Eating out in Palma has never been more exciting, with chefs – inspired as much by their Mallorcan grandmothers as Mediterranean nouvelle cuisine – adding a pinch of creativity and spice to the city's food scene. Inland, restaurants play up hale-and-hearty dishes, such as suckling pig spit-roast, to perfection, pairing them with locally grown wines. On the coast, bistros keep flavours clean, bright and simple, serving the catch of the day with big sea views.
BEST TIME TO VISIT MALLORCA
The best time to visit Mallorca is from March to May, when average temperatures are in the 60s and 70s and the crowds of summer tourists haven't yet descended on the island. Summer has a long stretch in Mallorca – from June to September – and it's characterized by sweltering temperatures, hordes of tourists and high room rates. Fall is another nice shoulder season with mild temperatures and cooling rains, but January and February are the best times to score decent deals on room rates.
June-September - The months between June and September are peak tourist season, with scores of travelers flocking to the island's resorts, beaches and clubs. In fact, it's a good idea to book your hotel a few months in advance to ensure you get a room. July and August tend to have the highest room rates of the year and the highest temperatures, which have been known to crest 100 degrees.
October-December - Late fall and early winter are characterized by cooler weather that drifts from average highs in the 70s in October to the lower 60s in December. Rainy days are common in October and November, and the mountainous areas will experience frequent cloud cover this time of year. Still, summertime's crowds have dispersed – taking with them high hotel rates – which makes it a good time to explore the island with a little more elbow room and a little more cash in your pocket.
January-February - With high temperatures in the 50s and lows in the upper 30s, winter is not prime beach time in Mallorca. Still, low season in Mallorca is a good time to score reduced rates at all-inclusive resorts around the island.
March-May - With mild average temperatures edging from the 60s on up, the months between March and May are a great time to visit Mallorca with its bustling outdoor cafes and blossoming flowers and herbs. Plus, you'll get to enjoy it all without the high temperatures and tourist throngs of summertime. Although the best deals on accommodations are had during low season, the hotel rates aren't yet at their summertime peaks either.
GETTING TO MALLORCA
The island of Mallorca lies in the Mediterranean, off the eastern coast of Spain near Valencia and between the islands of Ibiza and Menorca. It's very well connected to the continent thanks to its international airport and regular ferry services. Take a plane or a ferry into Mallorca. You can fly into Palma de Mallorca airport from anywhere in Europe to begin the adventure. Alternatively, arrive on the island by ferry. It will take some three hours to take a boat from Barcelona or Valencia to Majorca.
GETTING AROUND MALLORCA
The best way to get around Mallorca is by car. Having your own set of wheels gives you the most freedom to explore the island on your time. Buses are an option, too, but service is limited, especially on weekends. In towns like Palma, there are plenty of taxis, but these are more of an option for inter-city trips rather than for island treks. The same goes for walking and biking. Although there are some lovely pedestrian areas in Palma, Alcudia and other towns, not to mention beaches, the island is too large to explore on foot or bicycle alone.
Car - A car will allow you the most freedom to explore Mallorca on your own terms. That said, when you're touring various cities and towns – especially Palma – you should leave the car parked and get around on foot since streets in these historic places are often narrow. You'll find car rental companies, such as Avis, Hertz and Europcar, at the Palma airport. If you're looking for a price break, however, you might check out the local companies, such as Sixt Rent a Car or Centauro Rent a Car, as they sometimes offer better deals. Also, buy a current map in a bookshop or petrol station, as the maps given by rental car companies are often out of date. And keep in mind that using your cellphone while driving is illegal here. Also, to rent a car in Mallorca, you'll need to apply for an international driving permit.
Bus - Mallorca's collection of buses connect most of the island, but they run on limited schedules, especially on the weekends.
Taxis - Mallorca's metered taxis are most helpful for travel around Palma – or travel to and from the airport. These taxis, usually cream and black in color, frequent many of the tourist attractions , resorts and hotels .
On Foot - Mallorca's large and small towns are best explored on foot, as are the trails of Serra de Tramuntana and many of the gorgeous shorelines. But to traverse the island, you'll need to rely on another mode of transport.
