Mallorca — Things to Do
Mallorca is every bit as much an activity destination as it is a party island. There is more to do here than in neighboring Ibiza and Menorca combined, and everything is close by and reasonably priced. Both the sea and countryside are easy to access, and numerous companies are well geared to provide tourists with options.
Water sports are most apparent and the swimming is good all year round, making boat trips a favorite pastime. The golf courses rank right up there with the best in Europe and you can even go hiking and mountain climbing.
Most visitors come to Mallorca to wet and the beaches are the star attraction. The busiest and best resorts are in the southwest, near Palma, including Magaluf, Palma Nova, Portals Nous, Santa Ponsa, and El Arenal. These sandy spots have great swimming and lots of water sports, including jet-skiing, parasailing, banana boating, scuba diving, and paddle boating. The quieter hideways on the north and east coasts are more family orientated.
Boats are also popular, with pleasure cruises taking in the coast and Cabrera National Park, as well as sailing trips from Palma or Pollença, and fishing voyages. Marenostrum runs boat tours to Cala Portals in the summer, while Voyage is good for yachting.
Mallorca has high quality golf courses making it popular with European businessmen. Courses are situated near the main resorts and are well priced. A few at Santa Ponsa and select ones elsewhere are member-only, but the majority of Mallorcan greens are open to the public. Popular courses include: the Son Visa group near Palma, Club Son Antem near Arenal and Golf Pollensa near Alcudia.
Scuba diving and snorkeling are popular year-round with clear, warm waters and a decent variety of marine life. Operators offer scuba diving lessons and day dives, with Cabrera Island the best visibility in the region. Big Blue in Magaluf and Hippocampes in Portals Nous are both well-known dive operators. Many beachside hotels on Mallorca rent out snorkel gear to guest.
Mallorca also has good hiking trails especially in the northwest, which is home to the Tramuntana Mountains. Paths are well marked from the towns of Sóller and Valldemosa, and a good way to get to this region is to take the scenic train from Palma. There are also miles of sand for beach walking, with Alcudia Bay in particular offering good vantage points along with the nearby Parc Natural de l’Albufera wetlands or the east coast's secluded coves. Trekking Tours Mallorca in Puerto Pollensa makes regular trips to the mountains.
Horseback riding is available for both beginners and advanced riders, and tour operators at all resorts can organize beachfront rides. As Mallorca can get very hot, this is one of the best ways to see the sights. Horse races and bullfights are regularly staged at Plaza de Toros in Palma.