Best things to do in Majorca
What is it? Probably the most enchanting village on all Majorca, Deià is a winsome little tumble of honey-coloured stone cottages on a hilltop overlooking the rugged coast. Writer Robert Graves lived here, and now it’s become a hideaway for the rich and famous.
Why go? Visit the delightful home of Graves, then meander through the narrow streets, dotted with chic boutiques and galleries. Linger over drinks on one of the charming squares, before hitting the beach at Cala Deià.
What is it? Majorca is an outstanding hiking destination, and the Tramuntana mountain range is full of superb trails. This 170km route, which highlights the traditional craft of dry-stone walls, is among the best.
Why go? This hiking trail incorporates ancient footpaths that criss-cross the magnificent Tramuntana mountains, and wind through shady forest, along steep cliffs and Mediterranean scrub. Most sections are easy and well-marked, making it ideal for everyone.
What is it? Joan Miró’s home and workshop for more than 30 years is now an outstanding cultural foundation, which offers a unique insight into the artist’s life and work. It occupies a trio of stunning buildings set in gardens, with panoramic views over the whole coast.
Why go? Miró’s original studio, a light-drenched Modernist construction by Josep Lluís Sert, was later complemented by a second studio in an eighteenth-century farmhouse, its walls now covered in charcoal sketches. There are exhibitions and workshops, and afterwards you can stroll through the gardens, dotted with Miró’s colourful sculptures.
What is it? Palma’s Santa Catalina neighbourhood is full of brightly painted fishermen’s houses, their balconies overflowing with flowers. It’s centred on a fabulous produce market, and is chock-a-block with boho-chic cafés, bars and interior design stores.
Why go? Go for a gander at the colourful stalls in the market, maybe stop for a snack at a counter bar (we love Can Frau), before taking a stroll around the neighbourhood. You could go for an exotic fusion lunch at upmarket Nuru, then hit the shops (check out the Bconnected concept store).
What is it? Majorca boasts more than 300 beaches, but Es Trenc is universally agreed to be its most beautiful. A gorgeous stretch of powdery white sand, backed by dunes and blessed with crystal-clear waters, much of it is a nature reserve, so it remains blissfully unspoilt.
Why go? Es Trenc may be wild and undeveloped, but it’s still a hugely popular destination and in summer it gets crammed. Some sections hire out sunbeds, SUP boards or the equipment for other water sports, while the quieter sections are nudist. Just don’t forget water and a picnic, as there’s only one bar.
What is it? A panoramic road zig-zags dizzily along this stunning headland at the north-western tip of Majorca. There are a series of viewing points (miradors) where you gaze out over the plunging cliffs, before you reach a lighthouse (and a bar where you can steady your nerves) right at the end.
Why go: This drive is not for the faint-hearted, but the scenery – cliffs, emerald forest, turquoise coves – is truly breathtaking. On the way back, you can stop at the elegant 1920s Hotel Formentor for a drink or to laze on the gorgeous (if busy) beach.
What is it? Majorca has got more beach clubs now than you can shake a cocktail umbrella at, but this one is the oldest and still the best. The location, on a tiny peninsula, means you get fabulous views, which you can enjoy whilst lounging on a pure white lounger.
Why go? This beach club has a restaurant, cocktail bar, DJ sessions, and a massage service, but it’s best for an evening cocktail – this really is one of the best places to enjoy the sunset on the island. Glamorous but totally chilled, it’s the perfect way to finish your day.
What is it? The charming, country town of Binissalem is the epicentre of one of the island’s main wine-producing areas (and has its own D.O., or denominació d’origen), and there are several wineries that you can visit for tastings and purchases.
Why go? Take a wander around the diminutive little town to soak up its sleepy atmosphere, before heading off for some tastings at the local bodegas. Some of the best include ANA Vins, Bodegas José L. Ferrer, Bodegas Oliver, Celler Tiana Negre and Vins Nadal. Bodegas Biniagual occupies a beautifully restored hamlet nearby.
What is it? A beautifully restored century-old train trundles from Palma to the country town of Sóller. This is a captivating little town, with lots of shady squares to linger on, but you could also extend your trip and take the vintage tram through orange groves to Port de Sóller.
Why go? Slow, rickety and oozing with old-fashioned romance, this dinky train clanks its way across hills and forests to reach the pretty little market town of Sóller. You can potter around Sóller (Café Paris is a good option for lunch), or hop on the vintage tram to Port de Sóller on the coast.
What is it? Artà is one of the oldest towns on Majorca – with the Bronze Age ruins of Ses Païsses to prove it. Piled up charmingly on a hill, it’s full of arty little cafés and shops, and the views from the hilltop Sanctuary of Sant Salvador are glorious.
Why go? You can get a snapshot of different stages of Majorcan history in Artà, which has everything from ancient ruins to a sixteenth-century sanctuary. Come on a Tuesday for the market, then browse through the craft shops, linger over lunch, and make the climb to the hilltop sanctuary in the early evening for spellbinding views.
What is it? Originally part of a thirteenth-century estate, these wonderfully romantic gardens are scented with jasmine and orange blossom in spring. In summer, you can escape the heat in shady bowers, as fountains tinkle softly.
Why go? The perfect retreat from the searing sun, these enchanting gardens are full of leafy glades and shady corners where you can listen to the birdsong and the soft trickle of water in the pools and fountains. There’s a little café serving delicious homemade lemonade.
What is it? You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to gourmet dining in Majorca, but this enchanting restaurant has the edge over others thanks to its combination of exquisite contemporary Majorcan cuisine and a peerless setting overlooking the island’s rugged northern coast.
Why go? Celebs flock to this stunning restaurant, perched high in the Tramuntana mountains. Dine on a series of exquisite little dishes, prepared with the freshest local produce, as you soak up the glorious views over the craggy coastline.
What is it? The tapeo – a route from tapas bar to tapas bar – is a beloved institution in Palma, and there’s nowhere better to kick off the night than this chic, laidback spot. A stylish fusion of rustic furnishings and contemporary art, it serves gourmet tapas with an Asian twist.
Why go? Better book early if you want a spot at this hugely popular tapas bar. You can tuck into delectable morsels such as octopus carpaccio or Black Angus entrecote with truffles and aubergine, then finish up with one of their outstanding cocktails.