The Mallorca Insider Posts

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Aqualand El Arenal Water Park

Aqualand El Arenal

Aqualand El Arenal – Updated 27 September 2022

Located just 12km south of Palma is Aqualand el Arenal with wave pools, artificial rivers and waterslides a plenty. It’s a fun, family-friendly day out and a terrific way to enjoy a hot summer day in Mallorca.

Aqualand

Congo River

For those just looking for a quiet and relaxing time, there are plenty of areas to sunbathe or swim. Try a float down the lazy Congo River or check out Dragonland for a swim near a giant dragon. Aqualand El Arenal is much prettier than the other water parks in Mallorca with plenty of tree-shaded lawned areas where you can relax, cool down, have an ice-cream and watch the world go by.

Aqualand

Children’s Paradise

Aqualand Arenal is one of the island's largest waterparks and it caters for all ages. Kids can enjoy Children’s Paradise or Polynesia, which are fun, colourful and child-friendly pools with waterslides or opt for one of the other four themed areas such as Adventureland and Dragonland.

Tsunami & Anaconda

Adrenaline junkies have a superb choice of rides & slides to keep them happy. Try Tsunami, a 15m high half pipe with two vertigo slides or challenge your friends or family to a race down Anaconda’s twists and turns. If those rides don’t hit the mark, then you also have King Cobra, Fórmula Race, Tornado, Kamikaze, The Devil’s Tail & Banzai to try to name a few!

Aqualand

Gift shop

After all of the thrills & spills and you’re ready for a break, there are few cafes to choose from or you can check out the gift shop for a souvenir or two.

Aqualand El Arenal can be crowded, so we recommend booking e-tickets ahead of time to secure your spot.

Aqualand Waterpark Tickets

Aqualand Majorca

What to expect

This state-of-the-art waterpark is one of those rare days out – an equal amount of fun for both adults and kids. Experience the watery thrills of Aqualand El Arenal, with return hotel transfers and an entrance ticket to the park.

Feel the gravity-defying kicks of the Kamikaze, or the adrenaline-pumping thrill of the Anaconda – two tangled up slides that pit riders against each other in a hair-raising race to the bottom. If you'd prefer to chill out, there's the Congo River, a relaxing hot tub, plus plenty of space to pull up a sun lounger.

Little ones will love Kidzworld including an Adventureland, Dragonland, and a Polynesian-themed area. Throw in a great range of eateries and snack stands too, and you've got a fun-filled family day out. And if you choose the PLUS option, you'll get fast-track entrance to the park and a guaranteed sunbed for every adult. Meanwhile, the kids get one drink, one ice cream and a souvenir gift. There's also an exclusive 10% discount on any purchases in the park, including the slide fast pass.

Bellver Castle

Bellver Castle

Bellver Castle – updated 27 September 2022

Bellver Castle is a well-preserved 14th century circular castle straddling a wooded hillside to the west of Palma with spectacular views of the Bay of Palma and the Tramuntana mountains in the distance.

Bellver Castle Palma

Round Castle

Surrounded by fragrant pine woods, the castle is unique in design and is Spain’s only round castle. Now a renowned Palma landmark located at the top of the hill Puig de Sa Mesquida, the former grand fortress and Catalan Gothic masterpiece attracts visitors by the hundreds who come to admire the architecture, the views and visit the interesting ground-floor museum.

King Jaume II gave the order for Bellver Castle to be built back in 1300 and the job was given to Pere Salva, the architect who designed the Almudaina Palace (The Royal Palace).

Bellver Castle Mallorca

Three towers

Bellver has three large towers surrounding a two-level central courtyard and a moat. You’ll see a contrast of architectural design as you explore the castle ranging from Gothic arches to rib-vaulting to semi-circular arches. The best way to see these contrasts is to look down at the courtyard from the roof.

Royal Residence

The castle was built to serve as a royal residence; however, with the exception of residencies by King Sanç and Joan I of Aragon, the building has spent more time as a prison than a home. Bellver Castle has hosted many prisoners over the years including King Jaume IV & King Jaume III’s widow and sons and has been used as a penal institution during both the Napoleonic and Spanish Civil wars and World War II. If you visit the roof of the castle, you can see prisoners’ graffiti, carved into the stonework.

Museum

On the ground floor is Palma’s museum of municipal history (Museu d’Història de la Ciutat) which follows the development of the city from the prehistoric Talayotic civilisation to the present day via its artefacts including pottery from Talaiotic, Roman, Arab and Spanish periods and classical statues from the Despuig Collection.

