When considering things to do in Mallorca, a picturesque island in the Balearic archipelago, you’ll find options that highlight its spectacular beaches, elegant capital city, and rugged landscapes.
Marvel at the splendid Gothic masterpiece, La Seu Cathedral. Explore the tiny Malgrats Islands just off the southwestern coast, or bask on buzzing Palma Nova Beach, known for its pristine sand, crystal-clear water, and lively seaside ambiance.
Unleash your wanderlust upon this Mediterranean paradise, whether you’re here for natural beauty, culture and history, or culinary adventure.
Uncover the Past in Valldemossa
Held in the embrace of the Tramuntana Mountains, Valldemossa captivates with its ancient cobblestone lanes and the tranquil Royal Carthusian Monastery, where Frédéric Chopin and the writer George Sand once lived.
The majestic Royal Charterhouse, also known as the Palace of King Sancho, a former regal residence for Mallorca’s King Sancho I, is impressive, too.
While you ramble through town, stop by the serene Jardines de Jean Carlos, then stop for coffee or tapas at different bistros and cafés scattered about.
Check out the vistas from the Miranda des Lledoners viewpoint as well, or perhaps visit the Frédéric Chopin and George Sand Museum to learn more about these famous artists.
Visit Bellver Castle
Located above the beautiful Spanish city of Palma de Mallorca, the circular Bellver Castle dates back to the early 1300s, and shows off a remarkable display of Gothic architecture.
Explore the central courtyard, adorned with elegant columns, and museum while you’re there, and walk past the ancient well. You can also ascend the ramparts and towers for magnificent views of the verdant hillside, Puerto de Palma, and the azure Mediterranean.
Bask on Palma Nova Beach
Indulging in pristine beaches—and their accompanying beach culture—is one of the best things to do in Mallorca.
The Spanish beach town of Palma Nova, situated in the southwest, near Palma de Mallorca, is renowned for its three sandy coastal areas. The beaches here have Blue Flag status, signifying their cleanliness.
Playa Carregador, Playa Palma Nova, and Son Maties are some of Mallorca’s best beaches, thanks to their sunlit shores and abundant recreational opportunities. You’ll find an array of amenities here from stand-up paddle boarding to jet skiing or kayaking.
Right next to Son Maties, there are plenty of cool bars and places to eat along the promenade, for when you need a break from the sun.
Marvel at La Seu Cathedral
Palma de Mallorca’s hard-to-miss La Seu Cathedral is arguably one of the most beautiful places in Spain.
Built atop a former mosque and dominating one end of the sweep of Palma Bay, the cathedral is a wondrous example of Gothic architecture. If you’re wondering what to do in Mallorca, this is the perfect place to start.
Construction of the monumental La Seu began in 1230. However, the massive nave was only completed in the early 17th century, adding to the cathedral’s grandeur. The site also boasts a blend of Renaissance and Baroque architectural styles in addition to the Gothic.
During the early 20th century, a disciple of the famous Barcelona-born architect Antoni Gaudí added a few touches to the building as well. Be prepared to be impressed by the scale of this beautiful Spanish church, its immense open spaces, and its intricate artistry and craftsmanship.
After your visit, lose yourself in the tangle of alleyways of the Gothic Quarter behind the cathedral, where stone doorways lead to secret gardens and the cool gloom and garlicky aromas wafting from the many tapas bars beckons.
Head Underground at Drach Caves
On the island’s eastern shore, Drach Caves, celebrated for their amazing subterranean rock formations, are home to dramatic stalactites and stalagmites, plus underground lakes and caverns with remarkable acoustics.
A tour through these carbonate rock caves—formed millions of years ago during the late Miocene period—can also be accompanied by a spot of classical music, and an entrancing light show. The light display takes place along the shores of the underground Lake Martel.
Paddle Past the Malgrats Islands
The tiny, uninhabited Malgrats Islands, lying off Mallorca’s southwestern shores, will provide you with a tranquil natural setting and a scenic paddle by kayak.
The area is a marine reserve, so there’s good snorkeling, too. You could spot barracudas, monk seals, moray eels, sea turtles, and more.
