An Insider's Guide to Mallorca: Spain's Best-Kept Secret
Nestled between Ibiza and Menorca, Mallorca is one of Europe's hidden gems and a special place I once called home. Mallorca will truly take your breath away with the majestic Tramuntana mountains (World Heritage Site), charming fisherman villages, untouched beaches and generous hospitality from the locals.
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Where to stay in Mallorca
La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel, Mallorca
Mediterranean hillside chic hotel with luxe accommodations, a splendid pool and spa.
$100 food / beverage credit.
Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.
Can Bordoy Grand House & Garden
Elegant hotel located in a former mansion with a garden and grand suites.
Local Mallorcan sea salt gift.
A luxury Mallorca estate perched on a hilltop, surrounded by olive and almond groves.
Extended check-in/out whenever possible.
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Things to do in Mallorca
Beaches and Beach Clubs
You can't come to Mallorca and not visit a beach. Mallorca has over 260 beaches and clubs that vary in size, terrain and vibe. Needless to say, there's a perfect spot for everyone here! Insider tip: Es Trenc is a large beach along the island's east coast that resembles the Caribbean's turquoise, calm water and soft sand. Cala S'Almunia and Cala Deia are some of Mallorca's traditional, idyllic beaches filled with natural beauty and fun spots to cliff-jump. Gran Follies is a popular beach club that offers the option to take a dip in the pool or the Balearic Sea with a great DJ on deck.
I first fell in love with Mallorca when I went village hopping in the Tramuntana region. Driving along the west coast and wandering each of the fisherman villages made me truly appreciate the island's culture, history and way of life. Each town boasts unique charm with its rich history and untouched beauty. From picturesque cathedrals and fincas, to the rolling hills filled with olive trees, Valldemossa, Deia and Soller are a must on your itinerary. Insider tip: the favorite of the three is Deia as it's a very artistic town with mountain-to-sea views, sought after seafood and vibrant locals. Soller is another popular spot for families with young kids - they'll love the wooden train that'll take you from Soller and Palma de Mallorca.
Excursion by boat
When asked to craft an itinerary, my #1 recommendation is to explore the island by boat. There are many charter companies across the island that offer full-day and sunset sails. Insider tip: go for a full-day trip so you have ample time to explore untouched calas and caves, snorkel and arrange a special lunch at family owned restaurants that are only reachable by boat.
Hiking and Biking
If you don't consider yourself a beach bum, Mallorca has tons of hiking and biking trails. Some are more challenging than others but the views can't be beat. Insider tip: visit Mallorca in late Spring for the best weather. There will be lots of sunshine, a cool breeze and trails won't be as crowded since Spring is considered off-season.
Wellness and Spa
Need a break from all the land and sea excursions, no problem! Mallorca has several wellness retreats and spas you can escape to. Insider tip: there's a variety of retreats on the island that focus on specific disciplines such as yoga and meditation and health and wellness. My favorite is Cal Reiet Holistic Retreat, nestled in the sleepy village of Arta. I highly recommend it for solo travelers or those interested in holistic nutrition or yoga.
Places to eat & drink in Mallorca
I've tried over 50 restaurants when I lived in Mallorca and the below are my favorites.
Kicking it off with my go-to weekend dinner spot is Spot. Located in the trendy Santa Catalina neighborhood, Spot boasts a fun menu filled with Spanish staples and local seafood. The ambiance is very chic and the vibe is vibrant, which makes it the perfect start to a fun night out.
Es Taller is my absolute favorite restaurant in all of Mallorca and it happens to have a Michelin star thanks to Chef Nicolas Gago Aubert's culinary masterpieces. Head over for lunchtime after strolling through Valldemossa and make sure you order the Cerdito Iberico and Cordero Mallorquin
For the perfect nightcap under the stars, head to Sky Bar for cocktails. The rooftop bar sits above Hotel Hostal Cuba and has incredible views of Palma's old city, coastline and Cathedral de Santa Maria.
Spain is infamous for their local mercados. You must go to Mercat de Santa Catalina to try traditional Mallorquin dishes and produce. I was super fortunate to live a block away from here and would go every Saturday to meet some locals and scout out some pa amb oli and squid risotto.
If you booked a charter or are courageous enough to drive the windy roads of the Tramuntana mountains, you will find one of the island's best kept secrets: Restaurant Es Vergeret. Both a restaurant and lodging site, this place is hidden in Cala Tuent that flaunts a true Mallorquin menu filled with fresh produce and seafood.
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Ali Duvaras' guide, Things to do in Mallorca, Spain.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Mallorca.