Mallorca, that beguiling gem of the Mediterranean, has long been a favourite destination for European holiday-makers and second home buyers. From retirees looking for somewhere that offers a slow pace of life to twenty-something’s hell bent on partying till dawn, Mallorca´s appeal is universal. It is the pure distillation of everything that the Mediterranean has to offer: year round blue skies, gastronomic excellence, fantastic value, and that special something that makes it so hard to leave and so easy to return to.
It could be anybody, but apart from a local you are most likely to find holiday makers from the Spanish mainland, northern Europe – the UK and Germany especially, Italy or France.
Expect to be entranced by Mallorca’s sunsets, swept up by its culture, brought to a drooling mess by its cuisine, and exhausted by its nightlife.
In a climate like Mallorca´s all of life is outdoors life, whether it is a leisurely lunch with a sea view or a cross country trek on horseback, not to mention that full range of watersports that one would expect from tourism based island economy.
Do not limit your expectations to the sun, sea, and sangria cliché. It can be just that if you want it to be, but it is also home to a rich and fascinating history and a vibrant contemporary arts scene.
Mallorca, like all of coastal Spain is famous for its beaches, but what makes the Balearics unique, are the tiny coves that make up its coastline meaning that many of its most amazing beaches are not huge sandy shores but secluded little inlets surrounded by sheer cliffs. If you are very lucky you might even find one all for yourself.
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To Port of Palma Dénia Valencia To Port of Alcúdia Barcelona Ciutadella de Menorca Ferries to Mallorca
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Everything is close on the island! From Palma de Mallorca to…
Calvià – 19,3 km Magaluf – 20 km Santa Ponça – 21,7 km Santanyí – 53,7 km Manacor – 53,4 km Pollença – 58,8 km Sóller – 29,3 km Valldemossa – 23,8 km
Palma de Mallorca airport has connections with 170 destinations Aena – Airports
Palma de Mallorca – 8 km Porals Nous – 24 km Magaluf – 28 km Banyalbufar – 35 km Port Andratx – 44 km Alcúdia – 58 km Pollença – 60 km
Palma de Mallorca Palma de Mallorca, the island capital, wears its history on its sleeve. It has, by turns, been settled by Phoenician, Greek, Roman, and Arab invaders, each leaving their imprint on the city. This melange of historical influences now draws another kind of invasion as each season thousands of tourists wash up on its shores to partake of its elegant, cosmopolitan atmosphere, easy living, and glorious weather.
Alcúdia Situated on the eastcoast of the island, Alcúdia is blessed in that its medieval gate is still intact marking an imposing entrance to this precious little town. Besides the warren of tightly packed streets redolent of by gone eras, Alcúdia boasts of an enviable location equidistant between with the sweeping bay of Pollença and its miles of unbroken beach to the north, and to the south, the bay of Alcúdia, and yet more miles of unbroken beach.
Puerto Portals If star spotting is your favourite sport Puerto Portals makes for a happy hunting ground: Paris Hilton, Bill Gates, and Jim Carrey are some of the famous faces that have passed through here. The super yachts in the port and the chic cafés and boutiques certainly speak to its reputation as a hideaway for high rollers. Luckily, its crystal waters and easy access from Palma mean that anybody can lap up the luxury without breaking the bank.
Valldemossa Many visitors to Mallorca make the mistake of thinking that beyond its beaches the island has little else to offer. That’s a great pity because it means that they miss out on its breathtaking interior landscape and beautiful inland towns and villages. Valldemossa, for example. This stone-built town, oozing with charm and cradled on three sides by towering mountains is a must see on any trip to Mallorca.
Serra de Tramuntana Not many people would associate a Mediterranean island with snow peaked mountains but in the Serra de Tramuntana, Mallorca´s only mountain range, that’s exactly what you will find most winters. You will also find rare wildlife like vultures and falcons, a monastery, and olive terraces planted by Arab settlers. These are just some of the factors that have made the Serra de Tramuntana a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Santanyi As tiny as it is Santanyi has developed the reputation as the artistic mecca on the island of Mallorca. Its quaint central market is surrounded by art galleries and many ofits restaurants have paintings for sale on their walls. Cala Figuera harbour, just a few kilometres from Santanyi offers a precious glimpse into old world Mallorca and a short drive to Cala Llombards yields amazing cliff views.
