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Mallorca Travel Guide Mallorca Travel Guide

Mallorca Travel Guide

Many of us might picture Mallorca the same way – Magaluf and package holidays. And although Mallorca does cater for those just looking to relax by the pool with a jug of sangria, it barely scratches the surface of what's on offer.

What you will find in this guide:

Practical Info

Travelling to Mallorca

Getting around Mallorca

Top things to do in Mallorca

Where to stay in Mallorca

What to eat in Mallorca

Best beaches in Mallorca

Practical Info

What time zone is Mallorca in?

GMT +2

What curreny do they use in Mallorca?

Euro EUR

What language do they speak in Mallorca?

Spanish

What power adapters do you need for Mallorca?

Type C & F

What is the average fight time to Mallorca?

Avg 2hrs 20 mins

Some facts about Mallorca

Mallorca is the largest of Spain's Balearic Islands. Its location in the Mediterranean means the sun shines all year round, so it's hugely popular with tourists from all over the world. The island has a population of just over 900,000 people, but a staggering 28 million pass through the Palma de Mallorca airport every year.

Many come to Mallorca for the glow of its white sandy beaches, like those at Magaluf and Palmanova. But theres something here for everyone. A short hop from the coast, Mallorca's landscape is dominated by two mountain ranges: the Serra de Tramuntana in the west and the Serra de Llevant in the east. Both ranges are criss-crossed with roads, allowing you to go on some pretty scenic drives – or you could take another route. Mallorca attracts around 150,000 cycling tourists every year, and there are dozens of hiking routes mapped across the island too.

But if hiking and cycling isn't your pace, you'll feel at home in the intimate and picturesque villages that are scattered throughout the green mountain ranges. Isolated towns like Valldemossa and Sóller offer room to breathe from the busy beaches. You can enjoy delicious Mallorcan cuisine, sample historic culture and the arts, or just watch the sun pass the surrounding hilltops as you enjoy a glass of spanish wine.

So grab your passport and sunnies and let us show you the best Mallorca has to offer.

Travelling to Mallorca

Mallorca's only commercial airport is Palma de Mallorca,located only 5 miles away from the island's capital city. This means you're not short of ways to get to Palma and beyond. Here are some of your best options:

  1. The Palma Metro runs directly from the airport and serves 9 different stops throughout the city. Just bear in mind that the metro only operates between 6.15am and 11pm. For more information, routes and maps take a look at their website.
  2. The bus departs from within the airport, with Route 1 leading to Palma city. This is the cheapest option for getting to Palma, setting you back €1.85 per adult, but not the most convenient if you have lots of luggage.
  3. A taxi will take you directly from the airport to your accommodation, with ranks outside of arrivals. Generally, taxi charges are charged per kilometre with a minimum charge. The prices also change depending on the time of day or whether it's a public holiday.
  4. We decided to get an airport transfer. A short walk from arrivals, we were greeted by our driver with what was effectively a private minibus for the 3 of us. The extra space for our luggage and the cool air conditioning was very welcome. And with airport transfer prices starting from €9.88 through Holiday Extras, it was a no-brainer.

Getting around Mallorca

Although you can get around the island on public transport, we went for the freedom that only a hire car gives you. We rented an electric car and it became clear pretty quickly that it's the best way to experience Mallorca. Here are a few reasons why…

Electric car hire in Mallorca

Electric car hire in Mallorca

We opted for a BMW i3. Most electric cars are automatic, as was the case here, so it took us a little while to get used to. The first we noticed though, was how quiet it was, even at higher speeds. This was one of the unexpected benefits we discovered on location, as it meant we could enjoy the picturesque views and serenity without the roar of the engine.

Another great incentive for renting an electric car in Mallorca is the extensive free parking options. To encourage more people to ditch their petrol-powered car in favour for a greener option, the Mallorcan authorities allow permit parking in any bay marked by blue lines. This includes plenty of on-street spaces in Palma and beyond, so you're less likely to need paid car parks.

It's also worth remembering the environmental benefit of choosing an electric car over its traditional counterpart. In an effort to preserve the natural beauty of the island, the Mallorcan government is hoping to be all electric by 2050, and your choice of vehicle can help them achieve this goal.

To learn more about our experiences hiring an electric car in Mallorca, take a listen to our sustainable travel podcast - Green On The Go. We discuss everything you need to know before hitting the road on your next holiday.

Alicante Airport Transfers

Mallorca Airport Transfers

Pre-book your cheap airport transfers in Majorca, with prices starting from just £5.74 and FREE cancellations on a fantastic range of shuttles, private and taxi transfers from Palma Airport.

Alicante Car Hire

Mallorca Car Hire

Pre-book your Majorca Airport car hire, with prices starting from just £2.79 per day with FREE cancellations*

What are the current testing requirements for Majorca?

