Almond Blossom Season, Mallorca, Spain "Suggestion for Best Winter Trips"
Photograph by David C Tomlinson, Getty Images
White-sand Mediterranean beaches also 1,405-square-mile Mallorca, the largest of Spain 's Balearic Islands autonomous. And by November, the mountainous island's highest peaks can be covered in brilliant white snow. But the landscape is at its most dazzling white (or pale pink) in winter, when Mallorca's thousands of almond trees come into full flower, blanketing the valleys, hills, and plains with a layer of delicate blossoms.
When to Go: Almond trees typically begin to bud and bloom in late January through mid-February. Actual dates vary yearly based on weather conditions.
How to Get Around: The airport is located in Palma, Mallorca's largest city. From here, rent a car or use Mallorca's interurban public transport (bus, metro, and train) network. The Island Tour's vintage narrow-gauge railway and tram connecting Palma to the northwest coast. Primarily for tourists, the train travels through the countryside, a particularly scenic route during almond blossom season.
Where to Stay: Agritourismos (farm stays) offer close proximity to the blooms and more authentic Mallorca experiences. Six-room Sos Ferres d'en Morey near Manacor is a restored 19th-century stone farmhouse set on 148 acres. There are almond and fig orchards, grazing sheep, and sweeping views of Alcudia Bay. Book one of the senior suites at the back of the house for a private terrace views of the almond trees.
What to Eat: Start the day with two Mallorca classics golden brown ensaimadas (coiled breakfast pastry) and hot chocolate. C'an Joan de S'Aigo prepares both fresh daily and has been serving customers since 1700. Visit their location for old town breakfast, and come back later in the day for another specialty of the house (and the island), almond ice cream.
What to Read Before You Go: Winner of the PEN Translation Prize, Albert Vigoleis Thelen's 1953 The Island of Second Sight (Overlook TP, 2013) was published in English for the first time in 2010 and is a fictionalized take on the German author's pre- World War II life in Mallorca.
Fun Fact: Spanish professional tennis player Rafael Nadal, who ended 2013 ranked number one in the world, was born in Manacor, Mallorca, and lives on the island.