The Mallorca Files: Info and Filming Locations
The Mallorca Files: stylish, sassy, a little bit saucy and sometimes quite serious, is the BBC hit series that has wowed audiences with its crime-based drama in an exotic location. Mallorca.
The Mallorca Files is a co-production between the UK’s BBC and German channel ZDF. Both series 1 and series 2 were filmed in Mallorca and the show was a hit from the very beginning, with an audience of 6 million tuning in for the first series despite its being broadcast in the middle of the afternoon. It has since been sold to 80 other countries to be aired on TV channels around the world.
As well as being an entertaining series, The Mallorca Files is an ideal way to discover Mallorca without moving from your armchair, as some of the locations used in filming are among the most emblematic monuments, stunning beaches, gorgeous landscapes and quaint villages the island has to offer. Our local experts at Click-Mallorca.com have selected for you the best of The Mallorca Files filming locations to visit and have put together a great post with information from the show and top tips for your visit.
The Story Behind The Mallorca Files
The lead characters of this popular TV series, Miranda Blake (Elen Rhys), a Detective Constable with London’s Metropolitan Police, and Max Winter (Julian Looman), a German detective, are total opposites. They are teamed up by Inés Villegas, the Chief of Palma Police, to solve crimes, generally ones committed against the international community, on the island of Mallorca.
The lead characters being a German man and a British woman allows the series to break the stereotypes of these two nationalities and composes fast-paced plots full of action, mystery and humour. Without a doubt one of the main reasons for the show’s success is the location in Mallorca, showing British and German viewers a completely different side of the island compared with the typical sun, sea and sand holiday resorts favoured by the big tour operators of these countries. We think this is why there is such a cult following of the filming locations of the series, as people want to discover the hidden corners of Mallorca and experience its true culture and beauty.
The Mallorca Files Filming Locations
Due to the popularity of the programme, a map has been created with the filming locations in Mallorca used in each episode. The map is divided into 5 routes:
- Palma City
- Serra de Tramuntana Mountains
- Central and south Mallorca
- Levante Area
- North Mallorca
There’s a total of 37 different locations that appear in The Mallorca Files throughout the two series of the show. The map has been produced by the Mallorca Film Commission and promoted by the organisation of tourism in Mallorca to attract visitors to the island. You can download The Mallorca Files map here.
Season 2, episode 1: “The Maestro”
The death of an opera star provokes an investigation that triggers a drama worthy of opera itself. The maestro is killed after a charity gala performance on a boat in the underground lake of the famous Caves of Drach.
The Caves of Drach
The Caves of Drach are one of the most famous and unique places to visit in Mallorca, and are the biggest caves of around 200 caves in Mallorca. The Caves of Drach are open to the public and you can walk through the caves to discover an underground world you never knew existed. The highlight of the tour is a live classical music concert which takes place inside the caves beside Lake Martel. This is one of the largest and most fascinating underground lakes in the world and is the lake where the charity gala is filmed in this episode of The Mallorca Files. At the end of the concert you will have the opportunity to cross the famous lake on a rowing boat.
If you want to visit the Caves of Drach in Mallorca, the best way is on an organised tour, as agencies in Mallorca buy up the entrance tickets for the best visiting timetables and if you turn up at the caves you might not be able to actually get in until much later in the day. What’s more, on an organised tour you will also visit other places of interest in the area and have a guide that will give you interesting information about the caves and the island. Find out more about how to visit the Caves of Drach here.
Season 1, episode 1: “Honour Amongst Thieves”
In the very first installment of The Mallorca Files, Miranda is reluctantly partnered with German detective Max after failing in her mission to extradite a key witness due to being attacked at the airport and the witness apparently killed. She and Max travel around Palma in search of clues and these lead them to the Aucanada Golf Course, where a new murder complicates everything.
Aucanada Golf Course
The golf course at Aucanada is one of the prettiest on the island, given its amazing location at the end of the Bay of Alcudia by the stunning beach of Aucanada. Almost all of its 18 holes face the spectacular sea view and the Aucanada Lighthouse. If you like golf, then this is one place you are going to want to play.
