Mallorca seems to be the Balearic Island on everyone’s minds at the minute and I’m here to tell you it’s worth it! We booked our Mallorca holiday this summer as the flights were cheap and the flight times were 3-year-old friendly, but it turned out to be a wonderful experience for our family for so many reasons.
We loved the tiny turquoise Calas backed by steep craggy cliffs. We fell in love with the authentic Mallorcan, golden-coloured towns and enjoyed escaping to picture-book mountain villages frequented by celebrities. We dined in tranquil hidden courtyards and at vibey seafront eateries, and I window-shopped my heart out at markets and lifestyle boutiques. (Oh the baskets! Why didn’t I bring a bigger suitcase?!)
Our 3-year-old loved a thrill-seeking ride on a speedboat to some of the island’s most beautiful remote beaches, and we all loved hanging around the private pool at our rural finca that was charmingly rustic. (Even if it sometimes smelt a little too strongly of sheep!)
In short, we loved it. And for anyone else planning a trip to Mallorca, I’ve compiled all the places we loved visiting into one handy list.
Prettiest places to visit in Mallorca
Santanyi is a charming, golden-coloured, authentic Mallorcan town with a twice-weekly market that’s worth a visit. (Santanyi Market is on a Wednesday to Saturday from 9am to 2pm.)
Stylish cafes, boutique hotels and interiors stores hide behind biscuit-coloured walls. Don’t miss the chance to dine at our favourite restaurant in Mallorca – Restaurant Es Moli. Sit in the shade of the courtyard and enjoy the sound of flowing water and flowing conversations while enjoying spectacular tapas dishes.
By far our favourite beach on the south coast of Mallorca, Cala Llombards ticks all the boxes. It’s a perfect golden triangle of sand surrounded by steep craggy cliffs that give a sense of seclusion. There are charming fisherman’s houses directly on the water that to me just typify Mallorca. While you can choose to jump or climb into the ocean from sea ladders you can also just wade in the shallow gentle waters like we did.
There is free parking directly behind the beach (arrive before 10am for the best chance of getting a space) and a beach bar/restaurant serving hot food and cold coffee. You can choose to hire sun loungers and umbrellas or bring your own – we did both depending on how long we were staying for. Although it can get busy later in the day, it’s my favourite family-friendly beach in Mallorca because it’s just so darn pretty!
Check out this drone footage of Cala Llombards my husband captured to get a sense of the geography.
Perched between the mountains and the ocean, the picture-book village of Deia is not at all what we expected to find in Mallorca but we’re so glad we spent a day here. Aside from strolling the steep streets of this picturesque village, there are two good foodies reasons to come to Deia as two of the most jaw-droppingly pretty places to dine in Mallorca are found here.
The first one is El Olivo at Belmond La Residencia, the most sophisticated place to watch sunset over Deia.
The second is Ca’s Patro March, down on Cala Deia, which you have probably already seen pictures of as the tables sit directly next to the most stunning turquoise water.
We sadly weren’t able to get reservations at either of these places for our holiday at the end of June (I just wasn’t organised enough) but I’ve since heard you can queue at Ca’s Patro March and hope for a cancellation. (If you don’t have impatient 3 year-olds with you, that is!). Scroll down for some alternative places to eat in Deia if you can’t get reservations either.
It’s easy to tie in a stop at this historic, hilltop village on your way to Deia as you will likely drive straight through it.
Tucked away in the Tramuntana mountains, Valledemossa is only a 20-minute drive away from Palma but it feels far removed from it. With connections to Chopin (who spent a winter at the monastery in the 1800s) and Hollywood actor Michael Douglas (he has a home nearby and established a cultural centre called Costa Nord), Valledemossa is a popular tourist spot in Mallorca.
Our favourite thing was wandering the elegant cobbled streets, checking out espadrille shoes and straw baskets in the shops and stopping for a tasty Coca De Patata at local institution Patisseria Ca’n Molinas.
Palma de Mallorca
I would definitely recommend visiting Palma de Mallorca, the capital of the Balearic Islands, even if it’s just for a morning before catching your flight like we did.
Our 3-year-old couldn’t resist the allure of taking a horse-drawn carriage ride around the Old Town (Casco Antiguo as it is known locally) and it was a great way to explore the narrow, medieval streets and admire the unique architecture, even if it was ridiculously expensive. (Pre-booking a walking tour would have been much more sensible!)
