A Dream Cycling Holiday in the North of Mallorca

When it comes to luxury villas, Mallorca has them in spades. And, when it comes to your cycling holiday on the island, you don’t have to miss out on the best property Mallorca has to offer.

Here in the north there are plenty of rental villas that can complete your dream cycling trip. So, here is a checklist that will help you make the all-important selection.

Luxury Villa for your Cycling Trip – A Checklist

Check the location. Is it near the main cycling routes? Can you easily get to bike shops and centres for all important supplies and maintenance?

In the north of Mallorca, the ride to Lluc and into the Tramuntana are popular. The cap de Formentor (soon to be exclusive to cyclists and the odd shuttle bus), the road up to La Victoria, as well as the wetlands, coastal routes and country lanes in between are all a happy cyclist’s playground. Choose your villa with the routes in mind.

Whether you travelled with your bike, or you’ve rented one from one of the excellent suppliers here on the island, the last thing you want is for it to go missing or get damaged. When you’re selecting accommodation, look at the security. Can you lock your bikes away, is there a protected area undercover for the bikes to be stored out of any bad weather?

Test the R&R – this is your holiday after all. After a long day on the saddle, you want to be able to relax and your choice of villa can determine how well you do this. Does the villa have a pool or Jacuzzi for those aching legs? Do you have some space for a massage?

If you’re looking at a countryside property, look at the access. Is it a smooth ride or a bumpy track to the entrance?

How about facilities? Make sure there is a decent washing machine. You need to feel fresh every day when you hit the road. Also, for hanging out post- or pre- ride, is there enough to keep you entertained? Games room, satellite TV… the best villas will cater for all tastes and needs.

Our Luxury Villas for Cyclists

Here at Prestige Villas, we have just what you need. Here’s a selection of our favourites:

Can Menut Nou

So often we hear, “I want a villa with countryside surroundings but just a 5 minute walk to the town.” It’s not always easy to work miracles, but with Can Menut Nou, it is. This villa is right on the edge of Pollensa Old Town, round the corner from the road to Lluc. What’s more it has a Jacuzzi, pool and a table tennis table.

Estrella de Calvari

The jewel in Pollensa’s crown are the Calvari steps. Many a wanderer has taken in the stunning properties while also taking in the view of this beautiful old town. Set back from the steps, Estrella del Calvari is away from the tourist trail so privacy is not an issue, and its modern design and breathtaking views will make you feel like the King or Queen of the Calvari (just bear in mind that it comes with a hilly walk — or ride — up, depending on how tired and wobbly your legs are feeling).

Casa Lluna

Heading down to Campanet, Casa Lluna will get you right on track for the Tramuntana cycling routes. Whether you’re heading up through Selva and on to Lluc, or looping your way to Soller, this villa is at a superb starting point. Just beware that once you’re in, it will be difficult to leave. The design and quality of this beautiful house will make you feel right at home.

Moscari I

The idea that holiday rental villas need a neutral or blank canvas interior is lost on this holiday home from home. Many a chic boutique hotel screams with character and so does Moscari I. Executed with style, taste and with no expense spared, this luxury villa adds a splash of colour to your cycling holiday. In fact your fitness levels will get a boost just from rushing to get back to it every day.

Moscari II

This luxury holiday home can be connected to its big brother, Moscari I, so your cycling holiday party can get bigger than you thought. Expect more of the same character and chic boutique feel and say hello to the pool table and tennis court. Oh yes, this could make your dream cycling holiday come true.

For more properties in Mallorca, check out our website: villa rentals and sales.

 

 

Renting License Requirements

A current trending and a much-debated topic of conversation right now is the regulations surrounding renting licenses in the Balearic Islands. Take note that before now, owners who wished to rent their property to tourists had to have a permit to do so. Apartments did not, however, comply with the guidelines to get a license and therefore were rented unregistered. Villas could apply and obtain a licence, called an ETV, at the local tourism authorities.

