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Mallorca has so many beautiful beaches worth a visit and most beaches are incredible. If you have the opportunity, we recommend that you rent a car and go around the island to find your favorite places. Below you can read about some beaches that we like to visit and which are also rated as some of the most popular on the island.

Es Trenc

A favorite is, Es Trenc which extends several kilometers of white sand and turquoise water. Classed as one of Mallorca’s most beautiful beaches as it is located within a nature-protected area where hotels have not been established. Be there early in the morning to easily find parking. A visit here is a must.

Alcudia – Playa de Muro

This beautiful beach is perfect for the family. The water is crystal clear and you have to walk a bit reach deep water. This beach stretches between Alcudia and Can Picafort and therefore there is plenty of space, so it’s not a must to be early to get a space. Here you can rent sun beds and you are close to restaurants.


If you are looking for a smaller beach, close to Palma you should definitely visit Illetas. However, be there early in the morning since the place is very popular and usually get full after a couple of hours. The water here is absolutely amazing. Many Swedes are happy to come here and it has become more and more popular every year.

Cala Formentor

On the north side of Mallorca you will find Cala Formentor, a beach that stretches about 1 km and is about 8 meters wide with white fine sand and turquoise water. Surrounded by pine trees and mountains it is the optimal place for relaxation. Here you will also water activities to perform for those who want to be more active.

Playa de Palma

If you do not want to go as far or take the car then Playa de Palma is a great option. By bus it takes about 20 minutes and there are easy stops near the beach. Playa de Palma is the beach that stretches between Can Pastilla and El Arenal. If you want peace and quiet, you should stay closer to Can Pastilla and for those who are looking for a a beach party should visit the part of Arenal. Here the water is usually very clear and the beach is very wide so there is plenty of space. There are water activities to perform and sun bed to rent. Restaurants are located along the beach. Also suitable for families with children who want to be close to all facilities.


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As I discussed in a previous blog, there may be biological, organic and inorganic substances in the water. In drinking water (tap water or mineral water) there should be no biological or organic substances. What separates water from water is the inorganic substances, the minerals. Some substances are present in large quantities, others in smaller quantities and others should be completely absent.


Fundamental for water properties, both as drinking water and for other household use, is its pH. Desirable pH for drinking water is about 5 to 6, slightly acidic. Historically, rainwater had this pH, but contamination of the air (with oxides of sulfur and nitrogen) has changed this so that rainwater today has pH between 3 and 4. This acidification is also the reason why rain destroys ancient marble statues and causes metal structures to rust away so fast.


Calcium and magnesium The substances present in large amounts in water (both tap water and mineral water) are salts, carbonates and bicarbonates, mainly calcium and magnesium. These salts make the water hard, which means that soap and detergents give sticky deposits (and require more laundry detergents), and also pans and coffee makers get lime deposits on the inside. The hardness of water varies greatly between the tap water at different places and between different mineral waters. Hardness is also noticeable on the taste of the water. Some classic mineral water is very hard with characteristic taste, the local Majorcan is a bit softer. If you want hard or soft water depends on the use. If you want the water to drink, it’s a matter of taste, some want the distinctive flavor of a hard mineral water, for example, from Marienbad or Vichy, others prefer mineral water with lower hardness. It is therefore not arbitrary which mineral water you choose.

Should you use the water to make coffee or tea you should use soft water because calcium and magnesium bicarbonate, which are slightly soluble in water, when boiling are converted to the corresponding insoluble carbonates. They fall out and lay as a coating on the inside of pans and brewers and furthermore destroy the taste of especially tea. The hardness in Spanish is called mineralización. For tea and coffee, you should choose “mineralización debil” or “mineralización muy debil”.

In many places in Majorca, the tap water is hard and gives coating already after a short time. To remove it from pots and brewers, boil water with a couple of teaspoons of citric acid and leave for an hour to dissolve the coatings. Citric acid forms complex with calcium and magnesium, is available at the pharmacy and is much cheaper than “descaling agents” that have the same function.

Iron can be found in water in large amounts. It is a useful mineral, but it gives the water a yellowish-brown color that makes the water less attractive. In addition, much iron can upset sensitive stomachs. In general, we get enough iron through our food, particularly in meat. Spinach has gained an undeserved reputation as an iron source, spinach contains no more iron than other vegetables, that is, very little. Mineral water (and tap water) thus does not noticeably contribute to our need for iron. One of the permitted modifications of mineral water is to remove the iron to take away the brown color.


