Day 1 - Sunday, February 09: Depart Toronto
Late evening departure from Toronto International Airport to Frankfurt with Air Canada. Dinner and a light breakfast will be served on board.
Day 2 - Monday, February 10: Mallorca
Late morning arrival in Frankfurt and connecting Lufthansa flight to Mallorca, an island described by Wikitravel as “a mecca for friends of sunny beaches, amazing landscapes, wonderful mountains and mediterranean food.” Transfer to the centrally located first-class/4-star Hotel Almudaina (https://www.hotelalmudaina.com/en). Free time to rest and settle in before dinner in the restaurant of our hotel.
Tripadvisor’s description of Hotel Almudaina: “located in Jaime III, the city's most popular avenue, most prestigious shopping area and very close to the seafront promenade, the Cathedral, the port and the old quarter . . . The views from the terrace to the Bay of Palma, the Cathedral and Old quarter are spectacular.” A majority of guest comments on Tripadvisor rate this hotel as “excellent.”
Day 3 - Tuesday, February 11: Palma
After our buffet breakfast, leisurely walking tour of Palma de Mallorca, a beautiful and vibrant city of approximately 400,000 inhabitants, and capital of the island of Mallorca and of the Balearic Community, one of Spain’s autonomous regions. We focus on the historical city centre, and among the highlights will be the magnificent Gothic Cathedral, Placa Major, San Francisco Church with its fine cloisters, the narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter, the wide Bom Boulevard, reminiscent of Barcelona’s Rambla, the seafront park (Parc de la Mar), and the harbour, bustling with sailboats and other pleasure craft. The afternoon is free to explore the town on your own. This evening, dinner in a typical restaurant!
Day 4 - Wednesday, February 12: Mallorca
Full-day excursion along Mallorca’s rugged western “Rocky Coast,” where the limestone heights of the Tramuntana mountain range drop down to the blue waters of the Mediterranean. We visit quaint fishing villages and resorts such as Port d’Andratx, stop for photo opportunities at the “miradors” of Ricardo Roca and Ses Animes, and cross hills and valleys covered with olive, almond, and apricot trees as well as vines. (Mallorca reportedly has 4 million almond trees, and February is almond blossom time, causing some of the valleys in the Tramuntana Mountains to be “white as snowfall”!) In the Medieval village of Valldemosa we visit the Carthusian Monastery where Chopin and George Sand spent the winter of 1838-1839, inspiring her to write A Winter in Mallorca. On the way back to Mallorca, we take a look at Bellver Castle, the 14th-century summer residence of Mallorcan kings, later turned into a prison, offering a fabulous panorama of the Bay of Palma.
Day 5 - Thursday, February 13: West coast of Mallorca
Today we continue our exploration of the rugged western coast of Mallorca, Here are some of the sights that will delight us; the Mirador of Ses Barques; the Sa Calobra road to the mouth of the Pareis River with its exquisite little beach (https://www.seemallorca.com/beaches/sa-calobra-beach-661010); the Monastery of Lluc, with its Black Madonna, patron of Mallorca; the town and port of Pollenta (https://www.seemallorca.com/pollenca); spectacular Cape Formentor, northernmost point of the island, a rocky spur rising abruptly to 200 m above sea level (https://www.seemallorca.com/caves/cap-de-formentor-formentor-660863); and the picturesque Medieval town of Alcudia (https://www.abc-mallorca.com/alcudia). Lunch in a typical country restaurant. Return to Palma de Mallorca in late afternoon, and free evening.
Day 6 - Friday, February 14: Palma
After breakfast, we resume our sightseeing program in Palma de Mallorca, with visits to Almudaina Royal Palace, a former Moorish fortress; La Llotja, a 15th-c. commodities exchange building; the 17th-c, Former Maritime Consulate; the 18th-c. Solleric Palace with its “picture perfect” patio; Hort del Rei (“The King's Garden”), a small park featuring statues by local sculptors as well as some works by Miro; and the Arab Baths, the only building dating back to the early Medieval times when the city belonged to the Moorish Caliphate of Cordoba. Rest of the day at leisure.
Day 7 - Saturday, February 15: Palma
Morning visit to Es Baluard, Palma’s museum of Modem and Contemporary Art, focusing on the works of Spanish and international artists with some connection with Mallorca and the Balearic Islands in general, including Picasso, Leger, Tapiès, Miro, Magritte, etc. (www.esbaluard.org/en). The museum is located in a renovated historical building, the 16th-century bastion of Sant Pere, within easy walking distance of our hotel, and the visit will be “open-ended,” i.e., you can stay as long as you want. Rest of the day at leisure. This evening, an optional Flamenco show or a classical music concert may be available.
Day 8 - Sunday, February 16: Easter Mallorca
Full-day excursion to the eastern part of the island, with as highlights the town of Arta (https://www.seemallorca.com/arta); fishing villages and delightful resorts such as Cala Rajada, Cala d’Or, and Cala Figuera; and sacred sites such as the Monastery of San Salvador with its superb panorama of the east coast and the Santuario de Cura. Lunch in a typical restaurant. Return to Palma in late afternoon.
Day 9 - Monday, February 17: Day at leisure with several options
Your last day in Mallorca is entirely free to shop and/or explore Palma on your own. You may want to visit some of the following museums and other sights of interest:
* The Museum of Mallorca, featuring archaeology and Medieval paintings.
* The Juan March Foundation, another collection of Spanish Art of the 20th century, with works by Picasso,
Miro, Juan Gris, and Salvador Dali (https://www.march.es/arte/palma/?l=2)..
* The Palma de Mallorca Aquarium (https://palmaaquarium.com/en).
* The Pueblo Espanyol, a “village” featuring replicas of some of Spain’s most famous sights, such as the Alhambra in Granada, Torre de Oro in Seville, and El Greco's House in Toledo (https://www.puebloespanolmallorca.com/copia-de-inicio-1).
* The Pilar and Juan Miro Foundation, dedicated to the work of that famous Catalan artist, who lived in Palma for many years, located in a large studio which his friend Josep Lluis Sert designed for him (https://miromallorca.com/en).
* Another attractive option is the train ride to the pretty town of Soller (https://www.abc-mallorca.com/soller-train-mallorca and http://trendesoller.com/en/timetable).
Day 10 - Tuesday, February 18: To Madrid and sightseeing tour of Spain's capital
Morning at leisure. Early afternoon transfer to Mallorca Airport and short flight to Madrid. Arrival in Madrid and panoramic sightseeing tour of the city by private coach, followed by transfer to a 4- star hotel near the airport, final group dinner in the hotel or in a nearby restaurant, and overnight.
Day 11 - Wednesday, February 19: Return to Toronto
After breakfast, transfer (via hotel shuttle) to the airport and non-stop return flight to Toronto with Air Canada, departing at 12:35 PM and arriving at 3:15 PM.