What makes Sa Sal such a memorable dining experience, apart from the imaginative and supremely executed dishes, is the setting. Located in a traditional Mallorcan house with a patio for outdoor dining Sa Sal offers up a true taste of Mallorca, and if you want to take that taste home with you, all the wines on the menu are available for bulk purchase. View more
On an island with such a rich local gastronomic tradition it can make for a refreshing change to try something completely different, and that’s exactly what’s on offer at Emilio Innobar, a Japanese/Mexican fusion restaurant just off Jaime III in Palma. Having travelled the world chef Emilio has brought his wealth of culinary knowledge and blended it all together to create masterpieces of international haute cuisine. View more
Just off Jaime III, the main thorough fare in Palma, is this two level Italian restaurant where authenticity is the order of the day. The risottos, raviolis and lasagnes are cooked to al dente perfection in this unpretentious and homely setting. The décor is redolent of old Napoli, which is fitting given that that’s where the restaurants owners come from, and prices prove that luxury need not be unaffordable.
Boasting of a million dollar view out onto the yacht filled marina, dining in Restaurant Tristan is to indulge in unabashed luxury. Whether you are out for a sophisticated dinner or a more informal lunch expect to be presented with culinary splendour and a blockbusting wine menu. The seafood is especially divine.
Raco means corner or nook and that perfectly describes the atmosphere of this out-of-the-way little restaurant in Deiá on the north of the island. The sensation that you are entering a truly classy establishment begins with the white-gloved service on the sublimeterrace setting surrounded by verdant hills. The wine menu is voluminous and the food second to none, easily deserving of its Michelin star. View more
Daniel and Macarena de Castro, the brother and sister act at the helm of Restaurante Jardín run a tight ship, or several tight ships as it turns out, integrating a restaurant, bistro and catering service. Each enterprise has a unique selling point and style but they all have one thing in common: uncompromising quality. View more
The incomparable sea view from the terrace of Es Fum alone could have won it a Michelin star. The choice of 6, 8, or 10 course menu composed of elegant, seasonal dishes dreamed up by superstar chef Rafael Sanchez probably had something to do with too. Dining here may not be cheap, but unforgettable experiences rarely are. View more
Serving up contemporary and classic Italian cuisine this new comer to the Palma dining scene is already making a name for itself. The restaurant´s plush, all-white décor and its location on the main pedestrian boulevard in Palma make for an inviting prospect. The quality of the food and the surprisingly affordable prices only add to its appeal. View more
Located right on la Lonja, the strip of coastline hugging Palma´s old quarter is the renowned, family run institution of Caballito de Mar. Offering top notch traditional cuisine with a modern touch it is the ideal spot to grab the freshest al fresco lunch or dinner. Their in-house sommelier ensures that all dishes are matched with the choicest wines the island has to offer. View more
Wineing Bar has aunique approach to serving its customers – which is that they allow the customers to serve themselves. You prepay on your credit card and that buys you a sample of up to 48 Mallorcan and Spanish wines. This is for mature, discerning drinkers only!
If you have had your fill of chilled beats by the beach and want to get in touch something grittier then head to Agua Bar in the Old town of Palma. Here you can catch live music of the indie rock variety and drink bottled beer while you nod along – not a djor bikini in sight! View more
Smack dab in the middle of Alcúdia beach La Floridita is impossible to walk past without stopping in for at least one drink. With the beach itself as its front lounge and a tempting array of cocktails and tapas on offer resistance is futile! View more
In the midst of so many sleek and chic nightclub bars that look more like sanitised laboratories than comfortable places to go for a drink it’s nice to find something with a little character and bohemian charm. L’Antiquari Bar and Café is just that recklessly furnished with art and bric-a-brac strewn haphazardly on the floor and walls, it’s the kind of bar you stop into for a cheap beer and up staying for hours writing poetry. View more
For the vegans among us, and those with more pared down aesthetic tastes, La Golondrina Bar in Palma is the place to go. It also consists of a small (vegan) restaurant and theatre where live music and spoken work events are held.