Some places in Palma that you can’t miss are the impressive Palma Cathedral, Placa Major, Mercat D’Olivar, Mimbreria Vidal (basket weaver), Rialto Living lifestyle store, Bar Espana and Patisseria Ca Na Cati.
Best beaches in Mallorca
What if you’ve just come to Mallorca to laze on golden beaches? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered there too with my pick of the top 10 beaches in Mallorca.
Platja de Muro
Torrent de Cala Pi
Calo des Moro
Best day trips in Mallorca
Boat trip from Cala Figuera
We did an awesome boat trip from Cala Figuera to some of the beautiful but hard to reach beaches on the south coast of Mallorca and our 3-year-old said it was the highlight of his holiday.
The rib boat speeds out of the picturesque harbour of Cala Figuera and takes you on a thrilling yet informative ride along the coast past Cala Satanyi, Cala Llombards, Calo de Moro, S’Almonia and Cala Marmols. I was particularly keen to see the last 3 which are quite remote and hard to reach with little toddler feet.
At Cala Marmols we stopped for half an hour and had a swim in the pristine water. There were only 2 people on the beach (it’s quite a hike to reach it) so it was like we had the place all to ourselves. Afterwards the skipper provided beer (or soft drinks) and crisps before taking us back along the coast and sharing more information about the history of the area.
We booked the trip via Viator a few days beforehand. Find all the details here.
Tren Soller & Sa Calobra
The other day trip we wanted to do but ran out of time is Tren Soller – a wooden train that travels through the mountains from Palma to Soller, followed by a historic tram that takes you to the sea at Port Soller. The tram ride through the streets of Soller looks especially fun – like a little taste of Lisbon in Mallorca.
I also found a tour company that, in addition to the train and tram, offer a boat ride from Port Soller to Sa Calobra, one of the most famous beaches on the island, all of which can be done at your own pace. Find all the details here.
I also found this day trip that includes the Tren de Soller tram and boat trip with a hotel pick up. We’d love to do one of these next time.
Best places to eat in Mallorca
If you’re exploring the beautiful places in Mallorca we’ve mentioned above it won’t be hard to find good, authentic Mediterranean cuisine. Below are just a few of our favourites.
Note that some require reservations and in peak season bookings get snapped up fast.
Restaurant Es Moli in Santanyi – reservation recommended
Ca’s Patro March in Deia – booking essential
El Olivo or Café Miro in Belmond Residence in Deia – booking essential
Restaurant Nama in Deia – closed Tuesday & Wednesday
Patisseria Ca’n Molinas in Valldemossa – no need to book
Cassai Gran Cafe & Restaurant – booking required
Cassai Beach House – booking required
Mercat d’Olivar, Palma – closed on Sunday
Best places to shop in Mallorca
Cassai Beach House
Cassai Mallorca is a lifestyle brand with a number of villas and hotels, 2 restaurants and 2 fashion and interiors stores on the island. We dined at both the Cassai Beach House (epic views at sunset) and Cassai Grand Café and Restaurant in Ses Salines, and while the food and vibes were great, the shopping was a big part of the appeal for me.
The shop at the Cassai Beach House in particular is great for interiors inspiration. Featuring woven chairs and lampshades, interesting sculptures, hurricane lanterns, Balearic chic cushions and every conceivable type of basket – there was so much I wanted to buy here if only I had room in my suitcase!
Where to stay
We made a last-minute switch from a boutique hotel in Cala D’Or to a private finca near Campos and it was definitely the right decision. While Finca Es Mateus is not the most stylish place we’ve ever stayed – it’s almost too authentically rustic! – it was brilliant to have all this outdoor space with a private pool and quiet rural setting.
The location was wonderful- close to airport, beaches and all the wonderful restaurants I mentioned above in Santanyi and Ses Salines. You definitely need to hire a car as there is not much with walking distance, but we never encountered any traffic and didn’t have problems parking at the time of our visit.
Other places we shortlisted to stay include:
and I saw the guys at Hand Luggage Only recently stayed in this blissful, adults-only, character property in Santanyi so maybe we’ll try there in 20 years!
I hope this helps you plan a wonderful holiday in Mallorca. There is so much we didn’t get to do on other parts of the island, I guess we’ll just have to go back again some time.
Read next: Our Puglia family holiday itinerary & tips