Blessed with golden bays and cobalt blue waters, Mallorca is a natural beauty striving to overcome its hedonistic past.
Thanks to spectacular scenery and new legislation to ban late-night drunken frivolities, the island is quickly shaking off its former lairy persona in favour of a more up-market kind of tourism – all because of the many beautiful Mallorca attractions.
Although there are still plenty of bars to satisfy the ubiquitous party-goer, Mallorca is slowly returning to its glamorous 1920s roots, when the island played host to the Hollywood jet-set, counting Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor amongst its illustrious guests.
Top Mallorca attractions and activities
So, whether you’re perusing the holiday lettings, Mallorca has to offer for a sophisticated sojourn, or a sun-soaked week of partying, check out the below list for some must-do activities to make your most of your time on the stunning Balearic island.
Metropolitan Sophistication in Palma’s Old Town
Once a favoured haunt of lager-louts, Palma has cleaned up its act in recent years. An essential visit for the budget-conscious is the Placa d’en Coll, a pretty square in the old town which has recently undergone a face-lift.
Previously raucous hangouts have been replaced with attractive little cafes and sophisticated tapas bars, with many offering three-course meals for less than fifteen Euros. It is a joy to spend a whole afternoon getting lost down the windy, cobbled lanes, browsing tiny shops selling everything from traditional pottery to high-fashion clothing. Check out this local tapas night.
Vineyard Hopping in Binissalem
The wine industry in Mallorca is booming, and vineyard tours are growing in popularity in the island’s main wine destination, Binissalem. There are even ‘wine express’ trains which will pick you up from popular wine cellars in the village and take you into the gorgeous Mallorcan countryside to enjoy a glass amongst the grapevines and a tour of the vineyard.
Perusing the Art Scene in Palma
Another highlight is Palma’s burgeoning art scene, with the newly-opened Es Baluard Museum of Art acting as a cultural Mecca of contemporary Spanish art. The famous artist Joan Miró lived and worked in Palma for most of the 60’s and 70’s, and you can visit his beautiful studio where over five thousand of his pieces are now housed.
Hiking the Mountains of the West Coast
One of the island’s most awe-inspiring natural attractions, the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range is an absolute must-see. Whether you are into cycling, climbing or bird watching, the mountain range is awash with wonderful activities, including a hike up to the ruined monastery of La Trapa, which is suitable for beginners.
If you fancy something a little less arduous, the glory of the mountains can be viewed from a drive along the coastal path from Port d’Andratx to Sóller, offering exceptional scenic views.
Experiencing another world in the Coves del Drach
Another one of the Mallorca attractions is the incredible network of underground caves, especially along the island’s east coast. The most impressive system is the Coves del Drach, four huge caves extending to a depth of 25 metres. The caves house a gigantic underground lake and thousands of iridescent stalagmite and stalactite formations, all subtly lit, creating an almost magical feel. Despite feeling somewhat commercialized, the coves are beautiful, and certainly an excellent way to get out of the midday sun.
Here’s an express tour of the caves.