Right now, however, there has been a freeze on granting licenses until 1st August 2018, at the latest. Once this moratorium has been lifted, both apartments and villas alike will be able to apply for a permit, providing they comply with the strict stipulations listed below:

– Must be in an approved zone
Just recently the president of the Consell de Mallorca, Miquel Ensenyat, the councillor of Land and Infrastructure, Mercedes Garrido and the councillor of Economic Affairs, Cosme Bonet presented the provisional zoning project for holiday rentals. You can see more about that in our previous blog post by clicking here.

– Cédula de habitabilidad / Certificate of Occupancy
Spanish law requires this document to control H&S conditions in any dwelling. This also dictates the maximum occupancy of the property.

– Age of building
The building needs to be at least five years old.

– Certificado Energético / Energy Certificate
With a scale from A to G. The law requires at least D for buildings finished after 2008 and F for older ones.

– Water meter
Every house or apartment must have an independent water meter as opposed to shared communal meter.

– Building community authorisation
The majority of neighbours in a community must authorise vacation rentals. This is a sticky point, as these associations change, the stance of the neighbours can change over time. If this authorisation was withdrawn, it would void the renting license, and the owner would have to stop marketing the holiday apartment immediately.

– Insurance
A comprehensive holiday rental insurance with third-party liability coverage of at least 300,000€.

– Data collection
All guests need to be dully logged with the Spanish National Police.

– License limit
There is a limit of 3-holiday properties per owner and sorely individuals as opposed to businesses or corporations.

– Length of the license
5 years after which the permit needs to be renewed. There are rumours that this limit will only apply to apartments whereas townhouses and holiday villas will not need to renew their licenses.

– Beds / places
The beds or places of occupancy must be purchased from an island-wide stock shared with the hotels. At the moment there are around 42,000 beds available in this stock. There has been a lot of speculation regarding the price, however, this has not been announced yet.

Our team at Prestige Villas will keep a close eye on upcoming news regarding the holiday rental legislation. Keep up to date by subscribing to our newsletter: click here.

Lluna de la Font, new luxury villa to rent in Pollensa

Just outside of Pollença town is la Font, a small residential area built on the hillside offering the properties that sit there an elevated view of the countryside and landscape of North Mallorca.

Among those houses is Lluna de la Font, a new property that we are featuring for the 2018 season. Located right at the end of a cul de sac, the way the villa was designed means that neighbours do not overlook it and you can enjoy the utmost privacy and tranquillity.

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Complementing the high-quality construction is traditional Mallorcan architectural features such as stone walls and beams throughout the interiors. The interior of the house is elegant with a modern feel to it, full of natural light, warmth and beautiful open plan spaces.

The outside has a classic rough stone façade and plenty of terraced areas to sit and relax.That said, the real beauty of this villa lies in the views and many spacious outdoor areas surrounding the house. The main terrace is a suntrap, and with a long 14m saltwater pool it’s easy to cool off in the hot summer sun.

The property is excellent for larger groups and is fully functioning with a very well equipped, tried and tested kitchen. If you’re more of an outdoor chef, there’s a gas BBQ and a BBQ built into the rocks.

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The villa has four bright bedrooms and is perfect for 8 guests. Changeovers are on a Friday at this property, and there are plenty of weeks available throughout the season. It’s a great property at any time of year.

To see more photos or to enquire, take a look at our website by clicking here.

New law for holiday rental apartments in Mallorca

In recent years, villas and townhouses have had it easy to obtain renting licenses whereas apartments, on the other hand, have not been allowed to apply for a renting license for the last two decades.

A way round this used to be the “Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos”, sometimes referred to the tenancy act in English as this law does not set a minimum length of a let. Many owners and agencies were legitimately using this law for apartment rentals. As long as those properties were not advertised as being “holiday apartments” and no additional services were being provided i.e. cleaning, assistance phone, etc., and a lease contract was signed, they were within the law.

