Perfect for families
Mallorca, or Majorca, is one of those wonderful travel clichés: an island that suits everyone. Glorious sandy beaches and clear blue seas, a food scene that is both traditional and modern, smart bars serving goblets of gin & tonic and inventive tapas, plus miles of winding roads through rugged mountain scenery, perfect for drivers with well-honed clutch control.
The island has been brushing up on its cuisine in recent years, from high-end restaurants to cafés and family-run rural establishments that you can eat well in wherever you go, which makes choosing where to stay much easier.
Palma, capital of the Balearic Islands, is one of Europe’s most accessible cities. It is set in a sweeping bay with winding old-town streets and a bustling port at its core. It’s worth spending a day or two in the hip former fishermen’s settlement of Santa Catalina at one end of your holiday, but with a family in tow it’s best to head north to the coast around Pollença and Alcúdia. The sandy beaches are extensive and the resorts low-key: sunset stroll and a civilised drink affairs. From here you can explore th hills and jaw-dropping sea cliffs that taper off the Serra de Tramuntana mountains down the Peninsula de Formentor, and the honey-coloured towns across the bays and the Parc Natural de S'Albufera wetlands from their hilltop perches.
When to go
Beach season in Mallorca extrends from May to the end of September, and during these months it's best to be close to water - August is stiflingly hot and Mallorcans can't imagine why you'd want to rush around doing anything. In spring and autumn you can take much better advantage of walking, cycling and other outdooractivities, but bear in mind that there will be fewer places open after the October half-term ends through to Easter. Travel and accommodation will also be cheaper.
Where to eat
Stay restaurant on the Moll Nou jetty, Port de Pollença, is a lovely spot looking out over the beach and port. The snack/lunch menu offers tapas, salads and bocadillos (rolls), so if all you want is a drink and a sandwich, or a plate of Padrón peppers, it won’t break the bank to sit on the modern terrace and while away some time (snacks from £3). In the evening, the more extensive menu features plenty of seafood and a decent wine list.
Café C’an Moixet is the least flash-looking but best place to eat tapas and have a drink on the Plaça Major (main square) in Pollença old town. The whole square fills up in the evenings and you can enjoy a meal in peace while your children make new friends and play within eyesight.
Also in Pollença, Clivia is the type of family-run establishment that tourists return to year after year to eat sea bass, hake, lobster paella and Soller prawns (two courses from £25). It has white linen tablecloths and a pretty, modern shaded courtyard, but isn’t in the least bit stuffy, and children are always welcome.
Casa Gallegain Port d’Alcudia is relatively unassuming and rustic looking, but has an excellent tapas selection, ranging from pimientos de Padrón (in season) to grilled cockles and razor clams, or grilled octopus with potatoes and sweet peppers, as well as cheeses and very good steaks. There’s also a kids’ menu. Try to bag a table on the terrace.
Restaurant es Casalat Casal Santa Eulàlia, serves modern Med dishes such as prawn carpaccio with pink peppercorns, and grilled Mallorcan black pork with baked apple & rosemary yogurt (three courses £29) and has a kids' menu; you can eat inside or out on the terrace under the stars. On Wednesday nights there’s a fish ‘barbecue’ by the pool. Enjoy frito Mallorquin (fried fish, squid and prawns) followed by a fish tumbet (casserole) packed with prawns and shellfish. Booking essential.
Where to stay
Stay at a hotel set in a rustic stone-clad finca a little way off the beaten track, such as Casal Santa Eulàlia, which has swimming pools and an excellent restaurant on site. You’ll also have a buffet breakfast of stupendous proportions, plus a haven of peace to return to at the end of the day. Book Casal Santa Eulàlia through Sawday’s from £195 per night for a double room, including breakfast.
- Coca is the Mallorcan equivalent of a yeasted flatbread. It can be savoury or sweet. Coca desnuda (with no clothes) is plain and sometimes with a hole in the centre; coca tapada is stuffed with a filling; and coca abierta has a topping just like a pizza.
