MALLORCA – YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE (2024)
Are you going to Mallorca in Spain and want to know where to stay, eat, swim, and what to do?
There is a reason why Mallorca is on so many people’s bucket lists. It is an island paradise with everything any traveler could want, from sandy beaches to incredible mountains and villages. Additionally, it really has something to offer for all budgets!
In this Guide I have outlined everything you need to know to plan the perfect Mallorca trip, regardless of how much time you are planning to spend on this magical island!
I have included all the info on how best to get there, the most beautiful beaches and villages, restaurants, and hotels for all budgets!
Based on that you can create your own tailored itinerary for your dream trip to Mallorca!
Firstly, Mallorca offers stunning natural beauty. The Serra de Tramuntana mountains in the northwest of the island are rugged and spectacular.
Inland, Mallorca offers gorgeous villages, breathtaking landscapes, and world-class vineyards. Otherwise, enjoy pristine white beaches and the sapphire-blue Mediterranean on nearly every coast of the island. I have chosen for you the best beaches and the best towns to visit, read on!
Furthermore, the southeast coast offers supremely Instagrammable coves or calas. The secluded, sandy beaches and turquoise waters you find here are heavenly.
Therefore, Mallorca truly is an island for any traveler, with any budget and any length of stay!
Read on to figure out how best to divide your time and get around.
MALLORCA – BASIC FACTS
Mallorca, in Spain, is the largest of the Balearic Islands, your little paradise in the middle of the Mediterranean. Therefore, it is easy to reach by plane from most parts of Europe. Pretty much every country in Europe has now direct connections to Palma de Mallorca, where the airport is, some even a few times per day!
However, you can even arrive by boat thanks to regular crossings from Barcelona or Ibiza.
If you’re going to be doing any traveling around the island, you will need a car. Fortunately, the mountainous landscapes make for spectacular, exciting drives! Therefore, even a journey of a few hours will feel like a pleasure.
However, the need for a car means they’re always in demand on the island. So, our top advice would be to book the car months in advance. Unfortunately, even as much as three months might be a little short notice if you’re visiting during peak season. Furthermore, be advised that automatic cars disappear even sooner before the European holidays. Therefore, booking your car in plenty of time will save you stress and hassle before your holiday.
One final word of advice would be to park outside of towns where possible. This is because most settlements in Mallorca have narrow streets and limited parking space. Therefore, a short walk into town from the outskirts will save you the trouble of trying to ditch the car in the center.
BEST TIME TO VISIT:
Shoulder season months of late May, June, and September would be ideal for a visit. As anywhere in Europe avoid the end of July and at any cost August, it will be overpopulated, overpriced, and overbooked.
Read my post on Mallorca – Best & Worst time to visit where I offer season and a month-by-month guide to exploring the island. Here you will find out detailed tips on when to go to avoid crowds, get the best deals and experience all that Mallorca has to offer at the best time!
Read here my Month-By-Month Guide to visiting Mallorca for even more detailed information.
HOW MANY DAYS DO YOU NEED?
Given Mallorca’s size and the wonderful variety of towns, landscapes, and activities, you’ll want to spend a decent amount of time there. 4 or 5 days would be possible, but unfortunately, you’d probably have to rush a bit. Therefore, my advice would be to spend at least 7-10 days on the island. I usually take 5 days off work and add two weekends on the side, and that works very well!
HOW TO ORGANISE YOUR TIME
You will not be able to see the whole island just in a few days. After all, there are more than 200 beaches to see and so many beautiful towns and hidden gems!
However, if you really can’t make the time to spend a week in Mallorca, we’d advise you to prioritize one area. Therefore, you won’t have to waste precious holiday time traveling. It would be a good idea to choose either the east or west side of the island. By doing this, either you’ll see Palma and the mountains, or you’ll have time to explore the charming fishing villages on the east coast.
TOP THINGS TO DO
You could spend a month in Mallorca and you still wouldnt see it all. Why? Because Mallorca is just full of beautiful spots around ever corner, some of them still less-known than the others. Again to help you plan your visit, I have preselected the must-visit spots!
TOWNS & VILLAGES
Mallorca has some of the most beautiful towns and villages you will find in Spain if not in Europe. For me Deia is the ultimate favourite. I would love to have a house here, but similarly Valldemossa is also a dream! Read on to find out the top 4 towns & villages for your trip!
Deia is on the rugged northwestern coast of Mallorca, amidst the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Tramuntana mountains. Therefore, you can expect breathtaking sea views and landscapes almost everywhere you look.
