About Family Holidays in Mallorca
Mallorca is a perfect choice for a family holiday for many reasons. It has big, child-friendly beaches with white sand and calm crystal blue waters; loads of fun things to do and beautiful countryside. The island is compact, safe, clean, and there is a massive range of accommodation in Mallorca, in terms of both style and affordability.
The ideal family holiday is different for all of us, the beauty of Mallorca is that it can cater for pretty much everyone. Situated in the western Mediterranean, Mallorca is a short flight from most European countries to the capital city of Palma. Summer temperatures can climb to around 30ºC in July and August, and around 26ºC in June and September. Humidity is highest in August, with the spring and autumn months perfect for enjoying the great outdoors.
Beach holidays remain the most popular for families during the summer, with many of the best beaches located in family-friendly resorts. The choice of accommodation ranges from five-star luxury hotels to great value self-catered apartments. If you're on a budget, one of the all-inclusive resort hotels may suit, you'll find all you need on your doorstep in one of the bigger resorts like Alcudia or Palma Nova.
Peace & quiet
Not likely with kids, but still... If you want something quieter but well priced, go for a small rural hotel in the agricultural heartland. It feels like a world away in these small, traditional converted farmhouses, and the kids can play in the countryside or by the swimming pool instead of the beach. A villa in the hills, many of which overlook the coast, is always popular with families and the choice is endless. For history and culture, try a stay in the capital city of Palma with its Gothic cathedral and ancient city walls.
If you have older kids who enjoy being active, Mallorca is a holiday haven for sporty families. You can find hiking, cycling and rock-climbing, tree-top adventures and adventure playgrounds all over the island and these experiences can create lifelong memories for the children. There are still many wild places to explore on Mallorca, with protected natural parks, untouched beaches and a rural heartland that remains blissfully undeveloped. Or, for sea lovers, try a sailing holiday in the calm waters that surround Mallorca, there are many hidden coves amongst the dramatic cliffs to discover.
Accommodation for families
Mallorca has a vast selection of accommodation to suit all types of holiday and all budgets.
Many families prefer to take a villa holiday in Mallorca, most of which are self-catered. The most popular area for villas is in the north around the pretty town of Pollença. This is where you will find the biggest selection on the island, some with sea views, others nestled in the beautiful countryside. Other hot spots for villas include the area behind Cala d'Or in the south-east, with a further small selection around Deia on the west coast, and Port d'Andratx in the south-west. If no nanny service is offered with the villa, you can book childcare with one of the private nanny companies that operate throughout Mallorca.
The traditional resorts of Alcudia, Pollença, Playa de Palma, Palma Nova, Santa Ponsa and Cala Millor have undergone recent upgrades and renovations, bringing them up into the 21st century. Many hotels have been modernised and refurbished to provide family specific accommodation, with family rooms and inter-connected rooms, children's facilities and special kids menus in their restaurants. All-inclusive hotels are a popular option to help keep costs down, as are self-catering apartments in the resorts.
Most luxury hotels tend to be found away from the big resorts, in the areas around Soller, Deia and along the coast to the west of Palma. But you will find them throughout Mallorca, and some of the larger ones have kids clubs.
There are many gorgeous country hotels in Mallorca that are worth considering. Some are manor houses or farmhouses (known as fincas in Spain) that have been cleverly and sympathetically converted to provide excellent value for money family accommodation. They tend to be small and friendly, and some have farm animals to pet or grow their own organic vegetables. This can be a good alternative to a villa holiday if you would rather someone else did the shopping and the cooking.
There are no holiday campsites on Mallorca. This kind of holiday is not encouraged and, in fact, there are only two small campsites on the whole island, one of which involves a two-hour hike to reach... all-in-all we can't recommend this for families!
Also see: Where to Stay in Mallorca
Best places for families
The main draw to Mallorca is probably the sea and sand; thankfully, there are many family-friendly beach resorts to choose from.
