The lovely resort of Alcudia in Majorca has a nice relaxed charm and a wealth of activities on offer, making it a great place for a budget break
Located in the Mediterranean Sea and part of the Balearic Islands, Majorca (or Mallorca, as it's known in Spain) is the largest Spanish island. It's always been a popular destination, particularly for those looking for a family holiday on the cheap. And in this dismal, cost-cutting climate, life is hard enough without worrying whether or not you can afford to splash the cash on a trip away.
Yes, Majorca attracts families who are out for a good time. But don't let that put you off. The trick is to select the right town and the right season. Visit Magaluf in the middle of summer and you'd be daft not to expect to find the place teeming with party-goers - but opt for a quieter town in a quieter month and you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Alcudia is lovely - and you can bag yourself a seven-night all-inclusive stay there for under £300 per person. You'll need to shop around, but it can be done. We managed to get an all-inclusive week away in September at the Belle Vue complex in Alcudia for around £330. We flew bmibaby and hotel transfers were included in the cost. A bargain.
Once you're there, there's very little expense. I took just over £200 for the week and came back with change - and that was after treating ourselves to a couple of nice meals off the complex. Food at Belle Vue was plentiful and varied, with a different selection of main courses and desserts most nights. What's more, you can indulge throughout the day with light snacks and drinks at the poolside. It really doesn't get better than that.
Venture off the complex and you can get a decent meal, including drinks, for little more than a tenner each - and although Belle Vue has almost everything you'll need, including shops, bars and restaurants, there's more than enough to tempt you out. The beach itself is absolutely stunning and the sea is warm enough to brave a dip. It's all too easy to stick to the beaten track, soak up the sun and stay relatively close to your hotel. But Alcudia has much more to offer than sun, sea and sand.
Take a short taxi ride to the old town and you'll find the island's real charm is its quaint little market, a hustle and bustle of Alcudian residents, with only a handful of in-the-know holidaymakers. There's plenty of local produce, including wine, cheese and meats, and an abundance of try-before-you-buy stalls. It really is worth a visit if you fancy soaking up a bit of Alcudian life.
And no holiday to Majorca would be complete without a trip to Magaluf's popular Pirates' Adventure show. In the last 21 years the show has seen over three million customers pass through its doors and it's easy to see why. With a unique blend of world class acrobatics, gymnastics, comedy and dancing you'll be hard pushed to find a family member (old or young) who doesn't enjoy this. It really is top-notch entertainment. You can book at your complex or in various shops along Alcudia's main shopping strip and you can get a ticket to the show, including food, drink and your return coach journey, for roughly £50. It sounds a lot but it's definitely worth making the effort - and three million people can't be wrong.
If it is family entertainment you're looking for, there's also plenty of stuff to amuse you without having to travel far. The huge water park is a must if you're taking kids and there are plenty of amusement arcades, go-karts and such like. Evening entertainment is also fairly family-orientated, with a number of pop tribute acts filling the bars most nights. And if you don't mind listening to Michael Jackson wailing along to 'Billy Jean' in a Spanish accent then you're in for a treat.
Alcudia really does have a wealth of activities to offer, while still retaining a relaxed charm. It's not a luxury break by any means - but as budget holidays go, it's certainly up there with the best of them.