In this week's post, Maya recaps how she spent her fall break enjoying what Rome and Mallorca had to offer from delicious dishes to beautiful beaches...as well as the chance to live out a scene from the Lizzie McGuire movie! Also check out some of Maya's pro tips for an affordable fall break abroad.
This past week was fall break, and after we all finished our midterms, we earned this week away from classes and internships. My housemates and I all made different plans to see new countries, and some went to visit friends who are also studying abroad this semester. My fall break plans consisted of visiting Rome, Italy, and Mallorca of the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain. My boyfriend also planned to come visit, and he actually showed up a day early to surprise me (YAY).
It felt so great to see a familiar face from home after being in Spain for a few months! We planned both of our trips by checking Google flights, which directed us to super cheap RYANAIR flights, and used the website STA Travels to book really nice hotels for amazingly low prices. Pro Tip: STA has a service that helps you find flights but they are NOT the cheapest. My flight in comparison to what STA offered was in some cases over 5 times cheaper!
My boyfriend and I at the Colosseum!
Our first stop was Rome, Italy, and upon arrival it was SO cool. The taxi driver who picked us up from the airport gave us a list of places he recommended we visit while in Rome that weren’t packed with tourists, so that we could really get to experience the local life. Getting around the city was easy—the metro was only 1.50 euros a ride, and you were able to transfer on buses free of charge! This made it so easy to see as much of the city as possible.
The cobblestone streets were so beautiful with vines and flowers draped across the windows and sides of buildings. Many restaurants had outdoor seating with gorgeous views of the city, and musicians would play guitars, accordions, and other instruments, and sometimes even sing outside of the restaurants. It was like being in a Disney movie! We, of course, visited the Colosseum and Vatican City, which were both filled with such rich history. Also, we visited the Trevi Fountain, where I did the iconic Lizzie McGuire movie wish coin toss.
A seafood appetizer consisting of mussels and bread with a special house sauce in Rome.
Now, the best part? Definitely the food. The pasta was AMAZING, and the pizza was like nothing I had ever tasted. I thought I would be blown away most by the pasta, but they had so many unique pizza flavors, and the thin crust was to die for. While Italy was so much fun, we both agreed that Mallorca was our favorite part of the trip. Because of how cheap the plane ticket was roundtrip (22 euros), I did not expect Mallorca to be the beautiful island it is! The beaches looked like laptop screensavers, perfect palm trees, clear waves, and fluffy sand! We also were lucky because at this time tourism is super slow, so most of the places we visited were almost empty.
One of the many beautiful beaches in Palma, Mallorca.
One place we visited that took our breath away was the Lighthouse of Cap de Formentor. It is about an hour away from Palma but 100% worth it! The drive to Formentor was full of amazing views of mountains and the pretty island views of Mallorca. Once you reach the mountain you have to take a gorgeous but pretty scary drive up the mountain to the peak where the lighthouse is. The roads are narrow, sharp, and extremely high up, but once you get past the fear of looking down, you can really take in the beauty of the mountain’s views.
The view from the top of the lighthouse!
We made it to the top and were able to hike around the lighthouse and look over the waters of Mallorca where we saw an unbelievable sunset! If you only go to Mallorca for one thing I would say go for the lighthouse (and the seafood, of course, haha)! However, a major recommendation I have is if you are going to visit Mallorca, RENT A CAR. Preferably a stick shift if you know how to drive manual (luckily we did) or else you’ll pay double the price for an automatic.
Maya Crawford is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Business Administration major at University of Massachusetts Lowell, she is studying abroad in Barcelona this semester.
Maya's journey continues every Thursday so stay tuned.