Keiko’s friend Holly here! I’ve been telling anyone who will listen for the past couple years about how much I love Mallorca. So earlier this summer when I was returning to my favorite vacation destination, Keiko asked me to put together a travel guide for her blog. I’ve put together my tips and favorite places on the island, along with my itinerary from my last trip that you can use as a guide on how to structure your trip!
– The island is probably larger than you would expect and there is a lot of areas to explore. So I would actually recommend staying in Palma and renting a car to drive to different areas.
– Areas to avoid: Magaluf and S’Arenal if you want to avoid hoards of very drunk British/German tourists.
Where to stay:
This was our home base for both trips to Mallorca. It’s close to the airport which makes it convenient to get in/out and Old Town Palma is the super charming and picturesque area that is filled with bars and restaurants. It’s touristy, but still totally worth staying in this neighborhood. We’ve stayed at Airbnbs both times and would highly recommend going this route especially if you are planning on doing multiple beach days (it’s very convenient to have a washer/dryer available to you!) This is the Airbnb we stayed at on our most recent trip.
If you are planning on renting a car, I would ask your Airbnb host/hotel if there is parking available. We’ve had 2 different experiences. The first time we were able to arrange to park with our Airbnb host, and the 2nd time we had to pay for garage parking separately for the week. You will most likely not be able to park directly next to where you are staying (if you are renting an Airbnb) since there are tons of small roads and most parking is going to be available in garages that you’ll have to walk a little way to.
Food / Drinks:
A big tip here is, make a reservation. A lot of the popular restaurants fill up pretty quickly and you’ll need to go early if you don’t have a reservation. We had success either DMing the restaurant on Instagram or going to the restaurant and requesting a reservation for a different night. Some of the restaurants you can make reservations thru abcMallorca. They also will take walk-ins, but if you’re trying to plan ahead and don’t want to wander around and see who might be able to fit you in, a reservation is a great move. I would recommend at least having 1-2 reservations for your stay to make sure you can go to a restaurant you really want to try.
Toque de Queda – This is hands down my favorite restaurant in Mallorca. This place is so cute and everything on the menu is incredible. You really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but make sure to order the zucchini carpaccio it’s one of my favorites.
Bar España – One of our favorite tapas/pinchos places in Palma. This place can be tricky to get a table at if you go during peak time, so either go early or make a reservation. Standouts include the tortilla, huevos rotos con sobrasada and the very affordable mini bottles of cava.
13% – This great little tapas spot is perfect for ordering some wine and a meat & cheese platter. The Majorcan platter is our favorite which includes sobrasada with honey (something I tried to eat every single day on my trip.)
Flexas – We stumbled upon this place on our last trip and it’s a great little local spot for drinks and food. We never really encountered any issues grabbing a table here for dinner.
Cafe la Llotja – Grab a table outside, and people-watch in this popular little plaza. This is actually one of our go-to spots during the “siesta” hour when most restaurants are closed. So if you’re looking for a late lunch/early dinner because you’re still jetlagged this is a reliable spot.
Riva Reno – This is actually a chain in Europe. But this is my preferred gelato place in this area (trust me, I’ve tried a bunch.) Pro tip: ask for the inside of the cone to be drizzled in chocolate before they scoop the gelato in!
Clandestino – Cute little cocktail bar in Palma. They also have a secret underground bunker!
La Molienda – If you’re looking for breakfast/brunch type food this little spot is great. There are a very limited number of seats because this place is tiny!
Rosevelvet Bakery – Another brunch spot if you’re looking for more traditional brunch type food. Again, this place is small (but with a few more seats than La Molienda) so you may have to wait a minute to get seated. But if you’re looking for a break from jamon and sobrasada, try this place.
I think every day is a beach day in Mallorca for me. I’ve probably never gone to the beach as much as I have when on vacation here (and I used to live in San Diego, so I feel like that says something.) The beaches can be quite different from each other so here is a brief rundown of my favorite beaches.
