The island of Mallorca is blessed with wonderfully diverse landscapes, from white sandy beaches with tropical overtones, through green & fertile plains and mountainous villages, to the elegant & historic city of Palma de Mallorca.
Your choice of holiday accommodation is equally varied and there are quality options for a wide range of budgets. It’s all about location really – you can expect to pay top dollar for a luxury hotel in the well known villages of Deia and Soller, and for Majorca’s grand golf & spa resort hotels. Many properties which have a seaview will also charge premium prices.
Even so, hotels are well priced when compared to other Mediterranean destinations. And if you are prepared to explore a little of the interior of the island, you can find some wonderful rural hotels & fincas for a fraction of the price.
East Coast Holiday Resorts
Great beaches & plenty of accommodation choices
Cala Millor marks the beginning of a host of purpose built resorts that fill the east coast. The beaches here are quite gorgeous, particularly in the northern part of the east coast where long stretches of golden white sand meet crystal clear seas. As you head to the southern part, towards Cala d’Or, the beaches become smaller but perhaps prettier as they tend to be found in coves where the sea sparkles and reflects the green of the surrounding pine trees.
Portocolom & Porto Cristo are two old fishing villages that have been developed into holiday resorts. Impressive cave systems are found near to Porto Cristo - you can take a tour of the mysterious rock formations and listen to classical music concerts in the larger of the caverns.
The east coast resorts are of course very popular with families and there are plenty of hotels and self-catering apartments & villas. If you move away from the coast and into the foothills of the Llevant mountain range, you can find a number of fincas and villa rentals. Mallorca’s second biggest wine growing region can be found around Felanitx – many of the vineyards are open to the public for tastings and tours.
The north east of Majorca is often overlooked, being the furthest away from the airport, but has plenty to offer the holiday maker. Home to the Llevant Natural Park, with it’s wild hills and abundant birdlife, the north east offers plenty of beautiful countryside and, unlike the west coast, you can also enjoy pretty beaches & coves.
The hilltop villages of Arta & Capdepera are super-charming; both have impressive fortress/castles and tiny winding alleyways that hide boutiques and art galleries. Accommodation choices in the area range from hotels & apartments in traditional Spanish resorts of Colonia de Sant Pere, Cala Rajada & Canyamel, to some really fantastic fincas and small luxury hotels. Villa rentals & holiday apartment rentals. It is pretty quiet in this part of Mallorca, which makes it perfect for a get-away-from-it-all holiday.
Great beaches & attractions - perfect for families
Further up the coast in the far northern part of Majorca you’ll find the perennially popular Pollenca, Formentor & Alcudia. Once again, you are surrounded by stunning scenery as the mountains slip into the sea – the headland of Formentor is recognised as one of Mallorca’s main beauty spots (as evidenced by the constant stream of tour buses during the peak summer months). Villa holidays are super-popular in this part of the world and there is a wide choice available, particularly around Pollenca. Pollenca itself is a wonderful little town, with several boutique hotels and artesan shops hidden in the maze of cobbled lanes.
Some of the best hotels are located in this part of Majorca – Hotel Formentor had its hey-day in the 1950’s and a recent refurbishment hopes to re-capture the glamour of that era. Hotel Son Brull just south of Pollenca boasts a fine mix of traditional & historic exterior with uber-modern designer interiors.
The charming medieval walled town of Alcudia should not be overlooked with it's great market and a couple of new boutique hotels. Beyond Alcudia, you head down to the coast where the Ports of Pollenca and Alcudia are separated by a lovely horseshoe bay. Being on the coast, these were the first areas to be mass developed for tourism so expect to find some out-dated apartment blocks on the otherwise glorious landscape. But for a more affordable beach holiday, the delights of the beaches, the range of family attractions and theme parks and a wide choice of dining possibilities make Port de Pollenca and Port d’Alcudia great for family holidays. This is the place to head for watersports too, waterskiing in the calm waters around Alcudia, and wind & kite surfing towards the east of Alcudia Bay. Plenty of apartment rentals are available in this area.
In the south east corner of Mallorca, the land flattens out and windmills start popping up into the landscape. This is where you’ll find the salt flats, home to the gourmet flavoured salts ‘Flor de Sal’, and Mallorca’s best known undeveloped beach, Es Trenc (which stretches for miles!). The prettiest (in our view) natural park of Majorca - Mondrago - is also here, with it’s aquamarine seas and luscious white sand beaches. Beautiful walks through pine-filled coastline can add an extra dimension to your day at the beach.
You can take boat trips from Colonia St Jordi to the only maritime natural park in Majorca, the Cabrera Islands. There are a number of well-priced fincas and luxury rural hotels in the area, plus a range of villas for holiday rentals. Keep going around the southern coast towards the Bay of Palma to find undeveloped agricultural land and a scattering of luxury hotels. You perhaps lack local beaches here – instead you’ll find cliffs and rocky coves – but you’ll have sea views and sunsets to die for.
As you come to the Bay of Palma itself, with the fantastic Playa de Palma beach, we arrive back in purpose-built land, with the popular resorts (particularly with the German community) of S’Arenal & Can Pastilla. This whole area has been earmarked by the government for a facelift – some of the apartment blocks are showing their age – and we hope that the end result will be more Miami Beach than anything else!
