25 Best Things To Do In Mallorca
There are lots of things to do in Mallorca: from beautiful beaches to ancient ruins, Gothic architecture to dolphin watching, swimming in the sea to gorging on local gastronomic delights, Mallorca’s to-do list is as exciting and varied as its skies are sunny and its sea turquoise. It’s a destination that will excite you and delight you.
That’s why our local experts from click-mallorca.com have put together this travel guide of the best 25 things to do in Mallorca. From budget to luxury and from lazing on the beach to trekking in the mountains, there is something for everyone.
1. Visit Palma Cathedral: The Basilica de Santa Maria de Mallorca
Palma Cathedral is one of the most visited landmarks on the whole island of Mallorca and for good reason: it is AWESOME. (In the real sense of the word). Many people don’t realise that this Gothic Cathedral, also known locally as La Seu, has a longer title than just “Palma Cathedral”. It is the Basilica of Santa Maria de Mallorca. So there!
The best way to visit Palma Cathedral is on a guided tour with a professional, local guide who will show you all the most important parts of the cathedral and will show you the curious details that you would otherwise have missed. And trust us: there are a LOT of important details on Palma Cathedral. For instance, did you know that famous Modernist Antoni Guadi of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona also worked on Palma Cathedral?
If we can give you our very best advice for visiting Palma Cathedral it is this: don’t visit in a rush. There is so much to see.
2. Stroll Around the Old Town of Palma
Palma Cathedral is located right in the Old Town of Palma, so, after checking out the cathedral, you are in the perfect location to begin exploring the old town. Palma is steeped in history and, as you stroll along the narrow, maze-like streets, you will feel as though you are stepping back in time. Nowhere is there such a perfect marriage of the historic and the modern than in Palma. You’ll see centuries-old buildings, Juliet balconies, pretty courtyards that have their own unique history and many emblembatic buildings. The Almudaina Palace, the Arab Baths and the Town Hall Square are well worth a visit, to name a few. You’ll stroll through the Jardines de S’Hort del Rei (Gardens of the King’s Orchard) and will stop for coffee, ice cream or tapas in some of the bars and cafes hidden down intriguing sides streets.
What a wonderful introduction to Mallorca.
3. Marvel at the views from the Castell de Bellver
The Castell de Bellver is a circular castle in Palma on top of a hill facing over the water. Its location is such that, from the castle, you have an incredible view of the entire city, the port and the cathedral.
The Castell de Bellver was designed as a royal residence, as Mallorca was an independent kingdom for a short time. Work began on the castle in the year 1300. After the fall of the Kingdom of Mallorca in 1343, the castle was used on and off throughout history as a prison. Nowadays the castle holds an incredible museum where you can learn all about its construction and about its (sometimes very dark) history. Being entirely circular, the Castell de Bellver is somewhat unique in its architectural style.
So at the Castell de Bellver, you have 3 in 1: the views, the castle itself and the history museum. It’s one of the not-to-be-missed sights of Mallorca.
If you’re not sure how to get to the Castell de Bellver, get yourself a ticket for the hop on, hop off Palma City Tour, which has a stop there and also takes you around all the other most important landmarks of Palma.
4. Ride the Soller Vintage Train
Once you’re done with Palma, it’s time to head into the Tramuntana Mountain area for some nature. And there is a unique mode of transport to take you there. The wooden carriage train that runs between Palma and Soller (or Soller and Palma) is one of the island’s signature attractions.
The famous train has been trundling through Mallorca’s most gorgeous landscape and through the mountainous Soller Valley since 1912, and it hasn’t changed one bit in its more than 100 years of operation. You can board the train in Palma City or in Soller or you can get on at one of the tiny stations en route, such as Bunyola. The entire journey between Palma and Soller takes around 50 minutes and runs several times a day depending on the time of year. The most exciting part of the journey is the part around Soller, where you overlook the town of Soller and its valley and the train takes you through tunnels carved out of the rock in the mountains.
If you get to spend some time in Soller on this day out (highly recommended), be sure to make time for an ice cream made from the famous Soller oranges.
For a more complete day out in Mallorca’s mountains, book onto the Island Tour, which takes you to see the highlights of Mallorca, plus includes the train ride and a ride on the Soller-Puerto Soller tramway and a stunning boat trip to Sa Calobra.