The rocky islets of the Malgrats also serve as breeding grounds for various bird species, including the critically endangered Balearic Shearwater. Witness the wonderful natural ecology here as you explore the waters surrounding these arresting islands.
Graze at the Mercado del Olivar
Discover Mallorca’s culinary heart at the Mercado del Olivar. Established in 1951 and conveniently located near the lively Calle Sant Miquel in Palma, this central food market offers a vast array of produce, seafood, and artisanal goods.
Once you arrive at the market, you can lose yourself amid the fine Mallorcan food shopping. Then, of course, you should sample different Spanish culinary flavors here, guaranteed to delight your taste buds.
Savor delectable pastries, juicy olives, sobrasada sausage, island-made cheeses, and classy Spanish wines. Moreover, why not enjoy a drink, a cup of coffee, some tapas, or a tasty meal at one of the market’s local bars, cafés, or restaurants?
Get the Royal Treatment at Palau de l’Almudaina
Another thing to do in Mallorca is to learn more about the island’s royal heritage at different historical sites, such as Palma de Mallorca’s Palau de l’Almudaina. This ancient palace, stemming from the island’s Islamic era, will offer you an intriguing glimpse into the past.
From its Arabian fortress origins to its transformation into a regal residence for Mallorcan and Spanish monarchs like James II and Charles V, Palau de l’Almudaina exemplifies diverse architectural styles, including elements of Islamic, Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance design.
Step inside the well-preserved royal apartments, which are adorned with gorgeous furniture, tapestries, and ornate historical artifacts. Explore the leafy gardens surrounding the palace, providing a peaceful setting for your relaxation.
You can also enjoy panoramic views of Palma de Mallorca’s old town, the bustling harbor, and the blue Mediterranean from Palau de l’Almudaina.
See Marine Life in Palma’s Aquarium
Travel under the seas to take in Mallorca’s mesmerizing underwater realms at Palma Aquarium.
Inside the aquarium, you will be able to dive into a variety of captivating fish-filled environments, and submerge yourself in the aquatic wonders of the Balearic Islands and the Mediterranean Sea.
While visiting the aquarium, check out the vibrant tropical fish, nimble sharks, and graceful sea turtles. You can also “plunge” into different marine experiences, including a 3D whale-themed cinema, a shark tank dive, and interactive tidal touch pools filled with creatures like starfish and sea cucumbers.
There’s also an opportunity to go snorkeling with small rays at the aquarium. You’re bound to enjoy the large shark tank too, where you can watch blacktip sharks, sand tiger sharks, and other species gracefully glide past your face.
Admire Art at Fundació Miró
While you’re in Mallorca, make a cultural side trip to the Fundació Miró Mallorca to discover the imaginative work of Joan Miró, one of the most distinguished artists of the 20th century.
Joan Miró, born in Barcelona, was a Spanish surrealist painter and sculptor who pushed the boundaries of art. Inside the Fundació Miró Mallorca, located along the southwestern edge of Palma, you can appreciate this man’s extraordinary collection of paintings, sculptures, and artwork. Many of his unique creations reflect his interest in the human subconscious.
The modern design of this Spanish museum, with lines set at intriguing angles, is eye-catching as well. After delving into Miró’s mind, unwind in the museum’s tranquil, Zen-like sculpture garden, where you can sit with a coffee and reflect on Miró’s life and work.
Appreciate Llotja de Palma’s Gothic Architecture
Don’t miss a visit to Llotja de Palma, also referred to as Sa Llotja, in Mallorca’s Old Town. This 15th-century architectural treasure, appreciated for its remarkable Gothic style, should top the list of things to do in Mallorca for architectural buffs.
Formerly known as the “Colegio de las Mercaderes,” the building served as an administrative center and maritime exchange in the past.
Walk inside and awe at the intricate carvings adorning the tall columns, which reach towards the soaring ribbed arches and vaulted ceilings above your head. The craftsmanship here is truly inspiring.
Sa Llotja’s exterior radiates a warm ochre hue, with lovely sandstone across the façade. These days, the building hosts different art exhibitions and cultural events, often focused on the island’s distinctive cultural legacy.