The central courtyard is the stage for a series of classical music concerts performed by the Balearic Symphony Orchestra each July. These open-air evening concerts are very popular.

The best way to get to Bellver Castle is via car, there is parking available, alternatively combine your visit with the Palma City Sightseeing open-top bus, which stops at the castle as part of its circuit. If you use public transport, then the closest you will get is Plaça de Gomila, from there it is a 15 minute, 1km walk up a steep hill.

Book Tickets

Palma Electric Car Tour & Castle Bellver

Palma Electric Car Tour & Castle Bellver

On this Palma tour with a twist, you won’t be walking around the city. Instead, you’ll have the fun experience of driving a 100% electric car to the top spots and standout photo stops. You’ll get behind the wheel and follow your guide on a two-hour route that includes entry to the San Carlos Military History Museum, Bellver Castle and the Caves of Genova. – Book now

The Castle of Bellver Audio Tour: A History of Resistance

Visit one of the most unique architectural gems of Mallorca as never before. You will relive battles and understand the importance of the military features of Bellver Castle. When you get to the main tower, you will hear the horrific stories of those who were held in the “Olla” in the past as a form of torture. This unique audio experience will move you as you hear the sad stories of those who were imprisoned in Bellver, such as Alexander Jaume during the Franco regime. The tour ends with the story of Gaspar Jovellanos (who was responsible for inspiring the current Spanish Constitution) and the reasons why he was locked up in Bellver for years. – Book now

RYA Theory Courses

You can’t escape RYA theory courses, they are mandatory if you wish to achieve RYA qualifications. There’s a lot more to boating than just parking a rib, or coming alongside, or stowing a line. There is also quite a lot of theory involved ranging from the Essential Navigation & Seamanship course all the way up to Yachtmaster Ocean, Celestial Navigation.

There are plenty of places online where you can do these courses; however many people prefer the classroom environment learning with others. There are also many publications; which will help you study for and pass the RYA theory parts of these courses such as: RYA Navigation Handbook, RYA Navigation Exercises, RYA Weather Handbook, RYA Sail Cruising Log Book, RYA Motor Cruising Log Book, RYA Manual of Seamanship by Tom Cunliffe, Seaman’s Guide to the Rule of the Road by JWW Ford and Yachtmaster for Sail and Power by Alison Noice.

Essential Navigation & Seamanship Course

This two-day theory course offers a really good introduction to navigation and safety awareness for new or inexperienced skippers and crew, and is also for those simply wanting to refresh their skills for sailing, motor and powerboating. It can also be used to compliment the Powerboat (Level 2, Intermediate and Advanced), Start Yachting, Helmsman and Day Skipper courses.

Navigation for Day Skipper Course

This Day Skipper Theory course is a comprehensive introduction to sail or motor cruising for inexperienced skippers and equips you with sufficient knowledge to navigate within familiar waters by day. This can either be a stand-alone 5-day course or supplement the Day Skipper Sail and Motor practical week.

Yachtmaster / Coastal Skipper Course

This six-day Yachtmaster/Coastal Skipper Course is advanced training for more experienced skippers wanting to learn how to navigate safely on coastal and offshore passages. The course starts with a revision of the basics in navigation theory and quickly moves on to advanced navigation, meteorology, collision avoidance, safety at sea and passage planning. This course provides theory knowledge to the standard required for the Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster Offshore practical exams.

Yachtmaster Ocean – Celestial Navigation Course

A course in astro navigation, worldwide meteorology and passage planning, which also unravels the mysteries of the sextant. This advanced course is for those aspiring to blue water cruising and is ideal for holders of the Yachtmaster Offshore certificate who are preparing for their first ocean passage. This course involves astro-navigation, ocean passage making, worldwide meteorology and electronic navigation aids – it also includes time learning the practical application of a sextant. Note: If you are working towards your Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate of Competence, completion of this shore-based course exempts you from the written exam.

RYA Motor Courses

RYA Motor Courses

If you want to learn to motorboat on a structured course, then RYA motor courses are perfect for this. There is no doubt about it, sailing is fun and it is difficult to beat the thrill of skimming across the water powered by the wind in your sails. However, it is not for everyone.

Sailing can be quite physical involving lots of rope work, it can also be quite tricky to master. Many people prefer motorboating, it is less physical, not reliant on wind conditions and usually a lot faster than sailing. Sea schools on the island run a number of RYA motor courses for those who enjoy motorboating, ranging from an introduction to motor cruising for complete beginners to advanced pilotage to Yachtmaster. As a starter, we recommend the Powerboat Level 2 course. After just 2 days and if you pass the course, you are legal to drive a powerboat such as a Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIB) or any kind of sports boat up to 10m in length.

