My name is Matthew and I’m 17 years old. I’ve lived in Mallorca for 3 years now and last Summer I had an amazing time gaining work experience with Nofrills Excursions.
And this year I am fortunate enough to continue this after enjoying it so much!
We have just begun our 2 week Easter holiday break from school, and I couldn’t think of anything better than doing what I enjoyed most of all…
I decided to go on the excursion that I enjoyed most last year for many reasons, which of course was Rural Mallorca where we visit hidden places in Mallorca away from the bustling tourist areas.
I could see at the end of the road a familiar sight getting closer and closer, a bright orange coach. As it drew up to the hotel the door opened and I was met by a very familiar and smiling face, it was that of my good friend and the Rural Mallorca guide: Michael.
If there’s anything I learnt last year on this very same trip was that Michael is an extremely friendly person who knows Mallorca like the back of his hand. His knowledge of the island is second to none and it certainly didn’t come as a surprise when he decided to combine all of that and what he loves best into one excursion and make it his own.
We began our pickup and one by one our guests started to board the coach, most of them were unsure of how the day would be, placing their trust in me and Michael to make sure they have a great time. But deep inside I am always positive that Rural Mallorca will never disappoint, it’s that kind of excursion that will fascinate the young and old.
I knew however that this particular day the excursion would be slightly different as during April we offer a slightly different variation of Rural Mallorca, this is because some of the usual places we visit are closed completely during the early part of the season. But as I was to discover it certainly wouldn’t lack any of the usual qualities.
Even though heavy rain showers were forecast for the whole of Mallorca, as we winded down the country roads away from the tourist hot spots we could see clear blue skies ahead of us and leaving all the black clouds behind us.
As far as I could see everyone had already settled down comfortably and were all listening inquisitively to Michael’s guide to what we were seeing outside of the coach.
Past the sleepy Mallorcan town of Maria de la Salut went, well away from the main motorway we drove on up to Inca.
Inca is famous for being a key player in the manufacturing of leather and it was also the capital of Mallorca many thousands of years ago.
We pulled into the centre of the town where they were holding their weekly market, this was quite unique as we had special permission to drive right into the centre to make it much easier for our guests to be able to explore (while many other coaches I saw had to park on the outskirts!).
Everyone disembarked and were free to explore the market at their own pace, me and Michael headed off with our company mascot (Henry the elephant!) to go and find some of the best local produce to buy for our barbecue later on in the day.
As we walked down the cobbled streets we were constantly bombarded with such amazing aromas and bright colours from the fruit and vegetables on either side, we even saw a local man making traditional Mallorcan sweet treats called Bunyols (well worth a try) and all this was enhanced by the gentle sound of a guitar being played softly from somewhere amongst all of the stands.
We decided to treat Henry to a refreshing drink at a local café set back from the crowds, a great place to watch the world go by.
There was even enough time to go inside the church before we met up with our group, and what we were presented with once inside was absolutely amazing. Many residents were applying the finishing touches to floats by adding flowers etc. ready for famous Easter procession that night.
We regrouped with everyone else and headed over to a stand we had found earlier where we bought many key ingredients to make our Summer Salad called “Trampo”.
I always love this part of the excursion since it’s so interactive for the clients as they have to pick things out themselves with the help of the guide and then we pay for it of course.
We leisurely strolled back to the awaiting coach and our driver took us onto what for many is one of the highlights of the trip!
Wine tasting at a local winery in the next town called Binissalem.
We were all met by the owner of the winery whose family has owned it for generations, Andreu, if there’s anyone who knows there stuff so passionately Andreu is your man. I always go around asking people’s opinion on what they are tasting since I’m a bit too young still!
With the coach once again full of many smiling faces and all aboard we set off to our last stop of the day and what we like to consider the most relaxing part of the day. As we turned the corner into the beautiful town of Santa Maria with the golden rays of the sun glaring against it we all got the first sight of the finca where we would be enjoying our barbecue. “Finca” is of course a traditional Mallorcan townhouse owned by a family, which in this case is the delightfully friendly grandmother of one of the Nofrills Excursions owners.
Here the story writes itself and the ambience makes the whole surroundings such a charming and lovely place to be, some were comfortably seated taking a break from the sun in the cool shade while others were getting stuck in to learning and making some very tasty Mallorcan dishes. I just love the pa amb oli which we make (fresh bread from the bakers that morning of course), a piece of morano bread covered with “Ramallet” rubbing tomatoes, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Normally no one can resist going back for that second piece!
Our local chef, Juan. Had already started the barbecue and the smells of chicken and pork smelt so good and this time we had a vegetarian with us which is as always not a problem as we had choosen some special ingredients from the market which were already gently simmering on the grill.
My responsibilities around this time are making sure everyone is happy, something I love doing. Always making sure that the red and white wine on the table are readily available for our guests, water aswell and for the little ones we also like to supply Coca-Cola. It was especially funny this week as we had a family with young children and it was great seeing them running around playing with our company mascot, Henry!
After a very relaxed time we all decided it was time to leave and we said goodbye to Juan and got back onboard the coach ready to whisk our guests back to their hotels after a pleasantly tiring day out. On the way back me and Michael pass through the coach chatting with everyone to hear how the day went and we are always open for any suggestions. I’m happy to say that everyone is always very impressed.
As we pull up to the hotels it’s as if a family member is leaving for a long time, it’s great to see that everyone always get so friendly with each other and when someone does get off the whole coach livens up and a very cheery bye, bye is given to every single person!
As we say to all our previous guests, if ever you come back to the island of Mallorca we are always ready to welcome you back. And for those who have never visited before then I hope one day to share such great experiences with you and I especially hope that I have the chance to show you Rural Mallorca, one of my very favourite excursions…
Until the next time,