T’s recent monthly travel series, Flocking To, highlights places you may have already got in your wish list, sharing suggestions from frequent visitors and locals alike. Sign up here to seek out us in your inbox once a month, in addition to our weekly T List newsletter. And you may at all times reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Majorca, the most important of Spain’s Balearic Islands, has been a classic summer destination for Europeans and Brits for a long time. But long before the massive resorts sprung up along the coastline and villas got here with helipads, the island’s hilltop villages attracted artists, musicians and writers looking for year-round sun and solitude. Among the perfect known of those early visitors were the Polish composer Frédéric Chopin and the French novelist George Sand, who spent the winter of 1838 within the town of Valldemossa, within the mountains above Majorca’s northwest coast. By 1929, when the British author Robert Graves and the American poet Laura Riding arrived within the nearby village of Deià — on the suggestion of the American author Gertrude Stein — and later built a house there, that picturesque hamlet of stone houses and olive groves was already a fledgling artists’ colony. In 1956, the Barcelona-born artist Joan Miró and his family moved to the outskirts of Palma. Plenty of artistic talent was homegrown, too, nurtured by generations of weavers, glassblowers and ceramists. One of Spain’s most distinguished contemporary artists, Miquel Barceló, grew up on the island painting landscapes together with his mother and her friends. Among the island’s many signature local crafts is the roba de llengües, or cloth of tongues, a variety of ikat believed to have arrived from Asia centuries ago via the Silk Road. And it’s that deeply rooted artistic tradition combined with a rare natural beauty that’s attracting the most recent influx of creative types. In the previous few years, various artists and designers have left larger cities in Europe and moved to Majorca. Some of those recent arrivals are renovating old houses and farms in and across the country towns of Sóller and Deià or selecting to base themselves in Palma’s Old Town, where Gothic spires loom over the port, and there’s a fresh wave of up to date art galleries and idiosyncratic shops dedicated to supporting local artisans. All over the island, recent or newly revived hotels compete for essentially the most impressive views.
For the primary installment of our series of Flocking To travel guides, we asked 4 locals or frequent visitors to Majorca to share the places they love most. One word of recommendation for first-time visitors: Majorca sprawls across roughly 1,400 square miles (it’s concerning the size of Long Island), so when you’re planning on exploring, it is advisable to rent a automotive.
Stefania Borras, the designer and founding father of the style line Datura and a native Majorcan, opened the Datura Studio Isla boutique in Deià, Majorca, in 2022.
Dalad Kambhu, originally from Bangkok, is the chef and co-owner of Kindee, a Michelin-starred Thai restaurant in Berlin. Since the 12 months 2020, Kambhu has been spending several months a 12 months on Majorca together with her husband, the architectural designer Geoffrey Grunfeld.
Adriana Meunié, the textile artist, is a native Majorcan who moved back to the island in 2014 after working in Barcelona and Berlin.
Matthew Williamson, the designer turned interior designer, moved from London to Majorca in 2016. His first home décor book, “Living Bright,” comes out in October.
“I used to be incredibly impressed with the newly reinvented Grand Hotel Son Net [about eight miles west of Palma] after I went to go to the opposite day. It’s a really special place: old-school but fresh and contemporary, and jasmine so far as the attention could see. It has all of the bells and whistles but doesn’t feel too stuffy. I also recently found an especially cute little place in Palma called Palma Riad. It’s Moroccan inspired — there’s in reality a variety of Islamic influence on Majorca since it was under Muslim rule for hundreds of years — and feels very recent for Palma. I’d also go there for pre-dinner drinks.” (Rooms at Grand Hotel Son Net from about $650 an evening; rooms at Palma Riad from about $600 an evening) — Matthew Williamson
“For me, Antoni Esteva, the co-owner and architect of Es Racó d’Artà [in the island’s northeast], is a poet. I feel he really understands space, light, materials and the great thing about simplicity so profoundly. All of his projects, from the gallery Sa Pleta Freda in Son Servera to the hotel Son Gener, are created with such a powerful vision that connects the past with the longer term.” (Rooms from about $520 an evening) — Adriana Meunié
“I’m so excited concerning the recent Hotel Corazón [in the northwest]. It was just opened by two friends of mine, the artists Kate Bellm and Edgar Lopez. One of my favorite chefs on the island, Grace Berrow, is cooking there.” (Rooms from about $380 an evening) — Stefania Borras
Eat and Drink
“Maria Solivellas, the chef and owner of Ca na Toneta, in the agricultural village of Caimari, cooks traditional Majorcan food [seasonal options include coca, a flatbread topped with fresh roasted peppers or arroz brut, a savory rice casserole] but her own way, and [often] with vegetables she grows herself. Be sure to examine out her shop where you will discover locally made ceramics.” — A.M.