The area to the south west of Palma is a firm favourite with holiday makers and as such, has been developed extensively. Here you’ll find the big holiday resorts of Santa Ponsa, Palma Nova and Magaluf, which are very popular with the British. These towns provide the traditional package holiday accommodation of cheap 'n' cheerful hotels and budget apartments. Santa Ponsa is the more upmarket of these resorts, Palma Nova is popular with families, and Magaluf is where to head if you're a night owl. All have fabulous beaches and a wealth of family attractions to keep you occupied.
There is of course, more to the south west of Majorca than just these holiday resorts. Closer to Palma is the exclusive marina of Puerto Portals, which has great restaurants and sophisticated nightlife. Port Adriano is the new luxury marina in town, just south of Santa Ponsa - this has been specifically built for the super yachts of the rich & famous, so expect more & more luxury accommodation to be developed here. A more traditional yet still upmarket harbour is that of Port d'Andratx, which has managed to retain it's charm whilst luxury hotels & villas fill the surrounding hillsides.
A quieter and even lovelier fishing village is that of Sant Elm in the far south west, with it's Caribbean-esque sparkling blue seas and tropical landscape, but accommodation options are limited here. As you move away from the coast, you quickly meet rolling countryside as the hills develop into the Tramuntana mountain range. There are several tiny mountain villages hidden in these hills - s'Arraco, Galilea, Puigpunyent for example - which offer a real retreat for rest & relaxation.
A whole host of accommodation options await you in this part of Majorca – whatever you want, you will be able to find. Many foreigners own a second home in this area, so there are plenty of holiday villa rentals and apartment rentals available - right through from budget apartments to penthouse suites, luxury sea view villas and rural farmhouses. Or take a hotel on the coast – many of the luxury brands can be found here, in close proximity to several of Majorca’s golf clubs and some exclusive beach clubs. For a more authentic Mallorcan experience try staying in a countryside finca – these are converted farm & manor houses made into (for the most part) posh B&B’s. They tend to be better value for money when compared to establishments who call themselves boutique hotels.
Palma de Mallorca is the capital city of Mallorca and is a wonderful choice for those looking for something more than just a beach holiday. It’s actually the perfect city break simply because it has something to offer everyone.
Beautiful architecture, a quirky medieval city centre, golden sandy beaches, an enormous harbour, fabulous art galleries, good shopping, excellent restaurants, and very cool nightlife, it more than rivals cities such as Barcelona. Add to this plenty of regular low cost flights and you’d be mad not to consider Palma for a weekend break or a longer stay.
Your accommodation options include several stylish boutique hotels in the historic centre, larger luxury hotels on the city outskirts, and rental apartments throughout the city. The suburbs of Cala Major (the Spanish Royal family have a palace here), and Portixol (a charming fishing village with a more bohemian feel) offer alternative accommodation options to staying in Palma itself.
The interior of Mallorca is surprisingly green, with wonderfully fertile land dotted with tiny villages that have resisted the passage of time. That’s not to say there is nothing to do here! Many of the villages host quirky festivals and fairs each year, mainly celebrating their local agricultural produce and the local patron saint. Around Binisalem are the vineyards which make most of Mallorca’s wine, Santa Maria del Cami, Sineu and Inca have wonderful markets, and beautifully restored manor houses throughout the area give glimpses into how the nobility lived a couple of centuries ago.
Little lanes criss-cross the landscape, ideal for cyclists looking to explore at a leisurely pace. Hilltop sanctuaries & monasteries, and prehistoric ruins point to Mallorca’s past. Glass making factories & the cultured pearl industry line the road leading to Manacor (Majorca’s second city and home to tennis ace Raphael Nadal). The choice of fincas & small luxury hotels is impressive and offer better value than those closer to the coast. If villa rentals are more your thing, then you’ll be surprised at the quality and price of what’s on offer here. During the peak season of July & August, you may be better off with a place in the centre of the island with your own pool, rather than fighting everyone else for a bit of beach space!
To the north-west lie the popular mountain towns of Valldemossa, Deia, Soller & Fornalutx. These villages are immaculate, with pretty lanes filled with overflowing bourgainvillea and other colourful & fragrant plants. Each village has its own attractions - Valldemossa has its monastery & the connection to the composer Chopin, Deia has breath-taking views of the sea & gourmet restaurants, Soller has the wonderful modern art gallery of Can Prunera & vintage trains & trams, Fornalutx is postcard perfect and has hiking trails on its doorstep. Surrounded as they are by the Tramuntana mountain range, the scenery is spectacular. These villages have been popular with the well–heeled visitor for decades and they boast a number of famous residents. And if you are into your outdoor activities, this is definitely the place to base yourself.
Port de Soller is another popular choice, situated as it is in a glorious horseshoe bay. A great deal of cash is being invested in the port as it welcomes a brand new luxury hotel - The Jumeirah Hotel & Spa - due to open in March 2012. The promenade is being redeveloped and more & more chic hotels and restaurants are opening up. This is the place to come for boat trips, ideal for admiring the rugged western coastline. The Port de Soller is the only place on the west coast with sandy beaches - there are two (small & narrow) to choose from. The only other beach on the west coast is at Deia, which, despite being a shingle beach, is still a very popular spot for sunbathers and artists.
Some of Mallorca’s most exclusive hotel accommodation can be found here. But there should be something to suit all budgets, with a number of small boutique hotels & fincas springing up in the villages and in the hills. Or if you prefer self-catering, there are plenty of villas, fincas, townhouses and apartments available as holiday rentals.