Mallorca may seem like a rural, paradisiac island where you go to forget about work and responsibilities.
You are right. Mallorca will inject a dose of relaxation and peace into your system, plus the vitamin d that you get from the sun. But there are more things the island has to offer.
Mallorca has some beautiful historical and natural landmarks that will give an extra bonus to your vacation; after all, the island is more than its breathtaking beaches.
After reading this article, you will have a lits of 13 landmarks in Mallorca, plus tips in each place to get the best out of your trip.
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1. Cathedral-Basilica of Santa María de Mallorca
The Cathedral-Basilica of Santa Maria in Palma also called the Cathedral of Mallorca or “La Seu,” is the central religious building on the island. In 1931 it was declared a Historic Artistic Monument.
It was built on the shore of the bay of Palma. It overlooks the sea on the Roman and Renaissance walls that protected the city; this is the only Gothic cathedral with this peculiarity. This is also the place of the diocese of Mallorca, whose title is the Assumption of Mary.
If you go, you will see the golden color of the sandstone; when they were building it, this stone served as raw material to construct this grandiose temple. The Cathedral of Mallorca is one of the best examples of Levantine Gothic. In the 20th century, Gaudí added modernist elements.
A legend says that King James I of Aragon, in the year 1229, faced a massive storm when he was about to conquer the city of Palma de Mallorca, occupied by the Arabs. The monarch of Aragon promised to build a temple of colossal dimensions if he came out of that storm alive, and he did. That is why they started making it.
This cathedral is also one of the most significant Gothic architecture; it has three large naves of different heights topped by three staggered chapels; these naves are separated by very high octagonal pillars that collect the ribs of the ribbed vault.
This is a spectacular cathedral you must visit if you go to Mallorca. I can promise you that you are going to love it and you are going to be impressed by its beauty.
Besides visiting the cathedral’s interior, go around the “Lago Espejo de Cristal” and look at its architecture from a different perspective. Also, if you want a picture with the stunning cathedral on the back, that would be the right place to go!
2. Castell de Bellver
Bellver Castle in Mallorca was a palace fortress that functioned as a royal residence and a refuge. It was built between 1300 and 1311 under the commission of James II.
The exterior has an appearance of a defensive fortress surrounded by a moat; the castle used to have a palatial interior with elegant decorations, as it was the royal residence at the time.
Something I found very interesting and didn’t know was that in 1717 the castle became a military prison, with numerous enemy soldiers, as well as republicans and revolutionaries, who were prisoners there. In 1821 was also used as a makeshift mint.
The emblematic castle has an unusual appearance as it is surrounded by semicircular towers. You will find semicircular arches and ribbed vaults, taking you back to a Gothic and medieval setting.
The Municipal Museum of History of Palma will also have Roman, Arabic, and Spanish objects. It is also possible to enjoy concerts of the Balearic Symphony Orchestra in summer, usually during July.
You must go to the upper terrace as it is the best part of the castle! You will see the spectacular views of the bay of Palma and the pine forest surrounding the fortification.
Bellver Castle is one of the main places to see in Mallorca and is worth visiting.
3. Palacio de la Almudaina
The Almudaina is the royal Palace of the city of Palma de Mallorca. It is a spectacular palace, to the point that it is one of the residences of the Spanish royal family. Its walls reflect the history of the islands since the megalithic settlements.
This Palace was built between 1305 and 1314 by King James II, together with his wife. It was based on the model of the Palace of the Kings of Mallorca in Perpignan.
It has magnificent decorations inside. The decorations are presented in two atmospheres: the ground floor recreates the medieval style with works from the 15th to the 20th century. The upper floor, which is used for the celebration of official events of the royal family, is decorated with objects and furniture from other Royal Sites of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
The Almudaina royal palace has 3 very important parts:
Courtyard of honor or of weapons: It is the place where the official receptions of the Royal Family take place. A white marble lion is preserved from Muslim times as a reminder of its past.
Arab bathrooms: The Arab bathrooms were of private use for the Muslim walis who resided in the old Alcazar. These baths comprised a cold room, a warm room, and a hot room.