There are many beach club bars in Mallorca, all of them offering spectacular sea views but few quite as spectacular as Gran Folies. This is down to its location on a bay inlet where the Tramuntana mountain range meets the sea. The resulting backdrop of rocky cliffs surrounding serene waters form the ultimate chill out hideaway. View more
This seductive little bolthole decked out in thick red velvet curtains and candle light makes Idem one of the more sensually appealing bars in Palma. Serving up tapas and open sandwiches with a patio outback it would be the perfect location for a romantic liaison, or pre-clubbing drinks with friends.
If you need some downtime from the ceaseless partying of Magaluf and are looking for a chic beach-side tipple in an ambient setting then Nikki Beach Club is the ideal choice. The white sun loungers clustered around a pool with views out to sea assure to have the restorative effect you need, not to mention the massages and beauty treatments also on offer. View more
This Indian themed cocktail bar in central Palma radiates with Eastern promise. The Décor is as plush and colourful as a Bollywood extravaganza and the mixologists serving up the drinks go about their work with the professionalism of chemists brewing elixirs. Don’t miss the Indian inspired tapas which give the bar its truly unique flavour. View more
Inca, Mallorca´s 3rd largest city is known as the ´city of leather´ on account of the number of footwear brands based here. The best day to indulge in some serious retail therapy is Thursday when the town market is held and all of the island’s best leather, wood and jewellery products are on show.
These days, wiring up your home is as big a part of settling in as fitting your kitchen. At digital cinema they will see to it that all your audio, video, and i-gadgets are synced and ready to deliver the ultimate home entertainment experience.
If you want to avoidbeing seen in the same high street labels as everyone else then drop intoFarinelli Fashion Boutique in central Palma. They only stock the choicestthreads from Italian and European designers, and their warm and friendly staffwill act as your personal shopper for the day.
If you are planning on settling down in Mallorca and kitting your home out to meet the needs of your family then a trip to kids home is highly recommended. Specialising in children’s furniture, accessories and gifts it is the one stop shop for all your kiddie needs.
Exquisito specialise in sourcing the best of the best of what Mallorca has to offer from jam to champagne, all made by local artisans and beautifully packaged. As you browse the delicacies you are treated to coffee and wine making for a very welcoming shopping experience.
Using only ecologically sound materials and working with their clients’ needs, This Swiss custom furniture and design store has been adding a touch of class to Mallorcan homes ever since they set up shop in a beautiful palazzo in the town of Santa Maria del Camí.
About 30 minutes’ drive from Palma city is this outlet centre that goes beyond the usual range of discounted shops, restaurants, and cinemas that you would expect from an outlet store of its size; it´s leisure facilities include a large children’s play area and even an indoor electric go-kart circuit.
Conveniently located on the Maritime walk, Porto Pi offers 140 stores as well as a host of restaurants and leisure facilities. Ample parking and attractive gardens have made it a firm favourite with Mallorcan shoppers.
Whether you are along term resident of a tourist passing through, there is no escaping the ubiquitous El Corte Inglés. That’s because with 10 stories in total and comprising of two buildings in central Palma there is nothing that you could possibly want that they do not have in store.
One of Mallorca’s most natural courses it is not uncommon to cross paths with turtles, rabbits and rare birds as you navigate the several water hazards that make this a challenging course for players of any level. Despite the lakes, and fast, undulating greens Canyamel is still considered one of the more leisurely courses on the circuit. View more
This hilly, 18-hole course in the east of the island boasts dramatic views of the Mediterranean, and large restaurant and terraced bar with equally spectacular sea views. There is also a paddle pool and swimming pool on site for cooling down after a long day’s golfing. View more
In its less than 10 years in existence Son Gual, a private, family run members club has managed to establish itself as Mallorca’s most exclusive, this year winning the Golf Group’s inaugural award for Top Course. Constructed on a hunting estate it boasts an abundance of wildlife. View more
This densely wooded course just 7 km from Palma has attracted an impressive list of eminent personalities from the worlds of sports and politics who have come to play this short but very demanding course. From the clubhouse at the first tee to the restaurant on the 18th hole and the mountains views in between, Real Golf de Bendinat is one of the more elegantly designed courses on the island. View more
Originally built in 1994 and redesigned between 2004-2006 Pula Golf club has played host to a number of major tournaments including the PGA European tour championships among others. It is a flat yet moderately difficult course which offers sweeping views of the surrounding mountains and sea. View more
This mature course just a short drive from Palma remains popular with locals and tourists alike. Its mix of pine and palm trees, 7 lakes, and numerous bunkers make for a fair but challenging course and its onsite restaurant, built in the traditional Mallorcan style offers the perfect spot to round off the day. View more
Located in Camp de Mar on the south west of the island, Golf de Andratx is widely considered to be Mallorca’s most beautiful course. The site also hosts a restaurant, pro shop and 5 star quality hotel and spa. Courses range from beginners to advanced and they also offer children’s classes.