However, Deia is much more than its sleepy appearance might have you believe. It has been an artistic hub for decades, attracting visitors as diverse as war poet Robert Graves, Kate Moss, Harry Styles – the list goes on. The tiny village boasts world-class hotels and restaurants, as well as a small but stunning Cala Deia and an Instagram-famous restaurant Ca’n Pastro March.
Read my Ultimate Guide to Deia for much more info!
Valldemossa is another stunning village in the Tramuntana mountains, just 20 minutes away from Deia. You would visit those two villages during one trip given how close they are to each other.
Here you really can see why people fall in love with Mallorca. Make sure to visit Valldemossa early in the morning before the crowds come and if you can make a short trip to Port de Valldemossa, which truly is special and much less crowded!
Soller is a pretty, relaxing town. It feels much bigger and busier than Deia and Valldemossa. It has some great hotels, food and drink, culture, hiking and cycling, and much more. You will probably have heard about Soller because of its famous tram. All together Soller is a great spot and a very convenient base for discovering the North-West of Mallorca.
Mallorca’s capital Palma has been a must-visit destination for several years now. It is not hard to see why. The city is unbelievably charming, from ancient, winding streets in the Old Town, to the magnificent waterfront. Additionally, it has one of the most exciting food scenes in Europe. From morning pastries to midday tapas, to a Michelin-starred meal in the evening, Palma has a huge range of unforgettable dining experiences.
Read my Guide to Palma de Mallorca for more info!
Mallorca has more than 200 beaches so it can be quite overwhelming which one to choose. Find below my top 5 for you! If you want a wider selection then please find here my list of Top 10 Most Beautiful Beaches as well as Top 7 Less-Known Beaches in Mallorca!
1. CALA LLOMBARDS
This is probably the most widely photographed beach in Mallorca on social media. It could well be that it is the reason why you want to come and visit.
If you want to spend time on Cala Llombards (and S’Almunia and Moro) then it makes sense to organize your accommodation in the South-East of the island, otherwise, you will be driving over an hour or so in case you are based in Palma or the Nort-West of the island.
It is important to arrive early if you want to park your car within short walking distance of the beach.
2. CALA S’ALMUNIA
Although it is tiny, Cala S’Almunia is definitely one of the most beautiful and iconic spots in Mallorca. Getting there requires some hiking, or climbing rather steep stairs but you can combine seeing Cala SÁlmunia and Cala del Moro in one go and you will be spoilt for views.
I recommend arriving early, as spots for lying down in the bay are rather limited.
3. CALA DEIA
Deia, and generally the North-West of Mallorca, is my favorite part of the island. That said, the beaches in that part of the island are rather rocky and therefore not as family-friendly as the ones in the South-East. This should not discourage you from visiting (or even staying) in this magical part of the island.
Once a fishing port – Cala Deia – is now a rather famous spot due to the location of Ca’s Patro March restaurant.
In order to avoid not finding a parking spot, you really have to arrive ideally before 10 am.
4. PORT VALLDEMOSSA
This is an option for those who would rather avoid crowds and enjoy something slower and more authentic. I fell in love with this little Cala and will surely return here.
The drive here is not for the faint-hearted, but you will be rewarded for your efforts. There is also a little restaurant in here, so it really is perfect!
5. CALA TORTA
After being disappointed by a few beaches in the North East of Mallorca we fell in love with Cala Tort. You will need to park your car and then go down the unpaved dirt road, but I promise you it will be worth it.
Even though it is rather secluded and there are no usual amenities present at other beaches it is still a great option, even for families. That said come prepared with your drinks and food.
RESTAURANTS & BARS
Apart from having some of the most stunning beaches in Europe, Mallorca now also has a thriving gastronomic scene. Not only does it offer an incredible quality of cuisine, but often unparalleled views to accompany the food. From vegetarians to gourmet cuisine lovers, Mallorca has something to offer for all.
You can check my list of Top 10 Most Beautiful Restaurants in Mallorca here.
1. El Olivo, La Residencia, Belmond Hotel, Deia
Having dinner at El Olivo was without a doubt the highlight of my trip. I have and will recommend to everyone to dine here at least once in their lifetime.
This beautiful restaurant is located in a converted 16th-century olive press, overlooking the beautiful village of Deià. Imagine world-class Mediterranean cooking combined with an unbeatable mountain and sea setting. It is rather expensive, so keep it for a special occasion!
2. Ca’s Patro March, Deia
The food at Ca’s Patro March is definitely not what brings those long queues of guests ready to wait for hours to be seated. Above all, it is undoubtedly the views of Cala Deia with its emerald colors. So if you are fine with decent but average food the views will make up for it. Try to ask for a table directly by the water, it makes a big difference.
