12 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Mallorca (Majorca)
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Mallorca is a gorgeous Mediterranean island with beautiful weather, stunning scenery, and delicious cuisine. The largest of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca is part of Spain but has a more rugged landscape and otherworldly quality. Rocky mountains and lush wooded hillsides fall steeply down to the sea.
Along the picturesque coastline, dramatic cliffs offer sensational viewpoints, and pristine coves sparkle with crystal-clear waters. Vacationers are also delighted by the historic towns and charming villages, loaded with tourist attractions like medieval churches, ancient castles, and art museums. The joy of Mallorca is the combination of culture and nature.
In the same day, tourists can visit the glorious Gothic cathedral of the capital city, then sunbathe on a pristine beach. They can stroll through the walled medieval village of Alcúdia, then be inspired by a 15th-century monastery, or relax at the glamorous seaside resort of Puerto Portals.
With so many options packed into this idyllic island, it's easy to find reasons to stay for a week's vacation or longer. Discover the best places to visit with our list of the top attractions and things to do in Majorca.
See also: Where to Stay in Mallorca (Majorc)
1. The Cultured Capital City of Palma de Mallorca
The seaside capital city of Palma de Mallorca dazzles visitors with its alluring Mediterranean setting and abundance of cultural attractions. Two impressive monuments, the cathedral and the castle, give this city the prestige of other capitals in Europe.
The glorious Catedral de Mallorca (La Seo) overlooks the Old Harbor and appears from a distance as a beacon of faith. This monumental sandstone building dates to the 13th century but wasn't completed until the 17th century. Visitors are awed by the 6,600-square-meter interior of the cathedral with its aisled nave rising to a height of 44 meters.
Splendid stained-glass windows including several rose windows (the largest dates from 1370) illuminate the sanctuary with an ethereal glow. Much of the interior was remodeled by famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí in the early 20th century.
In the cathedral's Capilla Real (Royal Chapel), Gaudí's gigantic baldachin is shaped like a crown of thorns. The Capilla de la Trinidad contains the sarcophagi of Kings Jaime II and III. From the terrace on the south side of the cathedral, tourists can enjoy a magnificent view of the bay.
The 13th-century Castillo de Bellver sits on a hilltop three kilometers from the historic center of Palma de Mallorca. Once a royal stronghold, the castle's unusual circular plan was influenced by Eastern architecture. A bridge leads into the castle's courtyard, which is lined with Romanesque and Gothic arcades. The castle is open to the public and has a history museum.
Other attractions include the Fundación Pilar i Joan Miró in the house where the artist lived. This museum displays a collection of paintings, drawings, and sculptures by the Catalan artist.
For those who prefer to lounge by the sea, the nearest option is near the Miro Foundation at the Cala Major. This wide sandy beach is very popular during summertime. Other beaches include the Playa de Palma and the Playa del Arenal.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Palma de Mallorca
2. Alcúdia's Old Town
Surrounded by lush greenery and pine forests, Alcúdia is one of the most scenic towns in Mallorca. This wonderfully preserved walled medieval town is also known for its interesting historic monuments, delicious cuisine, and traditional festivals.
The town lies a distance from the sea and was fortified to protect against pirates that were a danger during the Middle Ages. Of the ancient ramparts, only the Xara and Palma gates and the Renaissance-era Bastion of Sant Ferran remain. Alcúdia has a distinct Old World ambience with it winding medieval streets and palatial Renaissance houses.
Important churches include Santa Ana and Sant Jaume and the Baroque chapel of Sant Crist with a 15th-century image of Christ. Alcúdia also has archaeological sites as the town was built on the site of an ancient Roman settlement. Remains of Roman houses, a forum, and an amphitheater lie to the south of Sant Jaume Church.
Several interesting tourist attractions are found outside the town. For those who enjoy bird-watching, La Albufera natural park on the bay attracts more than two hundred species of birds throughout the year.