- If you're driving, you need to be aware that addresses are often given as a place on a named road but with a kilometre mark instead of a street number – for example, Santa Margalida and Alcúdia at Km1.8. Our satnav wasn’t always helpful with this kind of address.
Five foodie things to do
1. Visit Sineu market in the centre of the island on a Wednesday for a full local experience, complete with livestock auctions (get there around 8am for these). Market shopping is an excellent way to immerse yourself in a culture, and any stall selling kitchenware reveals how the locals cook at home, along with being a good source of useful souvenirs.
2. El Sol bar and restaurantis the only joint on Son Serra beach and here, in a slightly hippie setting, you’ll find cocktails and cake, plus lavish salads, Thai curry and black rice with prawns. Come here to watch kite surfing and chill out.
3. Santa Catalina indoor food market is the oldest in Palma (open MonSat, 7am-5pm). Shop or eat tapas standing at one of the bars. Look out for sobrasada, a local raw, cured sausage; snail-like ensaïmada pastries dusted with icing sugar; and coca bread.
5. Drink gin & tonic or gin cocktails at the tables outside Ginbo in Palma. With more than 100 gins to choose from – including the local Cabraboc, Onze and Gin Eva – you might like to try more than one. In which case ordering their snacks will help!
Accommodation for this feature was provided byCasal Santa Eulàlia.
What are your favourite Mallorcan hotspots? Let us know in the comments below...
- Rafael Verdera Vessel. The oldest active vessel in Spain (1841) ...
- Capuccino C. Sant Miquel, Palma. ...
- Celler Sa Premsa. A tipical restaurant celler in Palma. ...
- Restaurant es Recó Very good lunch menus. ...
- Posada Terra Santa. Holy Land Custodians Medieval Restaurant. ...
- Ca la Seu. ...
Fornalutx. If you stay by the coast you'll never see it, but Fornalutx is regarded by many as the most beautiful village on Mallorca, and one of the most stunning in Spain. You'll find it deep in the Sierra de Tramuntana, with winding streets, narrow stone steps, and flowers and greenery everywhere.What is the typical food in Mallorca? ›
Local Mallorca food (known in the native tongue as 'Mallorquin' food) is based on pork, fish and vegetables. In this regional Spanish food you'll find generous helpings of garlic and olive oil, a cuisine one full of hearty home-cooking.
Best to stay: The North coast is the best part to stay with easy access to most famous attractions, nice beaches, historical towns, ruins and a little bit of everything...Is Mallorca a chavvy? ›
In response to the title of your post, no, Majorca is not for 'chavs', and if you were to read the articulate and intelligent postings from some of the regular contributors to this forum, it would quickly become apparent that many people who know and love this island are quite clearly at the opposite end of the social ...
Celebrity properties in Mallorca include the Royal Palace of La Almudaina in Palma old town as well as Palacio Marivent in Cala Major, both owned by the Spanish royal family. King Felipe VI & Queen Letizia of Spain are often seen spending their summer holidays in Mallorca.What is the most beautiful town in Mallorca? ›
Valldemossa. This town, nestled between the mountains of the Serra de Tramuntana, is a must for all those who have decided to travel to Majorca. Valldemossa is the typical fairy tale village and many consider it the most beautiful village not only in Majorca, but also in Spain.
Palo amb sifó
It's the most common way to drink it, and there's no secret to it.
The Good News: Whether recently introduced or endemic, most of Mallorca's snakes are relatively harmless. The only two venomous ones are of the colubridae family: the False Smooth Snake (macroprotodon cucullatus) and the Montpellier Snake (Malpolon monspessulanus).
People in Mallorca speak Spanish (also referred to as 'Castilian' or 'Castellano', a variety of the Spanish language spoken in central Spain) and Mallorquí, a language with the same root as Catalán which can change slightly depending on the location.