We aim to keep this information up to date however we advise always checking the current entry requirements on gov.uk before you travel.

If you're looking for a recommended supplier you can find and book these via our Covid Testing FAQ page

Fully vaccinated? 

Travelling with children? 


UK >> Mallorca

⚠️ Spain currently requires travellers to present proof of vaccination

Children aged 12 and over must present proof of full vaccination.

Mallorca >> UK

⚠️ Pre-departure test required

Test type: Lateral flow or antigen

⚠️ Day 2 & Day 8 test required

Test type: PCR

⚠️ 10 Day Quarantine

⚠️ Complete a Passenger Locator Form

Test to release (optional)

Children 10 and over are required to provide the same tests as adults.

Children aged 5 - 9 must have a pre-departure test and a day 2 test only.

UK >> Mallorca

😊 No tests required

⚠️ Provide proof of vaccination

⚠️ Complete a Health Control Form

Children aged 12 and over must present proof of full vaccination.

Mallorca >> UK

⚠️ Lateral flow test on return

⚠️ Complete a Passenger Locator Form

Children under 18 have same testing requirements as adults.

Top places to visit in Mallorca

Bellver castle in Mallorca

Bellver Castle

A little west from Palma you'll find ancient towers peeking out above the greenery that blankets the mountainside – Castel de Bellver, or Bellver Castle.

This royal fortress has been standing for almost 700 years. What makes Bellver Castle totally unique among spanish castles though, is that it is completely round. Three round towers are connected by arches to a circular outer wall, which can be reached by paying a small charge to enter the museum. It's worth it though, as the view of Palma from the castle is absolutely stunning.

Cap de Formentor in Mallorca

Cap de Formentor

Locally known as the Meeting Point of the Winds - this cape is at the Northern point of the island. Here you'll find excellent views, a lighthouse and nearby an idyllic beach to relax on.

Though you can reach this area by public transport we highly recommend driving the peninsula - we'd hate for you to miss out on the views at Mirador de Mal Pas and the Talaia d'Albercutx watchtower along the way.

Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca in Mallorca

Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca

Though it's full name is a bit of a mouthfull this gothic cathederal is known locally as La Seu - much easier!

This waterfront cathederal is one of the most iconic sights in Mallorca - built in the 14th century the cathedral is 121 meters long, 55 meters wide and its nave is 44 meters tall. Trust us, it's an impressive sight.

Where to stay in Mallorca

Palma

If you flew to Mallorca, Palma would be your first experience of the island, and although many quickly zip through on route to the beach, the capital has plenty to offer in its own right.

Port de Palma

The Port of Palma is the biggest port in the Balearic Islands. The port serves all kinds – commercial cargo, recreational sailing, fishing, and private boat hire. The wealth of facilities and attractions here have lead it to become one of the most important cruise ports in the Mediterranean - you can expect to see a few enormous and luxurious cruise ships docked here. Many travellers even fly to Palma to start their cruises there.

If you decide to take a stroll along the promenade, keep an eye for out cats on the beach. The local population is well looked after by volunteers and charity groups, who make sure they're all well fed and have access to clean drinking water. For the best chance of seeing them, take a look at the area that surrounds the Anima Beach restaurant – we saw more than we could count.

Valldemossa

Valldemossa in Mallorca

In June 2011, the Serra de Tramuntana, or Tramuntana mountains, was awarded World Heritage Status by UNESCO, as an area of great physical and cultural significance. Lying among these mountains and just a 20-minute drive from Palma is the beautifully picturesque town of Valldemossa. When you arrive, you're surrounded by lush greenery, wildflowers and the fresh smell of citrus.

With a population of around 2,000 people, this place is a little sanctuary of pale stone buildings in a sea of green. Small, locally owned businesses serve amazing coffee and local cuisine along the old cobbled streets.

Sitting atop a hill in the mountains, Valldemossa is the highest town in Mallorca. It's famously where Polish composer Fredric Chopin and his lover, French writer George Sand, spent a winter together in 1838. George Sand went on to write a book about their experience, 'A Winter in Majorca', which is for sale in many stores around Valldemossa.

The Carthusian monastery where Chopin and Sand spent their winter is the main reason tourists vist Valldemossa, but the art galleries, restaurants and museums are why they stay. If you're more captivated by the landscape than the history, the Tramuntana mountains surrounding Valldemossa are home to a network of well signposted hiking trails leading to surrounding villages.

Pack plenty of water and sturdy walking shoes as some of the hike trails take up to five hours and encompass areas of loose rock and steep inclines..

