Guide to Mallorca: Best Beaches & Villages

guide to mallorca

A breeze carries the faint chime of a cow bell through the open french doors as the sun peeks over the mountaintops. I stretch my arms overhead and ponder how to spend my day. Perhaps another day of exploring the turquoise coves by boat, or maybe I’ll lounge poolside with a local fruit and cheeseboard and an afternoon massage. It’s day three on this magical island, and I can’t recall, or care,if I know, or care, what day it is. All I know is I’m sunkissed, well fed, and completely at peace. This is Mallorca.

…I could continue to profess my love for this glittery little island off the coast of Spain, but I’ll let my photos do the talking and make this post practical.  Because the truth is, I really, really, wish I read a good blog post that broke down Mallorca for me before I went.  So here it is then. 

Mallorca is a surprisingly large island with a winding road system across rocky and mountainous terrain that makes it impossible to get from one place to the next in under an hour.  Yes, even to get from one cove to the cove directly next to it, will take an hour.  To get from one quaint village to the next, an hour.  Palma to anywhere else, one hour. Minimum. So here are my most important tips for Mallorca:

1. The area where you stay will dictate your trip

2. you will need to rent a car, and it should be a compact convertible 

3. you should book a boat day  

Lodging Option 1: Belmond la Residencia

If relaxing in luxury is your main objective and you don’t have much of a desire to explore the island, stay in Deia at the Belmond Residencia.   The grounds are stunning, and Deia is an adorable artists village with great dining options. There is one rocky beach walking distance.   One of the days during your vacation rent a boat to explore either the Southern coves (my favorite, read below) or the Northeast coves. 

Lodging Option 2: Cap Rocat

If relaxing in luxury sounds lovely, but you’re also looking to get a bit of city life, rooftop cocktails, and the islands best dining, stay at Cap Rocat.  It’s a short(er) drive into Palma, where you can spend your evenings exploring the old walled city and taking advantage of their highly acclaimed restaurant scene. You will also be closer to drive or boat to some of the best coves on the island as well.

Lodging Option 3: Predi Son Jaumell  

If you are itching to unplug in the countryside, but also want to be centrally located so you can explore more of the island, stay at Predi Son Jaumell.  The hotel has a french countryside vibe and is home to a Michelin star restaurant worth mentioning.  What Predi Son offers that the other three don’t is a boutique vibe with just a few number of rooms, a general lack of children, and the faint sound of cowbells and roosters to wake you up in the morning. Swoon. To access the closest beach, you’ll have to drive.

Lodging Option 4: Formentor Royal Hideaway

Matt was obsessed with the Formentor Royal Hideaway hotel prior to our trip, but it was sold out for one of our nights. We boated by the hotel’s beach and were pleasantly surprised by the sandy shoreline and rather large stretch of lounging space (in comparison to the other coves on the island). Located on the most North-eastern side of the island, you will be isolated, but perhaps that’s why we come to Mallorca in the first place, no?

If you’ve got enough time to spare (a week+), I suggest combining two of these hotels to get the most out of your stay. 

<<< THINGS TO DO

Once you’ve got your fill of lounging poolside, basking in the sun, and gorging on eating local wine and cheese, read on…

Visit Mallorca’s Best Beaches & Coves:

Calo del Moro: breathtaking. This is what you come to Mallorca for. While this cove is accessible by car, I strongly suggest taking the boat option if possible. If you drive, park in the lot for the beach and start asking everyone you encounter directions to the beach so you don’t get lost. You have to wind your way through a neighborhood for a mile or so, then hike down steep stairs to this rocky coastline out of a movie set. There is a small beach area with sand, but it fills up fast in the summer months.

Cala Pi

Cala Pi Beach:  My close second favorite beach on Mallorca. Accessible by car or boat, this South coast cove is easy to find and only a short few flights of stairs to get down to. The beachfront is petite, so expect to get cozy with your tanning neighbors.

Private cove near Cala Formentor

Cala Formentor: The most ‘beach’ beach we discovered on our trip that still felt private. This sandy stretch is the perfect place to rent a beach chair and spend the day snorkeling or paddleboarding. If you come here by boat, hug the left coast and head north to find two private inlets only accessible by boat that are exceptionally gorgeous and remote.

Cala Banyalbufar

Cala Banyalbufar: Accessible by car or boat. Definitely not my favorite cove, but if you find yourself exploring the Northwest of the island, it’s worth stopping by this rocky cove with natural and manmade waterfalls streaming off the vineyards dotting the hillside above. If you’re driving, keep going until you reach the dirt lot at the waters edge then follow the stairs down to the ‘beach’. There isn’t any sand, per se, but there is a stone ledge to lay out on and plenty of spots to jump off the rocks into the crystal water.

Village Hop: Best villages to visit in Mallora

Part of the magic of Mallorca is driving around the island and stumbling upon the quaintest little villages brimming with character and charm. Here are some of our favorites:

If you’re not staying at the Belmond, then make a special drive out to Deia to have lunch at the Belmond and enjoy the views. The town of Deia is perfectly sophisticated and charming.

Ca’n Costa in Alcudia

The ancient walled village of Alcudia is bustling with tourists and locals alike. Stop by Ca’n Costa for paella and sangria then wander through the narrow streets of shops with a gelato.

On the drive to/from Deia, make a pit stop at Soller Village, a storybook like town dotted with restaurants and shops.

If your keen on visiting Cala Banyalbufar, the sleepy village of Banyalbufar is worth strolling through on your drive down to the water’s edge.

I suppose it’s not necessarily a village, but I think it’s worth mentioning you should plan to see Palma.  This charming port city is home to some of the best restaurants and shopping on the island and a great place to experience authentic Spanish culture. 

In closing…

There’s no arguing that the island can feel overwhelming if you’re aim is to see it all. But if I can offer you one piece of advice, it’s let go of all of your expectations. Let Mallorca ‘do’ you, instead of you ‘doing’ Mallorca. Relax, get lost, eat well, breathe deep, sleep in. And above all, unplug. Take in the breathtaking surroundings you’re lucky enough to have found yourself in. xx

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Off the shoulder pink dress: Dollskill | Slides: Carrie Forbes

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