Mallorca is one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations and if I now ask you to think about Spanish food – what comes up in your mind? Please spare me with Sangria. I know a bucket full of the sweet wine can calorie-count for a full meal – and I do not even want to hear about all the vitamins of all those booze-soaked oranges and lemons, my friend.
But I have been there, too, so do not feel bad – but now that I am over those long nights of drinking and grubbing on late-night burgers and pizza, I am ready to explore the beautiful island the healthy and balanced way. But not even remotely deprived in taste and flavor.
I first visited las Islas Baleares as a toddler, when coming to Ibiza with my parents – but it took me 23 years to come back and to fall in love with a part of Spain, which most Germans actually call home.
The last trip I took was at the beginning of March 2016, and guess what – the juicy lemons are back and just have look at how beautiful they were at a lovely restaurant in Deia at the West coast last weekend.
But what makes me come to Mallorca – even only for a two-nighter?
#lovelife in Mallorca – why?
First of all, I have a personal connection to the people I visit when I come to Mallorca, but over the years – and with numerous vacation spots on my holiday list every year – the island of Mallorca has a very calm and freeing vibe to me. As with many sunny destinations, as soon as I step off the plane the warmth, the smell of the sea and many many flowers, it makes me feel light-hearted and relaxed.
And at last when hitting one of the almost still secluded calas in the south east of the island – little cave-like beaches, often frequented by locals with their children – I could simply gaze at the cristal clear, blue waters for hours and just breathe. Absolute tranquility, pleasently interruped by a rural, but yet modern and chic vibe of beautiful restaurants and dreamy villages.
And while I know that life on the beach does not always mean endless sunshine and happiness, the people I have met seem relaxed and follow their own rhythem and pace – which starts to calm me down and remember that life is best when you truely love it.
And if you love food – an attitude I start to notice in so many cultures – and the Spanish in general are no exception:
Food is fuel. but food is also happiness and even though the Spanish times to actually get to eat are very different to what me and my stomach are used to – especially dinner is celebrated. Even at 11pm – when it’s perfectly fine to get a table reservation and amazing delicacies.
Over the years I have come across various dishes – even though before going paleo, they were already paleo compliant – and this admist the popularity of paella, churros, bocadillos or tortilla espanola.
Pimientos de patrón and gambas al ajillo have become my tapas of choice – and in general almost all Mallorquin tapas dishes can be considered gluten-free and grain-free – at least if you chose a nice quality restaurant or bar, which I encoutered many all over the island. Freshly prepped with olive oil, fresh herbs and local flor de sal (sea salt), I love the authetic taste of locally grown veggies and fresh seafood. Further paleo approved tapas dishes are of course jamón iberico, mallorcan tumbet (an eggplant-based vegetarian tapa) or albondigas, which are meat balls.
Fish and seafood in general are a big hit for a paleo foodie on an island everywhere – I had the most amazing seafood platter, including fresh crab, gambas, calamares and grilled sea bass last summer in Colonia de St Jordi – even for a beginner in eating fish I can only recommend it.
Locally grown fruit and veg
The Mallorquin kitchen itself seems very natural to me and I can only beg you to visit one of the many local fruit and vegetable markets in the smaller towns and villages – even if your hotel or resort takes care of your food supply with an all inclusive offer. The abundance of juicy fruit and crisp vegetables is almost overwhelming – even in March fresh and sweet strawberries make you crave summer and the beautiful lemons growing all over the island now put a bright smile on your face. Simply beause they are pretty.
La sobrasada mallorquina
Another typical delicacy my lovely friend Jasmina – lucky enough to live on this gem of an island – introduced to me, way back when we used to live together in Toronto: sobrasada is a raw, cured sausage made with ground pork, smoked paprika, salt and other spices. Locals eat it pure in the summer, often as part of tapas and in the winter time, the meat gets toasted. I personally love the slighty spicy taste and I do not mind the extra load of fat that comes naturally with pork – as it fuels me for the many activities Mallorca has in store: hiking, biking, yoga, SUP, jetski or dancing numerous beach parties.
So I hope by now you are hungry enough to visit Mallorca – please trust me, it’s worth it. And do not be scared to drown in a bucket of Sangria or simply eating paella all week – a paleo dieter can fully embrace all kinds of natural fresh food and I never had to resort to comprises.
My personal tip, as I hope many like-minded souls might appreciate to get to know this beautiful island without the hustle and buzz of resorts and tourists.
Opt for one of the beautiful and often secluded fincas all over the island when you visit Mallorca – the architecture is rural and you can dive straight into a relaxed and carefree holiday spirit, because who does not like to be woken up by tranquility.
Only interruped by the sound of the occasional sheep or even ocean waves.
If you are looking for accomodation and excellent care-taking of people, who know the island by heart and have worked with tourists looking for the individual, non-touristy vacation experience – preferrably in the area of Santanyi´and south east Mallorca – the team of Immobilien Sonja Moyses can help you out for sure. With more than 10 years of experience in the real estate business on the island, the family owned agency can be your key to the most beautiful fincas and apartments, I can personally recommend their own vacation homes as well as their current range of real estate.
The business operates with an international clientel – feel free to contact them in English, German and Spanish – and do not be shy to call directly or surf through their webpage.
My overall verdict:
Mallorca give the typical mediterranian cuisine it’s own, even more real twist and makes it a perfect paleo destination for me. I would like to invite you to try and experience the light-hearted and freeing feeling I personally experience every time I step of the plane and hope you will learn to appreciate the beauty and hospitality of the Islas Balearics’ main island soon. No matter which time of the year – if you are coming from Europe or make the trip part of your Eurotrip – I even flew in for two nights only last weekend and it was the best choice I made so far in 2016.
My top 3 restaurant recommendations:
- Es Clos – Carrer Convento, 17, 07691 S’Alqueria Blanca – a lovely eatery in Eastern Mallorca with an amazing ambiente, friendly staff and high class, but typical cocina mallorquina. My choice: filete de res and crema catalana.
- The Village Cafe – Calle Felipe Bauza 1, Deía – a cosy littel cafe in a premium, sunshine spot with a nice valley view – all admist the heart of the Tramuntana mountains. My choice: grain-free Cesar salad and cafe cortado.
- Restaurante La Bodeguilla – Calle San Jaime, 1-3, 07012 Palma de Mallorca – the nicest tapas bar and restaurant feat. a delicicous selection and “the world’s best jamón serrano”. My choice: terrina de centollo con pimientos asados/ crab terrine with roasted peppers and berenjena en dos cocciones con bacalao ahumado y salsa de tumbet/ auberguine with smoke codfish and tumbet sauce from the tapas menu.