COLONIA DE SANT JORDI, MAJORCA – My 12-year-old daughter summed it up perfectly: "Until today, I'd never seen a sea that matched the colour on the postcards".
And I had to agree with her.
We were dangling our toes a few feet above a gently dancing teal sea; the sand shining up from the bottom like moonlight, and speckled, every second or so, with mercury-slithers of fish.
Around us, the celebratory splashes of families jumping and piercing the 27-degree water; the crackling beat of old-school music; the thick throb of sunlight; and the fierce sizzle of our BBQ lunch.
This eastern slice of Majorca coastline was every bit as beautiful as the postcards we'd seen before we headed here on our catamaran excursion – no filter needed – yet our eyes were having a hard time believing it.
We'd been picked up by air-conditioned coach from our resort bolt-hole in Cala Millor, and had travelled the width of Majorca to the port of Colonia De Sant Jordi – about 25 miles east of Palma International Airport.
It had been a long two-hour journey. And the only thing that made it bearable was watching Majorca’s true character materialise along the way:
As we’d climbed further into the belly of the island, the white, stainless-steel resorts and ham-pink strings of tourists slipped away.
In their wake, came baked villages, smoky gorse bushes, acres of orange-crumbled earth, and a generous speckling of spindly windmills – like clutches of tin flowers – a rusted testament to their once glorious agricultural past.
When we finally made it to the pretty port of Colonia De Sant Jordi – around 10:30am – we were aching to escape the coach and climb aboard our host for the next few hours: the Magic Catamaran, and feel the sweet sea breeze kiss our skin.
The Magic Catamaran sails twice daily from Colonia De Sant Jordi (in the morning, from 10:00AM – 15:00PM, and in the afternoon, from 15:30PM – 20:30PM). We’d booked our morning half-day excursion effortlessly with click-mallorca.com and were about to board with around 25 other people.
Although that sounds like a lot of bodies, the Magic Catamaran never felt cramped at any point, which so many other boat trips I’ve been on have.
Before we set sail, the captain welcomed us with genuine warmth and palpable enthusiasm, explaining where we were going, what our timetable was, and the not-so-stern rules – mainly involving the use of the loos (of which there were two).
He then crackled an ‘enjoy’ in Spanish, English and German, and we settled back – towels flat, sun cream spread, cameras ready – as the catamaran glided softly away from the yawing port into Majorca’s silken blue.
Snorkel-stop 1: Es Trenc
30 minutes later we slowed to a soft bob to face the golden sands of Es Trenc, an isolated 2km stretch of Majorca coast, which sits in front of wind-brushed dunes and, mercifully, doesn’t have a resort towering protectively over it.
Many call Es Trenc Majorca’s answer to the Caribbean, and rightly so; it certainly has all the correct measurements: supermodel blue-green sea, A-list sands, gilded spoonfuls of sunshine, and a dappling of yachts clearly owned by people with actual gilded spoons.
This was our first (and longest), of two, snorkel stops, lasting for over an hour – and it was only minutes before the velvet-green water was beaded with bodies; some swimming, others floating, the rest (including us) goggled-up and peering at the traffic of fish below.
Whilst we swam, the ever-busy crew readied the BBQ. By the time we’d dripped our salted way back on-board, the BBQ was on full sizzle; the mouth-watering smells of chicken and sausages adding to the drips.
Lunch was served as soon as we where towel-rubbed dry and consisted of fusilli pasta, potato salad, chicken, sausages, and French bread.
To wash it down? A cold splash of sangria. HELLO. Or something soft, if you preferred.
After the BBQ, came a box of apple tart slices – which was the first time I’ve ever had dessert on one of these excursions and a welcomed surprise for me, as well as the many small children who clamoured to grab their share.
All in all, the food was abundant and delicious, the sangria was free, and there weren’t any disgruntled faces or empty bellies by the time lunch was over.
Snorkel-stop 2: Es Carbó
Next on our hit-list, the Majorcan don of beaches: Es Carbó.
If Es Trenc is Majorca’s answer to the Caribbean, Es Carbó is the island’s Indian Ocean.
Resting in a protected bay about 2.3 kms from Colonia De Sant Jordi, this fine sweep of white sand and shallow crystal water is perfect for mooring on and exploring by paddleboard, snorkel or breast-stroke.
We weren’t there long, about 45 minutes, which was a shame because Es Carbó is the ultimate in Majorcan beach beauties – a real show-stopper where the Spanish Royal Family has been known to take a dip.
I totally get it: I could’ve spent the entire catamaran trip here, floating on the peaceful sway of water, then swimming to shore to bake dry in the buttery Majorcan heat, my prince at my side.
But every sunshine day has its end, and the tranquil port of Colonia De Sant Jordi yearned to have us back.
So with the gently ease of a turning orca, the Magic Catamaran obliged, circling around to head back to where our voyage had begun five hours before.
As we climbed off Magic Catamaran, with the beauty of Es trenc and Es Carbó behind us, the whole group seemed quietly reflective. Tiredness, probably.
Or maybe they were spellbound, like we were; maybe their minds were flooded with a wash of Mediterrean colours…
…and maybe their eyes were also wondering if the beaches we’d seen – with their moon-white sand, peaceful souls, and glassy waters – had been real or some clever trick.
The kind they use on postcards.