When it comes to ticking holiday boxes nowhere beats Mallorca
Chalkmarks Pollensa

THE point of Mallorca is to let the island work its magic.

Not only is it an easy to reach, sun-kissed island but it also offers 101 different holidays.

Take this break I’m on in Port de Pollensa on the north coast – a popular retreat for Brits since before the 1930s.

Watching the sun rise over from my balcony, the soft lemon and orange sunrise marbles the Mediterranean Sea.

As the temperature came up it was turning into the perfect day to try scuba diving for the first time.

As I’d been awake since dawn, I began the day with a mighty alfresco breakfast starting with a plateful of melon from the fruit buffet at Hoposa Hotel Uyal.

I then went back for pastries and jam. I got up again for a cooked meal and could have eaten more but I had a wet suit to wriggle into.

The hotel is anchored on the beach front. The bar’s outside and the best chairs face out to sea.

A spruced up oldie from the 1950s on the curve of the bay, it’s quietly grand with details that place you in the Balearic Islands. The whitewashed walls pillars and arches, the deep red shutters, the hanging lanterns and the coat of arms reminiscent of an old aristocrat’s mansion.

This is my first go at scuba diving. It’s girl overboard!

But it doesn’t look its age with its park like entrance of Palm trees, bike rakes on the right and a ping-pong table on the left.

The main house has the breakfast and dining room, bar, pool and sunloungers. Spread over two buildings the 116 rooms are bright and airy with muted coloured walls, warm wooden furniture, cream curtains.

It’s the sort of place you could imagine in an Agatha Christie story. And perhaps the Queen of Crime did drop in for afternoon tea. 

She used to stay along the road at the landmark Illa D’or. When she  first arrived at the hotel she said “this was the site I was looking for.”

She then went on to pen a collection of detective stories called Problems In Pollensa Bay, and even has Hercule Poirot popping up in one.

While it is an oasis of calm and relaxation, Hotel Uyal is close to everything that matters and it’s easy to find your way around.

The main road out front skims the bay stretching into the harbour, which leads onto the two-mile pedestrianised promenade Pine Walk.

By day this area is crowded with paddlers, snorkelers, children with their bucket and spades, readers, sunbathers and shoppers. The road is also busy with those in tight lyric going cross country.The cycle routes take you from sea level to mountain top. And while it might be tough getting there it’s worth it for the views from the top.

And when you’re hungry there are dozens of waterside cafes and restaurants to choose from.

You can sip coffee like the locals who order a hot espresso then pour it over ice or for some old time charm drop in at Illa D’or for afternoon tea and to devour the sandwiches and pastries.

Here are the days of long lunches and where noone minds if you have a beer before noon. By late afternoon everyone seems drowsy. This is a very different image from most people’s perception of this popular Spanish island.

I’d not come to chillaxe though. I want my 48-hours to be more action-packed and now I have all the energy I need to take the plunge.

This is my first go at scuba diving.

My instructor Tom from Scuba Mallorca spends about 15minutes outlining how it all works, getting me kitted out and explaining a few safety signals.

Then it’s girl overboard.

The water is not as warm as it looked earlier from my balcony but that’s just a momentary thought as soon I’m mesmerised by this new world hidden just a few metres below the waves.

I hadn’t expected to see so many fish darting around the shallow bay of Port de Pollensa.

Every sighting was a joy and my 40-minute dive was over all too soon.

As Tom and I flopped back on the boat the captain told us we’d missed two dolphins leaping in the distance.

I kept staring out to sea as we headed back to the jetty but it seems the prancing pair had decided the show was over for the day.

But for me it was just getting started.

The next day I would head up the coast to Cala San Vicente.

I had been told that Mallorca has more holes in it than a lump of cheese – as it’s an impressive hunk of limestone.

The area I’m heading to around the finger-like headland has 501 caves. So this makes it a magnet for those wanting to explore these nooks and hideaways.

Since I’m not quite ready for extreme caving I’ve signed up with Mond’Aventura to kayak around some of the otherwise inaccessible hidden coves.

This is one of the more sedate activities the company offers. True adrenalin junkies and dare devils can opt for coasteering cliff jumping, wild snorkelling and canyoning. And if that’s not enough they’ll take you out hiking and climbing in Mallorca’s hilly terrain.

Having thrown myself into the water so much I needed to eat well so I dined at Clivia – a taxi drive away in Pollensa town. The sea food is top notch and I just wanted to inhale the baked Alaska.

On my last evening I ate at Stay at the harbour, just a stroll away from the hotel. I popped in for a drink and sat outside on the pier, watching the fishing boats bobbing up and down.

I think I might have finally reached peak relaxation. I had the fried squid, followed by glistening prawn skewers. Then came a trio of desserts and finally the chocolates served with the coffee.

I pushed my sunglasses on my head sipping cava and watched the sun set.

I didn’t know which I was enjoying more.

Book it

Classic Collection Holidays offered 3 nights at 4* Hoposa Hotel Uyal on a half board dining basis and including return flights and private transfers

A try dive with Scuba Mallorca consists of a briefing on skills, signals and equipment before a 40-45 minute dive and costs £60

4 hr sea kayaking + snorkelling + picnic Món d´aventura, specialist sport & activities operator costs around £42

A half-day boat trip with Amador Magraner – owner & captain of Isabel Maria with drinks & food costs  £40. For more information visit Hotel Illa D’or

Stay Restaurant,  Port de Pollença –  a three-course menu with wine costs from £25

For more information on Port de Pollença visit www.pollensa.com

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