Hands up if you were unsure about visiting Mallorca first as well. I know I have because I was sure it was a party island. I thought it was the typical place where teenagers go to celebrate their high school graduation. And I was sure the only thing I could see there were people drinking sangría out of buckets, loud tourists, and overpriced restaurants. Boy, was I wrong. It is incredible how much Mallorca has to offer. And there are so many places that you have to see! Mallorca is a small island that is around one hour by plane away from the Spanish mainland. Not only does it have absolutely gorgeous beaches with white sand and blue water, where one could think it is actually Greece. But Mallorca also has a lot of history, idyllic tracking routes and so many places to visit. The top places I went to during the three times I went there you can find in the following bucket list 🙂
But first: Visiting Mallorca & Covid 19 Restrictions: Where do I get tested?
Another advantage is that the restrictions related to Covid are quite mild. When I went in April, restaurants and bars closed at 5 pm and there was a curfew from 10 pm to 6 am. And that’s about it! On that note, you will probably need to get tested before you go back to your home country. You can find the latest updates here. You can get tested at any private clinic on the island without booking an appointment first. A few places where you can get tested are the following ones:
Hospital Quirónsalud Palmaplanas (They have several ones on the island)
1. Rent a car when you visit Mallorca
Going by car is definitely the most comfortable option to travel the island. Of course, there are public buses going around. But thanks to Covid, they do not go as often as they used to go before. So you will need to rent a car if you want to be mobile and check out some hidden gems in Mallorca. I also feel like it is the best way of leaving Palma in order to explore some smaller towns like Deía or Pollença. I do recommend renting a car from the airport of Palma, as it will be the cheapest option.
2. Go to the Cathedral in Palma
Chances are high your trip will start in Palma. In case you decide to stay in Palma a couple of nights, there are a few places you should definitely see. The cathedral in Palma is one of them, and it is quite impossible to miss it. It is a really big catholic cathedral that you can see from almost everywhere from Palma. Did you know that the Cathedral was actually a mosque that later was transformed into a church? Like mentioned before, Mallorca is also full of interesting historical buildings. And this is one of them.
3. Go to the local market in Palma “Mercat de l’Olicar”
I have to admit that I did not go to this one. But the reason why is because my mom loves waking up early, so one morning she decided to go to this market at seven in the morning. I decided to sleep longer instead. But she was really happy about it, and told me she really enjoyed it. You can find many different options of local fruits, meat, seafood, souvenirs, wine and so much more! My mom brought this thing (seriously, what do you call that?) to get fresh juice from your oranges and lemons.
4. Visit the Baños Arabes in Palma
Please check whether the Baños Arabes are open before going there. I saw absolutely beautiful photos online, but unfortunately, it was closed due to Covid. The Baños Arabes are baths from the 10th century. And the still existing ruins can still be visited today. On their website, they claim those are the only still existing ruins of the Arab city of Medina Mayurqa. Apart from that it also has a really beautiful garden. The walk to the Baños Arabes is also really beautiful and takes you through really small and old streets of Palma. It is really worth it!
5. Try the best ice cream in Palma
If you are an ice cream lover like I am, this will be a good idea for you: Rivareno Heladería, which they say is the best ice cream place in Palma. And that is not only my opinion, but Tripadvisors says it as well. It is in the center of Palma, not too far away from the cathedral. And believe me, all flavours are delicious!
6. Go to the Visit Coves del Drac: Underground Caves and Lake
I was especially sad that we could not go there as it was temporally closed due to Covid. But if you get the chance you should definitely go there. The Coves the Drac is an underground cave system located in the municipality of Manacor. There are four great caves and a lake underneath the ground that are all connected. You can book a tour by boat where you will be guided through caves that were formed millions of years ago. According to local legends, pirates and thieves used to hide their treasures in the caves which were guarded by a dragon. The tour ends with a classical concert played by four musicians on a boat. Seriously, how exciting is this?
7. Visit Deía
Deía is a small village in Mallorca that is known to be really “artsy” and dreamy. It lies on a hill and is not far away from the beach. That is the reason why almost all buildings have a terrace from which you can have an amazing view of the beach! Apparently, a lot of artists like Pablo Picasso have lived in this village which is why it is known to be an artsy part of Palma. We had lunch at Café Sa Font Fresca (Menu del día for only 12,50€) where you can have a beautiful view all over Deía and you can even see the ocean!
8. Watch the Sunset at the Mirador Na Foradada
This was one of my favorite spots during our trip. At the mirador Na Foradada you can see beautiful rock formations of the sea, that are all surrounded by beautiful blue water. There is an easy hiking trail where you can hike to the end of the rocks that approximately takes two hours in total. The view is incredible!
We went to the mirador during the day to have a coffee. But the waiter recommended to me to come back during the evening to watch the sunset. This is the spot of Mallorca where you can see THE perfect sunset. And he was right. The sunset was absolutely gorgeous and if you are lucky and there are no clouds, it is stunning! Tip: It’s better to go during the week since it gets really crowded during the weekend.
