My family and I have been lucky enough to visit the beautiful Balearic Island of Mallorca several times over the past decade. We have visited as a family with small children and then again with teenagers. Hands down it is one of my most favourite places in the world, so I thought I would share with you some of the best places to go to for all the family.
The Balearic Islands are perfectly placed in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea and just a short hop, approx. 2 hours flight, from the UK you can be soaking up the sun and sitting on a beach that literally rivals the Caribbean. Mallorca is the biggest Island out of the five Balearics and as such has the most in the way of stunning coastal beaches and coves for your pleasure
As holiday destinations go, I think, in Mallorca there is something for everyone to enjoy. From the beaches, nightclubs, bars/restaurants, water-parks, wineries, rolling mountains and buzzing capital city, Palma, everyone is more than catered for.
Palma de Mallorca is the Capital City
Let's start with Palma. Known as The Pearl of the Mediterranean. The city of Palma has so much to offer. It is such a beautiful city, with a huge marina that houses 650 berths. In the height of summer it is not unusual to spot A list celebs, Paris Hilton, The Obama's and Catherine Zeta-Jones to name drop a few, hopping on and off their luxury yachts. The marina is also a great place to enjoy an evening out with loads of buzzing bars and restaurants to sample.
The surrounding narrow streets of the old town are home to many interesting small independent boutiques that will keep you occupied for hours. If you feel in the mood to splash the cash then head over to Avenida Jaimie III where you will find all the high end designer stores.
This is the must visit shopping street in Palma and the home to my personal favourite Spanish department store, El Corte Ingles, think of super stylish Spanish version of John Lewis but so much better. It has a delicious food hall that would rival any supermarket in terms of quality and selection of products. There is also a restaurant and many floors of homewares, clothes, sports goods and lots more! Every time we have shopped there we have found great discounts and they often run schemes for tourists to claim large discounts on their purchase's, so be sure to check with guest services before you shop.
14th Century Bellver Castle
If you are in need of some culture, then there are some great places to visit. There is the Military Museum of San Carlos, where you can learn about the history of Mallorca's military. Or take an invigorating walk up the hill to Bellver Castle. Where you will see the most spectacular views of the city and can explore the castle and its history. It even imprisoned King Jaume IV for a spell. If you don't want to walk through the scented Pine trees you can jump on the City sightseer's bus as it makes a stop here.
Another must see when in Palma is the 14th century Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca known as Le Seu. Situated right on the coast. This is a wonderful way to shade from the hot sun for a while and take in the amazing 61 stain glass windows, the central one being in the shape of a rose, which floods the cathedral with beautiful beams of coloured light
Bellver Castle - an imposing Gothic Citadel in Palma de Mallorca. Here you will enjoy some history and see the best views of Palma
Where to stay in Mallorca
There are so many coastal resorts, too many to mention, where you can easily pass a couple of blissful sunshine filled weeks. If you are a group of young people that want beach by day and party by night then head to the south of the island. Where the resorts of Magaluf and Palma Nova reign supreme. These can get rowdy so best avoided if it's quiet family time you're after.
The north of the island is a splendid choice in my personal opinion. The resorts of Alcudia and Pollenca are perfect for families and couples that are looking for a fun and relaxing break.
The old town of Pollenca is so pretty and a huge pull to tourists with all the delicious places to eat and drink and the famous Calvari Steps, a steep climb with 365 steps up to the Church at the top, but when you get there the views will take your breath away once again. The old town holds a market in the square a couple of mornings a week and make no mistake you will not find fresher food in the whole of Spain.
Alcudia is a great choice for families with younger children as there are lots of fun activities to keep you busy. Playgrounds, waterparks, and child friendly hotels can all be found here. Alcudia Port is where you will find HidroPark, a good waterpark for all ages. Be sure to book online as you may be able to save some money on the entrance fee if you book in advance. You can book fast track tickets as well that helps you speed through the queues. In between Pollenca and Alcudia there is a choppy bit of coastline that is very popular with water sports enthusiasts and there are facilities where you can hire wind and kite surfing if you feel like something more active and adrenaline fuelled.
Enjoy exploring the Dragon Caves in Porto Christo. Spend a few hours marvelling at nature in this underground labyrinth of caves and rock pools
What to do in Mallorca
The Coves del Drach , or Dragon Caves, in Porto Christo make for a phenomenal day out. Their reach extends to a depth of 25 metres and are around 4 kilometres in length. This is is one of the largest subterranean lakes in the whole world. You get to walk through the caves and see all the stunningly beautiful stalagmites/ stalactites and rock pools within the caves and once you arrive at the end there is a live performance of classical music on played boats, it is so magical and makes such special memories.
The Cap de Formentor and neighbouring beach by the same name is definitely one to cross off your to do list. Fill up your phone with Insta worthy selfies and vistas with this breath takingly beautiful beach and clifftop. The drive up and down is very windy but they do have buses that can take you to both the peak of the cliff with the lighthouse and you can also gain access to the beach by a ferry that departs from Puerto Pollenca. One thing to bear in mind is to arrive early as the Formentor beach is so in demand that it can get extremely busy in peak times. Once you are there you will be so amazed at how clear, warm and tranquil the Mediterranean sea is. The beach is lined by Pine trees and they provide some much needed shade to get out of the sun to have a picnic.
My family and I have spent so many happy days here and will never tire of going back. The water is crystal clear and warm. It is very safe for smaller children as the beach is not too deep so you can keep a very close eye on the shoreline. The facilities are good with parking available, a restaurant and cafe, general gift and sundries shop, sun loungers and they also have pedal boats to hire. Everything you could need for a day at the beach
Cap de Formentor Beach has the most crystal clear and clean water, such a pleasure to swim in.
I can go on and on about the beautiful beaches but let's be honest the main reason us Brits keep going back to Mallorca is the S-word, SUNSHINE!! The weather in Mallorca in the peak summer is hot hot hot!
It is not uncommon for the temperature to exceed 30 degrees. With record temps hitting 39-40 degrees Celsius. So if you are not a sun-worshipper then don't go there in July and August, instead opt for early summer or late September. In September the temp stays in the mid to high 20's, so still very warm compared to back home.
May is a very good time to plan your visit if you want to take advantage of the lower temperatures, they tend to stay at around 23-24 degrees so still very pleasant. This is when lots of cycle enthusiasts visit to take long bike rides through the Tramuntana Mountains, translated to 'Mountains of the North Wind' they run the 90 kilometre North-west coastline and the views are sublime. These stunning mountains were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011 and run from Andratx all the way to Pollenca.
There is still so much left for my family to do and see in Mallorcan. Like, take the old fashioned train from Palma, it drives through old Mallorcan villages and ends up at the Tramuntana Mountains and journeys over the five-point viaduct in Soller, definitely on my next trips itinerary. Or visit more , we have been to a couple already, Mallorcan Bodegas. Here you can book a tour and see how they make the wine, sample the delicious wine itself and most places serve delicious tapas as well, makes for a perfect day!
Honestly I don't think we will ever run out of things to enjoy, I cannot wait to make our next set of memories on this magnificent island.