Gothic hall or main hall: It is a huge room with a solemn aspect; it is the most important of the Palace of La Almudaina. It was built in the time of Jaime II, and since then, it has been used to celebrate great festivities and to receive ambassadors.
“A nice place located in front of the promenade and next to the cathedral of Palma. It is a must-stop. Very nice, it stands out from several points,” said Pablo, a 42-year-old man who visited Mallorca a year ago.
4. Jardines de Alfabia
The Alfàbia Gardens are a spectacular set of houses, gardens, and orchards in Bunyola, in the heart of the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range. You can’t miss coming here if you are in Mallorca, and I will tell you why.
Visiting the Alfabia Gardens in Mallorca is one of the best cultural activities in the Balearic Islands. These are wonderful gardens and a house containing valuable historical elements.
The gardens are of Hispano-Arabic heritage, as they came from old farms from the time of Muslim occupation of the island, generally arranged in terraces and dedicated to cultivating trees. It has tropical air, a pond with water lilies, and a great variety of palm trees, and you can also contemplate autochthonous animals.
The gardens underwent numerous transformations during the Renaissance to increase their popularity.
In this garden, you will also find a spectacular house with a structure that has Roman-Andalusian roots. There are features and elements of different styles: Arabic, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Romanesque.
The facade was done by Joan d’Aragó, a significant architect of the Baroque in Mallorca in the 18th century.
You can enjoy freshly squeezed natural orange or lemon juice in the shade of palm trees. You will also have the opportunity of having one of their amazing cakes. This is also the perfect setting for weddings and events; just saying!
5. Monasterio Cartesiano de Valldemossa
The Carthusian Monastery of Valldemossa was built in the 14th century as a royal residence and later became a religious building. Also known as the Royal Carthusian Monastery of Valldemossa.
The monastery is a neoclassical building decorated by great artists and craftsmen of that time. They began building it in 1751 on top of the original church erected in 1446. It is located in the Tramuntana mountains.
The Carthusian monastery has hosted many important figures such as Jovellanos, Rubén Darío, Miguel de Unamuno, and Azorín. Between 1838 and 1839, this was the winter home of the famous composer Frédéric Chopin.
If you visit this great monastery, you can tour the gardens, explore the library, and take panoramic views of Mallorca from the terraces. You can watch a piano performance of Chopin’s most famous compositions if you’re lucky.
In the complex, you will also find the Municipal Museum, which houses a section dedicated to the old Guasp Printing House, the Archduke Luis Salvador room, the “La Serra de Tramuntana” art gallery, and a collection of contemporary art.
Until 2004, the music room of the Palace hosted daily folklorico performances by the Parado de Valldemossa and piano concerts performed by outstanding pianists.
You must attend this visit, you will learn many interesting facts, and you will be able to better understand life in Mallorca.
6. Castillo de Capdepera
Capdepera Castle is a medieval fortification from the 14th century, during the reign of James I of Aragon.
It is located on the Puig de Capdepera, a high hill on the northeast coast of Mallorca. It is one of the best well-preserved fortresses.
Today, it has become a place of historical interest where you can enjoy views of the Menorcan channel and the Mediterranean Sea. It has been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest.
King James I of Aragon conquered Mallorca. He thought he needed troops for his future conquest of Valencia, so he devised a plan to trick the Muslims that lived in Menorca and make them surrender.
To do this, he used the castle of Capdepera to light many bonfires visible from the neighboring island, Menorca. King James I of Aragon was able to achieve his goal, and they signed in this castle the treaty of Capdepera, allowing the Muslims of Menorca to remain in submission to the Aragonese king under tribute.
It is a monument that can be visited all year round. The income collected for every ticket sold is used to finance the preservation and conservation of the cultural heritage of the municipality of Capdepera.
Every year in May, the castle hosts a medieval festival to celebrate the founding of Capdepera. The castle is open all year round and, to reach the top, you must climb about 150 steps.