A popular nearby seaside destination is the resort of Puerto Alcúdia with its sandy beach, stylish seaside promenade, and restaurant scene. The coastline around this area also has many pristine coves of crystal-clear water.
The Museo Sa Bassa Blanca has a top-notch collection of modern and contemporary art. Open Wednesday through Sunday, this eclectic museum is seven kilometers from Alcudia in a seaside garden setting with a sculpture park.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Alcudia
3. Puerto Portals: A Glamorous Seaside Resort
This glamorous seaside resort on the Southwest Coast of Majorca is a favorite destination of the Spanish royal family and other trendsetting visitors. Fashionable people flock to the upscale restaurants and designer boutiques lining the waterfront of the yacht-filled marina. Flashy cars (Ferraris and Porsches are common) add to the scene, making Puerto Portals feel like a smaller version of Monte Carlo in Monaco.
Gourmet dining is a popular pastime. Many of the cafés and restaurants have outdoor patios to soak up the sunshine and the scenery. Several top choices include the casual Tristán Bistro; the traditional Restaurant Flanigan, which serves Mediterranean cuisine; Ritzi, a happening spot that offers live entertainment; Baiben, a restaurant with a Michelin-starred chef; and the Cappuccino Grand Café, which has fabulous terrace seating beneath shady umbrellas.
Nearby, Marineland Mallorca is a favorite attraction for families with kids. Children love playing at the water park, visiting the aquariums and aviary, and seeing the animal exhibitions (including dolphin shows and sea lions performing exercises).
4. The Hilltop Town and Monastery of Valldemossa
The historic village of Valldemossa brims with old-world charm. Visitors are enchanted by the cluster of cobbled pedestrian streets, narrow alleyways, and old stone buildings. At the center of the town, a pleasant tree-shaded square (the Plaza Ramon Llull) provides an inviting spot for bustling outdoor cafés.
Valldemossa is blessed with a spectacular setting between the Tramuntana Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. The lush terraced hillside surrounding the village leads down to beaches and coves.
Below the hilltop town is a lovely harbor, the Port de Valldemossa, which still feels like a little fishing village. Tourists will enjoy sampling the fresh seafood specialties at the local restaurants.
The Real Cartuja de Valldemossa, a magnificent Carthusian monastery, was built in the 14th century on the site of an ancient Moorish Alcázar. For more than four hundred years, this serene setting offered spiritual inspiration to the Carthusian Monks who prayed and lived here.
Pianist Frédéric Chopin and novelist George Sand spent the winter of 1838-1839 at the monastery, and the room they rented is now open to the public. During the time they lived here, Chopin composed Raindrop Prelude and other works, and George Sand wrote her famous book, A Winter on Majorca.
The expansive grounds of the monastery also include the 14th-century Palacio Rey Sancho built for King Jaime II.
5. Sóller's Beautiful Seaside Scenery
This lovely little town is tucked away in an idyllic valley, surrounded by a beautiful landscape of olive groves and citrus orchards that leads to the sea.
Traveling here from Palma de Mallorca, visitors can take the famous Sóller Train (El Tren de Sóller) on a dramatic scenic ride through the Sierra de Alfàbia mountains. The Palma-Sóller railway dates back to 1912. There is also an electric tram that runs from the Port de Sóller to the town of Sóller
The town has several important historic monuments including the 14th-century parish Església de Sant Bartomeu, a monument dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and Sa Capelleta Monastery off Lluc road.
About six kilometers outside the town is the UNESCO-listed Jardines de Alfabia, the site of a Moorish Vizier's residence dating back to the 12th century. Mediterranean vegetation and tropical palm trees flourish in these delightful gardens. Other features include a fragrant lemon and orange orchard and leafy English-style landscaping. The property, including its lavish historic house, is open every day from June through October from 9:30am until 2:30pm.
