Things to see and do in Mallorca
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Attractions in Mallorca
Admire the palimpsest Palau de l'Almudaina
Originally home to Mallorca's Moorish rulers and expanded for the Catalan kings, the "palace of the citadel" in Palma is a graceful mix of Moorish, Gothic and Renaissance styles. It was an official island residence of King Juan Carlos I before his abdication in 2015. The gardens and fountains are beautiful.
Ascend to Castell de Bellver for an unbeatable view
This unusual, round, 14th-century castle surrounded by forests and paths offers breath-taking views of Palma de Mallorca. Formerly a royal residence it now houses an excellent museum, including a collection of classical sculptures. The castle is located on a hill above the city and is a major feature of Palma's skyline.
Browse Inca Market
Weekly town markets are an important part of Mallorcan life, and Inca's market is one of the biggest. Stalls fill the town centre where everything from toys to flowers to fruit and vegetables are sold. It's most famous for its leather goods including wallets, belts, bags and shoes.
Cap de Formentor
At Mallorca's easternmost pinnacle lies the Formentor cape, one of the most picturesque parts of the island. Tall cliffs dip into deep blue seas, sporadic pine trees grow along its shore and seabirds swoop overhead. A winding road weaves along the coast here, providing the most spectacular views.
Climb the La Sierra de Tramuntana
La Sierra de Tramuntana Mountains run ragged across Mallorca's northern coast, offering scintillating views and challenging bike rides, with a diverse mix of calas and rocky outcrops dotted along the way. Steep cliffs drop into the blue sea below and picturesque villages such as Deiá perch on the mountainsides.
Explore Palma de Mallorca's old town
The long and multi-faceted history of Palma is well preserved by its old city, where cobbled streets, stout city walls, grand courtyards and gothic buildings beg to be explored. Busy shopping streets, grand squares, pavement cafés, chic restaurants, trendy bars and a flourishing art scene bustle with locals and tourists alike.
Explore the idyllic village of Valldemosa
Tucked high in the Tramuntana Mountains is the quaint, cobbled-lane village of Valldemosa. At its heart is the medieval Royal Monastery complex (the Real Cartoixa), which is associated with the French writer George Sand and composer Frédéric Chopin, who shared a room here in 1838-39. It's a magical little town in a beautiful setting.
Get a taste of farm life at La Granja
This rural finca (farm) in the mountains is surrounded by tranquil gardens and has been beautifully preserved to show a traditional Mallorcan working farm. La Granja hosts craft demonstrations and folk dancing (Wednesday and Friday afternoons). There are also displays of antique furnishings, costumes, food tasting and farm animals.
Go on pilgrimage to Santuari de Lluc
High up in the Tramuntana Mountains is Lluc monastery, Mallorca's most famous pilgrimage destination. Since the 13th century, pious Catholics and others have made their way here to pay homage to La Moreneta, "the little dark one", a statue of the Virgin Mary. There is also a simple but unique hostel inside the monastery.
Hit the dancefloor
Although the Balearic Islands have started to move on from their party image in recent years, they still attract many visitors keen on irreverent nightlife. There are several "super clubs" in Mallorca, many of them in Palma's trendy Paseo Maritimo district. And if all else fails, there's always Magaluf.
Pay homage to Robert Graves
One of Britain's most famous war poets, after a tumultuous life in the trenches – and a somewhat colourful life in London – the venerable writer moved to Deiá, a sleepy Mallorcan village where he wrote his most celebrated works. Fans can explore his rambling villa, which is home to a small but informative museum, and visit the late poet's grave in the nearby cemetery.
Practice watersports around the island
The crystal waters encircling Mallorca are perfect for sports. The island is a popular yachting destination, while the warm sea is ideal for swimming, snorkelling, diving or kayaking. Day boat cruises are a great way to see the coast and there are many excursions that can be booked locally.
Ride the Palma Sóller Railway
The Palma Sóller Railway is the best way to get to the charming, traditional town of Sóller, nestled amongst the Tramuntana Mountains. The vintage wooden 1912 locomotive makes a scenic 27km (16.7 miles) trip through mountains, forests and olive and orange groves offering spectacular scenic views of rural Mallorca.
Visit S 'Albufera Nature Reserve
S 'Albufera Nature Reserve in Alcúdia bay is a large tranquil area of marshy coastline formed by lakes, and natural and artificial canals. The park is home to 200 species of bird, a huge variety of plants and wildflowers, insects, fish, and some unusual amphibians, reptiles and mammals.
Walk into a fairy-tale at Cuevas del Drach
Walk through the fairy-tale world of the "dragon's cave" on the island's northeast coast. You'll pass fantastically shaped stalagmites, beneath a million needle-shaped stalactites, before reaching an amphitheatre for the grand climax – an unforgettable classical concert on an underground lake. The tour is guided in several languages.
Wander dozens of beaches and coves
Mallorca's coastline is pocketed with natural coves, whose clear sparkling waters attract sailboats, traditional fishing boats and are perfect for swimming in. Of these Cala Pi, Cala D'Or and Sa Calobra are particularly beautiful. Golden beaches can be found all around the island. Some especially attractive ones are Es Trenc, Alcúdia and Sa Coma.
Wonder at the astonishing Palma Cathedral
The cathedral is a splendid example of Gothic architecture, remarkable for its vast size and stained glass windows. Construction began 1306 and continued for four centuries. It was remodelled by Gaudí from 1902 to 1914. Beautifully illuminated at night, the cathedral is Palma de Mallorca's most famous landmark.