NGL, at the end of last year, girlfriend had had ~enough~. E-mails, WhatsApps, bank notifications: be gone, forever! So when the opportunity arose to jet off to Spain’s largest Balearic Island, Mallorca, and be hosted by Google, I was all in. If you’re like me, and think you know all there is to know about Google travel apps, prepare thyself. Here’s how Google has made travelling super-easy. You’ll never vacay the same way again.
Hey, Google, what should I do?
Shop (and eat!) your heart out in Palma’s Old Town
Walk down the tiny alleyways of Palma’s Old Town and you’ll find everything from bookstores and art galleries to vintage shops and cute cafés. If you’re after some delish Mallorcan products or souvenirs to bring back home, ask Google to direct you to La Montaña. Here you’ll find the best selection of Mallorcan cheese, olive oil, wine and cured meats (look at the pic and cue the salivation!).
If you’re after a trendy take-home accessory, head to Mimbrería Vidal for a selection of the most gorge basket bags that’ll pair perfectly with your ‘I’m in Mallorca!’ dress. Shopped out? Stop at La Rosa Vermutería & Colmado and order yourself a chilled glass of vermouth and some patatas bravas.
Google tip: use Google Maps to download maps while you’re on Wi-Fi. This means you’ll be able to navigate without using data.
Take a ride in an old-school Spanish car and visit Valldemossa
Valldemossa is a historic town in Mallorca, situated in a picturesque valley of olive and almond trees under the Tramuntana mountains. The quaint streets are home to pastry shops, sidewalk cafés and boutiques. Ask Google where to go for a slice of cake, and it’ll lead you to Ca’n Molinas. According to many locals, they make the best coca de patata (a delicious traditional potato bun) in Valldemossa. For a sugar overload, grab a cup of their delicious hot chocolate to accompany it.
Head to Son Marroig for the best views of the island
It is one of Mallorca’s most popular wedding venues, with its beautiful white temple and an insane backdrop of the sea and mountains. It was also the spot for Laura and Paul’s date in Season 4 of Love Island. #Obsessed.
Google tip: use the camera function in Google Translate to translate written text (like street signs and menus).
Take the Sóller Tram to Port de Sóller
The tram takes you through the narrow streets of Sóller, where you can take insights of locals dining at sidewalk restaurants and traditional Mallorcan townhouses with their famous green shutters, and witness the ‘golden valley’ of citrus groves. Hop off in Port de Sóller and head to Ses Oliveres for lunch. Indulge in the freshest seafood at this cosy and unassuming restaurant, which has beautiful views of the bay. Must-try: their steamed mussels, grilled Mallorcan rock octopus and seafood casserole. Now I’m hungry.
Google tip: want to communicate with your Spanish driver? Use Google Translate and hold the speaker button to converse back and forth.
Take a boat trip and see the Cathedral of Mallorca at night
If you want to feel far away from home, hop on a yacht at sunset and take in the breath-taking sight that is the Cathedral of Mallorca. Board at Palma’s port, pack some sundowners and enjoy panoramic views of the city and lit-up cathedral from the sea.
Hey, Google, where should I stay?
Hotel El Llorenç Parc de la Mar
El Llorenç is situated right in front of the sea in La Calatrava. On arrival, I was greeted with a glass of champers and shown to my beautifully furnished room that overlooked the courtyard. If you’re keen to take a break from walking around and feasting on meat and cheese (it me!), El Llorenç has an incredible spa for some much-needed R and R. It also has an Insta-worthy pool deck, with an infinity pool looking over the Bay of Palma.
Hotel Sant Francesc
This boutique hotel is in the heart of Palma. Contemporary art, photographs and mirrors adorn the walls, so prepare yourself for loads of ‘Grammable opportunities. Their private rooftop terrace boasts a swimming pool that looks over the beautiful cathedrals and historic ceramic-topped buildings of Palma’s Old Town.
Hey, Google, what should I eat?
Start your day off like a true Mallorquín with Mallorca’s famous sugar-dusted pastry (ensaïmada) and a coffee. This light, flaky delicacy has been proudly produced on the island since the 17th century. In Catalan (the co-official language of the Balearic Islands), the word ‘saïm’ is translated as ‘pork lard’, and it’s this key ingredient that gives the treat its distinctive taste and texture. Some are also filled with cream, pumpkin jam and almond paste. Drool.
Sobrasada – a cured pork sausage spiced with paprika that pairs well with bread, cheese, wine, olives and happiness – is a celeb in Mallorca. Pair this delicious, soft and salty sausage with a cold beer and you’ll become one with pure bliss. Was anyone else obsessed with trying ratatouille after watching the movie? Well, in Spain, you can try the Mallorcan version, called tumbet. It’s a roasted-vegetable dish layered with slices of aubergines, potatoes and bell peppers, and topped with a tomato sauce spiced with oregano and thyme.
Tomato bread (pa amb tomàquet). Sounds weird, right? Thought the same. But it’s a far stretch from the soggy mess you’re imagining. Think plump, ripe smashed tomatoes, decorated with sea salt, piled on top of slices of crunchy grilled bread, rubbed with garlic and soaked in olive oil. It’s crunchy, salty and sweet all at the same time.
Fera Restaurant & Bar
In the heart of Palma, hidden on a cobbled street in Jaime III, in a spectacularly restored Old Town palace, is Fera. This minimalist, gallery-like restaurant offers anything but minimal experience. Chef Simon Petutschnig takes inspiration from Mediterranean and Asian flavours to create innovative works of art that will make you literally say ‘mmm’ out loud and inappropriately. It’s also exquisite.
Think classy after-work (or beach!) drinks or the ideal setting for a romantic date. Try the bluefin tuna, the crispy nori roll with wagyu steak tartare (so good), and the yuzu mousse (lemon, cream and thyme crumble disguised as a whole lemon) for dessert. *Chef’s kiss*
De Tokio a Lima
Located in the Boutique Hotel Can Alomar, De Tokio a Lima is the perfect lunch spot to dine alfresco. Overlooking the tree-lined Paseo del Borne, the restaurant has two idyllic terraces and offers a fusion of Japanese, Peruvian and Mediterranean cuisine.
Try their glazed Iberian pork with sweet-and-sour sauce and a mango salad, and their creamy pie of Sóller lemons, meringue and sorbet for dessert. Pro tip: be sure to take snaps on one of the terraces for the dopest pictures.
El Camino is a Mediterranean tapas restaurant in the centre of Palma. Although tapas restaurants are nothing new or special in Mallorca, El Camino is certainly an experience. You are invited to eat with a view of the kitchen on a long marble table and can choose your dishes from menus that also serve as placemats. You can’t reserve a spot, but the wait is 100% worth it. Their dishes are simple yet absolutely delicious. I’ve had three dreams about their tomato bread since then.
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