I first visited Puerto Pollensa more than 25 years ago – and I keep coming back.
It has everything I need for a holiday, not least the glorious location. Crucially, it has managed to preserve much of its traditional character despite the pressures of modern tourism.
At the same time, there is no surprise that the resort has become an increasingly popular destination and that new development has continued to emerge.
Perhaps now a price is being paid.
On the last day of my latest holiday, September 5, red flags went up on Albercuix beach (between the port and the start of the Pine Walk) because, I was told, the sea was too polluted.
It was a shock.
In recent years, I have welcomed the traffic-free seafront, the daily cleaning of footpaths and clearing of litter, the signs encouraging the maintenance of clean beaches and the notices proclaiming the ecological significance of the Bay of Pollensa. Such environmental pride can only be applauded.
Yet here, in peak season, we had lifeguards blowing whistles to warn beachgoers to keep out of the water because it was too contaminated.
A cursory online check revealed this was not the first time. There was an account of a similar scare only last July.
Meanwhile, almost three years ago, the Balearic environment ministry was reported to be urging Pollensa town hall to fix "deficiencies identified in four pipes that discharge into the sea”.
When I raised the issue, locals pointed to a number of possible factors - the sewage system could not cope with growing residential development, the increasing number of boats in the bay, the impact of a storm with torrential rain, changing wind directions …
I do not know how long the latest restrictions were in place.
Whatever, I find it difficult to understand how such a beautiful and seemingly prosperous resort can allow this to happen in 2023, even if it is only very occasionally and in certain circumstances.
(It must also be admitted that the UK is also struggling to combat its own river and sea pollution).
Ideally, I’d like to think that a strategy has already been drawn up, the funds allocated and the urgency agreed to tackle this problem in a wonderful corner of Mallorca.
Most likely I’ll be back next year, but it would be reassuring to believe that the days of the red flags are over.