Take time for long strolls, hikes, great food, and exquisite scenery.
For Germans and Brits, Mallorca’s a top travel destination and has been since the 1950s. But it’s only been fairly recently that North Americans have caught onto the trend – and business is booming. Over 7.3 million people visited Mallorca in the first half of 2023. The island is super English and German-friendly, plus it’s pretty easy to get around. Between that and access to some incredible produce, wine, and seafood, it’s also home to several Michelin-starred restaurants and chefs so you definitely won’t go hungry. Check out my tips to visiting beautiful Mallorca below – and have an amazing time!
GETTING IN + AROUND
This past May, United Airlines announced a nonstop route between Newark and Palma, Mallorca that runs from late spring until the end of September each year. Booking a seat is slightly more expensive than a transfer option and you’ll be a little more limited on the days you can fly but it is definitely worth it! My fiancé and I booked this flight for our route back and highly recommend it – stress free!
Once you land in Palma, you can either take a taxi into the central area of the city (where most of the hotels, nightlife, and restaurants are), or you can rent a car to get around the island. We did both. We spent a few days just using taxis to get around and rented a car to drive around the island for a few other days. I highly recommend the combination. It served us well and gave us the flexibility we wanted without having to drive the entire trip. The biggest rental car hub is in the Palma Airport and basically serves all the major rental car brands.
Another major transportation perk in Palma and Soller is the 20th century tram and train systems. They connect Palma to Soller and Port de Soller and make for a beautiful ride through the countryside. I highly recommend using it to get between Soller and Port de Soller because the roads in Soller are impossible to navigate and jam-packed with tourists. It costs 7€ each way which feels like a steal because of all the beautiful landscapes you’ll get to see as you pass through! Plus, driving was a nightmare so we effectively abandoned our rental car while we were there in favor of the tram. Much better use of funds and time!
TOWNS TO VISIT
Palma is the capital of Mallorca and is definitely worth a few days of sightseeing. There are several fabulous museums, a plethora of top-notch restaurants and bars, and it’s the closest major city to Mallorcan wine country, located in the center of the island near Binissalem.
Soller is a stunning mountainside town in the northwest of the island, sandwiched between two tourist hotspots, Valldemossa and Deià. It’s also a hop, skip, and a jump from Port de Soller, its seaside equivalent, which has a beautiful beach and stunning restaurants. We spent several days in Soller and absolutely loved walking around its beautiful old town. There are some fabulous restaurants within the town and the square is just lovely to walk through. Tons of small artisan and antique shops are around as well if you know where to look.
Sollença is a quiet beachside town toward the north of the island, recommended if you want some quiet time away from the tourist jam. We didn’t go here but friends of ours did and absolutely loved how calm and remote it was. There are also some great hiking paths around here – one of which leads up into the mountains and down to a small, pebble-filled beach (where goats sometimes appear!).
WHERE TO STAY
Mallorca has no shortage of fabulous hotels, thanks to the importance of tourism on the island. We only stayed overnight in Palma and Soller but loved the places we stayed and our friends enjoyed their hotels, too. Here are a few spots we loved or were recommended to us.
PALMA SUITES is an affordable 4-star hotel right in the middle of Palma (nightly rates start around $170, which is pretty good for the area!). Its rooms are set up like loft apartments so you’ll have all the amenities you need during your stay (including a washer and dryer – which definitely comes in handy!). The hotel has a small but pretty rooftop for lounging and a cute bar in the lobby perfect for a post-dinner cocktail.
HM PALMA BLANC is a fabulous hotel in the center of Palma and was the hotel of choice for most of our friends staying in Mallorca. They have a great spa and sauna and beautiful rooms overlooking downtown Palma.
THE SALVIA is an adults-only hotel in Soller and it was a major highlight of our trip. This 19th century mansion was converted into a hotel a few decades ago and is now run by a lovely young Polish couple. It’s calm, quiet, and private, with a truly spectacular pool and lounge area where we basically spent every afternoon. The mountain views from the rooms are insane! The hotel isn’t really accessible by car but it’s about a six minute walk from the downtown of Soller, perfect for shopping and restaurant access.
Even though it’s a small island, Mallorca is home to a wide variety of things to do – many of which don’t include the beach. While Palma certainly has the largest concentration of museums and other attractions, you’ll find great hikes, shopping, and more in the smaller towns, too. Check out a few of the things we loved below!
- Take a catamaran tour of the bay of Palma – this was our favorite experience in Palma! We booked this via Airbnb and expected to share it with a few other couples but nobody else booked so we had a private tour. Leonardo was wonderful and provides cava and snacks during the boat ride. It was so lovely and peaceful and the catamaran he uses is 100% solar-powered, which means you don’t have to deal with the pollution smell or noise from a motorboat. Really recommend booking this tour!