Start Motor Cruising Course

This one-day Start Motor Cruising course is a great introduction to motor cruising for complete beginners. You will have lots of fun learning the basics of boat handling as a member of the crew, assist at the helm and learn safety on board. During your day on board one of our fabulous motor yachts there will also be plenty of time to relax in the sunshine, appreciate the stunning scenery of Mallorca and enjoy a light lunch whilst anchored in a beautiful bay. This course is ideal for introducing groups of friends or families to motor boating.

RYA Day Skipper Course

The RYA Day Skipper Motor training course is for individuals with some motor boating experience and basic navigation and boat handling skills that want to be able to take charge as skipper over short passages. During the five-day practical course you will be given responsibility at the helm for the crew and navigation, with the instructor on hand at all times to provide advice and encouragement. This practical course can be supplemented with Day Skipper theory course either side of the practical week with 2 days classroom-based theory in navigation beforehand and afterwards. At the end of a successful course you may also be eligible for an International Certificate of Competence (ICC). RYA Day Skipper for Motor is a practical course for anyone who wants to learn how to take charge of a motor cruiser between 25 and 80ft. By the end of the course, you will be a confident and capable skipper, able to assess situations and make qualified decisions for the benefit of the motor cruiser and its crew. This course can also help you get the best from your modern electronic aids such as GPS and radar, which are now virtually standard equipment on modern motor cruisers.

Advanced Pilotage Course

This 2-day Advanced Pilotage course is a higher-level course for people moving on from Day Skipper towards Coastal Skipper. It is therefore ideal for those who want to progress their night pilotage skills, but might not yet have the experience required for the Coastal Skipper course and is a good refresher course for candidates considering progressing towards Yachtmaster training or who are converting from sail to motor qualifications.

RYA Coastal Skipper Course

This five-day RYA Coastal Skipper motor course is for advanced skippering techniques for yachtsmen and women with considerable knowledge of motor cruising and navigation that want to undertake coastal passages by day and night. This intensive practical course covers skippering passages in more challenging conditions and provides thorough tuition for passage planning, pilotage by day and night, boat handling, safety and emergency situations. A coastal skipper is a yachtsman or woman who has the ability to skipper a yacht in coastal waters by day or night. There is a shore based course which provides the background knowledge required, a practical course which teaches the skills and techniques required, and a Certificate of Competence.

RYA Sailing Courses

RYA Sailing Courses

If you want to learn to sail on a structured course, then RYA sailing courses are perfect for this. For many people, sailing and spending time out on the water is the ultimate leisure pursuit, for others, it is part of their job.

Whether you are a complete beginner hoping to find your sea legs for the first time, or a salty sea dog keen to build new skills and experience, there are RYA Training Centres on the island who can help you to achieve your goals via fun & challenging training in the stunning surroundings of the beautiful Balearic Islands. Whether you want to learn to sail a dinghy or move onto something bigger like a cruising yacht, there is a RYA training course designed for you. These courses will equip you with the skills and learning to be confident out at sea, whether in your own boat or a charter yacht.

Start Yachting Course

On the Start Yachting course, you will have lots of fun learning the basics of boat handling, experience steering a yacht, sail handling, rope-work and be taught safety on board. During your two days on one of their excellent sailing yachts there will also be plenty of time to relax in the sunshine & appreciate the stunning scenery. To complete your first sailing experience you also have the option of one night sleeping onboard. The Start Yachting Certificate is awarded on completion of the course. This can be used to go on to complete the Competence Crew course in a reduced time of three days or two weekends.

Competent Crew Course

Get the best foundation to build your sailing experiences on & enjoy a great holiday exploring Mallorca as you learn the basics on a Competent Crew course. The five-day RYA sailing course is for beginners and those who would like to become an active crew member rather than just a passenger. You will spend a fun week gaining practical hands-on experience in general boat handling and safety on board which includes helming, mooring, man overboard drills, dropping anchor, handling sails and ropes and assisting in all the day-to-day routines.

Competent Crew is the entry-level course of the Royal Yachting Association for those who wish to be active crew members of a sailing yacht. It is a hands-on course and by the end of the course participants should be able to steer, handle sails, keep a lookout, row a dinghy and assist in all the day-to-day duties on board. The Competent Crew course is one of a structured series of courses run by the RYA including Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster. If you have done the Start Yachting course, this course can be completed in 3 days.

