Mallorca is totally having a moment, at least that's what our Instagram feed is telling us. With endless dreamy spots to visit along the Mediterranean coastline you can see why this mountainous paradise island is such a popular destination.
The vibrant northern town of Alcúdia is full of life and family-friendly fun. The port is home to many popular resorts and as much beach as you can shake a stick at. It's an ideal spot for endless summer sunshine, white sandy beach swims and excursions. These blue shores do offer more than just sunbathing, though (we wouldn't complain if it did). Head inland to soak up a bit of culture in the historic old town or bask in the serene fauna and flora at S'Albufera Natural Park, the largest wetland across the Balearic Islands.
Where to stay
We stayed at Iberostar Selection Albufera resort, a grand all-inclusive beachfront resort split into two; Albufera Playa and Albufera Park. Albufera Park focuses on young families - there’s a slide in reception that’ll take you down to an ice cream parlour.
We stayed on the Playa side, and whilst it’s still family friendly - the facilities at the resort are accessible for all guests – you can keep a distance from the splash pool, play area and children high on sugar. No slide in our reception, instead a large row of floor to ceiling windows giving you a good glimpse of the palm trees, pools and sunshine waiting for you.
Talking of pools, there's seven in total. Plus access to the public Muro beach, too. So if you're idea of holiday is sun and swim (has to be, right?) Albufera nails that brief. Our block was lined with three separate pools all surrounded by sun loungers and giant palm trees. The bar is open all day, with a self-service machine too, so you can top up on a fizzy Fanta Limón or ice cold San Miguel as you amble between pools.
To properly escape the masses, the resort has two rooftop spaces. Both have a serene sense of calm looking over the Muro coast and down on the hubbub of the resort. The Star Prestige rooftop is a special access, adults-only roof terrace (bliss) with an infinity pool that faces out to the beach, a bar serving drinks and snacks and comfy Balinese beds (total bliss). Their second rooftop is for all guests and boasts an equally peaceful vibe, a long pool, striking views that are truly Insta worthy. I can promise you, there really is no fear of getting bored at this versatile resort.
I was impressed by their sustainable ethos, too. With solar panels on the roof and 100% responsibly sourced seafood, they also forgo plastic water bottles in the rooms, instead we used the shared water stations placed on each floor for filtered ice cold water.
What to do in Alcúdia
Playa de Muro
Beach. We did a lot of beach. We mentioned Alcúdia was for natural mermaids, right? The sweeping bay makes up the longest stretch of beach in Mallorca, offering Mediterranean white, soft sand to throw a towel down and pitch up a parasol, or if you’re lucky, bagsy a sun bed. There’s plenty to explore, and by that I mean lie down, read, swim and repeat every day across the miles of dreamy seascape. The water is a gorgeous pristine blue and stays shallow for yonks, which adds to the family friendly nature of the area. There are many boat trips on offer, too, especially close to the port where you can join Dolphin watching tours.
Alcúdia Old Town
Alcúdia's historical old town is a walled village located inland from the tourist hub of port d'Alcúdia, and it's well worth a visit. They have a market on Tuesdays and Sundays where you can stock up on wicker baskets, toys, beach cover ups and fake Gucci bags. We took a break from various sunbathing and swim dips to explore the narrow streets. Right next to the Old Town is the Roman city of Pollentia, where we took a guided tour of the ruins, an archaeological site where you can roam the remains of the city as well as an amphitheatre.
s'Albufera Natural Park
Between Albufera resort and the port sits the s'Albufera Natural Park. We rented bikes from the hotel and leisurely roamed the natural park on wheels. There's a few different routes you can take to experience the peaceful wildlife, including a 12km route to tour the entire circumference. We impressed ourselves by opting for this route on a day of 30+ degree heat, and boy was that San Miguel in the pool worth it afterwards.
Where to eat in Alcúdia
We stumbled upon a cute corner restaurant on one of the backstreets from Port d'Alcúdia. Can Punyetes offered up traditional fare that we happily feasted on for hours, spending an afternoon grazing on tapas and sipping cervezas. We ordered patatas bravas (of course), ham and cheese croquettes, grilled garlic prawns – so fat and juicy I've been craving them ever since – and finally finishing off with monkfish in seafood sauce. Chefs kiss.
The resort has ten restaurants to experience, serving local and responsibly sourced ingredients and worldwide cuisines, creating a world of ease and variety. It's especially great for parents that don't want the hassle of carting their brood into town each night. We spent one evening devouring tacos and burritos at their Mexican restaurant Nopal - the fresh tuna taco was a particular highlight - then the next night switching it up with Greek fare at Kyknos. Their authentic Spanish tapas restaurant Martinete was a standout fave; making our way through nearly the entire menu whilst listening to live music was a treat.
At the port, there are many spots to take full advantage of the stunning sunset falling over the curved marina. People gather for evening swims or photoshoots, catching the still water turn purple and pink. Sa Gavina was ideal for taking in this view. You can dine sat directly on the beach, whilst tucking into your steak, or just stop for cocktails. We did both, happily. To keep the sea views and drinks flowing we perched up at Faro cocktail bar, further up the port, peaking at the yachts and listening to the live band play for hours.
Nightly rates at Iberostar Albufera Playa and Park starts from £194 per room on an all-inclusive basis. More information at www.iberostar.com/en/hotels/majorca/iberostar-albufera-playa
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