Beach nixie, mountaineer, professional cyclist or adventurer? If you are looking for the right holiday destination on Mallorca, you are spoilt for choice. We show some of the most popular holiday resorts on the sunny island - from the classic tourist destinations directly by the sea to the quiet corners with flair and character.
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12 top resorts in Mallorca
If Majorca were not so much more than Playa de Palma, Ballermann or Magaluf, it would probably not still be the favourite island of so many holidaymakers. People from all over the world have chosen their favourite places and the most popular holiday resorts on Mallorca. Some prefer the south and therefore the fastest connection between airport and holiday hotel. Others are attracted to the lively east, which can score with well-equipped holiday resorts, fabulous beaches and a complete holiday infrastructure. The charming west also has its fans. Just like the well-kept north. What makes some of the most important holiday resorts on Mallorca stand out, we have compiled here.
Mallorca villages and holiday resorts in the north
Alcúdia / Port d`Alcúdia - the urbanisation with the harbour is located at a smaller distance to the city of Alcúdia and directly at the bay of the same name with a fabulous beach of almost 10 kilometres. It is not surprising that from April to October, but especially in the summer months, life is very busy here. Port d`Alcúdia may not be typically Majorcan in every respect, but it is one of the most important bathing resorts on the north coast. The offer of hotels and accommodations as well as leisure and sports facilities is almost boundless and a colourful nightlife is also provided during the holidays. When such an endless beach appears before your eyes, you think of sunbathing and water sports. And this is exactly what Port d`Alcúdia is also known for and popular.
Whether windsurfing, wakeboarding, flyboarding, fun-tubes, snorkelling or a sailing course - if you are on holiday in Port d`Alcúdia, you don`t have to get out of the water. And if you do need to do one or two errands, you will find everything for your daily needs and beyond on the wide main road behind the first row of hotels on the beach. As the place is quite long, one can take it sportive and walk a long way on foot or also use a small train.
It also leads to Alcúdia, which is about 1.5 kilometres away - and thus to one of the most beautiful old towns on the island. There, it is in any case worthwhile to have a walk on the historical city wall, whose construction was started in 1298 in order to protect the city but also the north coast from pirate attacks. The oldest traces of the settlement - those of the prehistoric Talayotic culture - are estimated to be about 3000 years old in Alcúdia. Until the 18th century Alcúdia flourished thanks to its port and a flourishing trade. The following decades brought a lull, which only ended in the middle of the 20th century with the advent of tourism.
Those who are interested in the natural landscape of the island have chosen Port d`Alcúdia as a good starting point. South of the town lies the Albufera National Park, the most important wetland of the Balearic Islands. With the Hydropark, Port d`Alcúdia also disposes of the only water park in the north of the island - if it should be something different than only beach or if the children are looking for a change.
Pollenca / Port Pollensa - even though Pollensa and the port area of the same name are only 12 kilometres apart, it actually makes a small difference where you are. Pollensa is a venerable old town with many places of interest and a great history, Port Pollensa is a very lively coastal town that has been constantly developed for tourism. But for both it is valid that with a lot of style and a very original charm, they clearly stand out from comparable bathing resorts approximately at the east coast.
The traces of Pollenca go far back into history, even if the existence is not proven until 1229 with the arrival of the Catalan conquerors. At least at the place where Pollenca is located today. In fact, there was already a Pollenca near Alcúdia. However, this municipality was destroyed and it is believed that the inhabitants resettled and simply took the place name with them. Today's Pollenca lies at the foot of Puig de María and Calvary..
The port of Pollensa is an anchorage for sailing yachts from all over the world, which is a clear indication of the sailing area in the north. The holiday magnet par excellence is the bay of Pollenca with its endless sandy beach. Here, the sea water shimmers especially and it drops shallowly to greater depths. Thanks to these conditions, active holidaymakers from the water sports sector, especially windsurfers, and families with children are the largest group of holidaymakers in Port Pollensa.
If you are in Pollenca, it is not far to the most important excursion destination of this region: Cap Formentor. An excursion to the most northern point of Mallorca is worthwhile not only because of the views, but also because of the coastal landscape of the peninsula. The second largest port after Palma is also the starting point for some of the most popular boat trips on Mallorca, especially dolphin watching. The good wind conditions in the bay of Pollensa have led to the establishment of the most important sailing schools on the island, making a holiday in the region the best place for a sailing course.
