Delicately scented pink and white flowers will transform Mallorca’s five million almond trees in the coming weeks, but the Spanish island’s abundant almond blossom is not the only attraction for visitors at this time of year.
For sun-starved Northern Europeans, Mallorca’s golf courses (21 of which are open to visiting players) are also a draw, blogs Jan Edwards.
If you’re tired of battling the elements or gazing out at sodden greens from the comfort of the 19th hole, a winter golfing break is a good opportunity to maintain your handicap and enjoy a milder Mediterranean climate.
Mallorca’s best golfing deals combine hotel accommodation with green fees for one or more local courses. The closer the course, the more time you’ll have for driving from a tee, rather than in a hire car.
You can play some of the finest courses in Mallorca’s southwest on a golf package at the following hotels this winter:
The 4-star Hotel Golf Santa Ponsa has a ‘super package’ comprising seven nights’ accommodation, breakfast, four days’ car rental and five 18-hole green fees (three for the Golf Santa Ponsa course, one for Golf Andratx, one for Royal Bendinat Golf). Rates per person (sharing a double room) start at 810€.
Four-star Lindner Golf & Wellness Resort near Portals Nous, is located on the Royal Bendinat course. The hotel’s ‘Golf, Sleep & Eat’ package (from 111.90€ per person sharing a double room) includes green fees to play at a choice of local courses. They also offer a package to play championship course Son Gual, designed by Thomas Himmel and opened in 2007 at a cost of thirty million euros. Golf World magazine ranked it 44th in their 2014 ‘Top 100 Courses in Continental Europe’. The Lindner’s three-night, half-board package, including three Son Gual green fees, starts at 440€ per person (sharing a double room). The course is around a 30-minute drive away, so transport is necessary.
Guests at the 5-star Sheraton Mallorca Arabella Golf Hotel have 63 holes almost on their doorstep, with unrestricted play at any of the four neighbouring courses: Son Vida (Mallorca’s oldest), Son Quint, Son Quint Executive (9-hole) and Son Muntaner. Hotel room rates include green fees, use of driving range and practice facilities, preferential tee-off times and complimentary shuttle transfers.
The 93-room hotel – which re-opened in September 2013 after a refurbishment costing 13 million euros – is on the exclusive Son Vida estate, just outside island capital Palma de Mallorca. Facilities include two restaurants, Sheraton’s first Shine Spa in Europe, and spacious lobby bar and lounge area where you can swap golfing tales with like-minded guests. Rates per double room per night (for two people) are from 400€, including breakfast, tax, and as much golf as you can swing a club at. Just be sure to find time to see Mallorca’s emblematic almond blossom