IT IS in the depths of winter that the idea of sipping a cool drink whilst sunbathing by the pool can seem a million miles away.

Casually strolling around, relaxing during the day during warmer is a distant dream as you ponder the frost outside and the grey clouds hanging overhead.

Yet, sunshine is not that far away – whether you’re planning for the summer with the kids or looking to go away with friends right now.

The Spanish island of Mallorca, just a two hour flight from Southampton provides a rustic elegance in the sun and offers so much for everyone.

Whilst most people will hear Mallorca and think of Palma or Magaluf, venturing away from the city will reap plenty of rewards.


Prices in 2012 start from £356 per week for a two-bedroom cottage in March. For more information or reservations contact Mallorca Farmhouses on 0845 800 8080 or visit

Cheap car hire in March starts from £28 per week with

From sandy beaches to mountain passes, the small island has a wealth of hidden gems for anyone who wishes to go exploring.

Before any exploring can take place though, it is important to have a base and Mallorca offers a number of secluded farmhouses and villas that offer tranquillity and freedom which cannot be enjoyed when staying in the hotels in the larger resorts.

They provide all the comforts of home making them ideal for families, along with the luxury you require when trying to make the most of your holiday. After a hard day exploring the coves and beaches of the island, few things are as welcome as a dip in a pool or lounging on an outdoor sofa watching the Sun go down.

So while you may wish to drive around the island, taking in the spectacular mountain roads in the north-east of the island – routes that would grace anything Jeremy Clarkson would wax lyrical about – or simply taking in the olive gardens that cover much of the island’s inland, you can always take the easy option of venturing no further than your poolside veranda as the world slowly slips by.

We stayed near the small resort town of Cala D’Or, on the eastern coast on Mallorca, about 50 minutes drive from Palma. Despite being a small town there was plenty to do, even in the off-season. A wide variety of restaurants and bars as well as a number of beaches, either in the town centre or a short drive along the coast, mean that there is an activity to keep most people occupied should they wish to venture away from their farmhouse for a few afternoons or evenings.

For the week we stayed as the Es Garrovers farmhouse, we spent three nights out-on-the-town, while with the remainder we decided to take full advantage of the veranda and covered barbecue, having stocked up on local food and drink.

This has the benefit of keeping costs down and freeing you up to have what you want, when you want – something that cannot be undervalued when trying to make the most of time away from the humdrum of normality.

Mallorca offers stunning scenery, glorious sunshine and a whole island to explore. But the best thing has to be the peace and freedom that comes with doing it on your own terms.