Sunday, March 7, 2021

Artestruz - Ostrich Farm in Mallorca

Hello everyone, I hope you're all doing well! Today I have a Mallorca excursion tip for you. I'm taking you to Artestruz, an ostrich farm in the south of Mallorca.

Ostrich Farm in Mallorca

Artestruz is a lovely ostrich farm and education center run by a friendly family since 1998. The farm brings some Africa feeling to Mallorca, which is not a big surprise since the family has lived in South Africa for many years. Artestruz offers both an educational and fun experience for all ages. You will enjoy a trip to the vastness of the steppe and get to know a lot of unusual birds.

At first I wasn't sure whether a visit to an ostrich farm would be a good idea since I'm not a big fan of zoos and other places that keep wild animals. However, Artestruz is one of the most animal-friendly places I've ever been to. It was so nice to see how the owners treat their ostriches, with so much love for the animals and passion for their job. They care about their animals and you can see they have a beautiful bond with them. The fascinating thing is that the guides, Johny and his brother Ohad who are the owner's sons, actually know all ostriches by name and could tell us their characteristics. At first, the ostriches looked pretty much all the same to us. We could only distinguish between males and females, of course. But at the end of our visit even we knew some of them by name. The ostrich farm itself is clean, organized and the animals look very well taken care of.

Guided Tour

Our visit started with an interesting and engaging tour. Along with a few other interested visitors we took a seat in front of the enclosure and Johny began to enthusiastically tell us about his ostriches. You could tell he has a lot of passion for his job. We were able to ask questions in between, which Johny answered very well and because of the knowledge we got, we became big fans of the ostriches! We learned lots of interesting and quite incredible facts about these beautiful creatures, about their history and extraordinary abilities. Did you know, for example, that ostriches are one of the most ancient animals on earth and are basically living dinosaurs? I mean, look at their feet!

Feeding the Ostriches

Once the informative part was over, we got close to the animals to pet and feed them in a safe and respectful environment. You can feed them however you like: with a glove, wooden spoon or with your bare hand, depending on your courage. Let me tell you, feeding an ostrich is a lot of fun. I went all in and fed the ostriches with the palm of my hand to get a better feeling for them. It was so interesting and funny to feel the curious ostriches peck the food with their rock-hard beaks. After getting to know the animals a bit better my boyfriend and I became much braver and even carefully stroked some ostrich's necks which were super soft.

Ostrich Ride

Apart from feeding and petting the animals you can also book an ostrich ride (only for kids). Jambo, a huge 150 kilo ostrich who takes the little ones for a ride, is such a superstar. He just walks around the farm and relaxes wherever he wants. Kids have the opportunity to ride the 2.50 meter tall Jambo who struts obediently at walking pace.

Artestruz Shop

It is no coincidence that the word “Art” is hidden in the brand name “Artestruz”. In the farm shop you will find exclusive ostrich by-products made in Mallorca and art pieces that are hand-made at the farm, for example unique lamps made from the eggshells. You can even purchase ostrich eggs to cook and try them on site. Did you know that in terms of quantity, one ostrich egg is equivalent to two dozen chicken eggs? And it contains less cholesterol than a single chicken egg!

All in all, I can say we really enjoyed our visit to Artestruz. We arrived knowing little about ostriches and left feeling like we had gotten to know lots about these wonderful and fascinating big birds. Artestruz is a great place for anyone who is interested in wildlife and nature, and fabulous for both adults and children!

Artestruz Mallorca
Tel. +34 639721735
Ma-6014, km 40, 07630 Campos, Islas Baleares
Find more information on the farm website

Monday, January 25, 2021

Excursion to Ermita de Betlem

Hello everyone and happy new year! 2021 is 25 days old already but I haven't found the time yet to sit and write a new post. January is all about detoxing for me. I've decluttered my home, started a new yoga 30-day challenge and my first ever detox as well. After spending the holidays and beginning of the year with my family in Germany I have returned to Mallorca but haven't been out much lately due to all these new Covid restrictions here on the island and also because I've been pretty occupied. So today's post is about one of many excursions I did last year with my dear friend Mar. 

Hike to Ermita de Betlem

Mar and I started our excursion to the Ermita de Betlem in the town of Betlem, right on the main road. The beginning of the trail is well-signposted so you can't miss it. We went on a Monday and since it was a holiday and great weather we met many other hikers, especially families. What was supposed to be an easy one-hour hike turned into a challenging two-hour hike for us.  It had rained heavily the days before our hike so we spotted a beautiful small river with several waterholes and waterfalls of different sizes along the way. We couldn't resist and left the path to take a dip in the crystal clear and freezing cold water. It was amazing! Even though reaching the river and different waterholes was quite a challenge we were so happy we took the chance to spontaneously bathe in the middle of the greenery. It was such a unique experience bathing in the crystal clear river surrounded by huge mountains and bonding with Mother Nature. The other hikers who could see us from a distance were quite surprised that we were having a bath in the river I guess, cause it was quite cold on that day. However, a group of three boys and girls of our age got inspired and went for a bath too. After our river dip we got dressed and continued our way up to the Ermita de Betlem, which is a church on top of a big mountain near Betlem. Once up there, we relaxed in the sun and enjoyed our self-brought picnic. On our way back down to the car we stopped at a viewpoint from where we could enjoy breathtaking panoramic views over the entire bay of Alcúdia. All in all, it was an unforgettable hike (mostly thanks to our spontaneity and improvised river bath) that I can totally recommend!