The palace was designed in Baroque style and contains valuable furniture and paintings. Nestled into the valley, the Port de Sóller has a picturesque marina with the verdant hillsides as a backdrop. Many small boats and yachts are moored in the marina.
6. Llucmajor Beaches
For those seeking a sunny beach vacation, Llucmajor is an ideal choice. About 25 kilometres south of Palma de Mallorca, this spectacular stretch of the Mallorca coast has many beautiful coves, beaches, and cliffs. The 16th-century defensive towers along the Llucmajor coast offer stunning views.
The calm waters of El Arenal Beach are ideal for swimming, while part of the beach is a designated surfing area. Amenities include a yacht club, tourist office, and public toilets. Sun umbrellas, loungers, and watersports equipment are available to rent.
In a protected area at the bottom of a tidal inlet, the Cala Pi beach has natural charm despite being surrounded by hotels and housing. Cala Pi is a sandy beach with gentle crystal-clear waters that are ideal for scuba-diving. Sunbathers can rent umbrellas and loungers.
Another option is the small cove next to the Cala Blava residential area. This sandy beach is very quiet and offers sensational views of Palma Bay.
7. The Port Town of Pollença
Pollença is known for its bustling port and beautiful bay of mesmerizing deep blue seas. In the shadow of the Pollença and Calvari Mountains, the charming medieval town has two important churches.
Nuestra Señora de los Angeles (Our Lady of Angels) is the town's 18th-century parish church built on the site of a 13th-century church.
From the Nuestra Señora de los Angeles church, a cypress-lined staircase of 365 steps leads up the Iglesia de Puig del Calvari, a Baroque pilgrimage chapel.
The historic center of town is only steps away from the beaches. A popular family-friendly resort is the Port de Pollença. This gorgeous white-sand beach has an expansive shoreline and moderate waves. The beach has cafés, restaurants, a yacht club, water sports rentals, public toilets, and showers. Sun parasol and lounge chairs are available for rent.
Cala en Gossalba is an isolated beach in a remote protected location, accessible by foot or boat. The shore is gravelly rather than sandy. Both Cala en Gossalba are Port de Pollença beaches are ideal for scuba diving.
About six kilometers away from Pollença is the old fishing village of Puerto de Pollença. From here, a scenic road runs 21 kilometers northeast to Cabo Formentor at the end of a long, narrow peninsula.
One of Mallorca's most luxurious hotels is found on the Cabo Formentor overlooking the sea. The palatial Formentor Hotel provides sumptuous accommodations next to a sandy beach with crystal-clear waters. This five-star resort features an outdoor swimming pool, Mediterranean gardens, tennis courts, and five restaurants.
8. Artà's Picturesque Historic Town
The historic town of Artà is tucked into a valley that flourishes with almond, olive, and fig orchards. The mountains of Artà provide a lovely backdrop with the rolling hills extending into the distance. In fact, Artà derives its name from the Arabic word for "garden" (jertan).
From the town's parish church, the Iglesia de Transfiguración del Señor, a cypress-shaded avenue leads up to the hilltop where a fortress and the Santuari de Sant Salvador (chapel) stand overlooking town. Tourists will enjoy splendid views; the scene overlooks the tightly packed red-tile roofs of the town and extends across the verdant landscape.
Artà still has the remains of its ancient ramparts, which seem to dominate the town, and many palatial old manor houses, such as Na Batlessa, which today is home to the Municipal Library.
The town also has a Michelin-starred restaurant, Andreu Genestra, on the Carretera de Palma a Manacor in a refurbished 15th-century farmhouse or on the outdoor terrace with views of the countryside. The restaurant specializes in cuisine of the terroir, prepared from estate-grown vegetables, herbs, olives, and wheat, as well as chickens raised on the property.
Outside of Artà is the archaeological site Ses Paísses, the Monasterio de Santa Maria de Bellpuig, the 17th-century Franciscan convent of Sant Antoni de Pádua, and the Ermita de Betlem (hermitage) surrounded by a rugged landscape of scrubland and rocky hills.
