By David Pye
I set off on 3 September with a group of four friends for a week’s sailing holiday in Mallorca. This was my first trip to Mallorca because I normally sail in Greece.
We collected our yacht from Calanova Marina, a few miles to the west of the island’s capital, Palma. It was a flotilla sailing holiday, so there were six other yachts in the flotilla.
The first night started well, with a delicious Italian meal in Calanova: green spinach and mushroom-filled ravioli in garlic sauce, sprinkled with bits of potato, veg and nuts.
A sail to Raptita the next day led to a disappointing group meal. I had a patatas bravas starter, which was tiny roast potato cubes covered with what looked and tasted like a squirty tomato sauce, followed by a disappointing vegetable pasta – the only veggie option on the menu.
Another disappointing group meal followed in the port of Portopreto, where the only option was a Spanish omelette filled with very bland potatoes. The restaurant refused to do anything else.
The next night was in Porto Cristo, where I shared a vegetable paella with a friend. That was disappointingly dry and tasteless, and the patatas bravas starter was once again covered in squirty spicy tomato ketchup.
Next day was free sailing, so we headed back to Portopreto and we spent the night on a mooring, taking our little rubber dinghy into the town for an evening meal. I had my first proper veggie paella, which was cooked well and tasty, although a little pricey at 15 Euros.
The supermarkets were interesting. Food was at similar prices to the UK and wine was dirt cheap, with full bottles as low as 1 Euro! One supermarket had a trolley full of wrapped sheep’s legs, with the leg and hoof still attached, sticking out of the trolley like some bizarre flower arrangement. Can you imagine the uproar it would cause if Sainsbury’s tried that?
The weather was fabulous though, and the night we spent moored up in the magnificent bay of the nature reserve island of Cabrera was quite magical.
I found the marinas well-appointed but very expensive, costing around 100 Euros just to berth our yacht for the night.
Would I go back? Not really. It was interesting experience in Mallorca, with some beautiful settings, but give me Greece every time. Better anchorages, choice of food, better sailing, free overnight berthings… and more islands that you can shake a stick at.
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