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Shaka Restaurante in Palma

My dear readers, I hope you're all doing fine. We are probably all looking forward to Christmas and some down-time by now. I'm planning to go to Germany in two weeks to spend the holidays and some quality time with my family so I hope everything will work out fine with the flights as they have been changed so many times already. I just wanna spend Christmas in Germany with my family because I wasn't really able to be with them much this year.

Shaka Restaurante 

Today I have a new post for you, a restaurant recommendation for those who live in Mallorca or plan to visit the island anytime soon. I got invited to try Shaka Restaurante in Palma yesterday and left with a full belly and happy heart. I had heard about Shaka when they opened last year and had seen photos of their beautiful restaurant before. But the place looks even more stunning in real! Their interior is a creative mix of everything I love. Colors, tropical details, plants, unique tiles, elegant furniture. Interior Designer Cristina Egurolla of Lala Home Mallorca, who I've met before at her restaurant Randemar, has done an amazing job creating this tropical oasis with a Hawaiian touch in Mallorca's capital.

The interior design was only outdone by the excellent food my boyfriend and I could try yesterday. Luis, the lovely waiter and restaurant manager, was a great help recommending different dishes that could go well together. We enjoyed a lomi lomi as a starter, which is basically a salmon tartar with kiwi, ginger, pineapple, tomato and onion in a lime sauce. It was so refreshing and delicious, a great mix of sweet and salty. As a main course we chose the Shaka Poke, a lobster poke bowl with quinoa, and pulled pork tacos that came in blue corn tortillas. Ahh, I could have licked my fingers, it was a true culinary delight. The tacos were beyond amazing, a mix of sweet and spicy flavors and the meat was so tender. The lobster poke bowl was equally delicious and fun to eat with the lobster on top. The desserts left nothing to be desired either. We chose a matcha coulant with ginger beer sorbet and hot apple crumble with almond sauce. All dishes were a real treat for the eyes and the taste buds! 

Thank you so much Lucas, Luis, Matias and the rest of the Shaka team. We couldn't have imagined a more delicious and surprising lunch. We will definitely be back soon with our friends and families for another unique food experience!

C/ Hostal de Santayí 11, 07002 Palma de Mallorca
+34 871 177 066

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Hike to Cala Matzoc

Dear readers, a few months have passed since I last sat down to write a few lines on my blog. Many things have happened. It's been a strange year. A sad and also an exciting one. It had both its positive and negative moments. Many people have sadly lost their lives due to Covid. I myself have lost a beloved family member this year. But not because of the virus. Even though I had never imagined that one day he wouldn't be with us anymore it was time for him to go. It was a very sad and heart-breaking but also beautiful and peaceful goodbye. On the other hand, my family has gained a new little member who really makes the world shine a bit more. We are very much in love with the first baby in our family and oh, what a cute one! She makes my heart so happy and puts a smile on my face every day. 

What else has happened? As I told you in one of my earlier posts, here in Spain, more precisely Mallorca, we have spent a few months in lockdown. Literally, we were not allowed to leave the house at all. So my boyfriend and I, just like the rest of the island, were stuck in our little apartment for almost three months and were only allowed to leave home for grocery shopping. It was weird and a bit scary to be honest but we also kinda enjoyed it. Fortunately we got along really well which has only shown me once more that he's a great life partner I dearly love. 

It's also been a really strange year for me jobwise with lots of ups and downs and worries. I currently work in a villas rental agency and as you can imagine it was a tough year for us with almost no tourists coming to Mallorca. We experienced an unprecedented, short two-month season. Mallorca received the first tourists in July and by the middle of September they were all gone again. It was a quite agonizing sight, seeing the beaches, hotels and restaurants all empty or closed. I remember a day I walked down the beach with my boyfriend in August and felt like a light panic attack was creeping up. I had never seen the island like this before (in the middle of summer) and suddenly felt such a heaviness in my heart, pain and sadness thinking of all the employees who have lost their jobs this year. Families in Mallorca, and around the world, who have no income this year. It's a difficult year for everyone and those who can allow it themselves should help others by donating food, money, clothes or time. Right now, it's more important and appreciated than ever.

Nevertheless, I also enjoyed the calm season and having the island all for ourselves. Since I worked less this year (due to the lack of work) I was able to spend looots of time with our new little family member, went to our neighbor island Menorca twice this year and went on some beautiful hikes with my friends. 

Hike to Cala Matzoc

And that's what today's post is about. A new hiking route for you. For those who will hopefully come back to Mallorca next year to explore and enjoy the island and spend their vacation here. 
The starting point of this hiking trail is in Cala Torta, a beautiful sandy beach near Artà in the north of Mallorca. My boyfriend and I left our car in Cala Torta and walked over to Cala Mitjana from there, all the way along the coast to Cala Estreta and finally to Cala Matzoc. The hike only took about 40 minutes with a picnic stop in between. We went a bit further in the end, up to the Torre d'Albarca, an ancient watch tower from where you have stunning views of the coast and open sea. I'd love to do this hike again in the middle of summer (with lots of sunscreen and a hat as there is almost no shade on this hike) because the day of our hike it was quite cloudy and windy so the water was a bit wild. But I'm sure that on a calm, sunny day Cala Matzoc is a stunning cove with crystal clear, turquoise water perfect for a refreshing swim. It's also a lovely sand beach so you can have a picnic there and just chill under the surrounding pine trees.

I hope you like this post and that it makes you look forward to your next vacation on Mallorca. I'll be uploading a few more posts these days about some more cool things to do on the island. I was just really lacking a bit of motivation (not material, as I got loads!) to publish new blog posts this year. I hope you forgive me. Thank you for being here. We'll get through this together. 

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