I am blown away with my charming discoveries...
I would go back in a flash
I have wanted to visit Valencia for years having explored much of the south of Spain with my family but I had never had a chance. I couldn't wait any longer so I bought myself a cheap easyjet flight and flew out in June combining it with a few days in Mallorca. I had heard about the fantastic Fallas festival in March, the Tomatina festival in August and the excitement around the Americas Cup all of which take place in and around Valencia but I wasn't sure what else I would find. Well I was blown away…after 24hrs wandering the streets on foot and bicycle, popping my head into the old churches, dabbling in some shopping, getting lost in the Central Market, eating tapas on street corners and sipping on the local drink "Agua de Valencia", I have decided Valencia is one of the nicest cities I have visited in Spain. I would go back there again in a flash.
...I wasn't sure what else I would find in Valencia. Well I was blown away…
It's perfect for a long weekend
I loved the mix of new and old architecture, it was such fun to explore on a bicycle and it was crazily clean. It's perfect for a long weekend to Valencia for those who want a culture fix, eat good food, peruse the shops and enjoy the nightlife. As it is on the coast, you can escape the narrow city streets with a break on the beach! The beaches are huge and noticeably clean. The best ones being slightly further down the coast… Playa de la Dehesa for example has gentle pine backed dunes which are less busy in the height of the summer.
A short flight from Valencia and I was in Mallorca, in a hire car heading north towards the little village of Pollenca to stay at the Son Brull Hotel. The purpose of my trip to Mallorca was to find some amazing and very 'original' places to stay. The Son Brull ticked both boxes, it's a gorgeous countryside hotel (once a converted monastery) and ideal for couples and families who want luxury, good food, peace and quiet yet not be far from the coast.
Everything you need
Next stop, La Residencia… situated in Deia, possibly one of the most charming towns I visited on the island. No wonder the likes of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Claudia Schiffer have bought houses here. La Residencia is one of the most well known hotels in Mallorca and it definitely lives up to expectations. It's a first class hotel which has everything you need… two excellent restaurants informal and gourmet, swimming pools, a concierge to arrange riding, mountain biking, trekking, tennis lessons, boating, helicopters, speed boats, deep-sea fishing…. you name it! It's spitting distance from Cap Deia, a small cove and home to some of the best seaside fish restaurants on the island. The rooms are exquisite and would be amazing for a romantic winter or fun summer break.
An idyllic spot to switch off
And then onto the Son Net, a really smart hotel, once a countryside farm house and set up on a hill overlooking the quaint town of Puigpunyent only 20 minutes from Palma. This is superb for those wanting a more old school grandeur style hotel. The terraced gardens house a huge swimming pool which looks out onto the hills, an idyllic spot to switch off, read a book or sip on a glass of rose. I stayed in so many other beautiful places so just ask, I'd love to talk about all of them!
I am often asked what the beaches are like… well I have to say I struggled to find good beaches and this is because the best beaches in Mallorca are only accessible by boat and the other beaches tend to be very busy in the summer. All the hotels can arrange day trips out on boats so if you fancy splashing out, it's worth every penny. Hiring a car and exploring the Tramuntana Mountain Range inland is also stunning. If you are keen on walking and riding, then you'll love it here.
...No wonder the likes of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Claudia Schiffer have bought houses here...