Winter Activities is the name we have given to our group in Mallorca that organises activities during the winter.
You can check upcoming winter activities on Toni’s blog, Click-Mallorca. Toni is the one who schedules and organises most of the things we do. And if you want to join, he is the one you need to contact (it’s free and you’ll be most welcome. He speaks English and Spanish).
On this page is a small summary of all the visits that we’ve done with Winter Activities. Click on the icon or the title to be taken to the full post.
If you want to know more about the members of our Winter Activities and the purpose and philosophy of the group, read here.
At the Aloe Vera Farm in Mallorca we were introduced to the health benefits of this fascinating plant.
We were given a tour of the farm and its 200,000 aloe vera plants, and we were given a great presentation about the work that goes on here by our tour guide, Ralph.
And, of course, like kids in a sweet shop we couldn’t resist all the great organic aloe vera products on offer, from potions and lotions to grappa!
I highly recommend a visit to this farm.
Now is the time that the beautiful almond trees in Mallorca are at their most spectacular, with stunning white and pink blossom. The whole of Mallorca looks like it has had a fresh coat of fluffy snow.
This time last year we had a very enjoyable visit to Mallorca Fruits, where the almonds from around the island are brought for processing, toasting and packaging. And then they work their way onto our supermarket shelves and finally onto our tables.
The girl at Mallorca Fruits was kind enough to take us for an amazing excursion in the countryside of Bunyola, where we saw the almond blossom at its best.
We didn’t know what to expect as we grabbed handfuls of hay and made our way the the clearing to sit in a circle as instructed. Would we have to hold hands and chant? Kiss the earth and thank it for all it provides for us?
It was all getting a bit hippyish, but what a laugh. What a great vegetarian lunch too. Not to mention, what a great lesson. We all learned loads about permaculture. Don’t know what it is? Read on…
This visit was as intriguing as it was interesting. Yes, we learnt all about the process of ageing brandy and the history and even what to look for when tasting it. We learnt about the solera system, about how they distill white wine and about the years of hard work that it takes to make a bottle of brandy.
But what was it that made Bodegas Suau so special? Why did we all feel that shiver of delight when we entered the underground cellar. Was it the musty, damp smell? The Club Suau chapel? Was is the way that our guide spoke with such passion about what they produce here? Or was it the secret 45 metre tunnel that would take us into another world…?
One cold January night our group took a guided walk of Palma’s old Call (Jewish Quarter) with the company Rutas de Palma that specialises in themed guided walks in Palma. For just 5€ each we were taking on a two hour guided walk in the old town of Palma where we learnt about the history of the Jews in Palma, what went on in the Jewish Quarter and how it came about.
In this post I also wonder about just how above board the company that organised the walk is…
We did a forty minute walk down the road to Es Coll Baix just outside Alcudia to reach the Yannick and Ben Jakober Foundation. We were greeted by the resident guide who took us to see the coffered ceiling.
The ceiling is one of the star pieces in this house-museum and has a fascinating history, as it was simply picked up at a flea market! What a find. Here you can see what all the fuss is about.
Never had me down as a bird watcher, did you? Neither did I. And to be honest, I didn’t do a very good job on the official annual national Spanish aquatic bird count – mouthful, I know!
However, I did have a great day out at the beautiful Mondragó Natural Park with its stunning trails and beautiful beaches that were absolutely deserted save our little Winter Activities troop…
It might be a small island and I might have lived here for a long time, but there are still plenty of things that I have yet to discover about Mallorca. Santueri Castle was one of those things. I’d never even heard of it, let alone visited before.
Santueri Castle is located just outside Felantix and is one of only three rocky castles in Mallorca. Here I tell you all about the castle and our visit. I hope you get chance to visit it yourself someday.
When you think of Soller in Mallorca, don’t you think of a magnificent square showing off all the most important buildings and a splendid concoction of architectural styles? Don’t you think of a valley in the Tramuntana Mountains, where the warm sunshine makes oranges glow bright on the trees?