3. Patiki Beach, Soller
Patiki Beach seems to be the go-to place for locals for a more relaxed eating out. Come barefoot and enjoy this Mediterranean Beach Bar & Kitchen with a seasonal farm-to-table menu. Their food is meant not to be complicated but rather a colorful and flavorsome celebration of the raw ingredients which they consciously source on the island. Most important, don’t forget to go for a swim between the courses and give in to the island’s way of living.
4. Abaco Bar, Palma de Mallorca
Bar Abaco is a grand, surreal cocktail bar in the heart of the Old Town of Palma. Moreover, this hidden gem is undoubtedly the prettiest bar in the whole of Mallorca. It is behind grand wooden doors in the large courtyard of an old, aristocratic house. Here, you’ll find incredible, traditional decor with candles, paintings, mismatched antique furniture, and baskets overflowing with fruit and vegetables. The bar offers a superb range of delicious cocktails. Therefore, it is perfect for pre-dinner drinks or an atmospheric nightcap.
5. NENI, Soller
You will find this Ibiza-like restaurant on the roof terrace at Bikini Island & Mountain Hotel in Port de Sóller. Neni offers Israeli-Oriental fusion cuisine and invites its guests to enjoy it “Balagan style”. This translates into “pleasant chaos” at long tables for casual dining with family and friends. Not only do you get to eat tasty and original food but also to see the breathtaking view of the Port de Sóller and the Tramuntana Mountains. Please note to make reservations online.
WHERE TO STAY?
Depending on which part of the island you want to stay at and on your budget you could choose among the following options:
MID-RANGE & BUDGET
Es Turo is probably the best value for quality one can find on the island. The owner has created a great concept, combining a hotel, restaurant, concept store, and even a beach club. Additionally, it has a winning location in the South-East close to some of the best beaches on the island.
It is also a great option for families as it offers bigger rooms with living & sleeping areas and food options throughout the day. There are approximately 20 rooms in different categories and different buildings, and some are particularly pretty with views overlooking the valley.
Hostal Pons is a great budget option in case you want to base yourself in Palma de Mallorca. It offers an experience between a simple hotel and a hostel. It is surprisingly charming for the price you pay for it and has some traditional Mallorcas furniture, which you would normally find in much more expensive hotels. Its rooms are clean, bright and can come with a private en-suite bathroom. Furthermore, it has a central location. Therefore, it is perfect for visitors who want to stay in the heart of the city on a budget. Truly recommend!
This old Mallorca country house is located in the magical Sierra de Tramuntana Mountains, very close to both Valldemossa and Deia. Maybe it is the lush gardens and its wildflowers or the sound of silence interrupted only by the chirping of birds that makes the whole place as if out of a fairytale.
Without a doubt, it is a place for nature lovers and those who appreciate peace. Son Viscos focuses on maintaining traditions, supporting the well-being of the body and the soul as well as healthy and local food. Please note this is an adults-only hotel.
BELMOND LA RESIDENCIA
This is undeniably the best place to stay in the whole of Mallorca if one wants luxury. La Residencia is a very special place. Therefore it should be reserved for very special occasions because it really doesn’t get much better.
It is genius at combining rustic beauty and traditional charm with luxury while offering an unbeatable mountain setting. Also, its restaurant El Olivo is one of my favorite restaurants in the world.
In case you would like to find out more about La Residencia, find here my full review of La Residencia with all the details.
ES RACO D’ARTA
This 13th century finca is a realization of a dream of the owners to bring back the long-lost Mallorca they knew from childhood. The island where nature, architecture, culture, and food were deeply rooted and connected in everyday life.
Above all, Es Raco d’Artà is a place for those seeing a refuge from busy lives. In essence, it provides a peaceful oasis for reconnecting with nature, conscious living, and holistic well-being.
FINAL TIPS FOR YOUR TRIP TO MALLORCA
Mallorca is my favorite European island, full of hidden treasures! So I hope that this guide will help you make the best out of your trip!
Please consider the following points to make the most of your stay:
- My absolute two favorite times to visit Mallorca are either the first half of June or mid-September. That said avoid the end of July and at any cost August, it will be overpopulated, overpriced, and overbooked.
- Make sure to rent a car, you will need it to explore all the pretty spots and it will give you flexibility!
- As always, book your accommodation and restaurants in advance, otherwise, all the good places will be booked out and you will end up staying somewhere average and overpaying for it!
- Try to spend a week to really get to know the island. For a short trip, 4 nights would be a real minimum!