Mallorca, Spain: Tourist Trap or Beautiful Island?

Is Mallorca Worth Visiting?

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 vacation progresses…

But, it took me over two months of living in Mallorca 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 El Arenal. And that is what I want to share with you in this Mallorca travel blog.

Also Read: Things to Know Before Traveling to Spain

Mallorca or Majorca?

Mallorca or Majorca
Palma de Mallorca – Is Mallorca worth visiting?

Ok, before I tell you more about Mallorca, let me answer the two questions I get the most: “Is it Mallorca or Majorca?” and “Is Mallorca Majorca?”

Yes, Mallorca and Majorca refer to the same island. But the correct spelling is Mallorca.

Majorca with a j has been widely used by the British and although not correct, somehow it stuck when Mallorca became more popular as a tourism destination and these days you will even see it in big advertising campaigns.

The ‘double l’ in Spanish is pronounced as a “y” in English, but in some Spanish accents it also sounds a bit like a “j”, so perhaps that’s where it comes from.

Anyway, just remember it is Mallorca, not Majorca.

The Island of Mallorca and Why You Should Visit It

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

visiting Mallorca and its unspoilt scenery

The rich and famous have been visiting Mallorca for generations and consequently the island 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 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.

Tip: If you are looking for a hotel in Mallorca I recommend checking 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 along the eastern and southern coasts, that are otherwise only accessible on foot.

Mallorca’s rich history still shows in all the wonderful buildings. Especially capital city Palma de Mallorca is a must-visit for anyone who loves architecture.

The rich cultural history has left many 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 throughout the island and its moderate climate make it a popular island for hiking, 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

Soller, one of the towns worth visiting in Mallorca
Soller: a town worth visiting in Mallorca

Visit the northeast of Mallorca for history, the east coast for beaches and caves, the north and west for spectacular mountains and picture-postcard villages.

If you are visiting Mallorca and want to explore ‘the real Mallorca’ I would recommend renting a car because public transport is somewhat limited.

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.

Serra de Tramuntana

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 bizarrely 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 is a Good Year-Round Destination

visiting Mallorca year round
Mallorca tourism is year-round

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

Although it does get quieter after the summer months end, Mallorca is a year-round destination.

I would recommend visiting Mallorca before or after the summer months (June until August) if you want to avoid the crowds.

Mallorca Tourism

Mallorca with its rich culture, history, beautiful scenery and good climate has welcomed tourists since the early 1960s 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 unspoiled.

Mallorca’s Food and Culture

Mallorca's 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. Going for quality instead of quantity, 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 – revitalizing the mainstays of the Mallorcan kitchen.

Also Read: Famous Spanish Food You Should Try

Places to Visit in Mallorca

Port de Soller - a must visit place in Mallorca
Port de Soller, Mallorca

Some of the places to visit in Mallorca, in my opinion, are:

  • Palma de Mallorca – the 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
  • Puerto Portals – with its beautiful luxury marina

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

So, Is Mallorca Worth Visiting?
One of Mallorca's many beaches
One of Mallorca’s many beaches

Mallorca is a gorgeous island and definitely worth visiting. I have lived in different parts of Spain for years now and seen most of the country. And still I believe Mallorca is one of the most beautiful parts of Spain.

And if you ever get the chance to spend some time working and/or living on this island like I did last summer, definitely go for it!

Also Read:

Would you like to know more about life on this beautiful island or about Mallorca tourism? Leave a comment below and I will reply asap!

Like this article about whether visiting Mallorca is worth it or not? Pin it!

Visiting #Mallorca: worth it or not? After spending 2 months on this island this is my verdict and my tips for where to go if you do visit

This article about visiting Mallorca contains an affiliate link. I may receive a commission for purchases made through this link, at no additional cost to you.

Sanne Wesselman

Author: Sanne Wesselman
A traveler, wanderer, digital nomad, and entrepreneur. Owner of marketing company A to Z Marketing.
I spend most of my time living and working abroad and use this website to share "the good, the bad and the ugly" of traveling and living abroad. Visit the About Me page for more info.

36 thoughts on “Mallorca, Spain: Tourist Trap or Beautiful Island?”