Another attraction in the area is the Cuevas de Artá sight, a system of caves that contain impressive stalactites and stalagmites.
9. Deià: A Charming Artists' Village
Nestled in the Valle de los Naranjos (Valley of the Oranges) in the Tramuntana Mountains, about 15 kilometers from Sóller, this charming artists' village stands on a hillside surrounded by rolling hills and fragrant citrus plantations. The town's quaint stone houses feature tiled roofs and green shutters, typical of rural Mediterranean architecture.
The famous poet Robert Graves appreciated the idyllic setting and lived in the town for many years, inspiring other creative types to follow. The house where Graves lived, Ca N'Alluny, is now a museum open to the public. Deià is a delightful place to explore and soak up the beautiful scenery.
The town is well known for is delicious Balearic cuisine and boasts several top restaurants: the Michelin-starred Es Racó d'Es Teix restaurant; the award-winning El Olivo restaurant in the dreamy five-star Belmond La Residencia hotel; and the romantic dining room of Restaurante Sebastian, which serves traditional Mallorcan cuisine.
Beyond the historic center of Deià are several worthwhile tourist attractions. The Cala Deià is a small rocky cove with a tiny pebble beach and crystal-clear turquoise waters that are perfect for swimming. This sheltered beach has minimal facilities: public restrooms, showers, and two restaurants.
A hidden gem along Mallorca's coastline is found outside of Deià, the Monestir de Miramar. The serene grounds of the monastery feature balconies overlooking the dramatic cliffs and the deep-blue sea. Open to the public as a museum (admission fee required), the monastery dates back to the 13th century, although only a portion of the original buildings remain.
In a sublime setting near the monastery, the Son Marroig estate houses a museum devoted to the nature studies of Archduke Ludwig Salvator who purchased the property in the mid-19th century. The site is open to the public (admission fee) Monday through Saturday. Visitors love the picture-perfect gardens and marvelous sea views (especially from the site's restaurant balcony). The estate's pavilion, crafted from Carrara marble, is a popular wedding venue.
10. The Quiet Country Town of Petra
Petra is a quiet country town 43 kilometers from Palma de Mallorca and is listed as a Property of Cultural Interest. The most important sight is the convent where Friar Junípero went to school.
The town also has a museum, the Casa Museu de Fra Juníper Serra, which illustrates the life and work of Friar Junípero Serra, who was born in Petra.
Another tribute to the famous missionary is the Junipero Serra Festival held every year on the third Sunday of September. This lively event features parades with impressive floats and colorful floral offerings.
Other interesting monuments in Petra include the Iglesia de San Pedro, a Gothic church with a fortress-like facade; the Convento de Sant Bernardí, a peaceful retreat created for the Franciscans; and the Santuario de Nostra Senyora de Bonany (Sanctuary of Our Lady of Bonany), a Neo-Baroque church that presides over a hilltop.
11. Cala Figuera: A Fishing Port
Along a stunning coastline of serene turquoise waters, the Cala Figuera is a charming fishing village with a laid-back vibe. The town's white-washed houses are clustered around a hillside that reaches the waterfront. Here, many local fishermen take care of their daily task of mending nets.
At the earliest hours of the morning, the fresh catches of the day arrive at the docks, ready to be sold at the market and then prepared into delicious seafood dishes.
As expected of a seaside town, Cala Figuera offers a great selection of seafood restaurants that serve fresh local fish. Along the harbor, a scenic walking path follows the water's edge and then leads up into the cliffs. Rewarding views of the bay make the journey worthwhile.
For summertime recreation, a popular destination is four kilometers south of Cala Figuera at Cala Santanyí. This family-friendly beach is prized for its sandy shoreline, calm crystal-clear waters, and well-organized facilities. Many visitors enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving here.
