With approximately 800,000 residents and roughly 8 million visitors per year, Mallorca is a popular tourist destination, especially with Germans and Brits. We flew from Paris to Mallorca, and we thought maybe we had flown to Vegas. The Palma airport is quite large for an island of its size, and a crazy amount of people filled the airport at 10pm. The town was absolutely jamming. It is August in Europe where popular spots will get quite crowded (it is one of the reasons all the locals leave on their own vacations during this time).
Mallorca is a lovely island off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean with something for everyone with over 2,500 restaurants, 41 marinas, 400 km of hiking trails, beautiful beaches and lots of cycling. The main city of Palma is a bustling spot with much to see – beautiful buildings, ancient castles and chateaus, churches as well as many parks and ramblas.
If you go, here are a few of our favorite spots:
- Mercat d’Olivar– a fabulous market offering a plethora of local specialties-anchovies, fresh produce, olives, lamb, eggs, bread, wine, cheese, sausage, ham- and a few restaurants and tapas bars. Both locals and tourists swarm the stalls all day long but it is worth dealing with the crowds to get some tasty goods.
- Banyalbufar– a seaside village in the Sierra de Tramuntana in the north west of the island of Mallorca.
- Deia– another beautiful seaside village in the Sierra de Tramuntana that for its size has gotten a little over run, not in terms of development. The village is stunning but the amount of cars that descent on this little village every day in peak season is high for a village its size- so high a make shift stop light had to meter one way traffic thru the village core.
- Soller– a village in the northwest of the island which is very popular with day trippers. There is a train that goes from Palma to Soller dropping a lot of day visitors on this lovely village. When we return to Palma, we would likely spend some time staying in Soller. It has some great beaches, great day trips via sea and land, great hikes and good restaurants. We did a really fantastic hike from here (check out the details).
- Valldemossa– a hill town villages situation in the Tramuntana range only 17 km from Palma.
And visiting the stunning Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma( more commonly referred to as La Seu) that dominates Palma’s skyline is a must.
We really enjoyed our apartment in old town Palma (our first time out of hotel rooms in over 2 months) walking and running along the promenade and heading to the market to prepare some non-restaurant food. The city has many harbors and beaches all within walking distance of the old town. You can also rent scooters and cars to check out some of the other beaches around the island. It is easy driving and getting around. Nothing is too far- distance from north to south on the island is only 100 km and east to west distance is about 70 km.