7. Beach Port of Pollensa
The beach of Port de Pollensa is very long and cozy and offers good conditions for water sports. If you are a surfer lover, this is your beach, as it is said that this beach is one of the best areas on the island for surfing due to the impact of the wind.
The coast of Puerto de Pollensa is considered one of the 20 best beaches in Mallorca.
This beach is a blue flag beach with an extension of about 1.5 km, which satisfies the needs of beach lovers of all ages. Surrounding this famous beach are the Tramuntana mountains and the rugged hills of Cap de Formentor, a stunning natural landscape.
Many hotels, apartment buildings, stores, and restaurants are near the beach. Good restaurants, cafes, and stores are very easy to find.
You will find a large shaded area with trees where you can rest from the sun for a while and enjoy a picnic. It has sun loungers and tiki umbrellas available for rent.
Many poets and painters have been inspired by the beach of Puerto Pollença for their works.
8. Iglesia Nueva Deià
Deià is a picturesque village located in the heart of the Serra de Tramuntana between the municipalities of Valldemossa and Sóller. It is the most charming village in Mallorca. The cobbled streets of this picturesque town are full of charm; they transmit peace, as walking along the slopes of the village, with the exuberant nature surrounding it, inspires and relaxes.
Deià is an extraordinary town because it is located in a privileged spot between the sea and the mountains. It has become a trendy town that has enriched the agenda of cultural events, especially during the high season, such as the International Chamber Music Festival, which Deià has hosted every summer for more than four decades.
Apart from its exceptional surroundings, Deià has several fascinating museums, such as the Archaeological Museum, the museum dedicated to the painter Norman Yanikun, the Parish Museum, the Robert Graves House Museum, and many others, which I recommend you visit.
Many artists have chosen Deya to live a magnificent life full of beauty and inspiration. Since the 1960s and 1970s, artists have flocked to Deyá, and since then, incredible works of art and legends have been created.
To try typical Mallorcan food! I recommend you go around Archduke Ludwig Salvator Way, where the best restaurants are concentrated.
You can’t miss going to the viewpoint of Son Marroig, between Cala Deià and Caló de s’Estaca overlooking the rock of Sa Foradada, one of the best points to contemplate a sunset.
9. Caló des Moro
Caló des Moro is one of the best beaches in Mallorca. For a long time, this small stretch of fine sand and translucent turquoise waters was relatively unknown due to its difficulty. It was one of Mallorca’s best-kept secrets. But due to the word-of-mouth effect, it has become trendy and can be crowded during summer.
Caló des Moro is popular with local residents and now with tourists, especially Germans, who appreciate the adventure of getting there and its stunning beauty. Although its waters are calm if I were you, I wouldn’t go with children, as there is usually little space to play in the sand.
During the high season in the summer months, it can be challenging to secure a spot on the sand.
Whenever I go to this beach, I like to swim and snorkel as it is one of the best beaches. The negative factor of this beach is that it doesn’t have facilities, restaurants, sun loungers, and umbrellas, but this makes the beach so authentic.
You can admire spectacular scenery close to this beach, including the Ses Salines Natural Park, a sanctuary for birds and native flora.
The rural village of Ses Salines has great stores selling local Mallorcan products, including types of salt such as Llum and Flor de Sal, which I recommend you go to.
10. Santuario de Lluc
The Lluc Sanctuary is a 13th-century monastery located in Escorca, on the west coast of Mallorca. It is considered one of the main places of pilgrimage of the Balearic Islands and of Spain.
This sanctuary offers many things: a museum where you can examine weapons, pottery, and objects from the Talayotic period, a hotel with several rooms, and a restaurant.
It highlights the Renaissance-style basilica presided over by the statue of Catalina de Palma, the patron saint of Mallorca. You will also see the most important virgin on the island, the dark-skinned virgin known as “La Moreneta.”
If you are fortunate enough to visit the sanctuary during Sunday mass, I recommend you go that day.
You will have the opportunity to enjoy the singing of the “Blauets,” a choir of children who sing like angels. Thanks to them, the visit can become an authentic religious experience you will remember.
