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Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, the island of Mallorca, Spain, is the kind of place that makes you feel as though you’ve entered a dream world and also right at home. The clear, aquamarine blue waters, sparkling sandy beaches, and gentle breezes offer a warm welcome, and Mallorcan hospitality will invite you to stay a while!
The largest of Spain's Balearic Islands, one could say that Mallorca has two faces. The first: an island whose 340 miles of coastline and sun-baked beaches beckon those who want to relax (or party!) seaside. The second: a Mediterranean haven of idiosyncratic culture and variegated landscapes that attracts discerning travelers to stay in its aristocratic mansions, stone-built farmhouses, and contemporary beachside villas. These facets offer something for everyone, and on this tour, we'll definitely experience it all!
Mallorca's unique culinary scene and island culture make this place truly special, and food lovers like us will feel like we're in paradise! With an abundance of local produce grown in its fertile soil, locally harvested salt, and fresh seafood, this place is a locavore's dream come true.
We'll get creative with the bounty in our hands-on cooking classes and make local favorites like the rich seafood stew called Caldereta and a Tumbet with potatoes, eggplant, red peppers, tomatoes, olive oil, and plenty of fresh garlic. Exquisite pork and lamb are also readily available and through the generations, Mallorcans have perfected their craft in making the most delicious spreadable sausage called sobrassada. Wait until you taste it! And I love the incredible goat and sheep cheeses-- we may have to venture out to a local cheesemaker and learn their secrets!
There are also fantastic local breads and sweet pastries, so let's put a bakery visit on our itinerary. And for wine? Mallorca's climate is ideal for growing several grape varietals, and its wine-growing region is thriving. From full-bodied reds to crisp whites and of course, sparkling cava, a half-day trip visiting local vineyards and wine tasting is a definite must.
After taking in everything the island has to offer each day, we'll relax in our home for the week-- the immaculately appointed Finca Sóller. This property now shines as a historical villa set on 50 acres of olive groves, citrus fields, a former working farm and oil press, and stunning views.
This is going to be an unbelievable trip and I can't wait to take you there!
** Price based on double occupancy, single supplement applies for solo travelers. Airfare not included. Deposit of $2,000.00 per person required to secure a spot.
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Our home for this special journey is set on the sunny hillside just outside lovely Sóller on the way to the town's port. For centuries, Sóller had more contact with France than with the rest of Mallorca, thanks to its picturesque port that once offered easier connections via boat to Marseille than from the capital of Palma. Sóller sits in the valley of the Tramuntana mountains, surrounded by orange farms, olive mills, and the centuries old Cathedral which anchor this authentic village. And our villa is perfectly situated to take it all in!
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We'll stay at the immaculately appointed Finca Sóller. A former working farm and oil press, this property now shines as a historical villa set on 50 acres of olive groves, citrus fields and stunning views. Still today you will see sheep, goats running about manning the fields, and the property features multiple areas to relax and enjoy the view. The bedrooms of our spacious villa are spread out across the various levels of the house. Each offers ensuite bathrooms and stunning views of this expansive property.
Our villa also features three kitchens including the main commercial kitchen, a breakfast kitchen, and an outdoor kitchen with a long dining table with plenty of space for all of us. Dining at Finca Soller is somewhat of a luxury of its own. There are multiple dining areas both indoors, on open terraces under the sun, or under cover. It might be fun to cook in our outdoor kitchen, complete with a BBQ, and enjoy lunch al fresca! We can even build a fire in one of our fireplaces and dine indoors next to the age-old olive press. And our large pool with wrap-around sun deck is beckoning for us to take a dip or just enjoy the warm Mediterranean breeze and views. The property has a tennis court facing the valley and a yoga/dance studio for group activities and a gym.
Between the serene location, views and amenities, we'll have plenty of ways to relax and rejuvenate ourselves each day.
