Best Things To Do in Mallorca
The best things to do on Mallorca revolve around the island's stunning natural landscape and long history. White stretches of sand – such as Cala Llombards and Playa de Muro – encircle much of the island, but that's broken up by craggy cliffs and the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, beloved by hikers and cyclists. For culture and history, the capital of the Balearic Islands – Palma – is filled with treasures, such as the gothic Palma Cathedral and the circular Bellver Castle. But don't forget about quaint towns like Alcúdia, which are begging to be explored.
Updated June 3, 2019
- #1View all Photos#1 in MallorcaHiking, Natural Wonders, Recreation, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDHiking, Natural Wonders, Recreation, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
A UNESCO World Heritage site, Serra de Tramuntana ("mountains of the north wind") are located on Mallorca's northern coast and offer travelers the chance to hike, cycle or drive through a landscape of deep gorges, jaw-dropping cliffs and the highest peak in Mallorca, Puig Major.
Recent travelers said the experience of hiking through fragrant lemon and orange groves, olive orchards and awe-inspiring coastal views was "captivating." If you're driving rather than walking through Serra de Tramuntana, some travelers suggested taking your time – you'll be sharing the narrow winding roads with cyclists.
- #2View all Photos
White sands and clear, shallow waters, along with a handful of quality restaurants and hotels, make Playa de Muro a favorite strip of sand among travelers. Aside from its safe waters, Playa de Muro is also a hit thanks to its amenities, including umbrellas, restroom facilities and access for those with disabilities. And its proximity to the Parc Natural de s'Albufera de Mallorca, a nature preserve known to draw bird watchers from all over Europe, means you can hit up a trail when you're ready for a change of scenery.
Visitors also appreciated Playa de Muro's more rustic feel when compared to the beaches in Alcúdia or elsewhere on the island. Others highlight the vendors selling fresh fruit, such as coconut, watermelon and mango.
- #3View all PhotosfreeCala Llombards#3 in MallorcaBeaches, Natural Wonders, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, Natural Wonders, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
The aquamarine waves that lap Cala Llombards, located on Mallorca's southeast coast, are warm and gentle – and a favorite among families for that reason. Its picturesque setting is another point in its favor: Framed by pine trees and bobbing boatsheds, Cala Llombards boasts smooth white sands, plus a tropical beach bar that serves up cold drinks and plates of fish. In between snorkeling and sunning, you can stretch your legs on a walk toward Cala Santanyi, where you'll be rewarded with a view of Es Pontas, a natural arch rock outcropping that resembles a bridge.
Recent travelers appreciated this beach's noncommercial feel, but also recommended that you bring everything you'll need with you, as there are very limited facilities and only a handful of bars and restaurants in the surrounding area.
- #4View all Photos#4 in MallorcaHistoric Homes/Mansions, Museums, SightseeingTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDHistoric Homes/Mansions, Museums, SightseeingTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
Commissioned by James II of Aragon in the 14th century, the rounded Bellver Castle reigns atop a wooded hillside just west of Palma and offers visitors a 360-degree view of the city and the bay. Although the castle was initially constructed as a royal home, it also served as a military prison. Today, along with an unbeatable view from the top, it also offers visitors a visual timeline of Mallorca thanks to its ground-floor City History Museum (or Museu d'Historia de la Ciutat), which tells the story of Palma's past through present day and contains various ceramics, statues and other artifacts.
Visitors to Bellver Castle say the panoramic views from the top can't be beat, and the affordable admission price (4 euros, or about $4.50) isn't bad either. Recent travelers also highlight the availability of restrooms and a nice cafe. Although a tourist bus (take the purple line) will bring you directly to the castle, some travelers recommend taking one of Palma's public buses (Nos. 3, 46, 50) and walking the many steps through the woods from Plaza de Gomila.
- #5View all Photos#5 in MallorcaChurches/Religious Sites, SightseeingTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDChurches/Religious Sites, SightseeingTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
The Palma Cathedral Le Seu – or simply Catedral de Mallorca – started out as a mosque. But after the city fell to the French conqueror James I of Aragon, what would become centuries worth of work on the cathedral commenced. The finished product is a Gothic masterpiece, which overlooks the Bay of Palma to the south and features a spectacular pediment depicting the Last Supper. Inside, must-sees include the giant, circular rose window (one of the world's largest stained-glass windows) that measures nearly 40 feet in diameter, and Antoni Gaudí's canopy that hovers above the main altar.
Since it's a fixture in the Mallorca skyline, the exterior of the cathedral can't be missed. But its interior is just as stunning, according to recent travelers. Visitors were especially in awe of the cathedral's magnificent stained glass and the overall peaceful ambiance.
- #6View all PhotosfreeAlcúdia Old Town#6 in MallorcaFree, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDFree, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
Like much of the island, Alcúdia has experienced many different reigns, from Phoenicians to Romans to Vandals. When the Moors took control of it around the year 800, they built a fortress and named it Al-Kudia or "on the hill." Later, it became a center of trading and these days, it's a beautifully restored old town complete with ancient architecture, hidden gardens and delicious eateries.
Recent travelers used words like "quaint" and "lovely" to describe Alcúdia. Some recommended visiting on a Tuesday or Sunday when a market fills the old town, with vendors selling foods and handicrafts.
- #7View all Photos#7 in MallorcaRecreation, ToursTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDRecreation, ToursTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
Viewing Mallorca from the water that surrounds it is a great way to experience the island’s remote corners and cerulean waters. Plus, many of the tours offer transportation from local hotels and resorts and some even include a nice meal, making the logistics simple. Most of the tours depart from and return to Palma's port, but they range in price and the length of time. Regardless, of what tour you choose, remember to bring along sunscreen, a towel and bottled water for your day out at sea.
Captain Cook is a well-respected company in the Balearic Islands, and it offers a variety of sailing tours. Its full-day sailing package includes coffee and sweets in the morning, a three-course Spanish meal at lunch, and wine, beer, soft drinks and water, not to mention complimentary use of snorkeling equipment for use in a stunning bay. The cost is 195 euros (or about $220) per person.
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