Port de Sóller – This is my favorite large beach in Mallorca. It is in a port town surrounded by mountains and the boardwalk area around this spot has some great restaurants. The beach has lounge chairs + umbrellas for rent, or you can just drop your towel in the sand. The water is crystal clear (although that’s true of any beach on this island.) And one of the leading reasons why this is one of my favorite beaches is it’s a sand beach, some of the other beaches can get a little rocky.
Cala Pi – This is my favorite small beach in Mallorca. It’s hidden between cliffs in a pretty residential neighborhood. It definitely feels like you’ve found a hidden gem when you arrive at this beach. But this is a no-frills beach, there aren’t any beach loungers or umbrellas to rent.
Port de Pollença – Like Port de Soller, this place is a larger beach with a boardwalk type area with restaurants and beach loungers for rent. If you’re heading over to Cap de Formentor, you’ll pass this spot and it’s worth stopping by for some sunbathing. You can also rent kayaks and other aquatic activities if you’re so inclined (I wasn’t.)
I’ve gone to a lot more beaches than the three listed above, but those were probably my 3 favorites. There are also beaches at some of the sightseeing places listed below. A few beaches that I think are overrated, Es Trenc and Port de Alcudia.
Sights Worth Seeing
These are my favorite destinations on the island and why I recommend renting a car (I’m not a fan of signing up for a tour group.)
Torrent de Pareis – Ok this place is unreal. There is an insane drive down to this beach that is set in a canyon near some small caves. There are definitely spots along the drive you can stop and take photos and admire the scenery as well. I don’t drive but some serious props to my friend who did drive us, because those hairpin turns are no joke. Honestly, this drive takes a while but in my opinion, it’s totally worth it. The beach is more pebbles than sand, so if you’re planning on spending some time there, I would definitely bring more than a beach towel to be comfortable. But the beach is in the most stunning spot set between two cliffs, with a canyon behind it. Side note: the restaurants over near the parking area here leave a lot to be desired, so it might be worth it to bring some snacks if you plan on staying for a while. We opted for just getting some ice cream and waters.
Cap de Formentor Lighthouse (+ Mirador des Colomer) – Looking for a panoramic view of the island/water? This is the spot for you. This is the spot where I realized the water here is the clearest and bluest I’ve ever seen. You’re looking down from a giant cliff and you can still see the bottom of the ocean. Cap de Formentor lighthouse is the farthest point with lots of hairpin turns once again (see a theme yet?) If you don’t want to spend so much time driving, Mirador des Colomer is on the way to the lighthouse and offers stunning views that in my opinion are just as good.
Valldemossa / Deià – These mountain towns are gorgeous and have a totally different feel from the beaches of Mallorca. If I had to pick one, I’d pick Valldemossa just because it’s a bit more tourist-friendly with a welcome area that includes a map for sights to visit as well as one of the most photogenic alleyways I’ve ever seen. Deià is also gorgeous but not situated in the same way for wandering. But there are some really fancy hotels in that area, so if you’re looking to splurge and want some of the most unreal mountain views, maybe plan to stay a night or two in Deià.
OUR MALLORCA ITINERARY:
Barcelona to Palma, Mallorca
Snack at Cafe la Llotja
Gelato at Riva Reno
Dinner at Toque de Queda
Drinks at Clandestino
Pick up breakfast at a coffee shop
Cap de Formentor Lighthouse
Mirador des Colomer lookout
Beach day at Port de Pollenca
Bar hopping in Palma
Dinner at Bar Espana
Pick up ensaimadas at Forn del Sto Cristo
Beach day at Cala Pi
Picked up a friend at PMI airport
Pre-dinner snacks at 13%
Dinner at Toque de Queda
Gelato at Riva Reno
Drive to Valldemossa
Port de Sóller
Lunch at Randemar
Beach day at Port de Sóller
Dinner at Flexas
Brunch at Rosevelvet Bakery
Beach day at Cala Blava
Drive to Es Trenc beach
Stopped by Flor De Sal D’es Trenc
Beach day at Es Trenc
Dinner in Palma
Drive to Torrent de Pareis
Dinner at Bar Espana
Dessert and drinks at Toque de Queda
Breakfast at La Molienda Cafe
Depart from Palma to Barcelona