There are still a few secrets in luxury travel. One of the best kept happens to be just two hours from home.

An idyllic island where the A-list store their sophisticated sun traps, plates overflow with the finest freshly caught seafood and the sea is a sparkling sapphire in which dolphins dance. Where is this geographical gem? Masked under a self-crafted disguise that ensures only those in the know are able to uncover this hidden haven.

In a marketing ruse that fools even the most distinguished travellers, the bounteous Balearic islands have been masquerading as the safe and simple ‘fly and flop’ option for short-haul sunseekers. Nicknamed ‘the party islands’, they’ve willingly taken us off the scent in order to keep their stunning secrets truly exclusive.

Mallorca in May? Surely its too cold and too wild? Yet ask any native and they’ll give you a knowing look. The island is at its best this month but that isn’t a fact to be shared with the masses.

Mallorca prefers the quiet life. The alleged hustle and bustle are merely a ploy to contain those that threaten to disturb the peace. Driving North from Palma the crowd disperse and slowly but surely the real Mallorca begins to show itself.

It is not an elaborate creative technique to describe northern Mallorca as ‘magnificent’.

As you exit the short tunnel into Soller you are instantly transported to a setting that is entirely other worldly. The dramatic Tramuntana Mountains envelope your senses. Like an assembly of giants they stretch powerfully upwards, never revealing whether they are reaching for the heavens or have been sent down to Earth from them. The height, the majesty, the dense green forests that are entirely untouched by time – it all creates a genuine ‘wow’ factor that few would believe possible on the been-there-done-that-Balearics.

Vast valleys, dramatic drops and peaks that gently graze the clouds – it is utterly incredible.

If you can tear your eyes from the Tramuntana’s dazzling display, you’ll notice canary yellow orbs flanking the narrow streets and glorious orange spheres breaking the undulating carpet of green. Like the old playground rhyme, the oranges and lemons proudly ripen side by side. Everything about Mallorca’s stunning mountain range and fields is rich in flavour and bursting with colour.

For centuries, Mallorca has fed and cared for its many communities by providing the finest fruits, vegetables, breads, wines and seafood that continues to delight the World’s tastebuds.

As you admire the infinite beauty of the Mediterranean, peel a sun-ripened orange and savour the flavour of this unique island – you absolutely have not experienced such a satisfying sense of refreshment from such simple means.

Similarly, when you’re presented with a most impressive paella, brimming with the largest seafood display one can imagine, be sure to drizzle it liberally with a luscious Soller lemon. The ingredients may be humble however the taste is anything but.

Though the natural landscape is undoubtedly steep in places, walking is a real joy in Soller. The strain of going uphill is instantly eased when you take in panoramic sea views that even the best camera would fail to accurately capture. For a more leisurely stroll, head to the picturesque harbour at around 4pm to watch the local fishermen unload their catch of the day. Life is like tapas in Mallorca, there’s plenty to choose from, a multitude of flavours to explore and you’re warmly invited to fill your plate.

Soller is simply beautiful – and beautifully challenging to define. Traditional Catalonian architecture is an appropriately artistic addition to the unblemished beauty of the mountains, whilst the piazza style squares invite you to stop and savour the scenic charm of it all. Never too busy, but always alive, Soller is more than happy to relinquish the limelight to its livelier neighbours.

Soller is a wiser, older soul. Content with itself and its way of life – it offers the same sense of satisfaction and tempting tranquility to all those that arrive here.

A short tram ride away in Port Soller, the sea and mountains meet in spectacular style. You’ll feel a tangible sense of awe as you look from the peaks to the horizon – feeling like King or Queen of all that’s before you. Port Soller’s subdued celebrity entitles you to such grandeur, given that you’ll likely be the only one around. This charming harbour town is home to many hidden vantage points and private viewing galleries – all you have to do is want to find them; a principle in keeping with Port Soller’s personality – everything you were searching for from your luxury holiday was hidden here all along.

Port Soller has one polite request however. Though you may want the world and his wife to experience all of the wondrous scenery and delicious hospitality first-hand, this tiny oasis would prefer to stay under the radar and exclusively elite. So please, to protect Port Soller’s prestigious privacy, be selective in how and to whom you reveal Mallorca’s true identity. When you return, time after time, to find Port Soller as pristine and unblemished as you left it you’ll be grateful. Your own private corner of peace – a short flight from home and a million miles from the fake Mallorca you thought you knew.

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