The Best Side of Mallorca for Views, Beaches and Activities
Mallorca has different sides to it. It mostly has a laid back feel, but select areas on the island come to life at night. It also has a range of different things on offer to satisfy all kinds of tourists. So in this article I am going to go through the best side of Mallorca for; scenic beauty, best beaches, kids activities, and history. To give a quick overview:
The mountain area of Serra de Tramuntana across the entire west coast is the best part of Mallorca. It is a UNESCO world heritage site with picturesque views, stunning beaches, and charming villages. The south west part of Mallorca is best for families, with many kids activities, long stretches of sandy beaches and family-friendly resorts.
One of the nice things about Mallorca is that it is a relatively small island. So going from Palma in the south to Alcudia in the north will only take around 1 hour by car. Hence, exploring other places on the island regardless of where you are, is quick and easy.
Here is more detail about the best parts of Mallorca for different categories. The list and information is based on my 2023 trip to Mallorca.
The Most Beautiful Part of Mallorca
Mallorca certainly has no shortage of beautiful areas. My husband and I were pleasantly surprised by how beautiful Mallorca truly is. If you have ever been to Corsica, it is similar because of the mountainous area.
Serra de Tramuntana is the most scenic part of Mallorca. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a large mountainous area that spans 90kms across the entire west coast of the island. Here you will get to see the Tramuntana mountains, pine forests, olive groves and lakes. If you hike along the coast you will experience stunning beaches and cliffs.
The area is ideal for those picture perfect shots. Additionally it is fantastic for those that love the outdoors with many great hiking trails.
The Tramuntana mountains are larger towards the northern part of the island. As you venture further south the mountains become less dramatic. In the Northern most part at the Formenor Peninsula and Cap de Formentor you can get a glimpse of the cliffs that Mallorca is known for.
Moreover, in Serra de Tramuntana you can find some charming old villages in the central part of the area. Like for example Valldemossa, Deia and Sóller. Not surprisingly, Sóller and Deia are a couple of the 6 best towns to visit in Mallorca.
You could opt for a day tour to visit Sóller and perhaps the other nearby villages. However in summer you could certainly spend a full day in Sóller soaking up the sun and its old world charm.
The best way to visit Sóller is to catch the Ferrocarril de Sóller, a 100 year old vintage wooden train that departs from Palma. The train, including tram and boat ride is expensive, but incredibly popular for good reason.
Apart from visiting Sóller, you also get to enjoy the journey through the Tramuntana Mountains and experience some of the most scenic country and mountain views. Additionally you will have the opportunity to catch the tram to visit the stunning Port de Sóller.
At the port, you can walk along the promenade to enjoy the views and have a dip in the sea to cool off. The sea water is clean, but a little murky, which is why it is not usually in top lists of the best beaches in Mallorca. Otherwise if it was, this beach would definitely feature.
However the scenery more than makes up for it! Here is a short 16 second clip of the port:
Alternatively if you hired a car, you can opt to stay for a night in Sóller or one of the other nearby villages. I highly recommend you stay around the area of the Port de Sóller since it’s so beautiful.
The Hotel Marina in the port is well rated and lovely. Not only is it on the beachfront offering spectacular views, it has other amenities to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable. It’s on the expensive side, but it is to be expected in this area.
While you are in the mountain area, you might want to visit Santuari de Lluc found here on Google Maps. It is a 13th century monastery up high in the mountains that is popular among pilgrims.
It is a lovely place with a basilica, museum, botanical garden, a swimming pool and some shops including a bakery. It’s only €10 for a couple to visit which includes parking. You will need to approach the staff member at the information desk who will sort out the tickets.
At the time I visited, I had no idea I could have stayed here, which I would have done had I known. If you like the idea of hearing the sound of church bells in the morning and visiting at a leisurely pace, then I recommend you book a stay at the Santuari de Lluc. Plus it’s inexpensive and well-rated.
Best Side of Mallorca for Beaches
The geology of the island is a little different depending on which side of Mallorca you visit. Along the western side there aren’t many beaches because the mountains are right up to the coast, ending as cliffs. Port de Sóller is one of the exceptions.
On the other hand, the east side has some pretty rocky coves as well as sandy beaches. The north and southern coast have longer stretches of sandy beaches.
The eastern coves are more untouched and pristine with no urban development around them. As a result, you will likely need to bring along your own food and drink. Plus it is not as easy to visit these coves for families with young kids.