Can Picafort - has a lot of sea in the front and the beautiful Tramuntana in the back. As it comes here, simply wants to have a holiday on one of the most beautiful beaches of Mallorca, equipped with everything you need. Can Picafort is practically located in the middle of the bay of Alcudia, at the left side, the popular Playa de Muro extends with a rich water sports offer and a very fine, very wide sand beach, right at the front there is the Playa Picafort.
Because the water here is very shallow, the beach is perfect for families with children and also for those taking their first steps in one of the popular water sports activities such as surfing. If you want to get further out, rent a boat in Can Picafort and explore the dream bay on your own or let an experienced skipper take you directly to the most beautiful bays of the Llevant Nature Park.
Even away from the beach and water, Can Picafort offers a wide range of entertainment, without the "Ballermann factor". Those who like to go out in the evening will find dignified restaurants, chic bars and also live music at virtually every corner. Can Picafort is a holiday resort with very good infrastructure. German and British tourists are roughly on a par here.
Tourism has a long tradition in Can Picafort - the place was practically born as a summer resort. Inhabitants from nearby Santa Margalida built the first summer residences here on the coast, laying the foundations for the development of this popular holiday resort. Until the 1970s, the population of the former fishing village remained at the same level - with the boom of the island it suddenly became more. There are almost 10 000 hotel beds available for holidaymakers.
Mallorca villages and holiday resorts in the east
Cala Ratjada - is one of the most popular holiday resorts on Mallorca with several hundred thousand visitors annually. But what makes the former small fishing village on the east coast so popular? Very clear: the proximity to the sea, the picturesque coast, the charm of the fishing port and the still in parts original character. There is a lot of this flair to be found on a stroll along the boulevard or through the historic centre of the village.
Cala Ratjada has like many holiday resorts on Mallorca started small, with a few fishermen's cabins, a few summer houses. There was not much more around 1930. And yet, in this then remote corner of Mallorca - 80 kilometres from Palma - more and more newcomers arrived, mainly artists and intellectuals who had fled Germany, who built houses, opened shops and founded networks. These colonies were the origin of the tourist boom..
Even today, apart from one day a week - the market day on Saturday - all life takes place on the waterfront during the high season. The coast of Cala Ratjada hides numerous small bays and first class beaches, of which Cala Agulla (600 metres long) is the most beautiful and best known. As also Son Moll (200 metres long) or Cala Gat (60 metres), in Cala Ratjada, everything is a little more manageable than elsewhere on the island and this is probably one of the reasons why it is very popular with families..
But also for all those who are looking for a beach holiday and a little bit of high life, Cala Ratjada is the right holiday resort on Mallorca. In the town you can celebrate really well. Numerous bars and clubs are among the most popular meeting places. And you can even party on the water in Cala Ratjada: on the party catamaran.
The best way to explore the beautiful natural landscape around the popular town is on a hike or on horseback. Horse riding excursions for beginners and professionals are an absolute adventure with this landscape scenery. And one last tip for activities in Cala Ratjada: here you will find the only Segpark of the island, which is a popular destination and at the same time starting point for different Segway tours.
Cala Millor - there is no secret about what makes this holiday resort so special: its beautiful bay. If you take the name of the place literally, Cala Millor is even the "best bay" on Mallorca. Holidaymakers who spread out their towel on the sandy beach there year after year can certainly judge this best. One thing is certain: the beach of Cala Millor is almost 2 kilometres long, has soft curves, washes crystal clear water in front of the feet and shows the mountains on the horizon. By the way, the promenade in Cala Millor is almost as long as the beach and it is one of the most lively places.
Furthermore, Cala Millor is one of the most important tourist centres for the east of the island and for Mallorca in general. Beside the many hotels and accommodations, there is practically everything that makes an island holiday complete: beautiful excursion destinations in the closer surroundings, an attractive leisure offer, restaurants, bars, shops, a lively pedestrian zone, a cultural centre. A perfect place for families, couples, groups and also singles who prefer short distances and want to have the beach at their doorstep.
Many activities in the "best bay" are naturally focused on water sports and boat trips. Here you can discover the beautiful nature of the east coast with its steep cliffs and the famous caves by glass-bottom boat, while below deck you can watch the colourful sea life. Those who spend their family holidays in Cala Millor will be pleased about many offers for children. Very popular: the pirate treasure hunt. And because the east has so many interesting caves, you should treat yourself to a little adventure with the sea cave tour. Because the holiday resort is too important, practically all excursions from Cala Millor are also possible with pick up: whether island tour or jeep safari into the mountains.
