When Andreas Botas talks about his new life on Mallorca you can hear the enthusiasm in every word and it makes you want to jump on the Vespa with him and accompany him on his visits to Alaró’s weekly market or the island’s vineyards.
It wasn’t long ago that the estate agent from Starnberg in Bavaria, Germany, bought a country house here for himself and his wife, not far from Santa Maria. He was casually looking for an alternative to his country life in the Starnberg district, not far from Munich. Anyone who knows this area of South Germany will know how beautiful it is and that this sets a high standard as the life there is characterised by lakes, sailing, stunning scenery, plenty of tradition, international culture and an excellent standard of living.
Andreas Botas and his wife, who speaks perfect Italian, had actually always been great lovers of Italy and all things Italian but the winters there are often cold and foggy. As an estate agent in the high-end sector, Andreas Botas knew the market and what to expect and always had an exact idea of what he was looking for. He didn’t, however, know where he should look for his own house after his favourite country, Italy was no longer an option. He didn’t have a plan B. Things changed when a friend from Munich told him about an encounter with Mandy Fletling, a skilled property expert from Mallorca. He took the step and flew to Mallorca with his wife with no connections to the Balearics to start off with besides the fact that his father is Spanish and that he got to know his mother on Mallorca. Here, Mandy Fletling accompanied the couple to Santanyí which is also known as “Hamburg hill” which was “too German” for him. It then took a lot of persuasion from Mandy Fletling to convince him to look at property in the centre of the island. “I didn’t want to go there but Ms Fletling insisted on it.”
They viewed the first property which had a picturesque driveway leading up to it, a Mediterranean garden, built in traditional finca-style in 2003 with a courtyard, spacious and bright and with beautiful terracotta flooring as well as heating and all modern comforts. From the very first moment the couple liked the owner and there was a familiarity between them. “I know this feeling from my own clients – it’s like a friend is living in the house of your choice. You have the same tastes and interests.” Mandy Fletling then showed him the area around the Tramuntana mountains where he found the essence of his search: rural yet near enough to Palma and many other places, international but not touristy with a lot to offer also in the winter. “And, above all, it wasn’t a German enclave but somewhere where you could still get the true and authentic feeling of the Mediterranean!”
The plots of land are all large here, the prices within reason and the region impresses with a UNESCO world heritage site, the magnificent Tramuntana mountains, as well as beautiful scenery with almond blossom and where you can watch the vines grow in the vineyards. There is always something going on in Santa Maria and Alaró and Palma and the airport are only 20 minutes away by car. “We said we’d take it the next day. If something is right, you shouldn’t hesitate – nothing comes around twice!” says the estate agent who speaks from his own experience. The couple is still in the “settling in period” and comes here every two months. “We haven’t had a summer on the island yet but it’s already perfect. The winters are a dream!” he enthuses. Whilst the car is still a status symbol in Germany, Andreas has now replaced his 4×4 with a Vespa. “It just doesn’t make sense to have a big car here. You can’t get through the narrow alleyways with them and they only get scratched …. it’s pointless!” he laughs. Besides, in a car you also miss the little things that make daily life here so special: the smell of wild rosemary, freshly caught fish or just a brief “hello” with the Mallorcan neighbours who have warmly welcomed him. Could he imagine working as a property consultant here? “Definitely not,” he says. “There are already enough. Here I only want to enjoy life!”
Photos by Sara Savage