Your feel good guide to Mallorca

Blue seas and sunny sands is only the beginning, here's everything to eat, see and do in the Spanish town

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Blue seas and sunny sands is only the beginning, here's everything to eat, see and do in the Spanish town

By Felicity Martin05 Jun 2024
7 mins read time
7 mins read time

When you think of Mallorca, you might think of a place where pensioners go for their summer months, or you might also think of Magaluf, with its mass tourism, sunburnt Brit-packed strip and fishbowl cocktails. But those stereotypes really don’t ring true to the rest of the island – that’s just one small corner of it.

The Balearic island offers so much for wellness, art and beauty – gorgeous stone buildings, sandy beaches and clear blue waters are all the name of the game here. The party isle of Ibiza is, of course, a short ferry ride away. Renting a car is your best bet for a holiday, letting you zip between all the beautiful beaches and cute towns for day trips.

Quick disclaimer: this guide is built around the towns of Palma, Pollença and Valldemossa, which we were lucky to visit courtesy of It Mallorca hotels – all places that should be firmly on your list. But if you’ve got a bit of time on your hands, consider spots like Sóller, Cala Deià and Cala d’Or.

Where to stay

Calatrava, Palma

Come for the hotel, stay for the views. The showstopper at this Palma-nestled spot is its rooftop restaurant and bar, where you can look out over the harbour – sip on a welcome cava up there and get your vitamin D fix. This boutique hotel is placed perfectly to be a base for exploring the town on foot, and it’s also gorgeous – coated in a distinctive shade of paint that’s somewhere in between terracotta and salmon pink, hand-woven local textiles and Scandi minimalism. All the rooms are huge – and we mean huge. You’ll never want to leave, honestly.

Can Auli, Pollença

Through a rabbit warren of side streets in the quaint village of Pollença, this is another stunning boutique: Can Auli is all stone and rustic design. Mallorcan artist Jaume Roig is behind the stunning ceramics displayed in the hotel – over 1,000 pieces of his pottery line the walls. The hotel is adults-only (tick), has an outdoor pool (tick tick) and al fresco dining (tick tick tick!) – making it easier than ever to romanticise your life. Have a candlelit dinner and order the tarte tatin at the end. There’s lots to do and see in the charming town centre, too, which dates back to the 12th century. Around every corner you’ll find homeware and perfume stores that your suitcase won’t be big enough for (yep, think about paying for an extra one).

Hotel Valldemossa, Valldemossa

Get ready to feel like you’re in a fairytale as soon as these hotel gates roll open. A grand stairwell in this converted manor house greets you, giving way to just 12 suites behind charming wooden doors. Each has its own private terrace and thoughtful, luxe touches, including the softest towels you’ll ever experience, as well as turn-down treats in the form of candied ginger. The hotel is a ten-minute stroll from the village of Valldemossa (once described by Chopin as “the most beautiful place in the world”, and Michael Douglas has a property there). With a pool, gym and stunning views over an old monastery, soundtracked by the odd farm animal, you can honestly live your best life here.

Where to eat

La Caña, Palma

Take a breather from the bustling city of Palma at this xiringo-style tapas bar, which does refined Spanish small plate classics. Think: juicy prawns al ajillo, Iberico ham croquettes, marinated tomatoes sitting on stracciatella, pan con tomate and butter-soft, braised pork cheeks. Enjoy a beer (it’s their namesake – ‘caña’ means small beer, the typical 200ml serving in Spanish bars) or a cold sangría on the outdoor terrace and take advantage of the beaming sunshine.

Can Cera, Palma

Fancy dining in an old 17th century palace? Us too. Palma’s Can Cera hotel (a sister to nearby Calatrava) is an airy stone oasis with huge ceilings and dramatic dark wood. Stop here for a light dinner or snack and sample some of the Mediterranean-inspired dishes including artisan cheeses, stone ground flour bread and charcuterie. Our favourites: tuna belly in olive oil with Beluga lentils, seafood cannelloni and artichokes with Menorcan cheese. Wash it all down with some local Mallorcan wine and you can’t go wrong.

Es Taller, Valldemossa

This eatery is housed in an old car garage, and they’ve really run with that theme, promising “oil changes with extra virgin”, an “M.O.T. with healthy tapas”, and there’s an old Michelin sign on the wall. The food might not be fully up to white tyre man’s exacting standards, but its small plates with both international and local touches are seriously good – standouts were the crispy duck curry, onion gratin with emmental, and the pear and ginger tart. Dim lights, candles and a spot-on soundtrack give this place an ultra-cool feel, ideal for a date night or late dinner with friends.

De Tokio a Lima, Valldemossa

Once decried, Asian fusion seems to be gaining popularity all over again, and Nikkei (AKA Japanese and Peruvian) with a splash of Mediterranean is the vibe at hotel Valldemossa’s fine dining De Tokio a Lima restaurant. Our recommendation: the Iberian pork tacos, tuna tartare with guava dressing, and melt-in-the-mouth beef sirloin tataki. For dessert, try the Sollér lemon pie with meringue and sorbet – you’ll want to order another one straight away (top tip: they serve mini versions at breakfast). Sit out on the terrace and look at the olive groves while you get to work on an orange pisco sour, the restaurant’s signature cocktail.


Museo Sa Bassa Blanca, Alcudia

We’re truly spoiled for choice with all the art galleries and museums in the UK, but Museo Sa Bassa Blanca is one of the most unique artistic experiences you’ll ever have. Founded by artist couple Yannick Vu and Ben Jakober, this non-profit exhibition space is housed in an impressive white building with a sculpture park containing a whopping 94 outdoor artworks. Inside, old and new art from Africa and Eastern and Central America sits next to prehistoric fossils, and contemporary masters. Yoko Onos, Basquiats, Abramovićs and Kusamas are casually strung up on the walls – make sure you give every one of the pieces your full attention. In need of a souvenir? Its gift shop sells miniature versions of sculptures in the park.


Iykyk: getting lost is one of the best ways to see places as a tourist, and this is especially true in Mallorca. Palma is great on foot – stroll down the Las Ramblas-style boulevard and peep at the flower stalls and mediaeval buildings. If you’re in Pollença, take the 365-step stone stairway that leads from the main square, offering panoramic views (and potentially a meeting with a mountain goat). Love cycling? Valldemossa is a particularly great place for getting your lycra on, with windy roads giving panoramic views of the UNESCO World Heritage site. Hotel Valldemossa offers bike rentals, repairs and even a cleaning station for the ultimate two wheeled adventure. For those looking to take exploring to the next level, you can go climbing, cliff jumping and sea caving.



Putting one foot in front of the other is a total pleasure when it comes to Mallorca’s natural beauty. Across the island you’ll find plenty of trails that take you from the mountains right down to the beach. We did a loop on the Sierra de Tramuntana with Martin’s Walks, a friendly guide who liked techno and pranks (like telling us our hotel had cancelled breakfast that morning). Rather than just leading us on your average ramble, Martin pointed out evidence of centuries-old management traditions of the forest, including holes where snow was kept to make ice and stone ovens were built to bake bread. Learning and getting fit at the same time, who knew it could be so fun.

This trip was kindly paid for by It Mallorca hotels.

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