Things to do in Mallorca

Mallorca is a famous beach resort destination and the main attractions for many visitors are the lovely beaches and beautiful jewel-coloured water. Sun-worshippers will adore the endless stretches of coastline that feature fantastic beaches, with Palma Nova, Illetes, and Es Trenc, on the southeast coast being the most popular.

Mallorca is, however, also steeped in a rich and wonderful Mediterranean history and has some fascinating attractions that will appeal to all kinds of travellers and provide an intriguing insight into the history of the island.

Visitors will love the Catedral El Seo, Castell del Bellver and the Museo d'Art Espanyol Contemporani in Palma, while the Banys Arabs, the only surviving Moorish building in the city, is a fascinating attraction.

History buffs should take a trip to Santa Margalida, which boasts more than 150 archaeological sites, to visit the Son Real Necropolis, where Phoenicians were buried from the Iron Age to Roman times. Fascinating historic towns such as Valldemossa, Lluc, Pollensa, Arta and Alcudia leave tourists spoilt for choice.

Those looking for a taste of the outdoors as well as some history will love the Castell d'Alaro, Mallorca's most popular hiking trail, beginning from the town of Alaro and winding up to a ruined 15th-century castle and hilltop chapel and offering breathtaking views over the island and sea. The Mallorca Caves are also worth a visit for nature lovers, with impressive underground lakes, stalactites, and stalagmites.

La Seo Cathedral photo

La Seo Cathedral

Palma's magnificent Catalonian Gothic cathedral is a landmark of the city, standing in the old town overlooking the ocean. The cathedral is actually called the Cathedral of the Sav…

La Seo Cathedral

Palma's magnificent Catalonian Gothic cathedral is a landmark of the city, standing in the old town overlooking the ocean. The cathedral is actually called the Cathedral of the Saviour (Catedral del Salvador) but is situated on the Plaza de la Seo and is commonly referred to as La Seo. The cathedral forms part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cathedral was built on the site of an existing ancient mosque and ancient Roman forum, and construction on the Romanesque Cathedral began in 1140. There have been numerous rebuilds, additions, and renovations since then, including an extensive restoration in the second half of the 20th century, when Roman and Muslim remnants were excavated and exposed.

Palau de l'Almudaina photo

Palau de l'Almudaina

Opposite the cathedral in Palma stands an austere fortress palace that was erected by the Moors and later became the residence of the kings of Mallorca. The Moors built the fortres…

Palau de l'Almudaina

Opposite the cathedral in Palma stands an austere fortress palace that was erected by the Moors and later became the residence of the kings of Mallorca. The Moors built the fortress in 1281 and it was converted into a royal residence at the end of the 13th century, but evidence suggests that the Moors themselves built on an existing Roman fort. The palace is still officially a royal residence, although very seldom occupied, and is occasionally used for royal functions and events. Inside, most rooms and corridors are bare, but there are some beautiful Flemish Gobelin tapestries on display as well as a few antiques, art works and suits of armour.

Castell de Bellver photo

Castell de Bellver

Built in the 14th century and surrounded by a double moat, this round hilltop castle was the summer residence of the kings of Mallorca. While once serving as a prison, it today con…

Castell de Bellver

Built in the 14th century and surrounded by a double moat, this round hilltop castle was the summer residence of the kings of Mallorca. While once serving as a prison, it today contains Palma's Municipal Museum displaying archaeological artefacts and models of excavations. The unusual castle sits atop a lovely park area and its highlights include spectacular views and photo opportunities. Visitors can explore a series of chambers upstairs above the museum below, and should not miss the prisoner's graffiti etched into the stonework, visible if guests climb up to the roof. The Bellver Castle is on the route of the Palma City open-top sightseeing buses, but the walk up through the forest from Placa Gomilla is pleasant and not too strenuous.

Banys Arabs photo

Banys Arabs

The only surviving Moorish building in Palma is the bathhouse of Banys Arabs, located in the city's medieval quarter. It contains an elegant horseshoe-arched dome chamber supported…

Banys Arabs

The only surviving Moorish building in Palma is the bathhouse of Banys Arabs, located in the city's medieval quarter. It contains an elegant horseshoe-arched dome chamber supported by 12 columns, fronted by a lovely little garden with picnic tables. Although this is a small attraction, basically consisting of two empty chambers (hence the low admission cost), the old architecture is graceful and photographers should enjoy capturing the romantically dilapidated walls and columns. The baths are worth visiting to get some impression of the character of the old city, as they are sadly all that remains.