One of Mallorca’s oldest and best established courses, Arabella Golf Son Vida, near Palma, remains popular because of its broad appeal. Inviting for beginners yet presenting a stiff challenge for seasoned players too, its mature landscape makes it one of the most scenic courses on the island. View more
A relatively new course but one that is already making a name for itself in golfing circles as a challenging but rewarding course for confident players. Touted by a number of high profile golf magazines as one of Spain, and even Europe´s best, it is situated on the east coast of the island, near Alcúdia. View more
Easily reached from Alcúdia, this sweeping white beach offers the perfect mix of spaciousness and a full range of amenities and tourist infrastructure. At its northern tip is Port de Pollença and its numerous bars and restaurants.
Reaching Cala Varques requires a 15 minute walk through a pine forest, but this only adds to the suspense, and upon arrival its virgin beauty never fails to amaze. The handful of sail boats invariably bobbing on its crystalline waters just adds to the scene.
This incredibly secluded spot nestled into the foot of Mallorca’s highest mount is reached by a winding coastal road which throws up some breath taking sea views along the way. There is just enough space for a small restaurant on this sandy, pebbly, recluse’s hideaway.
This sliver of a beach picturesquely lined with pine trees boasts of the most dramatic views in all of Mallorca: cap de Formentor. This rocky peninsula jutting into the sea provides playa de Formentor with one of the most photogenic backdrops you could hope for.
The quality and clarity of the water here and the 3 kilometres of dunes that form the beach have been designated a Natural Area of Special Interest meaning that despite its considerable length it can get a bit crowded. Don’t let that put you off, there is a reason so many people come here – it is one of Mallorca’s most beautiful beaches.
In the Bay of Alcúdiais where you will find Mallorca’s longest beach. This golden sandy expanse caters for a wide range of sea borne activities serving the many resorts and hotels located there. It is a flat shallow beach making it a favourite amongst families.
Located in the southwest of the island this beach serves the glamorous Puerto Portals residents and holiday-makers. Somewhat built-up but still very natural due its rocky aspect it has a number of high quality restaurants directly on the beach and nearby.
Slightly further from Palma than Can Pere Antoni but still within a short distance is Cala Major. This is a built up beach overlooked by large hotels but owing to its width itis still possible to find a considerable amount of personal space and notfeel too hemmed in.
This is the closest beach to Palma city so for ease of access it is unbeatable but it also makes it one the most crowded beaches on the island. That said, it still consistently wins a blue flag for cleanliness, has plenty of amenities, and at only 15 metres deep it is a very family friendly option.
A place of pilgrimage since the 13th century high in the Tramuntana Mountains Lluc Monastery is the holiest site in Mallorca. There is a restaurant onsite offering food for tired pilgrims and it is even possible to stay overnight meaning there is no rush in taking in the beautiful sights.
This town in central Mallorca has been home to weekly a market since the Middle Ages and that tradition is as strong today as ever. Each Wednesday farmers and artisans flock to Sineu to sell their produce and wares, it´s an island institution and one not to be missed.
The Moorish rulers who occupied Mallorca for centuries knew that one of the best ways to counteract the intense summer heat was to create gardens which were full of shady trees and running water. The result of this is that they have left beautiful garden parks all over their former realm and Alfábia Gardens are no exception.
Once occupied by the Order of the Knights Templar, the Calvary Oratory in the Romanesque town of Pollença sits atop a 365 step climb making it the perfect place to escape to if you want to atone for your sins or just take in the charming rusticity of its surroundings.
This family run glass factory has been churning out precious works of art for over two centuries. Watch the glass blowers at work on the ground floor then wander around the gorgeous collection of rare pieces upstairs.
