When we make love, when we tell our children stories… We catch the hurry virus.” That is how Carl Honoré explained it in his book, In Praise of Slow. In the face of anxiety, the author suggests we opt for the slow-life culture, for stopping and savouring the moment. It is about a need where we start imagining ourselves as being lost, without mobile phones, emails or hurry, craving a dream paradise. But, this place actually exists. In the off-season, the Balearic Islands are an oasis of tranquillity, where a detox getaway will help you disconnect infinitely more (and better) than a 10-day holiday at a mass-tourism destination.
This is the calm boom. Travel the island’s lighthouses and take mud baths, walks on the beach and a tour through the Ciutadella. You are in Minorca, a Biosphere Reserve, to slow yourself down. Enjoy a lifestyle of sport, breathing, contact with nature, discovering rural trails, and rejuvenating.
Elka Mocker (Lala Kitchen) offers antioxidant food, with emphasis on uncooked fresh vegetables. Photo: Lala Kitchen
In 2016, doctor of astrophysics and chair of the Starlight Foundation, Antonia Varela, unveiled a project to make Minorca into a destination for star gazing. As well as making the island even calmer, the Dark Park will also help protect the local flora and fauna.
There is plenty of choice here. Some options are more intimate, like Elka Mocker’s offering. This health and lifestyle coach, a graduate of the New York Institute for Integrative Nutrition, invites you to enjoy a homely weekend, focused on food as the path to wellbeing. “Accompany, motivate, inspire. Show that through food and a healthy lifestyle, we can recover our health, rejuvenate and feel more alive than ever,” he explains. At his Lala Kitchen, they combine food-based learning with yoga and bike rides.
Other options include spaces like Torralbenc, a former farm transformed into a luxury hotel, set on a hill set in vineyards in the municipality of Alaior. Its wellbeing zone, created by Natura Bissé, is a space designed for you to “recover the harmony between body and mind”, with different treatments, including “diamond powder and gemstone re-magnetization”, which eliminates pollution and balances chakras, and “hot-stone massages”.
Besides accommodation, a lot of packages include healthy food and activities related to wellbeing. Photo: Hotel Torralbenc
Majorca also offers detox tourism. One example is the five-star Font Santa Hotel. Located in the Campos area, it has the only thermal spa in the Balearic Islands. The high presence of minerals, predominantly chlorine and sodium salts, nurtures the body.
Besides relaxing experiences, others are designed for your stomach. From the hands of culinary consultant Gorka Txapartegui, of acclaimed restaurant Alameda de Hondarribia, and Luis Loza, executive chef of Torralbenc, you will find a culinary offering that promotes “raw materials transformed in a kitchen that combines its traditional roots with modernity, based on using seasonal products, and blending the flavours of sea and land”.
Yoga retreats are also an excellent opportunity to enjoy the island. Sansyoga organises these events in traditional Minorcan country homes, and in Alaior, deep in nature and right by beautiful virgin beaches. During the stay, besides yoga and meditation classes, delicious vegetarian menus are available.
The Font Santa Hotel (Majorca) thermal spa has the only natural thermal waters in the Balearic Islands. Photo: Font Santa Hotel
Regardless of where you stay, simply being here will give you the opportunity to enjoy the Minorcan hiking trails. The wilderness is another way of discovering the island, on foot, bike or horse. You can follow the Camí de Cavalls, a spectacular trail with stops in coves and at viewpoints. Enjoy the Windy Island by doing water sports, scuba diving or playing golf. The good climate helps, of course.
“We live in a world obsessed with speed, with doing more and more, in less and less time. Every moment of the day feels like a race against the clock. But I want to get back to slower rhythms,” says Carlo Honoré. Minorca makes it easy for us.