5. Hike in the Tramuntana Mountains
There are loads of great hiking trails in the Serra de Tramuntana Mountains. You can choose long, short, different levels of difficulty, linear, circular, with a visit to a beach… The options are endless and, the longer you have, the more of this UNESCO World Heritage Site you will be able to explore.
The most famous hiking trail through the Serra de Tramuntana is the GR221, which is a 90-mile dry stone route running almost the entire length of the mountain range from Andratx in the southwest all the way to Pollença in the north. Most people hike it in sections, choosing a bit at a time to do in one day. But if you are feeling adventurous you can complete the whole route in around a week or nine days, sleeping in the mountain “refugios” (basic hikers’ hostels) that you find along the way.
Hiking in Mallorca’s mountains is a great option for people on a budget, as this is a completely free activity. Apart from the obvious expenses: petrol, hiking boots… and… EMPANADAS! You’ve got to take empanadas when you go hiking in Mallorca!
6. Taste Mallorca’s local pastries
Well, regardless of where you travel to, you should always taste the local pastries! It would be rude not to. Mallorca has some amazing pastries, both sweet and savoury. Some of them are related to history, some are related to religious celebrations and some are just too delicious not to try.
- Empanadas: An empanada is a savoury pastry made traditionally for Easter but available year round in bakeries and supermarkets. Many Mallorcan households still follow the ritual of making empanadas for Easter. The pastry is thick and heavy and, as well as flour, uses half water and half olive oil. The filling is traditionally of peas and pieces of pork but you can get them filled with chicken, cuttlefish or meat too.
- Ensaimada: The ensaimada is probably the most famous of Mallorca’s pastries and is the thing that visiting Spaniards from the mainland take home from their holidays to their families. And believe us, their families EXPECT IT! Look out for people at the airport leaving Mallorca with an octogon-shaped box – there’s an ensaimada inside! The ensaimada is a sweet pastry. The pastry is rolled and then coiled into a circle (the bigger the better) like a snail. Sometimes the pastry is left plain and sometimes it is filled with a delectable paste before it is coiled. The most common flavours are crema (like custard), cabell de angel (confited fruit) and, nowadays, things like Ferrero Rocher or white chocolate.
- Coca de pimientos: If you go to a party in Mallorca and don’t know what to take, go into a bakery and order a coca de pimientos. You will be the guest of honour at the party! Pimientos are peppers – in this case, large red peppers that are cooked in the oven until their skins blacken and flake off, and you are just left with the flesh of the red pepper. This is combined with onions, garlic and parsley and is used as the topping on a thinly rolled base like a pizza base – but square. Then it’s sliced up and shared out.
- Coca de patata: Despite also having “coca” in the name, the coca de patata could not be more different to the previous pastry. In fact, despite being made from potato (patata), the coca de patata is actually a SWEET PASTRY. The coca de patata comes from Valldemossa, and you are not likely to find it elsewhere, so if you would like to try this sweet pastry made from potatoes, your best bet is to visit Valldemossa. It’s one of the most beautiful towns on the island, so you won’t be disappointed.
7. Explore Valldemossa
That can bring us on to our next place to visit: Valldemossa – one of the most famous and most visited towns of Mallorca and yet one that retains its rustic charm perfectly. Nestled in the Tramuntana Mountains, Valldemossa has it all: history, culture, nature and amazing views. Delight yourself on a stroll through the cobbled streets, full of charm. After exploring, be sure to pause to sit at one of the cafes in the main square to soak up the atmosphere (and treat yourself to a coca de patata).
Top things to visit in Valldemossa are:
- Royal Carthusian Monastery in which Frederic Chopin and George Sand famously stayed
- Gardens of King Juan Carlos
- Church of San Bartomeu
- Palace of King Sancho
- Costa Nord Cultural Centre, founded by the actor Michael Douglas
Valldemossa is steeped in religious history, as it is the birthplace of Santa Catalina, the only Catholic Saint to have come from Mallorca.
8. Get arty in Deia
Deia is a world away from Mallorca’s tourist resorts and yet is famous for being the hideaway of foreign artists and millionnaires. The most famous being the poet and artist Robert Graves, whose former house is now a museum dedicated to his work.
