About the Attractions in Mallorca
There is more to Mallorca than you might think! As well as the many beautiful beaches, hidden coves and stunning scenery there are plenty of things to see and do on your visit here. Below are a few suggestions of things to try and places to see whilst you are visiting this beautiful island.
Palma de Mallorca
Palma comes as a surprise to many people - it is stylish, sophisticated, intimate yet bursting with life. Half of Mallorca's population live here, enjoying the island's best restaurants, shops and nightlife as well as a thriving arts scene and a lively cafe society. Palma's masterpiece is its Gothic cathedral, rising out of the city walls which once marked the edge of the sea. The cathedral is in the middle of the historic centre, with it's maze of narrow streets hiding museums, palaces and exquisite courtyards. The marina takes pride of place along the seafront, but to the east you will find a couple of lovely sandy beaches.
Also see: Palma de Mallorca City Guide
The beaches in Mallorca range from long white sandy beaches, to isolated rocky coves. Many of them are popular with tourist and locals alike, but it is still possible to find a peaceful spot if you are prepared to get off the beaten track. Some of the nicest beaches tend to have resorts attached to them (Playa de Palma, Puerto Pollenca, Puerto Alcudia, Magaluf, Cala Millor for example), so they will be busy, but the upside of this is that they have extensive facilities and are great for families and children. Long sandy beaches can be found on all the coasts except for the west coast, which is dominated by cliffs and rocky coves. For pretty sandy coves with sparkling seas, head to the east coast.
What could be nicer than to spend some time relaxing on a boat, enjoying the beautiful coastline of Mallorca whilst someone else navigates the seas? You can charter a yacht from anywhere on the island with one of the many yacht charter companies for a private experience. For those with slightly less deep pockets, you can join a boat trip for a day (or half day) at sea with one of the companies based in Mallorca's beach resorts. You will find there is a wide choice of small boats, large boats and catamarans (which is reflected in the price you will pay) and some have glass-bottoms so you can admire the fish and sea vegetation below. Day trips are the most popular and usually encompasses lunch and a stop-off at one of the more remote beaches, and you can try some snorkelling if you fancy. Or take a sunset cruise in the evening and enjoy the views with a glass of bubbly. If you are looking for something a little more edgy, you could consider a ride on a speed boat to get the heart pumping!
In recent years, Mallorca has become increasingly popular with cyclists, thanks to it's mild winters and varied terrain. There are the Tramuntana mountains to explore for the brave, and charming lanes and coastal cycle paths for those looking for something more leisurely. The north west of Mallorca is the most popular, around Alcudia and Pollenca, but you can hire a bike at most places on the island. A great way to enjoy the beautiful countryside!
Mallorca is gaining a reputation for being a gastronomic centre and has half a dozen Michelin rated restaurants. Many local chefs who have trained overseas have returned to Mallorca to set up restaurants in the small inland towns. These restaurants tend to offer a five course tasting menu and is an excellent way of sampling local cuisine at very reasonable prices.
Mallorca's fabulous coastline offers many opportunities to find a dining spot by the sea. All the islands ports have at least one restaurant on the front, or the pier, and most will specialise in fresh fish. Or head to one of the marinas where you can indulge in some of Mallorca's swankier restaurants and some people watching - and enjoy a different sort of view! It is worth calling up the restaurant in advance if there is a group of you - you may well be offered a whole fish for your party that has been freshly caught that morning.
Find yourself swept along by the atmosphere of a traditional fiesta and you will get a completely different picture of Mallorca. Many of the festivals are religious or agricultural in origin and a few date back to the time of the Christian conquest. Every town and village has its saint's day, whose eve (revelta) is marked by a verbena, a street party with music, dancing, fireworks and fancy dress. Battles are acted out between devils and heroic women, or Christians and Moors; people prance about as horses, and a good time is had by all. For more information on events during your stay in Mallorca, check our Events Calendar, but note that events and their programmes are rarely published much in advance. Public transport is good and well linked, especially in the holiday resorts, if you don't have access to your own wheels.
There are two big mountainous areas in Mallorca, the main one being the Tramuntana mountains that run up the west coast. The highest peak is 1445 metres and the whole area has World Heritage Status from UNESCO. There are great walking trails to be explored, and the small hilly roads are very popular with cyclists and car road trippers. The other main area is the Llevent Natural Park in the north east, where the rugged hilly landscape overlooks the coast. There are several marked trails through the park for hikers.
Drive (or walk) to a hilltop sanctuary to experience 'the other Mallorca' - peace and quiet far away from the crowds. There are several ermitas, hermitages, santuaries and monastries dotted throughout Mallorca, mainly dating back to Medieval times. Originally inhabited by monks, they were places of pilgrimage. Nowadays, they provide excellent starting points for hikes, and you can spend the night in some of them in fairly basic but cheap rooms.
The Palma to Soller vintage train ride is one the most popular day trips on Mallorca. The immaculately-kept trains use vintage wooden carriages that run along a 27 km narrow gauge railway to the beautiful town of Soller, deep within the Tramuntana mountains. A connecting tram ride takes you on a short 5 km trip to Port de Soller and the west coast's only sandy beaches.
Also see: Trains in Mallorca
Palma is the main shopping area, with the old centre offering plenty of independent boutiques in addition to Spanish high street chains and designer labels. There are two big shopping centre close by, at Porto Pi and Festival Park. Otherwise, most towns offer a weekly market where you can find fruit & veg, crafts and touristy trinkets. Mallorca is known for it's production of artificial pearls, and you can visit the factory before buying. The duty free shopping at the airport has vastly improved over the years and now boasts stores of El Cortes Ingles for any last minute shopping.
There are a few theme parks to enjoy in Mallorca, for most age ranges. From crazy golf, to tree top adventures and paint ball, a holiday in Mallorca need not mean just sitting on the beach!
There are some beautiful unspoilt villages to visit in Mallorca. Try Deia and Valldemossa, hidden in the hills of the Tramuntana mountain range. Soller, also in the hills, has amazing architectural gems and a rich history. Pollenca in the north is another beauty, filled with little lanes, pretty squares and impressive buildings. On the agricultural plain right in the middle of Mallorca, the village of Sineu has a wonderful market on Wednesday mornings. In the north east is Arta, and in the south east is Santanyi - both are arty little towns with pretty medieval centres and historical buildings.
Mallorca's waterparks are the perfect place for families and groups to enjoy the hot summer days. The parks are located in the north west in Alcudia, the south at Playa de Palma and the south west, at Magaluf. All have a good selection of slides and rides, and there are other family attractions on site.
Wine & vineyards
Mallorca is quietly building a reputation for fine wines; since the 1990's local winemakers have turned the industry around and are now producing some pretty stunning wines. Native grapes include Callet, Manto Negro and Moll, and these are generally blended with imported grape varieties to produce full bodied reds and fresh rose and whites. Plenty of the vineyards are open for tours and tastings, and even if you don't have time to visit, we'd recommend you try a bottle at one of the local restaurants - not many bottles make it off the island!
Location: Mallorca Island