Head to Calvià, Majorca, for an idyllic golf breakSeptember, 2014
A perfect golf break just minutes from one of Europe's renowned party capitals
If someone had told me that there was an idyllic golf break to be had where you would never be more than 10 miles away from Magaluf, I’d have been sceptical to say the least.
Yet just a stone’s throw away from one of Europe’s liveliest party resorts are several golfing oases which offer a world of serenity for those looking for something a little different from a trip to Majorca than package holidays, cheap drinks and dance music.
The municipality of Calvià sits in the south-west corner of the island, stretching from the southern tip of Palma around the coast to the foot of the Tramuntana mountain range.
We based ourselves in Palmanova and, after checking into the modern Beach House Cala Blanca hotel and banishing any memories of the early-morning flight with a couple of hours on the beach, we headed up into the mountains to take on Martin Hawtree’s creation at Real Golf de Bendinat.
These changes also create some of the best views you will find on a golf course, with mountains in one direction and the Bay of Palma in the other. The course here winds around Bendinat Castle, which was used as a base by King James of Aragon’s Christian armies when they recaptured the island from Islamic inhabitants in 1229. Now, it forms a picturesque background to a quirky course that is the antithesis of everything you would expect from resort golf.
By modern standards, Bendinat is not a long course but it jags around corners and features plenty of changes in elevation. These changes also create some of the best views you will find on a golf course, with mountains in one direction and the Bay of Palma in the other.
Our next stop was Golf de Poniente, which is the only course on the island to remain untouched by holiday homes or villas. The layout is defined by tall pine trees and seven lakes, and it contains many holes that would not look out of place on some of Europe’s more celebrated courses. There are four sets of tees here and a difference of just under 1,500 yards between the front and back sets means the course sets up perfectly for all levels of ability.
One final stop allowed us to take on the premier course in the region at Santa Ponsa 1. This former European Tour venue is also a frequent home to some of the best Spanish amateurs and has hosted Solheim stars Carlota Ciganda and Azahara Muñoz on many occasions. Again, like all the courses in Calvià, the Tramuntana mountains are in view from the majority of the holes and you feel a world away from the busy resorts that are just a few miles away.
Away from the course, Calvià offers an eclectic mix of activities. Whether you want to be dragged around the coast at high speeds on boats, experience 4D thrills at the Katmandu theme park or wander through small coastal villages sampling local delicacies in quaint bars and restaurants, you will be satisfied here.
Not bad for a region not commonly associated with being somewhere for the travelling golfer to visit.