The largest of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca is the island with more diversity, from great beaches, cosmopolitan life in the city of Palma and of course the night life. We stayed at the Barceló Ponent Playa located on a calm area of Mallorca with a beautiful beach by its side.
This was the first trip by ourselves other than Portugal, and I must say, we loved it, going exploring with only a satnav (or GPS-whatever you want to call it) and crosses on a paper map!!
First day (Cruise + nearby beaches)
The beaches in Mallorca have such a distinct rock formation called “Calas” and in some of them, if they are high enough, you can find a sort of dock were the boats can stop. We went on a cruise that took us from our hotel in Cala D’or to Portocolom and back with a stopover for some dives in the Mediterranean ocean. We used this company called Starfish. The boat trip takes about 2hours with a 45min for swim. You can buy the tickets in the hotel, on board or by official retailers like travel agencies. You don’t have to come to Cala D’Or, it stops as well in Cala Ferrera, Cala Esmeralda, Es fortí and Cala Egos.
After spending the rest of the afternoon exploring the nearby beaches like Cala Ferrera and Portopetro, it was time to hire a car and see what the rest of Mallorca had to offer!!
Second Day (Port Sóller + Beach and Port Sa Calobra + Palma + Magaluf)
When exploring the West of the island, Port Sóller was the first stop with a 1h and 30min drive. This is a small coastal village surrounded by the Tramuntana Mountains with beautiful scenery and a marina, tram, many restaurants and souvenir shops.
A 1 hour drive from Port Sóller to the beach and port of Sa Calobra, the parking was terrible here. The parking is either on the side of the road or expensive car parks. It is a bit of walk, it’s ok on the way there, the problem is coming back (up the hill). A place that everyone brags about because you have go past a tunnel under the mountains and see a small pebble beach. Starts with an amazing drive where you can choose to do the fastest and boring drive through the tunnel or you can choose the adventure of driving through the mountain’s narrow and full of curves roads (you can see “S” shaped roads on the mountain hill) and everywhere you look you can take a picture! Once at the beach, this is a truly breathtaking beach, surrounded by mountains and clear blue water, amazing!!
Another 1hour and 25 minutes drive to visit the capital of the Island, Palma, we parked the car in the El Cort Inglés because it was a well-known shopping center so if we got lost it would be easy to ask. This vibrant and very clean town is full of life and most of the old buildings are renovated. On our way back to the car we got lost, obviously, so I tried with my best Spanish to ask a couple of young girls that crossed paths with us, when she replies back “which one?” So, in this tiny island there are TWO El Cort Inglés. Luckily, my husband remembered that he saw a McDonald’s near the one that we parked!! uff
The night life
If you want to experience the night life, you need to go to the famous Magaluf (about 25minutes drive from Palma), it seems that you are back in England, full of youngsters. It wasn’t in our plans but you have to go and see it to talk about it, I think. We pre-booked a show in Magaluf, the “Pirates” but unfortunately there was a miss communication between the people that sold us the tickets and the organisation and the show had been cancelled. However, the trip was not lost, we just went for a couple more drinks.
Third day (Cuevas Del Drach + Cala Minor + Beach exploring)
To the North-East of the island, one of the “must see’s” in Mallorca is the Cuevas Del Drach (30 minutes’ drive from our hotel), it is a 1,2km path around 25 meters deep with a temperature of 21ºC and humidity of 80%. Crazy isn’t it? But what an amazing cave, not that I have been in many! This tour takes about 1h and it has a 170 meter lake where a show takes place, yes, there is a show! It’s good to check the times to visit.
From Porto Cristo, where the Cuevas Del Drach is, we went up to Cala Millor (15minutes drive), a beach with a coastline of 6km, very different from most on the Island. If you like water sports, this is the place to do it. There is a watersport center and they have scuba diving, snorkeling, jet skiing and many others. From there we made our way back to Cala D’OR but this time following any sign that said “Platja” (Beach in Spanish) so I can’t really name the different beaches we stopped at on the way back but the views were amazing and it’s always worthwhile to explore!
Fourth day (Alcanada Beach + Formentor)
Saving the best for last, the north part starting from Alcanada Beach (1hour and 16 minutes from the hotel), a quiet place with its own lighthouse island, is one of those places for Instagram pictures. 😉 At the time I didn’t even know what Instagram was or probably it hadn’t even existed yet!
Driving to Formentor you have to go up the mountains and then down to find the beach with a tropical vibe, it doesn’t have a very long depth of sand, but that’s what makes it so special. It is surrounded by hills full of greenery and a line of palm trees just where the sand starts. It takes about 25 minutes to drive from Alcanada Beach but bear in mind that because this is a very, very famous and small place there is not much parking. We got there about lunch time and as some people you go for half a day (as we did) we got a bit lucky with the parking!
Fifth day (Inca Market)
With about 1 hours drive from the hotel, the Inca market, the biggest on the island, is held every Thursday and they sell a bit off everything from fruit, olives, leather goods to clothes, even artisanal soaps. Perfect for that souvenir shopping.
The rest of our time was spent by the beach recovering strength to go back, absorbing that vitamin D because back in England there is not much around, haha! Thank you for reading, I have so much more to share, please feel free to leave comments! Safe travels everyone!