Things to do in Mallorca: our top 10
A great summer holiday destination for couples and families at all ages and stages, here’s our lowdown on Mallorca’s top ten ‘must-dos’:
1. Pollença Old Town Market and Inca Market
Held every Sunday morning in an authentic Mallorcan setting, outside the town hall which was converted from a former Jesuit convent. With over 300 stalls you'll find fruit and vegetables, plants, clothes, shoes and souvenirs. About half an hour’s drive away from Puerto Pollença is the town of Inca, home of the biggest weekly market in Mallorca (Thursday mornings) and famous for its leather goods including shoes, bags and jackets.
2. The Campanet Caves
This spectacular underground world of stalactites and stalagmites was discovered in the 1940s by a farmer looking for a more reliable source of water for his crops. Today you can explore caverns almost 300m deep along floodlit pathways, with hourly guided tours. Lots of steps so not ideal for buggies, but older children love the sense of adventure and it's fantastically cool in the height of summer.
3. Take the train
The Ferrocarril de Sóller, or Sóller Railway, has been taking passengers between Sóller and Palma de Mallorca since 1912. The attractive route offers a fantastic opportunity to see some of Mallorca’s finest landscapes without the hassle of driving. Travelling over and through the Alfabia mountain range, the railway takes passengers uphill, through tunnels, across bridges and the five-arched ‘cinc-ponts’ viaduct. Alternatively, you could take the tram from Sóller to Puerto de Sóller, a service which has been running since 1913. Though designed for passengers, the tram was also used to transport merchandise such as fresh fish and coal to the port.
4. Almundaina Palace: Palma
Overlooking the harbour, this formidable gothic structure was originally an Arab fortress built in the 13th century. Following King Jaime I’s conquest of the island, it became the seat of the kingdom of Mallorca until 1344 when Pedro IV amalgamated the Balearics into the kingdom of Aragon. The palace is now used by the King of Spain during summer ceremonies and houses tapestries and furniture from throughout history, as well as the beautiful S’Hort des Rei gardens.
5. Bike hire: Puerto Pollença
Discover the surrounding countryside and Serra de Tramuntana mountains by bike. You can hire both road and mountain bikes in Puerto Pollença and explore independently, or book on a day’s excursion complete with guides and packed lunches.
6. Palma Cathedral
A Gothic architectural marvel, Palma’s cathedral was built over 300 years during the 14th and 17th centuries. Also known as La Seu, the cathedral is now dedicated to the city’s patron saint, Saint Sebastian, and supposedly houses pieces of the True Cross as well as the tombs of Mallorcan kings Jaime II and Jaime III.
7. The Albufereta
A short drive from Puerto Pollença and Pollença is the Albufereta Nature Reserve, a former lagoon separated from the sea by sand dunes that has now become a large flood plain covering around 1,700 hectares of marshes and dunes. Home to over 300 species of plant life and serving as a nesting site and a stopping point for migrating birds such as the marsh harrier, stilt sandpiper, yellow wagtail and the purple gallinule, this expanse of grass and wetland is the perfect place to absorb nature’s beauty.
8. The Circular Bellver Castle
Unique in all of Spain on account of its circular shape, and one of the few circular castles in Europe, this Gothic style castle on the outskirts of Palma was built for King Jaime II in the 14th century. Once serving as a residence for traveling monarchs, the castle now houses the city’s history museum and is used for public ceremonies and cultural events.
9. Muro Beach, Alcudia: Near Puerto Pollença
A family-friendly beach, this six mile stretch of white, gently sloping sand is lined with pine trees offering natural shade, and has a handful of bars and restaurants close by. Whether you want to just lie in the sun and enjoy a dip in the azure water, take advantage of the watersports facilities, or venture into the S’Albufera Natural Park which lies just behind, this beach has something for everyone.
10. Tuent Beach: Near Sóller
Thanks to the slightly windy road down, this beach is a beautifully quiet spot. A mix of sand and pebbles, the cove is sheltered by pine trees and overlooked by the tiny Sant Llorenç chapel. There is a very good restaurant on the hillside above the cove.