One of the most popular holiday destinations in the Mediterranean is the sun-drenched Spanish island of Mallorca. The sparkling blue coastlines have given rise to gorgeous beachfront resorts, which happily cater for the 10 million eager visitors who set foot on the island each year. Sunbathing, swimming, eating, drinking and partying are no doubt high on the agenda here, but those looking to escape the buzz won’t be disappointed with Mallorca’s many hidden beach coves. Take some time out to explore unspoiled beaches and bays, seek out the cultural heart of the island and discover its olive groves, historic mansions, grand manors and charming rural villages.
Start your Mallorca holiday by heading south to the bustling city of Palma, where an awe-inspiring 13th century cathedral and the medieval Bellver Castle are among the favourite attractions to explore. Also along the south and southeast coasts you’ll find many gorgeous beaches, including the famous Es Trenc. With its 2-kilometre stretch of sun-bleached sand and shallow blue waters, this place is perfect for a lazy swim or gentle float in the Mediterranean Sea.
Looking for a little more adventure? Head to the northeast coast where the wild landscape and rugged mountain range of Sierra de Tramuntana offers excellent hiking and breathtaking scenery. If walking isn’t your idea of a holiday, hire a car to explore the hilltop villages, citrus plantations, olive groves, castle remains, pine forests and limestone peaks of this incredible island paradise.
Eat and Drink
If you’re looking for traditional Spanish-style food, head to Palma for the largest selection of restaurants in Mallorca. With more than 2,400 eateries you won’t have any trouble finding a delicious meal. Make a checklist of the local specialties to sample, which includes sobrassada, a cured pork sausage flavoured with paprika and spices, arros brut, a dish of soupy saffron rice with chicken, pork and vegetables, and the sweet spiral-shaped pastry ensaimada.
Wine connoisseurs will delight in a visit to one of the island’s many vineyards to sample the local offerings. Also look out for the locally made Herbs de Mallorca, a herbal liqueur traditionally served after a meal as a digestif. After the sun dips below the sultry horizon Mallorca’s bars and nightclubs come alive. Well known hotspots include the popular British hub of Magaluf and Paseo Maritimo in Palma.
Where to Stay
With rural farm stays, designer hotels, beachside resorts, historic manor houses and self-contained apartments on offer, Mallorca certainly serves up accommodation options to suit all tastes. History buffs will enjoy the atmosphere of the medieval Old Town in Palma where trendy boutique hotels reign supreme, while sun lovers will be drawn to the luxury resorts lining the beaches in the southwest. If you’re seeking an authentic Mallorcan experience, the rustic and historic countryside fincas (converted farm houses or estates) scattered around the island will absolutely delight.
From designer boutiques to modern shopping malls with artisan shops and local markets in between, Mallorca is a wonderful place to indulge in a spot of retail therapy. Palma is the main shopping district – explore the pedestrian shopping strips and up-market boutiques on Avinguda Jaume III and Passeig des Born.
The medieval walled town of Alcudia in the north of the island is the place to go for charming gift shops, while the beachside resorts typically come with their own boutiques selling souvenirs and beachwear. Markets take place in many of the rural towns and offer an excellent chance to pick up fresh local produce and handicrafts.
Mallorca Like a Local
With its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife, Palma certainly deserves its title as the main tourist hotspot of Mallorca. But to experience the island like a local you’ll have to venture a little further afield. Head to nearby Portixol, a former fishing village, and join locals who hang out in the trendy cafés, bars and restaurants clustered around the marina.