Mallorca is the largest and most visited island of the Balearic Sea, a beautiful holiday destination with great beaches, impressive nature, and sightseeing options. On this page, you can find useful information about the island of Mallorca, what to do and where to go, beaches, activities, nightlife, and tips for your holidays as well as ferry schedules.
Vacation in Mallorca
Mallorca (or Majorca) is the largest and most visited island of the Balearic sea. Its name means the “Greater”, which, does justice to both its size and its popularity. Mallorca is an impressive island with beautiful landscapes, combining magnificent mountainous areas with exotic beaches. It’s popular with travelers year-round and it can satisfy different tastes, as it offers a variety of activities and places to visit.
The island’s capital, Palma, has an attractive landscape, which combines the blue sea and impressive gothic architecture. Palma de Mallorca is also famous for its tasty dishes, its nightlife, as well as for the alleys and shops in the old city.
View of the impressive Gothic Cathedral of Palma, as seen walking around the old town.
Beaches in Mallorca
In the long coastline of Mallorca, you will find many beaches, coves and rock formations to swim, sunbathe, dive, or enjoy water sports. Many of the beaches in Mallorca have visitor amenities and although you may not find the beach parties of Ibiza, there are many all-day beach bars and restaurants (the so-called chiringuitos) to enjoy some music and cocktails by the sea. There are also more quiet and secluded options, while the common element amongst the Mallorcan beaches is the beautiful landscape. We prepared a list with some of Mallorca’s greatest beaches here:
- Cala Mesquida: Large beach with white sand on the east side. Half of the beach is equipped with sunbeds and parasols and you can find many bars, restaurants, cafes, and hotels nearby.
- Cala Mondragó: Wide sandy beach surrounded by a natural reserve. It enjoys easy access (6-minute walk from the car parking) and you will find a beach-bar (chiringuito), sunbeds, and parasols. It is a popular option and can get very busy especially on weekends.
- Playa S´Amarador: Located next to the beach of Cala Mondragó, it is a sandy, spacious, beach with great view, accessible via a short path from Cala Mondrago (400m). The beach has white sand and crystal-clear shallow waters, which are great for kids. There are also parasols and sunbeds, as well as a lifeguard during the summer.
- Playa de Es Trenc: Known as Mallorca’s most virgin beach, is is on the south coast between Colònia de Sant Jordi and Sa Ràpita. The beach has thin white sand and its impressive blue waters are quite shallow, making it a family-friendly option. There are no visitor facilities, so make sure that you bring water and snacks.
- Cala Pi: A quiet natural harbor on the south, with a small sandy beach, hidden between cliffs. The waters are crystal-clear and the access to the beach is via steps (about 150). During high season it can get busy so get there early to save a spot.
- Cabo de Formentor: The Formentor peninsula is located on the northeastern tip of Mallorca and it’s a place of wild beauty. The narrow sandy beach is located under the legendary Formentor hotel. The beach has clear refreshing waters and it is surrounded by pine trees and oaks.
- Cala Varques: Located in a coastal area full of pine trees on the east side, it is a sandy beach with blue waters, close to Manacor. The beach is nudist-friendly, and it is has a hippie style. There are no facilities, so make sure that you bring with you water, shade, and snacks.
The beach of Cala Pi, a beautiful natural harbor on the south coast of Mallorca.
Sightseeing in Mallorca
The island of Mallorca has been inhabited since the Middle Ages, while there are traces of inhabitation since the prehistoric times too. The history, culture, and impressive nature of the island make it a unique destination to explore. Here are some recommendations for sightseeing from the Ferryhopper team:
- The Cathedral - Basilica de Santa Maria de Mallorca (or La Seu), the absolute landmark of the old city of Palma and a masterpiece of Gothic architecture.
- The old town of Alcudia, with its medieval streets and baroque chapels.
- The gothic-style Bellver Castle, built in the 14th century. Located a few km west of the city of Palma, it’s one of the few castles in Europe with a circular shape.