Day Skipper Course

This Day Skipper sail-training course is for individuals with a little yachting experience and basic navigation and sailing skills that want to be able to take charge as skipper over short passages. During the five-day practical course you will be given full responsibility at the helm for the crew and navigation with the instructor on hand at all times to provide advice and encouragement and to ensure your safety. This practical course can be supplemented with the Day Skipper theory course either side of the practical week with 2 days classroom-based theory in navigation beforehand and afterwards. At the end of a successful course you may also be eligible for an International Certificate of Competence (ICC).

Coastal Skipper Course

This five-day RYA Coastal Skipper sailing course is for advanced skippering techniques for yachtsmen and women with considerable knowledge of sailing and navigation that want to undertake coastal passages by day and night. This intensive practical course covers skippering passages in more challenging conditions and provides thorough tuition for passage planning, pilotage by day and night, boat handling, safety and emergency situations. Candidates will often work towards a Certificate of Competence.

The one week RYA Yachtmaster Coastal Skipper Course builds on your Day Skipper skills to give you the confidence and ability to skipper a cruising yacht safely on coastal and out-of-sight-of-land passages.

A coastal skipper is a yachtsman or woman who has the ability to skipper a yacht in coastal waters by day or night. There is a shore-based course which provides the background knowledge required, a practical course which teaches the skills and techniques required, and a Certificate of Competence. While the qualification originated in the United Kingdom, the course is taught worldwide.

Flight delay compensation

Did you know about Flight delay compensation?

Let’s admit it, at some time, you’ve probably missed a flight due to cancellation or you’ve had to wait at the airport for many hours due to delays. In addition to the major disruption this can cause to holiday and work schedules, it is also a stressful experience, particularly if you have children with you or tight deadlines to meet such as connecting flights or events.

Did you know that if you had a delayed or cancelled flight in the past 3 years, you could receive €600 per passenger, regardless of the ticket price? Additionally, you could be entitled to claim for luggage problems such as missing bags, delayed bags or damaged bags and also for out of pocket expenses such as hotels, meals & more.

Air passengers have rights. In the EU they are covered by EU REGULATION EC 261.

Even if your particular issue is not covered by law, it is often worthwhile claiming, you may still be entitled to a refund or vouchers for another flight.

Compensation is available for flight delays, flight cancellation, missed connections, overbooking, denied boarding, delayed baggage, and airline strikes.

The Mallorca Insider works with AirHelp, the world’s largest air passenger rights advocate. To date, they’ve helped over 16 million passengers understand their rights and secure compensation for delayed, cancelled, or overbooked flights.

They make claiming flight delay compensation straightforward for all passengers who are unsure of their rights, lack the time, or lack the expertise to embark on the claims process themselves. They’re continually investing in data and cutting-edge technology to power their easy-to-use website and make their customers’ claims even smoother.

They speak 16 languages, and their global staff of 750 includes the world’s largest team of lawyers specialised in air passenger rights. Combined with local knowledge from a network of law firms across 30 countries, they are uniquely placed to help air passengers all around the world.

Check now to see if you are entitled to compensation – Visit AirHelp

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Port de Cala d’Or

Port de Cala d’Or is located in Cala Llonga due to space, access and winds. Cala Llonga provides sufficient room for nearly 600 moorings and with the exception of strong easterly winds, it is sheltered and well protected from the weather.

The beautiful marina is very well equipped and includes the Cala d’Or Yacht Club, most of which is open to non-members. On the quayside, you will find a good assortment of supermarkets, exclusive shops, boutiques, bars and restaurants.

Port de Cala d’Or has a 30,000 m2 offshore berthing esplanade and provides all of the services you would expect to find in a modern marina including mechanical assistance, technical service, cleaning & hull treatment.

Cala d’Or, often referred to as the ‘Golden Bay’ is a very popular holiday resort particularly suited to families located in the southeast of the island.

The name ‘Golden Bay’ derives from the fact that it is located furthest away from the Serra de Tramuntana mountains; which have a disruptive effect on weather patterns and therefore it benefits from increased sunshine hours. It also happens to be close to some of the best beaches in Mallorca.

The marina is one of the largest in Mallorca behind the more popular marinas of Puerto PortalsPalmaPort Adriano and Andratx.