Bike - Like many cities, Palma too is becoming increasingly more bike-friendly. Visitors who have traveled by the city's public transportation can pick up rental bikes for free at the Intermodal Station information point in the Placa d'Espanya, though they’ll have to return them by the end of the day. From November to May, travelers can pick up and drop off bikes Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. From June to October, travelers can drop off bikes until 8 p.m. on Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
WHERE TO STAY IN MALLORCA
- Protur Naisa Palma Hotel
Protur Naisa Palma Hotel has a restaurant, fitness centre, a bar and shared lounge in Palma de Mallorca. Featuring family rooms, this property also provides guests with a sun terrace. The hotel features an outdoor swimming pool, indoor pool, evening entertainment and a 24-hour front desk. Guests at the hotel can enjoy a buffet breakfast. Protur Naisa Palma Hotel offers 4-star accommodation with a sauna. The area is popular for cycling, and bike hire and car hire are available at the accommodation. Popular points of interest near Protur Naisa Palma Hotel include Playa Ca'n Pere Antoni, Palma Yacht Club and Pacha Mallorca Nightclub. The nearest airport is Palma de Mallorca, 11 km from the hotel, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.
- Hipotels Playa de Palma Palace&Spa
Located in Playa de Palma, Hipotels Playa de Palma Palace & Spa features a garden, a terrace, an outdoor pool and a spa centre. There is free WiFi throughout. All rooms are spacious and have a balcony, a flat-screen satellite TV and a private bathroom with a hairdryer. Some feature a seating area and views of the sea or the pool. The spa offers a range of beauty treatments, a hamman and a sauna for an extra cost. There is also a free hot tub and a fitness centre. Bike hire is available at this hotel and the area is popular for cycling. The hotel also offers car hire. Palma Aquarium is 2.6 km from Hipotels Playa de Palma Palace & Spa, while Playa de Palma Beach is 1 km away. The nearest airport is Palma de Mallorca Airport, 4 km from the property. Private parking is available on site.
- Hipotels Gran Playa de Palma
Set in Playa de Palma, Hipotels Gran Playa de Palma boasts a seasonal outdoor pool and views of the sea. This modern hotel is 2 km from Aqualand El Arenal. Free WiFi is offered throughout. Featuring plenty of natural light, each room is equipped with a flat-screen TV and a bathroom with a hairdryer and free toiletries. Some rooms have a seating area. Hipotels Gran Playa de Palma has a restaurant where guests can enjoy a meal. The hotel also offers 24-hour front desk service. The area is an ideal destination for cycling lovers and the hotel has bicycles for rent. Car hire is available as well.
- Hotel Negresco - Adults Only
Situated on the seafront in Playa de Palma, Negresco has an outdoor pool. All of the air-conditioned rooms offer full or side sea views. The airport is just 5 km away. The rooms have satellite TV, private balconies and double-glazing. Free WiFi is available in public areas. Negresco has a bar and a restaurant serving buffet breakfast and dinner. There is a large terrace by the pool where you can enjoy a drink. The terrace also has free loungers. On-site parking and spa are available at an extra cost. The Negresco can also arrange car hire.
Hotel Born is situated in a former palace in Palma’s historic centre, within 10 minutes’ walk of Palma Cathedral and the Almudaina Royal Palace. Guests can enjoy breakfast in the hotel courtyard. Also known as Can Maroto, Hotel Born has a beautiful lobby with red marble columns and a grand staircase leading to the hotel’s rooms. Rooms at the Born hotel have tiled flooring and are decorated with typical Mallorcan furniture. All have satellite TV and private bathrooms. Some have views of the hotel’s courtyard. Staff at reception are happy to help guests rent a car or book a guided tour of the city. The hotel is a 10-minute drive from Palma’s ferry port with regular ferries to the Balearic Islands and Barcelona.
