There are still people who can remember when Palma Nova was just a village. Then, along came the tourist boom and the 'new Palma' was established as one of the first purpose-built tourist destinations on the island.
Palma Nova occupies a prime position on the western side of the Bay of Palma and could be described as the quieter alternative to its rowdy neighbour Magaluf but less exclusive than its other neighbour Portals Nous. It’s favoured amongst British holidaymakers thanks to its long stretches of beach, budget-friendly hotels and child-friendly attractions. Note that Palma Nova is very close to Magaluf, only separated by a headland, and the resorts are easily walkable within 10 minutes. So, if you want to dabble with the nightlife of Magaluf but don't want to be in the heart of it, it's a good choice.
Palma Nova has got a bit of life year-round, thanks to the number of expats living in the area. Brits favour it for its reasonably priced housing market and a variety of international bars and restaurants open 12 months of the year.
History & Culture in Palma Nova
Palma Nova was one of the first tourist resorts to be built in Mallorca. Dating back to 1935, officials decided to transform the fishing village into a purpose-built resort to attract visitors. However, the Spanish Civil War put this on hold until the country returned to normality in the 1950s, when building resumed.
Beaches in Palma Nova
There are three stretches of beach in Palma Nova, all linked to a bustling promenade which runs along from one side of the resort to the other. Palma Nova Beach, a blue flag beach, is located right in the middle of resort and boasts a large in size, at 1-kilometre long and a depth of 60 metres. This section of beach is probably best for those keen to indulge in some water sports. Es Carregador is another blue flag beach at the eastern end of the resort, by a small harbour, which boasts fine white sand and clear blue sea. It’s favoured by families because it has a children’s play area on the promenade behind the beach. The beach furthest to the west is Son Maties, again a blue flag beach and the biggest of the three. This one has all the new cool bars, offering a great spot to have a drink.
Things to Do in Palma Nova
Discover the south-western coastline by hopping on board one of the many boat trips departing from Palma Nova. There are half day trips with swimming stop offs, many of which offer all-inclusive lunch and drink deals. A glass-bottom boat trip will allow you to explore the fascinating underwater world without getting wet.
Golf & mini golf
Palma Nova is within easy reach of some of the best golf clubs on the island. Golf Santa Ponsa, T-Golf & Country Club and Real Golf de Bendinat are all within a 10-minute drive. A major attraction in Palm Nova is Fantasia Mini Golf, with its three 18-hole courses set in tropical gardens, you will play among beautiful and picturesque waterfalls, lakes with ducks, caves, wooden bridges and a variety of tropical vegetation.
Katmandu Theme Park has been named the best theme park in Mallorca and 2nd best theme park in Spain. Within the iconic upside down house, you will find a small waterpark, soft play areas, 4D experiences, a house of magic, mini golf and so much more.
Got a need for speed? Karting Magaluf attracts a wide range of people of all ages holidaying in the south west of Mallorca. There are different types of karts depending on what you are looking for, and prices for these karts correlate with this.
Western Waterpark is located just outside of the resort. Here you will be able to spend the day exploring all its different attractions, including a wave pool, water rapids and a 15-metre high half pipe amongst other thrill-seeking rides. There’s also plenty of activities for the smaller ones to get involved with. If rides aren’t your thing, then Marineland is a marine amusement park with dolphin and sea lion shows, plus aquariums with sharks and other species.
Pirates Adventure Show is a truly unforgettable family experience with acrobatics that will amaze, dancers that will dazzle and laughs for all ages. Tickets include drinks and food for the evening too. There’s also an adult-only late night show, an x-rated version thanks to the innuendo packed script. It boasts an electric atmosphere and live DJ sets alongside its acrobatics. A top party destination with a unique twist!
There are plenty of convenience stores found within the resort alongside the typical holiday souvenir shops, beach shops selling inflatables, towels and sun cream, newsagents and more. There are also a couple of large supermarkets, namely Lidl and Aldi in Son Caliu - just short a short taxi-ride away and well worth it for self-catered holiday makers. Being a short distance from Palma, it’s easy to grab a bus or taxi into the city to indulge in some high street or designer shopping.
Dining in Palma Nova
Most restaurants along the seafront in Palma Nova tend to serve typical resort-favourite cuisine including pizza, pasta, British breakfasts and burgers. However, it's worth exploring the side streets for something less obvious and touristy. During the day, Il Chiringo is a modern bar ideally located right on the beachfront, perfect for watching the little ones on the beach whilst enjoying a light snack and cocktail. If tapas is on your agenda, then My Tapas should be at the top of your list. Here you will find all the usual favourites like dates with bacon, croquettes, squid, garlic prawns and more. Le Petit Bistrot offers good quality tapas alongside some typically French-inspired cuisine while the Olive Tree is a sophisticated eatery that prides itself on sourcing the freshest ingredients for its tapas and seafood. Ciro’s Restaurant serves up the best paella and is best known for its top-notch seafood and epic views over the beach; treat yourself and order the fresh Mallorcan lobster. If you are looking for some home comforts or international favourites, then Port O’Call is well worth the trip. You can expect to see things like steak, pasta and nachos on the menu, you name it – they have it all!
Nightlife in Palma Nova
The nightlife vibe in Palma Nova is more late-night bars than clubbing. Many people will have a few drinks in the Zen Lounge Bar & Grill, enjoy some live music at El Mecca Bar or indulge in some guilty pleasures at Karaoke Bar Monroe’s before venturing over the headland to Magaluf to shake their moves in one of the many nightclubs along the strip.
Hotels in Palma Nova
Palma Nova is smartening up and there is a now a good choice of refurbished hotels to choose from. Some are adult-only whilst others welcome families with kids’ clubs, paddling pools and entertainment for children. If you are looking for something a little more upmarket, then Son Caliu to the east might be more to your taste.
Senses Palmanova has been recently refurbished to a good standard, making it a top pick for adult visitors to the area. The modern hotel offers immaculate rooms, indoor and outdoor swimming pools but also a spa and wellness area with steam baths, hydrotherapy, and a traditional Turkish bath. A highlight is the exclusive rooftop terrace pool with panoramic views over the bay of Palma Nova – only available for Club Sky Privilege guests. If you'd like to have a little more independence when holidaying in Mallorca, then Mar Hotels Rosa del Mar & Spa is a modern aparthotel complex located in the centre of Palma Nova, just 150 metres away from San Matias Beach. If you don’t want to venture too far away from the hotel, then half-board options are available, along with a jam-packed entertainment schedule for day and night, catering for both adults and children.
How to get to Palma Nova
By car, it takes around 30 minutes to get to Palma Nova from the airport and just 10 to 15 minutes to get into the centre of Palma (traffic dependent). It is well connected to the rest of the island thanks to the Ma-1 being close by.
Public buses are frequently driving through Palma Nova (or the roundabout just above the port). The TIB bus line 106 travels between Palma and Magaluf, connecting Palma Nova to Son Caliu, Magaluf and Palma. The 104 goes around the houses a little more, stopping off at a good number of tourist hot spots on the southwestern coastline including Cala Major, Portals Nous, Port Adriano, Santa Ponça and Peguera. For a quicker journey, taxi ranks can be found in Palma Nova.