However, Aucanada Golf Club is just as famous for its restaurant as it is its golf course. Many a midday is spent enjoying its gastronomic menu with a glass of wine, while languishing in the view. This venue is often used for weddings and special celebrations. The beach at Aucanada is very popular with local people and is special in that it is a pebble and seaweed beach, rather than the white sand favoured by tourists. A great way to enjoy Aucanada is from the sea, as many boat trips pass this area and you can enjoy the view of Aucanada Lighthouse on its islet from the water.
Season 2, episode 6: “The Outlaw Jose Rey”
A family dispute that ends in murder forces the pair of detectives to compare their horse-riding skills as they track and chase the suspect on horseback through the gorges, mountains and plains, between Son Serra, Sa Canova and Torrent des bosc de Massanella (Inca).
Rancho Grande Mallorca
The horse riding episode of The Mallorca Files is filmed at Rancho Grande, the biggest horse riding stables on Mallorca, located in Son Serra de Marina on the Bay of Alcudia. The horse riding ranch offers many great experiences to visitors and you don’t need to have prior experience to participate (a bit like our detectives!). The most fun option at Rancho Grande is a fun family experience suitable for all ages which takes place in the late afternoon/early evening. An hour’s horse riding is followed by a hearty barbecue meal and music and dancing. Participants are split into groups according to horse riding ability for the 1-hour session and beginners file through the woods on horses that know exactly where they are going, while experienced riders canter on the horizon and may reach as far as the beach.
Season 1, episode 4: “Number One Fan”
Miranda and Max investigate the world of fashion and interior design to solve the case of a German model who has seemingly disappeared from a moving train. The Sóller train station, the train itself, the town of Sóller and a climax in the port of Sóller
are the settings for their adventure.
The Famous Soller Train
The famous train of Soller as well as the town by the same name are the dramatic location for this installment of The Mallorca Files. The whole area is just as beautiful in real life as it is on TV and, if you are going to visit any of The Mallorca Files locations, this is the one not to miss.
The Soller Train is over 100 years old and still retains its original wooden carriages. The journey takes you between Soller and Palma through quaint hamlets in the countryside, through tunnels in the mountains and on a panoramic ride overlooking the Soller Valley where the views are to die for. If you want to continue the time travel experience, hop on the tram, which will take you from Soller down to Puerto Soller on a 20-minute ride through orange groves and practically through people’s back gardens.
If you are pressed for time and want to see as much of the mountain area as possible, take the Island Tour, which includes the Soller train, the tram and a stunning 45-minute boat trip to Sa Calobra. You will have free time in Sa Calobra, one of the most impressive beaches on the island. Which brings us to our next stop on The Mallorca Files filming locations tour:
Season 1, episode 2: “King of the Mountains”
A top Mallorcan cyclist disappears during a routine training session. Max and Miranda suspect one of Domenech’s teammates, Philippe Tromeur, or the manager of a rival team, Terry Davies, who are both convinced Domenech has been taking performance-enhancing drugs, despite him never failing a drug test.
On the mountainous Ma-10 road, The Mallorca Files reproduced a professional cycling race mixed with real footage of Mallorca’s own cycling race. We don’t suggest doing it on a bike, but a drive down this road to Sa Calobra is an absolute must (especially if you are not the one doing the driving). The mountain views and those of the west coast are to die for. The part of the road that bends 360 degrees to go back under itself is one of the most photographed spots on the island.
Once you reach Sa Calobra itself, you find yourself on one of the most stunning beaches on the island, completely surrounded by dramatic cliffs. Walk through the passage in the rock to the beach by the mouth of the Torrent de Pareis Gorge before taking the boat round to Puerto de Soller.
There is another way to reach Sa Calobra and that is on a spectacular hike from Escorca, down through the bed of the gorge (which is dry in the summer) and down to the beach. This is a challenging rocky trek and one that must be done with a professional guide. Click here for more information about hiking the Torrent de Pareis.
Season 1, episode 5: “Sour Grapes”
The grapes at the Biniagual Wine Cellar are anything but sour in real life, but in this episode of The Mallorca Files, family feuds and business rivalries in the world of wine lead the two detectives into mansions and vineyards, shot in one of the most important wine regions of Mallorca.