Staying near the beach gives access to all the watersports on offer, as well as the chance to take boat trips to explore more of the coast than you could on foot with kids. Nonetheless, wherever you stay on the island you'll never be very far from the sea, such that you can't go for the day.
Family beach resorts
Alcudia, Port de Pollença, Palma Nova, and Santa Ponsa are some of the favourite destinations for a family holiday thanks to their big wide beaches, range of activities (waterparks to adventure parks, crazy golf and karting) and choice of family accommodation.
There are smaller resorts which are less developed and are more peaceful, where the most active you will be is simply building a grand sandcastle. This is particularly the case on the east coast, where the many beaches and coves are to be found, in resorts like Cala d'Or and Cala Millor.
No matter what the size of the resort, handily there are playgrounds situated close to the beach.
In a nutshell, north Mallorca has many great sandy beaches and is home to many of the most affordable family villas, as well as many large all-inclusive hotel resorts. There are plenty of sporting opportunities too as there is more open land.
Alcudia is probably the most popular resort for families. It has a wonderful long white sand beach, with shallow, turquoise seas. In addition, there is a big waterpark here, along with karting, cycling, horse riding, nature parks and golf.
The resort of Port de Pollença is just up the coast from Alcudia and is slightly quieter but also has a fabulous beach. Note that the resorts of Alcudia and Pollença are different places to the towns of Alcudia and Pollença. The resorts have been built by the beaches, specifically with tourism in mind, whereas the towns are further inland and are authentic Mallorcan villages with pretty squares, cobbled streets, market days and local fiestas.
The south-west offers great beaches too; coupled with more amusements, parks and more purpose-built entertainment than the north. The geography is more constrained so accommodation is mostly apartments and hotels; villas are at a premium.
The most popular family resorts are Palma Nova and Santa Ponsa. Palma Nova has a wonderful, big, deep beach and plenty of activities for children. It is just around the headland from Magaluf (easily walkable) so you can enjoy all the facilities in Magaluf during the day but escape back before the night time madness. Santa Ponsa has a smaller beach and fewer activities but is very popular with British families. It is also very close to the upmarket Port Adriano, a brand new marina with shops and restaurants; it also holds many family-oriented events during the summer.
The centre of Mallorca is given over to agriculture, with farms and vineyards spreading for miles in all directions. You will find lots of lovely rural hotels to stay in here, and a number of restored manor houses and religious sanctuaries to explore. A car is recommended if you wish to stay in the countryside.
Away from the resorts, there are many beautiful villages where the feel is much more Spanish. Those that are most charming and suited to tourism are in the Serra de Tramuntana Mountains and on the west coast, places like Valldemossa and Deia.
More family-suited is Soller, a wonderful village surrounded by mountains and amazing scenery on the west coast, overlooked by the picturesque village of Fornalutx. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Mallorca is the vintage train that you can take from Palma to Soller, a very special way to start your holiday.
Port de Soller is a few kilometres down the road from Soller and is a lovely place to stay with its sandy beach, boat trips and good restaurants. There is a very charming vintage tram that travels between Soller and Port de Soller. It's a great place to base yourself if your family enjoy being outdoors.
Also see: Towns & Villages in Mallorca
Activities for families
Where you choose to stay may depend on what you want to do whilst on holiday.
Summer holidays can simply be about chilling at the beach or at the swimming pool. But for those who want to do a little bit more on their holidays, then there is a wealth of activities in Mallorca on offer for all ages and members of the family. Whether your family enjoys sailing, snorkelling and watersports, or land based activities like mini golf, cycling and karting, there is something here for everyone.
Waterparks & adventure parks
A big attraction for many families are the waterparks. There are three waterparks in Mallorca - in Alcudia, Magaluf and Playa de Palma. In addition, there are new inflatable waterparks that float in the sea all around the coast of Mallorca. They are currently available in Can Picafort, Magaluf, Palma Nova, Port de Pollença, Portal Nous, Peguera and Playa de Palma - these are more suited to older children who are comfortable swimming in the sea.
