The release of ABTA’s Travel Trends Report for 2020 highlights the rise of ‘slow travel’ as an emerging trend. The best time for a slow break is winter and early spring when many popular destinations revert to their more authentic and unhurried selves. From healthy retreats to solo walks, here are some ideas on how to embrace the notion of ‘slow’ in the Balearic Islands.
Horseriding through Menorca
With a population below 100,000, Menorca is a destination made for a relaxing getaway offering charming authenticity, idyllic sandy beaches and multiple horse-riding routes. One of these trails, Camí de Cavalls is a historic path running around the entire coastline of the island. Thanks to investment from the Sustainable Tourism Tax, the path has recently received a number of improvements such as improved footpaths and stone hedges allowing vistors to circumvanigate the island more comfortably.
Equestrian fans shouldn’t miss the annual Menorquin Horse Fair held in the second week of May. The event attracts hundreds of visitors every year who flock to observe the world-renowned ‘Cavall Menorquí (Menorcan horse) and includes multiple shows, exhibitions and workshops.
Sitting between the cities of Mahón and Ciudadela, Torralbenc Hotel offers an all-inclusive Riding Menorca experience, which includes three-night accommodation, a guided horse-riding excursion through the Camí de Cavalls, a picnic and dinner for two as well as a gift book about the route. Prices for a full package start from £700.
Clear your mind while pedalling around Palma de Mallorca
Being located on the southern bay of the island, Mallorca’s capital Palma perfectly blends a tranquil and relaxed lifestyle with the vibrant character of the city. The city and its surrounds are an ideal destination to be discovered by bike, especially off-season due to the mild climate and less crowded paths.
Mallorca’s capital offers several races throughout the year, such as Playa de Palma Challenge Ciclista Mallorca being held between the 30th of January and 2nd of February in 2020. For more recreational rides, there is also a convenient cycle lane around Palma Bay. Ideal for flat and easy cycling, the route features S’Arenal; a beach located only few miles outside of the city, and a very popular suburb of Palma, Portixol.
Many of the city’s hotels provide additional services for cyclists. Gran Melià Victoria is a five-star hotel on the seafront offering bike rentals and storage, free laundry service for sportswear, and a great connection to road cycling routes. Prices for a standard double bedroom start from £130.
Paddleboarding in Ibiza
Ibiza’s multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites, wholesome local produce and laid-back vibe increasingly make it a to-go destination for those who want to break away from their daily routines in beautiful, natural surroundings.
Being home to clear and spectacular waters, thanks in part to the Posidonia; its unique marine plant, Ibiza attracts many visitors to participate in a number of swimming competitions, such as Santa Eulalia’s Ultraswim held in early June. For those seeking sporty, yet less competitive activities, paddleboarding is a far more relaxed option and is ideally suited to the chilled Ibizan waters during the spring months of the year. SUP Ibiza offers a number of paddle-boarding excursions for people of all abilities.
The islands slow vibe is also reflected in its array of eco-luxury hotels. As well as paddleboards rentals, the five-star Aguas de Ibiza is also home to the blissful Revival spa with treatments stimulating physical, mental and spiritual harmony. Prices for a one-night stay for two adults start from £150.
Ignite your inner creativity alongside Formentera’s leading photographers
Being the smallest of the Balearic Islands, Formentera offers some of the most unspoilt beaches in Spain. The lack of an airport or large-scale holiday accommodation on the island works in its favour and ensures that Formentera remains a tranquil, chilled and slow-motion kind of place all year round.
Visitors to Formentera can delve beyond typical tourist activities and spend a few days in the smallest Balearic Island boosting their creativity. Every year, the island invites photography lovers for Formentera Fotografica, a five-day long festival full of workshops, film screenings and, of course, opportunities to discover the island through long walks, accompanied by professional photographers.
For a more pampering break, Formentera offers also multiple spa resorts, including a 4-star Cala Saona. Thanks to the hotel’s multiple wellness facilities, such as a spa, gym, body treatments, yoga and padel tennis courts, visitors can make the most of the island’s peaceful surroundings. A one night-stay in a standard double room starts from £110.
Explore the scenic hiking routes of Mallorca
Mallorca is home to many walking trails open to visitors all year round. To explore them, visitors are invited to Mallorca Walking Event which attracts hundreds of participants in early April every year. Three different routes, ranging from 7.5 miles to 18.5 miles, lead through multiple locations in the Calvià district.
Mallorca’s trails are also ideal for more casual, everyday treks. The most recognised one, the Dry Stone Route, spans across 56 miles and leads from Port d’Andratx, in the south-west of Mallorca, all the way to Port de Pollença in the north-west. In 2020, three new mountain huts (in Calvià, Planícia and Escorca) will be developed on the route thanks to the income generated from the Sustainable Tourism Tax.
In addition to the new and existing hiking refuges, there is also an array of accessible hotels for hikers. For example, the family-run Vintage Hotel Bella Colina is located about three miles from the Dry Stone Route and thanks to its unique location on a hillside, it also offers spectacular panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea and surrounding mountains. Prices starts from £55 for a double room.
For more information on what to see and do in the Balearic Island, please visit www.illesbalears.travel
The Balearic Islands tourism board is represented in the UK by LOTUS. For more information or any further editorial enquiries, please email BalearicIslands@wearelotus.co.uk or call 0207 953 7470