The Cathedral Pools

Mallorca

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Despite its location just a few kilometres from the capital of Mallorca, this tiny paradise of natural swimming pools and postcard sunsets is not easy to find. Palma Bay has a secret: and it hides below the Puig de Ros housing development. If you get lost, just ask the way. Taking it easy, enjoying the Mediterranean breeze, you’ll get there eventually. Aim for the Mhares Sea Club, an exclusive beach club perched on the coast here, a place that can boast of some of the island’s best sunsets. “In high summer, the sun doing down behind the summit of Galatzó is a very beautiful sight,” says the sales manager, Francisco Berga. “Our customers come to us from all over the world, and our access to the sea goes through the area known as the Cathedral Pools. Bathing in the clear, shallow waters here is a true pleasure,” he says, pointing out that Puig de Ros has an excellent location “above the site where marés limestone was quarried for building Palma Cathedral.” Here, at the cliff foot, the blue horizon is dazzling.

Photo: Mhares Sea Club

 

“For some reason, one I am unaware of, this beach stays quiet,” says the Mallorcan journalist Luis Ansorena, who is currently preparing a documentary about the island. “Maybe because tourists just have a few days on the island and they prefer to go to the beaches in the tourist guides, and on Instagram or the social media. They stick to what people are talking about. So Puig de Ros doesn’t get crowds. Perhaps because the path is just a little difficult, with quite a few ups and downs. But it is close to Palma, it is beautiful, the water is clean, the evening light is lovely and there aren’t hordes of tourists. What more could you ask for?” He recommends its advantages to Ling readers, who might be looking for something a little different.

In just a decade, visitor numbers to the island have gone from 6 million a year to 11 million. “Many islanders have their own secret coves, the ones we know that hardly anyone goes to, and we don’t even tell our best friends where they are,” confesses Ansorena. So we are taking a risk in revealing one of the secrets of Palma: the Puig de Ros shore. “But that shouldn’t be enough for travellers. Mallorca isn’t all about driving around with your GPS. Mallorca is about getting lost. That’s the only way for people to find their paradise. Which, by the way, is very different from the superficial image of the island that is always being sold to visitors,” he says.

With some of the same ideas in mind, the Mallorcan comedian Toni Nievas is of the opinion: “If you can get away from the mass of tourists, it is a luxury. The island still has places to discover, especially if you want to swim. I love the beaches at Sóller, Sa Ràpita, Cala Blava and also Puig de Ros. There I don’t have to sign any autographs,” he jokes.

It is early morning in Palma de Mallorca, named World’s Best City for Living in 2015 by The Sunday Times. Just a quarter of an hour from the busy capital, Puig de Ros is getting ready for another day of beach and relaxation. Just across the road between the lines of houses in this residential area, a steep slope marks the path to an oasis of peace where the Mediterranean has carved a natural water park. Nature has done what an architect never could have: created the Cathedral Pools. Just pick your spot and your pool, and the view comes with it. But it’s a secret. Well, sort of, anyway. At least don’t tell anyone else, so we don’t have to share those beautiful sunsets sitting by Palma Bay.