MALLORCA: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SPAIN'S BALEARIC ISLAND PARADISE

Finally, checking Spain off the bucket list. And more importantly, finally visiting Mallorca! The largest island in the Balearic Sea, Mallorca is a beachgoer's dream, home to a craggy coastline riddled with more than 200 picturesque calas (small inlets) and beaches. Couple that with the storybook villages, picturesque waterfronts, fresh seafood, delicious tapas, cliff jumping and hiking, and you have one of the most sought-after summer destinations in Europe. Below is my complete guide to the island including the best beaches, sights, hotels, Airbnb rentals, restaurants and more. This post may contain affiliate links.


Beach day at Calo des Moro, one of the most famous beaches on Mallorca. OUTFIT DETAILS: Target one-piece linked here.


HOW MANY DAYS ON MALLORCA

Eight to 10 days. Mallorca might be an island, but it's a massive island. And while more than a week is a lot of time to dedicate to any destination, I'd say it's the minimum you need to get a good taste of Mallorca. There are more than 200 beaches and calas scattered along the picturesque coastline, as well as villages, hikes and historical sights to discover.


Everything on the Mallorca is reachable by car, but driving distances are long. And while a one hour drive to reach an epic beach might sound reasonable on paper, it becomes pretty draining to do this several days in a row. With 10 days on the island, you can spread out road trip days. Or, divide your time between the east and west coast.


Almost every cobbled lane in Valldemossa is lined with potted plants and flowers. OUTFIT DETAILS: Free People two-piece set linked here, ASOS hat linked here and Target flats linked here.

Mallorca is a swim ladder haven.


Boat days are a must when on Mallorca - especially if you're traveling with a group!


Greek island vibes at Cala Llombards.


QUICK TIPS

"CALA" - WHAT IS IT? You'll hear this word a lot on Mallorca. A cala is a coastal cove or inlet. Most of the island's best beach spots are actually calas, hence the names Cala Pi, Cala Llombards, Cala Formentor, etc.


CURRENCY - The local currency is the Euro. It's always a good idea to have local currency handy, but it was hardly necessary on Mallorca. Everywhere took credit cards - restaurants, gelaterias, boat rentals, petrol stations, etc.


BEST TIME TO VISIT - May through September is the best time to visit in terms of weather. It's sunny, dry and the perfect time of the year to enjoy the water. However, July and August temps can be unbearably hot, and summer crowds are at their peak during these months. The best balance of weather and crowds is going to be May or September.


Afternoon at Cala Llombards - arrive before 11 AM to enjoy the beach without the crowds. OUTFIT DETAILS: Lovers + Friends one-piece linked here and ASOS hat linked here.


Palma Cathedral.


The MA-10 is the curviest road on Mallorca, and the route down to my favorite beach on the island.


Sa Calobra.


The crystal clear waters of Cala Llombards. OUTFIT DETAILS: Target one-piece linked here.


BEST BEACHES ON MALLORCA

CALA DEIA

Cala Deia is a beautiful cove located on the west coast, just below the village of Deia. The crystal clear water sparkles deep shades of turquoise offering up an ideal setting for sunbathing, swimming and cliff jumping. This is a rocky beach - no sand in sight! So arrive early to claim a good boulder, rock or platform for sunbathing. IMO, the best spot is a cement slab that extends into the water at the base of the Ca's Patro March staircase. Also, the parking lot fills up quickly, so best to arrive before 12 PM to secure a spot.


CALO DES MORO

Calo des Moro is a stunning inlet along the island's southeast coastline. Admire the breathtaking view from atop, and then it's a short hike down to reach the water. The beach itself is surprisingly small. And depending on the tide, there might be little to no sand at all, in which case beachgoers claim rocks and boulders for sunbathing. NOTE: The Calo des Moro parking lot is closed, and most street parking requires a residential permit. You'll have to arrive early to claim one of the few street parking spots available to the public.


CALA LLOMARDS

There's a reason everyone loves Cala Llombards. It's ridiculously beautiful. The water color is a particular shade of blue, the prettiest on the island. And the sandy beach, the sunbathing rocks, the boathouses and swim ladders give the cala so much character. Arrive early to enjoy the beach before it gets busy, but even with crowds, it's a great place to spend the day.