Recently, the Balearic Parliament has approved a new holiday rentals’ legislation. In addition to regulating the commercialisation of tourist accommodation, a real ceiling has been placed on the number of beds available in the islands. A balanced solution has been sought between the coexistence of residents and tourists and addressing housing needs.

According to the Government, this new ceiling of beds is meant to tackle the unlimited growth of tourist accommodation capacity of the Balearics. Whereas owners of holiday rentals such as villas or townhouses which are already licensed will be unaffected by the new bill, there is now a one-year moratorium on new permits for new holiday rental properties. The local councils and the town hall in Palma will use this period to determine which zones will be allowed to register new holiday rentals’ beds.

There will also be a new restriction to limit the number of properties that one owner can market: no more than three. Additionally, any property that applies for a new license will have to be at least five years old.

The legislation creates new ways for prosecuting illegal supply by establishing a clear definition of the channels through which holiday accommodation is offered, and requires that a tourism license number is displayed on any advertisements. There’s even an email address so you can denounce your neighbours.

Furthermore, any property to be let for under thirty days will be deemed to be a holiday rental and therefore subject to all the relevant provisions in the legislation. This is the Government’s way of closing the tenancy act loophole on short-term rentals that are in fact for holiday purposes.

Any listing without license number will be deemed to be illegal, leaving websites and landlords liable to hefty fines – ranging from 20,000 to 40,000 euros for owners and up to 400,000 euros for agencies and portals. The Ministry of Tourism has set up an email for residents to denounce other owners who rent their apartments.

The legislation makes provision for the holiday rental of a “habitual dwelling” for a maximum of sixty days a year. This applies to both apartments and houses. These dwellings would still be subject to the zoning.

Our team at Prestige Villas will keep a close eye on upcoming news regarding the holiday rental legislation. Keep up to date by subscribing to our newsletter: click here. If you have any questions about the new law, feel free to contact us, we are here to help.

Goodbye Roaming Charges!

You may have heard the news already that roaming charges within the EU will be abolished, as of today – yippee!

Although some networks are already offering roaming free contracts, that’s not the case for everyone nor the case across all countries so this European law will be welcome news for many.

The new law means that EU phones will be able to call, text and browse within the EU without incurring the hefty charges and it will just be as if you are in your home country.

This law has been a long time in the making, as the EU have been negotiating with the mobile phone networks for ten years to get this agreement. One warning from the mobile phone networks was that this would only push prices higher to take out your phone contract in the first place, regardless of if you intend on going abroad.

Although a statement was released saying:
“The EU has managed to find the right balance between the end of roaming charges and the need to keep domestic mobile packages competitive and attractive,”

“Operators have had two years to prepare for the end of roaming charges, and we are confident that they will seize the opportunities the new rules bring to the benefit of their customers.”

One word of warning though, if you exceed your contract limit then you will be charged, just like you would at home. So if you’ve not got all you can eat data, then watch how much you use up while abroad as anything beyond your contract could be pricey.

This spells the end of needing to go place to place to find a wifi hotspot. Roam free and roam far!

La Coma – family villa for rent in Pollença, North Mallorca

If you’ve been on our rentals website, I’m sure La Coma would have been one of the listings that stood out. Just a short distance into Pollença old town, the villa is so well located that if you fancy you could easily walk into town for dinner in the evening, or even hire bikes and ride into town whenever you like. Split across two floors; the villa can conveniently accommodate two families travelling together or a large family. 

As you walk in, you’ll find a large covered terrace with views right across the Colonya Valley. Whenever we’ve met with our guests staying here, they always comment on how wonderful it is to see the sky lit up with a blanket of stars and just how many you’re able to observe from this property.

If it’s entertainment for the children you’re thinking about when holidaying in Mallorca, then be rest assured that the children will be plenty entertained here. If it’s outdoor activities they like then there’s ping pong, a large field to play football in or of course the swimming pool. During the hotter hours of the day and for a bit of downtime then there’s always the chance to catch up on the latest things on the Apple TV or DVD collection.