Stroll Through S’Hort del Rei Park
S’Hort del Rei Park, in Palma, is a relaxing oasis that offers shade from the Balearic sun, along with an attractive, cooling fountain.
The park, also known as Parc de la Mar, or Park of the Sea, is situated just outside the walls of the Royal Palace of La Almudaina. S’Hort del Rei is home to an array of fragrant blossoms and a vibrant tapestry of greenery.
The garden’s history goes back to the medieval era when Palma, the capital of Mallorca, was under Moorish control.
During the early 19th century, the original gardens were partially demolished. The space was then redesigned into a picturesque, landscaped park, with arcades, fountains, sculptures, cypress trees, and orange trees adding to its allure. S’Hort del Rei is the perfect spot for meandering walks down shaded, winding pathways.
Gaze at Modern Art
Es Baluard Museu d’Art Contemporani de Palma is a contemporary art institution specializing in Balearic-centered modern art.
If you set aside time to wander around the wide and open exhibition spaces here, you’ll be treated to an impressive collection of imaginative works by local and international artists.
As you explore the museum’s galleries, you’ll come across thought-provoking paintings, sculptures, art installations, and rotating exhibitions, along with a variety of avant-garde digital and multimedia pieces meant to act as conversation starters.
There are over 800 works on site, including the painting Dans l’espace I by Joan Miró, the outdoor sculpture Hillargia, La luna como luz movediza, by Jorge Oteiza.
Hike the Sierra de Tramuntana
In Mallorca’s northwest, the Sierra de Tramuntana mountain range forms a rugged, forested spine, opening up a world of exhilarating possibilities for those who want to delve into Spain’s nature.
You can head off for invigorating nature walks and challenging treks through this rugged terrain, filled with cliffs, lush valleys, fertile farmlands, and wonderful elevated views of the sparkling Mediterranean.
The appeal here also extends to scenic hillside villages like Valldemossa and Sóller, one of the most romantic places in Spain.
Mountain excursions will also take you to ancient outposts like the Torre del Verger and Torre Picada watchtowers, which once helped guard the region against pirate attacks.
Peaceful monasteries are also burrowed into this steep terrain, bounded by cliffs and forestland, such as Santuari de Lluc, which serves as a sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin of Lluc.
Mallorca also offers some of the best cycling in Spain, another option for a day out in the mountains.
Taste Olive Oil at Son Moragues
Son Moragues is a 700-year-old estate that produces the olive oil that’s so essential to the healthy Mediterranean way of life. It sits in the Serra de Tramuntana, whose culture and natural history has seen it designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Take a guided stroll through the olive trees, learning about the cultivation of these ancient trees. Then taste some of the oil in the open air, where the flavors play on your tongue.
The estate uses no chemical pesticides or fertilizers, ensuring they are recognized for their organic production. This back-to-basics method also gives the virgin olive oil its own distinct, earthy taste.
The pressing of olive oil at Son Moragues also follows traditional methods. You can see the whole process through all its stages, and perhaps buy some bottles to take home as a memory of this fascinating experience.
Take Your Camera to Banyalbufar
There’s more traditional agriculture at Banyalbufar, a picturesque village on the northwest coast of Mallorca. On the edge of the Serra de Tramuntana, the hillsides were originally terraced to allow their use as vineyards, although most now grow vegetables.
Some of these terraces are centuries old, and were the source of much of the island’s Malvasia grapes. The village was first settled by the Moors, and its name means “vineyard by the sea” in Arabic.
Photographers love the contrast of manmade landscape and the blue Mediterranean stretched out below. Banyalbufar village itself is also photo-worthy, with narrow winding streets, and traditional stone houses.
Several good restaurants and cafés allow you to spend more time savoring its charms. In the fortified church of La Nativitat de Santa Maria, you’ll find a famous 17th-century Baroque organ, one of the world’s most valuable.
From here, there are many hikes into the surrounding hills. One popular walk is to the headland of Sa Foradada, which offers panoramic views along the coast.
