Mallorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands, is one of Spain’s most beloved tourist spots. Tourists are lured by the ever-present sunshine, gorgeous sandy coves and beaches, colonial-style architecture, and plenty of lush landscape that all combine to make the island a great holiday destination.
For those who wish to escape from the busy throng of speedos and sunburnt bodies, Mallorca has plenty of spots to swim, eat, drink and be merry in relative privacy.
We take a look at three of our favourite regions on the Island.
1Maria de la Salut
Situated on the north eastern side of the island around 50km from the capital, Palma, Maria de la Salut is a traditional Mallorcan town with a predominantly rural community. Farmers grow classic Mallorcan produce such as almond and fig trees, and the area is also famous for its delicious melons, olives and tomatoes. You can buy all these items in their weekly farmer’s market.
The town itself is small and pretty, dotted with low rise stone houses and steeply sloping streets. The whole town is easily walkable, with several restaurants and cafes. Tip: Try Melassa Restaurant and Café which serves delicious local bites such as soup with quail and flatbread with peppers. There is also a lovely church in the town centre that has an appealing bulb shaped steeple.
This is an old town with plenty of history and heritage. Archaeology buffs may like to explore areas like the cave of Caseta del Garriguer and the nearby burial cave in the Rotes Noves de Montblanc, both of which contain remnants of Bronze Age settlements.
2Palma de Mallorca
Mallorca’s capital has all the elements for a satisfying short break. Its coastal location offers some great beaches, the foodie scene is replete with trendy restaurants, amazing food markets and the fun continues after sundown with a vibrant nightlife. The city itself is a mix of Gothic architecture, including the sensational, sprawling Gaudi-inspired Palma Cathedral.
There is a beach in front of the Cathedral but we suggest you head to Illetas beach 9km from the centre. It is popular for its wide brimmed soft sand, clean water and is the loveliest beach in the bay. But there are others to explore. Just a short drive away are the beaches of Sant Elm or Camp de Mar, both of which are less than an hour-drive from Palma.
Travel to the north of the island and you will reach the port of Bonaire, a quiet and beautiful coastal region of Mallorca located a few kilometres from the town of Alcudia. This is a lovely region lined with small, sandy coves and lush, green pine forests.
Walk along the coast and you’ll reach two coves, Playa de Sant Pere and Playa de Sant Joan, both of which are relatively devoid of tourists even in peak season. Playa de Sant Joan requires a little scramble down down a rough path, but you will be rewarded for your efforts by the sheer beauty of the area.
The new Crocodrilo Marina in Bonaire was re-built in 2009 after a storm devastated the town in 2002. Here you can find a scuba diving centre, a supermarket and the Bar Restaurante Crocodrilo, which serves generous portions of fresh seafood and Aioli.
Surrounded by protected forests and mountains, Bonaire also has ample hiking opportunities. The pine forests are a lovely spot to enjoy a picnic while taking in the spectacular views of the rugged coastline.