El Arenal Travel Guide
El Arenal lies on the east coast of the Bay of Palma and is a lively, highly developed holiday resort. Popular with German travellers (many of whom have stayed) and the 18 to 30 age group, it's an ideal beach resort for singles seeking a beach holiday complemented by a vibrant nightlife. The exquisite, palm-lined beach is perfect for stretching out on a sun-lounger and enjoying the calm waters. A stroll along the El Arenal waterfront promenade at sunset, past various shops, bars and restaurants, offers a great way to unwind, and a walkway links El Arenal to neighbouring C'an Pastilla and Playa de Palma. It's now almost impossible to tell where each of these once distinct resorts begins and ends.
Hiring a car is an excellent way to explore the rest of the island and take in the sights while on holiday, but many choose simply to enjoy their hotels and the entertainment they provide. There are regular busses to Palma and all of its urban attractions.
The resort has all the usual tourist trappings, and there are shops enough for visitors to buy anything they might need as well as souvenirs. However, those who want quality shopping sprees should take the short journey to Palma (busses depart every 15 minutes or so), where the best shopping on Mallorca can be enjoyed. There are some touts on the beaches of Arenal selling 'genuine' watches and other branded items that are almost certainly fake.
El Arenal is dominated by German tourists and expats and has developed a genuinely German character, with many of the bars and restaurants demonstrating this. There are tapas bars, seafood restaurants, pizzerias and burger establishments (including international chains such as Burger King), as well as Chinese restaurants. The variety of restaurants ensures that everybody should find what they are looking for, but those expecting numerous authentic Spanish eateries may be disappointed.
El Arenal has a host of lively resort bars and clubs that will keep visitors dancing until the early hours. There are also a number of British and German-style pubs and the balnearios, which are 15 small beach huts that run from El Arenal to C'an Pastilla. Many of the balnearios have been turned into beach bars. El Arenal is a popular party resort, particularly in the summer months, when the festivities tend to continue till dawn.
El Arenal's neighbouring towns of Calvia, San Telmo and the beautiful port of Pollenca are worth visiting and there are plenty of impressive historical sites nearby to enjoy. A frequent bus service links El Arenal to the busy capital of Palma de Mallorca. For the more active, hiring a bicycle is a wonderful way to see the sights and there are also some excellent hikes to enjoy. There's plenty to do in the resorts themselves as well, and many visitors barely leave the beach. Water sports on offer include sailing and scuba diving; visitors will also find a mini-golf course and an enormous waterpark.
Although the close proximity to Son Sant Joan International Airport is convenient it does mean that visitors sometimes hear aircraft noise. This in combination with the energetic nightlife make the resort ill-suited to those looking for peaceful holidays.