In 2017 I longed to visit Mallorca, which is the largest island in the Balearic Sea located off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean. I mean, come on! Have you seen the pictures? This savory island is visually decadent, not to mention the tantalizing food, wine, and history! One thing that feeds my soul is introducing travel to my students and pairing the experience with yoga. So, I organized an intimate yoga retreat to Mallorca. Listed below are the top activities that we experienced:
1. Tapas at Cafe España.
What better way to enjoy your first night in the city capital than with an authentic experience at a hip tapas bar located in the oldest part of the city? You’ll walk down ancient cobblestone streets, pass delectable gelato bars, peek through boutique windows and drool over the vibrant Spanish fashion, and just when you think you’ve gotten lost you’ll hear it. What you may ask? The sound of music and laughter, and you’ll smell the saffron commingling with figs at Bar España. Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs when we ordered our dinner. Tapas are filling! We ordered the chef’s selections, vegetarian and seafood tapas, gluten-free tapas, patatas bravas, and a blend of five local wines. Everybody’s dietary restrictions were accommodated. The total bill for eight people: 130€.
2. SUP Yoga at C’an Pastilla beach.
As you can imagine, Paddleboarding (SUP) requires a moderate level of strength and body awareness, and then add yoga on top of that experience. Our group was diverse in age and abilities. Rest assured. There were women in their 70’s who felt stable and comfortable on the board. This activity was geared towards having fun in the sun! The rental shop supplied the hard paddle boards and transported them down to the beach for our group. The cost was 15€ per person, per hour. TIP: thermal waves are more severe after 11 a.m., which can cause motion sickness. I suggest booking your rental between 8:30-10:30 a.m. After you’ve stimulated your metabolism with this invigorating activity, walk along the boardwalk and feast at one of the many restaurant selections.
3. Cuevas Del Drach
The name may sound menacing, but this experience needs to be at the top of your list when visiting Mallorca. Simply because it’s unique! The cave was discovered outside of Porto Cristo around 1880, and in 1935 it was opened to the public. This popular tour lasts for one hour. Expect to walk down narrow paths and stairs, while gazing upon the illuminated stalactites and stalagmites. Your walkway will unfold to Lake Martel. The ushers will help you find a seat where you and a hundred other people may enjoy an extraordinary classical music concert. It’s brief but spectacular! Remain present and enjoy every unforgettable moment. The cost was 15€ per adult and 8€ per child. TIP: if you are traveling with a group, purchase your tickets online and aim for the first tour of the day. Also, use the bathroom in advance.
4. Spanish cooking school
Lonja 18 Open Kitchen is conveniently located near the Fish Market in Palma de Mallorca. This experience bonded our group together. We teamed up to prep the ingredients, cook, drink, and feast. It was a blast!!!!! We prepared: Gazpacho, Tortilla española, Paella, and Crema Catalana. Our chef demonstrated kitchen safety, educated our group on Spanish cuisine, and seasoned our experience with humor. By the end of the night, our bellies were sore from laughing and full of yummy goodness. The total cost: 65€ per person, which includes a cookbook containing the recipes that you prepared.
5. Wine Tasting
Mallorca has incredible wines made with wisdom from tradition, and passion. To me, this encapsulates the Spanish culture! The wine like the people is bold, beautiful, and interesting. We experienced three very different vineyards and wineries. The first was Son Prim, which uses an artisanal process. The second is the oldest winery in all of Mallorca called Ribas. It continues to be family owned and operated after 300 years. The last vineyard and winery was perhaps the most memorable, because of the fiery owner and her colorful stories. It’s called Mesquida Mora. Wine Tastings begin at 20€ per person/per winery. They include snacks and a flight of wine.
Is there anything more satisfying than enjoying a casual picnic with friends in a foreign land? We stocked our fridge for the week from the local grocery store in Randa. TIP: this will save you a lot of money if you’re on a budget.
Every afternoon we looked forward to creating the most decadent spreads. As we ate outdoors, we would mull over the adventures of that day. In Spanish culture, food is sacred. Taking the time to prepare a meal is sacred. Taking the time to relax, enjoy life, and share food with friends and family is sacred. It’s not just food for food’s sake, but for the sake of sharing and celebrating. In Spain, life slows down. People chew, drink, and digest in a leisurely fashion. The dessert was a quiet siesta.
7. Roadtrip! Sóller, Valldemossa, and Deià
These small towns located in the northern portion of the island are the most picturesque in all of Mallorca. Even Frédéric Chopin and George Sand thought so, which is why they spent the winters in charming Valldemossa. As you continue the breathtaking drive toward the dramatic hillside setting of Deià, you will be ready to stretch your legs and wet your palate with refreshments, before you continue to the elegant and artsy town of Sóller. There you can ride the steam train after admiring the Gaudi-style cathedral in the town center. Rent a car or hire a driver for the day! You won’t be disappointed. The mountainous drive and fresh air with perk you up. The views are inspiring and off the typical tourist track!
For our retreat venue, I booked a 13th-century mansion for one week with Breathspiration in peaceful Randa, which is located in the center of the island. Every day I had the opportunity to guide hatha and yin yoga to my group within the thick stone walls of the refurbished yoga studio located within the house. The resonance of our OMs reverberated through this stable container. I felt the chants drumming deep in my body. Practicing yoga in this space made me feel grounded and peaceful. Each yoga retreat has its own energy that stems from the location and the intention created prior to travel.
The more we travel the more we realize that we’re all connected. We resuscitate our creativity and lust for life! Subscribe to my blog and follow me on social media to get updates on my upcoming blogs and yoga-adventure retreats. You’re invited!
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”
― Joseph Campbell