There’s a great story about two definitely last century English gentlemen explorers whose camel trains happened to cross on a lonely desert trail. They knew each other by reputation, yet all that was felt necessary in passing was a tip of the pith helmet and a brief “Good day to you, sir”. But don’t worry – holidays for solo travellers have changed a lot since then.
Chances are that by the time your Solos Holidays rep has got everyone onto the coach (no mean feat at an airport as huge as Palma’s), she will have spotted first-timers and made them feel they are not alone. So, time to relax for a pleasant hour’s drive to your carefully chosen destination – the pretty marina and beach resort of Porto Cristo on the island’s ruggedly beautiful east coast. No need for life histories or a barrage of details just yet – or indeed at all.
Porto Cristo is at the head of a winding creek that nature might have designed specifically for mooring one’s yacht and popping ashore for a seafood lunch, or perhaps tapas, washed down with a carafe of local wine. Who’s to know if yours is not among the hundreds bobbing at anchor opposite the curve of golden sands reached just round the corner of Porto Cristo’s eccentric little streets?
Es Nautico, your Solos Holidays accommodation, may be classified as two-star, but its location is more like five-star. It’s at the very head of the creek beside the only bridge, and you can hire a smart self-drive boat for the day almost from the doorstep. This being Mallorca, it’s easy to find a quiet cove for a dip over the side in its famously blue sea where it’s clear enough to see mermaids.
For the less nautically minded, Es Nautico’s own little pool has sun beds, lilos and a bar hardly an arm’s reach away, and no one will hassle you. Twenty-lengths-before-breakfast types can always stroll for ten minutes along the marina to its big sister establishment, Club Nautico, the stylish yacht club on the headland to use the impressive pool and other facilities for a mere 5 euros a day.
Three evening meals are included in the package, and your rep will be on hand daily to set up a group to meet for lunch or remaining evening meals. Some will prefer to explore by themselves, although you could be there a month and still not cover all the waterside tables and enticing international menus. Alternatively, all rooms have fridges and just up the back road is a Spar shop with lots of DIY snack ideas, so bringing your own fruit knife, camping mug and plate is a good move.
Visitors come from all over the island for the sound and light show at the Caves of Drach, just a few minutes’ walk out of town. Another way to see more of the area is to take the ‘Little Train’ that clanks its way from the ‘station’ near the beach, up onto the coast road and round to several other scenic resorts – a bargain at 4.50 euros return. A number of reasonably priced tours are available through your rep, some including time in Palma, a mini Barcelona with great views and classy shopping, or even a catamaran trip.
Porto Cristo doesn’t feel too crowded even in August. It seems a very safe town for solo travellers, not just during the day but after dark, perhaps because the local custom is to eat late and party even later. The only danger is forgetting your hotel front door key if you join in and get carried away, because the hardworking Es Nautico staff need their beauty sleep and will charge you a lot of euros after 10pm if you have to break in.
All in all, the lively summer ambience is friendly and civilised, but Port Cristo would also be a great place for an end-of-season October holiday – ideal for topping up the tan ready for winter.
Silver Travel Advisor recommends Solos Holidays