- The Cuevas de Artà, an extensive network of caves with impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations. Access to the caves and stalactites champers is via a 400m path and you can get a guided tour.
- The Cuevas del Drach, four large and deep interconnected caves, with rock formations and a lake (Lake Martel). Visit to the caves is well organized with guided tours and music concerts taking place inside the caves.
- The medieval village of Pollença in the north of the island, with narrow streets, beautiful decorative elements, and the iconic chapel of ‘El Calvari’ on the top of the hill (access via a stairway of 365 steps).
- The picturesque village of Valldemossa, located in an impressive valley in between the Tramuntana mountains.
- The natural reserve of S'Albufera de Mallorca, an ideal location for hiking and bird watching.
- The cape and lighthouse of Formentor, a peninsula at the easternmost end of the island with a breathtaking landscape and views to the Mediterranean.
- The Aquarium of Palma, with the deepest shark tank in Europe and an impressive collection of live corals.
- Es Baluard, Palma’s contemporary art museum, is an amazing space with an extensive permanent collection and interesting temporary exhibitions. Make sure you visit its terrace!
- The Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró in Palma, a beautiful museum dedicated to the work of the artist Joan Miró who had a special personal connection with the island.
Tip: If you are looking for an alternative destination to spend the Easter break, you should definitely consider Mallorca. The Easter Week on the island is full of rituals and processions, as well as delicious food such as panades, coques, and robiols.
Detail from the medieval castle of Bellver, one of the few circular castles in Europe.
Activities in Mallorca
Mallorca is a holiday destination that combines many different activities for all ages and tastes. The warm Mediterranean weather (from May to September) as well as the stunning nature of the island make it ideal for outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, and water sports. Here are some suggestions if you want to spend some more adventurous days in Mallorca:
- Hiking at the Dry Stone Route (Ruta de la Pedra en Sec) in the Tramuntana mountains
- Cycling and mountain biking at the routes around the Sóller village
- ‘Coasteering’ - excursions along the Mallorcan shores
- Sailing or catamaran cruising along the island coast
- Horse-back riding at the north of the island
- Scuba diving in the deep blue sea
View of the Pollença Bay from La Victoria hiking path (close to Alcudia).
Food and nightlife in Mallorca
The capital of Palma is the center of the island’s nightlife with many bars, restaurants, and clubs, as well as dance and music festivals taking place throughout the year. The Old Town of Palma and the neighborhoods of La Llonja and Santa Catalina have the liveliest nightlife, while during the summer months the beach resorts in Magaluf, S’ Arenal, and Alcudia host some great parties.
The Balearic Islands are well-known for their food culture and Mallorca has some delicious local dishes and flavors that you have to try in one of its traditional restaurants.
Food to try in Mallorca:
- The ‘Ensaimada’ pastry, with or without cream
- Mallorcan soups (with seasonal vegetables)
- The Sobrasada sausage
- Almond milk or ice cream
- The traditional liquor, ‘El Palo’
Tip: In the local markets you can taste some original Mallorquin food and buy local products. The best local markets in Palma are Mercat de Santa Catalina and Mercat da Olivar in Palma, while it’s always good to search for similar markets in small villages and rural areas.
Useful information and numbers for Mallorca
You can get to Mallorca by ferry from mainland Spain or by plane from Spain and many European destinations. The Palma de Mallorca International Airport (Son Sant Joan) is located 8km east of the capital and it is one of the busiest airports in Spain. Mallorca has a good transport network, primarily with buses (TIB) and a railway service. You can also rent a car or a scooter, or move around with taxis. The flag-drop fare for taxis in Mallorca is around €3, and then it’s €0.90 per km.
Moving around Palma by foot or bike is the most interesting option, to enjoy the sights, while there is also an extended bus network (EMT) that takes you to most places in the city as well as a metro with two lines.
