About Palma Nova beaches
The purpose-built resort of Palma Nova, established in the 1930s, is a home from home for British package holidaymakers. Its golden sandy beaches and numerous family attractions are perennially popular. Palma Nova merges with Magaluf, notorious for its bars and party atmosphere. By contrast, its other neighbour is the upmarket marina of Puerto Portals, nicknamed the St Tropez of Mallorca.
Palma Nova boasts a broad golden fine-sand beach which shelves gently to the sea, providing ideal bathing for young families. There is also a lovely small cove at Son Caliu, a thin ribbon of sand by the port, and an attractive but crowded beach at Son Matias. Neighbouring Magaluf boasts the largest and best sand beach on the south side of Mallorca; indeed many people rank it the best beach on the island. Holidaymakers can hire surfboards, go jet-skiing, water-skiing, ride inflatables and paraglide.
Beyond the beach:
In the centre of Palma Nova, Marineland (www.marineland.es), with its dolphin and seal shows, is a firm family favourite. Golf Fantasia (www.golf-fantasia.com) is an elaborately themed, very popular crazy golf attraction, and one of the best mini golf courses on the island. On the water, holidaymakers can venture out on the Nemosub submarine, and ‘booze cruises’ are always popular. Sliding and splashing in the water is great fun at the Western Water Park (www.westernpark.com) or next door at Aqualand (www.aqualand.es). There is also a go-karting circuit, pony trekking, bungee jumping and a choice of first-class golf courses within easy reach of Palma Nova. It’s worth a trip to the neighbouring luxury marina of Puerto Portals (the Spanish Royal Family moor their yachts here) if only to see how the other half lives.
Palma Nova is an excellent resort for families with the beach so close to the centre, lifeguards on duty in summer, first aid stations, warning flags and other safety facilities. All eating and drinking places in the resort are family friendly and there are dozens of family attractions within a short distance of Palma Nova.
Mallorca’s capital, Palma, is seriously underrated. This is one of Spain’s most beautiful small cities with a magnificent cathedral, atmospheric old streets, 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. A day trip to the Cuevas del Drach cave system is also well worthwhile. Closer to Palma Nova the old towns of Calvià and Andratx are also worth visiting.
In Palma Nova itself, Ciro’s restaurant on the beach has been serving top quality local fish and seafood dishes for over 30 years. Or rub shoulders with the jet set and Spanish royalty at Tristáns gourmet restaurant at Puerto Portals. Its two-Michelin star cuisine does come at a hefty price though! Or you might like to take a taxi 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.