This central boutique hotel is 100 m from Palma de Mallorca's Plaza de España and Sóller Train Station. Rooms come equipped with free internet, rainfall showers and Smart TV with satellite channels. M House Hotel is set around a charming indoor courtyard, where meals and cocktails are served in summer. This hotel is open throughout the year. Elegant rooms at the M House Hotel feature air conditioning, a minibar, Marshall Bluetooth speakers and a free laptop safe and coffee machine. Some overlook the courtyard, and others have city views. The hotel's restaurant offers creative Mediterranean dishes. There is a 24-hour reception, and you can hire a car from the tour desk. Private parking is available for an extra charge. Palma Cathedral and the city's old town are 900 m away. Access to public transport is available nearby.
- Bonanza Palace Playa Resort & SPA by Olivia Hotels
Hotel Palace Bonanza Playa & SPA is situated on the seafront in Illetas, just 7 km from Palma. It offers direct access to the sea, an outdoor swimming pool and free access to its spa. Elegantly furnished, the modern air-conditioned rooms feature a balcony with sea views and satellite TV. They also include a private bathroom complete with amenities. Free WiFi is available. The Bonavista Restaurant offers impressive sea views and serves Spanish and international cuisine. Guests can watch as the hotel's expert chefs prepare their meals. Please note that men are required to wear trousers. Information about the restaurant's opening times is offered at the reception. Guests can also enjoy more informal dining at the poolside bar, or at the coffee shop. The Madison Music Bar hosts live music and shows. Featuring a hydromassage pool, the Palace's spa also offers sauna facilities and Turkish baths. Treatments include massage and wine therapy. Illetas has regular bus connections to Palma, there is a taxi rank outside the hotel and the island’s airport is 19 km away. Puerto Portals is a 10-minute drive from the Bonanza. An on-site diving club is available for an extra charge.
11 km from Palma Port, Hotel Riu Concordia is situated in Palma de Mallorca and features a restaurant and a fitness centre. Boasting a 24-hour front desk, this property also provides guests with a terrace. The property is 11 km from Palma Yacht Club. At the hotel, every room has a balcony. Complete with a private bathroom, all rooms at Hotel Riu Concordia are equipped with air conditioning, and selected rooms are fitted with a seating area. Guest rooms in the accommodation are fitted with a flat-screen TV and free toiletries. A buffet breakfast can be enjoyed at the property. Cala Major Beach is 13 km from Hotel Riu Concordia. Palma de Mallorca Airport is 3 km away.
Situated conveniently in Palma de Mallorca, Hotel Basilica offers air-conditioned rooms, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, free WiFi and a bar. This 4-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and a tour desk. Private parking can be arranged and subject to reservation. At the hotel, rooms include a wardrobe. At Hotel Basilica all rooms come with a desk, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. The accommodation offers a continental or buffet breakfast. Hotel Basilica offers a sun terrace. Es Molinar Beach is 1.9 km from the hotel, while Palma Yacht Club is 2.6 km away. The nearest airport is Palma de Mallorca, 9 km from Hotel Basilica, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.
Situated 22 km from Tomir Mountain, Mon Boutique Hotel in Pollença has an outdoor swimming pool and bar. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and room service, along with free WiFi. Guests can have a drink at the snack bar. All rooms are fitted with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a kettle, a shower, a hairdryer and a desk. At the hotel the rooms have a wardrobe and a private bathroom. A buffet breakfast is available each morning at Mon Boutique Hotel. The accommodation offers a sun terrace. The nearest airport is Palma de Mallorca, 60 km from Mon Boutique Hotel, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.
PLACES TO GO & THINGS TO DO IN MALLORCA WITH FAMILY
Tourists flock to Mallorca every year to soak up the Spanish sun on its beaches. Along with its sandy stretches, this Balearic island is home to a number of cultural treasures, including gothic castles and subterranean lakes. Here are the list of some most impressive attractions and things to do on the island with your family or with friends.
Located in the picturesque Sierra de Tramuntana, the Gardens of Alfàbia are bursting with colourful vegetation and idyllic water features. The greenery envelops a historical farmhouse, which is open to the public. The building is an architectural gem—its features hark back to the Moorish occupation and are combined with Baroque elements from the later reformation of the site.
