Mallorca is a gorgeous island with everything you could ever ask for - picturesque villages, a buzzing city, gorgeous beaches, impressive mountains, vibrant turquoise water and delicious food. You could probably stay here for a month. Buuuut you could also head here for a quick 48 hour getaway from pretty much anywhere in Europe. Read on for how to make the most of a speedy weekend trip.
where to stay.
Both times I've been to Mallorca I've stayed in Santa Ponca, at the very same hotel actually. Santa Ponca is a great base for exploring beaches and heading into Palma for drinks or dinner. There are also a number of restaurants in the area should you wish to stick around your accommodation.
Both times I visited I stayed at the Iberostar Jardin Del Sol. This is an adults-only resort right on the water. The rooms are a little dated, but the restaurant views at breakfast, gorgeous pool and sea access more than make up for that (and SUP boards are available free of charge to explore the bay). I would highly recommend if you're looking for an upscale place to relax and enjoy the beautiful Balearic sea.
what to do.
You could spend two full weeks on Mallorca and never get bored - checking out breathtaking swimming spots, hiking up in the mountains or wandering around picturesque villages. With only a weekend (or hopefully long weekend) to spare, you'll want to prioritize.
1. roadtrip to mallorca's best beaches.
I would not skip this! Rent a car from the airport or from your hotel, and then head down to the Santanyi area to check out some of the island's most beautiful beaches and swimming spots.
- Cala Moro: First, put the parking for Cala Moro in Google Maps. From here, you'll have to walk across the street and down a dirt road to where the "hike" starts - it'll take you 15 minutes or so to get down to the beach. Bear in mind that this is pretty steep at parts so I'd recommend wearing decent shoes. The beach here its absolutely beautiful, albeit crowded - head here early to avoid the masses.
- Cala Llombards: Another beautiful beach to check out after Cala Moro. Parking here is relatively limited and fills up fast (with no street parking around really), so make sure to hit this spot up early in the day.
- Cala Santanyi: Risking sounding repetitive, this is another beautiful beach and swimming spot. This beach is dotted with little restaurants if you're in the mood for a cool drink or a bite. Stop at Cafe Drac, a picturesque little restaurant with good food and gorgeous views over the water. There's quite a bit of street parking around this beach so less of a worry if you head here later in the day - although you can expect a short walk to the beach itself.
- S'Amarador & Cala Mondrago: For the last stop of this roadtrip jam-packed with gorgeous beaches, head to S'Amarador. Once here, grab a drink at the little beach hut, go for a swim to cool off or walk the path that goes alongside the water - this will bring you to Cala Mondrago, another super cute beach. Lots of yachts come hang out here so soak in the sights.
2. hang out in palma.
Mallorca's capital doesn't disappoint. Expect a vibrant Spanish city with lots of shops, plenty of places to eat and drink, and enough atmosphere to go around. Admire the Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca, have a drink at the Plaza Mayor or wander down the Passeig del Born, a wide, tree-lined street flanked with high-street stores and restaurants.
3. explore by sea.
One of the best ways to visit Mallorca has got to be by water. You'll get a different perspective of the coast and will be surrounded by Mallorca's most beautiful feature in my opinion - it's crystal clear turquoise waters. Unfortunately the company we rented from has since closed its doors, but there are chartered tours available all around the island. You'll have the choice between private charters (more expensive), group tours (up to 12 people), or tourist tours (a million people) - stay away from the massive touristy boats and opt for a slightly smaller vessel for a more personal experience. Many of these tours will offer cava and lunch on board as part of the tour - what more could you ask for?
where to eat & drink.
- Las Olas: Santa Ponca has tons of restaurants, many of which are touristy spots geared at British travellers. For good Spanish food and beautiful views on the water, book a table at Las Olas.
- Assaona Gastrobeach Club Palma: For delicious cocktails, boho decor and a cool, laid-back vibe, check out Assaona. They've got a dedicated parking area as well which makes getting here super easy.
- El Bandarra: The highlight of our trip food-wise has to be our dinner at El Bandarra. The service is super friendly and down-to-earth, the decor is modern, and the food is truly unique. Expect Spanish Asian fusion (sounds weird but they make it work perfectly). And make sure you save room for their cheesecake for dessert.
- S'Angel: This is another great spot with a romantic terrace and local eats.
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what to pack.
✧ sunscreen - it gets hoooot so protect yourself when out beach hopping
✧ refillable water bottle - again, it gets HOT!