A lot of the time the coves are sandwiched between the cliffs, hence they are less accessible. However a lot of these coves are absolutely stunning like Cala del Moro located here on Google Maps. Cala del Moro and other coves in the east coast most definitely compete with the breathtaking Caribbean-like beaches in Sardinia.
However, there are other beaches on the east like Cala Millor. It offers a long stretch of white sand with shallow waters that’s perfect for all ages. Not surprisingly, this is a resort area that makes the most of what it has to offer. In fact, this area is one of the best areas for families to stay in Mallorca, offering family-friendly resorts, a good selection of activities as well as the beach.
The south on the other hand has beautiful long sandy beaches that generally offer many facilities. So you can get drinks and food from somewhere close by with a view to boot. For those hiring a car, parking is not an issue, you can usually park in the street close to your selected beach.
For example Camp de Mar has some stunning views since it is in the Serra de Tramuntana area. This is why we featured it in the Top 10 Most Beautiful Beaches in Mallorca for Families. There are some lovely hotel stays in the Camp de Mar area so you can enjoy the sea and the view of the mountains.
Camp de Mar does tend to be more expensive than the rest of Mallorca. However you have all the conveniences you need; umbrellas and sun lounges, restaurants and pedal boats for some activity.
Palmanova beach and Portals Nous also in the south are also featured in the top list of beaches. These beaches are also lovely, and there are many hotel stays close by, including the resort of Katmandu Park which is perfect for families with young children.
Best Side of Mallorca for History
Historians believe that Mallorca has been inhabited since at least the 6th century before Christ. This includes both the Romans and Arabs that conquered Mallorca and left their buildings, ruins and influence on the island.
The very first settlements were in Palma and Alcudia. In these cities you can see several places of historical interest.
Alcudia in particular has the best preserved Medieval town with winding narrow streets. Over here there are also the Ruines Romanes de Pollentia. The ruins include an old Roman town and Amphitheatre.
Palma has its own fair share of historical places of interest:
- Palma Cathedral
- Royal Palace of Almudaina
- Arab Baths
- Bellver Castle
There are basic entry tickets, but also many tours and some novel ways to visit Palma Cathedral. The Royal Palace has cheap entry ticket to purchase and is also lovely. However even though these cities have some amazing history the west has a greater concentration of historical sites.
The west side of Mallorca is the best for history and culture. This is the area of Serra de Tramuntana which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are a number of villages in this area that have buildings of historical significance.
There are several monasteries here. Apart from Santuari de Lluc, there is also a 14th century Carthusian Monastery in Valldemossa. Frédéric Chopin and George Sand resided here at some point in their lives. In fact the monastery also houses the Frédéric Chopin and George Sand Museum.
There are also 2 country estates. Son Marroig in Deia which was owned by the Archduke Ludwig Salvator of Austria and Monestir de Miramar in Miramar.
Of course, as you already know, there is also Sóller. It is another beautiful town with buildings designed by Joan Rubió who was heavily inspired by Antoni Gaudí. This day tour mentioned earlier of Valldemossa and Soller is a good one to get a good feel of the two villages.
There are also other places of interest marked on the map further up for you to consider.
The Best Side for Kids Activities
The best side of Mallorca for kids activities is in the south, both in and around the capital of Palma. There is also a smaller cluster of activities for kids over on the north east side of the island. Here is a map showcasing 14 things to do with kids in Mallorca.
Both areas have activities that can keep kids entertained for days. Most especially if you take the kids to the resort beach areas. However over near Palma there are more things to do with more variety to keep you going for more days.
Apart from going to the beach where you could spend a day or several days, you have Marineland (7 in orange) or Katmandu Theme Park (8 in orange). These places in particular will keep the family entertained for the day since there are several things to look forward to.
There are 5 areas in Mallorca that are best for families with kids in different parts of Mallorca. They tend to coincide with the areas where there are clusters of kids activities.
Apart from great activities, they have great family-friendly hotels with many amenities like kids clubs, kids pools and playgrounds to keep them entertained. Moreover they are located on the beachfront of the best beaches in Mallorca.
If you would like to go to a water park then you should consider heading to Aqualand el Arenal. Aqualand el Arenal is Mallorca’s largest water park with 20 different water attractions. In fact it is why we created a feature on what to expect from Aqualand el Arenal.