Author Archives: Luke Durden

About Luke Durden

Travel and gastronomy are my passions. Love discovering new destinations, hotels, restaurants, wines...Living on the magical island of Majorca and enjoying it!

Best travel destinations for May: Cancun

Deciding on a vacation destination can be complicated. What type of vacation do you want? How much are you willing to spend? Is it easy to get to? Is the climate ideal for the dates you want to travel? Is the region safe?

cancun tourist safety

It can be a complicate process, and one which I recently went through. With my work schedule I have the freedom to travel during the month of May, so I started with that. What are the best travel destinations during May? Many of the experts recommend locations north of the equator, including Europe, areas of Africa and the Caribbean. Keeping this in mind, I asked myself what type of vacation I wanted? A beach vacation, an adventurous mountain experience or a cultural city escape. I landed on a beach vacation as a result of wanting to completely relax and enjoy the warmth of the sun. My next question was what destination is easily accessible? Coming from the United States, I decided to eliminate Europe and Africa, ultimately landing on the Caribbean.


Ok, so the Caribbean it is, but where exactly? I love Mexico, but it hasn’t had the greatest rap as of late due to the drug cartel violence. I began searching whether or not Mexico is safe, and furthermore, what regions are safest. After reading various forums, blogs, and government travel advisories, I concluded that Cancun is one of the safest areas of Mexico. Not only is the Zona Hotelera incredibly safe and there are no strict travel advisories against the region, but tourism has increased in the region steadily even after negative publicity. This clearly shows the confidence people have when traveling to Cancun and the surrounding region.

is it safe to travel cancun

So while it does take some time to find the perfect vacation for you, it is well worth it in the end. I can honestly say that I am incredibly excited for my week long visit to the paradise of Cancun in May. If you need me, you can find me lounging on the fine white sands of Cancun with a good book, ice cold drink and views of the picturesque turquoise waters!

5 places to chill in Mallorca

Are you looking for chill out places in Mallorca? On the island you can find some of the best places to relax with a refreshing drink and live music. Whether they are chiringuitos (beach bars) with stunning views, or located on the beach, the truth is that these types of establishments are very popular with Mallorcans and tourists alike. These are some of the most famous recommended by Sol Hotels.

Floridita Beach Bar

A small bar on the sand at the beautiful beach of Alcudia that serves delicious breakfasts, cocktails and exquisite gourmet tapas, which is ideal to end a day at the beach in one of the most charming villages on Mallorca. Floridita Beach Bar is a great option to enjoy a relaxing day in Mallorca.


One of the most famous chiringuitos in Mallorca that offers daily shows during the spring and summer months. S’Embat is located in the beautiful natural environment of Ses Covetes, and has become an exclusive place where concerts and circus performances take place. They also have a select service of meals, dinners and all kinds of cocktails.

Sa Foradada

The incredible viewpoint. Sa Foradada is the name of the viewpoint that is located a few kilometres from the picturesque town of Deià, it is also one of the most visited viewpoints on Mallorca. With an impressive view over the sea, there is a chiringuito that offers drinks and live music sessions from mid-afternoon until night. It is traditional to go and enjoy the sunset while having fun in the lively atmosphere at the bar.

Can Gavella

Palm trees, tables on the shores of the Mediterranean and one of the best paellas on the island. Can Gavella is an excellent beach bar that has earned its reputation thanks to its delicious paellas. Not only that, but the wide range of soft drinks, cocktails and desserts that you can enjoy while relaxing on Playa de Muro, one of the island’s flagship beaches.

El Chiringuito

A cove of pebbles from which to marvel at the sunset with a refreshing drink and with DJ sessions every weekend. El Chiringuito is very close to our hotels in Calviá and has a wide range of drinks and snacks.

For the complete experience during your holiday at Sol Resorts we invite you to stay at our exclusive Sol House The Studio, where you can enjoy the best musical entertainment and the best party atmosphere with a wide range of specially designed services just for you.

At the gates of summer

Do you know what summer means in Mallorca? It means hours and hours of sunlight. It means Mediterranean in its prime. A drink on the beach. The softness of the sea breeze. Endless nights accompanied by the best live music. A trip along the coast. An unplanned breakfast on the terrace of a bar. A moment to yourself while the waves lap at your feet. A magical place. An impromptu hug. A look. A smile. An unrepeatable moment. Can you imagine it?

