We’ve got a little problem up our sleeves down in Mallorca, and it’s the kind to look forward to. The most OutThere of the Balearic Islands (it’s not by mistake we devoted a whole issue to it), Mallorca needs as little introduction as we need reasons to visit: after all, everyone from Rafael Nadal to Michael Douglas and the King of Spain himself descends upon its beaches when the sun comes out. Though it’s not the island’s sands we’ll be frequenting this summer.
Travellers with a love of all things mystery are invited to walk the streets of Pollença, the northern Majorcan port town which served as a backdrop to Agatha Christie’s now-legendary Problem at Pollensa Bay, originally published in 1935. Christie, whose first novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2020, was a self-declared Mallorca-phile and – luckily for us – she never travelled without pen and paper.
Staying at the still-existing beachfront Illa d’Or, the author is said to have enjoyed long walks by the beach, regular teatime at Pollença’s finest hotels and just generally the laidback lifestyles of the Mediterranean (it’s a thing amongst writers from Britain, you take it from us).
Though Christie certainly made time for work, too: Problem at Pollensa Bay, which sees popular detective character Parker Pyne run into a precarious situation whilst vacationing in Pollença, was entirely written at the Illa d’Or. It makes it the ideal travel companion for a summer getaway to what’s perhaps the sun-kissed island’s most picturesque little town – case closed.
Problem at Pollensa Bay is available as an audiobook on Audible.
Photography by Manuela Munoz, courtesy of Illes Balears