Mallorca is the largest of Spain’s Balearic islands and has picked up something of a reputation for being a part destination thanks to the vast array of nightclubs and bars that make up much of the built-up areas. However, step outside the party places, and you will find a stunning island that is full of beauty, mountain ranges, and glorious sandy beaches next to crystal clear waters. There is more to Mallorca than its reputation deserves, and here are a few of the highlights.
Getting to and around Mallorca
After flying to Mallorca, you’ll be looking at picking up a Palma airport transfer into the city – the airport is around five miles east of Palma. Once you arrive, there are a few regular bus services that leave and return to Palma, as well as the usual array of taxi services. There are also limited train services to check out, which run from the capital to Inca, Manacor, and Sa Robla. A lot of people hire cars or bikes to get around the island, It’s cheap, and will save you a considerable amount of time.
Where to stay
As you would expect, there is a vast variety of places to stay in Mallorca, from small apartments for party goers who have no intention of going to bed, through to luxury, exceptional hotel suites overlooking the water. The Port de Soller on the north-west coastline is well worth a visit and is home to the five-star Jumeirah hotel and spa. Another option is the Predi Son Jaumell Hotel Rural, which is an incredibly historic estate set against the backdrop of lush forest and rolling countryside fields. For those looking for a city experience, the 1902 Townhouse is a must. It’s been magnificently refurbished to create a truly chic and urban place to stay and offers excellent rates outside of the silly season.
What to do
Of course, Mallorca is famed for its nightlife, but there is a lot here to do if you want to avoid the 18-30 crowd. There are jazz clubs, gentle and quaint bars, amazing eateries and a whole bunch of cultural highlights. The capital city Palma is home to a spectacular Gothic cathedral, and wherever you are in the city, you are never far from delicious tapas restaurants and atmospheric cafes. There are museums galore, too, and a great way to get around is by vintage train, which takes you to Soller on the northeast coast. There are beautiful gardens, spectacular sanctuaries that are full of wildlife, and of course, there are the beaches, complete with golden sands and warm, inviting water.
When it comes to a place like Mallorca, it would be a shame not to focus on some of the best beaches the island has to offer. And let’s not beat around the bush – they are exceptional. Our top tip is to focus on where the locals go and avoid the tourist areas which are often too full to enjoy properly. Cala Tuent is sheltered by pine trees, and the Puig Major mountain is the perfect backdrop for lazy days on the beach. Cala Llombards is also worth a visit, and it’s perfect for people with small children due to the shallow, warm and clear water. For those looking for something a little less tranquil, you’ll find it at Cala Deia. It’s home to rocky cliffs, lots of hidden coves and has the feel of a secret paradise.
What to eat
If you go to the tourist areas, you won’t be surprised by much of the cuisine on offer., The predominantly British areas are full of fish and chips and burger joints, while the German-friendly regions of the north are all about frankfurters. Sangria plays its role, too. However, if you stick to the areas that locals enjoy, you will find a world of delicious cuisine. Local specialities include sobrasada sausage and ensaimada, while fresh fish and paella are high on the menus at most restaurants. Check out Deia in Soller for some exceptional examples of local cuisine, and you will also find a tremendous, 11-course tasting menu at the Michelin starred Restaurant Jardin. Mallorca is also brilliant for wine, with a lot of local vineyards producing a good range of Spanish reds.
Don’t believe everything you read about Mallorca. Yes, its reputation has taken something of a hit over the years. But the young and lively crowd is mostly centred around one particular area. The vast majority of the island is beautiful, tranquil, and peaceful enough for anyone seeking out a little bit of paradise.