Some helpfull information about the travel destination Mallorca.
Please find below an overview of the regions on the island as well as some information that will hopefully help you
getting along on the beautifull island of Mallorca.
Probably the most known town of the island - at least for German travelers - is Arenal with it’s Playa de Palma that reaches from Arenal right into the heart of Palma. For years it’s been know as party zone but this is just a very small part of the island and there is so much more to discover and it would be unfair to just reduce Mallorca to a „party island“.
A bit further south the streets and towns get emptier. Badia Blava for example is a ver nice town with a beautiful coastline and some fantastic spots to go swimming. Due to the rocky bays the water is often crystal clear and it also a good diving spot.
Just a bit further you find Cala Pi, a rather quiet town with a nice sandy bay where many sailboats and yachts anchor in the summer months for the day. The beach of Es Trend with the neighboring town of Sa Rapita is probably one of the best know beaches of the island and it is often compared with the Caribbean due to its white sand and really crystal clear and shallow water. Santanyi is also worth a visit with some excellent restaurants, nice shops and its famous market on Wednesday and Saturday from 8am to about 1 pm. If you are looking for a nice souvenir for your loved ones at home, you’ll probably find it there.
Not to be missed is the capitol of the island, Palma de Mallorca. The cathedral which stands out right near the beach promenade is just one of the highlights this city has to offer. The old town with numerous shops, bars, cafés and restaurants is a great place for a stroll and you should definitely plan more than one day for a visit to Palma - there is just so much so see!
Mallorcas South West Region
The southwest, with its mountains, bays, marinas and numerous towns, is one of the most popular regions of the island. Places such as Port Andratx, Santa Ponsa, Paguera, Cala Fornells, Illetas and Portals Nous are probably the most well-know towns and whoever buys a holiday home or apartment here may have prominent neighbors or can catch a glimpse of one at one of the many restaurants, beach clubs or hotspots in the area.
The holiday complex in Cala Fornells, a village belonging to Paguera, is a well sought-after apartment complex and offers beautiful holiday rentals most of them with stunning sea views. With its shape resembling a Mexican pueblo, it is built into the hillside and beautifully planted with local vegetation. The nearby bay with a small sandy beach is within easy reach via a few stairs. In Paguera - also just a few minutes walk - you have more beautiful sandy beaches to choose from. Perfect for a relaxed holiday for two or with the family.
Santa Ponsa is also a very nice town with its nice sandy beach surrounded by a pine forest and the beautiful beach promenade. In the adjacent Santa Ponsa Nova you can find some the most luxurious and prestige properties on Mallorca. An excursion by boat is definitely worthwhile. This way you can admire the beautiful and stunning villas from the water. Santa Ponsa is also an important place in Mallorca's history, because the reconquest of the island of the Moors started here in 1229. In the city center some some historic buildings and natural treasures also still remind of the conquest.
The somewhat more exclusive Port Andratx is a very picturesque harbor and luckily it has kept its original and natural charm despite its many tourist attractions. Don’t misse a walk around the harbor bay, this way you get the most beautiful views and impressions. Along the harbor promenade you can take a break in the various restaurants and cafes and refresh yourself or just watch the people strolling around. The CCA Cultural Center offers exquisite contemporary art. Gourmets and shopping fans alike get their money's worth in Port Andratx - especially fish and seafood are very popular here. As Port Andratx itself has no beach you will have to drive just 5 kilometers to the neighboring town of Camp de Mar where you have a nice sandy beach just below the Golf Course of Andrax.
Mallorcas Northern Region
The north of Mallorca also has a lot to offer and is often a bit underestimated. The monastery Lluc for example or the impressive Cap Formentor are definitively worth a trip and are not to be missed when on the island. In any case, early risers should not miss a sunrise at Cap Formentor - a truly unique experience. Very impressive are also the caves of Campanet, the Albufera National Park and the wildly romantic Tramuntana Mountains, which offers fantastic views of the surrounding towns and coasts. Pollensa is especially popular with English guests and its history is linked to the Knights Templar, whose palace still stands today. It is worthwhile talking a walk through the many small winding streets to the Placa Mayor. The bay of Alcudia with its adjacent town Can Picafort has beautiful beaches to offer which are especially popular with families with children. The gently sloping wide sandy beach is ideal for a summer holiday by the sea. Sporty guests can go for a walk on the beach to Son Serra de Marina. - always along the sea is a blessing for the eye and the soul.
