With its rough-hewn mountains, sandy shores, long, sunny summers, and greenish-blue sea, Mallorca is the perfect destination for people who love the idea of beach life combined with the cultural lure of ancient hill towns, a historic capital city, not to mention endless opportunities for sport and fitness.
First, though, come the beaches. The largest of Spain’s Balearic islands, Mallorca is a sun-lover’s paradise. The island offers up snug little coves, long coastlines backed by the rugged Serra de Tramuntana mountains, seaside destinations geared toward families, and some of the most fashionable beach settings in the Mediterranean.
Here are some of the best beaches in Mallorca, beckoning you to visit them as soon as you possibly can.
Playa de Santa Ponsa
On the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, you’ll find that there are two official languages spoken, Catalan and Castilian Spanish, along with the local Mallorquí dialect.
This linguistic information is good to keep in mind, as you’ll encounter the Spanish word playa for beach, along with the Catalan or Mallorquí word platja. The word cala means small bay or inlet.
Playa de Santa Ponsa will provide you with an easy introduction to Mallorca’s beach culture. Located southwest of the wide sweep of the bay of Palma in a sheltering bay, this lengthy beach (almost 3,000 feet) features shallow water backed by a lovely beachside pine grove.
Volleyball, jet skis, and paddle boards are some of the playtime options available at Santa Ponsa—which also happens to be the name of the nearby town, where you’ll find all manner of bars and restaurants serving authentic Mallorcan food.
Palma Nova Beach
The three Blue-Flagged beaches (a Blue Flag means the beach is officially considered well-managed and exceptionally clean) in the resort town of Palma Nova, south west of Palma, are ideal if you want to sprawl out on expanses of golden sand.
They’re perfect for couples on a holiday or European honeymoon, or if you have some family in tow.
The three beaches are Playa Carregador, Playa Palma Nova, and the biggest of the bunch, Son Maties, more than 3,900 feet in length.
Palma Nova’s beaches have all been given an aesthetic upgrade with imported white sand. Loungers, watersports, parasols, and seasonal chiringuitos, toes-in-the-sand beach restaurants, are on offer here.
The trendiest bars are next to Son Maties, one of Spain’s best beaches, with different restaurant selections clustered along the promenade.
Platja de Sant Elm
The former fishing village of Sant Elm, and its corresponding beach ranks as one of the best beaches in Mallorca—not necessarily due to the two small sand and gravel beaches here, but rather due to the remarkable scenery on display.
After you arrive in Sant Elm, some 40 minutes’ drive west of Palma, you’ll notice the very pretty and uninhabited Pantaleu islet just off the coast. Dragonera Island’s greenish slanted slope can be spotted slightly farther out to sea.
Platja de Sant Elm is also backed by the Serra de Tramuntana foothills—home to some of the best hiking in Spain—adding to the region’s appeal.
The beach area comes with seafood restaurants near the shore and fosters a chilled-out vibe. You can visit the hillside Cala Basset watchtower, dating back to the 16th century, after you take a dip in the sea or stop for a bite to eat, adding yet another layer of charm to your Sant Elm visit.
Cala del Mago
Mallorca has a few clothing-optional beaches, one of which is the delightful Cala del Mago, near the village of Portals Vells, 30 minutes’ drive south west of Palma.
Here, you’ll find a short stretch of white sand flanked by outcroppings of smooth rocks, and boxed in by scrub and pine trees, a setting that gives a blissful sense of isolation.
Cala Sa Nau
If you’re looking for more beach time at the terminus of a small and beautiful inlet, Cala Sa Nau, an hour and 10 minutes east of Palma, stands out as one of Mallorca’s best beaches.
You can laze about on sun loungers here, or sit with a cold beer and tasty snacks at the local chiringuito beach bar.
Tree-covered rocks border the cove’s entrance channel. The water here is exceedingly tranquil, too, thanks to the protection provided by the narrow inlet.
The steep drop-off, once you enter the water, makes Cala Sa Nau ideal for a snorkeling adventure.
The resort town of Illetes, the beaches of Platja d’Illetes, and the sheltered beaches of Cala Comtessa and Cala Xinxell are the main components making up this luxury-oriented beach community.
The beach coves here, on the sweeping Bay of Palma, are backed by fancy eateries right next to the shore. Platja d’Illetes, the biggest of the lot, exudes an upscale vibe, its exclusive feel given a further boost by its sheltered location, overlooked by rows of luxury villas.
You can take to the water by renting kayaks, paddleboards, and other modes of aquatic transport, letting you roll across the waves. The white sand of Platja d’Illetes is guarded by rock walls and big trees just behind the beach and beachside facilities.
The soft sand extends out into the calm and shallow water at a gentle gradient, making it easy to wade in whenever you’re in need of a refreshing Mediterranean plunge.
Port de Soller Beaches
Port de Soller, located on a fairly secluded horseshoe-shaped bay on the western slant of the Spanish island, is where you should venture if you want to combine the stark beauty of the Serra de Tramuntana mountains with the sea.
Apart from the sunny promenade and seafood restaurants, not to mention the scenic, if narrow beaches of Es Traves and Playa d’en Repic, Port de Soller offers up plenty of culture and history.
Highlights include the Santa Caterina and Sant Ramon de Penyafort churches, the Torre Picada watchtower, with its far-reaching views, and the wonderful little street tram running next to the promenade.