Cala D'Or - is certainly the epitome of a holiday resort. A holiday idyll that understands the needs of holidaymakers, because it is made exactly for that. Everything in Cala d'Or is compact summery and flowing. Cala d'Or is the right place for everyone who dreams of a beach holiday, likes to go out in the evening and in between nice excursions in the island east.
The village of Cala d'Or has not grown historically, but is the result of the fantasy of an artist who dreamed of a summer settlement for creative people in Mallorca and who bought a barren piece of land with hidden bays in 1933. The houses were built in a cubic style, which is still the charm of the settlement today. Visually, and this is also intentional, Cala d'Or is reminiscent of the neighbouring island of Ibiza. Whitewashed houses that just glimpse out between the green pines or lush gardens - this not only looks beautiful, but is also a real ray of hope between some of the building sins on the Majorcan coast.
In fact, there is only one historic ensemble in the town - the Es Forti fortress, which was built to protect the local sailors from pirates and other attackers. With two picturesque beaches practically in the centre, Cala d'Or is far ahead. The only disadvantage, if one wants to see it that way: the beach is not endless and because the place is so popular, one might have his dear trouble to find a good place in summer. It can get narrow.
As a coastal city, Cala d'Or also shines with a modern marina that is a meeting point for many boaters and with its bars and restaurants also an amusing nightlife district. One of the most popular activities in Cala d'Or is everything that has to do with water sports. Some people enjoy parasailing, others a speedboat tour. You can also rent a boat in Cala d'Or and explore the coast on your own.
Mallorca villages and holiday resorts in the south
Can Pastilla / El Arenal - off the plane, into the resort. Nowhere else this happens as fast as at the Playa de Palma with the important tourist fortresses Can Pastilla and El Arenal. But those who suspect Ballermann everywhere here are wrong. Mallorca's glorious party mile takes up only a small part of this wonderful, six-kilometre-long beach passage. But, and this is no secret, those who come to Mallorca primarily for sunbathing and partying can't go wrong with El Arenal in particular. After waking up in one of the many hotels, one practically falls straight into the sea and the next bar or disco is never far away. Those who like it a little more isolated in between will also find some small bays close to the playa that allow some more calmness and seclusion.
A little quieter, but no less lively, you can enjoy a holiday in Can Pastilla. Apart from the proximity to the airport, the location of the settlement at the gates of Palma is of course also very convenient. By bus or taxi you can reach the centre of the island's capital in a few minutes. Or you can rent a bike in Can Pastilla and cycle straight ahead on the Palma promenade. The centre of Can Pastilla is often forgotten, where there is the beautiful Bodega Oliver square and a parish church. But understandable, that many here simply have eyes for the long bay and the sea. And for the marina of Can Pastilla. In Can Pastila you cannot miss the signposts to Palma Aquarium, one of the most important and largest leisure parks on the island, which will take you into the depths of the sea. A visit to Palma Aquarium is always a good choice - especially when it rains in Mallorca or in the low season. During the high season Aqualand is also recommended.
When it comes to activities and tours from El Arenal, you need a longer stay to try everything once. For a shore excursion between beach days, a quad bike tour is the best option. And also on the water it gets pretty wild here: jet skiing, water sports packages, parasailing, speedboat tour, catamaran driving. Everything there, everything you need. In the harbour of Can Pastilla you can rent a boat, with or without a driving licence. The extensive beach is also a good spot for stand-up paddling or kayaking.
Palma de Mallorca - of course, the island capital itself is a popular holiday destination on Mallorca, although in a completely different way. In Palma you can charmingly combine beach and city holidays, including culture, shopping, sightseeing, culinary conquests and nightlife. The economic and political centre of the Balearic Islands is rich in hotspots and discoveries.
You have arrived in Palma when you look at the impressive La Seu Cathedral and your heart pounds with excitement for the first time. Add to this a view over the promenade to the sea and perhaps one of the large cruise ships and the holiday mood sets in abruptly. Palma de Mallorca is the perfect destination for a varied city trip all year round. Here, one is well bedded in summer and winter - either in one of the chic boutique hotels or in an apartment with sea view.
With lots of sights, museums, the narrow alleys of the old town, the hip quarters like Santa Catalina, streetfood markets, old windmills and the marina, Palma de Mallorca keeps you busy for a while. A very long walk, a bicycle tour or a sightseeing tour with the hop-on-hop-off bus is a good way to get to know the city. Popular are boat tours through the bay of Palma, which start in the harbour and are specialized for different target groups. Catamaran tours with swimming break, party boat tours, speed boat excursions - the choice is as varied as this great city.
