Hello fellow adventurers! As my love of Mallorca is now officially documented, I thought it would be a good time to continue the “things to do in…” series with 16 interesting things to do in Mallorca.
Most people think of Mallorca as a beach holiday destination, with beaches packed with Germans and Brits desperate for a bit of sunshine. And it is true that the beaches of Mallorca are the most beautiful I’ve seen in Europe, with exquisite turquoise water. But there is so much more to Mallorca than just the beaches, from the ancient towns to the cultural center of Palma.
Read along to find 16 interesting things to do in Mallorca, including a section for my favorite hidden-gem beaches!
1. Palma Cathedral
First on the list are the best activities is Palma, as it is the cultural capital of Mallorca. Palma is also where you will land when you arrive, so it makes an easy first stop if you are staying in a distant part of the Island. But in case you want to come back, you can get to Palma from any part of the Island in about an hour or less.
Palma Cathedra is a magnificent structure of golden stone overlooking Palma Harbor. There is the option for a tour that includes access to some of the nearby museums. I recommend walking through. Be sure to stop outside to take in the magnificent view and take pictures!
2. Plaza Major
Plaza Major is the central shopping district surrounding the Palma Cathedral and set on the hills overlooking the water. I recommend wandering around here for a couple hours, as there is a charming mix of small local shops, regional Spanish shops, and large International brands.
There are also several restaurants serving some of the best vegan food on the island, so it is an ideal stopping point for breakfast or lunch. The vegan restaurants, are sadly, closed for dinner.
3. Cap de Formentor
Moving to the eastern most tip of the Island, Cap de Formentor offers spectacular views of the Mediterranean set against almost white cliffs. You can drive along the winding roads to the lighthouse to take in the views.
4. Deia and Valldemossa
Heading to the west, Deia and Valldemossa offer all the charm of traditional Mallorca villages, with lots of culture hidden inside the low stone buildings on the cliff-top. The road along the cliffs of the west coast will take your breath away. As I mentioned in my recap of my time in Mallorca, there is a beautiful (advanced) hike from the Hotel Valldemossa, as well steep walks down to the beaches in Valldemossa and Deia villages.
5. Port de Soller
Continuing along the west coast, Port de Soller is a favorite docking point for the rich and famous, as well as a small beach town with a cosmopolitan flair. Enjoy delicious food and sweets in one of the many cafes, or walk along the promenade taking in the atmosphere. It is fun to ride the traditional cable car, even for a few stops; and there is a museum of natural sciences and a botanical garden to explore.
6. Tramuntana Mountains
From Port de Soller, it is easy to reach the Tramuntana Mountains, a UNESCO world heritage site. These mountains form the backbone of Mallorca and give a glimpse into one of the areas of Mallorca untouched by the centuries. The mountains offer incredible views, terrifying hairpin turns, and wonderful hiking opportunities. There are two large mountain lakes, Gorg Blau and Cúber, good for swimming and hiking, or taking a break on your drive.
7. Castle of Capdepera
For those who love traditional castles, the walled fortress of Capdepera, in the northeast of the island, is a perfect outing. Offering panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, and out to the sea, the hike up is worth it. If you are lucky, you may get to see falconers training their hawks or eagles here as well. This castle, only about 15 minutes from some of the popular east coast beaches, gives a glimpse of old-world Spain.
8. Port de Alcudia
In the north of Mallorca lies Port de Alcudia, with its large cathedral and golden stone protective walls. Historically, this was the most important city in Mallorca after Palma. Now, it is a beautiful city to wander and explore while enjoying some of the more wild north coast beaches.
9. Best Beaches
There are so many beaches in Mallorca that are beautiful year round that any list could be made and would be accurate. I’m going to include my favorites, some of which are lesser known and off the tourist track.
Cala Des Moro
I found this beach the first time I was in Mallorca because someone had saved the parking spot in Waze. Thank you anonymous person! There is a spectacular hike down to the turquoise water, that definitely requires agility and balance. From there you can choose to swim or to walk along the cliffs to other coves. Because of the wild beauty, Cala Des Moro takes the top spot in a tough lineup of favorite beaches in Mallorca.
Next, about 30 minutes north of Cala Des Moro, is the resort town of Cala D’Oro. I can imagine it is over crowded with tourists in summer months, but in winter it is a beautiful expanse of many turquoise coves. The drive in gives views of traditional Mallorcan stone homes and glimpses of the sea in the distance.
While every beach along the east coast could make this list, Cala Mesquida, is particularly beautiful. Set amidst grand sand dunes, Cala Mesquida is large enough to offer a variety of options.
If you want, you can take the raised wooden path through the dunes to the far side of the beach, designated as the clothing optional side. From there you can swim far out in the crystalline cove water. Or you can continue hiking along the cliffs with views of both the sea and the dunes.
This beach is close to where I stayed on my first visit to Mallorca, located about 30 minutes south of Cala Mesquida. Although the beach was crowded and tourist-y, you can swim far out in the clear water. Another nice option is to swim along the cliffs beside the beachfront restaurants. There are several places on the rocks to crawl up and take a break while visiting with locals. For those who love to really swim, Cala Ratjada is great!
Son Serra de Marina
The sleepy town of Son Serra de Marina in located in the same large bay as the tourist hotspot of Can Picafort. The difference is that San Serra beach is mostly only visited by locals. You can enjoy sunbathing on the mix of sand and limestone slabs, or swimming in the bay.
You can also park here and easily walk the 6 km down the beach to Can Picafort for more restaurant and shopping options.
Valldemossa and Deia
They’ve already been mentioned on this list as beautiful towns to explore on the west coast, but it is worth noting again. The beaches of Valldemossa and Deia, though small, make up for that in beauty. They are better for adventurers who don’t mind hiking down, and enjoying swimming more than laying in the sand. There are several rocks that locals and tourists alike enjoy jumping off of. Just remember to keep your legs closed!
So much to explore
As you can see, the island of Mallorca offers so many opportunities to explore. From the beautiful beaches and lookouts, to the castles, cathedrals, and historic mountain range. Whether you have a day or a week, Mallorca will fill your heart with its warmth and history.
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