Get to know it, see our virtual tour here:

Virtual Tour La Coma
Have a digital walk through and get to know the place. Click here to go on a virtual tour.

 

The villa is rented in the peak season months from June – September. If you are looking for a property to sleep ten guests, then we highly recommend giving this one a look.

It’s not just us that raves about it, check out a review from some guests last year:

“Thank you, Prestige Villas, for our relaxing week at La Coma. We knew from the moment we arrived the holiday would be everything you promised. We were greeted with a thoughtful welcome pack and great information booklet that explained all the necessary things about the house, plus useful information about the local area with restaurant recommendations as well as other places to visit in Mallorca. The villa was clean and comfortable. It had obviously been recently decorated and we really liked the relaxed, personal style of the villa. There was all the necessary equipment in the kitchen and it was of the best quality you could have expected from this type of rental property. The exterior of the villa was lovely. There is a lot of outdoor space, with an excellent pool and plenty of shaded areas on the terraces. The villa is in a quiet area and the views are great, excellent for star gazing at night! We had BBQ´s for dinner on most of the nights and decided to use the brick BBQ. Although it was tucked away from the views of the mountains, it was very good. There was also a smaller portable BBQ that could have been moved into a position to enjoy the views. An unexpected bonus for us was to find there was lots of toys for children a kitchen, tent, table and chairs, jigsaws, DVD´s etc. which our three year old loved! The villa was easy to find and very close to Pollenca. Although it would be possible to walk to town, I would not recommend it as the roads are quite narrow. It also only took us about 5 minutes to drive to two decent size supermarkets and 10 minutes to drive to the beach. We loved our holiday here and could not have asked for anything more. I would certainly recommend this villa to families and larger groups. There is lots of space, plenty of parking, and the separate annex by the pool is very private.”

Family Activities in Mallorca

Stand Up Paddle-boarding

This is something the whole family can enjoy and doesn’t take a long time to learn. The flat seas are beautiful to paddle about on and take a tour of the Mallorcan coastline. There is no pre-requisite learning necessary, but a good balance and coordination can help a lot during the first 10 minutes before getting into the swing of things. There are plenty of schools out there, but the best has got to be Mallorca Kiteboarding & SUP who offer fun and exciting excursions that all the family can enjoy. They offer lessons to both complete beginners and advanced, learning the key skills to become a paddle surfer.

Image credit: cuevasdeldrach.com

Caves

Coves de Campanet – At the bottom of the Sant Miquel hill in the Tramuntana Mountain Range are the Coves de Campanet caves. A much more modest attraction than the Coves de Drach, they’re still well worth a visit. There is a guided tour of the caves which lasts 40 minutes and takes you along pathways through the caves where you can see small ponds and impressive stalagmites and stalactites. The different chambers inside the caves are known as Sala Romántica, Sala de Llac and Castell Encantat.

Coves del Drach – Discover the Eastern coast of Mallorca and head to the most famous caves located in Puerto Cristo. Extending for almost 2,500m and including internal heights of 25m above the cave floor. The caves are said to have formed from seawater pushing through the rocks to form a vast opening that is thought to have happened in the Miocene period (between 23 and 5 million years ago). There are four caves, all of which connect to each other, Black Cave, White Cave, Cave of Luis Salvador and Cave of the French. Hidden within the caves is Lake Martel, considered to be one of the largest subterranean lakes in the World, (170m long and 30m wide) on which there are daily performances of classical music featuring pieces by Caballero, Chopin and Offenbach.

Water parks

There’s no better way to cool down in the hot sun than having fun in the water. There are several water parks in Mallorca and Western Water Park is one of the best, over in Magaluf. With dive shows and entertainment throughout the day, the rides here are great with a variety of different slides to suit all the family.