  1. Good afternoon,

    Enjoyed reading your post Sanne! I’m also a world traveling fool and traveling to Barcelona 2/19-3/2 with a few friend and extending our trip in Mallorca. We’re renting a car and traveling the island counter clockwise. March 2-3 Deia, March 3-4 Alcudia, March 4-5 Arta’, March 5-6 Alaro’, March 6-8 Palma. My dilemma is do we continue driving the coastline south or head back west via central area to Alaro and hike? It’s chilly this time of year and the coast drive south looks touristy. One of my friends is also departing on 3/5 from Arta – hence we need to keep moving since she is taking a taxi or train from Arta to catch her flight on March 5th. LMK – since I can cxl my room in Alaro.

    • Hi Joanna,
      Wow you’ll get to see quite a bit of Mallorca, that’s great!
      To be honest, I think the south has less to offer. It’s touristy with lots of standard beach hotels, touristy shops and restaurants… The good thing about going in March is that it won’t be busy yet. But whether that makes it worth going… If you enjoy hiking I would definitely go hiking instead. If you like the idea of having seen all the different sides of Mallorca, then go to the south. It isn’t horrible and it is different from the north and east so you’ll still have new places to explore and new things to see.
      I hope this helps. Have a great time in Barcelona and Mallorca!

  2. We will be coming to Barcelona end of March/early April. We only have one day, and we were thinking of flying into Mallorca for just the day. What do you think of that? Is it just too short? Or can we wander around Palma de Mallorca and get a good feel for the island? Is it walkable? I’m thinking April 1st will still be too cold for anything on the water, correct? If so, what would you recommend we do? We are not really interested in partying/drinking but more the natural beauty of the island. Thanks for any recommendations you have!

  3. Hi Sanne,

    I really enjoyed reading your blog. My fiance and I are looking to visit Mallorca for our honeymoon this coming Sept-Oct. Do you think this is an appropriate honeymoon destination? Any in particular areas of Mallorca you would stay in vs. others? We love food, wine, quaint and beautiful views, but also like to walk/hike/cycle and venture around.

    If you are thinking Mallorca isn’t for us, could you recommend any other travel destinations? You seem to have a wealth of knowledge in terms or travel.

    I really appreciate it.


    • Hi Brynn,
      If you love hiking, good food and quaint towns then Mallorca is a great honeymoon destination!
      I would recommend renting a car and staying in or around Soller. Did you read my article about Soller?

      If you want to splurge, then check out the Belmond La Residencia hotel in Deia.
      But otherwise there are also lots of nice hotels in Soller that cost a lot less.

      Enjoy your honeymoon and I hope you’ll have a great time in Mallorca! 🙂

  4. Hello again Sanne,
    Thank you for your thoughts on Formentara. I was thinking of islands that you like other than the Balearic group–Europe or elsewhere. If you care to mention them I’d appreciate it.
    Thank you

    • Hi John,

      Wow there are so many islands I love (I’m really an island person 🙂 ).
      Anguilla in the Caribbean is a beautiful, less touristy island. Mauritius has great natural beauty and is bigger so has more to offer. Malapascua is one of many beautiful islands in the Philippines (I still have many to explore). I liked Koh Lanta in Thailand and Paros in Greece. Those are the first ones that come to mind 🙂

  5. Hello Sanne,
    I’ve enjoyed this blog. Would you care to tell us in your opinion which islands you have visited that are more beautiful, remote and unspoilt than Mallorca?
    Thank you,

    • Hi John,
      If you mean islands around Mallorca then I definitely recommend Formentera. It’s beautiful and a lot more unspoilt. Menorca is also a quieter alternative to Mallorca, but Formentera would be my number one recommendation.

  6. Sanne,
    My family of 5 (kids ages 22, 20 & 16) are looking at Mallorca over Thanksgiving week. My middle daughter is special needs, so hiking and other strenuous activity won’t work for her. My Husband and son plan to golf a few days. Will we be able to fill the time with sightseeing and driving to different parts of the island for a week? I’d love to spend a couple of days in Morocco or even Lisbon while the boys are golfing, but if you think there’s plenty to keep us busy for a week, I’ll stay there? Curious what your thoughts are? Is the weather decent? I know it’s not beach weather.

    • Hi Synda,
      There is definitely enough to do in Mallorca to keep you entertained for a week, also without hiking and beach weather. But, it depends a bit on what you and your kids enjoy… In general the weather around Thanksgiving is still nice and good for exploring, although if you’re unlucky it can be rainy. You can easily spend 2 or 3 days in Palma de Mallorca, but by day 3 you will have seen and done most. If you love visiting small towns, driving through the countryside and eating lots of Spanish food then you’ll fill the remaining days easily.
      Also check Get Your Guide for activities in Mallorca your family might enjoy:

      If you think you need a bit more variation then Valencia is a short flight away and a fun city to explore for a couple of days. Lisbon is also a good option, just a slightly longer flight.
      Morocco I would say deserves more than just a couple of days so I’d save that for a separate trip.
      I hope this helps and that your family will enjoy Mallorca!

