I already knew there was an untouristy Mallorca (as opposed to Majorca!) – a ravishingly beautiful island away from the loud, laddish resorts. On our half term trip there just recently, however, us Gallivants were all craving peace, quiet, a lovely house and a perfect pool.
We found it, at Ca’n Pulit in Selva. I had hesitated about booking somewhere in a town, even a small one like this. It was, in fact, a great decision. This little place is a gem, at the food of the Tramuntana mountains. The town is pretty, but not in a tarted-up-for-the-tourists way. There are no souvenir shops (we didn’t see another Brit during our stay here), just a bakery, a café cum bar and three restaurants.
Ca’n Pulit itself is a traditional stone built house, with a mix of traditional and modern design on the inside. The owner has good taste, as evidenced by the quirky kitchen, the imaginative art on the walls and the quality furniture.
It sleeps six and, as well as the three air conditioned bedrooms (two doubles, one twin), there are three bath/shower rooms, a kitchen, dining room, and two more reception rooms – one with a TV, one without, so perfect for when you need some alone time or for when some of you want to watch a film and the others want to read or play a game.
Not that you’ll be spending much time indoors if the weather is good. The walled garden area at the back is enchanting, with shady terraces, a table tennis table and a beautiful pool. Be warned – it’s not heated, so if you visit in early or late season, as we did, you might have to get in quickly or not at all! I’m definitely a fairweather swimmer but found it lovely once I was in. It is also non-chlorine, much better for your skin and general health of course, especially for asthma sufferers.
We spent our days happily cocooned here, swimming, playing, cooking up simple meals on the barbecue, and catching up on books we’ve been wanting to read. Mr Gallivant and I were delighted to find a lemon tree which we put to good use when making gin and tonics!
Yes, we were thoroughly lazy. A couple of times we did think about striking out to the coast. But then again, we thought, why go and share a strip of sand with masses of people when we had our own little paradise here?
We did venture out though – once to the nearby Caves of Campanet. We were glad we did as they are mightily impressive – huge caverns dripping with stalagmites and stalactites (according to our guide the way to remember which is which is to think of ‘tights down’ – brilliant!). He also told us how it takes around a thousand years for these structures to grow just 10cm. These were huge and it’s mindblowing to think how ancient they must be.
Another day we headed into the mountains. It’s a hair raising but gorgeously scenic drive – I was in the passenger seat and had to close my eyes a few times around the hairpin bends and resist back seat driving. We had lunch at Es Guix, a find from our last visit to Mallorca and we wanted to return. It’s a traditional Mallorquin restaurant with a natural mountain pool to swim in for those brave enough. It is very, very cold. Then we stopped off at Lluc Monastery. There’s a church, a museum, a botanic garden (not great!) – enough to fill maybe half an hour. Our kids got bored pretty quickly – and our pool was beckoning…
We also visited the Thursday morning market at nearby Inca. This most definitely isn’t untouristy Mallorca! It’s the largest market on the island and, whilst you will see a lot of similar stalls (leather, jewellery, clothes mainly) there is a good line in fake handbags. I was quoted 100 euros for a very impressive looking ‘Prada’ one…not that I am encouraging anyone to buy you understand!
Every morning we ambled down to the little bakery at the end of the road to pick up takeaway pastries. Occasionally we’d stop off at the café opposite. We also tried all three of the restaurants. We liked Es Portal de Tramuntana, run by an English guy and serving up simple, good value, local cuisine (my lamb shoulder – their speciality – was very good). Es Parc was our least favourite, with distinctly average food. The highlight was for us all, though was Miceli (I’ll be posting a review on it shortly) – stunning, original food with matching views.
In the words of Arnold Shwarzenegger, ‘I’ll be back’!
Ca’an Pulit can be booked through Vintage Travel, with one week prices starting from £795. The company specializes in good quality properties with private pools off the usual tourist beaten track. It has a great selection on Mallorca, as well as elsewhere in Europe. Their customer service is excellent, including an island rep available if you want – and not if you don’t! For more details, visit www.vintagetravel.co.uk or call 01954 261 431