with potatoes) or crostons salad (bread).

    We can also recommend other sweet options like orelletas and graixonera.

    There are some products which are typical but not exclusive from Ibiza, such as the sobrassada and the empanadas (meat pie or peas mainly eaten during Holy Week)

    The typical liqueur is Ibizan herbs which like most of these liqueurs, has a very strong taste (although there are variants) and is only tasty for those who are used to it. It tastes better with some ice.

    6.-SHOPPING: What to buy in Ibiza? Besides everything we can find in street markets, we specially like Ibiza's traditional jewellery as well as the Adlib fashion. The word Adlib comes from the Latin “ad-libitum”: "the way you like it", "freedom". The clothes are mostly white, made with natural fabric and very comfortable to wear. The motto is: dress comfortably but smartly.  Although it is said that this fashion has been inspired on Ibizan's traditional white clothes, the truth is that there is no real connection between them. However, sales began in the 70s from the island and since then these clothes have gained a place in the world of fashion both nationally and internationally. We also find varied wicker objects (hats and mainly baskets), costume jewellery and clothes shops with quite original garments, very different from what we can buy somewhere else (we need to know how to look...)

    7.-ARCHITECTURE: Another good option is to visit some of the little villages nearby and contemplate their characteristic architecture, buildings integrated with the landscape and constructed with existing natural resources. The constant invasions the island has suffered throughout the years have given the buildings a military, religious and defensive aspect. The main constructions we can find are: Churches, farmhouses, defensive towers, refuges, fountains or wells.  Some sites to recommend are Santa Eulália Church (Puig de Missa),  SantMiquel  or San Antoni de Portany (the oldest one) among others. You will find Santa Eulália on the way to the markets, so perhaps it is a good idea to visit it if you are planning to buy something there. It is a small town by the seaside, quiet and nice. The farmhouses were built by adjusting its profile to the terrain; this is why they are so irregular. The building process started with the kitchen housing a large chimney to continue with the rest of the house depending on the economic capacity of the family. The windows are usually small to keep the house fresh. Some houses such as Ca´nAndreu in SantCarles have become a museum and can be visited.

    8.- SANTA GERTRUDIS: Even when there are many small charming villages on the island that can be visited, Santa Gertrudis deserves a special mention and is a must-see site! It is located approximately in the centre of the island. It is the most lively and beautiful part of the village (where the church is) with pedestrian streets full of bars and restaurants to eat and have dinner at reasonable prices.

    9.-BEACHES: It is very hard to recommend something since there are some many and so beautiful... the choice of beach greatly depends on whether you come with children or not, or whether you want a restaurant nearby or something a bit more isolated. In any tourist office, you will be able to obtain free brochures with the main 56 beaches in Ibiza; their location, characteristics and even pictures. It's really useful! 

    10.-PARTIES AND DISCOS: Even though we don't think it is the best thing the island has to offer, we cannot forget it's one of its main attractions.

    List and address of some of the main discos:

    PACHA has many room featuring different music styles. It's ideal for those who dislike electronic music or who are just looking for more options to spend the Ibizan night. The reason for its beauty lies in the fact that it is an old farmhouse with refurbished rooms and terraces which create the different areas (Ibiza city). Two years ago, PACHA opened a cabaret restaurant club not far from the disco (PaseoMarítimo) where people can enjoy a good show. However, it is not easy to get a table, even though access to the restaurant is not cheap. If you don't want to have dinner there you can always go for a drink (pay for entry)

    SPACE Playa den Bossa (San Jordi) www.space-ibiza.com

    PRIVILEGEUrbanización San Rafael s/n (San Rafael).Described as the biggest disco in the world.

    AMNESIA Ibiza motorway to San Antonio Km.5 (San Rafael) www.amnesia-ibiza.com

    USUAIA Actually it is a recently refurbished hotel reinvented with a brand new concept. From 16:00 until midnight the Hotel turns into a disco. In the swimming-pool area there is a large stage from which music is played and there is also a light show.  People who are not staying at the Hotel can also access the place once they have paid the entrance fee.

    If you're the quiet kind, you can also enjoy the night-life without going to a disco.  Some entertainment areas to spend the first hours of the night are Plaza del Parque and some bars in the centre of town. The island also offers several quality musical events such as the Jazz Festival, usually celebrated during July at Santa Lucia bastion (Dalt Vila).

    These suggestions do not try to be a professional guide but some recommendations based on our own experience and, as such, very subjective.  There is, of course, a lot more to do and see, so this is mainly some help for the people who are visiting the island for the first time.

    We really hope you enjoy your trip and most importantly, that you come back.

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