Its known as the HQ of grockle tourism, but the island of Mallorca has seen a boom in upmarket country house hotels in recent years, also known as finca hotels, agro-fincas and agro-tourism. There are also Country house apartments, self-catering, but converted with great style and taste. The island is uncannily beautiful and the best of the country houses are in places from where you can take a walk along lightly populated and very heady mountain paths.
Mallorca (or Majorca) has an incredibly rich history since it was first settled by the French 7,000 years ago. The early settlers developed the Talaiot culture – named after the towers into which they withdrew at any sign of danger. The remains of these towers can be found all over the island.
Over the millennia, Cartheginians and Phoenicians were driven off by the Balliarides, Greek for stonethrowers Now Majorca is the leading member of the Ballearic island group.
Then Rome conquered and with its thirst for wine the Roman rulers cultivate vines that lasted until today. The traditional Majorcan weather has not been much in evidence these past few, rain-sodden years, but when it conforms to type there is little rain mainly in the Spring and plenty of sunshine from May to October. Pliny even compared Majorcan wine favourably with the finest Italian vintages. The wine industry today is centered around Binisallem.
Possibly the finest example of a country house apartment on the island is to be found at Filicumis, a family-owned farmhouse off the road between Alaro and LLoseta. There are several things which make the place a five-star experience.
Perhaps most importantly, the owner is an architect who has restored the house immaculately according to the simple and elegant Mallorcan traditions. Think quaker furniture applied to doors windows, stairs and balustrades. White walls with curved corners, complemented by light brown wood on the doors and chairs and shutters. White sofas, white cotton bed throws and sheets and duvets, white plates and cups – green fields and trees outside, almonds with pink and white blossom in the spring, when we visited.
Secondly the location is exquisite, in lush farmland on the edge of the Tramuntana mountain range – a few kilometres up the little used road, it ends a few kilometres further on, in a small car park, that is the beginning of a 60 minute walk straight up to the Refugi Torres Verdi, with a stunning vista of all the best Majorca has to offer( except only there is no view of the Ocean).
the refuges are another part of the island culture. Warm well-built little fincas offering a bed for two at 40 Euros per night, plus a simple meal. After a walk that might last from 3-8 hours, it is all you need to take you away from modern life until you walk back down again.
Thirdly, there is Maria, the kindly, smiling concierge (not the owner) who greets, cleans, provides butter home made jam (if you ask) and directions to the local indoor pool and butcher.
Each apartment has a perfectly equipped kitchen, wood-burning stove, elegant lighting, comfy sofas and a few books and games. This is as good as it gets.
Filicumis Country House,
Camí es Tossals Verds (LLOSETA) – MALLORCA – Telf./Phone (+34) 630 663 056