In the early 19th century a group of hermit monks took over some ruins near Artá that dated back to the Arab era and built it up into what is today – a beautifully maintained oasis of lush gardens and sacred spaces.
Fincas were large estates usually owned by noblemen or very wealthy businessmen. In recent decades, however, many have passed into the hands of trusts or government bodies meaning they are open to the public. Finca Galatzó on the northwest of the island is one such example where a previously private estate can now be enjoyed by anyone: horseriding, hiking, mountain-biking are just some of the activities on offer.
For such a small island, Mallorca is blessed with an incredibly majestic mountain range, in the form of Serra de Tramuntana which running along the north of the island. It is home to rare bird species, quaint stone villages and comes to a spectacular head at Cap de Formentor on its eastern most extremity.
This unique wet land environment draws bird watchers from all over Europe thanks to the wealth of rare species that live or migrate here. Situated near Can Picafort on the East of the island it has been recognised as an area of international ecological importance and forms part of the EU Natura 2000 Network.
Sometimes the bestway to imbibe the local culture is not by standing in line at a museum or taking photos of a monument but just by doing what the locals do. The most pleasant way of doing this in Palma is to “passejar”, which simply means to stroll the pedestrian boulevard that runs from Passeig del Born down to la Lonja and the waterfront. You will notice that many locals partaking this delightful routine and there is no better way to make yourself feel at home than to join in.
Located in a small 19th century palace on the grounds of an attractive estate near Soller, the Natural History Museum is dedicated to collecting and displaying artefacts that show of the richness of the island´s natural bounty. View more
This imposing 15th century edifice opposite the cathedral in Palma was originally built as a defensive fort by the islands Moorish rulers and then passed into the hands of the Spanish royal family after the reconquest. It is still sometimes used by monarchy on special occasions but it is open to the public who can enjoy the collection of art and tapestries that it houses.
For fans of the artist Miró this museum is an absolute must as it grants the visitor a privileged insight into the artist’s workspace. In the grounds outside the museum are more of Miró´s sculptures and a pretty Mediterranean garden. View more
The Cartuja monastery is intimately connected with the works of the Polish composer Frédéric Chopin: he and his partner, the writer George Sand, rented rooms in the monastery in 1838 and it was here that he composed a number of his most famous works including his beloved Preludes. View more
It’s not difficult to see what inspired the English poet and author Robert Graves to put down roots in this little corner of paradise. Towered over by the Tramuntana Mountains his home and graveyard have been lovingly maintained with many of his personal possessions on display to give visitors an insight into the writer’s life. View more
Set in an enviable position in a luscious green nature reserve looking out into the bay of Alcúdia, these modern and eclectic artworks on display are belied by the deceptively old-looking, Mudejar-esque building that contains them. Despite being built only in 1978 the formal gardens with 100 varieties of roses look they were designed in Abbasid times. The juxtaposition of ancient and modern is beguiling and makes the Jakober foundation an absolute must see. View more
This contemporary art museum has added hugely to the cultural clout of Mallorca since it opened in 2001 – 4,000m2 of cultural clout to be exact, making it one of the biggest museums in the Balearics. Apart from all the contemporary art on display the museum courtyard hosts classical and flamenco concerts during the summer.