12. The Calvia Coastline
A spectacular rugged landscape, the Calvià coastline extends 50 kilometers winding around foothills, cliffs, and bays. This area boasts many excellent beaches and remote isles, beckoning sun-worshippers and nature lovers.
One of the prettiest beaches is Cala Vinyes, a small sandy shore with calm waters ideal for swimming and bathing. Umbrella and lounge chair rentals are available, however the site has no public toilet facilities.
The fine golden-sand shoreline of the Playa de Palmanova extends for one kilometer and is well equipped with public toilets, showers, rentals for umbrellas and lounge chairs, snack bars, and cafés. Families appreciate this Blue Flag beach because it has lifeguards; a children's area; and clean, calm waters ideal for swimming. The beach is also great for water sports and scuba diving.
Other beaches along the Calvià coastline include the Playas Paguera, an urban beach with public facilities, and Cala de Santa Ponça, an expansive beach with a yacht club, sun umbrella and lounge chair rentals, and a tourist office.
Where to Stay in Mallorca for Sightseeing
- The AH Art Hotel Palma in Palma de Mallorca is a stylish boutique hotel in a convenient central location near many tourist attractions. The hotel decor blends contemporary style with antique furnishing. Amenities include a concierge, paid parking, bicycle rentals, and complimentary breakfast.
- Another boutique hotel in Palma de Mallorca, the four-star Posada Terra Santa offers a wide range of amenities, including an outdoor pool, sauna, restaurant with room service, and complimentary breakfast; there is also an on-site full-service spa.
- Tourists looking for a sophisticated hotel in trendy Port de Pollença will appreciate the Hoposa Pollentia Hotel, a four-star establishment located right on the beach. Amenities include a rooftop swimming pool and sundeck with cabana beds, a fitness center, snack bar, restaurant, and evening entertainment. Complimentary breakfast is available.
- The four-star Ferrer Concord Hotel & Spa is a stylish beachfront hotel in C'an Picafort that offers an all-inclusive option. Amenities include a restaurant, spa, fitness center, sauna, and outdoor pool.
- The three-star Hotel Can Mostatxins is located in Alcúdia in two historic buildings. Guest rooms feature minimalistic contemporary-style decor and updated bathrooms. Amenities include a full-service spa with indoor pools, and a complimentary buffet breakfast.
- A family-friendly hotel in Playa de Muro, the four-star Viva Blue & Spa is just 100 meters from the beach and close to a nature reserve. The hotel offers a kids' club and a large outdoor swimming pool. Spacious guest rooms and suites feature kitchenettes.
- A reasonably priced three-star option in Port de Pollença is the Hoposa Hotel Bahia. Nestled in a protected bay right next to the beach, the hotel has a good restaurant with pleasant outdoor seating. Many guest rooms have sea views. Accommodations include a complimentary breakfast buffet.
- The Pension Bellavista in Port de Pollença offers youth hostel-style accommodations near the beach. The pension has a restaurant that is the area's only vegetarian (and vegan) restaurant. Other amenities include a rooftop terrace and laundry service.
- In a quiet neighborhood outside the center of Palma de Mallorca, the Hotel Abelux is a modern hotel with air-conditioned guest rooms. Some rooms feature private balconies. This two-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk, concierge, bicycle rentals, and a breakfast buffet.
Tips and Tours: How to Make the Most of Your Visit to Majorca (Mallorca)
- Adventures in the Serra de Tramuntana: Thrill-seekers will love this half-day cliff-jumping excursion in the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range. Adventures include rappelling down cliff faces and jumping into plunge pools, as well as traversing ravines and streams. The tour includes full instruction, so beginners are welcome.
- Guided Tour of Mallorca's Northern Coast: This full-day guided tour is an excellent way to see some of the island's highlights. A knowledgeable guide gives insights, while tourists enjoy a variety of experiences, including sunbathing on the beaches of Formentor, shopping at a local market, a boat trip to the Port de Pollença, and a stop at a scenic viewpoint to admire the Serra de Tramuntana mountains.
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