You could also take advantage of short boat excursions departing from the port that sail to nearby destinations like Sa Calobra, with its tiny beach closely hemmed in by towering, craggy cliffs.
Platja de Muro
Stretch out as far as you please, as you’ll have plenty of room at Platja de Muro, one of Mallorca’s best and longest expanses of waterfront property, over three miles in length.
Playa de Muro’s divided-up sections are all Blue Flag beaches. You’ll find all of the amenities you’d imagine (bars, chiringuitas, changing facilities, parasols, and sunbeds) here, augmenting your enjoyment of the fine sand sifting between your toes, and the glistening, shallow, blue water.
The beach is situated close to the Port of Alcudia, just over an hour from Palma, and the salty wetlands of S’Albufera Natural Park to the north. If you have time, visit the park for some terrific bird-watching opportunities.
Banyalbufar is a handsome and precipitous stone-terraced hamlet in western Mallorca, where almonds, olives, oranges, and juicy tomatoes are cultivated.
If you visit this sparsely populated village, next to the Serra de Tramuntana mountains, try to see a few of the historical sites like La Nativitat de Santa Maria church, which houses a famed Baroque organ, or hike up to the ancient Torre del Verger watchtower.
Cala Banyalbufar is about a 15 to 20-minute walk from the village proper. The descent to the narrow pebbly beach cove is sheer, but once you arrive, you’ll be rewarded with wonderful views of the bay.
You can also take advantage of the clear blue-green water for a swim, with big rocks clearly visible beneath the rippling waves.
Platja de Formentor
Platja de Formentor, a half-moon of sand on the south side of the Formentor peninsula, along the northeastern point of Mallorca, rates as one of the island’s best natural beaches due to its length, soft sand, and shallow, swimmer-friendly water.
The long, skinny Blue Flag beach is bordered by thick pinewoods and offers views of the dramatic Tramuntana mountain range. Plenty of facilities are on site, along with a couple of restaurants, but this corner of Mallorca is much quieter than the southern beaches around Palma.
If time allows, head out to Cap de Formentor, and the lighthouse there, where the mountains bump up against the sea. This rocky perch is Mallorca’s northernmost point and will afford you the breathtaking views that Spain is known for.
Platja des Trenc
Platja des Trenc, a wide and protected beach over four miles long in southern Mallorca, is where to head for clear, sapphire-blue water, blended with occasional shades of green.
This unspoiled habitat is hemmed in by pine trees, sand dunes, and the Salobrar de Campos lagoon, a protected ecosystem that’s home to many different bird species.
While you won’t come across much infrastructure here, there are a few chiringuitos, one restaurant set back in the dunes, plus a few spots renting out beach umbrellas.
Water sports aren’t really on offer at this peaceful spot, but you will find plenty to keep you occupied, from swimming and snorkeling in the calm sea to exploring the dunes and natural areas.
Two of Mallorca’s best beaches, with steep and dramatic backdrops, are located in the northwest, near the village of Sa Calobra. The road driving down to Sa Calobra is long and tortuous. You can opt for a boat trip here instead, departing from Puerto de Sóller, if you want to avoid the road.
Platja de Sa Calobra is a small pebble beach, with fairly rough waves, close to the village. There are a few places to eat nearby, specializing in local fare. The dramatic and rocky terrain of the region creates a remote and dramatic backdrop.
Platja de Sa Calobra is a pretty but unpolished waterside destination, giving off a distinctive, carved-out-of-rock vibe, with pristine blue water, and an unhurried approach to beach life.
If you’re feeling adventurous, hike out to the impressive Platja de Torrent de Pareis, only accessible by foot or boat, backed by a long gorge, and embraced by abrupt and enormous cliffs on both sides.
You won’t find any services in this remote spot, so bring your own sun shelter, food, water, or whatever else you might need to enjoy the sand and turquoise sea.
If you’re visiting the historic, picturesque town of Artá, and perhaps the hilltop Sanctuary de Sant Salvador monastery in Mallorca’s mountainous northeast, you can take a side trip to Cala Torta, and go for a swim at one of Mallorca’s prettiest beaches.
While the secluded Cala Torta doesn’t offer much in the way of amenities, it is rich in wild beauty and white sand. There’s a small timber chiringuito serving cold drinks, grilled fish, and other snacks.
The beach, situated inside the Natural Park del Llevant, where you’ll find superb hiking trails, is great for snorkeling and swimming, although the steep drop-off can lead to strong currents, so pay attention to the water conditions. Just behind Cala Torta, you’ll note the rugged and rocky hills, which only enhance this destination’s sheltered feel.
Playa de Alcúdia
Playa de Alcudia, near Port d’Alcúdia in the island’s north east, is one of the island’s finest beaches.
More than four miles long, you’ll find a long wooden boardwalk, easy access to facilities such as cafés, bars, restaurants, rental shops for watersports, shallow water, and silky sand. This is a great spot for families or anybody who wants to try watersports.
Some areas are busier; around Port d’Alcúdia, for example. If you prefer peace and quiet, make your way out to Playa de Muro, farther along the beach.
If Mallorca’s sandy shores have captured your imagination, and you’d like to check out some of the island’s best beaches for yourself, why not book a Mediterranean cruise that visits this gorgeous Spanish island? Browse our luxury cruises to Mallorca and plan your beach escape.