Besides iron, calcium and magnesium, many other substances are present in small amounts in the water, both in tap water and in mineral water. Many provide important supplements and may be of great importance, including some poisonous in large quantities. Some of them we only get from the water we drink. However, there are some that are always poisonous and have no known function in the body and therefore must be avoided in all water we drink: mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium and radon.

Mercury is a unique and beautiful metal, but its chemical compounds are very toxic. They are stored in the body and damage the intestines and kidneys. It used to be used in dental amalgam, thermometers and for technical purposes. Now it has been banned except in low energy lamps. The mercury ore cinnabar is unusual and the risk of it coming to the water is low, but mercury was released in large quantities during paper production. The last plants to produce chlorine and lye for paper processing where mercury is included in the process is now closing down after a long political struggle.

Lead has been used for many technical purposes, including to make water pipes, for roofing, and for paints. Lead causes severe damage to the nervous system, kidneys, cardiovascular system and damage to reproduction. It is a byproduct in the production of silver.

Lead poisoning may be caused by lead in the environment. Much of this lead came from additives in gasoline now forbidden. We also spread a lot of lead in the environment in connection with hunting: the amount of lead, most with addition of arsenic, from lead hail and bullets, is so great that it is worrying from a health point of view. The bullets and hail cannot be collected in the fields and slowly corrode. It will stay in the ground for long periods of time and slowly pass to the groundwater.

Lead was used earlier for the manufacture of water pipes, far into the 20th century. The leakage of lead from water pipes is limited if the water in the pipes is cold. Therefore, this was not resolved until the late 1900s in many places, and there are still poor areas in the US that still have old lead pipes left in the water system. This may be a reason why children from these areas are intellectually inferior to their peers from richer areas.

Another cause of lead poisoning is paint color: lead white was used for painting houses until the late 1900s and children who played in houses where the painting flagged chewed on everything, including paint flakes and became poisoned.

Another way to get poisoned: An English couple made a vacation trip to a low-wage country. On the market they bought coffee cups with very beautiful decoration. They used them for their breakfast coffee every day. Eventually, they developed nerve damage. A complicated investigation demonstrated that the decor of the coffee cups contained lead that was released in so large amounts that the English couple was injured for life. Others with nerve damage may not have realized that their beautifully painted porcelain is the cause.

Arsenic is a famous poison, for example, in stories by Agatha Christie. Fortunately, most arsenic poisoning is unintended, mostly from arsenic in drinking water or food.

Famous is the arsenic poisoning through wallpaper around 1900: arsenic was included in green inks for wallpaper. The color was somewhat volatile, so the people who lived in the rooms were poisoned.

Earlier, impregnated wood contained large amounts of arsenic, which ended up in the environment by leakage from the impregnated wood and when the wood structures were demolished and burnt.

Chronic arsenic poisoning manifests itself in skin changes, heart disease and cancer.

Arsenic in ground water is in many parts of the world (luckily not here) a major problem, the arsenic is naturally in the ground and dissolves in the water.

Cadmium: Fortunately, cadmium is taken up badly by the body except in people with iron deficiency. It causes kidney failure. Most of the cadmium comes from dyes, especially in plastic (old plastic articles with yellow or red color are suspicious). To the water, cadmium comes mainly through uncontrolled mining and by rechargeable batteries in the trash reaching the air through uncontrolled burning, then to the water through rain.

Radon: At the beginning of the 20th century, some mineral water producers used the sales argument that the water “contained natural radioactivity”. When everyone became aware of the dangers of radioactivity, the argument disappeared and hopefully also the radon (it can be easily removed from water by bubbling air through it).

Useful in small amounts, dangerous in large quantities

Some substances we get in the water are useful, or even vital, in small amounts but can be very dangerous in larger. This applies, for example, to copper, zinc, selenium, cobalt. Fluorine in small amounts gives strong teeth, but in larger it gives discolored teeth (dental fluorosis). Mineral waters with hydrogen sulphide have a small number of followers, who believe that the stench makes them healthier (it stinks of rotten eggs). Hydrogen sulphide is about as toxic as hydrogen cyanide, but no one is secretly poisoned with it, the stench is far too strong. It has never been delivered in bottled mineral water. Iodine is necessary (otherwise we get goiter) but we get it through iodinated salt.

