Deciding where to stay in Mallorca
Palma de Mallorca
The capital city of Palma de Mallorca sits in the horseshoe-shaped Bay of Palma and is watched over by La Seu, the imposing Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral of Palma de Mallorca and the Royal Palace of La Almudaina
Plaza Mayor is the epicenter of the city and it is surrounded by magnificent 14th century buildings and former homes to the Spanish Inquisition. Known locally as the artist’s quarter the surrounding galleries reflect this. Street musicians entertain the crowds and narrow passageways lead away from the square where you can find bars, boutiques and cafés. Carrera de la Fabrica is traffic free and is lined with restaurants offering every type of cuisine imaginable.
The capital has a range of accommodation ranging from hostels to five star luxury that will appeal to business travellers, families and backpackers alike. The Santa Catalina area radiates from behind the port with swanky night spots and cocktail bars. Clubs to see and be seen in are Pacha Mallorca and Garito Café.
For a family holiday it would be hard to beat Alcúdia. Five kilometres of flat white sand and warm shallow water means there is plenty of room for everyone to enjoy the sun, sea and watersports on offer. Whichever part of the beach you choose you will never be far from a selection of bars, cafés and shops. Nighttime entertainment is mainly hotel based and orientated towards families with a variety of children’s programme and colourful shows.
Alcúdia is divided into three main areas. In the Old Town the accommodation is more intimate with smaller boutique style hotels. Ciudad Blanca is the main holiday area where access to the beach is easy and there is more than enough entertainment to keep all the family occupied. Away to the western end is the Puerto de Alcúdia, where visitors can sit and watch the fishing boats bringing in the day’s catch.
Whether you want to stay in an apartment on a self-catering basis or just relax and do nothing in a classy hotel offering an all-inclusive holiday there is something here to suit every taste and pocket.
This is the most extrovert resort on the island with a wide flat sandy beach backed by a long promenade with a vast choice of bars, cafés, shops and restaurants. Magaluf is party central on Mallorca, beloved by the 18-30 clubbing set who throng the ´Punta Ballena` strip at night taking advantage of the brightly neon lit bars and cheap alcohol. The biggest club is BCM Planet Dance Magaluf which is a must-do clubbing experience. Check out the Magaluf Club Pass which gives fast track entry into five of the biggest clubs on the main strip so you can wander from club to club without the hassle of queuing.
If you are young, free and single there is lots of accommodation on offer located close to the night time action and the beaches. These hotels are definitely not places to stay if you want to get a good night’s sleep! Location wise Magaluf is a great resort as it is close to Palma airport and ideally located for the water parks, go-karting, the Pirate show and of course the amazing House of Katmandu.
If your whim is for a smaller and more exclusive resort head for Illetas which along with neighbouring Portals Nous is the best location on the island. Illetas has not been discovered by the mass market and holidaymakers here tend to be couples and professionals who want fun in the sun but in a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. The accommodation is mainly four star and above, including an adults only hotel, and package holiday companies don’t use this resort.
The beaches are a mixture of sandy coves and rocky outcrops which hide undiscovered treasures for snorkellers, the shopping is more upmarket than in some of the other resorts and the best restaurants are usually found in the hotels. The exclusive chill out spot ´Virtual Club´ is hewn out of the mountainside and is very popular. It is open all day and offers stunning views from the private terrace through the day but when the sun goes down the nightclub inside the cave becomes alive with the latest sounds.
For those that have affinity with Ireland the resort of Santa Ponsa has a wealth of bars, restaurants and accommodation that is like the Emerald Isle but with sun; including their very own Durty Nelly’s. Six months of street entertainment from May to October keeps visitors of all nationalities amused and in September this is where the Rey en Jaume Fiesta takes place. This is one of the island’s biggest fiestas and the town comes alive with mock fights, elaborate parades and all day partying, drinking and eating.
Cala Bona & Cala Millor
On the eastern side of Mallorca there are a string of pretty villages nestling into the rocky coastline. Action in Cala Bona is mainly round the fishing harbour where you can watch the boats come and go while sharing a pitcher or two of chilled sangria with friends or family. Back from the harbour there are a few streets where shops cater to the everyday needs of holidaymakers. The small beaches are safe for families and there is a promenade where the enticing aromas from the beach bars and chiringuitos will tempt you in for lunch.
Cala Millor is a 15 minute stroll away along the seafront and is very similar but slightly bigger with a wider choice of shops and a long and beautiful sandy beach. This resort has been a favourite with tourists for many years who want the traditional feel of the Balearics but not the frantic pace of the resorts closer to the airport.
The two resorts are ideally located on the island of Mallorca and in close proximity there are three 18 hole golf courses as well as the centre of Majorca’s artificial pearl production at Manacor. Other attractions in the area are the Caves of Drach at Porto Cristo and the Auto Safari Zoo which combines a leisure park and safari park.