  7. Hi Sanne; my family, 7 adults, will be traveling to Spain in September. We initially planned to visit Montserrat but my brother is a huge fan of Nadal and would love to visit the island where he is from. We planned 6 to 7 days in the Barcelona area but are now looking at Mallorca for part of that visit. Not interested in active nightlife but wonder where the best place to stay for a short visit and opportunity to explore some of the island. Any suggestions would be great!

  8. Hi There,

    Thank you for writing such a great blog for travelling in Mallorca. We are coming for 5 days in January and want to rent a car to drive around the island. Is that enough time?

    • Hi Pat,

      Yes, although more time is of course better (more vacation time is always better 😉 ), Mallorca is compact enough for you to be able to visit a good number of places in just 5 days. So yes, I would definitely recommend renting a car and exploring the island (I highly recommend Soller and the area around it). Have a great time in Mallorca!

  9. Hi Sanne, since you’re well traveled, my family of 6 adults and 1 toddler would like to visit Spain. We’re thinking of Mallorca, Barcelona and Bilbao area last week of April for 2 weeks. We love site seeing and eating. Any recommendations?

    • Hi Linda,

      Those are 3 very different destinations!
      Bilbao is still a bit chilly in April, especially in the evenings. But, if you are ok with that, then it’s a great place to visit.
      Mallorca is nice in April if you want to avoid the crowds, but it will still be too cold to enjoy the water. So it depends on what you are looking for. If you want the best chance of good (beach) weather in April I would suggest going to the south coast. Malaga and surrounding areas are a good option.
      Barcelona in April is great. It’s nice and sunny most days but cool enough to enjoy exploring a city.

      So, if you are not looking for perfect beach weather and like to avoid high season crowds then I actually think this is a great combination of places to visit in Spain! It will give you a very nice varied view of what Spain has to offer.

  10. Hi Sanne,
    I stumbled upon your blog post while doing some research for a month–long stay in Mallorca. Thank you for the info, it’s very useful. How did you go about renting? We are looking for an apartment to rent for the whole month. Do you know if there are real estate companies renting for such periods?

    • Hi Elena,
      My apartment in Mallorca was arranged through the dive company I worked with. They found that, with some difficulty, through a local estate agent once they were on the island.
      If you want to find something before you arrive to Mallorca and are only staying for one month, I would probably just go through Airbnb and see who is open to monthly discounts.

      Some of the most popular websites to rent apartments, used by locals:,,,,
      But almost all of the properties listed here are long term rentals, so the owners probably won’t be interested in just a 1 month rental. That being said, I definitely would check those websites because you might just find something and that will then most likely be cheaper than Airbnb.

  11. Hey Sanne,
    Thanks for the insight. I believe all who replied help form an accurate depiction to those of us considering a visit to Mallorca. Even if those comments are at polar opposites! I have lived on the Northern Californian west coast my entire life and have watched quiet beach towns become mired in gridlock. It’s frustrating to see people so disrespectful but that happens all over the world.

    We used to vacation on the island of Lanai in Hawaii. It was a former pineapple plantation that had a very laid back, quiet and intimate vibe. You feel that you are the only ones occupying the pristine beaches and there is not one traffic light on the entire island! Unfortunately it has been recently discovered by the nouveau riche techies of Silicon Valley and prices have more than quadrupled.

    My wife and I are considering Mallorca. Funny, we were told that Ibiza was the drunken spring break island to avoid by a close Irish family friend. We thought Mallorca would be a great place to visit and even purchase a small vacation home. It has similar climate as California, beautiful beaches, history, wine country (we’re not far from Napa) and we speak Spanish. However the last thing we want is to be around loud visitors who can’t hold their liquor! We could visit Mexico for that.

    Where in Mallorca would you recommend?

    Thanks again!