Summer is getting closer and at Sol Hotels we have set out to make your holiday in Mallorca an unforgettable experience. Because what would be your holiday be without a good dose of exclusivity? Relax in an exclusive environment, with the best entertainment for families and groups of friends at our Sol Katmadú Park.

This year we have worked hard to offer you the best services at our hotels in Mallorca. Because quality lies in the small details. Because we want you to enjoy the best holidays, whether you are travelling as a family, as a couple or with friends, we provide the most exclusive facilities and plans to suit your type of holiday. Thus, you can enjoy a wide range of entertainment and fun for all ages at our themed hotel in Calviá, or relax on the seafront in our adults-only hotel near Palma, Sol Beach House, located in the beautiful surroundings of Cala Blanca

Furthermore if your desire is for music until dawn, we have the best recipe to ensure that your fun does not stop from the moment you land. Come to the Sol House The Studio, the adults only hotel in Magaluf, one of the most lively areas in Mallorca and dont stop dancing the night away. Because the best plans start with a pool party on the beach with the best facilities.

Enjoy summer with Sol Resorts! Come and discover the wonders of Mallorca and enjoy exclusive services and the best accommodation on the beach. Because you choose the destination and we make sure you enjoy an unforgettable stay. Look forward to your Mediterranean holidays, they are getting closer and closer!


Mallorcan Easter

Mallorca is transformed in Holy Week. The island is filled with tradition and celebrations in one of the most important and most solemn religious festivals in Spain. At Sol Hotels we want you to discover the alternative charm of this festival in which emotion and passion come together in the form of religious processions and representations. With the recent opening of our hotels Sol Katmandu Park and Sol Beach House, we want to invite you to give yourself the treat that you have been waiting for with us.

Get to know a totally different side of Mallorca at Easter with . At this time of year, the island looks completely different as it celebrates one of its most important and different festivals. The streets are filled with processions in a celebration that pays homage to the Passion of Christ.

This traditional festival has its origins in the fifteenth century, when lay groups came together to re-live the Passion of Christ as a way of experiencing the pain that Christ suffered during the last years of his life. From that time, these groups took to the streets and organized processions in which they paraded showing religious figures and representing biblical passages such as the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ. Over time this custom began to acquire a theatrical quality that spread throughout the country with the intention of expressing the faith and spreading the Christian message.

The celebration begins on Palm Sunday, the week before the official start of Holy Week, in a procession in which children and families carry palm leaves. The festive atmosphere becomes solemn on Good Friday, when Christ’s Crucifixion is represented in La Seu, Palma’s Cathedral. The processions cover the main streets of the capital and the towns, the most important being Crist de la Sang – Christ of the Blood – celebrated on Holy Thursday, the Holy Burial, Good Friday and the Holy Encounter, a very emotional procession in which the risen Christ meets with his mother Mary.

‘Santo Domingo’, or ‘Domingo del Angel’, is reserved for the well-known “pancaritats”, a traditional ritual when, in the past, bread was distributed amongst the poor. Today, lots of families and groups of friends get together in the imposing Bellver Castle to eat together and enjoy a full day of outdoor activities.

Get to know this festival’s whole tradition and its delicious cuisine, with us. Stay in our hotels and enjoy an unforgettable stay while you get to know the very different side of ‘the island of calm’.

Discover Palma de Mallorca in Winter

Mallorca, is an island gently swayed by the waves of the Mediterranean, where each of its beaches and magical sunsets are their own piece of paradise. Who would not want to get lost in these beautiful coves and stunning landscapes?

With 300 days of sunshine per year, this Mediterranean jewel is a treasure that everyone wants to discover. Known to most people as a destination to visit during the summer, we wanted to talk today about the magic that you can experience here in winter. From the famous capital of Palma, to the most symbolic towns and areas of natural beauty. Prepare the camera for the incredible beauty that will take your breath away!

A walk through the capital

The city of Palma has many secrets that are worth discovering with a pleasant walk through the historic centre of the city. Beautiful places such as the Cathedral, the Town Hall Square, the Plaza Mayor and the busy Ramblas, are attractive examples of Mallorcan architecture and tradition, which also make excellent places to relax during the afternoon.

