Illetas (also known as Ses Illetes) is a small upmarket resort on the southwestern coastline of Mallorca. Just a few kilometres west of Palma, many flock to the area in the peak summertime thanks to its soft sandy beaches and crystalline turquoise waters.
This genteel purpose-built resort dates back to the mid 20th century. For many people, Illetas is the most attractive resort in the Bay of Palma, featuring whitewashed villas, apartment blocks and an assortment of old-fashioned and modern hotels that dominate its coastline. It just has everything: an idyllic setting with three fabulous beaches in the vicinity and easy access to the shops, restaurants and nightlife in Palma’s city centre. So, if you want a base near the capital combining a city break with a beach holiday, this could be just the place.
The winters are quiet here but, from Easter through to October, the resort really comes to life. Many British, German and Swedish families have holiday homes in Illetas. The Anchorage, a pretty holiday village found on the far west side of Illetas, is the most sought-after development here.
Beaches in Illetes (Beach Resort)
The area of Illetes boasts three sheltered sandy beaches. The main one is Playa de Illetes (Illetas Beach) which features high-end restaurants and a beach club, the perfect choice for a luxury beach experience. The other two beaches are set within smaller coves further west of the resort. Cala Comtessa has a small beach bar set overlooking the beach and even further west is Cala Xinxell which has particularly shallow waters perfect for the children. All beaches have sun loungers available to rent in the summer season. There is also the option to hire paddle boards, pedaloes and kayaks.
Things to Do in Illetes (Beach Resort)
Illetas is very much a beach resort, so there’s a slow-paced holiday way of life here. Things to do tend to revolve around the beach and watersports but the hustle and bustle of Palma and Puerto Portals are very much within reach.
Non-intrusive watersport services are available in Illetas. Think things like pedaloes, kayaks and paddle boards. For thrill seekers, head down the road to either Puerto Portals or Cala Nova for jet skiing, fly-boarding, water skiing and more.
If you want to indulge in a spot of beachside luxury, then we would highly recommend spending the day at Purobeach located next to Playa de Illetas. Here you can rent sun loungers for the day and enjoy a waiter serving you top-notch cocktails and international cuisine from your sunbed. Alternatively, you could just book a table for lunch or dinner here and enjoy panoramic views of the Bay of Palma.
There are some boutique shops to be found on Playa de Illetas selling fashionable beachwear, kaftans and all things summery. Note these are only open in the summer months from Easter through to October. There’s also a convenience store on the road above this beach. For a bigger supermarket, you will need to venture either towards Bendinat or Cala Nova, each a 20-minute walk or short taxi ride away.
Dining in Illetes (Beach Resort)
Balneario Illetas is a popular choice for lunch and dinner as it has an extensive menu, from traditional Spanish paella and local fish to meat dishes, pasta and more. Purobeach offers designer dishes from around the world; expect anything that is in food fashion as well as classics including their famous Puro Burger and the fish tacos. Otherwise, many of the hotels in the area feature their own restaurant. For a fine dining experience, we would highly recommend the Maricel Restaurant within the Hospes Maricel & Spa Hotel where the chefs focus on avant-garde cuisine using only the freshest locally sourced ingredients.
Nightlife in Illetes (Beach Resort)
Illetas is more of a sundowner destination rather than a spot for a big night out. The beach bars, restaurants and beach clubs are the perfect places to enjoy a cocktail, a cool beer or to share a bottle of wine after lounging around on the beach. For some late-night partying, hop in a taxi to Palma.
Hotels in Illetes (Beach Resort)
Being a purpose built holiday destination, there’s a good choice of hotels in Illetas. Whether you are seeking budget-friendly, high-end luxury, child-friendly, adults only, spa facilities or something else, you will be sure to find something to suit your needs here.
Hotel Hospes Maricel & Spa is a luxury 5-star establishment in a stunning location overlooking the water right on the edge of Illetas. Within the historic building, you will find tastefully decorated rooms, a picturesque swimming pool, spa and fine dining restaurant. Don’t miss the famous brunches here, often described as one of the best in the world. At the other end of the spectrum, the state-of-the-art Meliá de Mar is an adults-only luxury hotel, providing a relaxing experience in the most contemporary way. It resides in beautiful gardens and even has its own exclusive beach.
The Barceló Illetas Albatros - Adults Only is a new hotel where you will be greeted with contemporary minimalist bedrooms, majestic swimming pools with Balinese beds, a spa and restaurant terrace serving good quality international cuisine! Alternatively, Hotel Riu Palace Bonanza Playa is a smart 4-star hotel with a wellness centre. There’s a choice of elegantly decorated rooms available, some with connecting doors.
How to get to Illetes (Beach Resort)
By car, it takes around 15-20 minutes to get to Illetas from the airport and just 10 minutes to get into the centre of Palma (traffic dependent). It is also well connected to the rest of the island thanks to the Ma-1 and Ma-20 roads being close by.
Public buses are frequently travelling through to Illetas (or the roundabout just above the port). The EMT bus line 3 travelling to and from Palma ends in Illetas (through the neighbouring resort of Cala Major). To get to either Palma or Portals, taxis will cost between 10€ and 15€.