Walk Magaluf Promenade
Only 15 minutes from Palma de Mallorca, Magaluf is one of Europe’s most famous beach areas. Its long, golden beach, the source of its original popularity, remains a draw for many visitors, including those in the many private yachts moored offshore.
The resort had a reputation as a party town in the past, one it has been working hard to throw off. The new promenade is a key part of that, now lined with upmarket bars, cafés, restaurants, and beach clubs.
It’s hard to resist the crystal clear water here, so why not plunge in to enjoy one of the many water sports activities? There’s everything from scuba diving, including for complete novices, to an artificial wave center for surfers.
Ride the Soller Vintage Train
This 100-year-old wooden train runs from Palma de Mallorca up to Soller in the Tramuntana mountains. On its 15-mile route it passes through some of the island’s most beautiful scenery.
The narrow-gauge railway was originally built in 1912 to take agricultural products to market in the capital. On its one-hour journey, the train passes through tunnels and over viaducts.
The vintage wooden carriages add to the charm of this trip into the past. Some have open sides, so sightseers have unobstructed views of olive groves, vineyards, and other sights.
Just before Soller, the train enters a two-mile tunnel. On arrival, there is a vintage electric tram running down to the nearby Port de Sóller to add to the retro experience.
Taste the Citrus in Sóller
The town of Sóller has a beautiful setting amid orange and lemon groves in a fertile valley. It’s overlooked by mountains, including Puig Major, the highest peak on the island. One of the best things to do in Mallorca is to take a day trip here.
Many of the buildings in Sóller date back to the 13th century. Landmarks range from the Gothic-style Church of Sant Bartomeu to the modernist Banco de Sóller.
The town’s center is Plaça Constitució, a handsome plaza reflecting a civic wealth built on growing the world’s best oranges. Many workers from here went to France, and brought back both money and stylistic influences.
This elegant square is surrounded by cafés and restaurants, so it’s a good place to taste some of the orange juice from Soller’s orchards. You’ll also find shops selling local citrus products, including marmalade or liqueurs.
Visit the Plaza de Toros
Palma de Mallorca’s bullring is a historic building in the north of the city. Rather than bullfights, it is best known now for concerts.
The building dates to 1929 and was built in Andalusian style from sandstone quarried in Muro. This is the same honey-color Marés stone seen in Palma’s cathedral and its city walls.
While there is no museum dedicated to its controversial history of bullfighting, visitors can tour the arena. It’s surprisingly small, and very atmospheric with a powerful echo if you clap.
Climbing the steps to one of the four towers, you also have a great view over the neighborhood. Known as Coliseu Balear by locals, the building stands tall over the narrow streets around.
Go Pearling at the House of Majorica
Mallorca has been producing beautiful artificial pearls since 1890. The process involves coating a glass bead with a secret coating based on fish scales and other ingredients.
It’s easy to say these manufactured pearls are indistinguishable from the real thing. However, touring the House of Majorica will teach you how to actually tell the difference.
This long-established luxury business has many beautiful designer jewelry pieces on show. It sits in a spectacular setting on a cliff overlooking Porto Cristo.
You will also find several jewelry shops in Palma’s Carrer de Sant Miquel, off the Plaza España. Some specialize entirely in Mallorca pearls, but most have them in their collections.
Head for Cap de Formentor
Cap de Formentor is the long, narrow headland at the northeastern tip of Mallorca. A visit here is one of the best things to do in Mallorca if you’re in the mood for a scenic drive along the coast. The view from the 1,300-foot-high cliffs are breathtaking.
It also has a picturesque lighthouse, Faro de Formentor, built in 1863. From its viewing platform, you have even better panoramas of the surrounding sea and mountains. On a clear day, you can see the neighboring island of Menorca across the sea.
The narrow 12-mile road from Port de Pollenca is very popular with cyclists for its challenging gradient. An essential stop along it is the Mirador Es Colomer which has cliff views much admired by photographers.
At the cape, you’ll find the pretty Playa Formentor whose clear waters attract many swimmers. There are also several hiking trails leading to other miradors and hidden swimming coves such as Cala Figuera.
