My Mallorca: Artist Natasha Zupan’s Insider Guide

Some Mallorca families trace their heritage back for centuries, having moved to the strategically-located Mediterranean island for reasons lost to time. But for artist Natasha Zupan—who first came to the island as a toddler in 1967— the reason was her father’s search for beauty. “My father is a landscape artist, always in search of beauty and light. He asked the server at Bar Bosch (the first cafe we stopped at after disembarking the boat from Barcelona) for the three most beautiful villages on the island. We drove to Valldemossa first and never went to the others.”

Natasha spent her childhood living in both Paris and Mallorca, and moved here full-time after university and opened her studio, where she paints and creates mixed-media abstract pieces in bold, evocative colors. And though she travels frequently—her work has been exhibited around the world—she always returns to Mallorca. “It is my home,” she says. “I am very proud to consider myself an adopted Mallorquina.”

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Morning Ritual

I am a slow riser. I like to have fruit, read the news and walk to my studio, which is 10 minutes away from my home.

Where to Get Coffee

Cappuccino makes the best coffee in Valldemossa.

Top Lunch Recommendations

I like Es Taller, BarbaFlorida, Flanigan, and De tokio a Lima in any order.

Where to Eat Dinner

Palma has many wonderful restaurants...El Camino, De tokio a Lima, Bibap (Korean), The Wine Side and the oyster bar at Mercat de Olivar. Sa Roqueta is the best for fish.

The Museums To Visit (and Revisit)

I like Fundacio Joan and Pilar Miro. You can visit the studio which is fascinating. And Museo es Baluard.

Cultural Wanderings

The ‘Casco Antiguo’ in Palma. It has beautiful 12th- and 13th-century buildings. Mallorca has a vivid history starting with Paleolithic sites, Phoenician, Greek, Roman and Arab cultures settling over the centuries. The Moors were there 800 years. As the locals say, ‘tourism started centuries ago here.’ I like the cathedral in Palma. It has the largest rosetta stained glass in Europe, an altar-piece by Gaudi and a new ceramic addition by Miguel Barcelo.

For a Dose of Nature

Hiking in the Tramontana mountains. Gertrude Stein said to Robert Graves after her visit: ‘It’s paradise if you can stand it.’

Where to Shop

  • Cortana. Its elegant, unique design, natural fabrics, and chic, but casual at the same time.. Exquisite!
  • Rialto Living has something for everyone. It's run by a Swedish couple with very good taste.
  • Gordiola. Its glass is made locally on the island, inspired by Greek and Venetian traditions.
  • Obsolete is a wonderful shop for chic objects , furniture , multi ethnic clothes and something for everyone. There is One in Deià, the other in Valldemossa.
  • The rooftop at Corte Ingles has gourmet products.

...Plus: The Best Farmer’s Market

The fresh market at Santa Catalina. All the yachts buy from them as they have the best products.

Favorite Hotels in Mallorca

Can Cera, Hotel sant Francesc, Es Racó d'Artà, Glòria de Sant Jaume, Hotel Valldemossa, Belmond La Residencia and, in Palma, Can Alomar and the Palma Riad. There are so many but these are my favorite.

The ‘Do Not Miss’ Attractions

Visiting the old town in Palma, going to Pollença, the cuevas de Arta, driving through the Tramontana mountains, and the town of Sa Calobra (if you like long and windy roads).

Best Books to Read Before Visiting

Ramon Llull: El Mejor Libro del Mundo by Fernando Domínguez Reboiras. Ramon Llull was a fascinating medieval “Rockstar” for the Illuminatis: philosopher, polyglot , writer, poet, knight, theologian and way ahead of his time.

Also, El Archiduque Luis Salvador de Austria: Principe, Científico, Viajero, by Helga Schwendinger. The archduke was an aristocratic hippie who thanks to him he saved our Tramontana coast.

The Best Way to Explore Mallorca

The sea. Rent a boat if you can.

Published onApril 18, 2024

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