Image credit: Actionsport Mallorca

PETER diving system

The ideal bridge between snorkelling and scuba diving. PETER Diving is suitable for all the family and takes you to ideal diving conditions for beginners. It’s a great way to see underwater ecosystems without the rigmarole of scuba. It’s a definite hit amongst youngsters with the age requirement being only 8 years old. The divers at Actionsport Mallorca in Port de Pollença are all qualified, and you’ll be sure to have a fun day out.

Kiteboarding

Kitesurfing isn’t just a hobby, it’s a way of life. It’s also an excellent way to get the teens entertained in a course to learn one of the hottest sports on offer in Mallorca. With a constant warm wind blowing between 10 – 15 knots and shallow water, North Mallorca is the place to learn. The instructors at Mallorca Kiteboarding & SUP are all qualified by the Spanish Sailing Federation, IKO, WDWS and Spanish Surf Federation so if you take a class with them; you’ll be in good hands. The price of courses includes all equipment and accident & liability insurance. Josep gave it a go; you can read his experience here.

Image credit: 2GoCycling

Bike Tours

One of the best ways to sample the island is by bike. The island has been growing in popularity with cyclists coming from all over Europe. You can either rent a bike and go it alone or join a fantastic bike tour which you can combine with kayaking or local markets and also there is a tour on mountain bikes to test your stamina.

Coasteering

Jump right into the blue Med on a Coasteering adventure in North Mallorca. Cliff jumping is obviously an activity you want to do with a guide who knows the safest places to go and the best spots. It’s an activity suitable for all abilities just so long as you have an adventurous side about you. Other actives that can be thrown into the mix include abseiling, zip lining, snorkelling and swimming. Practice Coasteering in Mallorca is the best way of combining sea and mountains, as we’ll follow the seaside shoreline as we discover the most hidden corners of the island.

Kayaking

Whether you’re in a single or a double kayak, it’s great fun to paddle about the water in the North. An open sea kayak is a less intimidating way to enjoy the water than something like a canoe. If you’ve got the desire to try something with a guide, then there is a super instructor here in Puerto Pollensa with vast knowledge of the best kayaking spots for all levels.

Hiking

There are plenty of great hiking route around Mallorca but one easy route is the Puig de Maria outside of Pollença. It’s a short 40-minute walk along a path with lovely views at the top. It’s worth going early or late, but not during the heat of the day.

When MANA Media came to Los Olivos

We were approached by the marketing team Saatchi & Saatchi to host a photoshoot at Los Olivos in Pollença. The photoshoot was one of twenty-four locations picked globally and Los Olivos was chosen from over 1,000,000 properties listed on the portal HomeAway. Quite an honour, I think you’ll agree. Only the very best properties were selected and Los Olivos was one of them. The beautiful photographs were taken during two days of intense set up and shooting. The photographers that took the photos were from MANA Media, an international content creation and production agency with teams in London, LA, New York and Portland. Capturing beautiful images with vibrant colours and with great attention to the finest details.

We’re pretty pleased with the results. Have a look for yourself.

Los Olivos is available for rent throughout the year. Since the photos were taken, a jacuzzi and outdoor kitchen have been added.

Los Olivos
The entrance to the property, which overlooks Golf Pollensa.
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Beautiful terrace for relaxing in the sun or taking a dip in the infinity pool.
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Covered dining terrace and plenty of areas to relax in the shade.
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Stunning views across the North of Mallorca.
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The villa lit up in all its glory in the evening.
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Gorgeous interior design, designed by Uber. Relaxing and comfortable place to relax indoors.
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Impressive entrance hall with large windows flooding the property with natural light.
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Large terrace for al fresco living.
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Fully equipped kitchen.
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One of six bedrooms.
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Master bedroom with twin bathtubs.

