Over the years, the Island of Mallorca has developed a reputation as a prime partying hotspot. Nightlife in cities, such as Magaluf or Palma de Mallorca has dominated many people’s perception of the island as a tourist destination, and while the island offers no shortage of bars and clubs, Mallorca has so much more to offer for tourists of all types and ages, from outdoor adventures to historical tours or relaxing strolls along the beach..
Travelling Around Mallorca
Explore the Island’s Natural Wonders
Serra de Tramuntana
A hiker’s dream with amazing views of the island, The Serra de Tramuntana mountain range was given world heritage status for its significance to the region. At 1445 meters, Puig Major is the range’s highest mountain, and its neighbor Puig de Massanella is the tallest accessible peak on the island and is commonly explored by hikers.
Bay of Pollença
During the spring and summer months, the Bay of Pollença is the perfect place for kite surfing. The city Port de Pollença has also been home to many artists, including Argentinian painter Atilio Boveri, Nicaraguan poet Ruben Dario, and renowned author, Agatha Christie.
This modest port village is an ideal destination for mountain biking and scenic road trips, and can only be reached via a single winding road which was actually designed by the famous Italian engineer, Antonio Parietti. The town rewards travellers with a small but beautiful beach, wonderful views of the bay and a magnificent natural landscape.
Torrent d’es Pareis
One of the largest gorges in the Mediterranean is easily accessible by boat or local buses from the Port de Sóller. The area is popular for its demanding hiking trails, which can take four to six hours to complete from the bottom of the valley. Along the way, tourists may even spot one of the region’s indigenous goats as well as fauna that is exclusive to the Balearic Islands.
Cap de Formentor
The Cap de Formentor is easily one of the most breathtaking locations on the island with a plethora of options for outdoor enthusiasts, including several stunning lookout points. Off the coast is an ideal location for sea kayaking, and a nearby sandy beach is the perfect place to relax. The Formentor Lighthouse is the highest one in the Balearic Islands, standing 210 meters above sea level.
Cuevas del Drach
Mallorca is home to numerous expansive limestone caves to explore. The Cuevas del Drach, Spanish for “Dragon Caves,” consist of four large connected caves near Porto Cristo. The caves were discovered by German explorer, M.F. Will, who mapped two of the caves in the late 19th century. They are open to the public and are one of the island’s most visited attractions.
The largest island in a small archipelago off Mallorca’s southern coast, Cabrera is an ideal place for snorkeling with its crystal-clear waters, where sting rays, octopuses and barracuda have been known to be spotted. The coast also features aquatic caves and even a chance of spotting an elusive dolphin or two.
Experience Mallorca’s Rich History and Culture
Palau de l’Almudaina
The Palau de l’Almudaina is literally a palace fit for a king, and is a symbolic residence of the Spanish monarchy, who usually stop by for the occasional ceremony. The palace was built as an Islamic fort in the middle ages before being used as a royal palace. Visitors can walk through the extravagantly decorated rooms.
Santuari de Lluc
With a history dating back to the 13th century, the Santuari de Lluc is an important monastery and pilgrimage site in the municipality of Escora. At its heart is a grand courtyard where the façade of the monastery’s basilica, which dates back to the late-Renaissance, can be seen. In the 20th century, the church was renovated in the baroque style. It’s well worth a visit for a trip through the ages!
It’s no surprise that Mallorca’s scenery has inspired scores of visiting artists, making it an important cultural center. Behind the impressive Renaissance-era seaward walls, the Es Baluard museum houses works from prominent artists, including Pablo Picasso. The complex is an exhibit in and of itself, including a partially restored 11th century tower and fortifications.
Visit Charming Towns and Villages
Alcúdia’s Old Town
During the medieval era, the fortified town of Alcúdia was built some distance from the sea to keep it safe from pirates. However, the city’s history goes back even further as Alcúdia was constructed on the site of a Roman settlement. Popular attractions include ethe 15th-century image of Christ in the Chapel of Sant Crist, the La Albufera natural park on the bay, and the seaside resort, Puerto Alcúdia.
In an idyllic location between the Tramuntana Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, the village of Valldemossa is the perfect place to sample some local seafood while gazing at spectacular mountain views. The Real Cartuja de Valldemossa is a 14th century monestary which has hosted the likes of Frédéric Chopin and George Sand during the winter of 1838-1839, was likewise where the Raindrop Prelude was composed and where Sand’s book, A Winter on Majorca was written.
The seaside town of Sóller offers plenty of historical attractions amidst its coastal backdrop. The Church of Sant Bartomeu dates back to the 14th century, and on the other side of the Coll de Sóller hillside lies Alfabia Palace, which was once the residence of a Moorish Vizier. The Port of Sóller offers the picture-perfect vision of a marina on the mountainous coast.
Nestled in a valley, abundant with almond, olive and fig orchards, the town of Artà exudes Mediterranean charm as the hilltop fortress and Santuari de Sant Salvador look down on red-tiled roofs. Na Batlessa, once a palatial mansion, now houses the local library, and is certainly worth a visit. For some fine dining, the Michelin-starred Restaurante Andreu Genestra, offers high quality Mallorcan cuisine with subline countryside views from its outdoor terrace.
Deià is situated in the Valle de los Naranjos (Valley of the Oranges), and was once the home of the famous poet, Robert Graves, who inspired other artists to follow for inspiration. His old home, Ca N’Alluny, is currently a museum. Perhaps the village’s most distinct characteristic is its intricate landscaping, with scenic terraces, pagodas, maintained grounds and foot bridges all against the backdrop of clear blue seas and coastal cliffs.
For more of a laid-back visit, the fishing village of Cala Figuera is the perfect place to stop for authentic seafood with fresh local fish. Walking paths start along the harbor and follow the coastline for some amazing views of the bay, which are perfect for sunrises or sunsets.
A Trip for the Whole Family
Mallorca offers plenty of excitement for younger travellers as well. You can catch a dolphin show at Marineland, visit Europe’s deepest shark tank at the Palma Aquarium or hire an instructor to ride horses along the coast. XtremKart is a large electric karting track in the Mallorca Fashion Outlets, which allows for some competition between groups with top-notch go-karts. Katmandu Park in Magaluf is an interactive theme park that features plenty of games and spectacles to keep children of all ages entertained. Magaluf is also home to Europe’s only Wave House, where people can learn how to flow-board in a controlled setting.