CALA MARMOLS

Cala Marmols is a stunning, unspoiled inlet reachable only by boat or a 5-km exposed hike. It's easiest to visit by boat, as there are no facilities on the beach.


CALA PI

Cala Pi can be hit or miss. It's home to a famous cement slab that extends out over the water. An iconic spot to take a photo. The beach itself is long, narrow and usually picturesque. But when it's overcrowded (especially during the summer), the water can turn cloudy by midday. Also, if the seafloor is covered in bark when you visit, it's mushy to step on, and the water looks more brown than blue.


CALA S'ALMUNIA

This beach is a must-visit while on Mallorca. A craggy crack in the coastline has formed two small coves where beachgoers flock for sunbathing, cliff jumping, swimming and boathouse vibes. It's also a five-minute walk to Calo des Moro via a coastal trail, so easy enough to visit both in one day.


ES PONTAS

Es Pontas is a stunning natural arch that sits just off the island's southeast coast. The viewpoint is accessible via a short walk from the parking area, and from there a trail leads down to the water. On a calm day, swim out to the arch where a rope hangs from the soaring limestone ceiling for thrill seekers to swing and jump into the water.


ES TRENC

If you need a break from the island's narrow rocky calas, take a trip out to Es Trenc, a long sandy beach on Mallorca's south coast. It's an endless stretch of powder white sand and a seascape of vibrant blue water, but no facilities.


SA CALOBRA

Hands down my favorite beach on Mallorca. Sa Calobra is reachable via the infamous MA-10, the island's curviest road. Park at the paid lot, and then follow the trail along a gorgeous stretch of coastline out to Sa Calobra, an absolutely stunning beach that sits trapped between two limestone cliffs. The cove is wide and deep, so the water here doesn't get murky when crowded. There are rocks, cliffs and stone steps to swim out to for cliff jumping. And the water color is stunning. Great spot to spend the day.


Valldemossa is one of the loveliest villages on Mallorca.


No sand doesn't stop beachgoers at Calo des Moro.


Exploring the charming alleyways of Valldemossa. OUTFIT DETAILS: Target bag linked here and flats linked here.


PLACES TO VISIT ON MALLORCA

BELLVER CASTLE

Bellver is a beautiful Gothic castle that sits perched on a hilltop overlooking Palma. It boasts a rare circular shape, and dates back to the 14th century.


DEIA

Deia is part of a cluster of storybook villages on the island's west coast. It's small, and not a lot going on, but perfectly serene to visit in the evening, especially if you have a dinner reservation at El Olivio, Restaurant Nama or Cafe Miro. Wander through the village and you'll find a handful of boutiques, restaurants and a church perched on the village hilltop.


DRACH CAVES

Popular tourist attraction in Porto Cristo, home to four interconnected caves riddled with stalactites and stalagmites, as well as an underground lake, Lake Martel. Visitors can explore Black Cave, White Cave, Cave of Luis Salvador and Cave of the French caves on foot, and it typically takes about an hour.


FORNALUTX

Another charming cluster of stone houses, cobbled lanes and potted plants, Fornalutx is a mountain village that sits trapped in the Serra de Tramuntana. Serene place to spend a few hours - tapas restaurants, shops, a church and market square.


MORTITX CANYON

If you're looking for a bit of adventure, explore the stunning waterfalls and canyons of northern Mallorca. Mortitx Canyon in the Serra de Tramuntana is particularly stunning, and no canyoning experience is necessary if you book with a tour company. Món d'Aventura is a solid option.


PALMA CATHEDRAL

This stunning 14th century Gothic Roman cathedral sits in the heart of Palma, towering over Old Town and the Bay of Palma. The best photo location to capture the entire church is from across the lagoon, along the stone ledge.


PORT DE SOLLER

Bustling waterfront filled with sailboats and yachts that feels quintessential Europe on warm summer evening. The waterfront is lined with tapas bars, seafood restaurants, cafes, gelato, shops and beach clubs. A great place to stay on the island if you can find a place.


SOLLER

Soller is home to a lovely village square surrounded by a gorgeous church, al fresco dining, gelato and little boutiques. There is a historic tram that connects Soller to Port de Soller, a fun way to travel between the two.