The Five Ws on the new Balearic Sustainable Tourism Tax

As you may have heard, the Balearic Government have introduced a new tourist tax. The name in Catalan is a bit of a mouthful: “Impost sobre estades turístiques a les Illes Balears i de mesures d’impuls del turisme sostenible” and it roughly translates into Sustainable Tourism Tax, but many people prefer to (incorrectly) refer to it as Eco tax or Ecotasa.

What is it?

The Sustainable Tourism Tax has been designed for a specific purpose: imposing a levy on the stays of visitors in tourist accommodation and homes marketed for tourist use as well as cruise ships in the Balearic Islands. The tax will be a small amount charged daily to visitors of the Balearic Islands.

Why?

The purpose of the tax is basically to compensate the Balearic society for the environmental cost involved in certain activities that distort or deteriorate the environment in the archipelago and to improve the competitiveness of the tourism sector by means of sustainable, responsible and high-quality tourism in the Balearic Islands. The funds will concentrate on:

  • Protecting, preserving and modernisation of the natural, rural and marine environment
  • Enabling a prolonged holiday season
  • Restoring historical and cultural heritage
  • Promoting research related to tourism
  • Improving training in the tourism sector
  • Investing in infrastructure and services

Who is liable to pay?

Any visitor to the Balearic Islands, 16 and over, is liable to pay the tourist tax, providing their stay is of a minimum of 12 hours. It is the responsibility of the accommodation owners to ensure the tourist pays the tax, which they then pay to the tax office. In most cases, visitors will pay to whoever they have signed their rental contract with – that would be us.

When?

The law has already been brought in, as of 2nd April. Visitors staying from 1st July 2016 onwards are liable to pay the tax.

Where?

In any of the following tourist establishments: hotels, holiday homes (villas or apartments), hostels, B&Bs, cruise ships etc. Each one of the aforementioned accommodations is charged a daily rate depending on the level of service and standard.

Final thoughts

The new tax is causing a bit of a stir amongst tour operators, travel agents and tabloids, predicting that it’ll damage the tourism industry in the Balearics as we know. At Prestige Villas, we don’t think it’s going to be that catastrophic and prefer to see it like a small donation that will help investing not just in infrastructures that are so crucial (think water desalination plants or more sustainable energy sources), but also help mitigate the impact of so many visitors while also improving what our islands have to offer and increase the value of our destination.

The Four Seasons of Live in Mallorca – Part II – Spring

Spring
Hike down to Cala Figuera, just off from the road to Formentor

Spring – Possibly one of the most glorious seasons of year in Mallorca, despite having an unseasonable warm and dry winter, the flowers are flourishing and the bushes are green. The island starts to creep out of hibernation with holidaymakers arriving with bikes and hiking shoes. The gruelling Tramuntana mountains makes for fantastic cycle training and the beautiful flat country roads make the training second to none. The GR221 Dry Stone Route through the mountains is a favourite for hikers too.

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The hike down from Puig Tomir (1,104m) . Spectacular views on the cloudy hike back home.

One particular highlight of the Spring schedule is of course Easter, with spectacular festivities happening right across the Easter weekend, it is a shame to miss the traditional parades and events happening.

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Easter processions in Pollença

With that said, one of the traditions of Easter is Panades, which of course we have tried our hand at making and you can be rest assured that the recipe is tried, tested and given two thumbs up!

Spring
Panades in the making…

If you’re around Mallorca in April, one highlights in the town of Pollença is the Fira del Vi. Usually around 36 local bodegas take part that span across the whole island. The entrance costs around 10 € and the event runs all day Saturday and Sunday morning. Sampling the islands best wines is such a delight in itself not to mention the fantastic Claustre de Sant Domingo setting that it takes place at.

What else are we excited about this Spring? Our guests are arriving! We’re pleased to welcome everyone to the beginning of the 2016 season and wish everybody who stays with us a fantastic holiday here in Mallorca.

Spring
A little welcome…

We’ll hit you back up soon with part III talking about Summer.