Have you ever been to Mallorca? No? You definitely should plan a visit there in the years to come. Recent political changes how to treat and possibly limit the enormous amount of visitors each year makes it an even more desirable place to visit. What an irony. Sure Mallorca is still famous for endless parties and possibly a lot of alcohol, but this is not what I want to talk about here. There’s so much else to discover and the Spanish island is just too beautiful to recover in bed from your last night’s adventures all day long. At least this time this was not part of my plan.
1/4000 s, f/3.5, ISO 200, 28 mm, Lumix DMC-GX8
As it was my first visit of Mallorca I was trying to see the complete island, at least at a glance. So I rent a car and started to drive to various locations all across the island. It takes about one hour to drive from coast to coast, at least in the more flat regions with faster roads. But especially the hilly and rocky west coast was particularly exciting to me. There are so many little curvy roads, so many little villages along the way and an incredibly high number of beautiful tiny coves with picturesque beaches, little harbours and just a few houses.
One of the most exciting things to do while staying on the island is a trip to Sa Calobra, definitely one of the most adventurous drives with an incredibly rewarding finish. Sa Calobra is precisely one of those tiny villages with their own little coves hidden deep down in the mountains on the west coast.
1/2500 s, f/3.5, ISO 200, 28 mm, Lumix DMC-GX8
It all starts with the road to get there. It’s a small road, not too small, but small enough. What makes driving in Mallorca a bit tricky is that both cars and cyclists need to share the same space on the narrow streets. This can get especially complicated during the summer months from June to September when a lot of people visit the island and a lot of tourists, both on their bikes as well as on their rented cars are exploring the same locations. So keep that in mind when planning your trip and don’t stress yourself when the chances to safely pass some exhausted cyclists are rather limited.
1/1300 s, f/4.4, ISO 200, 60 mm, Lumix DMC-GX8
Now the road down to the village of Sa Calobra is actually an impossible road. For ages there was no road at all, all traffic in and out of the village was maintained by sea via boats exclusively. Only in the 1930s an Italian engineer named Antonio Paretti started planning and building the so called Coll dels Reis with countless hairpin turns and tunnels carefully carved into the cliffs and mountains of the area. The most famous turn along the Sa Calobra Road is known as the Nus de sa Corbata or Tie Knot. This particular bend is often referred to as the highlight of the road due to its unique shape resembling a knot or bowtie. It’s especially popular among photographers as well. Needless to say that I needed to stop there and take some pictures of the scenery, the rocky hills as well as of the road with all its turns itself.
1/640 s, f/3.5, ISO 200, 28 mm, Lumix DMC-GX8
When finally arriving at the tiny settlement of Sa Calobra, there’s not just one marvelous bay, but actually there are two of them separated by a massive rock formation. Around the first bay there’s a small harbour with some ships, there are some small houses, some restaurants and various souvenir shops. Again quite some engineering marvel was necessary to reach the second cove. The only way to get there is by foot. There’s again a tiny tunnel through the rock just wide enough for people to walk through to reach Sa Calobra Beach, another tiny secluded cove, even more picturesque than the first one. This tiny beach really feels like being taken right from a fairy tale. There are huge rocks on the left as well as on the right side and a dreamlike sandy beach between them. The water is azure and crystal clear. It’s just marvelous. Sure for the ideal picture it would be better if you would be the only one on the whole beach but that’s sadly almost never the case. I guess we all need to get used to the fact that we’re not alone in this world, for the good and for the bad, says the introvert.
1/1142 s, f/2.4, ISO 25, 14 mm, iPhone 12 Pro Max
I hope you enjoy these little stories from my various trips or even find them useful in one or the other way. Let me know what I can improve or what you’re missing. Don’t hesitate to contact me via mail or use my social media profiles to get in touch with me. I’m happy to hear from you!
And that’s basically it. Two tiny coves, a sandy beach, breathtaking views, natural gorges, a marvelous road full of challenges of its own and an inescapable scenery.
Colophon: As a proof of concept I included some passages contributed by ChatGPT by OpenAI in this text. Needless to say that I double checked all the facts before using them here. I guess it’s a matter of how not if we’re going to use AI to create future work all across different disciplines. In this case for some portions of the text ChatGPT indeed helped me to collect all the various facts and saved me from googling around. My major concern so far is that it’s totally obscure where all this information comes from in the end. This makes crediting incredibly hard if not completely impossible. I honestly don’t know if this is the right way to continue. In my opinion the most important attributions should be included in the search results, but these are just my two cents.