Summer in Mallorca is seeing the Balearic isle at its best. A blazing sun hangs in a deep blue, cloudless sky, people throng the cobbled streets of Palma’s old town and restaurants spill over into the streets. Yachts bob in the glittering Mediterranean Sea, church bells chime and the coastline beckons for downtime on the sandy beaches and azure water.
For something a little different this summer, spend time on the other side of the island near Pollensa, where a totally different side to Mallorca is revealed, which can be experienced in tandem or instead of the tick-box tourism of Palma.
Hidden among the fragrant lemon groves is peaceful sanctuary Son Brull, a former monastery which now shimmers with monastic refinement. Here, in the hotel’s remote and rural location between the pretty coves of Cap de Formentor and the Tramuntana mountains, a real Mallorca emerges. Shaped by centuries-old traditions, a beautiful yet rugged landscape yields some of the finest Mallorcan fare. Olives, grapes, citrus trees, almonds and sun-blushed vegetables grace the humble plates that come straight from finca to fork.
Soak up the peaceful landscapes at Son Brull, where a smart infinity pool and cocktail bar sit happily amid the cloistered calm then be sure to experience authentic Mallorca first hand. Enjoy a food and wine tour that takes you up into the Serra Tramuntana mountains where you’ll learn of the unique wine-wine-making practices at ancient bodegas, taste Mallorca’s famed ‘liquid gold’ olive oil and join a rustic-chic farm meal.
Nearby Pollensa offers an alternative to bustle of Palma. Historic buildings jostle with galleries and artisan shops within the narrow streets and Placa Major will become your go-to for watching Mallorcan life go at the Sunday market. For a breathtakingly sweeping vantage, hike to Cap d Formentor - the very north of Mallorca where a dramatic lighthouse-topped headland looks out onto a crystalline seascape. On this premonitory, take a wander through scented pine-forests to seek tiny coves for refreshing swims and relish a Mallorca less visited.
A light-struck citadel of a cathedral, Santa Maria of Palma - also known as Le Seu - is one of Mallorca’s architectural icons. A hilltop palace of devotion reflected in the azure Mediterranean shoreline, it simply demands your attention, believer or not. Built by the Crown of Aragon in 1229.
A monastic designer den of rural appeal set in a 30-hectare estate, this rural sanctuary has clubhouse flair, a sleek modernist touch and loads of sun-kissed sophistication. Altogether, a chilled off-radar adaption of indulgent luxury.
Porto for culture seekers - we explore the Serralves Foundation comprising of a dusty pink 1930-40s’s Art Deco villa designed by Porto architect José Marques da Silva, a landscape-specific contemporary museum designed by Álvaro Siza, and a surrounding park of 18 hectares that’s visited for its sculptures as well as for its biodiversity.
Escape to Tinos – the Greek island of over 60 Cycladic villages, art, culture, great natural food, pristine beaches and enough churches (1500+) to feel totally blessed – and slip into a new way of living, the Tinos way. We have picked our den on Tinos – a luxe residence of eight eco-chic villas set into the hillside just a few kilometers from the old town and port.
Paestum Temples in Southern Italy is one of those ancient antiquities that you have to visit – this UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cilento Campania is a treasure trove of ancient Greece including three of the world’s best-preserved temples.
Giorgos and Alexandra Alexiou are simply two of the nicest people you can meet, a creative couple that fuse you with their beautiful Greekness. Meet the creative owners behind the fabulous Aenaon Villas on the Cycladic island of Santorini - they found a perch right on the edge of the Caldera.
Gelato pastels and chalked whites perfectly frame the eye-candy vistas and usher in the essence of slow-living Ligurian culture - a chilled affair close to Cinque Terre, overlooking the Ligurian coast and lush Levanto Valley.
A seductive combo of noble residence meets urban clubhouse, this former mansion, wonderfully lost in the streets of old-town Palma, narrates casual luxury with style and elegance - it is grandeur, suitably chilled.
The seductive fusion of small design hotel meets stylish townhouse belonging to an architect friend best describes what this luxury nine-suite bolthole in Lisbon’s fashionable Amoreiras quarters is all about.