OutThere – The Magnificent Mallorca Issue
Printed in Belgium
Mallorca’s star is on the rise. This statement may seem rather odd to seasoned travellers, as the Balearic island has for decades been a beach-holiday destination, although perhaps for all the wrong reasons. For too long, experiential luxury was on the back burner and, instead, profit-driving ‘sun, sea, sex and sangria’ package tourists came in their droves – perhaps as part of the post-Franco hunger for capitalism. Yet, those who knew where to go to get away from the throng, or how to hide in plain sight, continued to enjoy and extol Mallorca’s virtues as a cultural destination. Today, the island has gone through an image change and it seems there’s no sign of it stopping.
The islanders – both native and adopted – are overwhelmingly passionate about restoring and breathing life into the island’s culture. From Palma to Pollença, Sóller to Santanyí, they’re renovating historic homes and manor houses – old cans and fincas – and turning them into chic hotels, rural resorts, concept stores, art galleries and star-studded restaurants; all to welcome a new type of visitor. They’re proudly showcasing Mallorcan tradition – albeit with a contemporary twist – in biodynamic agriculture, the arts, crafts, cuisine and hospitality, with the result that this once-seasonal island is now attractive all year round. They’ve committed to cleaning up the stunning beaches, making more of the mountains, opening up their olive groves and lemon orchards and reinvigorating their sleepy but charming farming and fishing villages.
Revelations abound in this issue, where our experientialists make some incredible discoveries. Like photo-journalist David Edwards, who goes behind the scenes of Saint Paul’s Winter Carnival, to the ice harvest, in the backwaters of Minnesota literally. Intrepid explorer Zack Cahill reveals an almost-parallel universe that is the Taiwan beyond Taipei, and I find a thriving civilisation in ‘middle of nowhere’ central Canada. We also lift the lid on what the jet-set are calling the ‘Maldives of South East Asia’ – Bawah Reserve in Indonesia – one of the most beautiful places on this earth. We check into a reimagined icon in the Caribbean – the Belmond Cap Juluca in Anguilla – as one of their first new guests. In India, meanwhile, we’re in seventh heaven in the Andaman Islands, as we roadtest the brand-new Taj Exotica resort on Havelock.