I went to school for tourism management in northern Germany. During my sixth semester, I got the chance to study abroad at the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB) in Palma de Mallorca through the ERASMUS network.
Throughout my five months on the island and the several times I've been back to visit, I have accumulated a travel guide to share my favorite spots on the island.
I hope it'll bring you joy and help you plan your own trip to this beautiful peace of earth in the Mediterranean.
WHERE TO STAY
I am definitely not the best to give advice on accommodations in Mallorca as I always stay with my host family in Palma. What I can recommend are certain areas of the island.
Both El Arenal and Magaluf are areas you should avoid if you are looking for an authentic Mallorcean experience. Both places are packed with British and German tourists that come for the typical "party vacation" that Mallorca sadly is mostly known for even though it has so much more to offer.
Port d'Antratx is the perfect place if you want to still be close to Palma while staying in a small town with a beautiful harbor. I also like the northeast corner of the island as there is less tourist infrastructure (i.e. big hotel structures, packed beaches, etc.) but you'll have to drive a little longer to get to different sights and special locations on the island.
My host great-parents Sebastiá and Magdalena have an adorable Airbnb in the countryside of Mallorca, in the midst of orange trees and fresh eggs straight from the property. They are the sweetest hosts you could ever have and next door you'll have the chance to check out their handbags (www.abbacino.es ) which HQ is right there. It is a great location for day trips around the island.
WHAT TO SEE
There's something for everybody on the island. If you love history and city sightseeing, make sure to spend some time in Palma. The old town is not very big so it can easily be walked through without having to rely on public transport.
You cannot miss Palmas Cathedral which is a beautiful sandstone building from the 1600s and towers over the harbor town. From there, you have a great view of the big yacht and cruise ship harbor of Palma.
If you're in for a little workout, walk up to Castell Belver for a 360° view of Palma and its surroundings. There is also a bus that goes up there but I did really enjoy the walk, just make sure it is not 40°C outside.
Walk the old town, don't miss the little side streets, grab an ensaimada in one of the little bakeries and (window) shop the little boutiques. My favorite time of day to see Palma is any time after 7 pm when the lights come on, the crowds disappear and the locals come out.
BEACHES & COVES
If you come to Mallorca, chances are high, you want to relax and lie on the beach. Here are a few, you'll definitely have to check out:
Sa Canova Playa Virgen
Plata des Trenc
WHERE & WHAT TO EAT
For my Palma food guide, click here.
For some real authentic Spanish and mallorquian food, I asked my host dad Sebastiá for his recommendations. He grew up in Mallorca and truly knows his way around the best food the island has to offer.
Restaurant Club Nautic Portixol
Restaurant El Bungalow, Palma
El Balcón de María, Santa Ponça
Restaurante Rocamar, Port Andratx
Restaurante Barlovento, Port Andratx
Sa Foradada, Deià
Ca's Patró March, Deià
Far del Cap Gros (near Port de Sóller)
Restaurante Lago, Son Serra de Marina
Restaurant Can March, Manacor
Can Salom Restaurant - Boutique, Petra
Es Celler de Petra
Restaurant Club Nàutic Sa Ràpita
Restaurant Molí d´en Pau, Sineu
Restaurant Ca'l Dimoni, Algaida
Restaurant Es 4 Vents, Algaida
Tast Club, Palma
Other restaurant recommendations on the island are:
Restaurante Barlovento (Paella)
Restaurante Vent de Tramontana
EBISU mallorca sushi lounge, Santa Ponça
UM Beach House Portals
Cassa Beach House
Cassai Gran Café & Restaurante
Sunshine Bar (Son Serra de Marina)
HIKES & DAY TRIPS
If you come to Mallorca, I highly suggest renting a car in order to explore the island. There are a lot of amazing day trips, I've put together some of my favorites in a separate blog post.
If you love to hike, there are some beautiful routes to take. I usually look for routes on Komoot, but here is a couple that I really enjoyed:
La Trapa (Sant Elm - Coll de Sa Gramola / easy)
Deià to Port de Sóller (easy)
Sóller - Cala Tuent (advanced)
One special excursion that is very much worth the money is the wooden train from Palma to the small town of Sóller which lies in the midst of the Tramuntana. The train ends at Port de Sóller, where you can enjoy some amazing Spanish food in one of the harbor restaurants. Just the train ride itself is an experience as the train dates back to the early 1900s and takes you through some gorgeous scenery of the Sierra Norte de Mallorca.
HOW TO GET AROUND
As I mentioned before, getting a rental car in Mallorca is very beneficial as it provides you with the flexibility to come and go as you please and enjoy some corners of the island that you might not be able to reach via public transport.
That being said, there is good public transportation on the island that I relied on back when I studied abroad in Palma. With the student card, I took trips across the island for as cheap as 1.50€ so it is definitely worth checking out.
All that's left to say is "Disfruta!" and save travels!