From the grandiose to the impossibly beautiful, inland or coastal, busy or relatively untouched by tourism, there's some absolute gems to be discovered in Mallorca. Here's our recommendations for the best towns on the island.
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Grand merchant houses, orange and lemon groves, a famous tram which connects the small town of Soller with the Port de Soller district – all surrounded by the steep hills of the Serra de Tramuntana. Soller is an old Mediterranean town, designed around narrow streets with traditional style residential townhouses and is very popular with tourists & day trippers. Known as Vall d’Or (Golden Valley), orange and lemon groves have been watered from sources in the hills as far back as the 13th century with exports of citrus fruit laying the foundations for the great wealth of the town.
Located within a horseshoe shaped bay with great sea views and a mountain backdrop, this family-friendly tourist resort of Port de Pollensa was once a fishing village & still features a large marina. Entrancing views over to the jagged formations of the Formentor peninsula, the display of traditional llaüts (Mallorcan fishing boats), prohibitive building regulations and long swathes of sandy beach make the port very attractive and faithful visitors return to the resort time and time again.
A small picturesque and authentic coastal hillside town located in a cleft in the Serra de Tramuntana’s seaward wall and steeped in history and authentic Mallorcan culture. The town was founded by the Arabs in the 10th century and the name Banyalbufar means ‘built next to the sea’ in Arabic. The majority of visitors come to Banyalbufar to see the ancient terraced hillsides descending down to the sea known as ses marjades. This quaint, rabbit warren of a town is surrounded by the Tramuntana mountain range and boasts many visitors…
Santyani is a handsome inland town in south east Mallorca. Both serene and historic, it is located between Parc Natural de Mondragó and Ses Salines and the honey-coloured architecture, fine choice of bars, boutique shops, art galleries & restaurants are a massive draw to tourists. Particularly favoured by German tourists, this pretty, rural, authentically Mallorcan town is blessed with beautiful natural surroundings. With a slow pace of life, quaint cobbled streets and majestic church, Santyani has a special quality.
Ariany is a small inland rural town with around 800 residents located in the es Pla region of the island. Definitely a hidden gem and off the beaten track, the town boasts seven windmills and a beautiful parish church which has been remodelled many times since 1570. The church named ‘Església de Nostra Senyora de Atotxa’ is architecturally interesting and playful in style with a beautiful façade, three pointed arches and an impressive balcony with balusters.
Known by the locals as just Santa Maria, this rural market town is located within the heart of the wine district in central Mallorca and is home to one of the biggest names in wine on the island, Bodegas Macià Batle. Santa Maria is well-known in Mallorca for its Sunday market and is very well-visited due to the excellent transport links to the town from the rest of the island. The town transforms from sleepy to vibrant as people gather in the marketplace to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables and locally made crafts.
If you are interested in experiencing a little authentic Mallorcan life and want a break from the busy tourist areas, Campanet is definitely worth a brief detour. Quilted with luscious sheep-grazed meadows and surrounded by stunning landscapes, this small town of around 2600 inhabitants is an appealing village with a central square dominated by a 18th century looming Gothic church. Located above picturesque and little-visited countryside, the town of Campanet is not on the radar of most tourists >
A picturesque, harbour town in the south east of the island, Cala Figuera has remained a working fishing port. Beautiful painted houses with slipways reaching down to the water’s edge, steep scrubby escarpments, fig trees and crystal waters all help to make the town impossibly pretty. Despite being located to some of Mallorca’s busiest resorts, Cala Figuera does not have a touristy feel to it…
Alcúdia is a beautiful medieval walled town of quiet charm and character in the north-east of Mallorca just a few kilometres inland from the coast. Surrounded by mighty walls that contain historic mansions, scenic plazas, cafés with beautiful terraces & warm-stone houses, this vibrant town is a year-round destination, providing a rich taste of history and culture. The town is Mallorca’s largest tourist hub in the north of the island…
Cala d’Or, often referred to as the ‘Golden Bay’ is a very popular holiday resort located in the southeast of the island. It is particularly suited to families. The name ‘Golden Bay’ derives from the fact that it is located furthest away from the Serra de Tramuntana mountains; which have a disruptive affect on weather patterns and therefore it benefits from increased sunshine hours. It also happens to be close to some of the best beaches in Mallorca.
Artà is a quiet, attractive rural town with a maze of narrow streets, medieval buildings and pretty cafes with an impressive hilltop fortress built in the 14th century. Tucked away in a picturesque valley and 10 km inland from the northeast coast of the island, it is framed by mountains and beautiful rugged hills courtesy of the Llevant Natural Park. The town has stayed relatively untouched by tourism, the main visitors being German resulting in the German language becoming Arta’s unofficial third language.
Petra is a traditional rural town in the middle of the island with two impressive 16th and 17th century churches, an in-town winery, long streets of sand coloured houses, a museum, a couple of good restaurants & a bucket full of charm. Relatively untouched by tourism, mainly due to its inland location, the town is home to less than 3,000 residents, almost all of them being locals. It is the perfect destination for travellers who wish to escape the touristy parts of the island and get off the beaten track.
Port d’Andratx is a charming, picturesque port in the southwest of the island with a stylish, affluent and International atmosphere built from the mid-20th century around the existing fishing port and separate from the much older Andratx town. Considered by many to be the loveliest harbour in Spain, the port with its long natural bay attracts the yachting fraternity from far afield and the rich and famous own villas that you can see taking up prominent positions on the hillsides.
For amateur or professional cyclists, Mallorca has some of the most spectacular cycling routes in Europe. There are many routes to choose from and to help you, each month, we will list five of the best cycling routes on the island. In the southern part of the Tramuntana Mountains, you will find one of the most popular cycling routes, the coastal road linking the town of Esporles with the picturesque port town of Andratx.
Mallorca has everything that makes exploration by foot worthwhile. From the dramatic Tramuntana mountains, to incredible gorges such as ‘Es Torrent de Pareis’ to majestic pine forests or the stunning coastline, there is a route to suit all levels of hikers. Hikers in Mallorca have the distinct advantage that the majority of trekking routes on the island are signposted and well-maintained due to the diligence of The Consell de Mallorca and following a particular route is fairly easy.
You'll get a real taste of Majorca during this winery visit. Get the lowdown on everything from harvesting to barrelling as you tour the vineyards and the wine production area. And to round off the experience, you'll to sample four of the wines produced at Bodegas Vi Rei.