The Balearic Island of Mallorca is a dream getaway vacation if there ever was one. The island is home stunning some of most pristine sandy beaches on the planet; turquoise seas that offer a wide range of watersport activities; lush mountains in the backdrop that only add to the natural landscape; an eclectic past giving it a unique cultural flavour, and all of these things come together to lend the island city an irresistible charm that very few other cities can match up to.
But with such a widened appeal, it becomes difficult to put your finger on the one particular thing that you would want to take away from your vacation. But luckily for us, most towns and villages on the island have come to be associated with their own unique distinctive sets of activities that best suit their setting. And we are here to help you unravel those little details so you know exactly what you are walking into while choosing your ideal accommodation. Here, we have listed some of the best neighbourhoods of Mallorca and what they might have in store for you traveller!
Palma de Mallorca
Palma de Mallorca, or simply Palma, is one of the most eclectic cities of the island. Equal parts vintage and mordane, the city truly is testament of the island's ability to preserve its cultural riches in face of rapid development. The central cathedral of Santa Maria is possibly one of the most recognisable landmarks on the island and is a good place to start your sightseeing tours from. The nearby fortress of Almudaina, the island's popular Moorish landmark and the Bellver Castle, the citadel palace and museum are must visit spots for history buffs. The latter, sitting atop a small hillock at the extreme western end of the city also offers sweeping views of the city as a whole.
The city has established a reputation of offering one of the best gourmet experiences anywhere in the world. Central thoroughfares and avenues are all lined with top restaurants (known for the island's best delicacies) and casual diners (popular amongst the Gen Z crowds for their artsy appeal) that are thronged by locals and tourists alike. The Mercat de l’Olivar is a popular food market, serving fresh produce including premier cheese and great desserts and pastries all under a single roof. Many bars and pubs stay open late into the night, lending the city an alternative appeal. Palma's city centre also has many chic boutiques and home-grown businesses, making it a popular choice for the shopaholics.
Palma is home to the international airport and is the easy to access through all public transport. The city itself is best explored on foot as the central districts are mostly compact and rather jam-packed. And as far as accommodation is concerned, Palma also offers a nice range of options in all budget ranges.
Colònia de Sant Jordi
The southern coastal town of Colònia de Sant Jordi is perfect for travellers looking for a quintessential Mallorcan vacation, without having to run into big crowds every time they decide to hit the beaches. The Beach D'es Molí de S'estany is the most extensive of the neighborhood's sandy strips; the water is clear and great for swimming and the beach also has a few nice eating joints and bars that offer a nice selection of local snacks. The Platja de Es Port is an even more private experience as this small beach rarely has any crowds, making it a great spot to visit with your family or with small groups. The nearby Cabrera Aquarium is also a great place to acquaint yourself with the marine life of the region.
Most visitors to Sant Jordi prefer to spend their evenings in the city centre, enjoying the luxury to choose from amongst the best home-grown eateries. The gourmet industry in the neighborhood is really basic and a marked departure from the more mainstream options available in some of the bigger cities on the island. Take a walking tour of the rather compact city centre until you come across something that grabs your attention. The Faro Colònia de Sant Jordi is surrounded by a cobblestone path, which inturn is the perfect setting for late evening walks and a popular choice for sunset viewings.
Sant Jordi is serviceable through road and getting a taxi or a rental car are both viable options. Hotels and resorts should be easy to in the neighborhood, especially in areas close to the beaches.
Travel a little eastward along the coast from Sant Jordi and you will find yourself in the vicinity of Cala d'Or, one of Mallorca's most pristine beach villages. Centred around a sea inlet that has been transformed into a mega marina, the charming town is surrounded by sparkling water. There's a wide list of choices even when it comes to beaches, with each offering its own unique experience. The coves of Cala Gran and Cala Marçal have the finest of sandy strips blending seamlessly into the turquoise waters and are popular spots for a day of relaxation. Pine trees dominate most of the beaches with a the like of Cala Sa Nau also featuring varied landscapes such as a limestone cliff.
The bountiful natural setting of the village is well complimented by the gourmet industry here. While international brands have begun to crop up in the centtal parts of the town, tapa bars and small pubs crowd the beaches. Lively crowds can be found in almost all parts of the town; especially charming are the pastel-coloured enclaves of the downtown part. Tour the cobblestone streets in search for your choice of restaurants or spend your time marvelling at the unique modern-looking yet antique architecture of the local buildings and townhouses. The nearby Castillo de Santueri is a good spot to take in the fresh mountain breeze during an afternoon away from the beaches.
