Mallorca island hotels
The biggest island of the Balearics can sometimes be overlooked in favour of its flashy, party-mad sister Ibiza. Yet (as is often the case when you meet a pair of beautiful sisters) the quieter, slightly more mysterious one is the girl you want to hang with long-term.
Mallorca’s beaches are its main drawcards, and you’re going to want to grab your towel and sunscreen and laze on the white sand. El Arenal is an excellent place to start with its crystalline waters and long stretch of sand. Or you could head to Es Trenc on the southeast coast to mingle with the crowds of beautiful people.
But Mallorca is also full of historic charm, with smatterings of ruins and ancient buildings such as the Palau Almudaina, a Moorish fortress, as well as the ancient city of Pollentia – or what’s left of it!
Culturally, Mallorca provides a healthy serving of museums and galleries, as well as eerily beautiful caves like Coves del Drac (Caves of the Dragon), which resemble the home of a mythical beast.
And while Ibiza enjoys the wilder reputation, Mallorca is no wallflower. It’s still home to some very iconic bars and clubs, with the mandatory troupes of perma-tanned hotties rolling their hybrid Euro accents and giggling at the (equally mandatory) drunken, pink-tinged Brits trying to get their attention.
Mallorca's Top 10
10. Aqualand It may seem silly to visit a water park on an island where beautiful beaches abound, but Aqualand is great fun and the best.
5. El Arenal One of Mallorca’s many beaches, but easily the best and most beautiful.
9. Serra de TramuntanaThis mountain range has wonderful hiking trails that offer spectacular views.
4. Katmandu A weird and wonderful interactive playground filled with magic, robots, miniature golf and a 4D cinema.
8. Marineland An awesome aquarium (duh) that also houses birds, snakes and penguins. The dolphin show is legendary (and adorable).
3. Es Baluard Museu d'Art Modern i Contempoani de Palma Long name, cool place. Pretend you’re smart while looking at art.
7. Manacor The pearl factory here is a must. Watch the intricate process and then hop on over to the Superstore where you’ll find pearl-encrusted jewellery for sale.
2. Coves del Drach These caves form an underground city of rock and limestone and have a great story to tell.
6. La Seo A visually stunning cathedral that has roots back in the 1100s.
1. Palma The heart of the island is home to fab eats, a great nightlife and shopping galore! Bring money. Spend it.
Mallorca Island History
- Monestir de Lluc – A 17th-century monastery where you may hear the monastery’s choir.
- Dalt Murada – The last remaining defensive wall was built in 1562 and finished in 1801.
- Remnants of 12th-Century Arab Wall – The base of this wall has blocks from the Roman wall.
- Palau de l’Almudaina – An Islamic fort but was converted in the 13th century into a residence for the Mallorcan monarchs.
- Can Marques – A historic building that still contains elements from the 14th century.
Mallorca Island Art & Culture
- Fundacio Pilar I Joan Miro – A large art studio containing 2,500 pieces of art by Fundacio Pilar I Joan Miro.
- Galeria K – A small gallery that hosts pieces from Spanish and international artists.
- Teatre Principal – Built in 1854, you can see concerts, dramas and opera shows.
- Poble Espanyol – A museum that contains replicated bits of other, neighbouring Spanish towns.
- Palau March – A palatial estate that contains sculptures by Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth and paintings by Salvador Dali.
Mallorca Island Shopping
- Xocoa – A shop that sells divine chocolate in upscale, designer packaging.
- Tipika – A shop that sells olive oils, wines and handcrafts by local families.
- La Casa del Mapa – A local government-run shop that sells maps, hiking resources and examples of ancient cartographic.
- Fine Books – A three-level bookstore specializing in used books.
- B Connected Concept Store – A designer store that sells furnishings, vintage items and assorted knick knacks.
Gay & Lesbian Mallorca Island
- Yuppii Club – A gay club where you can get drinks and listen to a mix of music.
- Lust Universe – A unique shop run by a self-proclaimed sexologist. In addition to adult toys and books, the store also has art exhibits and conferences.
- Es Trenc – A beach that is a popular place for people in the GLBT community to gather together.
- Cala Blava – Another beach with a popular gathering spot for local and visiting GLBT.
- Gran Melia Victoria GL – A gay-friendly hotel that is rated five stars.
Mallorca Island Outdoor
- Palma de Mallorca City Hop-on, Hop-off Tour – A bus tour around the city where you can get off to view the sights up close.
- Marenostrum – A five-hour catamaran tour to Cala Portals or Cala Vella. It is available from May to October and the price includes snorkelling gear and food.
