This is your Essential Holiday Guide to Mallorca, the `Jewel of the Mediterranean ´….the praises of this beautiful island have been sung by many writers and travellers but where to stay to best enjoy this little piece of paradise ?
I regularly get asked this question so here is a your >
Essential Holiday Guide to Mallorca
to help you to decide where best to spend your holiday time.
Geographically the island divides into five main areas, each offering different landscapes, amenities and experiences.
Let´s orient ourselves first with a quick jaunt around the island.
Starting on the west coast and running the length of the island from south to north is the magnificent Sierra de Tramuntana mountain range which holds World Heritage Status. There are only a few beaches and coves along this stretch, the notable exception being the Port of Sóller with its pretty horseshoe shaped bay, but more about that later.
The eastern side of the island is much flatter with the exception of the Sierra de Llevant mountains. The east coast has many beaches and coves and some popular holiday destinations such as Cala d ´Or and Cala Ratjada.
The far north east is rugged and less visited by tourists but does offer historic market towns such as Artá and quieter coastal resorts such as Canyamel and Capdepera.
The north of the island features two huge bays, Pollensa and Alcudia, the latter boasting the ever-popular Muro beach.
South and west of Palma there are numerous small beaches such as Illetes and just east of Palma is the huge stretch of beach known as Playa de Palma with several neighbouring beaches namely Portixol and Cuitat Jardi.
The centre of the island offers rolling farmland and viticulture with picture-postcard Spanish towns such as Sineu and Santa Maria.
Nowhere is far on the island as it only stretches around 100km x 100 km north to south and west to east.
So what has each area got to offer ?
Located in the south of the island Palma is Mallorca´s buzzing capital, stylish, pocket-sized and bursting with life. With a backdrop of the imposing La Seu Cathedral and the sweeping Bay of Palma, the city views are hard to beat.
Most of the action takes place in the historic centre with its medieval buildings and narrow lanes as well as wide open boulevards and colonnaded shopping streets. If you choose one of MallorcanTonic´s featured hotels here such as Can Alomar, Nakar Hotel or Can Bordoy Grand and House and Garden each offering a roof terrace, you can eat, shop and drop with no need for a car, bus or taxi. With just a 15 minute taxi ride to the airport, Palma makes the perfect short break destination.
West of Palma
Gorgeous little coves and beaches with azure blue waters such as Cala Comtessa and Cala Vinyas are dotted along this coast. The lively beach resort of Palma Nova is home to one of the newest five star hotels in this area, the Zafiro Palace Palma Nova, offering space and comfort to families, singles and couples. By booking direct with Zafiro Hotels and using the code ZAFIROTONIC you will receive a discounted room rate and a bottle of cava to welcome your arrival.
A little way along the coast is the glitzy Port Adriano designed by Philippe Starck .The Port is overlooked by one of our most popular hotels, the stunning 5 star Pure Salt Adriano offering terraces and swim-up rooms to drink in these Mediterranean views.
Further west along the peninsula is Port de Andratx and its pretty harbour backed by the southern end of the Tramuntana mountains. Castell Son Claret, with its sweeping drive and magnificent gardens, is tucked in the folds of this mountain range and draws camera crews and interest from across the globe because of its sublime location.
East of Palma
The golden sands of Playa de Palma stretch for some 10 km with a traffic free cycle path the whole of its length. The first neighbourhood on this stretch is Portixol dominated by our featured Hotel Portixol, a chic Scandinavian-owned bolthole and one of the first boutique hotels in Palma. Just a 20 minutes stroll into the capital. On this stretch you will also find the sister hotel of Pure Salt Adriano, Pure Salt Garonda with its newly completed outdoor heated pool and panoramic roof terrace plus its fabulous spa. Its location, facilities and service are hard to beat.
South East Mallorca
Mallorca´s salt flats in Ses Salines is where some of the best salt in the Balearics is produced and is situated a walk or short cycle ride from one of the the island´s most talked about beaches, Es Trenc. Fontsanta Thermal Spa and Wellness offers the perfect place to stay to visit this area and is within an easy drive of the charming town of Santanyi.