Stroll on Es Trenc Beach
Es Trenc is a protected beach on Mallorca’s southern coast. It’s part of the Ses Salines Natural Park, so no development is allowed.
The result is a beach backed by natural white sand dunes and pine forest, with only a few small beach bars. That’s a rare sight in much of Mallorca.
Ses Salines also protects the salt flats that lend it its name. These support a diverse range of flora and fauna, including many rare bird species.
The beach is almost two miles in length, the longest in Mallorca, and its fine sand and clear waters make for comparisons to the Caribbean. It’s a relaxed place, with a clothing-optional eastern end, popular for sunbathing and swimming.
Watch Life On Plaça Major
Plaça Major is the heart of the Mediterranean city of Palma de Mallorca, a historic square surrounded by traditional yellow buildings. Their contrasting green shutters and balconies, help make the plaza a photogenic sight.
The buildings are supported by pillars that form a ground floor shopping arcade. Most of the shops specialize in fashion or local crafts, with many in nearby streets known for their shoes.
There are also plenty of cafés and restaurants where you can sit to enjoy the atmosphere or the entertaining street artists. Regular markets in the square feature more crafts, antiques, or market produce.
The square was once the site of a convent, then the local seat of the infamous Spanish Inquisition until 1823. Its current form was built from 1825 through the early 20th century.
Explore Cala Major
Cala Major is a residential suburb of Palma with many south coast beaches. It’s where the Spanish royal family spend their summers in the Marivent Palace (the Palace of “Sea and Wind”).
When the family are not in residence, parts of the gardens are open to the public. They feature an interesting variety of plants, and several Joan Miró sculptures.
Joan Miró lived in Cala Major from 1956 to 1983, and his former home is open to visitors. Miró’s wife, Pilar, was from Palma, and you can understand how the light here influenced his work.
In its time, Cala Major was an upmarket area but its fortunes have fluctuated since. With its marina and beach clubs, the town is now definitely on the up again.
Swim in Caló des Moro
The coast of Mallorca is studded with beautiful coves, but Caló des Moro is certainly among the most lovely. Sitting on the southeast coast, it could not be more scenic.
Rugged pine trees top cliffs that drop steeply into turquoise water fringed with white sand. The beach is tiny and can only be reached on foot, adding to its appeal.
The sandy bottom of the cove, which keeps the water so clear, makes for easy swimming. The sea bed drops off slowly, so it’s a lovely natural bathing pool, despite a few rocks.
The cove is private, and therefore well protected from development. Nearby attractions include the pretty little town of Ses Salines.
Enjoy the Jardines de Alfabia
These historic gardens in Bunyola are attached to a beautiful house built in an eclectic style. The interior decor ranges from its Arab roots through Andalusian, Gothic, and more modern English.
The gardens make the most of Mallorca’s tropical climate to bloom with exotic plants. The lower garden has many palm trees, including the typical Mallorca “garballon” species.
There is also a small water-lily pond to add cool to hot days. There’s more shade from the many mature trees, including the approach avenue of tall planes.
While the garden and orchard are instantly appealing, do leave time to explore the house. Richly furnished with exquisite furniture, it also has many lovely paintings.
Support Local Vineyards
In 1891, Europe’s vineyards were hit by the phylloxera virus, which wiped out vast swathes of vines. Mallorca, a major wine producer then, helped fill the gap in demand, until the island was hit itself around 1902.
Abandoned vine terraces can still be seen all over Mallorca, but wine-making is now recovering strongly. There are around 100 local wineries, with production growing fast in local varieties such as Callet.
This light-bodied red perfectly suits the climate here, taking well to being served chilled. There are many more obscure varieties, some still being rescued from all those lost vineyards.
To play your part in reviving these historic vintages, you can take a formal tasting tour, or just try some genuine Mallorcan wines. Imported French varieties still dominate many restaurant tables, but look out for local grapes such as Manto Negro, Gorgollassa, Fogoneu and Giró Ros.
Discover the island’s many delights, including its natural landscapes, sun-kissed beaches, amiable towns, and vibrant cultural heritage on a cruise to Mallorca, Spain. Browse itineraries on our website and book your Spanish sojourn.