- Mallorca Rutes – A walking tour that takes visitors to see the best parts of the city.
- Cruceros Marco Polo – A boat tour that will take you around the bay.
- Mallorca Balloons – See the city from the sky. This place launches from Manacor in the early morning.
Mallorca Island Sport
- Take in a few rounds of golf at Golf Fantasia.
- Contact Federació de Ciclisme de les Illes Balears about local cycling groups.
- Go kayaking or canoeing.
- Go deep-sea diving.
- Take the boat on the water and go wind surfing, water skiing or jet skiing.
Here you’ll find amazing little coves and beaches with some of the clearest, bluest waters in the world. Start your day with a morning of sun and sand and then hop on a bus to nearby Arta, a town filled with medieval architecture and historical structures including the Sanctuary of Sant Salvador. Also in the area are the Cuevas d’Arta, an underground city of caves open to visitors.
P.S. If you’re around on a Saturday, the Placa del Pins hosts a market of handicrafts, food, leather goods and other bits and pieces.
This is home to more than half of Mallorca’s population and a whole bunch of stuff to see and do. Start on the white sands of Ciudad Jardín and Cala Major and then make your way over to the many historical sites, including Catedral de Mallorca, a spectacular cathedral that exhibits art, Banys Àrabs, historic Arab baths, and Castell de Bellver, a 14th Century castle that sits on a hill and contains a museum of archaeological remnants and classical art. If you want your history hit to be purely Spanish, head to Pueblo Español, an architectural museum containing major Spanish works.
For something a little more fun and wild, head to Aqualand water park and Marineland, a marine zoo/aquarium. At night, Paseo Maritimo boasts masses of bars and restaurants for a feed, drink and dance.
The north part of the island is host to many history-rich ruins and churches, including Sant Juame, as well as hiking trails that lead to breathtaking views. If bird-watching is your bag, S'Albufera Natural Park is definitely worth a visit. Study everything from the Penduline Tit to the Shag while taking in the wetland’s serenity. Finally, watch skilled craftsmen make some gorgeous works of glass-art at the Menestralia factory.
This town is nestled at the feet of the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range and is a real treat for visitors. If you’re up for a workout (and are wearing sturdy shoes), the view from the top of Puig de Pollenca is pretty spectacular. A Basilica-style chapel, monastery and museum also await you at the top, with the old monastery offering hearty, homemade meals.
Mallorca Eat & Drink
Bananas If you want to get absolutely obliterated and have an awesome time, this is the place to be. It’s a bit on an icon for trashiness.
Ca’n Joan de s’Aigo A kitschy café to feed your every sugary craving. Their homemade ice cream and pastries are the bomb. Sant Francesc
Sampaka Chocolate cravings? This emporium of sugar and cocoa will satisfy you better than you ever thought possible.
Tast Tapas, baby! This cool tapas bar is known for churning out the best tapas on the island. Which is probably why it’s always so busy.
L’Escargot If you like snails, frog’s legs and other stereotypical French cuisine, hit up this gem. Great prices for the quality. Santa Eugenia
Simply Fosh No, that’s not a spelling mistake for a seafood-serving restaurant, but the name of the celebrated Marc Fosh. The dark hardwood floors and mammoth walls of glass in this contemporary space make the food even better.
Sa Rotana Dine on Mediterranean dishes amongst cobblestone paths, blooming flowers and lush greenery. La Reserva Rotana Private Golf & Wine Resort
Abraxas This famous club looks like a cool, underground wonderland and is the best place to grab a Grey Goose martini and be seen.
Koldo Royo Fresh seafood is the specialty, and the chef here is renowned in Spain. He even teaches classes if you’re up for it. Palma’s Bay
Restaurant Tristan Moody lighting, a sea view and two Michelin stars. This is one of the most elegant eateries on the island and is worth the coin. Puerto Portals
Mallorca celebrates the Festival of St. Sebastian in late-January. The island fires up with a stack of celebrations and activities, a buzzing vibe and, of course, some fireworks.
Nit de Foc (Night of Fire), every June, is one of the most popular festivals in Mallorca. Parks and villages light up with bonfires, fireworks and performances, and there are some wicked food stalls as well.
The town of Sóller hosts the International Folklore Festival, a unique and culturally diverse fiesta of fun every July. Performers come from all corners of the globe to put on various shows of music and dance and entertain the crowds.
A variety of Christmas markets take over the town squares each December. It’s a nice lead-up to Christmas and the stalls are full of pretty, handmade trinkets, religious pieces and general Christmassy joy. Magical stuff.