Visiting Mallorca with a holiday package is a popular option for many tourists, as the island has some great resorts and villas that offer special prices. If you prefer to organize your holidays by yourself, you could consult the official website of Mallorca and find many accommodation options that suit your style and budget.
Some useful numbers for your stay in Mallorca:
- Central Tourism Office: +34 971724090
- Hospital Palma de Mallorca (Son Espases): +34 871205000
- Public Hospital Manacor: +34 971847000
- Local Police: 092
- Red Cross, Ambulance: +34 971202222
- Bus Services in Mallorca: +34 971177777
- Mallorca airport information: +34 971789000
- Radio Taxi Mallorca: +34 971201212
- Port Authority Palma: +34 971228150
- Port Authority Alcudia: +34 971545076
Colorful patio in a traditional Mallorcan house.
Ferry schedules and ferry tickets to Mallorca
Mallorca has 2 ports that serve ferry crossings to mainland Spain, the rest of the Balearic Islands, and France: the port of Alcúdia, located in the northeast of the island, and the port of Palma in the southwest of Mallorca.
The easiest way to get to Mallorca from mainland Spain by ferry is from the port of Barcelona. The ferry route from Barcelona to the port of Alcúdia is in operation 7 days a week and the duration of the ferry trip is around 6 hours. The ferry route from Barcelona to Palma is daily and the trip lasts 7h 30min.
There are also daily ferries departing from the port of Valencia to Palma de Mallorca and the ferry trip duration is around 7h 45min. The port of Palma de Mallorca is also regularly connected to the port of Dénia in the area of Alicante, and the ferry journey lasts from 5 to 7 hours.
From the port of Alcúdia in the north of Mallorca, you can also get a ferry to the port of Toulon in France and then travel easily to the French Mediterranean coast and Côte d'Azur. There are 2-4 crossings per week serving the Alcúdia - Toulon itinerary and the duration of the trip is around 10h 30min.
Island hopping in the Balearic islands
Mallorca is the biggest of the Balearic islands and due to its key position in the archipelago, it has a good ferry connection to the ports of Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera, making it ideal for island hopping in the Mediterranean! Here are some more information for island-hopping in the Balearics:
- Mallorca - Menorca: The main route between Mallorca and Menorca is from the port of Alcúdia to the port of Ciutadella, that are located opposite to each other. There are at least 1-2 ferries serving this route every day. The duration of the Alcúdia - Ciutadella ferry trip is 1h 30min on average. An alternative option is to travel from the port of Palma to the port of Mahón in Menorca. This ferry option is longer, but it gives you the opportunity to travel between the island capitals and get easier access to central spots. The ferry from Palma de Mallorca to the port of Mahón in Menorca departs once a day and the trip takes approximately 6 hours.
- Mallorca - Ibiza: The ferries from Palma de Mallorca to Ibiza connect both with the port of the town of Ibiza as well as the port of San Antonio in the west coast of the island. The port of Palma - port of Ibiza ferry connection is daily and the ferry ride lasts from 2 to 4 hours. The crossing from Palma de Mallorca to the port of San Antonio is served by 7 weekly sailings and the trip duration is approximately 2h 30min.
- Mallorca - Formentera: The ferry route between Mallorca and Formentera is served by both direct and indirect ferry options. There is a ferry that departs from the port of Palma de Mallorca to the port of Formentera approximately 7 times a week and the ferry trip lasts around 3h 30min. If the ferry frequency or the schedules of the direct ferry connection from Mallorca to Formentera do not suit your holiday plans, you can always go from Mallorca to Ibiza and catch a ferry from there to Formentera!
On Ferryhopper's Map of ferries, you can find all the available ferry connections in the Balearic islands!
View of the port and city of Palma de Mallorca from above.
Where to book ferry tickets to Mallorca?
Getting to the Balearic Islands and Mallorca by ferry is now easier! On Ferryhopper you will find all the ferry connections, time schedules and ferry companies for Mallorca, to book your tickets online at the best prices. Plan your holidays in the Mediterranean in just 4 clicks!