If you live on the island of Mallorca and own a dog – or are thinking about acquiring one – a website founded by Christina Kastin – should be of interest to you.
Christina is from Sweden and she loves dogs…and Mallorca. She’s spent the past decade lobbying local councils here to make the island more pet friendly. As a result: people can now take their dogs onto certain beaches during the winter season; six designated areas have been earmarked for dogs to swim at any time of the year, and seven bus routes in Palma will take your pooch as a passenger.
Christina’s website guide4dogs has full details of the above, as well as information about pet-friendly hotels and restaurants. In addition, there seems to be just about everything you could need to know about matters canine on the island.
In the northeast of Mallorca, the town of Artà has been working to make their municipality a more pet-friendly place and, in collaboration with Artà town council, Christina organized a dog walk from the nearby small resort of Colònia de Sant Pere last Saturday. This is one of my favourite places on Mallorca at any time of the year; if you haven’t watched the sun setting behind the Tramuntana mountains across the Bay of Alcúdia on a summer night, you’ve missed one of Mallorca’s best sunset spots.
I was one of the invited journalists and, despite not owning a dog (what would the eight cats think!), joined a friendly group of people and pooches who met up at Restaurante Es Mollet (find it on Facebook). Participants had come from all over Mallorca for this walk and several admitted that they didn’t really know this area of the island.
We began the morning with a complimentary breakfast of coffee, juice, and croissant or pa amb oli (the popular bread and oil snack, accompanied by pickles and ham or cheese). Meanwhile, we watched an interesting presentation via Skype by the Swedish animal communicator Mia Mattsson.
Two representatives from Artà town hall welcomed us and provided informative leaflets (in English) about walking and sightseeing in the area, as well as a DVD. (See notes below for useful web links).
From Es Mollet we set off for a long stretch of virgin beach, adjacent to the dog-friendly Naturplaya Hotel (which has an enviable beachfront location but had closed for the winter).
Once we’d hit the sands, leads were off and the dogs were free to enjoy themselves – bounding around, pouncing on the water as it lapped on the shore, and sniffing out new canine friends. Although we have cats at home, I also love dogs and it was heartwarming to see them having such fun.
Although the day was initially cloudy, the temperature was a pleasant 21°C and, by the time the group had stopped for refreshments, the sun was breaking through for our return walk to Colònia de Sant Pere.
The day was a great success and another beach walk for dogs and their owners may take place early in 2018. Don’t miss out: like and follow the Facebook page guide4dogs.com and you’ll keep up to date with what’s happening. And do check out the web links below to find out why the Artà municipality is one of Mallorca’s gems.
Artà Business Association (includes details of events happening)
DogsForU – mainly German Shepherds and other large breeds. DogsForU is just one of the many animal refuges and shelters on Mallorca, where you’ll find animals that need a good home and some loving care.
Text & photos ©Jan Edwards 2017