Deia has managed to avoid total tourist saturation, thanks to its town council adamantly sticking to its guns of not allowing tour groups and coaches to pull up and pile out here. If you want to visit Deia, you will have to drive or take a small, private tour. The stunning village clings to the mountainside on the west coast and its pretty stone buildings and gardens with bright coloured flowers are blessed with the backdrop of the Serra de Tramuntana and the sea. If you don’t want to stay all day in Deia, you could combine your visit with a stop at Valldemossa, Soller or Banyalbufar in the same day for a fantastic route through the mountains.
9. Take Instagram selfies at Sa Calobra
Sa Calobra is one of Mallorca’s highlights and should be on anyone’s list of things to do in Mallorca for its sheer Instagramability!
One of the most exciting things about Sa Calobra is getting there. Due to its remote location on the west coast of Mallorca in the Tramuntana Mountains, there are three unique and original ways to get to there:
- Hike down the Torrent de Pareis. Let’s start with the most adventurous way: hiking down the magnificent Torrent de Pareis Gorge on a difficult trek over rocks and boulders from Escorca. You should only attempt this with a professional tourguide.
- Drive down the spectacular “snake road” to Sa Calobra, one of the most impressive roads on the island, which winds down the mountainside and even crosses under itself at one point on a 360 bend.
- By boat from Puerto de Soller. Enjoy a different perspective of the west coast on a stunning boat trip from Puerto Soller to Sa Calobra taking around 45 minutes.
Once you reach Sa Calobra, via your chosen method of transport, you are going to want to hit the beach and explore the mouth of the Torrent de Pareis Gorge. First cool off with a refreshing swim and relax on the beach, enjoying the wonderful view of the sea and the massive cliffs that frame the whole of Sa Calobra.
Then follow the paved footpath around the coast and through a delightful corridor that has been carved in the rock, with a natural “window” in the rock (this is where you are going to get that amazing Instagram shot) and then continue down the stone stairs to the beach at the mouth of the Torrent de Pareis. The colour of the sea here is the deepest blue and the dramatic cliffs perfectly frame the view. And behind you you have the gorge. Here you will get several Instagram-worthy snaps too.
10. Get spiritual at Lluc
Lluc is known as the “spiritual centre” of Mallorca. It is an enormous monastery and impressive church nestled in the mountains of the Tramuntana. The place may have been sacred for many millennia, for near the sanctuary the remains of a prehistoric settlement have been excavated, known as la Cometa dels Morts. The Romans also held the place holy, calling it Lucus, meaning ‘sacred woods’.
According to tradition, a shepherd in the 13th century found among the rocks a statue of a small Black Madonna with the infant Christ in her arms. This Black Madonna became known as the Mare de Deú de Lluc (Mother of God of Lluc) and is worshipped today.
If you are looking for a super cool and original activity in Mallorca to make your holiday memorable, you can stay the night at Lluc in one of the cells that would have housed one of the monks. Or if you prefer, you can visit Lluc on a day trip. There is ample parking at Lluc and it is the ideal place to explore nature, as there are many hiking trails around the Monastery.
11. Watch the Sunset from Cap de Formentor
An absolute MUST if you can get there is to watch the sunset from Cap de Formentor. And this is one for all the lovers out there, as it’s one of the most romantic things to do in Mallorca. And one of the cheapest things.
Cap de Formentor is the very northernmost tip of the island and is where the Serra de Tramuntana cliffs dramatically plunge into the sea. There is a famous lighthouse at Cap de Formentor and this is the best place to watch the sunset from. You will have 360 panoramic views and, from the lighthouse, you literally see the ball of fire drop into the sea framed by the Tamuntana Mountains. Forget Bali or Thailand; this is literally one of the best sunsets you will ever see and it’s right here in the Mediterranean!
12. Formentor Beach
The turn-off for Formentor Beach is well before the road that leads all the way to the lighthouse at Cap de Formentor, but if you are just going to the beach and not the cape, don’t go there by road: there’s a better way! By boat.
