Majorca has long been the perfect Mediterranean island escape for celebrities, with a more relaxed atmosphere than its Balearic neighbour Ibiza and an intriguing blend of rustic and modern culture. Now placed in the spotlight as a location for the soon-to-be-released film Cloud Atlas, it's time to see what all the fuss is about.
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Cloud Atlas – How Northern Majorca Charmed the A-Listers Last autumn the residents of Soller were not just greeted by the usual holidaymakers: they had Halle Berry, Tom Hanks, Jim Sturgess and 400 crew members in town to film the blockbuster movie Cloud Atlas, adapted from the bestselling novel by David Mitchell.Standing in for the rugged landscape of New Zealand and Hawaii, the north of Majorca boasts the scenic Tramuntana Mountains. When Soller isn't teeming with actors it’s worth exploring the independent shops, restaurants and art, with works by Picasso and Dali.Fornalutx, Deia Valldemossa – The Perfect Secluded Retreats Fornalutx, just inland from Soller, claims to be Spain's prettiest village. Strolling along the cobbled streets with their stone-clad villas and soaking up the sun with the impressive Puig Mayor (the island's highest mountain) in the background, it's not hard to find yourself agreeing with the general consensus. Tear yourself away from picture postcard views and get back to the coast for a stop-off in Deia. Head further south down to Valldemossa and you might just be lucky enough to spot Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, who have a holiday home here.
Palma – The Capital of Cool Majorca's major city is Palma, where the Spanish Royal Family has a base for getting away from it all during the summer. In recent years guests at the Marivent Palace have included Michelle Obama and her daughter Sasha, who were presented with traditional Majorcan gifts and ate local food including tumbet, a dish similar to ratatouille which includes garlic, tomatoes and aubergines. One of the most sought-after eating spots for those of us who aren't celebrities is Simply Fosh (on Carrer de la Missió). Expect gourmet food with local touches, such as Soller prawns, and plenty of citrus fruits from the island. There's plenty to see in the city's streets, including a fantastic array of designer stores and boutiques around the Avenida Jaime III. You'll also find the Hotel Jaime III here, which has top notch facilities to cater to your every whim, such as an art library, a cocktail bar and an extensive spa with a Turkish bath.
Puerto Portals and Calvia – Seaside SophisticationPart of the Portals Nous resort in the south-west of the island, Puerto Portals is a glittering marina where the super-yachts of the rich and famous are moored. There's also the popular Restaurant Tristan, boasting two Michelin stars and even Versace tableware to take your tapas from, whilst plush accommodation options nearby include the St. Regis Mardavall Resort. Calvia, one of the main tourist areas of Majorca, has recently undergone something of a reinvention, especially with the introduction of the glamorous Nikki Beach to its shores. With so much glitz and luxury, from high-end restaurants and beach clubs to tempting mountain resorts, it's impossible not to let some of Majorca's sparkle rub off on you.