The natural and picturesque port of Port Soller is also a pleasant summer and winter destination for Mallorca travelers. During the summer months it is more popular with beach lovers and during the off-season hikers enjoy this area in particular due to the proximity to the Tramuntana mountains. Numerous charter companies offer boat trips to the surrounding areas, including the well-known bay of Sa Calobra. With the old train, the Ferrocaril, you can even take a ride directly from Port Soller via Soller to Palma.
The east of the island, with its valleys, villages, gorges, bays and beaches, has everything that defines the island. The second largest city of the island, Manacor, with its port of Porto Cristo was an important trading center in the Middle Ages. In the meantime, the East is in no way inferior to the Southwest and so you will find excellent restaurants, chic shops and beautiful beaches. A tourist highlight are the well-known caves Coves del Drach at Porto Cristo with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites that can be discovered by boat.
Towns and villages such as Cala Murada, Cala Magrana, Sa Coma or Cala d'Or are just a few of the many interesting destinations on the east coast of Mallorca. The former fishing port of Cala Murada for example is known for its numerous smugglers in its past. The East is also very popular with divers. The Mediterranean underwater world is still largely intact there are many beautiful caves to dive through and to discover as well as the marine life.
The resort of Cala d'Or, designed by architect Josep Costa Ferrer in the 1930s, captivates with its predominantly white houses. The golden sandy beach gave the place its name. The beach in the Natural Park of Cala Mondrago are some of the nicest ones in the region, which can only be reached on foot. A little further south is the bay of Cala Sa Nau with beautifully crystal clear water and a nice beach restaurant, as they can be found on many beaches.
Places of interest on Mallorca
Since the island is not too big, you can reach almost all attractions in about an hour's drive. Whether by car, public transport or by foot, the Balearic Island has much to offer and you should definitively plan some time to discover some of the hidden places and get an impression of the diversity of Mallorca.
For the islands capital Palma de Mallorca alone, you should plan at least a day, if not two. The imposing cathedral, the beautiful old town with the local and international cafes, restaurants and tapas bars, as well as the museums or the harbor - there simply is so much to explore.
Another highlight is the impressive gorge Sa Calobra, which can be reached either by bus, by car or boat. A drive through the mountains over the beautiful village of Valldemossa with its Karthaus, where Chopin spent some time up to the picturesque artist village of Deià, is another „Must see“ while exploring the island. On the beautiful coast road you have sometimes really fantastic and impressive views of the various bays and mountains of the island.
Nature lovers can discover on the two nature reserves Sa Dragonera and Cabrera with mainly untouched flora and fauna. The islands are strictly protected and only limited visitors are allowed there. Here you should also plan one day and the boat trips alone to the respective islands are already worthwhile. Various beautiful landscaped gardens and a visit to the mountain reservoirs Cuber and Georg Blau in the Tramuntana Mountains complete a visit to the beautiful island of Mallorca.
Language spoken on Mallorca
The official language in Mallorca is Catalan, but the written Castellan. Since this language was banned in Franco's time, it is even more valuable today. After the rule of the dictator, they officially supported the preservation of the language and even kept it in the law. However, the native island language is the so-called Mallorquin, which is influenced by the languages French, Italian and even Arabic. This is not a dialect but a separate language.
In schools, both Castellan, the „pure Spanish“, and Catalan are taught equally. Therefore, you sometimes have two different street or place names, which can lead to confusion for many travelers on the island. When Mallorca was recaptured by the Arabs in the 13th century, they switched back to the Catalan language, which is also spoken in Catalonia on the mainland. Due to the strong tourism of recent years, the Mallorcans have adapted and many speak at least a little German or English. However, it requires the courtesy, to speak at least a few words of Spanish, if you come as a guest to Mallorca and it is much appreciated by the locals.
Traffic on Mallorca
Travelers with a rental car should first familiarize themselves with the island's customs and traffic rules. These certainly do not differ much from the ones we know, but there is one or the other difference you should be aware of. Highways are usually quite well developed and here you should stick to the speed limits, as well as on the high speed roads and other roads. There are frequent speed controls - especially during the tourist season - and the penalties are quite high. This also applies to violations when parking the vehicle. In any case it is advisable to take a parking ticket, if necessary, the police officers check regularly and are not squeamish with the distribution of tickets.
The signage of the roads and directions leaves much to be desired, so you should first know exactly where you want to go and possibly use a navigation device to get to the desired destination. Many rural fincas sometimes have no fixed address and here you have to navigate by location.
You should also pay attention to the regulations for any traffic accidents. The information of the necessary basic equipment differs here from what you might know from your home country. For example, two warning triangles, yellow safety vests for all occupants, Technical supervision certification and valid insurance documents must always be carried in the car. Infringements are subject to severe fines. It is advisable to check these things when taking over your rental car.
