© Creative Commons / Lanci Daniele's
Buzzing Magaluf's myriad bars and clubs have been welcoming holidaymakers from all over Europe since the 1960s. There is more to Magaluf, though, than its notorious 'Lager Belt', especially after recent moves by the authorities to landscape and spruce up the resort and get rid of some of its less attractive buildings. With a sweep of palm-fringed Mediterranean beachfront, a wide choice of watersports, quiet neighbouring holiday suburbs and lots of family attractions within easy reach, Magaluf has an attractive setting and has broadened its appeal.
Magaluf boasts the largest and best white-sand beach on the south side of Mallorca. Many people think it is the best beach on the island. Holidaymakers can hire surfboards, go jet-skiing, water-skiing, parasailing and ride inflatables.
Porrassa Island is just a short boat trip from Magaluf, holidaymakers can venture out on the Nemosub submarine, and 'booze cruises' are always popular. Visiting the Western Water Park (www.westernpark.com) or next door at Aqualand (www.aqualand.es) is a great way to cool down. There is also Marineland (www.marineland.es), with its dolphin and seal shows, a go-karting circuit, pony trekking, bungee jumping and a choice of first-class golf courses all within easy reach of Magaluf. Golf Fantasia (www.golf-fantasia.com) is an elaborately themed, very popular crazy-golf attraction.
Magaluf is an excellent resort for families with the beach so close to the centre and lifeguards on duty in summer. Virtually all eating and drinking places are family friendly and there are dozens of family attractions either in the resort or just a very short distance away.
Mallorca's capital, Palma, is seriously underrated. This is one of Spain's most beautiful small cities with a magnificent cathedral, atmospheric old alleyways, and some great shopping, eating and drinking opportunities. Old-timer trains rattle north from Palma, slicing through the heart of the holiday island to Sóller in the north, where a tram trundles down to the north coast. Closer to Magaluf, the old towns of Calvià and Andratx are also worth visiting.
Try your luck at the Gran Casino Mallorca (www.casinodemallorca.com). Even if Lady Luck is not on your side, you can dine in the smart restaurant and enjoy the show which has recently included artists such as Michael Bolton, Kool & the Gang and George Benson. Or get a taxi from Magaluf to Palma and start your night out in the island's most decadent bar, Abaco in the old town. It may charge a premium for its sumptuous cocktails, but for the chance to recline in a romantic renaissance old courtyard awash with fresh fruit and flowers it is well worth it. An alternative drop-dead trendy venue is Puro Beach Club on the seafront (www.purobeach.com). Dress to impress and come here to watch the sun go down.