The largest of the idyllic Balearic Islands, Mallorca is big enough to stir your soul and small enough to envelop you in a warm, hazy glow. Here’s how to see and eat the best of it in one glorious weekend!
Life here is all about ambling through sticky pine forests and olive groves to secluded beaches. It’s about getting lost in Palma’s honey-stoned old town and relaxing in sun-struck plazas with wine, tapas and over a thousand years of history. Slow. Seductive. Simple. This Spanish utopia is all about living the good life.
Day 1 ~ Essential Sights & Bites in Palma City
10am ~ Instant Immersion at Palma’s La Seu Cathedral
Dating back to the 14th century, this goliath feat of Gothic architecture took over 400 years to build and has become one of Spain’s most celebrated religious sites. Pop inside to discover more of its hidden beauties, which include design touches by legendary Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and contemporary artists such as Miquel Barceló. Hang around until 11am to hear the organ being played. You have arrived.
The Mallorca Pass grants you free entry to the Cathedral and more than 30 of Mallorca’s best tours and attractions, including the Palma Aquarium, Waterparks and caves.
12pm ~ Coffee and Schmoozing Passeig des Born
As morning warms into afternoon, take a bimble down the elegant boulevard of Passeig des Born. Here you’ll find an abundance of high-end fashion stores and a plenty of lazy cafe terraces. Stop in the square of Placa Rei Joan Carles I for coffee and a sugar-dusted ensaïmada, or celebrate your arrival with a pre-lunch aperitivo!
1.30pm ~ A Lazy Lunch
For local tapas dishes and relaxed vibes, duck into the ever popular Tast tapas bar and spend an hour or so nibbling through the various bite-sized beauties. Or for something more formal, Fosh for a more sophisticated three course lunch.
Foodie traveller? You may want to check out a local tapas tour. Get a 20% discount off this local tour with the Mallorca Pass. Get a 20% discount off this local tour with the Mallorca Pass.
3.30pm ~ Shopping, Architecture, Art and Culture
Walk off lunch with a spot of shopping around streets such as Plaça Cort, Plaça Mercat and Plaça Mayor. Even if you’re not into shopping, you’ll still find inspiration in the ornate building façades that flood the streets with decadence.
5pm ~ Take a Siesta or Visit the Joan Miró Gallery
Either head back to your hotel/apartment for a quick siesta before dinner or visit the Joan Miró art gallery and museum. This gorgeous space boasts over 2,500 sculptures, doodles and paintings created by the great Catalan surrealist.
8pm ~ Dinner: Tapas Crawl Time
Join the Mallorquíns for ‘La Ruta Martiana’ (The Martians’ Route), which takes over the trendy Sa Gerreria neighbourhood every Tuesday and Wednesday night. Each bar offers its own special selection of tapas and a drink (beer or wine) for as little as €2.
Day 2 ~ Sun, Sea and Mountaintop Secrets
10am ~ Secret Beach Coves at Sunrise
It’s unlikely you’ll make it for sunrise after last night’s fun and games, but early morning is the best time to hit Mallorca’s secret beach coves. Huddled away at the end of a gorge made by the Torrent de Pareis, the beaches of Sa Calobra and Torrent de Pareis are remote and serene stretches of azure waters and untouched nature. Take a beach towel and a little something to sip on for the full paradise experience.
More of Mallorca’s best beaches include:
Cala d’Or / Cala Formentor / Santanyí / Port Alcúdia / Cala Sant Vicenc / Sa Calobra / Cala Mesquida / Es Trenc / Cala Figuera / Cala S´Almonia
2pm ~ Lunch in Sóller
Known locally as the “Golden Valley”, Sóller is a colourful little Mallorcan town that overflows with the scents of dropping lemon and orange trees. Close to the sea and enveloped by the forests and the mighty Tramuntana Mountains, it really is a taste of idyllic rural living.
Take a stroll through the fragrant Gardens of Alfabia, before heading up to the Mirador Ses Barquesv for local cooking and sweeping vistas from 14,000 feet above sea level. Order the satiating ‘llom amb co’ (roast pork and cabbage stew) and follow with ‘frit Mallorquí’ (sautéed lamb offal with fried potatoes, onions and herbs). If you still have space then try the local speciality of ‘arròs brut’ (“dirty rice”), which a rice dish packed with vegetables and hunks of meat.
4.30pm ~ Get Active in Valldemossa
Nuzzled away in the bosom of the Sierra de Tramuntana Mountains, this cutesy mountain village offers an authentic insight into local life, as well as world-class opportunities for hiking, rock climbing and cycling.
If you’re more in the mood for culture and schmoozing, be sure to check out the fascinating Chopin Museum, which is housed in the ancient monastery where the composer lived in the winter of 1835. Entry is free with the Mallorca Pass.
6.30pm ~ Dulce Delights in Sóller
Head to Café Paris in Sóller for a galvanising espresso pick-me-up and a good old chat with the ever magnanimous owner José.
8pm ~ Dinner in Dazzling Deia
Go out with a bang and enjoy a seafood banquet with heart-poundingly beautiful sea views at Ca’s Patro March Restaurant. Located in the ultra exclusive nook of Deia, this is the place to rub shoulders with the local glitterati and plan your return to the bewitching Balearic Islands.
Where to Stay in Mallorca
Words by Ben Holbrook, photos supplied by venues and tourist board.