- Catedral Basilica de Santa Maria – an absolutely stunning example of gothic architecture right in the middle of Palma. You can’t miss it!
- Banys Arabs – the “Arab Baths” of Palma date back to the 10th century. They’re no longer active public bathing houses but it’s a beautiful garden that makes for a lovely stroll.
- Es Baluard Museu d’Art (Museum of Modern Art) – a beautiful, modern art museum with great views from the surrounding terrace.
SOLLER + PORT DE SOLLER
- Walk the old town – this is one of the best parts of going to Soller. Lovely old buildings, charming cobblestone streets, and great little artisan shops to stop into.
- Port de Soller beach – a lovely public beach with rentable umbrellas/beach chairs. (Be prepared to see some women go topless – this is commonplace in Mallorca.)
- Take the tram! – This early 20th century tram has been well maintained and runs from Palma – Soller – Port de Soller multiple times a day. It costs 7€ each way and is totally worth it!
RESTAURANTS + WINE BARS
Mallorca has no shortage of fabulous restaurants, many of which feature local organic produce, freshly caught seafood, and fusion cuisine. That being said, if you’re going to Mallorca in the high season, you’ll definitely want to book your reservations in advance. The American art of turning tables quickly to accommodate many guests in the span of a few hours isn’t really something that Mallorcans do, and since most spaces are small, they have limited space available for a lunch or dinner service. Definitely book in advance!
- LA ROSA VERMUTERIA – a classic, beloved spot with great tapas and a ton of Vermouth options (Vermouth is huge in Mallorca!)
- RIKITO – incredible Italian food with a great wine list!
- MESTIS – an adorable Mexican-Spanish fusion spot with only locally-sourced ingredients. Try the soft-shell crab tacos, they were delicious!
- L’INFORMAL TACOS – a tiny hole-in-the-wall with a unique and thorough tacos menus. The desserts are a hit too.
- AGABAR – say tequila! As much as Mallorca loves Vermouth, tequila is a close second and this bar specializes in it. Fabulous spot to get drinks before dinner at Rikito or Mestis!
- CAV – THE natural wine bar and shop to visit in Palma. A tiny, curated selection of some great natural, organic, and biodynamic wines from select regions around Europe. You can pick out your bottle and drink it inside the shop or take it to go.
- CAFE POUPETTE – this is a great little lunch spot in the middle of one of Palma’s beautiful parks. Great view of the park and the museum. Their coffee is fantastic.
- TAST CLUB – looking for a fancy night out? Tast Club will definitely deliver. Great fusion Mallorcan and New World cuisine.
- FIKA FARINA – the cutest bakery in town! It’s owned by a lovely Swedish couple and has all kinds of pastries – from French to Spanish and Mallorcan specialties. Delicious spot for breakfast!
- FLORA – a modern, minimalist wine & cocktail bar with a great selection of local wines and stunning drinks.
- QUINA CREU – great little spot for authentic tapas and local cuisine! It’s a decently sized restaurant that is just around the corner from Palma Suites.
- CA’N PINXTO – if you only book one of the restaurants I recommend in Soller, book this one! INCREDIBLE food that blends Basque, Catalan, and traditional Spanish style. It rotates seasonally and everything is local and tastes super fresh.
- CA’N BOQUETA – a Michelin-starred restaurant with a rotating prix-fixe menu and a lovely selection of Mallorcan wines. A little on the pricier side, but a great spot for lunch.
- CA’N KARLITO – another adorable tapas spot with great food and fantastic ambiance.
- CAFE SOLLER – located right in the middle of the town square, this is a great place for people watching! Order a coffee or glass of wine and a couple of snacks and watch other tourists wander about and the lovely tram go back and forth to Palma and Port de Soller.
PORT DE SOLLER
- SES OLIVERES – with a beautiful view of the striking Soller beaches and landscapes, Ses Oliveres is a must-visit dinner spot in Port de Soller. I’d wager to say it is probably one of the best seafood restaurants on the entire island. All the fish is fresh and locally caught, simply and expertly prepared, and best enjoyed right as the sun is setting from the Ses Oliveres patio. This was one of our favorite meals!
- PATIKI – if you are looking for fresh, plant-forward dishes and a break from meats, seafood, and paella, Patiki is for you! This place is quite literally right on the beach and has an environmentally-friendly approach to everything they offer. Another must-visit if you are spending the day at Port de Soller.
Not mentioned – gelato! There are seemingly a thousand gelato and ice cream shops all over the place and it makes for a delicious sweet, cold treat when the heat of the day hits.
Overall, Mallorca makes for a beautiful and relaxing vacation – you could easily spend more than a week there! Bon voyage !