Sun, sea, sand and sex – that’s what Majorca is all about, right? Wrong. Majorca (or Mallorca) might suffer from a reputation as a cheap-and-cheerful holiday destination for debaucherous tourists to get tanked and head down the beach to frolic with newfound ‘friends’. But venture behind this facade and you’ll soon learn there’s more to this gem of an island than meets the eye.
Extreme cycling on the Sa Colobra
Tell me more: For extreme road cyclists with a need for speed, the Puerto Sóller to Sa Colobra route, one of the most jaw-dropping mountain roads on the island, simply can’t be beaten. The gruelling twists and turns of La Sierra de Tramuntana mountain range have long been favoured by the likes of Lance Armstrong and his mates, who can be spotted all year round, training for the Tour de France. But who’s to say that ‘normal’ folk, like us, can’t follow in their tracks? However, a word of advice for those itching to pull on the spandex: no matter how awesome the scenery becomes, just don’t look down.
Cliff Jumping at Cap de Formentor Peninsula
Tell me more: In the immortal words of one crazy Spaniard we know: “There is no better fun than jumping from a cliff!” Why not take the plunge and see if he’s right? Cala San Vincente, close to Pollensa on the north coast, boasts some magnificent cliffs, where you can leap with the locals into the clear waters of the striking Cap de Formentor Peninsula. But as it’s 350m high, you won’t want to jump from the top.
Tell me how: The best things in life are always free and cliff jumping in Majorca is no exception. From Pollensa, head up to Cala San Vincente via the MA-200 highway, taking a left on to MA-2203 towards the coast. The Cap is well signposted once you reach town. Then, just listen out for the screams …
Quad biking mountain trails
Tell me more: The Tramuntana’s trails and dirt tracks are an awesome way to explore the island by quad-bike or ATV (All Terrain Vehicles). Discover the ‘real’ Majorca by getting off the beaten track, either on your own or as part of an organised tour. Both have their advantages, but a local guide will be able to point you and your mates in the direction of the island’s little-known nooks and crannies.
Tell me how: Xplore Mallorca is one of the most established operators on the island and offers a range of quad-bike tours for between €42-64 (£35-53), depending on the size of your group. Check out xploremallorca.com for more details. Or, if you fancy hiring an ATV and setting off on your own adventure, most scooter and car rental companies in the main resorts also hire them out.
Adventure diving in Majorca
Tell me more: The seas surrounding Majorca are renowned for their clarity, making them the ideal location for adventure diving. Take your pick from the Malgrats, an underwater nature reserve off the coast of Santa Ponsa; El Sech, which is home to not one, but two shipwrecks; or, for the more adventurous, head down to the Cave of the Madonna – a huge cavern in which a lifesize statue of the Madonna was placed at the request of a local fisherman, as a “thanks” to the ocean for keeping him safe.
Tell me how: Try Big Blue Diving in Palma Nova; prices start from about €33 (£27) for one dive. (bigbluediving.net)
Tell me more: Guaranteed to get your pulse racing as you abseil down huge waterfalls, swim through caves and scramble along rocky boulders, coasteering in Majorca is a truly unforgettable experience. Combining adventure swimming with rock climbing, caving and abseiling, it’s not exactly for the faint-hearted, but the varied landscape means you’re sure to find a suitable location.
Tell me how: The rugged and wild nature of coasteering means that it’s possible to do it all year round. Operators usually provide all the necessary protective kit, wetsuits, buoyancy aids and transportation, but you’ll need your own sturdy pair of shoes. Prices average about €50-55 (£41-45), depending on the season. Experience Mallorca are old pros at this sort of thing. (visitexperience-mallorca.com)