Anyone in the 18 to 30 age bracket whose holiday mission is fun, sun and soaking up sangria (or any other alcoholic beverages) will have the time of their lives in Mallorca's raucous premier party resort of Magaluf. The resort is situated about 10 miles (16km) west of Palma, the island's capital, and has become one of Europe's most popular destinations for young British travelers eager to experience the famous nightlife of Mallorca. It sports hundreds of bars, discos and clubs, and has a wide choice of budget accommodation and restaurants. Magaluf and its wide sandy beaches such as Mallorca Beach, Magaluf Beach and Palma Nova Beach, is particularly packed during June, July and August with young holidaymakers who are known locally as 'gambas' (red prawns), especially if they stint on the sun cream. During the off-season it is much quieter with many of the wilder entertainment venues closed, and in recent years has been drawing older clientele and families during this period.
The promenade and streets in the centre of Magaluf are lined with dozens of shops selling beachwear, souvenirs and other Spanish vacation souvenirs geared towards holidaymakers. Better shopping can be found in Palma, an easy taxi or bus ride away. Every Monday there is a market in Calvia, six miles (10km) inland; good buys here include porcelain, jewellery and leather goods. There is also a popular market in Inca each Thursday for those who want to go farther afield. There are good supermarkets for shopping in Palma Nova and Magaluf, that stock all the well-known international brands, as well as local produce. Most things are good value, particularly alcohol and cigarettes.
Magaluf is a resort favoured by young budget holidaymakers, and it therefore has an abundance of fast food outlets. Those in self-catering accommodation find they are never very far from a familiar name like McDonalds, Burger King or Pizza Hut. The resort also has a wide selection of restaurants, the majority catering to British tastes. There are several restaurants that offer Sunday roasts and other favourites like bangers and mash, fish and chips and shepherd's pie. For variety there are Indian, Chinese, Mexican, Italian and even some Spanish restaurants too.
It is the pulsating nightlife that brings holidaymakers to Magaluf, and therefore there is no lack of bright lights after dark, with the party swinging into, and beyond, dawn every night. Most start the evening in one of the plethora of bars and move on to dance or themed parties hosted by top DJs in the numerous clubs along the famed Punta Ballena strip. Touts line the strip seducing customers into their establishments with special offers on drinks and cocktails. The most renowned of Magaluf's clubs is the massive BCM, which uses around three million gallons of bubbles to cover its floor on its famous foam party nights. Other well-known names are Carwash, Bananas and Boomerangs. A popular alternative to drinking and clubbing is an evening at the Pirates Adventure themed dinner and show.
Daytime activities in Magaluf are centred on the long sandy beach, where most of the party-goers sleep off their holiday nightlife escapades in the sunshine. The more energetic can take advantage of various water sports, like jet skiing, donutting, kite surfing or even scuba diving. The waterpark and a Wild West theme park are also popular options, offering thrills and spills. Excursions to other resorts on Mallorca, and into the capital, Palma, are also available. Many visitors prefer to hire a car or moped and explore the island on their own steam.
Magaluf is geared mainly for young Brits looking for a loud and lively holiday; it's not a great destination for those after peace and tranquillity. Although it has improved in recent years, the skyline of Magaluf remains characterised by 1960s and 70s apartment blocks and the resort is packed with salesmen; the street vendors are best avoided but the 'PRs' outside the bars and restaurants can be worth chatting up as they offer free drinks. Visitors should be aware of the pickpockets on the beach at night.