The resort is attractive due to its multitude of small scenic coves and sandy beaches, these being Cala Ferrera, Cala Esmeralda, Cala Serena, Cala Gran, and Cala Llonga with each of these having their own distinctive character & main street where you will find the typical assortment of souvenir shops, pubs & restaurants.

Each of the coves benefit from charming little beaches framed by cliffs and woodland; however being small, they do get very crowded during the summer months.

Local attractions include The 18th-century historic fort ‘Es Fortí ’ and the ‘Parc Natural de Mondragó’ nature reserve.

Manacor to Alcudia

The Manacor to Alcudia route begins in Manacor, Mallorca’s second-largest city, best known as the birthplace of tennis great Rafael Nadal and as a centre of furniture manufacturing.

There’s not a lot to see here; however the Esglesia dels Delors de Nostra Senyora church is worth a visit, so is the Manacor History Museum.

If you’re a sports fan, then the Rafa Nadal Museum Xperience puts the ball in your court. Its simulators and attractions put you at the centre of the action. As well as the tennis legend’s trophies and memorabilia on display in the Exhibition Room there are exciting experiences where you get to call all the shots.

The Majorcan tennis ace, Rafael Nadal, presents all his trophies and memorabilia in a museum with a difference in his home town of Manacor. Head into the Exhibition Room and you’ll find all his achievements, equipment and best trophies from throughout his career, but step through into the Experience Room and you become the protagonist of the show.

There are state-of-the-art simulators that take you on a voyage of different sports, including F1, tennis and more, as well as 3D Eyewear that sweeps you into another world – quite literally. Kids and adults will find something to entertain them, so it’s an ace day out for all the family – Book tickets

When you leave Manacor, follow the signs for Porto Cristo where you have the opportunity to visit the Caves of Drach, one of the largest caves in Europe and considered by many to be the 8th Wonder of the World. Within the caves is Lake Martel, one of the largest underground lakes on the planet; which today plays host to a boat-borne classical music program; which attracts visitors from far and wide.

From Porto Cristo follow the signs for Son Servera and Cala Millor, a lovely road; which meanders through orchards until you arrive at Cala Millor; which is a good place to stop for a short beach break.

The route then takes you east into Son Servera and then to Capdepera, largely undiscovered by the majority of visitors to the island. The biggest attraction in Capdepera is the ‘Castell de Capdepera’, it is a quite demanding walk uphill but the views are outstanding.

From Capdepera, take the road to Artà, a quiet, attractive rural town with a maze of narrow streets, medieval buildings and pretty cafes with an impressive hilltop fortress built in the 14th century.

From there, continue along the coastal road around the bay to Alcúdia, a beautiful medieval walled town of quiet charm and character.

Surrounded by mighty walls that contain historic mansions, scenic plazas, cafés with beautiful terraces & warm-stone houses, this vibrant town is a year-round destination, providing a rich taste of history and culture.

The Manacor to Alcudia drive is an excellent way to spend a day taking you through some great locations and with some incredible views.

Sa Calobra Serpentine

Just 13km long, the Sa Calobra Serpentine (MA-2141) is one of the most scenic drives in the world.

It is referred to as ‘The Snake’ by locals but ‘Spaghetti’ would be more apt and was built specifically to avoid tunnels resulting in a road that snakes through the landscape often with a gradient in excess of 7%; which is why it is very popular with cyclists and is mentioned in our ‘best cycling routes’ section.

With a 800m descent over 12km and the infamous 270 degree loop known as the ‘Knotted Tie’ and incredible mountain views of Mallorca’s highest mountain, Puig Major, the road to Sa Calobra is an adventure in its own right.

The Sa Calobra Serpentine was manually built in 1932 and was created by the engineer Antonio Paretti and is a masterpiece of twists and turns; however it is one of the most dangerous roads in Spain with no marked central line and no guardrails and much too much traffic especially during the summer.

At times, the road is very narrow and impassable for 2 cars at the same time and on rainy days, the asphalt becomes extremely slippy. It should not be attempted by those who don't know how to reverse. 

The 25 minute route is an unforgettable and sensational experience but definitely not for anyone who is nervous of steep, winding descents. It has more than 50 curves with the majority of those being hairpins and the gradient can reach as high as 11.5%.

Sa Calobra is a small village on the coast that is widely regarded as having the best unspoilt cove on the island. It also has a hidden beach and an incredible gorge – Es Torrent de Pareis. Tourists flock to this location in their hundreds all year around to admire the jaw-dropping scenery and to enjoy the incredible journey there with its twisting roads and spectacular views.