Jason Burt finds much to love about the writer's favourite holiday villa.
Sun, sea, sand and Spike. It was only after we returned from Mallorca that we discovered the villa we stayed in had been a favourite holiday home for Spike Milligan.
"We drove down dark, sinuous paths and suddenly we came to this wonderful place like a Roman villa going back 2000 years," Milligan said of his first visit.
"There were marble floors, pieces of beautiful pottery, even clay downpipes and no phone, thank God."
The comedian described Can Tatoli, the sumptuous villa close to Pollensa in the breathtaking north of the Balearic island, as a "paradise of silence".
But then he didn't have to stay there with my kids. It was a relief that the property, with its thick stone walls, was surrounded by three fields at the end of its own long, thin driveway. No one could hear the din from three excited children aged eight, four and two.
The villa was a delight. Spacious and interesting with its array of artefacts, it was still child-friendly. It had landscaped gardens, a large pool, jacuzzi, barbecue, even a ping-pong table.
The town and surrounding area were equally impressive. Pollensa, founded as part of the Catalan conquest of the island about 800 years ago, is far from the south coast both geographically and in character.
It's also ideally located to explore. With its cobbled streets and narrow alleys, there's the Calvari, a sweep of 365 steps, one for each day of the year, and on Sundays the Plaza Major hosts a market.
There is so much to see, from the bucket-and-spade appeal of Port de Pollensa, from the seaside main drag of Passeig de Londres, to the pleasant Pine Walk to the monastery of Lluc in the Tramuntana mountains, which swarms with cyclists. Then there are the caves of Campanet and the Cap de Formentor, boasting views to Menorca.
The best afternoons were when we drove around exploring and stopped the car at modest beach-side restaurants, before scrambling over cliffs or walking up through the mountain passages and beyond rundown cottages.
Much of our time was spent relaxing in the villa, and trying to persuade the kids to get out of the jacuzzi. I don't know if it was there when Spike visited, but I agreed with what he said about Can Tatoli: "I wanted to phone up the villa company and say: 'I'll book this villa for the rest of my life'."
Further information: See thebestvillaspollensa.com.
- INDEPENDENTBy Jason Burt