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The beautiful Balearics
Mallorca and Menorca have long been popular with tourists, but if you think it’s just bucket ‘n’ spade delights, think again. Mallorca’s capital, Palma de Mallorca, has a fascinating history, and the island’s varied landscape includes rugged mountains and a rural interior little-touched by tourism. Boutique hotels, delicious paella, and peaceful villages show there’s much more than the islands' beaches. The likes of Magaluf still supply cheap thrills, but in quiet corners of Menorca or Mallorca’s Tramuntana mountains, it all seems ages away.
Coves del Drach
Coves del Drach
Famous Guided cave tours and music performances
Guided cave tours and music performancesStay.com Editors' Note
The major tourist attraction in these parts is the Coves del Drach (Cuevas del Drac in Castilian). The first thing you have to get over is that these positively seethe with coach parties all day every day and have been totally commercialised.
What is amazing is that these astonishing caverns are no less remarkable for the intrusion. Not only is their extent impressive (they stretch for 1.7 kilometres/one mile), but so is the sheer extravagance of their decoration – with weirdly formed and coloured stalagmites and millions of needle-sharp stalactites covering every inch of their roofs.
Visitors shuffle along a path for about a kilometre before sitting in a huge natural amphitheatre in front of one of the world’s largest underground lakes and, just as in the Coves d'es Hams, watching a water-borne classical music performance. It should be hopelessly corny, but it’s really rather lovely.
The concert on Lake Martel has been a feature since 1935 and is comprised of four pieces of classical music: - Alborada gallega (Gallician sunrise) » Caballero - Plaisir D'amour » Martini - Tristesse Studio 3 Opus 10 » Chopín - Barcarola, from the “Tales of Hoffmann” » Offenbach
This concert is live, played by a quartet of two violins, cello and harmonium, and lasts 10 minutes.