Sóller

Each of Mallorca's small, scattered towns has an authenticity that's hard to find nearer the coast - and Sóller is no different. Inhabited by humans for around 7000 years, the high mountains surrounding the town meant that it was pretty isolated from the rest of Mallorca, and missed out on much of the Roman occupation of the island.

During the 19th century, Sóller grew rich as a major exporter of olives and citrus fruit. This money helped the town invest into fantastic modernist architecture and railway connections – something the town is just as famous for today as it is for delicious oranges.

An old railway connects Palma to Sóller – and it's an incredibly popular route, so expect queues. The railway and the tram are an iconic part of Sóller - the bold, orange wooden trams pass through the streets, and pedestrians stop to watch them go by.

We came to Soller in our hire car – but we just couldn't miss out on that famous train either. We left the car parked safely in Sóller, and caught the wooden tram down to our next destination.

Port de Sóller

Port de Soller Mallorca

The 20-minute tram journey takes you out of the valley that protects Sóller to the sea, and along the cost of a quiet seaside resort town called Port de Sóller.

Port de Sóller was originally a small fishing village designed to service the main town of Sóller, which was located further inland to protect it from pirates. The tramline that was made to connect the sister towns is still used today for transporting supplies back and forth - like olives, fish and, of course, oranges.

This town was described until recently as one of Mallorca's best kept secrets. Unlike popular resort towns like Magaluf and Palmanova to the south, Port de Sóller came through the tourism overdevelopment stage in the 70s and 80s relatively unscathed. And it's very lucky – the rapid expansion of these towns consumed some of Mallorca's most beautiful coastal areas.

Visiting smaller towns like Soller and the local businesses directly supports the Mallorcan people. Plus buying local produce means your food hasn't had to be shipped in, making it better for the environment. All these little things add up and can work with your luxury resort holiday too!

And if you're looking to spend an evening away from your relaxing resort, then the tranquil Port de Sóller may be just the place. Down by the sea away from the mountains that cradle the main town, Port de Sóller faces out from the West coast of the island, meaning there are beautiful sunsets to enjoy.


What to eat in Mallorca

If you're looking for a culinary adventure beyond the all-inclusive buffet, Mallorca has a wealth of options to enjoy. Here's some picks from our time there…

Brunch

Enjoy pastries for brunch in Mallorca

If you're craving something traditional (and sweet) for brunch, you have to try an ensaïmada, a Mallorcan pastry that dates from the 17th century. With a choice of chocolate or fruit fillings, the pastries are so good they've been awarded protected status by the EU.

Dinner

Visit the Santa Catalina Market in Mallorca

Whatever your tastes might be, you won't find a better evening meal than among the trendy little restaurants, cafes and stores of one of Palma's most stylish neighborhoods - Santa Catalina.

Santa Catalina is one of the city's most popular districts. A cultural revival of this already culturally rich area has made it popular with those looking for fancy cuisine, diversity and exciting nightlife.

If you're a foodie, you'll want for nothing in Santa Catalina. It's the perfect place to sample Spanish and Mallorcan dishes, but it's also the best place to grab food from all over the world - Indian, French, Italian, Thai, Mexican - you can find it all here in some of the highest-rated restaurants in Palma.

But if you're not quite ready for a sit down meal, try the Mercat de Santa Catalina, Palma's oldest food market. It's a great mix of old and new - the grocers sell locally sourced produce like they have for generations, but the building is also outlined by cool market bars - and even a sushi restaurant!

Dessert

Enjoy an Orange Soller in Mallorca

As we all know, holiday calories don't count, meaning there's never a better time to indulge in some sweet treats.

Aside from ensaïmadas, no trip to Mallorca would be complete without one of their orange-based desserts. First brought to the island from the Middle East during the middle ages, oranges have become a staple of not only the Mallorcan palette, but also the landscape, with Sóller's Valle de los Naranjos (Vale of the Orange Trees) being a sight (and scent) to behold.

You really can't go wrong when it comes to your choice of dessert, but an Orange Sóller takes some beating. It's cocktail of fresh orange juice, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.

Best beaches in Mallorca

Playa de Alcudia in Mallorca

Platja de Alcúdia

This 3km sandy beach is our top choice for a family day at the beach. With excellent amenities, including showers, cafes and changing rooms. The wide beach also means that in the height of summer it still has a relaxed atmosphere.

Cala Gran in Mallorca

Cala Gran

There are plenty of small coves in this area to explore - Cala Llonga, Cala Gran and Calo de Ses Dones. All nearby to excellent faciilites - making it a great choice for families or for those who prefer a more catered beach trip.

Cala Formentor a beach in Mallorca

Cala Formentor

At the end of one of the best drives in Mallorca you'll find Cala Formentor - this tree lined beach provides a relaxing escape from some of the busier resort beaches.