North East Mallorca
Making this your base is about discovering traditional Mallorcan villages and towns such as Sant Llorenç des Cardessar with its impressive architecture and Artá with its popular market day.
This is the rural heart of Mallorca with its rolling landscape of citrus orchards and fig, olive and almonds groves. To discover this area stay at Predi Son Jaumell Rural just 15 mins from Artá and only a bike ride from the coast with its Michelin starred Restaurant Andreu Genestra. Or if you prefer sweeping sea views, why not stay at award winning sister properties Hotel Can Simoneta or Hotel Pleta de Mar (adults only) . Both hotels offer a room upgrade at check-in subject to availability and a complimentary bottle of cava by using the code tonic when you book the hotel direct.
Capdepera fortress town has just welcomed the opening of a stunning new hotel Creu de Tau Art and Spa (adults only ) which will no doubt become a destination hotel with is unique architectural heritage.
The glistening double bay of Alcudia and Pollensa boasts sweeping beaches as far as the eye can see with the pretty medieval town of Alcudia on the central promontory. The Zafiro Group of hotels have several properties to choose from that we feature each offering a discount by using the code ZAFIROTONIC. Zafiro Palace Hotel Alcudia makes everyone in the family feel quite royal! Swim up pool rooms, panoramic roof top spa rooms, 5 restaurants to choose from, a spa and unfaltering five star service means you will not be disappointed.
Port of Pollensa and its town Pollensa have become very sophisticated in recent years. New hotels have opened such as the adults only La Goleta Hotel de Mar offering a modern beach vibe. The old town of Pollensa is buzzing on a Sunday when it is market day. Not to be missed ! For those yearning for somewhere to stay that is more traditional with all mod cons then Son Brull Hotel and its new state of the art spa is for you. Use the code TONIC for a space available room upgrade and welcome bottle of cava on arrival.
North West Mallorca
Dominated by the Sierra de Tramuntana mountain range and offering breathtaking scenery, this area is home to some of the most historic and picturesque towns on the island.
The breathtaking coastal road runs the full length of the north coast, climbing to reveal some of the most dramatic sea views and dropping down into the picturesque villages of Estellencs, Banyalbufar and Deiá.
The area is easily accessible from Palma (25 minutes drive) via the mountain road through Valldemossa or Soller – both historic popular towns.
Approximately half way down the west coast the stunning Sóller valley cuts a sweeping bowl into the mountains with its four picture-perfect towns and villages. Fornalutx with its narrow cobbled stairways bursting with bougainvillea and voted one of the prettiest villages in Spain. Lower in the valley sits Biniaraix with its art community and leafy square where you can rest with a cool drink after a walk in the mountains.
The largest of the towns is Sóller which is accessed not only by road but also by a 100 year old electric train which makes it way up from Palma four times a day on its rich historic journey. Hotel Soller Plaza makes the perfect spot to rest your head. Open year round for beach lovers and mountain walkers alike.
From Sóller you can walk, cycle or take the 100 year old tram to the Port of Sóller a crescent- shaped bay complete with white sandy beach and yacht-filled harbour.
For spectacular views stay at Jumeirah Port Sóller offering a discount and space available room upgrade when you book direct by using the code TONIC, or for those who prefer to be right by the water then how about the Hotel Esplendido, a chic Scandinavian owned hotel with endless terraces and and spots from which to drink in those Port views or try the newly opened adults-only ONA Soller Bay Hotel with views of the harbour from its breakfast and pools terraces.
The journey back to Palma is quick and easy either straight through the Sóller tunnel or by continuing on the mountain road and taking in the villages of Deiá and Valldemossa. The former is a famous celebrity hideaway and you can often see celebs popping into the five star Belmond La Residencia which is synyomous with style, class and service offering breathtaking views of both the mountains and the Mediterranean beyond.
Your essential holiday guide to Mallorca will now equip you with the knowledge needed to make your holiday choices. Wherever you decide to base yourself on the island you will not be disappointed. Mallorca is a mature and sophisticated destination and I am sure once you have tried it once you will return again and again.