Mountainous and packed with twisty roads, beautiful beaches and lucious scenary, driving in Majorca is enjoyable and the roads are quiet. The longest route is 312 kms (193 miles) running in a loop around the island, so you can get around the whole island parameter in around 6 hours (non-stop).
Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands, and its capital is without doubt its greatest treasure. This makes Palma well worth visiting at any time of year – whether that be for the incredible climate, beaches, vibrant neighbourhoods, bustling squares or the endless array of galleries, restaurants and bars.What do Mallorcans eat for breakfast? ›
Pa amb oli - Traditional snack served almost everywhere
The perfect dish for breakfast, to start a meal or to enjoy for "merienda" (afternoon snack). Very similar to the Catalán "pa amb tomaquet" although made with a different type of bread, pa amb oli is perhaps Mallorca's most famous dish.
About. Agriculture is a mainstay of the Mallorcan economy, and the central part of Majorca is devoted to farming. Crops such as citrus fruits, almonds, olives and grapes have been grown for centuries.Is Mallorca too touristy? ›
Mallorca is a Good Year-Round Destination
Although it does get quieter after the summer months end, Mallorca is a year-round destination. I would recommend visiting Mallorca before or after the summer months (June until August) if you want to avoid the crowds.
Cala d'Or is a charming and relaxed resort with several coved beaches, a marina, and a wealth of chic bars, restaurants, boutiques and shops. A lovely place for family holidays. The east coast resort of Cala D'Or is one of the prettiest on the island of Majorca.Do you get cockroaches in Majorca? ›
There have been more cockroaches than usual in Palma this summer and between January and August, 1,222 people called 010 to complain about infestations, compared to 1,063 in the whole of 2019.
The Mediterranean Sea is somewhat open (Strait of Gibraltar and Suez Canal) and yes, in Mallorca and the waters around us there are also sharks. Some species come occasionally and others have their whole life cycle around here, but in general they have no interest in humans and do not represent any danger.Are there wolves in Mallorca? ›
A PACK of bloodthirsty wolves have escaped from a farm in Majorca and are hunting animals and terrifying locals. Six of the wild dogs fled their field in Puigpunyent in the north west of the Spanish holiday island yesterday and have killed and feasted on two ponies so far.
- To say hello: “uep, com anam?” means “hi, how are you?” You really have to use this one when saying hello.
- It could be used in the sense of surprise. ...
- “Uep, aixó está a punt de caure” meaning “careful, it is about to fell down”
The currency now used in Majorca is the Euro.
Majorca, Spanish and Catalan Mallorca, ancient (Latin) Balearis Major, or Majorica, island, Balearic Islands provincia (province) and comunidad autónoma (autonomous community), Spain. Majorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands, which lie in the western Mediterranean Sea.How many days are enough for Mallorca? ›
In Majorca, you will need at least five days to realise that not only does it have an immense variety of plans but that it is an island you can easily live on.
Bus. The airport to central Palma has a good bus link (line 1) that runs about 4 times an hour between 6am and 2am. The bus costs under 2 euros and leaves directly outside the terminal, stopping at Placa Espana in Palma's Old Town. This Placa is the hub for all onward journeys around the island by train or bus.Which part of Majorca is the warmest? ›
The southeast regions (Palma, Magaluf, El Arenal) are generally warmer and drier than the mountainous northwest and in the coastal towns you can bask in around 300 days of sunshine per year.
With its pretty main square lined with cafes, stunning architecture and charming Port, Soller is a great place to relax and enjoy the sun. In no particular order we've listed the top 10 things to do in this authentic old town and the surrounding Tramuntana mountain area.Is driving in Mallorca difficult? ›
Mallorca isn't necessrily a dangerous driving experience compared to many other places, but it still poses its challenges. Additionally, whilst it's a relatively small island, it has a near infinite amount of ways to navigate. There's a lot to see and with limited time, you want to choose your transport wisely.
General Overview. Mallorca is often described as a walkers' paradise because of the attractive and varied scenery, the wonderful climate (walking is possible year-round bar July and August) and the relative seclusion of many of the walking paths.