With the arrival of the summer and the sunshine, Mallorca becomes one of the most popular destinations in the Mediterranean; its population multiplies and tourists fill the beaches and coastline. There are however still some hidden corners to be found, if you look for them, which are far from the madding crowd. Here’s a selection of the best.
Banyalbufar, as seen on TV
Let’s start in the Serra de Tramuntana which is without a doubt the wildest and least known area of Mallorca. Very popular with Mallorcans all year round, many visitors also like explore its many hideouts, the majority of which are still 100% natural and construction free. Less than a kilometre away from Banyalbufar, one of the area’s idyllic villages and chosen location for a popular TV commercial, is our first hidden gem. To get there you will need to take a sharp right followed by a road which descends dramatically towards the sea, so much so that you will need to keep your foot firmly on the brakes.
Half way down the hill you can park your car in the small public car park and then continue your descent on foot till you reach Cala Banyalbufar. Once you have come level with the Mediterranean, you will see a small narrow bay off to your right. This fine stone bay is protected by a cliff, and fresh water flows down over some of its rocks, providing an improvised, and extremely refreshing, natural shower. The people that make it down here are on the lookout for peace and quiet, there are no boats around and the stunning beauty of the surroundings makes a swim here a real pleasure.
If you are on the lookout for even more privacy, you can venture on a small walk from here towards the northeast till you reach Punta de Sa Galera. This tiny bay has much of the same charm as the first one; it is also a small stone beach, and apart from there being even less people here, it is more protected which means the water is calmer and perfect for swimming in.
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Port des Canonge, pure nature
Further along the Tramuntana road towards Sóller is Port des Canonge, an enclave secluded by nature itself which is accessible only after navigating six kilometres of tight 180 degree bends. This small stone beach, set against a backdrop of escars -old stone huts the locals used to use to store their boats in, now protected- and characteristic fishing boats, is ideal for a refreshing dip in the sea. Walking excursions which wind their way through the forest between Banyalbufar and Port des Canonge tend to start and finish here and are popular with local and visiting explorers alike.
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Healing mud in Llucalcari
In the middle of the sierra, just after the picturesque village of Deià in the direction of Sóller, there is a third spot which is rarely visited, hidden amongst the trees and the natural vegetation of the Tramuntana. Llucalcari is a small village made up of some twenty or thirty houses. From here you can access another secluded rocky bay, Es Canyaret, which boasts crystal clear waters and a ravine with a fresh waterfall which descends from the mountain.
The highlight at this beach is the mud formed in puddles of water from the waterfall which many visitors spread on their body in an effort to relax and rejuvenate their skin. Adjacent to Es Canyaret there are several more ‘private’ areas which are only accessible on foot and where the only company available is the immensity of the sea and the shelter provided by the mountain.
The only way to get to the Llucalcari bays is on foot. Avid walkers are advised to leave their car at Cala Deià (which is just as spectacular but much busier) and walk along the cliffs – the walk takes approximately 15-20 minutes. Expect to come across nudists, campers and divers in this area – and be prepared for the lack of parking spaces!
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Betlem, Bays and Escars
Changing direction, in the northeast of Mallorca we come across Colònia de Sant Pere (in the municipality of Artà), a village where many Mallorcans own a second home and with a minimum amount of tourism, and then Betlem, where only one small housing development disturbs the natural environment. It is easy to park in Betlem and then head for its neighbouring bays on foot. The coast is made up of little stone bays, with the odd escar which has somehow managed to survive years of neglect and the constant battering it receives from the waves during the winter months. During the summer, the water is calmer and displays its crystal clear blue colours in all its glory.
This is a great place to have a swim with the family; very few people make it here, and it is also the ideal place to start a hike towards Es Caló, where you will find a small abandoned jetty and the Betlem Chapel. The views are magnificent whichever way you look in this largely untouched, natural area.
The White Sands of the Migjorn
Finally our route along hidden corners of the island brings us to the Migjorn area (in the south of the island), and more specifically to Santanyí, one of the most spectacular parts of the Mallorcan coastline. The white sands and turquoise sea make this area a dream come true for beach lovers. Surrounded by typical pine forests and very near to Cala Llombards, the largest and busiest beach in the area, is Es Caló des Moro, a tiny bay hidden between the trees and rocks.
This beach has no facilities for tourists which makes it especially exclusive. Get there early – space is limited, especially in July and August, as this bay is only 30 metres long and 20 metres wide.
Further south, near Cap de Ses Salines, lies Es Caragol beach, which is slightly more popular but also offers more space – it is very difficult to get to and measures 500 metres long and 60 metres wide. This secluded white sand beach is a slice of paradise; occupied only by a few bunkers belonging to the Guardia Civil and some small speed boats and llaüt fishing boats which make their way here from Colònia de Sant Jordi and other ports in search of its unbeatable Caribbean style waters.
To get to Es Caragol you need to walk one and a half kilometres from Cap de Ses Salines, or for half an hour along the picturesque beaches from Colònia de Sant Jordi. The more you walk the less people you come across!
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More Places on Mallorca
The Balearic Island of Mallorca has a wealth of interesting towns and villages, plus the stylish capital Palma. Explore them all here!