    • Hi Scotty,

      Yeah, unfortunately, it’s getting harder and harder to find truly unspoiled places these days 🙁
      But to be honest even Ibiza, with its reputation of being a party destination, has beautiful, serene parts!
      And the same goes for Mallorca: it’s by no means an undiscovered destination, but if you stay away from Magaluf and El Arenal, which are the extremely touristy party places, the island has a lot to offer.
      Palma de Mallorca can get overcrowded in summer, but the city does have character.
      If you want to be on the coast I recommend the North West coast. It’s more rugged with beautiful little bays and less room for massive developments. Most towns here, although tourists do visit them, have retained their charm.
      Inland is definitely less touristy so if you really want to get away from it all you could buy an old finca (farmhouse) and enjoy a much quieter side of Mallorca.

      In short: yes, Mallorca is definitely still worth visiting even with all the tourism. Rent a car (which most of the partying tourists won’t) and explore the island to get a better feel for it. Depending on how long you want to go, you could base yourself in Palma for 2 or 3 nights to get a feel for the city and perhaps venture south on a day trip. Then base yourself in Soller for the remainder and explore the North, the West and inland areas from there.

      I hope this helps and I’d love to hear what you think of Mallorca if you do decide to visit! 🙂

  12. Fantastic Island, been there 2 years ago, and was amazed by the nature, views and clear blue water.

    Next to Hawaii, Mallorca is the most beautiful place on earth. Always have a hard time deciding which one is more attractive.
    As of now I live in Europe and Mallorca is the place to go for me. Have to admit, one day I could live there once my retirement is up.

  13. Hi Jess,
    Palma is definitely a good idea. Apart from that I love Port de Soller:
    Deia is another cute town with a lot to explore around it (do rent a car).

    In general I would recommend the north-west coast if you are not into the overly touristy.

    Also, if you aren’t into the overly touristy, young, beach-party type trip, definitely avoid Magaluf and El Arenal.

  14. Hi Sanne

    Thank you for the quick reply! Just wondering, given it is quieter during this time, how long would you suggest staying in Mallorca? Would a week be too long? Also would appreciate a suggestion regarding which town to stay at. We would definitely stay longer in Palma but would like to spend a few days somewhere else also.

  15. Hi Jess,

    If you don’t mind the island being quieter then I’d say Mallorca for Christmas is a great idea!
    In Palma de Mallorca things should be lively enough, in the smaller towns you might find some places to be closed, but even those towns should still be fine. I can’t think of any parts of Mallorca I wouldn’t want to visit around Christmas.

    If you plan to eat out for Christmas, I would recommend booking a restaurant. And ask your hotel or Airbnb if anything is going on in the area for New Year’s Eve or if they have any recommendations for what to do.

  16. Hi, just wondering what you think about spending Christmas/new year’s period in Mallorca? I realize it will be quieter but don’t mind that as I prefer less crowds. Are restaurants open? Are there any places which would not be worth seeing during this time? Thank you!

  17. Everywhere in Mallorca is now fully geared towards tourists, period. I lived in Mallorca for 20 years, and just now moved to a much more beautiful and un touristic part of Spain. (Not telling!). The prices in Mallorca are at least 40 % more than where I live now, and there are NO really wonderful restaurants that serve real food in Mallorca. Horrific traffic jams, mass overcrowding, even air pollution is a huge problem now in Mallorca. I am very happy I finally left and found another paradise.

    • I have to say that I don’t recognise the Mallorca that Camilla is describing. My family and I have just returned from a holiday at a “finca” in the centre of the island, near to Sineu, and we had the most idyllic time!
      All we could hear were the birds and the bells that the farm animals wear, the roads were relatively empty except near large towns, the small towns and villages were sleepy and felt unchanged, and yet we were only 40 minutes drive away from the coast with its resorts and beaches. The mountains provide a beautiful backdrop in most directions.
      We discovered Soller and its port this holiday, and would definitely like to return to that area next time; both the town and the port are lovely!

  18. Thanks for sharing your story Hans! Between 1977 and now you must have seen Mallorca change so much… I wish I would have had the chance to see the island back then!

    But I am happy that you still speak positively about Mallorca and still return every year 🙂 And I am sure you know the best places on the island, the ones most tourists don’t know 😉

  19. I arrived on Mallorca in December 1977, initially for a couple of months, because later I was supposed to go to Madrid for my Spanish-language studies. A Spanish friend of mine convinced me to stay on Mallorca – I then invested my money in a piano night bar in Palma, in the night-life area called Terreno. The bar became famous – and since I was also one of the pianists playing jazz there, I got to know quite a few Mallorcan girls and towards the end of that experience I got married to a girl from Soller – this was one year before I gave up the bar.

