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Mallorca has a bad reputation

It is seen as a cheap holiday destination; a party island overrun by young tourists wanting to get drunk every night.

And ok, I have to admit I eventually did find them: loud British tourists ordering their first beer at 11am and, even more embarrassing to me as a Dutch person, large groups of Dutch boys, barely old enough to legally drink, showing off their decreasing condom supply as their holiday progresses…

But, it took me over two months on the island to first come across this type of tourism. So yes, if you are looking for a cheap party destination Mallorca might be an option, but thankfully Mallorca has much more to offer than the infamous areas of Magaluf and Arenal.

Historic building converted into luxury hotelFinca surrounded by Tramuntana mountainsCathedral in Palma de Mallorca


The island of Mallorca

Mallorca is the largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands, with a long and fascinating history. Its current population is over 500,000 with most living in and around the city of Palma. This number increases dramatically during the summer months, when many seasonal workers and tourists descend upon the island.

Mallorca is a gorgeous island, largely unspoilt, with beautiful scenery.

Mallorca's rugged coastlineOne of many beautiful properties in MallorcaLake surrounded by the Tramuntana mountains

The island has been welcoming the rich and famous for generations and offers a large number of unique luxury accommodation. Mallorca’s hotels range from beautiful historic buildings that have been converted to provide every modern convenience, to charming fincas (converted farmhouses) in the countryside and comfortable villas throughout the island. It’s true that some of Mallorca’s coastline has been taken over by holiday resorts but these do tend to be very self contained and are easily avoided if parties & crowds are not your thing. There are vast stretches of beach, particularly in the south, where there has been no development.

If you are looking for a hotel in Mallorca I recommend checking Hotelscombined.com for a wide selection and the best deals.

Majestic limestone cliffs plunge into the translucent sapphire- and turquoise-hued waters of the Mediterranean for the length of the island’s western and northern coasts. Vast plains carpeted with almond trees, olive trees and vineyards stretch across the interior and yachts drop anchor in idyllic inlets that are otherwise accessible only on foot all along the eastern and southern coasts.

Mallorca’s rich history still shows in all the wonderful buildings and especially capital city Palma de Mallorca is a must visit for anyone who loves architecture. The rich cultural history has left many remarkable sights to explore throughout Mallorca though, with castles & ruins, cathedrals & monasteries, grand manor houses & gardens, and a host of art galleries and museums.

The stunning scenery thoughout the island and its moderate climate make it a popular island for hikink, cycling and all sorts of water sports. The warm & dry climate is perfect for golfers and there are around 20 golf courses on the island.

Each region in Mallorca has its own particular appeal – the northeast for history, the east coast for beaches and caves, the north and west for spectacular mountains and picture-postcard villages. If you want to explore the real Mallorca you should get a car and visit as many of the different towns as you can. Drive along the coast for some amazing views of the Mediterranean and make sure not to miss the Serra de Tramuntana (Tramuntana mountains) with its picturesque villages and amazing winding roads.

The Serra de Tramuntana runs along the north-western coast of Mallorca, from the town of Andratx in the west to Cap de Formentor in the north-east and was awarded World Heritage Status by UNESCO in 2011. It covers around 30% of the island’s territory and more than 1,000 km2. The scenery is characterized by bizarre shaped limestone rocks, pine woods and grass with some, partly abandoned, fincas (farmhouses) in between. The coastline is steep and has several small, rocky bays.

Mallorca has well maintained roads, good public transport and excellent travel connections to the rest of Europe and mainland Spain, by air and by sea, making it an easy destination.

Mallorca (also called Majorca by the British and Irish) with its year round tourism, culture, history, beautiful scenery and good climate has welcomed holiday-makers since the early 1960’s and today is more popular than ever. Fortunately, most of the mass tourist market is confined to the southeast corner and the rest of the island is largely unspoilt.

Llucalcari: a tiny village in MallorcaSmall bay on Mallorca's north-west coastRestaurant in Valldemosa, Mallorcavillas on Mallorca's coast

Food and culture

Mallorca has perfected the art of coastal living, with Mallorcan food (including the freshest seafood), wine (vineyards are rarely more than an hour away) and natural attractions at the center of the whole experience. All across the island, locals are returning to their cultural roots, and it’s one of the most exciting things to happen on Mallorca for decades. Forsaking quantity for quality, the island’s old manor houses, country estates and long-abandoned farms have sprung back to life as refined rural retreats. Food is also at the heart of this revival, with the island’s chefs – inspired as much by their Mallorquin grandmothers as by the innovative trends of Mediterranean nouvelle cuisine – revitalising the mainstays of the Mallorcan kitchen.

Must visit places

Port de Soller - Mallorca

Port de Soller, Mallorca

Some of the places you have to visit, in my opinion, if you have enough time in Mallorca: Palma de Mallorca (beautiful capital city), Port de Soller (one of the nicest coastal resorts), Valldemosa (the most gorgeous village), Alcúdia (because of its Roman remains), Cap de Formentor (for its breathtaking views) and Puerto Portals (with its beautiful luxury marina).

If you are thinking about visiting Soller also ceck out: What to See & Do in Soller – Tips From an Expat

Once you have seen this side of Mallorca I’m sure you’ll hate having to leave again!

And if you ever get the chance to spend some time working and/or living on this island like I did this summer, definitely go for it! Would you like to know more about life on this beautiful island? Feel free to send me an email at info@spendlifetraveling.com

Author: Sanne Wesselman
A traveler, wanderer, digital nomad and entrepreneur. Owner of marketing company A to Z Marketing (Atozmarketing.eu).
I spend most of my time living and working abroad and use this blog to share some of my international experiences and travel tips.

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