If your kids like land-based activities then try one of the tree-top adventure parks or visit one of the Natural Parks to follow some of the short walking trails on offer. For something you've never experienced before, visit the curious upside down world at the Katmandu Park in Magaluf.
Boat trips & watersports
There's no easier way to explore an island than by boat, especially if you have children! You can take boat trips to different beaches, or to visit one of the small islands that surround Mallorca, explore inaccessible coves for some snorkelling, or simply sit back and admire the coastline from the sea. If you prefer to get wet and play in the sea, then you can try a wide selection of watersports, from wind surfing & kite surfing, diving, paddle boarding, kayaking, banana boats & ringos, parasailing, or indeed, learn to sail yourself.
Animal lovers have a number of places to visit. There is a wonderful aquarium near Palma Airport where you can view hundreds of tanks displaying the ecosystems of the world's oceans. There is a shark tank, a 'touch area' where you can interact with starfish, sea urchins and plenty others. There is a lovely children's play area with pirate ship, and children's events are organised during the summer. Marineland is a sea life centre with dolphin shows, seals & sea lions, an aquarium, and bird & reptile houses. It is located west of Palma in Puerto Portals. There are safari parks in Santa Eugenia and Cala Millor, and an ostrich farm near Campos, or take a visit to Els Calderers near Saint Joan to enjoy one of Mallorca's finest manor houses and their farm animals.
Shopping & markets
Market days can be a fun way to spend a morning with the family. Many of the local markets in Mallorca specialise in local produce, clothes and locally made gift items. The big shopping centre at Festival Park (just north of Palma) has around 50 shops, family friendly restaurants, an indoor karting track and an indoor adventure park with soft play area. There is another large shopping centre called FAN which is located east of Palma, on the way to the airport. In addition to a wide range of high street shops, it has it's own adventure centre called Dock 39 which has a climbing wall, soft ball pit and wave pool.
Activities on dry land
For active families, Mallorca is a dream place to explore. Cycling is very popular and the island has a series of cycle paths that can test the fittest or indulge the casual cyclist. Equally, hiking paths criss-cross Mallorca, and you can choose from coastal paths to more challenging mountain trails. Mallorca has several Natural Parks where you can explore beautiful scenery and learn about the indigenous wildlife. Horse riding, tennis and golf are widespread in Mallorca so it should be easy to access no matter where you are based on the island.
Thanks to its rich history, Mallorca has many monuments, castles, ancient ruins and religious buildings. Top choices for kids include the castles at Capdepera and Alaró, the Roman ruins of Pollentia in Alcudia, Lluc Sanctuary and the Carthusian Monastery in Valldemossa. Other natural sites such as Mallorca's limestone caves are a fascinating experience for the family. The most famous are the Dragon Caves in Porto Cristo, but there are systems all over the island. You can read more about the sights of Mallorca in our What to See in Mallorca Guide.
Events & fiestas
The summer months tend to be the time when many of the local towns and villages hold their fiestas. They are normally over a weekend and will generally include parades, markets, small fun fairs, pony rides and street entertainments. You can check our Events Calendar for fiestas happening during your holiday dates. The main holiday resorts, plus Palma and Port Adriano also tend to organise free events aimed at families during the summer, such as open air cinema, funfairs, parades, and street entertainments.
Also see: Family Activities in Mallorca
If your hotel or villa does not have a kids club or a nanny service then there are several private babysitting and nanny companies that operate in Mallorca.
School holiday dates
Spanish school term runs from September to December with a two-week break ("vacaciones escolares") for the Christmas holidays. The spring term starts after the 6th January festival of Epiphany and runs until Easter (either March or April) with an Easter/spring break of one week. The third term finishes mid-June for the summer holidays which last 10 to 11 weeks. Schools are also closed on public holidays when they fall in term time and local religious days and fiestas (holidays vary between the autonomous communities).
Location: Mallorca Island