VALLDEMOSSA

Possibly the prettiest village on Mallorca. Similar to Deia, Valdemossa is built up a hilltop, but it's a bit more bustling with a variety of boutiques, cafes, shops and restaurants. Spend an afternoon navigating the maze of cobbled lanes lined with the most potted plants and flowers you've ever seen. All the feels of a fairytale.



Cala Pi.


The lovely village of Deia. OUTFIT DETAILS: Free People dress, linked here.


Cala S'Almunia. LOVE this beach!


WHERE TO STAY ON MALLORCA

BELMOND LA RESIDENCIA

The most famous luxury hotel on the island, the Belmond La Residencia occupies an entire hillside overlooking the picturesque village of Deia. The location on the island is ideal - Valldemossa, Cala Deia, Port de Soller and even Sa Calobra are an easy drive. And the property is stunning, boasting more than 70 rooms, suites and villas, several with views of the mountains and private swimming pools.


CAN FERRERETA

If you're visiting Mallorca for 10 days or more, it might be worth dividing your time between the east and west coast to save time on commuting back and forth. If that's the case, Can Ferrereta is a wonderful east coast option located in darling Santanyi. Once a 17th century mansion, the property has been completed converted into a five-star luxury retreat, home to more than 30 spacious rooms. Color palette is soothing whites, beiges, browns and naturals - beautifully designed.


CAP ROCAT

If you're looking for over-the-top luxury, Cap Rocat occupies a remote stretch of coastline 30-minutes south of Palma. Once a 19th century military fortress, the property is now an opulent five-star resort. The rooms and suites open up to views of the Balearic Sea, some terraces with sea-facing plunge pools. There is a private beach, spa, cinema and two on-site restaurants.


FELANTIX HOME

I absolutely love the design of this three-bedroom Airbnb rental located in Son Prohens. The space is gorgeous, channeling all the boho vibes of the Greek islands with a white and tan color scheme. Location isn't the most central when it comes to popular villages and restaurants - everything is a bit of a drive.


JUMEIRAH PORT SOLLER HOTEL & SPA

Perched high atop Port de Soller with breathtaking views of the Balearic Sea is the Jumeirah Port Soller. It's one of the more expensive properties on the island, home to more than 100 gorgeous rooms, suites and villas. At check-in guests are greeted with fresh squeezed orange juice and a pair of flannel pajamas. There are several on-site restaurants and bars, a spa and a variety of pool options for guests.


MEEM TOWNHOUSE

Brand-new property in Port de Soller, Meem Townhouse reminds me a lot of the hotels in the Greek islands. Lots of white & neutrals, minimalist chic and high airy ceilings. There are seven rooms available to book (I suggest avoiding Room 1 because it's on the ground floor, and can be a bit noisy with street traffic). The fresh breakfast, cakes and breads are delicious, and service is impeccable. There is no hotel parking lot, but several paid lots are within a short walking distance (paid lots on the island are very affordable). Highly recommend staying here.


POSADA TERRA SANTA

Palma wouldn't be my first choice for lodging, but I do think Posada Terra Santa is a lovely option in the capital city's Old Town. The upscale boutique hotel occupies a 16th century mansion, now home to more than 25 plush, comfortable guest rooms. There is a rooftop terrace, pool and on-site restaurant.


VILLA SA TORRE

Port de Soller is my favorite area to stay on Mallorca. I love the waterfront atmosphere, and having dining options and the beach in such close proximity. If you're traveling with a group, Villa Sa Torre is the best option in town. The four bedroom, three-story house sits facing the waterfront, and it's a mere a one-minute walk to the parking lot. It's one of the oldest homes in Port de Soller, but it's been completely renovated, while still retaining a lot of the old world character.


All the Greek island vibes at Meem Townhouse, a brand-new boutique hotel in Soller.


Found this place last minute, and it turned out to be such a gem. Loved my stay at Meem Townhouse!


PLACES TO EAT ON MALLORCA

BEACH HOUSE PORT SOLLER

Lovely little shop on the Port de Soller waterfront that serves delicious smoothies and ice cream.


CAFE CA'N TONI

Tasty little tapas spot located in the heart of Palma's Old Town. Reservations are recommended at night when the restaurant is popping, but during the day it's possible to walk in. Highly recommend sitting outdoors on their covered patio.


