Beautiful white stretches of sandy beaches, old traditional fishing villages and family friendly holiday resorts make the Balearic island of Mallorca a popular European holiday destination. The classic picture of a Spanish holiday, visitors can take their pick from one of the many fantastic resort towns with accommodation to suit everyone from holidaymakers to young ravers.
Map of Mallorca
Mallorca also offers to some fantastic activities, from hiking along its mountains trails and taking part in one of the many water sports, to a spot of golf. Even the cuisine on the island has been developing over the years and it now boasts numerous Michelin-starred restaurants. There is more to Mallorca than first meets the eye; the Mallorcan cuisine, the gentle beaches and the azure blue sea are all waiting for you to discover them. Here’s a look at the most popular towns to help you decide where to stay in Mallorca:
The capital city of Mallorca, Palma de Mallorca is a stylish and sophisticated town with elegant boulevards, chic shopping and pavement cafes all nestled along the bay of Palma. It’s the island’s cosmopolitan centre and is home to numerous bars and restaurants serving traditional island cuisine.
Palma’s nightlife isn’t as lively as other areas of the island and is a great place to stay if you are visiting the island on a weekend break as there is a wide selection of luxury hotels to choose from. There are some interesting historical attractions in the capital, including the 13th century Santa María cathedral, but you can explore the rest of the island by the bus network.
Recommended Hotel: Hotel Saratoga
A tiny port town on the north of this island, this old fishing village is now home to a family friendly resort with long stretches of sandy beaches and calm sandy waters. The port hasn’t lost its sleepy charm – the night life here is low key with many waterfront restaurants catering to couples and families. Since the iconic Hotel Miramar was first built in Pollença in 1912 the town has developed to have many charming accommodation choices.
Take a stroll along the town’s famous Pine Walk where the elite of Majorca once built stylish retreats, enjoy the stunning views of the Pollença Bay and enjoy an afternoon taking part in one of the many activities in the area which are tailored towards tourists, such as golf or kite surfing.
Recommended Hotel: Hotel Eolo
The attraction of Cala d’Or’s several sandy cove beaches means that the area has developed in recent years from a once tiny fishing village to a full fledged tourist resort. The town’s streets are now lined with bars, cafes and restaurants which cater to the foreign tourists and there is a huge variety of hotels with family friendly amenities to choose from.
Regardless of the steady flow of tourism, Cala d’Or remains charming with narrow cobbled lanes and low white-washed buildings. The town is connected by a bus service which can be unreliable but with a direct bus route to the airport, it’s a great choice for your stay on the island.
Recommended Hotel: Inturotel Sa Marina
The large family resort of Port d’Alcudia attracts thousands of international tourists a year with its swathes of soft white sloping sand beaches along the Bay of Alcudia. Around the town’s picturesque marina, boutiques and restaurants make for a relaxing atmosphere whilst the traditional Mallorcan old town of Alcudia, neighbouring Port d’Alcudia, is an interesting day trip for its architecture and history.
The main pedestrianized boulevard in town, Ciudad Blanca, is the center for the port’s tourist attractions and activities and is where a range of hotels can be found, offering a selection of often well priced accommodation for groups and families.
Recommended Hotel: Hotel Ivory Playa Sports
Lively Magaluf has become synonymous with Mallorca’s notorious party scene; this is the town to stay in if you are on the island for an all-night party. Groups of young people on holiday travel to Magaluf to spend their days lounging on the sandy beaches and their evenings enjoying themselves in the many late night bars and clubs.
The resort has grown upwards, with numerous high rise hotels and holiday apartments making accommodation reasonably priced. There is plenty to do in the area to keep you entertained, but good public transport links and a regular bus to Palma city mean you can explore the rest of the island too.
Recommended Hotel: Meliá Calviá Beach
Beautiful old Alcudia remains a slice of the real Mallorca. Winding cobbled streets and an ancient old town that dates back as far as 14th century shows visitors to the island a slice of what Mallorca used to be. The simple traditional houses and buildings are surrounded by old medieval walls that were built to protect the town from invaders.
