Hola Mallorca, you wonderful place on Earth. In our opinion: there is hardly any other place in Europe with such an undeservedly bad reputation as the Balearic Islands. Mallorca’s landscape has got it going on! We were completely impressed with the west coast and the north of the island. Rugged peaks and picturesque bays just like from a picture book – this and much more awaits you on Mallorca.
Mallorca is made for a Roadtrip: The coastal roads are spectacular, the traffic is manageable and there are countless photo spots and worthwhile travel destinations. In this blog article we introduce you to three road trip legs in Mallorca that you can do yourself.
A little pre-warning: You will want to book a flight to Mallorca right away after reading this article. You can’t say we didn’t warn you.
1. Our home-base in the mountain village of Valldemossa
Mallorca is much larger than expected, so the question naturally arises as to the most ideal place to stay. We chose the hilly and scenic west of the island and whole-heartedly recommend this area to you. To be precise, we ended up in the picturesque village of Valldemossa.
We found Valldemossa to be the perfect starting point for our road trip: You can reach the spectacular coastal road along the west coast fairly quickly. The island’s capital is also only half an hour away.
Our accommodation tip: Agroturismo Son Viscos
We stayed in the beautiful Agroturismo Son Viscos. This historical farm has been transformed into an incredibly stylish, lovely hideaway – an absolute dream to stay in!
The Agroturismo Son Viscos is located at the town entrance to Valldemossa and has just five rooms to stay in. Our room was called Menta and was the only one with a huge terrace. The furnishings and ambience could hardly be better – so stylish with great attention to detail.
We loved the fantastic breakfast in the morning. The best part is the high-quality regional products on offer. You can also have breakfast on the terrace (in good weather) and enjoy the wonderful view. Our conclusion: This accommodation is a real oasis of wellbeing. We are already looking forward to hopefully getting back there soon!
You can book accommodation here: Agroturismo Son Viscos
Valldemossa is probably one of the most touristic places on the west coast. It’s not only in the high season that you’ll have to come to terms with hearing more German than Spanish on the streets. You can’t blame the many visitors for it though, because Valldemossa is really delightful!
The small village nestles itself almost perfectly into the picturesque backdrop of the Serra de Tramuntana. Valldemossa’s center is a wonderful mix of narrow, cobbled streets and historic houses adorned with flowerpots. The Mediterranean flair in Valldemossa is one of a kind.
Two more culinary tips: You can eat very well in the Es Taller Valldemossa restaurant. Its location inside a former car repair shop is very special and the food is delicious. In our opinion, the best ice cream in Valldemossa is available at Gelati Mossa.
2. Road Trip: Itineraries to the Highlights of Mallorca
We are going to let you know about three road trip legs, each of which you can do as a day trip from Valldemossa.
Roadtrip #1: The highlights of the west coast of Mallorca
This road trip runs along the coastal road of the west through the spectacular Serra de Tramuntana. You will pass through beautiful mountain villages and enjoy lovely views of the spectacular cliffs.
Son Marroig & Deià
We begin the road trip in Valldemossa. From here you drive north along the coastal road MA-10. Before you reach the turn off to Deià, you should make a stop at the historic Son Marroig estate. You get a really fantastic view from here. If you want you can also visit the country house, which contains a small museum. (Admission: 4 euros)
Shortly after Son Marroig, you reach the village of Deià. Just like in Valldemossa, there are many tourists underways in Deià. We highly recommend the short walk up to Iglesia de San Juan Bautista. You get a really great view from up top.
When you drive further along the coastal road MA-10, you will come to a junction shortly on the left that you could almost overlook. After around ten minutes travelling this winding road you will reach Cala Deià – the Bay of Deià.
There is a short pathway stretching from the carpark to the Bay, which is really beautiful. The Cala Deià is a very popular swimming bay in the summer and is often overcrowded. The water is crystal clear thanks to the pebble or stone beach. If you get hungry: There are two small restaurants on the beach.
Our tip: About 50m from the bay (to the north) is the start of a coastal hike, that leads to Sóller. The path is part of the spectacular GR221 long-distance hiking trail. You probably won’t have time (or too little motivation) to do a longer hike, but we strongly recommend exploring at least a few kilometers of the route.
Here you can enjoy a gigantic view of the coast of Mallorca. We walked about 1.5 hours north before turning around again. Alternatively, you could of course keep going until you reach Sóller and organise transport back to Cala Deià.
From Deià, the coastal road continues to the small town of Sóller. Sóller is significantly bigger than Valldemossa und Deià but no less worth seeing. In the center of Sóller you will find the lively main square, the Plaza Constitución. Not only can you find the city’s most famous building here, the Church of St. Bartholomew, but there are also numerous cafés and restaurants.
The famous historic tram rumbles past the Plaza Constitución like clockwork – a highlight that many tourists who are enthusiastic about photography are almost hanging out for.
You can take the tram from Sóller both to the capital Palma and downhill to the port of Sóller – Port de Sóller. The price one way to Port de Sóller is 7 euros.