New Year’s Eve is an awesome time to be on Mallorca. The entire island celebrates the coming with music, dancing, fireworks and the eating of grapes. Yep, the eating of grapes…! The Spanish NYE tradition is to scoff 12 grapes in the remaining 12 seconds of the year so that the next year will be a lucky one. It’s a lot harder than it sounds and just as hilarious as you imagine.
Following Spain's religious calendar, most of the festivals held in Mallorca are based on the Roman Catholic calendar. The feast days of the patron saint of Palma, San Sebastian and San Antonio Abad are celebrated at the start of the year bringing colourful parades and ceremonies in the streets. Right before the week of Lent, there is a big carnival called Sa Rua ushering dances and revelers in masks. During the Holy Week moving towards Easter, there are daily religious processions in every town. In July, the patron saint of Mallorca is honoured through another round of parades and merrymaking in the whole island. Around September/October, festivals for good harvest are celebrated.
When To Visit
Heavy rainfall, flash flooding and major storms often occur during mid-September through to early December, so it’s best to not visit during those months.
Summer can be stinkin’ hot, with the mercury often nudging 40°C (104°F). But it’s also when the island is at it’s busiest and has the best vibe. If you can’t handle the heat, the spring months, March to May, are perfect.
Winter temperatures: 8-13°C (46-55°F)
Spring temperatures: 18-25°C (64-77°F)
Summer temperatures: 30-35°C (86-95°F)
Autumn temperatures: 16-19°C (61-66°F)
What To Miss
If you’re lazing on the beach under the beaming sun and a friendly local offers you some refreshment, don’t accept it. Once you take a sip, they’ll hike up the price and then relentlessly bug you until you give them a big wad of cash. A simple ‘No, thanks’ and a healthy supply of your own water should suffice.
The crowded buses are notorious for pickpockets. Guard your wallet and keep your bag closed and to your chest.
Avoid being the buffet for a family of mosquitoes by slathering yourself in insect repellent. Mosquitoes are rife in Mallorca so it’s best to come prepared and save yourself hours of itchy agony.
EMT buses are great! They’ll take you everywhere you need to go and the fares are cheap. They do get mighty crowded, though.
Mallorca Island, the largest of the Balearic group of islands is off Spain's east coast, Along with Ibiza, Fermentera, Menorca and Cabrera, Mallorca is a popular holiday destination in Spain, if not Europe. Apart from sandy beaches, there are charming historical ruins to explore, small towns to get lost in and a dozen small discoveries to be made along the way. All sorts of villas, apartment blocks and shops line most of Mallorca's coast. Still Mallorca Island remains unfazed by modern trappings, with its tropical charm still intact and a host of attractions on offer. Thus it is well recommended to have your fill of museums, old monasteries, gothic cathedrals and small villages. That is, if you can tear yourself out of Mallorca's idyllic beaches for just a bit!
When you get to Mallorca Island, first on the itinerary would be to soak up the sun as you laze in any of the amazing beaches. There are several good choices which can be reached by public buses from the capital. The long beach of El Arenal, seven miles southeast from Palma, has white sands and rich blue waters. To the southwest, Palma Nova and Illetes, are smaller in size though can be both busy at times. The most popular sandy haven is Es Trenc located on the southeast coast. Capping off this long list is El Molinar, Can Pastilla and Portixol.
Back on dry land, the capital, Palma de Mallorca provides a good sight-seeing hub for celebrities and royalties! A maze of shopping arcades add a cosmopolitan touch, the sight of ruins, restored buildings and tapas bars makes it all the more lively and charming!
Palma's foremost landmark is the gothic cathedral, La Seo, which dates back to the 14th century. Opposite the cathedral is Palau Almudaina, a former fortress built by the Moors who once inhabited the island, which eventually became a palace for kings who ruled Mallorca. Another castle worthy of a visit is the hilltop Castel dell Belver, its surrounding double moats, a reminder of its origins as a fortress to ward off enemies.
The peak summer months, can bring on crowds of beach-lovers. Not to worry as Mallorca Island has some historical finds and fun activities for holidaymakers. If you want to sample a slice of Romanesque past, head for Alcudia town to see the ancient city of Pollentia, or what's left of it, just outside the walls. There is a museum housing archaeological finds. For the more adventurous, explore caves that resemble dragons found inside a cluster near Porto Cristo on the east coast aptly named Coves del Drac.
Winter (December to February) 4-13°C; sunny days are few but the fine mild weather makes for pleasant conditions in the island
- Spring (March to May) 20-32°C; less humidity and little rainfall
- Summer (June to August) 29-31°C; generally good and sunny
- Fall (September to November) 16-19°C; rainfall at its heaviest
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