Well on this visit we are off to Soller to find out why the production of olive oil is so important. We visit the Cooperativa Agrícola de Soller Sant Bartomeu, which is responsible for classifying and categorising the olives, as well as making this liquid gold…
The Cova Tancada, or the Closed Cave is one of Mallorca’s best kept secrets and most fun and challenging excursions,with huge dramatic underground chambers that just keep opening up and seem to go on forever.
It is located just outside Alcudia near Es Coll Baix.
When we went to visit the Cova Tancada, we followed a route over the cliffs using Wikiloc, which took us right to the entrance of the cave after a bit of a scramble and a tricky descent…
Of course, the Quely Biscuit Factory. Now this was a pretty popular winter activity – anything involving food generally is.
I actually went twice in as many weeks: once with Winter Activities and once with a group of gastronomy bloggers.
The famous biscuits come from the town of Inca in Mallorca, and that is where the Quely factory is located. It’s possible to arrange guided visits of the factory, and there is a shop selling every type of Quely biscuit you can imagine…
This was actually our first official winter activity and there were just three of us! This was the day that the idea of Winter Activities was born.
We met at Menestralia, just outside Campanet, and set off to investigate the villages in the municipality of Selva. Our route took us to Moscari, Binibona, Caimari, Mancor de la Vall, Selva and Biniamar. It was a great driving route and I’m sure you’d love it.
You know that the Mallorcan people eat empanadas at Easter, right? And that all the Malloquin mamas make them? Well we found ourselves a few Mallorquin mamas, we bought the ingredients and we headed down to the finca in Santa Maria where there is an old wood oven, and barbecue and a lot of space. And what a laugh we had. We will definitely have to repeat that one.
The only Jewish cemetery in the Balearic Islands is located on the outskirts of Santa Eugenia in Mallorca.
We were met there by David, the caretaker of the cemetery, who took us inside the small room where the mourners congregate and proceeded to tell us all about his religion and culture, and we all sat there for over an hour, completely fascinated by what he had to say.
This was one of the most interesting visits our group has been lucky enough to partake in.
Here I give you information about the new sunset cruise offered in Puerto Soller and the taxi boat, which we did as a winter activity in the summer!
The taxi boat goes from Puerto Soller to Cala Tuent and then comes to pick you up again later. It is a spectacular excursion.
Winter wouldn’t be winter without a visit to Es Verger Restaurant in Alaro where they roast the lamb for over three hours in a traditional wood oven and serve it in huge portions at long wooden tables in the dining room. It is a rustic and typical experience in Mallorca and with fantastic views of the Alaro countryside too.
Quely is not the only factory in Mallorca making the typical olive oil biscuit. A place that also makes them is Galletas Gelabert in Porreres.
They have a small factory and they have been making biscuits the same way since 1979 when they opened. You can read here about our tour of the small factory and the production process of these special biscuits.
Find out here what embutidos are and why the embutidos from Embutidos Matas are the best.
We met the fantastic staff there who gave us a thorough presentation of their products, and showed us the enthusiasm with which they work. They gave us a great feast too!
Since visiting with Winter Activities we now have an excursion on which we take our clients in the summer to Embutidos Matas.
Rough diamonds, that is.
We had a visit to Esplet, the main exporter of potatoes in Mallorca and the place where the local farmers take their crop to be weighed, categorised and sold.
We learnt about how the potatoes are selected, packaged and shipped. We learnt about where they go and which supermarkets in which countries want which variety. We stayed for the whole morning because it was fascinating.
The annual matanzas fair in Sineu is quite a sight to see and quite an experience. Everything is about the slaughter of the pig and the products that come from the pig. They even make sobrassada in the town square and serve it steaming on slices of Mallorcan bread.
The porc negre is the prized animal of the fair and some farmers even bring their baby piglets to show off to the public.