The Spanish Balearic Islands are made up of four main islands: Ibiza, Majorca, Minorca and Formentera and usually unfairly famed for their raucous nightlife, binge drinking Brits on tour and beautiful beaches littered with last night’s bottles. Luckily, Majorca is cleaning up its act, and is ensuring the protection of its remaining areas of wildlife before the big bad tourist resort owners turn it into another man made monstrosity.
So for travellers wanting to visit the island whilst being as environmentally-healthy as possible, read below on where to stay, what to do and where to go to keep your holiday green.
Finding accommodation that actively promotes sustainable tourism and follows a green lifestyle isn’t difficult here. Take, for example, Es Castell near the north of the island. This 13th century boutique hotel has its own farm, uses Mallorcan products, feeds all waste scraps to the animals, steers clear of air-con, and always uses glass bottles and low consumption light bulbs. It doesn’t get much greener than that, so if you’re looking for a place to stay that will really tick all of your eco boxes, this is the place for you.
Another rural gem is Hotel Ca’n Calco in Moscari. Nestled in between peaks of the Tramuntana Mountain, this place is great for fresh fish caught that morning by the hotel’s own fishing boat. Which, for you, means plastic and packaging free indulgence!
If neither of these are up your street then simply typing ‘Agroturismo Mallorca’ will bring up some equally enviable locations.
For supermarkets, the best and biggest in the whole of the Balearics is Yerbabuena in Palma, which is dedicated to organic food and promoting a sustainable lifestyle. Alternatively if you’re looking to pick up some groceries or just some picnic munch, there are farmer’s markets all over the island every single day of the week, meaning there’s no excuse for popping into those packaging-heavy supermarkets. (Check here for more details about when the markets are on).
Or if it’s gifts and souvenirs you’re looking for – Ecologia in Palma is the place for you: they sell eco-friendly toys, cosmetics and even pens made out of corn!
Local produce and all-organic are the keywords at Ca Na Toneta, and you definitely won’t regret seeking this restaurant out. The two sisters who run it make special efforts to go down to the port each day to purchase the fisherman’s latest and freshest catch, and base the day’s menu around this. The dishes are all-healthy, all-organic, and are made using fruits from the owners’ own kitchen.
Bon Lloc is another great choice that is popular amongst the green-minded crowd. They specialise in ‘no frills vegetarian’ grub, and guarantee food is locally sourced where possible.
For those really dedicated to the cause, WWOOFing at a local organic farm is one option that could satisfy your conservation cravings whilst also saving you a euro or two on bed and board. Finca Son Barrina organic farm are always on the lookout for helping hands from green-keen travellers.
Alternatively, you could visit some of the areas that Mallorca is so keen to protect. Modrago National Park near Santanyi in the south is a fantastic swimming spot with crystal clear waters and beaches uncluttered with bottles and wrappers. If you aren’t a beachy kind of person then it also has farmland and wetland, and is teeming with local wildlife (just don’t forget to pocket your camera before you step out of the door!)
The Cabrera Archipelago Maritime Terrestrial National Park (a bit of a tongue twister!) is another treat for those looking to seek out the more undiscovered areas of Majorca. Thanks to a ‘no fishing’ rule, these tiny islands are teeming with an abundance of underwater life you’re unlikely to see almost anywhere else. Lucky travellers might even spot the bottle nosed dolphins, turtles and pilot whales that zig zag in and around the coves and corals. A visit to Sa Cova Blanca should also definitely feature on your ‘to see’ list while you’re there. It takes about an hour to get there from the south of the island, and if you plan to go all-in and charter your own boat you’ll need a permit (only 50 boats per day are allowed to visit).
This ‘to do list’ from Holiday Check has a tonne more ideas for parks, secluded beaches and tours offering ‘no frills’ excursions that will convince you of the reasons why eco-tourism is the most satisfying way to travel. It’s also important to remember that being green is ultimately down to you, though, so minimise those taxi rides, use local guides, clean up your litter and turn off the lights – it’s the simple things that will make a difference!
So what do you reckon? Sticking with the typical ice-cream laden buffets at your all inclusive resort, or getting back to nature next summer?