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21·JUL·2014

Calvia – something for everyone, almost

Last time we looked at the allure of Alcudia, here we explore Calvia. You can´t please everyone, but this region of Mallorca makes a good fist of it. In Calvia there are a plethora of Blue Flag beaches, a generous helping of golf courses and loads of attractions for families with kids to entertain. Found just to the west of the city of Palma, around 25 minutes car hire drive from the Drivalia car rental depot at Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI), it´s a handy destination with low journey times and good connections to the rest of the island. Endless beach-time Calvia has 14 different beaches, which is an impressive tally. What´s great is the diversity, from the bustle and fun of Magaluf and Santa Ponsa to altogether more secluded and peaceful beaches like Cala Falco. The latter is a small cove at the bottom of precipitous pine-clad hills. Kids and inexperienced swimmers can bathe safely here as the cove juts a long way into the coastline, leaving the waters protected from the open sea. Playa del Rey is in the same mould, backed by nothing more intrusive than Aleppo pine groves, under which visitors can be found sheltering from the midday sun. Cala de Santa Ponça More tourist-oriented is the Blue Flag-rated resort of Palma Nova. Here there are three arcing bays of gleaming white sand, lapped by sparkling blue sea that is almost always tranquil. The facilities are extensive, and no member of the family will want for something to do, be it watersports, shows for kids, go-karting or minigolf. Unspoiled Mediterranean nature Calvia´s interior can be steep, hilly and formidable in places. But this only makes it all the more fun to clamber through, whether on foot or by bike. The local walks are scenic, but thankfully not as difficult as those found in the Serra de Tramuntana, which form the skyline to the north. A popular and accessible trail is the CR-1, which runs from Peguera, behind Cala Fornells, to the beautiful headland at Cap Andtrixol a few picturesque kilometres to the south. An alternative choice would be head west from Peguera to the town of Camp de Mar, through a short woodland trail shaded by fragrant pines. Mallorca Cala Fornells More intrepid walkers might opt to attack the Serra de Tramuntana head on, following the GR-221, the evocatively-named Dry Stone Route. The trailhead can be found at Port de Andratx and the path winds all the way through the mountain range to the town of Pollença in the north of the island. A golfer´s paradise Western Mallorca has more golf courses than any other part of the island, making this the best place to come if you plan to sneak in a round or four. Set in this municipality are 18-hole courses at Poniente, Bendinat, Santa Ponsa and Andratx. And you won´t have to travel far to get to the high-end Arabella resort, which features three first-class 18-hole courses, just on the outskirts of Palma. Golf de Andratx A capital idea Palma de Mallorca, the island´s historic capital will be just a short drive to the east. Come here for strolls through an authentic old-town that is complete with narrow cobblestone streets, handsome squares and monuments like the vast medieval cathedral. Amble along the upmarket waterfront, where a mass of luxury yachts are moored, go on a shopping expedition or discover a surprisingly international and innovative dining scene. An escape for the rich and famous In the other direction is Andratx, which draws a select cluster of celebrities every summer. The marina here is also crammed with luxury yachts, and the harbour is fronted by chic cafes and boutiques, but the resort maintains an authentic character; commercial fishing still takes place, and there are some lovely churches to seek out in the older part of town. Image credits: 
Mallorca Cala Fornells by ceiling on Flickr
Cala de Santa Ponça by Fabian Walden on Flickr
Golf de Andratx by Alexander Hauser on Flickr
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