Top 5 things to do in Mallorca

Mallorca is reputed to be a party destination with lots of resort hotels full of Germans and Brits – not really a place that would call my attention. What made me visit Mallorca were the cheap flight tickets: 18€ for a return ticket from Vienna. I’m convinced that every destination has something beautiful to discover, even though its reputation is not the best. So I decided to give it a try and to my surprise, I loved Mallorca. The capital Palma has a lot to offer and the natural areas and small villages of the island are lovely. I even found it a bit sad that this beautiful island is mainly known for parties and mass tourism.

1. Wander the streets of Palma

Cathedral of Palma

Palma has a beautiful old town with lots of shops, bars, restaurants and bakeries. Especially the cathedral and the area around it is filled with impressive architecture. What I loved most about being there off-season was that there were no tourist crowds. You can easily spend a whole day wandering through the alleys of the old town and discovering cute places and squares.

Cathedral of Palma
View of the “Torrent de Sa Riera” channel

3. Have a drink at Bar Abaco

This bar is an insider tip we got from a local. I will guarantee you that you’ve never seen a place like this before. It’s like a combination of garden eden, a museum and a bar. There’s also a garden-like outdoor area with fountains and birds. It’s prohibited to take photos and only few people know about it, so it’s not touristy at all. The ground floor is used as a bar while the first floor is used as a small museum and can be visited as well. The drinks are quite pricey, but one glass of wine is totally worth it. This bar is a unique place and a must-see if you’re in Palma.

2. Rent a car and explore the island

Banyalbufar: Even though it was raining the nature was still impressive

Mallorca has picturesque coasts and beaches, beautiful nature and cute villages. Make sure to rent a car and do a roadtrip around the island. We had our car for two days. The first day we headed north-east to visit Banyalbufar, Esporles, Valldemossa, Deià and Sóller. Initially we planned to go further north but due to the bad weather we decided to head back to Palma earlier. All those villages are worth visiting and are for sure even more beautiful when the sun is shining.

Banyalbufar

On the second day we were luckier and the rain had stopped. We headed south-west to visit Cala Santanyi, Cala Figuera, Cala d’Or, Portocolom and Santuari de Sant Salvador.

Cala Figuera: A cute little fishing village
Cala d’Or
Cala Santanyi

With around 16 degrees Celcius in November it was too cold to go swimming. But I loved that there was nobody else on the beach and we had the whole place for ourselves. The calmness of the nature was so relaxing. I suppose that those beaches are full of people in summer so I’m glad to have visited off-season.

Cala Santanyi

4. Try Coca de Trampó

Coca de Trampó is a local snack which looks a bit like pizza, but it doesn’t taste the same. The dough is different and it’s usually topped with veggies. I always love trying the local cuisine and Coca de Trampó was delicious. You can buy it in most of the bakeries or coffee shops.

5. Watch the sunset at Santuari de Sant Salvador

Sunset view from Santuari de Sant Salvador

Santuari de Sant Salvador is a place on top of a hill with a stunning view. You can drive up the hill by car and then you’re rewarded with this insane view. We were up there all alone and the atmosphere was magical. There’s a lot of plants and wildlife around and we discovered a small herd of goats.

Wild goats at Santuari de Sant Salvador

Mallorca is definitely worth visiting and it has so much more to offer than just beaches and parties. In Austria and Germany the island is known to be a party destination full of bars, clubs and resorts so it has never been on my list of places I wanted to visit. However, this trip has taught me to be less judgemental of a destination and not believe in the stereotypical destination image. Mallorca is rich in nature, architecture and culture. Plus, as soon as there’s Spanish food involved I’m already convinced.

The island is less crowded in fall and winter so if you don’t only go there for a beach holiday I totally recommend visiting in shoulder season or even off-season. Everything is way calmer and you can experience the true essence of the island without being surrounded by tourists everywhere you go.

Recommendations

  • Los Pinxitos Morunos: Affordable local tapas bar with delicious food
  • Nightlife in Palma: There are many bars and pubs with life music and there’s nightlife every day of the week. If you want to experience authentic Majorcan places avoid the touristic areas and opt for the local bars in the old town.
  • If you visit off-season be aware that some restaurants and hotels in the touristy areas may be closed. It’s recommended to stay in Palma as the capital obviously doesn’t only cater to tourists and everything will be open.

Have you ever been to Mallorca? How was your impression of the destination? Let me know in the comments!

© All photos taken by Vicky Schreiber

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