Mallorca has a serious range of mountains, the Serra de Tramuntana, along the north-west side and a range of pine-clad hills along the east (the Serres de Llevant).
In between is the vast plain to the east of Palma called Es Pla, sprinkled with little-known historic country towns and planted with around six million almond trees.Elsewhere olives, artichokes and melons vie for space alongside wild flowers, cactuses and migratory birds stopping off between Europe and Africa.
Towns such as Felanitx, where local farmers fill a colourful market around the old church on Sundays, and Petra, where families sit at quiet cafes in tree-shaded squares, give a glimpse of what life was like before the tourists arrived.
The flat north-east coast is heavily developed at Alcúdia but still has its out-of-the-way attractions, such as the Iron Age cemetery at Son Real, just outside Ca’n Picafort. The east coast is dotted with sandy coves.Head for Cala Mondragó or Porto Petro, where low-rise development hasn’t destroyed the original charm. Of the competing caves in this area, those at Artà are the most impressive.
Mallorca’s south coast is a mix of lonely, windswept sand dunes, ideal for a romantic walk.
The liveliest resorts are around the bay of Palma – S’Arenal (more popular with German visitors), Magaluf and Palma Nova are where the massed ranks of hotels and apartments are crammed along the superb, sandy beaches.Things to see in Mallorca include:
- Palma de Mallorca – the island´s capital is worth a trip on its own. Very old city where you will find architectural wonders, culture and mediterranean food.
- Serra de Tramuntana – wonderful range of mountains that run along the north-west coast of Mallorca
- Playa de Palma – Busiest destination on Mallorca.
- Valldemossa – Georges Sand and Frederic Chopin spent some time in this beautiful village
- Soller and Port de Soller – a beautiful town in the mountains that can be reached by a combination of train and tram
- Caves – several caves are open to the public, the Dragon Caves (Coves del Drach in mallorquin) being the most visited.
- Beaches – this is what the most people come for. The main tourist areas are on the S and E coast but places may be crowded in high season. More secluded and quiet beaches can be found on the island but expect a difficult route (e.g. cliffs) and minimal parking. A must visit is Es Trenc, near the Colonia de Sant Jordi, but there are also many beaches which are not that popular that are well worth a visit.
- Hiking – The Serra de Tramuntana offers some fine trails.
- Cycling – In spring the island’s roads are popular with several professional teams in preparation for the next season.
- Palma – the island’s capital offers the famous cathedral as well as a nice city centre to stroll around. Cultural visits, shore excursions and private guided tours lead by official Mallorca Tour Guides to Jewish quarter and other sites and villages around the Island.
- Golf – There are eighteen, 18 hole golf courses on the island that are open to the general public. These are Andratx, Alcanada, Bendinat, Canyamel, Capdepera, Poniente, Pula, Golf Park Puntiró Mallorca, Golf Maioris, Santa Ponsa 1, Son Antem East, Son Antem West, Son Termens, Son Vida, Son Muntaner, Son Quint, Son Gual & Vall d’Or. There are two 9 holes courses open to the general public; Son Servera & Pollença. The courses Santa Ponsa 2 & 3 are ‘members only’ and finally there is a 9 hole golf course in the grounds of La Reserve Rotana, a boutique hotel located in the North-East of the island, just outside of Manacor.
- Nature – S’Abulfera is a large salt marsh near the town of Alcudia. Large numbers of bird species can be seen, including many species of heron, waders, ducks and warblers. The cliffs of Fortmentor are good for sea birdwatching and is one of the best places for a chance of seeing the rare Elenora’s Falcon.
- Free Classical Music Concerts – during the summer, free open-air classical music concerts are usually organised on Saturday evenings on the Bendinat Golf Course.
- Deep Water Solo / Psicobloc – the island’s unique geography has helped it become the premier destination for rock climbers wishing to experience deep water soloing or psicobloc, rock climbing above deep water.
- Yacht charter and sailing – Windward Islands – Windward Islands, one of the worlds largest yacht charter companies, can take care of all charter requirements, from bareboat to crewed in the Baleares. Operating from 9 offices worldwide (USA, Spain, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Caribbean, Honk Kong and Dubai).