9. Go to Son Marroig
Another place right next to the mirador Na Foradada is Son Marroig, a mansion that was built in the 13th century. In the 19th century, it was acquired by Ludwig Salvadore, an Archduke of Austria. Today it is a museum, where you can see his (now vintage) furniture, paintings, and even books. Ludwig Salvadore liked Mallorca so much that he wrote a volume set of 9 books about the Balearic islands! He also built the famous neo classic white marble temple from which you have amazing views all over the sea!
10. Take the train to Soller
Soller is a beautiful beach town on the Western Side of the island. What makes it special is that you can go visit it by train! The train has been connecting Soller and Palma since 1912 and is well known by travelers and backpackers for the amazing scenery you can see when you take it. The train takes around one hour and takes you through 13 tunnels! You can find the timetables here and make sure, you double-check them before going. Thanks to Covid public transport is not going as often as it used to go!
11. Go up all the 365 stairs in Pollença
Pollenca is a small town situated in the northern part of the island, not far away from Cap de Formentor. They built the town further away from the beach to avoid attacks by pirates. The city was founded by the Catalans and most houses were built in the 17th and 18th century which gives the town a medieval vibe. There are many small and narrow streets which look absolutely beautiful. A big tourist attraction are the 365 stairs going up north from the Plaça Mayor. How about a little workout in between of all the wine drinking?
12. Go to the Beach at Port D’Alcudía
I have the feeling that many people will disagree with me because Alcudía seems quite touristy. When I went there the beach was basically empty and the water was so clear it was insane. Obviously this only happen during Covid-19 times and usually it must be crowded. But if you get the chance to go to this beach you definitely should. Maybe it could be just a small pit stop going to Pallença. The beach at Port D’Alcudá is so long and the sand is beautifully white. The water also seems quite shallow which makes it perfect for just stepping into it without worrying about waves or rocks. If you are not a big fan of rocky and hard accessible beaches, this must be place you should go to! Just by looking at the photos I really want to go back already!
13. Enjoy the view from Mirador Es Colomer
I know there are many places further in the northern part of the island. But I find the North of Mallorca especially beautiful and worth visiting! Once you go there you will find absolutely stunning beaches and nature. So the slightly longer way to get there is absolutely worth it! Mirador Es Colomer is a viewpoint that you can only access by car (as far as I know). You can make a quick stop while going to Cala Figuiera (next point). Just look at how beautiful it is!
14. Take a detour by car: Take the Ma-10 instead of Ma-13
The Ma-13 is the highway that connects Palma to the North of the island. Needless to say, it is faster to take the highway if you want to go from e.g. Alcúdia to the South. But my mom and I decided to take a detour and take the Ma-10 fro Pollenca to Soller instead of taking the highway, which was also the fastest option, according to Google Maps. So we did a detour, but we are absolutely glad we did! There are so many incredible viewpoints where you can leave your car and have an incredible view over the mountains. One of them is Mirador de s’Entreforc. There are many more, but a lot of these places are not even marked on google maps. We also had to stop so many times because of goats crossing the street, so be careful with that. I think the pictures do speak for themselves. If you have time, try leaving the highway and exploring the smaller streets of Mallorca!
15. Hike to Cala Figuiera
Cala Figuiera is a beach in the north of the island, not far away from Pollenca and is known to be the hidden gem of Mallorca. The reason behind it is that it is further away from the touristy spots and not that easy to get to! In order to get there you definitely need a car. Once you arrive to the parking lot you still have to walk almost 2km to the beach, or you can take a bus. And then you still have to access the beach by walking down a rather complicated road. But once you are there you will see it is definitely worth it. The water is crystal clear and you are completely surrounded by nature! Sometimes goats come really close to the water and they do not seem scared of the tourists at all. A really great experience that you cannot miss!
16. Try Local “Mallorquin” Food
To me, food is a big part of my travel experience! I love going to places I have never been before and trying the local food. Since Mallorca is an island you can expect amazing Seafood! Calamares a la Romana, Paella con Mariscos, Lubina and Merluza are typical dishes you will find on a menu in a restaurant! If you ever get the chance to go to Banyalbufar, there is an amazing restaurant called “San Tomás”. They have amazing paella with seafood.
Apart from that, I love having Orange Juice in the morning. That sounds quite simple but once you have tried Orange Juice during the right season in Spain you will not be happy with the (weird) orange juice back in your home country. Fresh Orange Juice in Spain just tastes better. Fight me! Another thing you should try are the Ensaïmada in Mallorca. It is a typical pastry they have in Mallorca. They are really proud of it and you can find it in any pastry or bodega in Mallorca. Something you should definitely try!
17. Stay in an authentic Mallorquian Finca!
When I travel I really like avoiding the touristy places and I am trying to get a more local and authentic experience. I understand this is not always possible. And a lot of times, they are a bit pricy! But if you have the chance you should definitely try to stay in a typical Mallorquian Finca during your visit. Those type of buildings are usually very old and vintage-looking, typically from the 17th or 18th century. And if renting a finca is not an option for you: There are many old fincas, farmhouses or even monasteries that were transformed into hotels. The following photo is from the hotel Ca Mado Paula where we stayed in Banyalbufar. Another option could be Petit Hotel Hostatgeria La Victoria in Alcúdia.
And that was it! A bucket list with 17 things you can do in Mallorca. Have you done all of them? And which one do you like the most? Let me know in the comments below 🙂