We arrived to Mallorca on a totally unplanned trip without any preconceived notions or ideas what to do there or where to go to. I saw a great airfare and just grabbed it. All I wanted was to find some good beaches and do nothing. Turns out Mallorca has over 262 beaches and the biggest problem we had was to figure out which ones to visit. After all we didn’t want to miss anything …and that’s why we ended up staying there for two weeks instead of one.
The island has two distinguished parts, East and South are mostly flat and this is where most of the good beaches are. North and West are mountainous and driving on the coastal roads is not for the faint of hearts.
There is only one airport on the island close to the capital city, Palma, and so it was where we started our trip. We stayed two nights, one full day in Palma in the old town. Palma is a lively and happening place with restaurants, late bars and live music. We took a very long and informative free walking tour and had seafood lunch in the famous city market.
After getting some tips as to which beaches and towns to visit we rented a car. The best deals are at the airport using rentalcars.com. It is possible to use public transportation but if you are short on time and/or want to visit lots of places it is best to rent a car.
So eager to find those beautiful beaches we headed east /south to Colonia St. Jordi, recommended by a tourist office in Palma. This was a total disappointment; windy weather, high waves and a very unappealing town.
We changed course and drove all the way north hoping to find a less windy coast and ended up in Playa de Muro. It’s a huge vast endless beach that goes from Puerto de Alcudia to Cabo Farruch pretty much without interruption. Playa de Muro is an ok place, the sand is nice, and there are some services but nothing great. So far we felt somewhat disappointed …
However, things were getting better and better as our trip progressed.. I didn’t have any hotel reservations prior to our arrival; the prices seemed very high and we just took a chance on last minute deals. So we ended up in Ca’n Picaford and actually stayed there for two nights. Ca’n Picaford’s promenade reminded me of Atlantic City. The town was occupied by numerous package vacation tourists, mainly from Germany; lots of mid range bars and restaurants compensating lack of quality with quantity. However, the beach was nice, the water warm and our hotel was beach front.
After leaving Picaford, we visited the town of Alcudia, a really cute place with lots of appealing shops and restaurants but it was too hot to linger. I suggest checking it out in the late afternoon or evening. From there we drove to Puerto de Pollensa and took a hair rising bus ride to a view point of Cabo Formentor with its magnificent views. Taking the bus is a must since no private cars are allowed all the way to the top. On the way down we spend some time at Formentor beach which can be skipped. We stayed two nights in Puerto de Pollensa which is a lot more upscale then Ca’n Picaford with better restaurants and live music options for the evening. The beach was also nice with good service, sun beds and an adjacent bar/restaurant. In the afternoon we visited the town of Pollensa. It has one good view point which can be reached by climbing few hundred steps. Actually you can drive up there as well…
After Puerto Pollensa we drove west to Puerto de Soller, another good choice; the beach was not as good, smaller and a little more crowded but the town is fun and lively. Few kilometers nearby is the Village of Soller; another cute town with lively main square and live music in the evenings. From Puerto de Soller we took an overrated boat tour to Colombra. The ride was long and choppy and some people didn’t feel good. The beach there has no shade or services and the whole trip felt like a waste of time. The rest of the day we spend driving south on a beautiful but challenging coastal road. On the way we stopped in Deia, very crowded and not very interesting tiny town. For the night, we chose an inland town of Valldemossa where we had dinner with magnificent views of the mountains around. Valldemossa is mainly a day trip destination and as such there is no nightlife there.
After Valldemossa we returned to the coast and stayed for a day in Camp de Mar, a tiny hamlet with very good all service beach and a great seafood restaurant located on a small island that can only be reached by a tiny pedestrian bridge: reservations are a must for both lunch and dinner. The few hotels nearby all seem to be catering to package vacation tourists and have nightly entertainment.
Next, our quest to see “everything” brought us east thru forgettable Manacur to Porto Cristo where we visited the Drac Caves. They were truly beautiful but very crowded.
Next two nights we stayed in Playa de Son Moll. It’s a real town with good beach, good restaurants, and lots of nightlife and entertainment; definitely worth a visit for few days.
One evening we got tickets to a Son Amar, sort of cabaret burlesque show which we absolutely loved. Since this was a late night show and we didn’t want to drive at night, we stayed again in the western part of the island, in the Village of Soller, which was the closest location to the theater.
At this point we had two more nights left on the island and we were not sure where to go. First we drove to Santa Ponca Bay which we didn’t find very appealing. Its rather large, no obvious center and the beach didn’t look great. After strolling thru for an hour or so we continued to Peguera, a much better choice. Vast all service beach with lots of accommodations, many food and entertainment choices. Last day was all beach ending with a nice beachside dinner and dancing.