As avid readers of destination guides and reviews, we’re always on the hunt for the latest recommendations on where to stay, eat and explore when visiting somewhere new. Mallorca was no different.
The consensus is, that you can’t go wrong in terms of location, with Palma, Deià, Sóller and Pollença all proving popular. Plus, there’s the whole East Coast. With this in mind, you might welcome some help in narrowing the list down. Our favourite spots? Palma and Pollença. Read on for our top tips on where to stay, eat, and drink, along with things to do in each place.
First stop: Palma
Where to stay
Only a 15-minute taxi from the airport and renowned for its thriving gastronomic scene, we stayed at Can Alomar, 1 of It Mallorca’s 4 boutique luxury hotels, nestled in Palma’s historic city centre (arguably the best location in the region).
After a (very welcome) glass of Cava, we were given a quick tour of the 19th-century palace. We took in the contemporary art and stopped off at De Tokio a Lima – the hotel’s in-house restaurant features twin outdoor terraces, perfect for a daily sundowner. We then made our way up to the rooftop to relax and recuperate, sinking into the sun loungers and taking a dip in the picturesque plunge pool for a few hours.
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Where to eat & drink
With breakfast included in our stay, it really was the most important meal of the day, including a feast of seasonal fruits, fresh bread and pastries, regional cold cuts and organic eggs cooked to one’s preferences. Of course, we couldn’t stay without dining at De Tokio a Lima, their trendy gourmet restaurant offering a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian flavours with a Mediterranean twist. The Veuve Clicquot Tasting Menu is a must for foodies seeking something extra. Expect shrimp fritters, salmon tataki and a vegetable ceviche to start, followed by glazed Iberian pork and a zingy lemon meringue tart to finish.
Outside of the hotel, we highly recommend La Rosa Vermutería & Colmado and El Camino (the OG Barrafina), both offering an easy-going but lively atmosphere and serving up some of the best tapas and traditional dishes in town.
Things to do
During our two-day city break, we squeeze in a lot. We recommend a visit to Catedral-Basilica de Santa Maria de Mallorca, the city’s Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral, followed by an afternoon roaming the charming narrow streets of the old town, with its historic buildings, picturesque squares, and quaint shops.
We then found ourselves relaxing by the pool at Can Alomar in the afternoons, with a view of the iconic cathedral, ordering a cooling Aperol Spritz and an afternoon bite from the hotel’s poolside menu. We’d also highly recommend grabbing a pre-dinner sundowner at Calatrava, another of It Mallorca’s hotels, for breathtaking views of the coast and sunset.
For those feeling a little more active, visit Castell de Bellver, a 1300s circular castle set on a wooded hilltop overlooking Palma. We climbed up through the pine woods above Carrer de Bellver, but you can also get there via bus or taxi.
Next stop: Pollença
Where to stay
We then made our way up to Can Aulí, located in Pollença’s photogenic Old Town, only a 45-minute drive from Palma and voted one of the UK’s favourite European coastal towns. Can Auli is also a top destination for budding cyclists or hikers, nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and Serra de Tramuntana mountains. Guests can choose between relaxed routes on rural roads or a challenging climb up Sa Calobra – a serpentine winding that leads to iconic lighthouses, historic castles, and secret coves.
On arrival, the hotel’s passion for art and design is apparent the moment you walk through the door. Many of the masterpieces that embellish the communal spaces and bedrooms are created by local artists, specifically created to collaborate with the hotel and its surroundings. After checking in, we made our way straight to the poolside to soak up our gorgeous new home.
Where to eat & drink
Evenings can be spent strolling amongst friendly locals on the soulful terraces, that line Placa Major, right in the centre of Pollenca Old Town. Some of our favourite spots included Q11, which offers a mix of fresh, elegant Mediterranean food and is located next to the church in Pollença’s main square. Il Giardino is also a must, serving up Italian-inspired dishes and Can Mir 45 for your local dose of traditional tapas.
A trip to Port de Pollenca, is also essential, only a 10-minute taxi or bus ride away. If you’re looking to get your fix of fresh fish, La Llonja is the place to go. Offering views over Port de Pollenca the best fresh fish in town; expect dishes such as Deep-fried fresh Whitebait, Fresh Mussels in Coconut-Coriander Sauce and the tastiest Paella we’ve ever had.
For any The Night Manager fans out there, you might recognise the stunning La Fortaleza, overlooking the bay of Pollensa.
Things to do
Having had two days soaking up the city life in Palma, the first thing on our list for Pollenca was to explore the island’s dreamy beaches. Expect postcard looks and crystalline waters, coves such as Cala San Vicenc and the long sandy beaches of Puerto d’Alcudia and Formentor are exactly what we had in mind, for a tranquil beach holiday.
We also recommend hiring a boat for a few hours, exploring the coves, snorkelling, and taking in the beautiful coastline. For any The Night Manager fans out there, you might recognise the stunning La Fortaleza, overlooking the bay of Pollensa from its position on the Formentor promontory. To book, ask one of the friendly receptionists at Can Aulí, who can secure this for you.