The charming traditional markets and the improvised performances of urban swing that take place in certain areas of the city centre form an alternative side to the Mallorcan capital.

A passage through the villages of the Tramuntana

Declared a World Heritage by UNESCO, the Sierra de Tramuntana is the natural wonder of Mallorca. Of course, the towns that are located around the mountain range are equally as stunning.

The magic of Esporles, Valldemossa, Deià and Fornalutx captures the visitors imagination from the first time you set your eyes on it. A traditional arròs brut (Meat & rice), or a porcella rostida (lechona) (suckling pig) are some of the most important dishes to try from these mountain villages.

Sóller Train

Following the route through the towns of the Serra Tramuntana, you can enjoy the journey by taking the Sóller train which cannot be missed off your list of essentials. The beautiful wooden train that connects the city of Palma with the picturesque town of Sóller, in a journey through the most symbolic landscape of Mallorca.

A tour of the best viewpoints

Mallorca is full of postcard worthy landscapes. The viewpoints of Cap de Formentor, Puig de Randa, Na Foradada and the Tower of Ses Ànimes become a must see, from which you can get the best views out over this magical island in the Mediterranean

Where to stay in Mallorca?

For those who have chosen this alternative visit to Mallorca, the Sol Hotels chain offers all the services and facilities needed to enjoy a wonderful stay in Palma de Mallorca. Discover all the Sol Hotels options, such as Sol Kathmandu Park and Sol House, both perfect for exploring the island on your holiday.

A dream route through the north of Mallorca

There are places where the quicksilver drops dramatically as September arrives, and then there are places like Mallorca: a kind destination in terms of climate where a very comfortable temperature prevails all the way until the first week of November. I can be trusted when state this, because as those who read my blog regularly will know, I have been in love with the island for many years now.

Since summer has to be sent off in style (so we won’t miss it too soon), I’ve decided to cross the Mediterranean yet again – always beautiful and so very turquoise – to enjoy a couple of relaxing days with family in the northern part of Mallorca. The reason? Filling ourselves up on island magic, experiencing first hand the rich nature that characterises the northern part of the largest of the Balearic islands.

Although I’ve gone for hotels in the south and the east when I’ve been to Mallorca in the past, this September I’ve gone for the experience of Garden Hotels, a leading brand on Mallorca with famous hotels such as the Playa Garden Selection Hotel Spa and the Cala Millor Garden Hotel, our choice for this mini holiday.

Since this is a three-day trip (more than enough, taking into account the fact that my family and I already know the island well) we’ve already made a plan and lined up all the visits we’ll make and routes we’ll take, to make sure there’ll be time for everything we want to do (yes, for sleep too). If you fancy getting to know the north of the island during a long weekend, this is my schedule for those days:

Albufera Alcudia

A route through the S’Albufera Natural Parc

Apart from being the largest wetland on Mallorca and one of the most interesting natural parks throughout the country, the S’Albufera National Park plays a fundamental role in the island ecosystem.

It’s a park located between Playa de Muro and Alcudia (at the very north) where you can find plants and animals native to the Balears and where you can spend an amazing day with your family walking along trails showcasing all the wealth provided by mother nature.

Beach life in Son Serra de Marina and sports in Playa de Muro

Far from being the typical Mallorcan beach with fine, white sand, the beach at Son Serra de Marina is a natural paradise well worth enjoying. It’s a very clean, extensive and natural beach showing you that authentic side of things so highly praised by those of us who consider ourselves ‘Mallorca Lovers’. Since we are fond of long days on the beach in my family, this beach plan basically just contemplates a meal at one of the beach bars in the area; there are many of them, and they are very good.

As there will be time left over we’ve decided to spend a couple of hours doing water sports in Playa Muro. The kids love kayaking and I love paddle surf so we’ll try to bring the hobbies together and then put the icing on the cake with a paella at La Ponderosa.


Fuerteventura and golf, a successful combination

If you are looking for something completely new and entertaining for your next holiday, take note of our summer suggestion: what about a golf holiday on Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands? If it were up to us, the answer would be a resoundingly loud and clear “Yes, that’s exactly what I want”.