Es Baluard is the premier modern art museum in Mallorca. Opened by the King and Queen of Spain in 2004, it was constructed on what had previously been wasteland making a statement in the process that part of Mallorca´s attraction would be its commitment to cultural and artistic expression. Showcasing works by greats like Picasso, Matisse, and Magritte Es Baluard has more than lived up to its lofty goals. View more
At 1, 455 metres Puig Major is the highest peak in Mallorca and the crown of the Tramuntana mountain range that runs along the north of the island. It is a considered to be a climb of average difficulty taking about 2-3 hours depending on fitness level. Thereis simply no better view of the island than that found from the summit of Puig Major. View more
This is one for the real dare-devils out there! Professionals will take you out to a 30 metre high natural rock arch at Es Pontas from which you can jump with a rope attached, free fall for 20 metres and become a human pendulum as the rope takes up the slack and you swing wildly from side to side before coming to a stop. Sound like fun? View more
Due to its petite size it is barley necessary to rent a car to get around Mallorca: much of it can be covered using pedal power alone. The tourist board is keen to promote this emission-free and healthy mode of transport, that´s why they have invested heavily in cycling infrastructure. There are now 10 official routes, amounting to some 350 kilometres and the hotel industry are getting in the act too withover 40 hotels specialising in cycle tourism on the island. View more
What better way to acquaint yourself with nature than to strap on some thick boots and get out into the wild. That’s exactly what the Mallorca hiking tours offer, the northeast of the island being the best place to do it as it offers spectacular views of the Formentor peninsula. View more
If clambering up rocks isn’t your thing then maybe bouncing down them is. If that’s the case then Mallorca has that covered too as there are numerous abseiling sites offering excursions for a range of experience levels. The normal descent is 25 metres and the instructors are always on hand to ensure utmost safety. View more
Rock climbing enthusiasts love Mallorca because of the craggy rock of which the island is composed. But again, you don’t need to be a seasoned pro to avail of this unique experience; there are instructors on hand that can make it a fun day out for all the family. View more
To some it is just plain crazy; to others, the thrill of a life time. Whatever your view of cliff jumping, so long as it is done under the supervision of trained professionals it is a safe and exhilarating experience. The instructors will coach you on how to jump and land from a variety of heights from 3-12 metres depending on your threshold for fear. View more
Mallorca is one of Europe´s top destinations for canyoning, and adventure sport that involves hitching yourself to a harness and rope and descending into riverine gorges. Excursions are tailored to all experience levels so anybody can take part in this adrenaline pumping activity. A certain degree of fitness and good quality shoes are the only requirement. View more
Due to its small, enclosed nature the Mediterranean does not tend to generate the kind of swells that lead to great surfing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Californian style surfing experience. The Wave House on the Calviá coast is the first artificial wave generator in Europe, part of a large leisure complex right on the beach it offers would-be surfers the opportunity to catch some gnarly barrels. View more
Mallorca is famous for its pearl production, and although they may not be natural oyster pearls the skill and artistry that goes into their creation has resulted in their becoming world renowned pieces of jewellery. At the Majorica factory in Manacor where they have been handcrafted since 1890 visitors can look in on the intricate production process. View more
This bronze age settlement is one of the best preserved in the Balearics and offers a great insight into how some of the very earliest inhabitants of these islands lived.Before the Arabs, the Romans, or even the Greeks the Balearics were settled by the Talayots and it is they who have left this archaeological treasure behind.
The monastery dates back to the 13th century and was built by the Island´s ruler Jaume II at the request of the theologian and philosopher Ramon Llull. However its most spectacular feature, the “mirador” with its uninterrupted sea view, was added in the 19th century by its then owner, the Archduke Ludwig Salvadore of Austria. View more
The most imposing structure in Palma is the city cathedral. La Seu, as it is known was built in the 14th century to mark the return of the island to Christian rule. It took so long to complete that it encompasses the styles of a number of different eras from Gothic to Baroque; even Antoní Gaudi contributed to the masterpiece.
Mallorca is wellk nown for the beauty of its landscape and coast but did you know that it is just as beautiful below ground as it is above? You can see for yourself at the caves of Drach with their dripping stalactites and subterranean lakes, it even doubles as a classical music venue. View more
If it is breathtaking scenery and timeless rusticity that inspires you then get yourself to Fornalutx, near Soller, on the north of the island. This village makes a strong claim to be crowned as the prettiest in all of Spain, and the surrounding countryside is ideal for cycling and hiking.
On the 19th of September each year Palma is given over to the arts as all of its galleries and museums open late and throw open their doors to visitors free of charge. This makes for a fabulous experience as thousands of people fill the streets wandering from gallery to museum to tiny art space sampling the best of what the city has to offer. View more
Another great way to get some kitchen inspiration is take part in the TaPalma festival. It takes place in December and involves about 40 tapas serving bars and restaurants showcasing their creations. There are four routes to choose from as you make your way around the city tapa by tapa. View more
Often the tapas served in restaurants look and taste so good that most people feel they would never be able to recreate them in their own kitchen, but that needn’t be the case. The Galley Club offers a four hour workshop, including a trip to Santa Catalina market, where you can learn how to serve up some of the island´s signature dishes. View more