Another culinary tip: just a few steps away from the main square you will find Café Scholl tucked away in a quiet away – the perfect place to take a little break. Here we ate a really delicious almond cake.
Sa Calobra (Torrent de Pareis)
The next leg of the road trip from Sóller to Sa Calobra is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular stretches in all of Mallorca. Next, shortly after Sóller, you should make a short stop in the village Fornalutx. It was twice named the most beautiful village in Spain.
Just the scenery alone is absolutely breathtaking. The two water reservoirs (Cúber and Gorg Blue) are wonderful photo opportunities that you should definitely take a brief stop for.
After a junction, the road snakes its way up the mountain until reaching one of the most famous photo opportunities in the region: The striking 270 degree corner called Nus de Sa Corbata – also known as the bow tie. You should definitely park up here and take a moment to enjoy the tremendous view of the bizarre rocky landscape.
Next, the journey takes you over an extremely curvy and extremely impressive road several hundred vertical meters back down the mountain to the tiny village of Sa Calobra. From the carpark you can take about a 20 minute walk to Torrent de Pareis, a rocky canyon that is absolutely one of the greatest places we have seen in Mallorca.
We got to the carpark at around 6:15 pm and found that to be ideal. There were hardly any other people there apart from us and the evening atmosphere was really great. There are said to be many tourist buses here during the day – luckily none of them were to be seen while we were there.
Torre del Verger near Banyalbufar
The fastest route from Torrent de Pareis back to Valldemossa takes you partly via the coastal road and partly via the faster MA-11 in about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
If there is still time and you would like to visit a great place for the sunset, we have a tip for you. Around 30 minutes south of Valldemossa you will reach the small village of Banyalbufar.
Shortly after on the right-hand side stands the Torre del Verger, an old watchtower situated high on a rock ledge. You can climb the Torre del Verger and enjoy a fantastic view of the sea from here.Caution: We have read that in the past cars were broken into several times at Torre del Verger. Fortunately, this did not happen to us but just in case, take your valuables with you. (That always applies to all of Mallorca anyway!)
Roadtrip #2: The spectacular Formentor Peninsula in the north of Mallorca
One of the most scenic corners of Mallorca is the rugged north. This roadtrip takes you diagonally through the Formentor Peninsula to the famous Cap de Formentor.
The fastest route from Valldemossa to the Formentor Peninsula runs inland over the MA-13. If you have more time: the more beautiful scenic route meanders along the west coast, as described in roadtrip #1.
Important notice in advance: Closures in the high season
You can only experience this road trip outside of the high season. The Cap de Formentor is one of the most popular destinations on Mallorca. There is practically only one road and because the traffic has increased in some areas, a traffic restriction was decided upon in 2018.
Driving your own car is prohibited between 10am and 7pm from June 15 until September 15. If you would like to experience the Formentor Peninsula during this time, you need to take the shuttle bus. This leaves from Port de Pollença (line 353) every 30 minutes and stops at all major stops along the Peninsula.
We started this day trip with a visit to one of the most idylic bathing bays in all of Mallorca: Cala Figueira. It can only be reached via a steep walking track. You can leave the car at the carpark and then: it’s time to gather your strength.
The track takes about 15 minutes over gravel and stones, but in principle is also doable in flip flops. Once you get down, you can make yourself comfortable on the rocks and jump into the crystal clear, reasonably calm water.
Two tips: The bay is not to be confused with the famous holiday resort of the same name in the south of the island. Also: there are a few goats down there that can get really close in search of food. There are no places to buy food (!), So a lot of people take food with them and the animals smell it. The nectarines we brought with us fell victim to the goat.
Lighthouse at the Cap de Formentor
The striking lighthouse rises at the easternmost tip of the Formentor peninsula (also the northernmost point of Mallorca). It is probably the most famous photo motif on Mallorca.
You can reach the lighthouse from Cala Figueira in about 20 minutes by car. There are only a few parking spaces at the lighthouse itself. We were always here in the late afternoon and were mostly lucky. There are a few pathways around the lighthouse, some of which lead up to the cliffs – you should definitely be careful here.
Mirador Es Colomer
Now we make the return, but our personal highlight is still ahead. Next, you should make a stop at the Mirador Es Colomer viewpoint. Here a pathway runs over several terraces further and further towards the sea – with a breathtaking view of the rugged rocky coast.
There are usually a lot of people here, for good reason. Still, we have an insider tip for you for at sunset. An inconspicous mountain road runs from the Mirador Es Colomer even further up to the watchtower Talaia d’Albercutx. In our opinion, this is where you can get the most spectacular views in all of Mallorca – the perfect place to watch the sun go down.
Port de Pollença
Lastly, a visit to the very touristy Port de Pollença is on the program. We only experienced Port de Pollença in the evening atmosphere, but you can eat well there after visiting the Cap de Formentor.
The restaurants right by the sea are quite expensive, so we chose the Coral Bar instead and didn’t regret it. The dishes are delicious and the staff extremely friendly.