    Needless to say that I got to know all those magnificent places all over the island – in particular Soller. And since I’m also a linguist, I also started to learn the insular version of the Catalan language, apart from the Spanish language…

    Finally I returned with my Mallorcan wife to my mother country, Switzerland, but we continue to visit this beautiful island every year, since our daughter opted for Mallorca as her mother country.

    Some 40 years later, I must admit that mass tourism has had some negative influence on the island, although this summer was the first time that tourism has somewhat declined due to the fact that Egypt is recovering cheap tourism.

  20. I first arrived on Mallorca in 1970. The next year my mother bought a cottage in a tiny village in the mountains. The cottage cost as much as a car in the USA.

    The locals were mostly very private people, then as now, but as I was a child I had more connections than the adult foreigners through relationships with the children. I ran with the local boys and played soccer in the village field.

    Mallorca was a slow moving, peaceful, quiet island. From the church steeple about 1/2 km away one could hear a bird flap its wings as it took off. We would follow a Donkey cart up the hill in our broken down Seat 600. There was no other traffic. There was one phone in the village, located in a wooden booth at the local store. Mallorca had not completely awakened from the medieval age.

    The eccentric expat personalities made for an exceptional social environment. Mostly English, but also Americans, Scots, Dutch, Danish, Swedish and South African. There were many poets and writers and artists. Some full time, some just for summers. The village was full of abandoned houses, some just ruins, which could be bought for a few hundred dollars. Most of the renovations that took place were exceptionally modest and beautiful. Discreet and tasteful. The exceptions in the village were two garish monstrosities built by two German women, one painted pink. There was almost no German presence on the island.

    The vast changes to Mallorca are hard to sum up. Imagine an almost silent airport in 1970 with perhaps 50 people in all, collecting their bags from the one carousel, and a handful of taxis waiting for them. A plane lands. Maybe an hour later another plane. Picture Palma with so few tourists that when you saw another foreigner you might introduce yourself.

    I know this phenomenon has occurred the world over. I feel lucky to have seen this exceptional island closer to its original state.

    The blogger here has found a lovely island which does have some still authentic corners and breathtaking landscapes to be seen. It might be worth a visit if you are willing to go deep and take the time to find those places. I would encourage young people to do exactly that. Don’t miss what there is for you to see before it changes all the more.

  21. What a beautiful Island! I didn’t know this Island although I’ve been to Spain! The only Island I know in Spain is Ibiza!
    Spain is my favorite country since I’ve traveled. Definitely, I’ll visit Mallorca on my next travels!!!

  22. I will say that everything you said was true. Mallorca is beautiful if you stay away from the mass tourism spots. Having said that if you are traveling for a short period of time, and are not from Europe you will be frustrated to say the least. GPS didn’t work. Traversing the island is difficult when signs have no direct (East or West) just town names and they aren’t always true. As a tourist who came for relaxation and a bit of sightseeing I was stressed and regretting ever coming to this Island. Or my favorite thing of no signs at all or them blending in with the building they are on. If you don’t have 2 months to learn the lay of the land and don’t enjoy being lost all the time, pick somewhere else. It isn’t a tourist trap but there has to be better out there for a quick and relaxing beach vacation.

  23. Hi Greg,
    I am sorry you feel that way about Mallorca and feel you have to express yourself in this way instead of sharing more useful facts and figures with my readers. Because of course, no place is for everyone and therefore neither is Mallorca.
    But I lived on the island for months and have been back several times and still love the island. And no, not the parts that are overrun by tourists. But have you been to places like Deia, Llucalcari and Valldemosa? They are stunning and don’t cater to the mass tourism in the way you describe at all.
    And for the record: this article did not earn me anything. I love Mallorca and I love showing people that it has much more to offer than drunk tourists in Magaluf.
    Oh and if you would have taken some time to read a bit more about me you would have known that I have been living abroad and traveling the world since I was 17 so I do know what’s out there. And yes, I have been to more beautiful, remote and unspoilt islands. But those also require more money, time and effort to get to. Mallorca makes for a perfect European travel destination and I will happily give my money to my local Mallorcan friends who run small bars, restaurants, water sport companies etc… all of which are privately owned.

  24. hi Sanne, how much did they pay you to write this nonsense? this island is just horrible and without looking at the map I can name a dozen more beautiful ones in the mediterranean sea. the vile architecture of the hotels, resorts and palma is a manifestation of a greedy mass tourism industry. there is nothing sustainable about this form of tourism. I am sure you have your reason to play in the hands of greedy hoteliers. Start travelling there is a world out there!


Leave a Comment