- Ruines Romanes de Pollentia
Be transported back in time at the ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia. Founded in 123 BC, the city was once the capital of the Balearic islands. Nowadays, the site, including the well-preserved Roman theatre and forum, is open to the public. Bring plenty of water and comfortable shoes and spend the morning exploring. Finish your visit with a look around the museum to learn about the fascinating history of the ruins.
If sightseeing has taken its toll on your feet, a ride on the Sóller train is a great way to discover the Mallorcan landscape without moving from your seat. Since its opening in 1912, the train has been operating daily. The efforts to preserve the rustic, old world charm have been successful. Its narrow gauge, for example, which is characteristic of the first trains, has been maintained.
Be sure to take a camera along when you visit Cap de Formentor. This zone, where the Sierra de Tramuntana meets the Mediterranean, marries together the beauty of mountainous and coastal landscapes. The journey through windy, narrow roads is not for the faint-hearted, but the views from the various lookout points which punctuate the trajectory are well worth the trip. Check out the windswept lighthouse, Faro de Formentor, which is perched on a cliff.
- Museu Fundació Juan March
Art lovers should not miss the Museu Fundació Juan March. The museum is a converted stately home nestled in the old town of the island’s capital, which dates back to the 17th century. The collection features some of the masters of the Spanish vanguard, including Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro. Despite its small size, the museum offers a varied tour through Spanish art of the 20th century.
Mallorca is home to a number of impressive castles. The Bellver Castle is particularly worth a visit, given the variety of its historical uses. Construction of the castle began in 1300 by order of James II, King of Mallorca, and it was designed to be a royal residence. Three kings of Mallorca resided here, including Jaume II, Sanç I and Jaume III. In 1717, it became a military prison, then later a private residence. The castle also imprisoned a number of French soldiers defeated at the Battle of Bailen. In 1821, the castle was temporarily converted into a currency factory, before becoming a prison again during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), when more than 800 Republicans were imprisoned here.
- Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró a Mallorca
Not only does the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró a Mallorca boast an impressive collection of Miro's works, with paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints numbering into the thousands, but the foundation has special links to Miró, having been his studio for several decades. Thanks to its unique nature, the foundation is the perfect place to come to grips with the elements that influenced Miró’s creative processes, and thus gain a new appreciation of his already impressive works.
It is said that James I of Aragon vowed to build this cathedral when he ran into troubled waters on his way to Mallorca. He promised that if he landed safely and conquered the island, he would dedicate the church to the Virgin Mary. Construction actually began after his death in 1229 on the site of a Moorish era mosque and also atop the former citadel of the Roman city, previously called Palmeria. It took over 400 years to finish, was later added to by Gaudí in the early 20th century and remains the most impressive and recognised architectural gem on the island.
Take a guided tour of the Drach Caves and be stunned by the beauty of the natural world. Admire the stalactites that drip overhead, the stalagmites that crawl up around you and enjoy the wonderland of shape and texture. The caves harbour one of the largest underground lakes in the world and the reflections of the skilfully positioned artificial lighting creates an eerie atmosphere.
The Mondragó Natural Park offers the opportunity to admire the island’s native vegetation and animals. The land in this park is shaped by decades of agricultural activity and a smattering of dry stone walls, irrigation ditches and waterwheels, creating a rustic charm. After a morning of bird-watching on the dry landscape, cool off in the crystal-clear water of the park’s beaches. The adventurous might like to snorkel from bay to bay.
- Quad biking excursion & Cliff jumping in El Arenal near Palma
Enjoy an amazing quad biking excursion in El Arenal, and explore the beautiful scenery of the island of Mallorca. Would you like to live an unforgettable experience on a quad bike in one of the most beautiful areas of Mallorca island? You will get the feeling of speed and freedom while a 300 CCM powerful quad bike takes you through wild terrain and fantastic routes during a 3-hour tour (60 km. round trip)!
- Jet ski circuits in Palma Beach, Mallorca
Get ready to feel a rush of adrenaline in your whole body while cruising at full speed over the blue waters of Mallorca. Jet skis are an amazing amount of fun! Your activity will start after meeting the team at their center located in Club Nautic S’Arenal at Playa Palma. Then you'll be transported on a platform in the water 500 m. away from shore where the amazing jet skis will be waiting for you.