Cala d'Or has a large number of hotels and resorts to choose from. You can pick according to your budget range or based on location (close to beach or in the downtown part of town). Getting around is easy in this part of the island as beaches are fairly close to the business districts.
One of the best places for an authentic Mallorcan experience is the small northeastern village of Alcúdia. The old town is guarded by restored medieval era walls; the area is home to buildings and structures dating over a century old. The cobblestone streets and narrow alleys lend an old-world charm to this part of the island that is unmatched by any other. The compact neighborhood is packed with eye-catching landmarks including the central Església de Sant Jaume d'Alcúdia church, the ruins of Roman civilization at the Ruines Romanes de Pollentia. The Murada Medieval d'Alcúdia has elevated broad-walks that offer sweeping 360 views of the town.
The restaurants and cafes are very local and serve some of the best Mallorcan cuisine; do not discount the establishments based on their plain and simple appearances. But that's not to say that Alcúdia has a dearth of entertainment options. The adjacent Port de Alcúdia has modern facilities including several resorts and hotels, a long sandy beach lined with tapas bars and the more western eateries ranging from a KFC to other casual diners. The Alcúdia beach attracts mostly families looking for a long beach day; the shallow waters are good for swimming and you can rent an umbrella for an outdoor picnic or sunbathing in the serene setting.
Hotels and resorts are largely concentrated around the Port de Aclúdia. But getting a homestay or a rental apartment in the main village is also a great idea, especially if you are looking for a more private experience.
If you are looking to enjoy a morning hike and fresh mountain breeze, without having to miss out on the beach action, Pollença is the place for you. Situated at the foothills of Mallorca's games Tramuntana mountain range, this small village is a great getaway vacation in the waiting. The lush surroundings are just perfect for people looking to explore the natural landscape of the island; and that goes beyond the coves and beaches as the mountains in the neighborhood are just as pristine. A hike or stroll along the walking trails will soon become your favourite daytime activity owing to the beautiful biodiversity and stunning views that await you at the summits.
Add to that some scarcely crowded beaches and you have yourself a complete Mallorcan experience. There are a handful of great waterfront restaurants that you should definitely visit, both for their setting and delicious seafood options. Activities around the beach and widely varied; other than usual volleyball and sunbathing, you can also take part in paddleboarding and scuba diving excursions. There is also a popular promenade in the vicinity, which is the top choice for people spending their evenings at. As such, the city streets are delightful. Start your tour from one of major plazas or public square and explore the labyrinth of alleyways.
The village has a range of boutique hotels that promise an authentic Mallorcan stay, but the closer you get to the beach the more modern your accommodation options get. Hotels in Pollença are reasonably prices, making it one of the best neighbourhoods to stay in on a budget.
Port de Sóller
Saving some of the best for the last: Port de Sóller is a cultural hub of sorts, one that has really held its own in the midst of an ever growing tourism industry. The town comes off as a fairy tale village withs stone churches and miniscule townhouses all set in the background of the lush mountain terrain. The port is centred around an inlet and has a few top notch beaches that attracts crowds throughout the year. The once up and coming gourmet industry has firmly now firmly established itself as one of the highlights of the town. Restaurants and cafes, the one close to the beach, are particularly exquisite.
The town is known for its iconic orange trams, which stand out in the green setting. Do not miss out on thr journey between the village and the port using the age-old transit line. The village itself is elegant in the most tropical ways possible; the eye-catching orchards and the quaint walking and biking mountain trails are all amongst the top rated activities in the town. Sóller is also fairly close to another popular getaway Mallorcan village, Fornalutx, which promises to be an even greater temporal beauty than it's more famed counterpart. The one thing that Fornalutx does not offer, is a chance to explore the island's stunning coastline. But don't worry as that's something that you can get your hands on at the Port de Sóller, with its many boat excursion yours.
Sóller is not known for its extensive hotel count, but finding a chic boutique hotel should not be particularly hard. the city is easily accessible as regular bus service connects it to the capital Palma.
That, then, is our complete list on Mallorca. Take your pick and start packing for your next getaway; a Balearic paradise awaits you, traveller!