Paguera - once was a little louder and much more like the Ballermann. But the popular holiday resort in the southwest, only 24 kilometres from Palma, has changed. After targeted renovation work, the resort is now quieter, more tranquil and a bit more relaxed - something that is particularly appreciated by families with children, holidaymakers and middle-aged residents. Among them are many Germans, who traditionally come to Paguera and have hardly any communication problems here - a lot of German is spoken.
In summer, those seeking relaxation are spread over three fine sandy, well-kept beaches: Playa Palmira, Playa Tora and Playa Romana. In the city centre and on the boulevard, one strolls comfortably past souvenir shops and boutiques, restaurants and bars. Those who feel like partying and exchanging ideas in the evening will find a suitable restaurant or disco on the promenade.
Paguera is a good starting point for excursions of all kinds. Hikers explore the mountains from here, cyclists the coastal roads and boat passengers the famous dragon island Dragonera. A highlight for holidaymakers looking for some adventure is the buggy tour in the Tramuntana. You can also get there by roadster. The many possibilities, the location close to the Tramuntana and the really good infrastructure of Paguera compensate in their own way for a missing historical ambience - because the touristically influenced place has not really.
Mallorca villages and holiday resorts in the west
Valdemossa - a place like in a picture book. Bloomy, romantic, mallorquin and in the middle of the mountains. The approach alone is a highlight, because the road has been so cleverly laid around the town that you can look right at it just before you reach your destination. This aha-experience inevitably continues, the closer one gets to the oldtown. Here, one simply wants to keep on walking, as each of the small alleyways offers a new arrangement in which the eyes can enjoy. The inhabitants outdo each other with the flower decorations on the facades. The old and new stone houses give a perfect picture. Among the Moors, Valdemossa was called Musa, named after a Moorish provincial governor. Like later the Majorcan kings, the Moors appreciated Valdemossa because of its location and climate.
The most important excursion destination in Valdemossa is the Charterhouse - a former monastery built in 1399, where the composer Frédéric Chopin and the writer George Sand spent a winter. Since then the monastery has been a place of pilgrimage for culture lovers. Valdemossa is especially popular with day trippers and people with hiking rucksacks who explore parts of the Tramuntana from here. The town also owes its fame to prominent supporters. For example, Hollywood actor Michael Douglas donated a cultural centre where visitors can learn all about the town, the Archduke Lluis Salvador and also about the founder. Get to know Valdemossa during a half-day tour or walk directly in the footsteps of Chopin.
Sóller / Port de Sóller - both are among the most fashionable holiday resorts on Mallorca. Even if the districts are a bit far apart, you have to mention them in the same breath: especially if you choose to travel by train. There, one drives on two tracks: from Palma in a historical small train to Sóller and from there with the tram down to the harbour. This trip is a real Mallorca experience and rightly the heart of the big island tour. Arriving in Port de Sóller, one can rub one's eyes for a short time - this is how perfectly this place fits into the bay protected by massive rocks. Here, one can wonderfully stroll, shop, bath, sunbathe - everything what is needed for a relaxed holiday. The restaurant row offers some good addresses for fish and seafood dishes and actually always the best view of the water..
Those who want to enjoy this view directly out to sea can choose a boat trip to Sa Calobra with the Torrent de Pareis gorge. During this excursion, the west coast panorama is almost intimidating, as imposing and massive the mountain world rises over the sea. And those who are anyway on holiday in Sóller will sweeten their stay with a sailing trip to the turquoise blue bays.
Deià - fully lives up to its title as an artists' village. Already the location and the houses built on the terraces look like a painting. A holiday in Deià is a little more extravagant and exclusive than anywhere else on the island. This is also due to the limited number of hotels and accommodations and the prices that are adapted to this situation. Thus, Deià remains for many a destination on the sightseeing route along the west coast. But here one can without question also simply spend a wonderful day, especially as Cala Deià is a small, fine bay below the village, which can be reached on foot and is a good address for swimming and snorkelling in summer. And those who want to end the day in one of the restaurants with a view to the mountains will find some possibilities.
The evening atmosphere in Deià is enchanting, with the murmur of the guests coming from the bars along the road or from the upper floors and the houses appearing in the light. Deià has earned the name Artists' Village like no other village on Mallorca. Because creative minds have always been attracted to this little corner of the world. The village became famous as early as the middle of the 19th century, when Archduke Lluis Salvador settled here to write an encyclopaedia about the Balearic Islands. He was taken with the west coast and bought land in Deià to protect the forests from deforestation and hunting. His later country estate Son Marroig with its marble temple is today one of the romantic highlights.