If you visit Mallorca in the winter, you discover much more than empty beaches, as the countryside offers beauty and romance.
Away from its beaches, Mallorca's countryside offers extraordinary Mediterranean beauty, especially in winter during the months of January and February, when the 4 million+ almond trees on the island begin to blossom. As the season unfolds, a white and pink quilt - the blossom of the sweet almond is white whereas the bitter almond is pink - forms on the ground, the so called “Mallorcan snow”.
The scenes around Mallorca at this time of year, particularly around the mountains of the Sierra de Tramuntana or the central western area of Marratxí, Bunyola, Santa María, Sencelles, Lloseta and Selva, are spectacular. Another area particularly known for this is Llucmajor and, in general, the whole Pla de Mallorca, in the central area of he island. From the Puig de Randa Mountain you can see an excellent panoramic view of the Pla de Mallorca. Walking through an almond orchard, stopping and smelling its fragrant flower, is an unforgettable experience. Many hotels arrange a special trip to enable you to see the blossoms or you can explore them yourself by bicycle. To finish the almond blossom route, visit a traditional bakery in one of the Majorcan towns and taste some of the local desserts made with almonds. You will find out that they are an essential part of Mallorcan gastronomy with many typical Mallorcan dishes such as the local almond sponge cake or gató and the Turrón, the typical Christmas sweet, among many others being made with almonds. The flowers are harbingers of Spring and symbolise hope - that after a winter there is always a Spring. The flowers are collected during February to make perfumes, soaps and other artisanal beauty products. This year, the annual Almond Blossom Fair (known as the Fira de la flor d’ametler) is to be held on 5 February in the grounds of Ses Cases de Ca s’Hereu, a finca in the old town of Son Servera in the North East of Mallorca. The event aims to promote this important crop and other almond related products, including almond oil, perfume, scented candles and soap. As you can imagine, the almond is very important to Mallorca’s trade - Spain being the second largest producer of almonds in the world after California - and the Mallorcan almond is one of the highest quality.
For the romantic minded, the idyllic landscape, the canopy of flowers, the sunny days and mild temperatures, make this island the perfect scenario for a winter country wedding. Hotels offer special prices at this time of the year so it is worth a visit if you love the Mediterranean without the tourists. Chopin stayed in the island in the winter of 1838 with his lover, the French novelist known as George Sand. Their stay was rather unhappy (as described by Sand in her work 'Winter in Mallorca') but Chopin managed to compose some of his most well known works while on the island. As George Sand explained in her autobiography, "It was there he composed these most beautiful of short pages which he modestly entitled the Preludes. They are masterpieces. Several bring to mind visions of deceased monks and the sound of funeral chants; others are melancholy and fragrant; they came to him in times of sun and health, in the clamor of laughing children under the window, the faraway sound of guitars, birdsongs from the moist leaves, in the sight of the small pale roses coming in bloom on the snow"… They left on 11 February after a few harsh months of inclement weather, most probably missing the blossoming of the almond trees. Who knows what Chopin would have been inspired to compose had he seen them...