Have you thought of traveling to Spain in the wintertime? It is cold, but not as cold as Northern Europe. Of all the beautiful places in Spain, Mallorca holds a special place in my heart and today I’ll share why.
Mallorca is the classic summer holiday, often even considered too touristy for those who like to get off the beaten path. But Mallorca in winter is all the paradise of summer without all the tourists – it couldn’t be better. There are turquoise waters like the best of the Caribbean, but it is easily (an inexpensively!) reached from mainland Europe or the UK. There is sunshine; warm, friendly locals; and a joy of life that is completely infectious. If you like walking on deserted beaches or enjoying quaint holiday markets, Mallorca is a wonderful wintertime destination.
I actually traveled to Mallorca for three days just before Christmas, so I thought I’d share my activities as a sample Mallorca itinerary. I was in some business meetings and spent a lot of time driving around the island, but even that is beautiful in Mallorca. Here’s what I did:
Day 1 – Mallorca Wintertime Itinerary
Landed in Mallorca and rented a car. Be sure to rent with a larger international company. The cheap local companies often look like they have great prices, but then add hundreds of Euros of fees when you arrive at the airport. Stick with a company you know, even if it costs a little more. You can also travel by taxi or bus, but because I knew I needed to get around a lot, I opted to rent a car.
Check-in to the hotel
Since I was going to visit many different parts of the island, I opted to stay in a hotel about 10 minutes from Palma airport. I stayed at the Lluat Palace, which was a very nice modern hotel. I was so busy going out I didn’t have time to really enjoy the facilities, but the breakfast spread was extensive, and I’m told the spa is also very nice.
First I headed to Algaida, a small town about 20 minutes northeast of Palma, this is farm country and also full of classic Mallorcan stone buildings. It is a fun place to stop on your way to other parts of the Island.
Son Serra de Marina
Next I headed to Son Serra de Marina, a sleepy town on Mallorca’s north east coast. The large stretch of beach was deserted the day I was there, and you can walk the beach as long as you’d like, even down to Can Picafort and other more touristy destinations.
Next I headed to Alcudia, the port near the north west point of Mallorca. There is another beautiful beach for walking, as well as a historic town center, old church, and an adorable Christmas market. Again, there were hardly any tourists so it is a fun way to explore with the locals.
Port de Pollenca
I ended the first day in Port de Pollenca, the Northwest tip of Mallorca and northern port of the island. Port de Pollenca has several organic and vegetarian restaurants as well as an adorable little organic shops. I wandered the shopping streets decorated with holiday lights, stopped in the organic shop for dinner and then headed back to the hotel.
Note that the organic restaurants were all closed because it was only a few days before Christmas, but most other times they are open and look fantastic!
Day 2 – Mallorca Wintertime Itinerary
After breakfast at the hotel, I headed out to see Felanitx, a town in the southeast of Mallorca known for having an interesting cultural center and shopping. I spent a couple hours wandering around there, catching a children’s Christmas concert, and lots of locals doing last minute Christmas shopping, before heading on to the coast.
The beaches in Mallorcan are called Cala. Cala D’Or is the name of a resort town in the southeast. When I was in Mallorca in the summer, my GPS took me to a wild beach that you had to hike into. I wanted to see what it looked like in wintertime. Although I didn’t find the exact beach, I discovered that Cala D’Or is actually a series of about 6 coves, each more beautiful than the last. The water was an incredible turquoise, and although the water was cold, if I’d had my bath suit I would have gone for a swim! I spent several enjoyable hours scrambling along the cliffs and walking from beach to beach.
Because it was so close to Christmas, again most of the shops were closed. But a few restaurants were open if you want to get a bite to eat. There is also a very nice organic vegetarian restaurant in Cala D’Or, but it was closed when I was there this time.
Palma and Plaza Major
I ended the first day by heading into Palma de Mallorca, the capital city. It was alight with festive Christmas lights and general holiday merriment. Palma is always spectacular, set on a large bay with a huge cathedral overlooking the city, but at dusk with the holiday lights it was even more spectacular.
There was a series of large Christmas markets, running down several streets in the area of Plaza Major. You can park your car and wander around for several hours. They sell all types of food and gifts. One of my favorite parts of this Christmas market were the groups of locals banned together playing and singing everything from traditional Christmas carols to jazz.
For dinner, you can sample many of the treats available in the holiday markets or stop at one of the many restaurants serving fresh food with alfresco dining.
Day 3 – Mallorca Wintertime Itinerary
Valldemossa and Deia
On day 3 I decided to head to the west coast and experience the stark beauty of the cliffs plunging into the ocean in Valldemossa and Deia. The drive itself is exquisite, and there are many areas to stop off a hike with views of the sea.
I chose to stop by the Hotel Continental Valldemossa. From there, I took a beautiful hike along switchbacks with views of the sea. This hike is on a narrow cliff, so I wouldn’t do it with children or anyone with balance issues! There are other broader walks you can take down to the sea in Deia.
The weather throughout the trip was sunny and relatively warm during the day. I was comfortable in my pants and a light sweater. When I was hiking I even stripped down to a t-shirt. At night it gets colder, and you’ll want a coat for wandering the holiday markets at night. The average daily temperature was 16º Celsius (61º Fahrenheit). Night time temperatures dip to 5º Celsius (41º Fahrenheit)
Until next time
This concludes the recap of my three days in Mallorca. After a quick stop at a small restaurant for some fruit and a latte, I headed off to the airport. This is a sample itinerary of all you can see and do in Mallorca in wintertime. There is so much more that can be explored. Where ever you go, the charm remains the same: sunshine, beautiful beaches, warm and friendly locals, and a great joy of living.
Until next time, cheers!