Neither useful nor harmful

Sulphate in large quantities can speed up the stomach, is not often found in large amounts in drinking water. Silicate (silicon) is found in all ground waters, but most silicates are sparsely soluble so what we get in the water is negligible and harmless. Aluminum is very toxic to the body, but it is not absorbed by normal stomach or intestines, so you only must consider it in water for dialysis treatment.

From the container

Mineral water, with or without carbonic acid, is usually bought in a bottle, in plastic or glass. Both types contribute to the contents of the bottle. In plastic bottles the plastic is released to the water in negligible amounts (1).

Antimony is toxic but no serious health hazard in a modern society, as the four listed in section Toxic. According to some sources, the name derives from the fact that monks in the Middle Ages who used antimony in their alchemy experiments died (anti monk). Antimony is used as an alloy metal in metallurgy, in glass industries and as a catalyst (in very small quantities) in the manufacture of polyethylene terephthalate (PET in pet bottles, terylene and dacron in textiles.) Studies have therefore been made of the amount of antimony released from PET bottles. In the case of drinking water, the highest level is in the percent range the maximum permitted by WHO (3). The amount released to fruit juices is much higher than that given in WHO Recommendation for drinking water, but this recommendation does not apply to fruit juices (4).

Leaks from common white, green or brown glass bottles are silicates of sodium, calcium and iron in negligible quantities. Glass bottles with red, violet, blue or other motley colors can surely leak unknown how much, but we do not often drink such mineral water, so this is probably negligible. Lead leaks from glass and bottles of flint glass, a material used for artistic glass blowing and grinding, but the glass is so short time in contact with the drink that this should not worry us (flint glass contains about 40% lead oxide).


Some of the important minerals we get largely through the water we drink. In some cases, the limits of how much we need and how much are harmful are so close that we should really check how much we get through the water. Some people eat supplemental mineral tablets, but risk getting too much and thus causing serious side effects (for example, selenium in too high dose is very dangerous). Declarations of the content of mineral water are always very short and incomplete, and rarely up to date (the composition changes over time). The same applies to tap water, where I have not seen any information from the water work om the content. We can easily figure out how much we should have, from the WHO’s Drinking Water Guidelines (5) or the FDA and EPA rules for water quality (6) but figuring out how much we really get is more difficult. However, we can safely assume that tablets with mineral supplements without control are more likely a risk than a help.

  • Food and Drug Administration: Guidance for Industry: Bottled Water Quality Standard: Establishing an Allowable Level for di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate. Small Entity Compliance Guide.
  • World Health Organization: Antimony in Drinking-water, 2003.
  • Shotyk, William et al.: Contamination of Canadian and European bottled waters with antimony from PET containers.
    Journal of Environmental Monitoring. 8 (2): 288–92 (2006).
  • Hansen, Claus et al.: Elevated antimony concentrations in commercial juices. Journal of Environmental Monitoring. 12 (4): 822–4. (2010).
  • World Health Organization: Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality. Fourth edition, 2011.
  • Environment Protection Agency: Bottled Water Basics, 2006, with further references.

These references (except 3 and 4) are available on the internet.


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June 22 we celebrate Swedish Midsummer, a festival where herring and fresh potatoes are common on the dining table. How is it to live in Mallorca and celebrate Midsummer? If you wish to organize a traditional Midsummer, it is absolutely possible. In the Swedish grocery store Brittvid, located in Santa Catalina or at IKEA you can find both herring and sour cream among other things. Next week, a new shop will open in Illetas with just Swedish foods, so hurry up, as it usually gets empty during these festivals. If you want to dance around a midsummer bar (typical for Swedes), then the Swedish church organizes this on the beach in Can Pastilla. Below you will find more information.

Midsummer Eve on the beach

Friday June 22 at 19:30

We celebrate traditional midsummer’s eve together with SWEA on the beach of Playa de Palma, about 200 m from the hotel Miraflores, c / Xabex. There is bus 15 stop there. If you are coming by car, take off the motorway at exit 8. Everyone takes blankets, food and drinks, as well as flowers and leaves to dress the midsummer bar that is already on the beach.

Everyone is warmly welcomed!
Bring your children, grandchildren, grandmother, grandfather and the whole family!

Registration before June 18th to


San Juan

If you would like to continue the celebration of the Midsummer, it will continue the same weekend with the Spanish tradition called San Juan. San Juan is celebrated on the beach and a little later in the evening. Then friends and family get together to have a small picnic, many also makes a BBQ since you are allowed to do it during this day. At around 24.00 you go down to the water and swim, to many just put their feet but this will bring luck and happiness for the coming years.

