Our schedules typically haven’t allowed us to have a “proper” summer vacation. Often we take our long trips on the shoulder season, which we’ve gotten used to. Not this year, though! We were able to book a trip to Mallorca at the end of August (along with pretty much every other European person). It sounded like a pretty glamorous thing to do, “I’m taking a holiday on Mallorca!” so we booked it.
Mallorca is beautiful, if you know the right places to look. We ended up staying in a very “touristy” part of the island near Costa de la Calma, but it fit the bill for good views. Once we explored further, we found some real gems on the island (and wished we would have stayed elsewhere). If you’re looking to relax, enjoy the sun, swim, and eat, Mallorca is good for all of those. We relaxed for the first 3 days, then rented a car and found some great little spots that showed Mallorca’s charm (and got away from the tourists!)
Near Santa Ponsa
Malgrats Tapas and Restaurante Meson Del Mar: Better than average tapas in the area. It was a bit depressing that the neighborhood we stayed in had more fish and chips joints playing football on the sky sports than tapas. Lesson learned, but we did grab a few good meals.
Mercado San Juan Palma: An excellent local market in Palma, just north of the city, hidden in a quiet neighborhood. It was filled with locals grabbing tapas and drinks in a fun atmosphere. A food highlight, for sure. The market has a great selection of small bites and you won’t be disappointed.
Mercat Municipal de Santa Catalina: Another fun market experience (although it was closing for lunch when we arrived) closer to Palma.
Literally, just go here and stumble around on the main square. You’ll find something good to eat!
Boat ride!: Take a boat ride. Looking back, I think the “right” way to do Mallorca is to sort out a boat and float your way around the island. Even a tourist boat will get you into the coves and into the water for a good swim and snorkel.
Palma Cathedral & Central Palma: Palma is a great city, very walkable, quaint streets, nice restaurants, and a cool cathedral.
Coastal Drive: Definitely rent a car and make your way to the northern coast. It’s beautiful.
Pollenca: A highlight was the small mountain town of Pollenca in the north. It’s cute. There’s a lot of stairs.
Joan Miro museum: We had an incredibly brief stop here. A cool gallery if you like Miro.
Food markets: see “eat it”
Hotel Iberostar Suites Jardin del Sol: As mentioned, it was a really nice hotel, well appointed, good value, nice views from the balcony overlooking Playa Santa Ponsa. Also, adults only. It was a little off the tourist path (but not much) and Santa Ponsa is a VERY touristy town. I probably wouldn’t stay on that side of the island if I went back.
Driving down to Port de Valldemossa: Do you like ridiculously steep drives down to
Magaluf: I thought Santa Ponsa was really touristy until I went to Magaluf. Don’t go to Magaluf.