Roadtrip #3: The island capital, Palma de Mallorca
A visit to the island’s capital, Palma, is of course a must-do on a trip to Mallorca. Palma de Mallorca is a surprisingly beautiful town that can be perfectly explored in one day.
Cathedral of Saint Mary
In the heart of Palma is the landmark of Palma, the imposing Cathedral of Saint Mary – usually just called Le Seu. The cathedral is incredibly large and much bigger than we had expected. Like almost everywhere in Spain, you have to pay admission (8 euros) if you want to see the cathedral from the inside.
Climbing the stairs to the roof of the cathedral should also be worthwhile. Unfortunately, the tour is currently only offered in Spanish, but the view from above of the harbor and the sea is fantastic. The tour takes about 60 minutes and costs 12 euros per person.
Old Town of Palma
Behind the cathedral you get to the largely car-free historic precinct of Mallorca. A labyrinth of narrow, branching streets and charming historic houses awaits you here. The old town of Palma de Mallorca is quite touristy, but we still really liked the Mediterranean flair.
Incidentally, the Passeig d’es Born promenade runs through the heart of the old town. It is also worth stopping by here. The avenue tree-lined boulevard is a bit like the little sister of Las Ramblas in Barcelona.
Santa Catalina District
Palma’s trendy district is called Santa Catalina and is about a 15 minute walk from the cathedral. Santa Catalina was once a fishing district, today it’s lined with hip boutiques and trendy restaurants.
If you come by in the morning, we definitely recommend a visit to the Mercat de Santa Catalina. The place is alive with activity. In the covered market hall, all the fresh foods that you can imagine are sold: from fruit and vegetables to meat to seafood and fish.
The market is mainly visited by locals who take a seat at the market stalls or small bars and enjoy tapas there. The Mercat de Santa Catalina is closed on Sunday.
Santa Catalina is a popular nightlife district. The locals meet in the city’s bars and restaurants to round off the day with tapas and drinks.
Eating and drinking in Palma: our tips
Vagabundos by Balagan: A great restaurant in the trendy district Santa Catalina. They serve very creative tapas here in a relaxing atmosphere.
Simply Delicious by Ronen: A small eatery across from the Mercat de Santa Catalina. If you like Israeli cuisine, you should stop in: Here you can get shakshuka, falafel, humus and more.
3. More road trip tips: rental cars, guidebooks & more
Where is the best place to book a rental car?
Of course, you need a rental car for your road trip. We booked ours (as always) through Sunny Cars. Sunny Cars is an intermediary platform. This means: You book via the Sunny Cars website and pick up your car on site from a local rental company (Hertz, Europcar, etc.).
The advantage of booking through Sunny Cars is that fully comprehensive insurance is already included. And all of this with no excess. In the event of damage (regardless of whether it is third-party or self-inflicted), Sunny Cars will reimburse you for the excess. This was very important to us, especially in Mallorca: the streets are sometimes very narrow and the driving style of the people can be adventurous. (More on that in a moment.)
The price to rent a car in Spain is pretty cheap. You can get a nice small car for a week on Mallorca for around 200 euros.
You can search for cheap rental cars here: Sunny Cars
Driving in Mallorca: worth knowing
The road network on Mallorca is well developed and the roads are in very good condition. The speed limit is 120 km/h on motorways, 90 km/h on country roads and 50 km/h in local areas.
Some roads on Mallorca (especially along the mountainous west coast) are very curvy and sometimes really narrow. But if you are not a novice driver, it is really not a problem. The locals tend to drive pretty fast and sometimes even recklessly – it is best to be as defensive as possible.
Google Maps or the map app on your mobile phone works great for navigating. You can save yourself an external navigation system thanks to the elimination of roaming charges.
Tips for parking in Mallorca
In many of the smaller towns you will find one (or more) parking spaces on the outskirts or near the center, so that you can reach the center on foot from there. In Palma we recommend that you park your car in one of the large parking garages.
Alternatively, there are often parking spaces on the street. Important to know: The parking regulation is indicated by three colors. Parking in front of yellow lines is not allowed. If you find a park with a white line, you can park for free. A blue line means that you have to put in a parking ticket.
The prices for parking vary, but you should always have some coins with you for the parking machines (notes are not accepted). The maximum parking time is usually two hours during the day.
Guidebooks for Mallorca: Our Tip
Our choice was the Rough Guide Mallorca guidebook, which we can highly recommend. The new edition appeared in 2019 and is therefore quite up-to-date.
Rough Guide travel guides are well-known by the fact that they are fairly detailed and very well researched. We really like the appealing, youthful design of this guidebook.
You can purchase the guidebook here: Rough Guide Mallorca
Disclaimer: Invitation & Affiliate Links
We were invited to stay at Agroturismo Son Viscos for one night. We paid for the rest of the nights ourselves – so our enthusiasm is 100% genuine.
This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of affiliate links. If you book or buy something via the links, we will receive a small commission. This will not change the price for you at all. A million thanks from the both of us!
Have you ever done a road trip through Mallorca? Please leave us a comment with your experiences and tips – we look forward to it!