We are of course aware of the fact that the southern and eastern parts of our country are the favourite destinations for all those who practise golf, but actually there are other places, like  Fuerteventura, where you can experience a relaxing holiday filled with golfing pleasure. Fuerteventura is an emerging destination in this area of sports tourism and it really is a destination to consider, thanks to aspects that we are highlighting this month:

A place where you can disconnect

Thanks to its location, climate and peculiar atmospheric pressure, the island of Fuerteventura is a destination where you can experience first hand the pleasures of the dolçe far niente – the joy of doing nothing. It also makes enjoying any outdoor activity a fantastic experience.

Campo de golf

The magic of a unique landscape

Considered one of the crown jewels of the Canary Islands, Fuerteventura is proud to offer visitors a unique landscape where there is no shortage of volcanic formations and extremely beautiful beaches.

These two aspects have been well taken advantage of by the main golf hotels in the area. The result? 18-hole golf courses with truly magical views.

A thousand and one plans for day and night

Fuerteventura is a place to enjoy a thousand and one plans during the day as well as at night, and not all of it is going to be playing golf. Among the ideas we would like to point out especially are the volcanic hiking routes and water sports sessions in the beautiful Atlantic ocean.

Where to stay in Fuerteventura?

Just like on the other islands that make up the Canarian archipelago, Fuerteventura is a place where hotels offer maximum quality. There is a range of hotels that boast lovely views near the sea or a direct link to golfing (a theme that we’re paying special attention to this month).

Even if there is a variety of gold hotels offering good value for money, this month of July we would like to recommend these three hotels that belong to the Mallorcan chain IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts: IBEROSTAR Fuerteventura Palace, IBEROSTAR Playa Gaviotas and IBEROSTAR Playa Gaviotas Park.

Three magical ways of getting married on Mallorca

May is the greenest and prettiest month of the year and temperatures stay around 26, 27 degrees. These two facts, and much more besides, have led to the number of people getting married on one of the 31 days available getting higher and higher every year. A wedding in May might be a guarantee for success (because good weather during the event is basically inevitable), but there are other crucial decisions that have to be made. The most important one? The choice of destination.

Contrary to what used to be populars some years ago, more and more couples decide to leave their towns and cities to celebrate their wedding in a warmer destination, on the beach, or somewhere they can get that ‘special something’ they are looking for. Looking for the ideal location takes time, so how about choosing a destination where any kind of wedding can be accommodated? If the answer is “yes” then start packing, because we’re going to Mallorca to get married.

Son Marroig, Mallorca

A wedding at sea

Mallorca is an island and as such it features numerous little bays, many of them extremely beautiful, so why not get married on a boat with the island at its most beautiful as a backdrop? Even if it might sound like something out of a film, or a marriage for the wealthy, the truth is that the number of boats on offer on the island is that extensive that you can find boats for 20 or 30 people (with skipper) at a very affordable price.

You could just go by what your wedding planner recommends, but keep an eye out for locations such as Cala Figuera, Es Trenc, Calvià Bay or perhaps Palma Bay itself (with the spectacular cathedral in the background).

With the Tramuntana Mountains as witnesses

The Tramuntana mountain chain is without a doubt a winning choice, and an ideal recommendation for all those who would like to pronounce their “I do” in an arcadian, intimate and very special atmosphere: fields of green as they can only be seen here on Mallorca, and grand Mallorcan estates where you can celebrate a high-quality wedding. The second option is getting increasingly popular (and it’s actually cheaper than setting up everything for a wedding on the beach, from scratch).

The beach, the most sought-after location

Everyone knows how beautiful Mallorca’s beaches are, so this is the favourite setting for more bohemian couples. The fact that most of the island’s beaches are public makes this option slightly more expensive than the others. But if you choose to get married on the beach and accept the associated charges, you will (for sure) experience the most beautiful event of your life.

Perfect hotels to accommodate your wedding guests

The fact that guests pay for the trip and the hotel when attending a wedding isn’t a reason to look for something low quality to get a low price. Mallorca has hundreds of quality hotels and it’s also a location where there are hotel chains of the highest level, able to offer high-quality accommodation.

Our recommendation for your wedding guests? Choose a chain with pedigree, such as Garden Hotels. This chain not only offers accommodation alternatives such as Garden Holiday Village, it also has true gems on offer such as the beautiful Playa Garden Selection Hotel Spa.


