Mallorca villa holiday guide
A Mediterranean playground, Mallorca—the largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands—is blessed with plenty of the unexpected. In addition to endless beaches, a villa holiday in Mallorca can also be packed with historic palaces and churches, driving routes along sheer cliffs with dramatic sea vistas, and quiet villages such as Deià tucked in the hills. You will also find great local food and unique wines in Binissalem, a lively arts scene in Palma, and, just a stone’s throw from your villa, outdoor fun that has nothing to do with the beach. Our range of luxury villas provide a fantastic base from which to explore Mallorca's beautiful beaches, historic Old Quarter, lively food markets and varied walking trails.
Discovering Mallorca's towns and villages
Among Mallorca's key destinations, Palma is cosmopolitan for an island capital with a languid reputation. Its historic quarter and contemporary art museums embrace the wide Bay of Palma. Mallorca’s inland cities hold comparatively little interest for visitors. More appealing mid-sized towns along the north-west coast, including Valdemossa, home to a legendary Carthusian monastery; distinguished Sóller, with modernista architecture and a vintage train and tram; and Pollença, a friendly resort town on a gentle bay.
Mallorca’s flat interior, Es Pla (‘The Plain’), is a largely agricultural area of small villages, vineyards, and some light industry. In Inca, shop for leather goods and funky shoes at Camper (which has earned an international reputation); or albargatas (rope espradrilles), the island shoe of choice. Sineu’s lively produce and livestock market draws islanders from all corners. Visitors can follow the Binissalem Wine Trail,discovering indigenous grapes grown in Mallorca since the 18th century.
Eating and drinking in Mallroca
Enjoy fish just pulled from the Mediterranean and hearty peasant dishes unique to the Balearics—although Mallorca is most famous for its ensaimades, ethereal spiral pastries. Follow your nose to pastry shops with modernista storefronts on Palma’s Carrer Unió and the Mercat de l’Olivar, the food market that roars to life in the early morning when fishmongers hawk the catch. Antique colmados (food shops) are stuffed with hanging sausages, notably spicy sobressada, and family-run wineries produce distinctive wines from unique grape varietals such as manto negro
Mallorca’s beaches treat sun-starved millions every summer. Fanning out from the Bay of Palma are thirty kilometres of sands, including the most famous (and crowded) beach, Platja de Palma. Families often repair to the wide sweep of Pollença, with its water-sports and secluded Formentor beaches. The north-west coast is mainly celebrated for its cliff views, but Cala de Deià is a tucked-away little cove that feels like a secret. Along the east coast are caves and calas(coves), and south near Cala d’Or are long pristine beaches, a string of resorts, and transparent waters.
Discovering Mallorca's history
The Romans founded Palma in the 1st century AD, but it was the Moors who transformed the settlement into a great city, during the Middle Ages. The Old Quarter is full of ornate manor houses with palatial courtyards as well as Gothic and Renaissance churches. On the east coast, Ses Païsses is the island’s most important prehistoric (Talayotic) settlement. In 800 BC the Phoenicians settled Alcúdia, a walled town that later became the Romans’ Mediterranean capital. The Santuari de Lluc monastery deep in the Tramuntana mountains has drawn religious pilgrims since the 13th century.
Mallorca's arts and culture
Ancient and contemporary art both find a home in Mallorca. Palma’s 13th-century cathedral, La Seu, features work by Antoni Gaudí and the modern artist Miquel Barceló. Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró occupies the former summer home of the Catalan surrealist, and Es Baluard is a minimalist contemporary art museum overlooking the Bay of Palma. North of Palma, the monastery at Valldemossa plays host to the annual Chopin Festival of classical music, and the English poet Robert Graves’s former home in Deià has been converted into a small museum.
Active pursuits in Mallorca
You can sail or windsurf on the Bay of Pollença, and Mallorca also draws rugged land-sports enthusiasts. Many pro-cyclists have adopted north-west Mallorca as their training ground, and climb the mountain roads. Hikers and walkers of all abilities can set out on day hikes or multi-day treks along the extensive network of trails through the Serra de Tramuntana range. Birders should visit the S’Alburfera wetlands; golfers the courses along the coast.
Relaxation in Mallorca
Join locals who stroll Palma’s elegant Parc de la Mar promenade, waiting for the sun dip into the bay. Drive the twisting north-west coast, stopping at a series of miradors for coastal views, or enjoy the lush gardens of Alfabia, a former Moorish estate. Great days out for families include Palma’s Poble Espanyol—which contains architectural miniatures of Spain’s most famous landmarks, including Granada’s Alhambra—and the vintage train ride north to Sóller.