We wish you a nice Midsummer / San Juan.




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Mallorcas climate is very good for most plants except the purely tropical or arctic species. The dry period Mallorca has in summer has to be compensated with the right irrigation. This is illustrated by the fact that Mallorca’s most important industri, after tourism, is agriculture, with significant export. On the island there are many botanical gardens with different approaches, from those with scientific aspirations focusing on a particular theme (eg cactus plants or all Mallorcas wild plants or agriculture in ancient times) to parks with a certain botanical angle or pure nature reserves. For visitors with an interest in botany there are therefore many places to visit, often very beautifully planned and pleasant for a walk. I plan to write blog posts about some of them. In this post:


Marivent is a large villa with stunning location on a peninsula in the bay of Palma, surrounded by a very large park partly in French and partly in English style, all surrounded by a high wall. It was built by Juan de Saridakis (1877-1963), an engineer of Greek and Egyptian descent. He created a great fortune in Chilean copper mines. When he moved to Palma in 1923 he was therefore very rich. This was not what he wanted to be known for, rather as an artist and art collector. In 1925 he opened his magnificent villa, where he lived with his family and where he also had his art collection with over 100 paintings and over 1000 pieces of antique furniture. After the death of Juan de Saridakis in 1963, his widow donated the property to Palma City, with the provision that it would be opened to the public as a museum with the husband’s art collection. This is also the way it was initially, but after the death of General Franco, the authorities decided to close it to the public and assign it to the king as a residence when he is staying on the island (several weeks each summer, for example, in connection with the great regatta Copa del Rey). Because it is the king who will live there, the villa has been renamed palace.

Now it has been decided to open the French part of the park to the public during the time the king is not there. The open part of park is planned as a conventional French park. The statues in the park are by Joan Miró and it is one of the park’s attractions. They have been taken from the private collections of members of the Saridakis family. A plan over the park is placed near the entrance indicating the location and name of each statue.

The trees and bushes are those as used in most Mediterranean parks. The park is a quiet and pleasant haven in an area of modern urbanization, and the wall shields off the park from the surrounding buildings and from the city’s noise.

One reason I want to classify it as a botanical garden is that at the park’s entrance there is a large plan over the park where all trees and shrubs are shown each marked with a number. Thus, one cannot find a sign at each plant with its name, as in most botanical gardens, but those who are interested can look on this plan for the scientific name of each plant and also the name in Catalan, Spanish and English.

The entrance to the villa and to the park is on Avenida Joan Miró in Cala Major. Parking spaces may be sparse, I recommend the use of a bus to get there. Lines 3, 20 and 46 have stops (No. 67) outside. On the way home, bus 3 and 20 have a stop (92) a short walk towards the town on Carrer Joan Miró, bus 46 stops at Carrer Saridakis (stop 908). Opening hours can be found online: Marivent has no own internet site but the opening schedule is available on the internet sites of the local newspapers.


















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Purification of the water

The water from the tap or in the mineral water bottles in the store is not chemically clean. The water in the store that is next to being chemically clean is called distilled water and is intended for car batteries, irons and for other technical purposes. Do not drink it! It is not as dangerous as it was thought to be, but the mucous membranes of mouth and esophagus are irritated by it.

The closest to chemically clean water found in nature is rainwater some minutes after the rain began and before it reaches the ground. Formerly, when soap was used to wash the hair, and it was recommended to use rainwater for hair wash because it was so soft that no lime soap (insoluble smudge) was formed. Modern shampooing agents do not form lime soaps, so the problem has been solved without complicated collection of rainwater. But rainwater has been affected by acidification: instead of pH about 5 to 6, that was found before we polluted our environment, the pH is now about 3.5. The reason is primarily sulfuric acid from the combustion of coal and oil. The acidic water destroys architecture and artwork. It dissolves substances in soil and stone and thereby changes the composition of the water, both groundwater and surface water.

How well the municipal waterworks succeed in the treatment of the water partly depends on what pollution there is. Residues from plants or animals can be removed with simple processes. It is more difficult to remove gasoline, diesel, oils and fire protection agents. Therefore, traffic accidents must be prevented, and car wash and workshops be prohibited in areas from which water flows to municipal aquifers. Even a very small amount of gasoline will destroy the water in a large water supply for a long time. One must also be careful not to pump too much water from a water source so that salt water flows backwards from the ocean: a saltwater break through will destroy a water supply for a very long time.