Today the town is very attractive to tourists who are looking to understand more about the history and culture of Mallorca. Hotels in Alcudia are smaller and more traditional, and staying here would mean a slower and quieter pace of life compared to the big resort towns, but it is easy to hire a car in order to explore the rest of the island.
Recommended Hotel: Cas Ferrer Nou Hotelet
Close to the airport, this newly built town has all of the amenities you should need to make your stay on Mallorca enjoyable. The town has a friendly feeling and draws many families to enjoy the beaches year after year. Palma Nova’s center is packed full of international eateries, bars and late night entertainment.
The beaches around the town are all clean, white sand bays which offer visitors the chance to try out a whole range of different water sports. If you you are thinking of staying in Palma Nova, you will find accommodation to suit your price range; everything is on offer here from small budget apartments to luxury villas. And with great bus links to Palma you can also take in some of the sites on the rest of Mallorca, too.
Recommended Hotel: Aparthotel Ponent Mar
Surrounded by mountains, the traditional old port town of Port de Sóller has a quaint, charming atmosphere with its sweeping golden beaches. The town attracts couples and tourists looking to enjoy Mallorca’s nature as the surrounding area features some popular hiking and cycling routes.
New trendy hotels have started to pop up in the port and the area is home to some great restaurants and cafes. Bus links make it easy to connect to other towns, as well as the train service that runs to Palma – as well as the iconic tram service, named the Orange Express as it passes through orange groves.
Recommended Hotel: Hotel Miramar
Cala Millor is all about the beaches, the sea is calm, the sand is white and the beach is wide. A palm-lined promenade runs along the seafront and is where you will find plenty of shops selling everything visitors might need to make their holiday easy. This is a family friendly resort town with fun parks and activities for children to enjoy, but as night falls the town does hot up with holidaymakers enjoying the town’s nightlife.
Cala Millor has a huge choice of budget, self-catering holiday apartments and villas to stay in. Most people stay around Cala Millor to spend their days on the beach, but there are bus connections, and neighboring resorts are easily reached on foot.
Recommended Hotel: Marins Playa
An important fishing port on the island, Cala Ratjada is a popular family holiday destination with a gorgeous sandy beach and a natural pine forest along the rugged coast. A walk along the seafront promenade will take you along the coast to small bays past tiny fishing cottages. Cala Ratjada itself has retained its traditional charm with fishing boats still operating in the harbor.
The town is popular with European holiday makers and as such there are many international restaurants alongside family-run restaurants serving traditional local cuisine. Night time in town can be a lot of fun with a younger crowd enjoying the bars and clubs. The popularity means the beach can be busy in the day, but a range of hotels offer pools and a place to relax.
Recommended Hotel: Hotel Triton Beach
Developed from an old fishing village, laid back Can Picafort’s long 3km stretch of white sandy beach is a big attraction for tourists. Along the seafront a wide promenade is dotted with bars and cafes where people sip on cocktails and enjoy the ocean view. Restaurants in the town are varied and reasonably priced, offering food to suit the international tourists.
Boat trips to other resort towns are a big attraction here, as well as a regular weekly market selling a wide array of items and souvenirs. Hotels in Can Picafort cater to families on holiday but further out, more rural and luxury accommodation can be found.
Recommended Hotel: Grupotel Gran Vista & Spa
Peguera’s three excellent beaches – Playa Palmira, Playa Tora, and Playa La Romana – attract plenty of European tourists to return year on year. The town, like many on the island, has grown from being a fishing village to become a holiday destination and has all of the hotels and facilities that go along with it.
The resort is beautifully manicured and is easy to walk around on foot. Strolling along Peguera’s streets you will find all sorts of delicious eateries and pretty cafes inviting passersby to have a relaxing break in the sunshine. Much of the town is set on steep slopes, which combined with hundreds of hotels make it a perfect base for those looking to do some hiking whilst staying on the island.
Recommended Hotel: Universal Hotel Lido Park