With its crystalline waters, pretty hill towns and rich history, it’s no wonder Mallorca remains one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world.
Whether you’re a foodie, explorer, or sunbathing devotee, the island caters for all types of traveller, and its idyllic beaches are a certified crowd pleaser. It’s a large island – more than five times the size of its siblings Menorca and Ibiza – and there’s an abundance of things to do, see and eat. Luckily our handy guide is here to help you get the most out of the beautiful Baleriac jewel…
If you’re looking for more than a beach-and-crash break, opt for the luxury of the shiny new Park Hyatt nestled in the tranquil valley of Canyamel on the far east of the island, the group’s first resort in the Mediterranean. A 15-minute walk to the beach (or ten-minute ride on one of the hotel’s bicycles), it’s also perfectly situated to explore the nearby old town of Alcúdia; or for impressive hillside hikes straight from the front door. The quaint and cosy Mallorcan village styling contrasts with the luxurious rooms (complete with valley-view bathtubs) and four excellent restaurants. The on-site Serenitas Spa is one of the most attractive spa spaces in the Mediterranean. Hugging the coastal cliff of Cap Vermell, the treatment rooms overlook the valley, with breathtaking mountain views dropping into the Mediterranean Sea. A pretty zen space for a seriously relaxing massage.
Staying on the west side? in Port d’Andratx might just be the most beautiful villa on the island. From its prime hillside position, the villa boasts views which can genuinely be described as jaw-dropping – and these only get better as you head upwards. The villa is set across five floors, with five king-sized bedrooms, an infinity pool, indoor spa, open plan living area and billiards room. But the crown jewel has to be the glamorous roof terrace, complete with a Jacuzzi-style pool, outdoor kitchen space, and 180-vistas of the Mediterranean and Tramuntana mountains beyond. Interiors are chic and minimalist, with floor to ceiling windows throughout flooding the residence with Spanish sunlight. All bedrooms are front-facing, meaning no matter where you’re sleeping you’ll wake up to picture-perfect sea views. These are particularly spectacular from the master suite: a huge, airy space with a freestanding bath, rainfall shower and walk in wardrobe.
These luxurious settings are more than matched by the service. Owner Nick Bampton describes Villa Infinitum as a “votel” – a cross between a villa and hotel. You’ll wake up to an impressive breakfast spread each morning, and guests can book bespoke in-house services, such as private catering from Marc Fosh trained chefs, wine tasting, yacht trips around the island and spa treatments from at-home beauty booking service . A private cellar containing every type of alcohol under the sun is restocked each week for guests, with the option to pre-order particular tipples ahead of your visit.
On the east coast the larger hotels like the Park Hyatt draw the biggest dining crowds, and the Tapas Bar is the perfect place for cocktails and excellent sharing dishes. All ingredients used in the classic Mallorcan cuisine are organic and sourced from farms and fishing ports nearby. Good luck making it past the fourth course though – it’s hard to stop at a couple of bites of each of the countless plates.
There are several excellent wineries on the island (Bodega Ribas is the oldest and known for its excellent house white based on Mallorcan grape Prensal), but for a tasting with a difference, ask the locals for any olive harvesting dates. If you can coincide your trip with the first harvest of the season (and wangle an invite from the family), you’ll be treated to a wine and olive oil tasting, watch the liquid gold (or vivid green) being made, and then be treated to a sumptuous menu of at least a dozen courses.
For a cafe/restaurant with an all-day brasserie feel, drop into one of the chains spread out at different luxury ports across the island where you could as easily sit with a post-dinner cocktail and a book as you could go there for a healthy breakfast with freshly squeezed Zumo de Naranja. There’s a never-ending playlist of easy-listening background music, the drinks are top quality and the decor is divine. Your saviour when you need to dump all your bags when shopping in Palma, the Cappuccino nestled within Palma’s backstreets has a courtyard that is a suntrap and the staff won’t mind if you spend an afternoon there taking in the beautiful surroundings (and trying cocktails from their impeccably crafted cocktail menu!).
is the epitome of cosy dining. Order from their menu of top quality steaks, and vegetarians, fill up your plate with the eclectic salad bar and let your food go down by the toasty fireplaces. For a simply divine and top quality steak, make your reservation at La Hacienda and prepare to waddle home afterwards.
Over on the west side, hotel and award-wining restaurant in Port D’Andratx is one of the best places to eat. Its prime waterside location means delicious, fresh fish, which you can enjoy alongside glorious port views.
The best – and most glamorous – way to get a feel for the island as a whole is by boat. Charter a yacht for the day from the Port d’Andratx harbour and sail out to Sant Elm, a lovely fishing village, where you’ll can enjoy lunch at pretty waterside restaurant . Next stop: Dragonera Island, an uninhabited, dragon-shaped island with a water preserve for waterfowl and lizards.
Beyond the beautiful scenery of the Serra de Tramuntana and the major sites of the capital such as the Palma Cathedral La Seu, for a more tranquil weekend explore the hidden gems to the north. Sóller is a beautiful old town in the heart of the ‘valley of oranges’. From the impressive Sant Bartomeu church to the tram chugging its way through town, it’s a beautiful place for a laid-back lunch. While you’re in the area, pop to the idyllic village of Deià, which English poet and novelist Robert Graves put on the map when he built his home there in 1932, and more recently featured on BBC’s The Night Manager, starring Tom Hiddleston. Eat at fish restaurant Ca’s Patro March, where Hugh Laurie’s dastardly Richard Roper dines his entourage (+34 97163 9137). Even if you’re travelling outside the summer months, the island’s beaches are well worth a visit, particularly for a sunrise or sunset stroll. Playa de Muro is popular with visitors while locals recommend Cala Mesquida in Artà for its picturesque sand dunes.
It’s lovely to stroll around the small markets in towns such as Felanitx, Mallorca. Located in the south east of the island it’s around a 40-minute drive from the Park Hyatt and the perfect place to blend in with the locals having a lazy Sunday stroll or a coffee in the square. Look for brightly coloured pottery, baskets and fine Mallorcan linens among the usual market fare. There are several seriously interesting (and teeny tiny) galleries and potteries in this gem of a town, so do try and squeeze in a visit between hikes and spa treatments.
Out of season Mallorca
The cooler months are perfect for outdoor activities, and there are several great hiking routes for all abilities. If you’re based on the west side of the island, explore the World Heritage Site of Serra de Tramuntana by bike or on foot, or set out on a coastal route straight from your hotel. There are several excellent golf options, including Pula (where Rafa Nadal can often be seen practising his swing), Son Servera and Capdepera.
While the off-season scene is on the rise, expect many of the big restaurants (and some hotels) to be shut if you travel in spring, autumn or winter, especially if you’re headed away from the capital. British chef Marc Fosh’s eponymous one-Michelin-starred restaurant in Palma is open all year round and worth a visit for his exceptional Mediterranean dishes using only the freshest local produce (marcfosh.com). in the luxe Castell Son Claret hotel on the west coast is the only restaurant on the island with two Michelin stars. Beautiful, locally caught seafood is at the heart of the menu.
Book it: Doubles at start from approx €300 during the winter months (from €640 peak season), including breakfast.
Take exclusive use of Villa Infinitum year-round starting from €18,000 per week based on 10 sharing. This includes daily breakfast, daily maid service and a dedicated villa manager to assist with housekeeping and additional services. Minimum stay of seven nights. For further information or to book, please visit or call +44 (0) 7471 935741.
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