Valldemossa photo

Valldemossa

In 1838, Frederic Chopin arrived in the small town of Valldemossa with his lover, George Sand, to stay in a former monk's cell in the Cartoixa Reial monastery and carry on their af…

Valldemossa

In 1838, Frederic Chopin arrived in the small town of Valldemossa with his lover, George Sand, to stay in a former monk's cell in the Cartoixa Reial monastery and carry on their affair away from the eyes of Paris. The shocked locals shunned the sickly Chopin and Sand, and the couple were so unhappy that their relationship never recovered from the wet, windy and miserable winter in the monastery. Today the cells occupied by the lovers are open to visitors. The library and old pharmacy can also be visited and there is a small art museum with works by Picasso, Miro, and Juli Ramis. Valldemossa is one of the prettiest villages in Mallorca: it is quiet and traditional, with narrow cobbled streets and a backdrop of forested hills.

Website www.valldemossa.es

Santuari de Lluc photo

Santuari de Lluc

About 20 miles (32km) beyond Soller, after a drive through the Serra de Tramuntana in the north of the island, is the remote mountain village of Lluc, in a valley that has been an …

Santuari de Lluc

About 20 miles (32km) beyond Soller, after a drive through the Serra de Tramuntana in the north of the island, is the remote mountain village of Lluc, in a valley that has been an important place of pilgrimage since the 13th century. Lluc became Mallorca's most sacred site when a shepherd boy discovered a dark wooden statue of the Virgin in a cleft in the rock. The miraculous statue somehow returned to its cave three times after being placed in the local church. Now the statue, known as La Moreneta, has been encrusted with precious stones and resides in its own chapel, receiving pilgrims and tourists who come to pay homage each day.

Website www.lluc.net

Aqualand Mallorca photo

Aqualand Mallorca

Aqualand is one place that is not to be missed by families on holiday in Mallorca. Children of all ages and parents alike will have a grand time splashing in the pools, riding the …

Aqualand Mallorca

Aqualand is one place that is not to be missed by families on holiday in Mallorca. Children of all ages and parents alike will have a grand time splashing in the pools, riding the slides, floating on tubes, a mini water park for the little ones, or jumping in the wave pools. Those who don't relish excitement can enjoy the lazy river or the Jacuzzis, and the whole family will enjoy the surf beach and group rides. There are lockers and sun loungers available to rent for a small extra charge and there are various options for food and refreshments in the park. Benches and beach areas provide space for relaxation in between the thrills and spills.

Website www.aqualand.es

Katmandu Park photo

Katmandu Park

Katmandu Park is a theme park and mini-golf complex that proves wildly popular amongst younger visitors to Magaluf. Featuring cutting-edge technology, The House of Katmandu provide…

Katmandu Park

Katmandu Park is a theme park and mini-golf complex that proves wildly popular amongst younger visitors to Magaluf. Featuring cutting-edge technology, The House of Katmandu provides a thrilling and interactive haunted house experience for youngsters; The Asylum, aimed at older visitors (12 years and older), takes passengers on a scary journey through an abandoned mental asylum; the interactive motion ride Desperado is a comical cowboy gun slinging experience; and there is a 4D cinema to enjoy. The 36-hole (two 18-hole courses) Expedition Golf area of the theme park is hugely impressive, featuring fun and challenging courses, elaborately ornamented and themed, that even adults will find tough to master.

Website www.katmandupark.com/en

Castell d'Alaro photo

Castell d'Alaro

Mallorca's most popular hiking trail is the climb from the town of Alaro up to a ruined castle and hilltop chapel, which offers panoramic views of the sea and plains as far as Palm…

Castell d'Alaro

Mallorca's most popular hiking trail is the climb from the town of Alaro up to a ruined castle and hilltop chapel, which offers panoramic views of the sea and plains as far as Palma. From Alaro the walk takes about two hours to complete depending on fitness levels. A castle has stood on this site since Moorish times and the fortress was once so impregnable that the Moors managed to hold out against the Christian conquest for two years. Later, in 1285, Mallorcan independence fighters tried to defend the castle against Alfonso III of Aragon, but they were defeated and burned alive for their impudence. The castle ruins now visible on the hilltop date from the 15th century and dominate the landscape. They seem to grow out of the rock and are rather romantic and picturesque, fuelling the imagination.

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