CAFE MIRO

If El Olivio is booked up, then it's neighbor Cafe Miro is a perfectly fine alternative. It's the sister restaurant that's also located at Belmond La Residencia. The view is a little different, but it's the same serene outdoor ambiance of Deia, and the menu is filled with delicious, fresh options including seafood, pastas and salads.


CA'S PATRO MARCH

The best restaurant view on the island is from Ca's Patro March, perched above the stunning blue waters of Cala Deia. The menu is filled with fresh, delicious seafood options. Reservations are a must - this place books out months in advance. If you don't have a reservation, arrive when the restaurant opens and put your name down in case there are any no-shows.


CASSAI GRAN CAFE

Tucked away on the streets of San Salinas is one of the most beautiful restaurants on Mallorca complete with boho vibes, sage greens, foliage, rustic wood, airy ceilings and lots of light. While the space is stunning (fit for an Instagram feed), the food is mediocre and service is a bit slow.


EL OLIVIO

El Olivio sits perched over the village of Deia, offering up the most serene setting for dinner at Golden Hour. The restaurant is fine dining with a minimum per person spend, located on the Belmond's La Residencia property. Reservations highy recommended months in advance.


KINGFISHER

Kingfisher sits at the far end of the Port de Soller waterfront, serving up a selection of fresh seafood. It's my favorite restaurant in all of Mallorca - the prawns, sea bream, sea bass, seafood stew, bread, gin + tonic ... everything is amazing. Great ambiance in the evenings overlooking the beautiful waterfront. Reservations highly recommended .


RAW COCO GREEN BAR

Cute breakfast spot in Palma that serves delicious smoothies, tasty muffins, toasts, waffles and acai bowls.


RESTAURANT NAMA

Lovely restaurant in Deia, and one of the few upscale Asian fusion menus on Mallorca. Reservations recommended, request a table on the terrace.


Whether it's an overnight stay or a sunset dinner, a visit to La Residencia is a must while in Deia.


Fresh lobster at Cafe Miro.


Best restaurant views on the island are at Ca's Patro March. OUTFIT DETAILS: Fortunate One Store dress, linked here.


Sizzling garlic shrimp at Ca's Patro March.


Fresh sea bream at Kingfisher.


Golden Hour at Restaurant Nama.


The Asian fusion cuisine at Restaurant Nama is a welcome break from tapas.


Cassai Gran Gafe is absolutely gorgeous restaurant. However, service is slow and food is just okay.


Delish breakfast at Rawcoco Green Bar.


GETTING AROUND MALLORCA

A car is a must on Mallorca. The driving distances are long. For example, it's more than an hour on the road to get from the village of Valldemossa to Cala Llombards. Everywhere you're gonna want to visit is just easier to reach with a car. All the major car brands have rental counters at the airport. I rented from Avis and Hertz, and both were great.


Cala Llombards. OUTFIT DETAILS: Lovers + Friends one-piece linked here and ASOS hat linked here.


Village views over Deia.


Cala Deia.


Port de Soller.


GETTING TO MALLORCA

The Palma de Mallorca Airport connects Mallorca to domestic destinations within Spain, as well as dozens of cities throughout the Americas, Europe and the Middle East. The abundance of budget airline flights make Mallorca a quick, affordable weekend escape for most Europeans. For Americans, the easiest route is via the new United Airlines direct flight that connects Newark to Palma.


Storybook vibes in Valldemossa.


This stunning staircase is located below Ca's Patro March at Cala Deia. OUTFIT DETAILS: ASOS hat linked here.


Deia.


Gorgeous coves and inlets on the walk to Sa Calobra.


All the fairytale feels.


Best time to explore the villages is early morning and early evening. OUTFIT DETAILS: Fortunate One Store dress, linked here.


Cliff jumpers at Sa Calobra.


I bought this 50-inch watermelon floatie last summer in the Greek islands. It's traveled with me to Corfu, Milos, Ios and Mallorca. Money well spent.


Too cute.


Es Pontas is such a vibe. If you hike down to the water, it's possible to swim out to the arch, where a rope swiing hangs from the rocky ceiling.


Fruit for sale at most the calas.


The prettiest sparkles at my favorite beach on Mallorca, Sa Caloba. OUTFIT DETAILS: Wild + Salty one-piece, linked here.


Sunset over Deia. Farewell, Mallorca.