In the summertime there are boats going to Formentor Beach from Puerto Pollensa, Puerto Alcudia and Can Picafort. The boat takes you on a tour along the coastline where you will see stunning natural landmarks such as Es Coll Baix Cove or Aucanada Lighthouse. When you arrive at Formentor Beach you will have free time to swim, sunbathe and snorkel before taking the return boat back to where you started. Be warned: in summer, this beach gets very busy, as it is one of the most famous and exclusive beaches on the island thanks to its incredible location on the Bay of Pollensa and the famous Hotel Formentor. But mostly because of its exquisite fine white sand and unbelievably clear water.
13. Es Coll Baix
As mentioned just above, if you go by boat to Formentor from Alcudia Bay, you will pass Es Coll Baix. It is a picture-perfect postcard beach on a tiny, rocky cove that is very difficult to reach. You can go to Es Coll Baix by boat, or you can drive or cycle part of the way and then trek down a tricky rocky path to the beach, which takes about 40 minutes. Once on the beach, you will be pleased you made the effort to get there because the sea is cool and refreshing and the views, surrounded by cliffs, are second-to-none.
14. Explore Alcudia
It’s true that Alcudia gets pretty packed in summertime with tourists staying at hotels in the main resort area, but that’s because it is a beautiful place. Alcudia is also a BIG place, so if you do have time to stay for a few days, then you will have plenty of things to do and see:
- Alcudia Beach: Alcudia Beach is a 10km long stretch of white sand that follows the length of the bay. The beach is perfect for anyone who wants to sunbathe, swim, take part in fun water activities or build a sandcastle. It has beach bars, showers, sunbeds and lifeguards.
- Alcudia Marina: Take a stroll along the marina at Alcudia to see how the other half live, with their impressive yachts that seem to get bigger as you advance down the marina. There is a craft market on the marina in summer in the evenings and there are lots of bars and restaurants. The backstreets behind the harbour are where the more local or typical tapas bars and restaurants are found. The harbour is where the pleasure boats and catamaran tours depart from.
- Alcudia Old Town: Step back in time and explore Alcudia Old Town, a beautiful maze of narrow streets and traditional stone buildings. Walk around the top of the Medieval walls, explore the Roman ruins of Pollentia (dating from 123bc) and stop for tapas or an ice cream in the main square.
- Secluded Beaches: Alcudia does not just have the one main beach, it also has some gorgeous off-the-beaten-track coves, such as Es Coll Baix, mentioned just above. If you don’t fancy the Es Coll Baix trek, head for Aucanada Beach, the beaches of Sant Joan and Sant Pere at Mal Pas or Barcares Beach.
15. Birdwatching at the Albufera Nature Park
Even if birdwatching is not top on your list of things to do in Mallorca, don’t just scroll past! Because the Albufera Nature Park is an amazing place to visit, even if you forgot your binoculars. This is a protected natural area in the north of Mallorca, just at the edge of Alcudia, reaching the sea at Playa de Muro where the fresh water of the Albufera mixes with the saltwater of the sea, creating an estuary that attracts many animals and birds.
There is a visitor centre at the nature park where you can get information about the wildlife and a map of the trails. You can walk around the trails, stopping at the hides that are located in strategic birdwatching places, or you can follow a cycling route around the park if you prefer. The best times to visit are spring and autumn, as it’s when you are more likely to coincide with migratory birds moving between Europe and Africa.
16. Visit a Vinyard and Sample Mallorca Wines
Did you know that Mallorca produces A LOT of wine? There are more than 90 wine cellars in Mallorca and some of them are making very interesting wines focussing on the indigenous grape varieties from the island, meaning that they are wines made with grapes that you cannot find anywhere else in the world.
To discover the world of Mallorca wine, a great way is to visit one of its wine cellars (or bodegas). Many bodegas offer a tour of the vineyards with a representative from the wine cellar who will tell you about the grapes and the agricultural side of things, followed by a visit to the installations in the wine cellar where you learn about the production of the wine, and finally the best bit, which is tasting a selection of the wines in the beautiful setting of the bodega and the vineyards in the afternoon sun. If you are a wine lover, check our Mallorca wine guide.
17. Splash at a water park
The water parks in Mallorca aren’t just for kids! Mallorca is home to two of Spain’s biggest and best water parks, which are great fun in the summer for families, groups of friends or people of all ages.