Spanish food varies from one region to the next, and I love each and every one of them! Local Mallorca food (known in the native tongue as ‘Mallorquin’ food) is based on pork, fish and vegetables. This regional Spanish food features hearty home-cooking and generous helpings of garlic and olive oil. Local cooks add their own unique nuance, flavors, and techniques to whatever ingredients are readily available.
Rooted in local traditions and ingredients that can be found on the island, you can expect plenty of citrus, terrific almonds, juicy olives, the best walnuts, and local salt from the wonderful natural salt plains in the south. Together, we'll explore the markets for the best local produce, fish, cheeses, and Mallorcan specialties, like the spreadable cured sausage, called sobrassada, and create fabulous meals with these great ingredients back at our villa.
I can't wait to show you how to make the seafood stew called Caldereta. And we'll create a medley of vegetables in a local dish called a Tumbet, and make sure to use the best Spanish olive oil and plenty of fresh garlic. And one night, we may have to make something cozy like Arroz Brut --a sumptuous clay pot of sausages, meats, vegetables, and spices -- to enjoy with local red wine and crusty bread.
With a plethora of great ingredients at our fingertips, we'll have so many options! Creating these classic regional dishes just might make you feel as if you belong here. Trust me- between the food, climate, culture and the people here, you may not ever want to leave!
Mallorca has so much to offer that our biggest dilemma will be to decide where to begin! I want to share with you everything this little slice of heaven has to offer.
We simply must take in the cultural hub and capitol, Palma. The compact and beautifully preserved center of Mallorca’s capital echoes the island’s rich and historic Moorish, Gothic, and Renaissance past-- such as the 14th-century Bellver Castle. We'll explore Palma's outstanding food market, S’Olivar. This is one of the best in Spain, which is really saying something! A tour of the stalls reveals the range and depth of Mallorcan produce, which includes fruits, vegetables, and nuts, island-bred meats, and seafood of amazing variety and freshness. Then, we can take a walk through the maze of narrow streets in Old Town and discover fascinating stores, típico restaurants, and historic landmarks. Just when we've worked up our appetites, we can enjoy lunch at a traditional Spanish tasca, or head to one of the local favorites for upscale tapas?! Oh, and to get back home? We'll board an impeccably restored wooden antique train for a beautiful ride through the Tramuntana mountains! The 27-kilometer journey on this 1912 wood-paneled train, as it trundles placidly along through fields and orange groves, will be something we won’t soon forget.
Another day we might have to wander among dazzling white “mountains” in the salt flats of Es Trencas, where we'll learn about the fascinating process behind the world’s finest salt. Or since olive trees and olive oil are embedded in the landscape and culture of Mallorca, perhaps we should visit a country estate high in the Serra de Tramuntana where the island’s last traditional olive mill is still in operation. We can take a personalized tour of the olive grove, have an olive oil tasting and finish the day off with a Mallorquín feast!
And finally, one of Majorca's secrets is how thriving the wine growing region is here. The wine region––Mallorca’s wine scene has exploded in recent years, with an emphasis on quality and local varieties like Manto Negro and Callet. From full-bodied reds to crisp whites and of course, sparkling cava, a trip to a local vineyard and wine tasting is a must.
We recommend flying into Palma* and arriving on the island of Mallorca, or mainland Spain, at least one day in advance of this tour. Not only does this give you some time to adjust to the time difference, it provides you with more time to explore. The group transfer will meet the afternoon of the first day of our tour in the afternoon at Plaza España, which is the main train station in Palma. A return transfer back to the main train station for the group on the final day of the tour is also included.
A non-refundable deposit of $2,000.00 US per person is required to register for this journey. See the Terms and Conditions for details here. We highly recommend purchasing trip insurance. Single supplement charge of $2000.00 applies for solo travelers.
Accommodations, cooking classes, excursions and day trips, wine and tastings and meals (with the possible exclusion of one) are included. Airfare is not included in the package price. Final payments are made by personal check or money order only.
Oct. 8-14, 2022
$6200.00 US pp**
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