- Hot air balloon flight over Mallorca
A balloon ride through Mallorca is a magical and unforgettable experience. You will enjoy the beautiful island and panoramic views! Balloon flights do not give vertigo nor basket moves or swings. It is just like being in a viewpoint that moves slowly, which is why children aged 4 and up can also be a part of the flight. For this activity, you will meet in Mallorca and the pilot will take you to the take-off point. Pilots with over 20 years of experience. Once there you can totally help the team set up the balloon before taking off. The aircraft is always doubled checked to ensure your safety and have the appropriate standards of safe flying. The goal is to provide the highest quality with plenty of space in the basket, sparkling wine onboard and excellent service from the team.
This brand new sport is the top attraction in Mallorca due to the enormous amount of satisfied customers. The instructors will make sure you fly, they are convinced that everyone should try it at least once! The Flyboard is a water-powered board that will be strapped to your feet, it will make you fly over the water like Superman. It can also be used in water so you can swim and dive like a dolphin. After just a few minutes of practice, you'll be able to master it a start flying, Mallorca Water Sports Center can guarantee it! Imagine the amount of cool photos and memories you could get during a friend flyboarding trip. What makes this experience even better is that even if you're not the one flying, you be having lots of fun since you'll all be together in a boat with music and drinks.
- Coasteering on the cliffs of Mallorca
Coasteering is a brand new adventure activity which combines jumping off cliffs, swimming, abseiling, climbing and rock scrambling into one. You’ll be led by a certified guide through this exhilarating journey through the coastline of the Mallorca. YOu will be able to practise this activity in five different spots: Alcudia, Cala Ratjada, Cala Romantica, Magaluf, and Paguera. If due to weather conditions the activity cannot be done in the spot you selected, we will suggest another spot. Venture into a new and exciting activity, you're guaranteed to feel the adrenaline pumping!
- Snorkelling excursion in El Arenal, Mallorca
All excursions are supervised by state certified instructors, who are experts within their fields. During your ride along the Majorcan coast in a speed boat, you're guaranteed to love the fresh sea breeze and the spectacular view. The clarity of the water is incredible and allows for an insight into the versatile flora and fauna of the Mediterranean Sea. Prepare for encounters with a variety of fish, octopus and sea urchins that hide in small caves and crevices. Enjoy the Mediterranean in this special place!
WHERE TO SHOP IN MALLORCA
A decade ago the term ‘concept store’ was barely a thing, but in recent years the trend has truly taken off. They’re generally small and independent boutiques, offering the shopper a modern and innovative retail experience. They sell a lifestyle and, with a mix of well-designed products and brands not usually sold together, are curated to appeal to a certain type of customer. Take your browsing to the next level with our pick of the coolest concept stores in Palma De Mallorca
A trip to the Tribeca Concept Store in the centre of Palma inevitably involves being greeted by the owner’s chihuahua Zoe, who is a constant presence in the store. Inside lies an eclectic mix of antique furniture and knick-knacks, a fantastic selection of international magazines and books, greetings cards, contemporary jewellery (including the popular Hevn brand), textiles, candles, and hats.
A tiny but inviting shop in Palma’s old town, in what was once the the heart of the city’s jewellery quarter, Calame has an excellent selection of bags, jewellery and accessories for both men and women, as well as scented candles, notebooks and other items. The epitome of Parisian cool, but with a Mallorquin bent, this shop is the smaller sibling of a well-established concept store in Paris with the same name. The beautifully made leather products and stunning jewellery make it very hard to leave without making a purchase, and it’s the perfect place to shop for gifts.
This small shop, in Palma’s maze of narrow shopping lanes in the old town, has more to it it than it initially seems when peering through the window. Many of the goods have an artisan feel to them, but they are high end, and well-designed and crafted. Beautiful handwoven textiles and linens sit alongside delicate glassware, contemporary lighting, bags, jewellery, candles and a number of felted items, including Baabuk slippers.
