The island of Mallorca (map) is located 170km east of Valencia. There are nearly 900.000 inhabitants living on the island, of which about 20 percent are immigrants. We knew that we had to expect to meet a lot of German tourists, but decided to ignore this fact in order to explore the beautiful nature of the island. In the end we loved Mallorca with its beautiful beaches, mountains to climb, perfect weather and amazing food.
Palma de Mallorca
Don’t miss to visit the impressive cathedral of Palma. We went there just before sunset and the light and atmosphere were worth it. Overlooking the sea and having the huge building just behind you is a tremendous feeling. Still we did miss walking along a promenade with bars and caffes. As there is a huge yacht harbour, most of the harbour area is barred with a fence.
We stayed at an Airbnb apartment in Palma for 5 days in October and had a rental car with which we explored the island. It was our first time booking a car with Dollar car and we were amazed by how easy and honest it was handled. They didn’t even try to sell us extra insurances. Palma itself is a lively city with 400.000 inhabitants and at the time that we were there, not overcrowded with too many tourists. We arrived pretty late in the evening, but luckily the Spanish people eat quite late so we had no problem finding a good restaurant at 10:30 pm. There were even several tables ordering after us.
Where to eat
The Celler Sa Premsa is a very authentic and old restaurant with good food and fair prices. It used to be a wine cellar which you can still see as its is a pretty big hall with many wine barrels and old tools. We had the special chicken and some calamaris, which were very good. There were mainly only locals right from the beginning you can feel the special Majorcan atmosphere.
A bit more expensive is the Buscando El Norte, but if you love high quality food and experimental dishes which you probably haven’t had before, you have to go there! And make sure to book a table in advance as it is always crowded. We loved the beautiful interior, the people and the food. We had the tuna and the mussels in a kind of curry sauce which was unforgettable! Not the typical tapas – but we liked exploring something else than tapas every day.
If you prefer having dinner in a more party like atmosphere try out the Mercado Gastronómico San Juan. Compared to other market halls, this one is pretty small and only has a few grocery stalls. If you are looking for a snack or even dinner, this is the right place! Just walk along the small stalls and try the different dishes with a glass of wine. On weekends, the market is full of young, local people, eating, drinking and celebrating. When we were there, there was even a woman playing the electric violin which we enjoyed a lot.
Trip to Cala S’Amarador
The beach (map) is located in the south of Mallorca and is surrounded by a beautiful national park with a pine forest. If you want to reach the beach by car, simply tell your navigation to drive to Cala S’Amarador, as you are getting closer you will find many signs guiding you to the parking area close to the beach. You can then take more than one way to reach the beach within 10 to 20 minutes by foot. We can clearly call this our favourite beach of the once we have visited on Mallorca so far. It was never to crowded, the water was crystal clear, the sandy beach was just as we liked it and we could even go cliff diving. There are some very simple toilets and even a small hut which sells drinks, ice cream and pizza. There is a very nice way just next to the sea where you can take a walk and reach the next beach Cala Mondragó which is only a 5 to 10 minute walk. If you continue walking along the path you will get rewarded with a beautiful view over the sea and the cliffs nearby.
Trip to Cala Figuera
Cala Figuera (map) is a small fishermen’s village with beautiful small houses right next to the water. It is worth visiting if you have some spare time and enjoy walking around the small village and watching the fisherman coming in with their freshly caught fish . We were looking for some place to have a snack but nothing really convinced us so unfortunately we can’t recommend anything.
Fishing trip starting at Cala D’Or
Most people would never connect Mallorca to fishing, but it offers great sport fishing all around the island. Basically all boats are located near touristic centres. You can look up different boats and captains before getting there and often contact the operators before the actual start of your holidays. The target fish depend on the time of the year, the boat and often on the price you are willing to pay. You also have to decide if you want to book the whole boat for yourself or if you are willing to go on a shared charter. Once again it depends on your budget. Most fishermen on Mallorca target the large bluefin tuna (which have to be released after you caught them), the small tunas (often called tunnys) or the Mahi-Mahi/ dolphin fish. As we love to eat the fish that we catch we decided to go on a shared charter in search of Mahi-Mahi. We chose Cadarnera fishing charters as our operator and shared a huge boat with just two other fishermen (a father and son from England). We left the harbour of Cala D’or at around 9 a.m. and came back 4 hours later. The price for a fisherman is 95€ and for a visitor/ spectator around 50€. In the end we caught two nice Mahi-Mahi (very tasty) and two small tunnys. We can highly recommend this boat/ captain. It is very safe and they know where the fish are. Besides that you can also relax in the sun and enjoy Mallorca from a different perspective.
Trip to Santanyi and its beach
We had read about a pretty famous market taking place every Wednesday and Saturday in the old town of Santanyi (map) so we went there to get an impression of the town ourselves. We loved Santanyi with its small center with beautiful ochre coloured houses, individual shops and restaurants and its beautiful church. If you don’t mind being surrounded by many tourists buying stuff and walking through town, definitely come here for the market. If you prefer it a bit more empty and relaxed, we would recommend coming here another day.
The beach Cala Santanyi is just a 10 minute drive from the center. We went there in the afternoon and it was pretty crowded but we found a beautiful small café called Café Drac where you can sit on benches overlooking the bay and having a drink or even lunch.
Trip to Valldemossa
Valldemossa (map) is a beautiful small village located in the mountains. We had the feeling of being in Tuscany as the buildings, small streets and even the view look very similar to many tuscan cities. We parked our car at a parking area and had to buy a ticket, but we are not sure if there even are other possibilities. We then strolled around the village, took many pictures of beautiful houses and plants and enjoyed the mountain view. As we were there in October, it was touristic but not too crowded. So don’t be disappointed when you visit it during the peak tourist season and it is way too full of tourists.
Going for a short hike near Port de Pollenca
Driving into the direction of Port de Pollenca (map), you will find a parking area at the third roundabout. Park your car there and follow the trail. There are many different routes you can take depending on how long you want to walk for. The trails are great because you walk through the mainland and almost always reach the coast on the other side. As we were pretty short on time, wen only did a one hour walk as we wanted to continue driving to Cap Formentor to see the sunset.
Trip to Cap Formentor
Driving to Cap Formentor (map) is an adventure itself as you will take a coastal road going up the mountain. On your way up you will see an observation platform and it really is worth stopping here. When you have nearly reached the top you need to park your car on the road and walk the last few hundred metres. You will then see a small tower (maybe an old lighthouse or windmill) which you can climb, even though it doesn’t really look like it. The view from the top of the tower is brilliant and even more amazing during the sunset. We enjoyed the time up there a lot.
Mallorca is one of the most popular tourist destinations in whole Europe and especially Germans love to spend their holidays on this Mediterranean island. After travelling through different parts of the island – we can clearly see why. Mallorca is often connected to pub crawls and all-inclusive resorts, but it has so much more to offer. Its natural highlights are so unique and diverse that you often can’t believe that you are still on the same island. You will find crystal clear water, beautiful sandy beaches and small fishing villages, but also harsh mountains, steep cliffs and vibrant cities. To us – Mallorca just has it all.