'Woah that was close!’ I hold my breath as my rental car barely makes it through a sharp turn on the narrow streets of Llucmajor. I don’t know exactly how old this small Mallorcan town is but one thing is clear: Llucmajor’s urban planners either never forecasted the advent of the automobile or they have a really sick sense of humor.
After searching aimlessly for a parking space (with a few more close calls), I finally find one a few blocks away from our destination. The stress of driving subsides and I am able to soak up my surroundings. My first impression: Llucmajor feels a bit like a maze. The streets curve in unexpected ways and the width of the street makes it difficult to know what’s ahead. It’s beautiful and romantic. I almost don’t care if we get lost and miss our dinner reservation.
Another word that comes to mind: urban. Despite being a small town, there’s something distinctly urban feeling about Llucmajor. The cobble streets are lined with row homes like you might find in Georgetown and on the corners, you can find small “everything” stores like the bodegas of New York City.
We march forward until we arrive at the Plaza de España, the town's main square. It is glorious. Compared to the relative serenity of Llucmajor’s streets, the Plaza de España is chaotic and full of life. About a dozen restaurants line the plaza on all sides and each is bustling with a mixture of locals and visitors. One thing I notice about Llucmajor, and Spain more generally is the expansive outdoor seating you find at restaurants like these. In fact, unless it’s raining, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone eating inside.
We finally find the restaurant – Bistro Mercat – and join the other al fresco diners. In between tapas, I reflect on how lucky I am to travel to places like this and begin to wish I could bring just a little piece of this exceptional retail experience back with me to DC.
Adam's Mallorca Recommendations
If you plan to travel to Mallorca, Adam recommends checking out the following places:
Cala Mondrago: Beautiful white sand beach on the island's south side with crystal blue waters and surrounded by a nature preserve
Sea Club: Located within the magnificent Cap Rocat hotel, this restaurant overlooks the entire bay of Palma. The atmosphere is perfect, the food is delicious, and the hospitality is 5 stars but without a 5-star price tag.
Rent a car and explore the mountain villages of Valdemossa and Deia.