Have you ever taken a moment to think of your favourite holiday memory, is there a certain holiday that has been more memorable than the rest, a memory that makes you laugh, or smile serenely reminiscing over that moment. I couldn’t think of just one memory but I could think of one place that just kept coming up over and over, Majorca, specifically Magaluf and Palma Nova.
When you say Magaluf to most people they have a predisposition to think that it’s just a party island or to quote a news story they once read about people passing out in the streets and police being on every corner because of the inappropriate behaviour. Well I’m here to show you a different side of Magaluf and it’s next door neighbour Palma Nova, which I have visited on 11 separate occasions over the space of 9 years. I have been on 10 holidays there, worked a season as a PR for a bar and I’ve already booked my holiday this year.
Majorca is the most memorable holiday destination for me because it’s the place I first claimed my independence, where I have made new friends and cemented existing friendship, adopted an extended family and whenever I think back over fond memories or moments that had me in absolute hysterics so many of them took place here. I first went to Magaluf in 2008 with two of my girlfriend with one of the young adult companies and we stayed in the Gabarda Hotel in Palma Nova. We arrived at the hotel, three excited young girls on our first (and for me second) girls holiday and it did not disappoint. We made friends with so many people in the hotel, most of which I still have on my Facebook, and one of which I bonded with so much that we actually went back the following year together.
In 2010 I packed an overflowing bag and met a group of people I’d only ever spoken to online set to fly to Magaluf and work the season. On arrival at the airport I was told my suitcase was actually too heavy to be put on the plane and needed stuff removed so queue all the boys lined up with open suitcases ready to take half of my belongings, thank god they managed to pack lightly. 12 complete strangers had booked 3 four bed apartments for 4 weeks, enough time for us to look for jobs or decide it wasn’t us and go home. We had numerous nights out, celebrated whenever anyone got a new job, had pot luck BBQs by our pool, fancy dress nights out for anyone’s birthday and just had the best time. How do you truly describe picking up your life and just restarting in another country for a few months, one of the most liberating experiences I’ve had and I would encourage anyone who is considering to do it.
Between the years of 2011 and 2016 I went a total of 8 times, and introduced a total of 10 different people to the wonders of Majorca. Whilst I do spend a great deal of time on the Magaluf strip, on booze cruises, or dancing and drinking at clubs and pool parties, I actually stayed in Palma Nova every year. Remember the Gabarda Hotel we stayed in the very first year, well they have an apartment complex called Martinez Apartments, comprising of 2 beds, 2 sofa beds, a bathroom, functioning kitchen and a TV. It’s basically become a home away from home and this is where I met my adopted family, who are in actual fact all the staff that work at the hotel. Myself and Charli, who I’ve spent the majority of my time in Majorca with, and the hotel staff have grown so attached that whenever we leave we all stand outside the hotel crying together, we’ve been there for big birthdays, baby announcements and births, and they never fail to remember us whenever we come back.
Obviously a huge part of Magaluf is the strip and the clubs, my favourite haunts include Panama Jacks where you can drink for 2 hours for €12, and BCM for the Washing Machine Party. I will never forget Charli falling down outside and we were both in such hysterics that I didn’t even think to help her up until a stranger was like “Oh my god are you okay, let me help” before we were told we weren’t allowed in a cab because we were too wet. We made friends with a group that were staying in the hotel next to the club who said we could borrow towels to dry off, as our efforts under a McDonalds hand dryer weren’t getting us anywhere, and what happens Charli falls over on the stairs to their room, queue us dying from laughter. Another thing you have to experience in Magaluf is a booze cruise, which is perfectly safe I might add unless you are a complete moron. Hours on a boat in the sea dancing to the latest hits, drinking games, the opportunity to have a quick swim, and a well stocked bar for the duration, usually followed by drinks back in one of the bars on the strip.
As someone who has been to Magaluf so many times I can confirm that is nowhere near as bad as all the papers make out. All the doors to the bars close at 12 so no music is heard outside so as not to disturb the locals, the streets are not paved with drunk people, the police are not beating up anyone who steps outside, and laughing gas is banned. Also the clubs and drinks are not all that is on offer there, yes I spend a good amount of time enjoying a drink but I also enjoy going on days out and taking nights off and enjoying the local food.
Katmandu, the upside down house, is a fairground park with themed electronic shooting games, elaborate mini golf courses, and a 4D ride and cinema. It is fun for both adults and children and also has a restaurant and snack bar on site, you have to try the Boneless Rib Burger if you go. Pirates Adventure is another enjoyable day out for both adults and kids, an incredible show that includes a swashbuckling mix of world class acrobatics, thrilling gymnastics and breath taking dancing. They also have an adults only show, for 18 years and older, called Pirates Reloaded where drinks are included in your ticket and the show brings out a slightly ruder side to the performances.
With water parks, relaxing boat rides around the island, amazing restaurants overlooking Palma Nova beach, Full Moon Parties, and so much more there really is something for everyone in Magaluf and Palma Nova. Don’t write it off because of what you’ve heard on the news or from assumptions because it’s a “party island”, go out and experience it for yourself. Stop off in Brisas and ask for Prince Jersey who will be the most amazing waiter of your life, making cocktails “with a little bit of love” alongside the most incredible garlic bread with cheese you’ll have ever tried. Stay at The Gabarda and meet Tanya and Adele on reception and Julio and Salvador on the bar and become a part of this incredible family. Go to the Full Moon Party and have yourself painted head to toe in glitter animal print and party under the stars and the light of the Full Moon. Rent a pedalo or sunbathe on the sandy beaches, and it’s so easy to book Majorca with Holiday Gems where you’ll find loads of fantastic deals on flights and accommodation.