Cooling off at a water park is one of the most exhilarating days out in summertime. Hit the wave pool, fly down the kamikazes and brave the Black Hole! There’s something for everyone at the water parks in Mallorca, including the lazy river and some excellent children’s areas.
The two big water parks are Aqualand in Arenal and Western Park in Magaluf. If you’re staying in the north of Mallorca, the Hidropark in Alcudia is also good for an afternoon or a day out.
18. Discover Lake Martel at the Caves of Drach
The Caves of Drach are one of the top things to see in Mallorca thanks to their unique beauty. There are many caves in Mallorca but only in the Caves of Drach will you find the magical Lake Martel, Europe’s largest underground lake. The special moment of the visit to these caves is the classical music concert given by musicians on small rowing boats on the lake. This and the mysterious lighting on the lake will send shivers down your spine.
The Caves of Drach are open to the public year round and they are the largest caves in Mallorca. Low season is the ideal time to visit, to avoid the crowds.
19. Cliff Jumping
Do you dare? Cliff jumping is quite a thing in Mallorca at the moment. What more thrilling feeling than jumping from the rocks into the sea on a hot summer’s day?
At some beaches in Mallorca cliff jumping is banned, and for good reason, so do yourself a favour and do some research before you just launch yourself from the rocks. For a lot of Mallorca’s waters are shallow.
- In Alcudia there is a good spot for cliff jumping and children can participate too. That’s at S’Illot Beach in the area of La Victoria. The cliffs are not too high and the views of the Bay of Pollensa are excellent.
- There is a good spot for cliff jumping in Colonia de Sant Jordi too. Just follow the local kids around the coast and you’ll be led straight there.
- If you want to try cliff jumping at small cove, Cala Pi is the place to head. There’s a popular spot where the rock has formed a ledge to jump from.
At Cala Pi they also do Psicobloc. Have you heard of it? It’s the next level from cliff jumping, where you climb up the face of the cliff just using your hands and feet, with no ropes. When you get stuck or tired, you let go and just freefall into the water below. Another amazing place for this is the Es Pontas rock bridge near Cala Santanyí. But that is for those looking for an extreme adrenaline rush.
20. Go Dolphin Watching
Well we are in the Mediterranean, after all. And the Mediterranean is where many pods of dolphins call home. There are quite a few boat companies in Mallorca that offer a dolphin-watching excursion where they take you from the harbour, out to the high seas to watch from the boat the dolphins swimming, diving and jumping in their natural habitat. If you really want a once-in-a-lifetime experience or want to treat the family to something magical, then this is one of the best activities you can do in Mallorca.
The best time to spot dolphins in the Mediterranean is at sunrise, so most boat companies depart early in the morning at dawn. They take you out to watch an incredible sunrise from the sea, to have fun watching the dolphins and then they give you some breakfast. You are normally back on dry land by 10am so you have the rest of the day to do as you please.
21. Try the Mallorcan cuisine
Mallorca has a rich and historical cuisine and it would be a shame to miss it during your stay. The best way to try the typical Mallorcan food is to ask a local person to recommend a traditional restaurant. Look out for the following dishes:
- Lechona: roast suckling pig with roast baby new potatoes. This is often served at a celebration like a birthday or Christmas, or sometimes for a special Mallorcan Sunday lunch. The pig is traditionally roasted on a spit and Mallorcan families often serve it whole and carve it up at the table.
- Frito Mallorquin: Frito Mallorquin is made from lamb (not to be confused with frito de matanzas which uses pork) entrails and potato chopped into tiny pieces. It is all fried in olive oil with fennel, peas and sometimes artichoke. Each region of Mallorca has a slight variation in their frito Mallorquin. The most famous place to eat it is in Sineu. Try one of the restaurants on market day (Wednesday).
- Lomo con col: Lomo con col is pieces of pork loin rolled in a cabbage leaf with pieces of butifarón (a black Mallorcan sausage) and then roasted in the oven in a greixonera (a typical earthernware cooking pot from Mallorca).
- Sobrassada: Sobrassada is one of the “Spanish sausages”. You’ve probably head of chorizo and maybe salchichón, but sobrassada is lesser known except in Mallorca, as that is where it comes from. It is bright red from the amount of paprika in it and, as you can imagine, can be very spicy indeed. It is not exactly a sausage as, once the skin is split open, the inside is scooped out and used as a spread.