“The food at Sa Foradada is sweet — go for the paella — however the views of the ocean and the cliffs are insane. It’s only accessible by boat or by a hike of virtually an hour, and it’s essential to book upfront — tables are limited. When it involves fish, Casa Manolo [in the southern village of Ses Salines] is considered one of my favorites on the island. I used to go there as a child with my dad who at all times loved eating well. It’s a really traditional place not removed from amazing beaches. For drinks within the evening, I like Bar La Sang in Palma. This homey natural wine bar is sort of the place to be in the intervening time since the island’s natural wine scene is getting really interesting. You can order small, delicious bites, and there are sometimes different visiting chefs cooking here.” — S.B.
“Cati Ribot is a female winemaker based within the island’s northeast, in Santa Margalida. She’s doing beautiful natural wines comprised of indigenous grapes [such as prensal blanc and escursac]. Her natural wine tastings are on Saturdays only and you need to email for appointments. I also love Ses Coves, a country restaurant within the north of the island on the foot of Puig de Sant Miquel, which focuses on Spanish meat and fish cooked over fire. Especially delicious are the grilled sweetbreads. Everything was so good; I used to be sucking on the bones. Afterward, I like to recommend going to the nearby caves which have essentially the most incredible stalagmite and stalactite formations.” — Dalad Kambhu
“Inside Villa Rullan, in Deià, are a really charming bistro and a boutique. The shop, named Joy, sells a terrific mixture of locally and sustainably made crafts, from baskets and bags handwoven with palm leaves or grass to whimsical hand-painted ceramic mugs.” — M.W.
“La Pecera is a terrific design store in Palma founded by Marlene Albaladejo, who’s a crucial sustainable design pioneer on the island. Look for chairs made partly with woven local bulrush grass and woven palm leaf pendant lamps.” — A.M.
“The designer Rosa Esteva [of the Cortana brand and boutiques] is the definition of a Majorcan woman: so elegant, sophisticated and pleased with her land and identity. Her recent shop in Palma is stunning. It’s a maze of white rooms that feature her clothes: beautiful, practical and comprised of natural materials. She makes clothes for girls who’re lively and the colours she uses perfectly reflect the hues of the island. Earth Core is a recent gallery and boutique within the town of Sóller. It was opened by transplants from Berlin: Karin [Oender] and David [Mallon], the founders of Souvenir Official, a really cool T-shirt and hoodie brand. I appreciate it since it’s essentially a love letter to the island and pays tribute to local artisans, produce and plants. They serve up great fruit juices and use local plant dyes for his or her T-shirts, wraps and fabric bags.” — D.K.
“Cala Figuera is a captivating fishing village within the southeast of the island that appears like Ibiza with its whitewashed buildings that descend into the bay.” — M.W.
“Valldemossa Sunday Market is the perfect spot to purchase local delicacies like dried figs and peaches, honey, cheeses and charcuterie. Look for Joan and his tiny stall called Can Bernat. He is such a funny character and can make you are attempting every thing.” — S.B.
“The recent La Bibi Gallery is adding some energy to the contemporary art scene in Palma, hosting progressive shows and likewise international artists through its residency program. Xtant is a wonderful recent textile and craft fair that takes place in May. It brings textile artisans here from around the globe and offers lectures and events which can be open to the general public.” — A.M