Bodegas Finca Biniagual
Biniagual is a hamlet that dates back to the moorish epoch in Mallorca and is situated in the heart of the wine-growing district of Binissalem. Biniagual consists of 14 houses, a chapel, and an historic winery, as well as a complete, typical Mallorcan farm belonging to the traditional Mallorcan estate. Wine was already being produced at this estate in the 13th century when the inhabitants of the hamlet all worked for the main estate. Apart from producing great vino, the hamlet of Biniagual is a picture-perfect example of Mediterranean immaculateness with its stone buildings, bright and colourful gardens and fields of grapevines with a backdrop of mountains and blue sky.
Season 2, episode 5: “The Blue Feather”
Max and Miranda investigate the disappearance of diabetic Tony Ball, a British birdwatcher. Believing he may be on a nature reserve, they find his campervan and his insulin supply, creating a greater urgency to find him. Their investigation stumbles across a bird-smuggling ring, and they wonder if Ball had also discovered it, or was part of the ring. They are also hindered by uncooperative reserve wardens, one with a criminal record.
Es Trenc Beach
The wetlands behind Es Trenc Beach are the setting for this particular Mallorca File and those wishing to discover the filming locations will have a fantastic day out following this trail. Thanks to its beauty, Es Trenc Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Mallorca. People visit from all over the island by car and on bus tours to swim and snorkel in crystal clear waters and sunbathe on the softest white sand. Needless to say, this is far from the quiestest beach in the summer!
If you do decide to visit Es Trenc Beach, don’t miss the salt flats in the same area. This is where the deluxe Es Trenc salt is produced and you can take a tour of the salt mine and buy great products at the shop.
Many episodes of The Mallorca Files are filmed in and around Palma City itself. Palma is the capital of Mallorca and of the Balearic Islands and is home to almost half a million people. It is one of the most beautiful cities in the Mediterranean and the image of the Gothic Cathedral in front of the sea is a hard one to beat. You should definitely spend at least a day of your holidays in Palma strolling around the old town, sampling tapas and enjoying the views from Bellver Castle or from the old walls.
If you want to step into Max and Miranda’s shoes and experience the Palma of The Mallorca Files then you need to look out for the following places:
The Plaza Major is one of the biggest squares in Palma and it is slap bang in the middle of the city. The square hosts seasonal markets and fairs and even concerts. It is enclosed by 19th century mansions and bars and cafes spill onto the square making this a great place to sit and soak up the atmosphere over a beer or an ice cream while watching the bustling market stalls or street entertainers. From the Plaza Major you can walk along any of Mallorca’s most famous streets: Calle Sindicat, Calle San Miguel, La Rambla or Jaime II Street, which will take you to the town hall.
Plaza de Toros
“Death in the Morning”, the 8th episode of The Mallorca Files, looks at the brutal murder of a famous British author and anti-bullfighting campaigner and is filmed at Palma’s emblematic Plaza de Toros (Bullring). More than for actual bullfights, the Plaza de Toros in Palma is currently better known for its sporting uses and, above all, for being the place where the most massive summer concerts are held.
Actually, while the interior shots of the bullring in this episode were filmed at the Plaza de Toros in Palma, the the exterior shots were filmed at the bullring in the north east of the island in the quiet inland town of Muro, a picturesque walled hillside town, brimming with sandstone buildings.
In “To Kill a Stag”, when a groom is murdered in the pool of a large mansion during his bachelor party before the eyes of Max and Miranda, they investigate around the environment of the casino, shot at Casino de Mallorca in Porto Pi. Porto Pi is a huge commercial centre at the far end of the port of Palma with shops, restaurants, cinema and the casino.
If you are in Palma for a night out, then head to the seafront area known as the Paseo Maritimo where the biggest and most exclusive nightclubs have their prestigious location. Several of the Mallorca Files were filmed here, including the cabaret club scene in “Mallorca’s Most Wanted”, “Friend Henry” in which a famous DJ appears dead and the detectives’ investigation takes place in a Palma nightclub and the very first epsiode of The Mallorca Files also found Max and Miranda on the Paseo Maritimo.
We hope that this article has helped you to plan your visit to The Mallorca Files best filming locations. Have you visited some of the locations? Do you have any recommendation? Leave us your comment, if you liked the post, share it on your social networks,…