22. A Walk to Cala Varques
Cala Varques is one of the most beautiful coves on the east coast of Mallorca. Swimming and snorkelling in its crystal clear waters are a joy. The cove is encircled by cliffs and a lush pine forest.
It is a virgin cove, which means that you can only get there on foot or by boat. As you have to walk anyway, why not make it a pleasant and beautiful walk to combine with such a breathtaking beach? Park your car at S’Estany d’en Mas, in Cala Romantica and head for the rocks to the south. Here you will find a path that follows the coast for 3.5 km to Cala Varques. You will pass the coves of Cala Falcó and Es Caló Blanc so set off early so that you can have a swim at each place.
23. Swim off a remote secluded beach
Ok, we admit, finding a beautiful beach in Mallorca is easy peasy. Finding a remote or secluded beach in Mallorca: not so easy. Mallorca receives a lot of visitors in summer. And most of those visitors want to find a remote and secluded beach. So everyone goes to the latest trendy remote and secluded beach, and guess what… Yep, it’s no longer remote and secluded. But we do have a few suggestions that might work, even during the busy summer months:
- Cala Figuera and Cala Murta in the Formentor area: Formentor is a busy and popular area and the main Formentor beach gets packed. But many people don’t realise that there are some gorgeous, secluded coves in Formentor, if only they’d look for them. Cala Figuera and Cala Murta are two such stunning locations, with crystal clear waters, magnificent views and not a lot of visitors. Both are virgin beaches, which means you have to walk around twenty mintues from where you parked your car.
- Cala S’Almunia and Cala Llombards: The popular beach of the moment, which is full of Instagrammers taking selfies of themselves queuing to get onto the beach (yes, that’s right) is Calo des Moro near Santanyí. But right by Calo des Moro are Cala S’Almunia and Cala Llombards, both within walking distance of the crazy packed Calo des Moro, and yet a million miles away in terms of visitors. Cala S’Almunia is a very small pebbly cove, with some houses on the beach and a small jetty and clear waters. Cala Llombards is a beautiful cove with white sand and turquoise waters. It has a lot of space and a beach bar. It is an ideal beach to spend a few hours on: relax on the sand and in the water, and have a drink at the beach bar.
- Cala Banyalbufar: Banyalbufar is a picture-perfect terraced village in the southwest of Mallorca, where time looks like it has stood still for centuries. Stroll down the steep hill from the village to Cala Banyalbufar where you can swim or relax on the rocks. The little fishing boats that have been pulled up and moored on the beach by the fishermen’s huts add extra charm.
Discover more about Mallorca’s best beaches in our complete guide.
24. Soar over Mallorca on a Helicopter Flight
For an unusual gift or a treat, take to the skies on a helicopter flight, which will take you on a completely unique tour of the island. This is a fun and exciting adventure and a once in a lifetime opportunity. Just the amazing photos you are going to take on the flight are worth the price of the tour, not to mention the thrilling experience of flying around in the chopper.
The route takes you over the most spectacular natural scenery of Mallorca and, as you fly over the Serra de Tramuntana Mountains, you will see the pretty towns of Valldemossa and Soller below and the stunning mountain landscape with its reservoirs. You can take all the photos and videos you want.
25. Watch out for Mallorca’s Watch Towers and Viewpoints
You might have seen stone towers positioned in strategic lookout points along the coast of Mallorca. There are more than 50 of them and they are in different states of disrepair. Some are still visitable and you can even go inside and climb the stone staircase to the top.
They were built in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries and were used as lookout posts to defend against attacking pirates. If enemy ships were spotted during the day the watchtower sentries would send smoke signals from one watchtower to another along the coast. If the ships were approaching after dark the sentries would send coded flashes of fire to let the other watchtowers know how many ships were coming. Each tower then had to alert the local Mayor and relay the news to Palma.
The whole purpose of the watchtowers was to have a good view of the sea and so they are all today magnificent viewpoints that you can explore and discover some of the best views of Mallorca, as well as learning some of its history.
We hope that this article has helped you to plan your visit to Mallorca. Have you already visited any of our top 25 places? Do you have any recommendation for you own favourite place to visit in Mallorca? Leave us your comment, if you liked the post, share it on your social networks,…