The water we use, both surface water and groundwater, always contains larger or smaller amounts of other substances even if the water is clear and looks clean. Some of them are desired, other substances may not be desired but do not hurt, others more may be harmful, at least in large amounts. What substances are in the water depends on what has happened to the water between rain and delivery. Though we do not see them in the water they are visible as spots when water drops have dried for instance on glass surfaces.

You can divide the “substances” in the water into biological, organic and mineral (I do not write contaminants, some of them are highly desirable):

  • The biological are fungi (microscopic), algae, bacteria and others. Most are completely innocent and harmless, a few are not desirable in the water.
  • The organic is a mixture of very different substances: residues from the decomposition of plants, animals and excrements, technical products (motor fuels, mineral oils, detergents, fertilizers, plant protection products and others).
  • The minerals are inorganic compounds, mostly salts of different metals.

The roads of the water

When the rain hits the ground, it can flow directly to a stream or to a lake. This water, surface water, contains no mineral salts, but it may have accumulated biological and organic pollutants on the road. Should it be used for household use, it must be cleaned and disinfected.

The rain water also flows into the ground. During the passage through soil and sand layers, some of the pollutants are removed and taken up by sand, rock and soil and by microorganisms in the soil and the sand. Dug wells (private) can often have good water quality, but there are also horrible examples of private wells. There are always microorganisms in the water, but in good wells none of them are harmful. If there are coli bacteria, it shows that water from manure well or similar leaks in, and such water must not be used as drinking water for humans or animals. Water from water bodies in loose soil can also be used after further purification as municipal water. Above all, if there is sand at the bottom, this may be very good water and at high capacity.

In the loose soils, the water accumulates in water courses where it flows like underground streams or waterways towards lakes or directly towards the sea. A large part of the water arrives to the sea without reaching the surface. In the early days, when digging wells, men believed to have magic power, dowsers, were used to find aquifers with their dowsing rods. It was said that branches cut in spring when the sap rose in the trees were especially useful as dowsing rods as they were thirsty and dragged down to the water in the ground. This is contradicted by the fact that dowsers also successfully used rods made from steel wire. The magic of successful dowsers was rather based on experience of how the water flows and on observations of what the country looks like, where there are different kinds of soil and where different plants grow (especially those with deep roots) and which hills and sinks may lead the waterways.

Some of the water flows into the rock. We tend to think that the rock is impermeable to water. It is not, in the rock there are both larger and smaller cracks down to microscopic pores. In the fractures and pores there are microorganisms that, among other things, consume biological and organic pollutants. As the water flows through the rock, it dissolves substances from the stone while the water is being cleaned. What substances are released depends on the rock, but the minerals that are dissolved are often salts (mostly carbonate and bicarbonate) of calcium and magnesium, the water becomes hard. Here in Majorca, much of the rock consists of limestone, and groundwater here is usually very hard. The limestone is quite porous so that much of the water flows down through the rock. In some cases where the mountain is steep, the water may flow out of the stone and form a mineral water source. In general, it is necessary to drill down to the aquifer and pump up the water.

Where does the tap water come from?

Water consumption in a densely populated area like Mallorca is so high that it is necessary to use water from different origins: surface water, groundwater from loose soil and water from the rock. To smooth the supply of water over the year between rainy and dry seasons, during the rainy season, water is collected in large cisterns, artificial lakes, from which water is pumped during dry periods. The water pipes in the different municipalities are therefore very different, hard and mineral rich in Tramuntana, softer in the municipalities of the plain, and it also changes during the year.

Municipal water and mineral water

First of all, tap water in all municipalities of Mallorca is fully suitable as drinking water. Many use mineral water in bottle as drinking water. This is because it tastes better, not because water from the tap would in any way be harmful.

The water that we drink is important not only to fill our need for water but also because it contains many minerals that are important to our health. Therefore, the content of different minerals in the water should be declared significantly better. This applies both to tap water and to bottled water – I have never found any analysis or declaration of municipal water and the declarations on the labels of mineral water bottles are misleading. Firstly, the analyzes are years old (if the time for the analysis is stated at all), secondly, they cover a few substances, often not the important ones. In the next blog I will summarize some facts about minerals in drinking water.