Gran Isla Hotels, the ‘family-friendly’ brand that has revolutionised Mallorca

Travellers, tour operators and agents in the tourism sector, all fully agree that the island of Mallorca is a place of reference within the international tourism network.

A mature, high-quality destination that has managed to combine the international expansion of big hotel brands (brands made in Mallorca) with a risky – but highly original and successful – bet on younger, and very well-prepared, hotel groups. Groups such as Gran Isla, a ‘family-friendly‘ brand with Mallorcan character and DNA that has jumped into the pool with a risky, but perfect project.

What’s behind this business project, and why is it spoken about to such an extent on and outside the island? This month we will try to highlight the winning points of this colourful, family-friendly and unique project.


The first themed hotel on Mallorca

Even if the sector knew what was being prepared in the corporate kitchens of Gran Isla, the residents of Santa Ponça (the beach destination where the main hotels of the brand are taking shape) they couldn’t believe their eyes: an amazing hotel with a façade full of images and shapes, like a pirate ship with treasure chests, cannons and giant skulls.

Yes, we’re talking about Pirates Village Apartments, a project created by Gran Isla that proved a success from the day it opened its doors. The hotel is located on one of the most beautiful beaches in Calvià. Families are treated with utmost care and attention to details here, something that’s particularly obvious when you look at it from a child’s perspective. The family rulers are extra happy here. And of course they are! Could there be anything better than to sleep in a pirate’s bed, or have rudders and sails in the bedroom? Not if you ask the kids.

A place where you don’t have to worry about a thing

Twenty-five years in the hospitality sector has given Gran Isla the experience necessary to really hit the mark with another of their family hotels. We’re talking about Jutlandia Family Resort. A resort located less than 300 metres from the beach in Santa Ponça where absolutely nothing is left to chance and where the idea is to transform family holidays into days filled with pleasure, relaxation and fun topped with incredible views.

Apart from its incredible pools and the exclusive family menu, the resort also has a Kids Club 2.0: a space created for children where there are daily workshops, family games, film screenings, computer rooms and much, much more on offer.


Ibiza is always trendy

The years go by and fashions pass, but Ibiza is always there, upwards as an especially suitable destination for those seeking a getaway as a couple. Ibiza is a well-known holiday synonym, but it is also one of the best places to give yourself a few days of Mediterranean relaxation. It is true that it is not a cheap destination, but with a little patience you can find very interesting accommodations and experiences at a good price without having to give anything up.


 The north zone

If you want an area of absolute tranquility in Ibiza, that would be the northern zone. Cala Portinatx is one of the most complete tourist centers on that part of the island, where you will have well-equipped accommodation, nature activities and outdoor sports for all tastes at your disposal. Gastronomy in the north is also a plus, as it is more authentic and traditional than in the larger tourist areas of Ibiza, such as Vila or San Antonio.

 Santa Eulalia

One of the most charming Mediterranean villages with more life throughout the year. In this town and its small localities is where the famous hippies markets of Las Dalias and Punta Arabí are, where you will have at your feet the most lively coves to enjoy as a couple or with the family, and where you will enjoy the culture of Ibiza in full effervescence. The accommodations are quite varied and for romantic getaways there are some that are more than recommended. Among the hotels in Santa Eulalia for couples, there is the IBEROSTAR Santa Eulalia, which offers complete and tidy facilities and hotel rooms in Santa Eulalia that you will not see in any other establishment if you focus on its value for the money.

 San Antoni and Sant Josep

The two closest towns to the capital are also the most touristy and bustling. If your escapade as a couple contemplates nightlife, ideally you would bet on one of these two areas. Here you will have at hand places as emblematic as the Café del Mar to see the most beautiful sunset in the world, while the most select electronic music plays. It is also in these towns where you can enjoy the most famous beaches, the most original shops, trendy restaurants and discos that you should visit at least once in your life.

 Getting around Ibiza

The most recommended means of transport, especially if you go in spring or summer, is the scooter. With a scooter you can practically move around the entire island and park anywhere comfortably. The rental car is a good option if you want speed and space, since you can take beach gear, clothes to change into at any time and everything else you need. Public transport is perfect if you go out at night: avoid driving at those times whenever you can, since you don’t know the island in depth and the traffic is very chaotic in high season.