- BConnected Living Concepts
BConnected Living Concepts in Santa Catalina, is a store dedicated to lifestyle, interiors and good design, and stocks a select range of furniture, textiles, lighting, homeware accessories and art. The store is bright and bold and showcases small independent designers as well as big brands, and has a range of artworks by local expressionist artist Rafa Forteza. Waling around it is a bit like walking around a design showroom or gallery. The textiles are stunning, and the store has a few selected vintage pieces as well as new items, and also stocks BConnected’s own line of products. Be warned, though: even the smallest of items comes with a high price tag, so unless you’re feeling particularly flush, this store is mostly about inspiration.
- Suite 13, Conscious & Sustainable Wear
Tucked away from the tourist hoards, but in a great location just off Plaza Mayor, is Suite 13 – an ethical fashion brand, selling clothes made with natural fabrics sourced responsibly from around the world and then tailored in small workshops in Barcelona. With stunning womenswear designs and some eye-catching prints, style is certainly not sacrificed for ethics, making it the first sustainable fashion store in Palma. A great place to shop for chic, understated separates and stylish shirt dresses in a glorious colour palette, with some items in one-of-a-kind fabric hand-painted by local artist Jaime Colorao. The Daphne multi-position dresses – which come in different lengths and can be worn in a variety of ways – are a fantastic buy and they also stock handbags made by Mallorcan brand Maravillas Bags.
Slightly incongruous amongst the slew of high-street brands and tourist shops, Suivi is a welcome oasis of chic on Calle de San Miguel.A long narrow space with a pleasingly curated, colour-coded rail of clothes that runs the full length of the shop, this excellent womenswear store stocks the likes of Isabel Marant Étoile, Zadig & Voltaire, Filippa K and Ancient Greek Sandals. There are also a handful of small accessories, Comme des Garçons fragrances and particularly divine-smelling Cire Trudon candles.
With its cool contemporary interiors, polished concrete floors and neon sign hanging above the carefully curated clothes rails, Mãos wouldn’t look out of place in London or New York. Selling mostly menswear, but with select womenswear too, the store was started by three locals with a passion for Scandinavian and European design and young up-and-coming brands. It’s a relaxing and sociable space, with a Chesterfield sofa set amongst the rails, and shelves displaying Danish brands Samsøe & Samsøe and Les Deux, and Barcelona’s Thinking Mu. They stock limited numbers of each item, so be sure to move fast if you see something you like.
Rialto Living a large store in central Palma’s old Rialto cinema building, bills itself as a lifestyle concept. There are three floors dedicated to interiors, fashion, art and design, as well as a stylish cafe, regular exhibitions in a gallery space and a small floristry area by the entrance. The building itself is stunning and Rialto hosts many events and art openings. The creative team behind this place certainly know what they’re doing; if the window displays and a glimpse through the doors don’t draw you in, the enticing signature scent that drifts out of the store as you walk by certainly will.
- Position Concept Store by Kling
Well established in Palma, the Position Concept Store was one the first boutiques in Spain to stock Issey Miyake, Comme des Garçons and Junya Watanabe. The store is moodily lit and seductive, catering to both men and women, and they generally hire stylists to work in-store, making for an deluxe shopping experience. Brimming with fantastic (and often monochrome) clothes by the likes of Rik Owens, Rundholz and other cutting-edge, innovative brands, they also have an excellent range of accessories, including an impressive array of vintage Ray-Bans and sought-after Reinhard Plank handmade hats, as well as perfumes and candles.
A key player in Palma’s menswear scene, La Principal’s sleek window display and immaculately-stylish interior make it a store that’s irresistible to enter – and it’s difficult to keep your wallet closed once you have. It boasts an exceptional range of selected brands such as Maison KitsunéHomecoreRiding High and Rains, as well as a great selection of the Mallorcan brand Mews (its leather and suede goods are made on the island, the brand being started by the owners of La Principal). The range of accessories is also particularly impressive, with Spanish label, Steve Mono, featuring heavily and shoe brands Spalwart, Novesta and Veja regularly on display.