I also recommend you visit the Botanical Garden of Lluc, which is located outside the sanctuary; in addition to the pleasant courtyard with restaurants, we find a green space with more than 200 varieties of different plants.
This is a worth it visit that you can’t miss!
11. Santuario de Sant Salvador
The sanctuary of Sant Salvador is a 14th-century monastery located at the top of the peak of Sant Salvador. There is a 15th-century Gothic altarpiece and religious paintings. Pilgrims often come here to leave their offerings to the Virgin of Health and the Virgin Mary.
This sanctuary is known locally as the Santuari de la Mare de Déu de Sant Salvador, the enclosure is framed by two monuments: a 14-meter high stone cross and a sculpture of Christ on a 37-meter elevated platform.
The monastery was restored entirely in the 18th century, and inside the church is a Gothic altarpiece and colorful paintings of religious imagery. The sanctuary is filled with offerings. Every September 8, a patronal feast honors the Mare de Déu de la Salut.
Go biking! The Sant Salvador sanctuary is known for those who love bicycles, as the road leading to the top is popular with experienced cyclists. On your way to the top, you will find a beautiful viewpoint in Felanitx.
12. Basílica de Sant Francesc
The Basilica of Sant Francesc is an excellent example of Gothic architecture, built between the 13th and 14th centuries, and houses the tomb of Ramon Llull.
Here you will find statues and works of art with Mallorca’s most influential figures, and relax in the quiet courtyard or simply contemplate this majestic structure.
The facade stands out in the Gothic cloister, which is unique when talking about the Crown of Aragon. The basilica was rebuilt in a Baroque style during the 17th century. The carvings on its walls depict notable events, such as the massacre of 19 Catholics in Holland in 1572. The original facade was destroyed by lightning in 1580, so they built a new one with a baroque style during the second half of the 17th century.
As we have mentioned, you can also visit the tomb of Ramon Llull in the basilica. Ramon Llull was a famous philosopher and poet stoned to death in 1315 for trying to convert Muslims in Tunisia. He was an essential figure in Mallorca.
13. Cuevas de Génova
If you come to Mallorca, the caves of Genova are a must-see. They are located in Génova, a small and quiet neighborhood in the western part of Mallorca.
I recommend you book the tickets in advance as it is a popular activity.
The Caves of Genova are formed by several subway galleries of calcareous origin united naturally by several corridors. They have a walking distance of 1 kilometer and descend about 36 meters deep.
These are among the most beautiful caves I have ever been to due to the different colors of the minerals on their walls.
Another of its great attractions is the constant natural irrigation of fresh water throughout the year. This makes the environment continuously humid; this is a huge distinguishing aspect if we compare it with the other four tourist caves of the island (Drach, Campanet, Hams, and Artá).
During the cave tour, a person will guide you around, explaining everything in a fun and educational way, everything related to the discovery of the cave, what it is made of, its curious shapes, and many other exciting things facts.
Have you ever wanted to go eat in a cave? Well, those who wish to come and try the interesting and varied cuisine of Mallorca must go to Ses Coves Restaurant.
It’s a restaurant in the cave that offers summer dinners, including night visits to the caves. It is specialized in meats, grilled fish, Spanish tapas, and, of course, Mallorcan cuisine. Is there a better plan than this one?
“The caves of Genova are located in the foothills of Palma de Mallorca, in one of its neighborhoods, and although they are not as famous as other caves found on the island, they are well worth a visit, and we are sure that they will not disappoint us” states Julia, a 38-year-old woman.
So, are you ready to explore Mallorca? The island seems small and rural but is filled with stunning historical and natural landmarks that will make your experience unforgettable.
This article has landmarks all over Mallorca, so anyone visiting any part of the island gets a bit to see something breathtaking.
Let us know if you need any help; we are here to help!
Jimena Bolívar is a seasoned travel writer with a unique passion for Spanish Food & Recipes. With a background in business and marketing, she brings a strategic and innovative approach to her writing, making her the perfect guide for those looking to truly experience the Authentic Spain. Jimena is also a Mother of 4, and is a huge fan of knitting her own clothes.