Within towns a limit of 50 km / h applies, on country roads 90 km / h and on the expressway you should not exceed 100 km / h. On motorways a maximum of 20 km / h is allowed.
Since many roads, especially in the mountains are only a one lane, you will find at regular intervals small indentations, so you can let the other car pass coming from the opposite direction. Blowing the horn in front of curves is generally not allowed but is often done anyway. Especially with the many cyclists on the island it might be safer to do so. In Majorca many roundabouts predominate, which makes traffic lights superfluous.
The use of mobile phones while driving is strictly forbidden, not even with a headset! you may only carry out telephone calls via a hands-free system. Again, there are serious fines for infringement. The alcohol limit when driving is in Mallorca is 0.5. Alcohol inspections are regularly carried out in the main season and on weekends and also during the rest of the year on the main passages, especially on the roads that lead from Palma or the party regions.
Find out in advance exactly where free parking is allowed and where and at what time you need to get a parking ticket. In Palma and some larger cities, you can conveniently buy a parking ticket via an app if you have previously registered. In areas with solid yellow lines is generally not allowed to stop and parking your car.
Jagged lines usually indicate loading zones, and parking is not allowed, even not for a short time. You can park your car in areas marked with blue lines but you will need to get a ticket. In some areas there is free parking during certain times of the day. You will see the information on the corresponding signs in the road. Pay attention to the maximum parking time! The larger cities such as Palma or Manacor also have parking garages.
In smaller villages it can be a bit difficult to find a suitable place for your car. The streets are often very narrow and therefor it can be a hassle to find a parking space. Here it is recommended to park at the entrance or exit of the town and rather walk a few meters into the village. Especially on market days, there is a great rush and corresponding park shortage.
Incorrect parking or missing parking tickets can be quite expensive under certain circumstances and rental car companies send the ticket also to the tenant with a surcharge for processing. If you pay directly at one of the banks and you usually save 50% of the fees, if you pay in a specified period. In order not to get into the fix of the inappropriate change for the car park, it is advisable to download the APP Telpark (only in Spanish). This way you can purchase an online parking ticket. and you will also be notified when the time is up. It does not apply everywhere on the island. Alternatively you can also use the APP ElParking (also only in Spanish).
Public transportation on Mallorca
The island can also be easily explored by public transportation. You should then just plan a little more time. You can get a ticket for the buses directly from the driver, but you should have enough change at hand here. An overview of the bus connections in Mallorca can be found on the page TIB.
On the website EMT you will find the bus lines within Palma and in some adjacent regions.
The associated app MobiPalma is definitely recommended. This way you can look for the right bus connection on your smart phone or tablet while on the move. In the city there are the well-known Hop-on / Hop-off buses, which bring you closer to the sights of the city. This service is offered by several providers which one finds among the known search engines or you ask in one of the tourist information centers.
Shopping on Mallorca
There is a market almost every day of the week at some city or town. They usually are during the first half of the day, from around 8 o'clock until 13 or 14 o'clock. During the summer months markets can be quite busy, especially in the most popular markets such as Santanyi, Sineu or Valldemossa and parking sometimes can be a bit of a problem. In addition to fresh vegetables and fruits, weekly markets sell handicrafts, pottery, jewelry, handbags, leather goods and clothing.
At the market in Sineu in the middle of the island even animals, especially poultry, but also sheep, goats or even dogs are offered - nothing for animal lovers. An overview of the different markets of Mallorca with the respective days and opening hours can be found on the Internet and the usual daily newspapers.
Islandwide you can find the local supermarkets Eroski, Hiper and Mercadona. In Palma is a large Carrefour with an affiliated shopping center FAN and a large supermarket from the chain Alcampo is located next to he highway in the direction of Inca, near Marratxi.
In addition, the well-known German supermarkets Lidl and Aldi have secured a firm position. The drugstore chain Müller is also established on the island at various locations and here you can find many famous German branded products. IN Can Pastilla, Campos and Santa Ponsa also special German supermarkets are to be found, but pretty much all products are a bit more expensive than in Germany.
Anyone who gets bored on the island or when the weather is not really nice you can take a stroll through one of the shopping centers. On the highway from the airport to Palma, a modern shopping mall called FAN has recently been opened with famous brands such as Decathlon, H & M, Mediamarkt and other well-known fashion companies and other interesting shops.
In Palma, the shopping center Porto Pi offers similar shops and in the outlet center in Marratxi next to the motorway in the direction of Inca, you can buy branded goods at a reduced price. They also have specials day every month with some extra sale so it is worthwhile to first inform yourself on the website.