Updated: March 30, 2023Published: February 28, 2023
Let me guess, you want to go to Mallorca but don’t really know where to begin looking. Should you stay in the capital, go to the quaint small towns, or maybe a beach resort?
Well, it all depends on the who and what involved in your trip.
I have to be honest organizing a trip is challenging; there are so many variables, and we never want any of them to go wrong. Part of our formula before choosing hotels, activities, and else is defining who we are traveling with, what we want to do, and how much we can spend.
So, to choose where to stay in Mallorca, we will examine the first two questions: who we are traveling with and what we want to do. There will always be options for budget, luxury, or moderate travelers, so let’s cover the basics first!
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🙋🏻 Who: Family and
🤷🏼 What: Beach and nightlife enthusiasts
The Southern coast of Mallorca is the most touristy destination on the island because it is where the capital, Palma de Mallorca, is located. On top of that, it’s also where all the international and national flights arrive, so there is a lot of movement going on in Palma.
1. Palma de Mallorca
Palma is the island’s capital; most people that visit Mallorca arrive by plane and, therefore, see (at least) Palma through the window of their bus, taxi, or rented car.
Palma is great for anyone, families, friends, couples, and nightlife seekers; like any great capital, it has a little bit of everything. But as a general overview, Palma’s old town and the Cathedral Basilica Santa Maria de Mallorca are unmissable.
On top of that, you can eat at great restaurants and go shopping at any store you can imagine!
You can see more things to do in Palma in the articles below!
Palma Nova is a town in the municipality of Calvià south of Palma de Mallorca. A curious fact about this town is that it was one of the first purpose-built tourist destinations on the island.
Because of its proximity to the capital, Palma Nova has become a top destination for people all over Europe, especially for families and young adults, due to its proximity to Magaluf.
The top three beaches of this town are Es Carregador, Son Matías, and Playa de Palmanova, perfect for enjoying a swim or practicing a water sport!
If you enjoy doing new things, there is a Jet Ski Center and a Wakeboard school next to the Es Carregador beach. And, if what you are looking for I getting active at night, keep reading our article or hunt one of the many British or Irish pubs in the Palma Nova.
If you go in May, attend the Mallorca Live! It’s an incredible music experience festival to enjoy with friends or your partner. Check out your tickets 👉🏻 here!
You must not be very party if you have never heard of Magaluf. This town is the top destination for nightlife enthusiasts. Let’s put it in simple words, Magaluf is the Ibiza of Mallorca.
Young adults from all over Europe choose this as their top destination for their vacations because of the great beach, bars, cafes, and parties.
Even though this town is famous for its nightlife, families also spend their summer in the area because of great parks like the Western Water Park and Katmandu. Other activities families can do with the kids are the Fantasia Gold and Pirates Adventure Dinner.
⚠️Warning! The Pirates Reloaded is for people +18!
The east side of Mallorca has a hidden gem (aka the adventure) and plenty of beautiful calas (coves), which are the protagonists of those Pinterest vacation boards worldwide.
Cala d’Or and Santinyí are two of the most famous spots on the eastern side of Mallorca. We have two other articles on calas and towns in Mallorca, giving you more details on places to see during your trip.
If the “who” of your trip are family and friends looking for a relaxed time on the beach, strolling through cute old towns, and exploring small villages, then you should choose the island’s Eastern side as your place to stay.
Artà means garden in Arabic; it is a small municipality 20 minutes away from the beach by car, so it is close to 25 km of coastline with more than 25 beaches and coves preserved naturally.
Artà is a perfect combination of traditional and modern, and it is a town off the tourist radar. So, if you want your vacations to be about slow living, early morning, long beach days, and long hours of sleep, Artà is your town.
Portocolom is a traditional fishing village that will make you feel like you are in a movie. I fantasize about being in this village for at least a month, doing some cala hopping, eating fresh food… a reset in life.
Portocolom is the perfect village to rest, eat and go to the beach. If you rent an Airbnb or another apartment, you can get some groceries at the market of Santanyí and Felanitx.
One of the closest coves to Portocolom is Cala Marcal, less than 30 minutes from Cala d’Or. Also (hidden gem time!), Portocolom is a 20 minutes drive from the Cuevas del Drach, breathtaking caves considered a natural wonder.
I think Menacor is a nice addition for all the tennis fans out there! For those who don’t know, Menacor is Rafa Nadal’s hometown. You can visit his “Rafa Nadal Museum Xperience” museum for a full immersion and interactive test on Formula 1, basketball, tennis, and more.
Besides being a nice place for sports lovers, Menacor is also pretty on the tourist’s radar; and there are plenty of close beaches like Cala Anguila, Cala Menacor, and Cala Moreia.
Like Portocolom is very close to Port Cristo, the town of the “Cuevas del Drach.”
🙋🏻 Who: Couples
🤷🏼 What: Beach and hiking
Mallorca’s west coast is the island’s most popular side, following the south. There are famous beach towns like Sollèr and Deià (you can read more about them in the links below), a paradise spot for couples looking for romantic scenery.
For example, the Son Marroig viewpoint, between Cala Deià and Caló de s’Estaca overlooking the rock Sa Foradada, is one of the best points in Deià to look at the sunset or sunrise; its just full of breathtaking scenes that make it perfect for a two people getaway.
So, besides the two top towns, I will add one more: Bunyola!
Bunyola is a town between Sollèr and Pama de Mallorca, located in Sierra Tramuntana. Like the other inland towns we mentioned, you can go to incredible coves and beaches in less than 30 minutes by car.
Bunyola is also a perfect spot pr couples, but you know for who it would be even better? For couples who like hiking! 🥾
The proximity of this town to Sierra Tramuntana makes it perfect to start a hike very early in the morning, and go back to the beach, maybe Cala Deià, for the afternoon, and to finish the day, go have dinner at Palma.
🙋🏻 Who: Family and friends
🤷🏼 What: Beach and hiking
The north coast of Mallorca also has some pretty famous beaches and towns, so it is another perfect place to stay if you want to travel the island with family and friends.
Pollensa is a cute town to stay with families and friends planning a relaxed trip.
The town is a bit farther away from the ocean, known as Port Pollensa; its beaches have good facilities, beaches, and excellent opportunities for water sports; it also is one of the starting points of Dry Stone Route GR-221 in Sierra Tramuntana.
In adiditon, you can visit the Santuri or Monastery de Lluc.
One main attraction here is the old watchtower en route to Cap de Formentor.
Alcudia is a tourist hotspot on the island’s north side, with kilometers of shallow beaches, making it a perfect fit for families. This town is famous for its favorable wind conditions for surfers and sailors, so if you visit, you will see many of them!
A top beach in Alcudia is Playa de Muro, a 6 km white sand beach with all the facilities you will need during your day, like showers, chairs, and lifeguards.
Inigo Navarro is a seasoned travel writer with a deep understanding of Spain's cities, culture, people and language. Born and raised in Spain, he has spent years exploring the country and is currently one of the most-read Travel Bloggers about Spain. Inigo is also an experienced digital marketer, a father to 4 beautiful children and a huge Real Madrid Fan. ¡Hala Madrid!