Mallorca can get pretty heaty in summer. The temperature may climb up to 40 °C (100 °F) during the day! So, here is a piece of friendly advice: stay in the water until evening and explore the surroundings in the morning. Where are the best beaches in Palma, Alcúdia, or Serra de Tramuntana? Which beaches are the best option for family vacation and where to go for snorkelling? Keep reading further. We Are Jan and Karin and this is our list of top beaches in Mallorca.
Beaches in Palma: Right in the heart of the capital
Palma is probably the first thing you’ll experience in Mallorca, being the capital with the main airport. You can find the Royal Palace of Almudaina there, as well as one of the largest cathedrals in Europe—La Seu Cathedral. It’s a vibrant modern city and the tourist garden of Eden. Let’s take a look at the best spots to spend a day at a beach.
Playa de Palma: The evergreen beach surrounded by holiday resorts
Playa de Palma is the main beach, which makes it the hotspot for tourists. It stretches about 6 kilometres (4.5 miles) along the bay between two holiday resorts Ca’n Pastilla and s’Arenal. It’s perfectly suitable for young people looking to have some fun, or family holiday, as there are shallow shores with beautiful white sand. There are all the facilities you can search for: showers, toilets, lifeguards, bars and restaurants, sun loungers and parasols. Even though it’s the main beach, there are always plenty of free spots to find thanks to it’s extent. There are all kinds of watersports available, but it’s not the best beach for snorkelling, because of the resort rush. From the city center, you can reach the beach in a 20 minutes’ drive, and parking is available in the streets behind the beach.
Playa s’Arenal: Palms and Germans everywhere
Playa s’Arenal follows the Playa de Palma on the east. It is only 210 meters (690 feet) long, but wide with the fine white sand all over it. If you are passionate on Instagram and enjoy the exotic look, the s’Arenal is the best choice for you in Palma. With the majestic palm trees and fancy drink from the beach bar (called Balneario there) you will get just the perfect Instashot. Be careful of the German tourists photobombing, though. You can find the El Arenal Aqualand there or enjoy water skiing, paragliding and pedal boards. Parking is possible in the streets behind the promenade, within 200 meters (660 feet) from the beach.
Playa de Portixol: Oasis on the outskirt of Palma
If you want to spend a day at the beach, peacefully reading a book, go to the Portixol harbor. It’s just a few kilometers (around a mile) east of Palma city center, and it’s pretty quiet as there are no facilities or resorts in the bay. The beach is covered with a mix of sand and gravel and the water deepens quite suddenly after a few meters, so it’s not the best place for children in Palma. On the other hand, there are usually just small groups of locals, which makes it a good spot for introverted people. You can park your car basically anywhere in the harbor within a 15 minutes’ walking distance from the beach.
Best beaches on the west coast
Magaluf, Déia, Valldemossa or Sóller are all situated on the west coast of Mallorca. The foothills of Serra Tramuntana offer magnificent views as well as beautiful beaches great for snorkeling and diving. Especially popular with hikers and climbers, the west-coast towns and villages are worth exploring.
Cala Banyalbufar: Rocky beach with eye-catching surroundings
Surrounded by steep cliffs and vineyards descending to the sea, Cala Banyalbufar is a view you won’t forget. Although the beach is guite rocky, there are some spots where you can lie down. Why would you though! This bay is made for snorkelling and shooting pictures with its spectacular surroundings, clear turquoise water and rocky sea floor full of various species. There is a parking lot at the viewpoint above the beach, only a six-minute walk from it.
Magaluf: Ultimate party place
The city is swarming with more than 100 bars, discos and clubs, and it’s the center of the night life in Mallorca. During the summer season, the town is full of wild young people, mostly from Britain and Scandinavia. Funny thing is, during the winter months it changes to a quiet place full of old couples. The beach itself is covered in fine white sand and has all the facilities you would expect in a resort. However, it might not look like what you would expect, considering the wild parties going on there.
Sa Calobra: The gem hidden in the mountainside
The best for last of course. Sa Calobra is truly a unique experience. Imagine driving through the snaky winding mountain road, down to the small town at the coast (believe me, it’s an exciting experience in itself). After that, you walk through a long tunnel carved out in the cliffs, and all of a sudden, a mesmerizing beach with amazingly clear water emerges from the mountainside. The view is breathtaking and the cliffs with lots of fish makes it one of the best beaches for snorkelling.
Best beaches on the north coast
The whole north coast is lined with Serra de Tramuntana mountains, the UNESCO Cultural Landscape since 2011. That said, you may be wondering, where the heck can you find the beach there, right? Well, there are several ports and towns right at the sea level. Port Sollér, Alcúdia and Port de Pollenca, for example.
Port de Sóller: The charming harbour settled within the mountain range
Port de Sóller is more like north-west, but you understand we needed something for this area too. Being one of the most popular resorts in the north, one beach is not enough. Port de Sóller takes pride with one beach at each end of the bay. Traveling with kids, we recommend heading off to the town beach near the harbor. There are calm waves and fine-grained sand. Both beaches have loungers, sunshades and showers as well as some water bikes and kayaks rentals. Port de Sóller also makes a practical base for hikers: morning in the mountains, evening at the beach.
Alcúdia: The longest beach of Mallorca
With its 10 kilometers (6 miles), Alcúdia earned a title of the longest beach of Mallorca. All along the coast from Port d’Alcudia to Ca’n Picafort in the south, the beach is covered with fine golden sand and the water is shallow almost everywhere. That makes Alcúdia possibly the best children-friendly beach. And when the children start to get on your nerves, the drink at one of the bars is ready to save you. There are all kinds of activities available together with all necessary facilities.
Cala Formentor: Natural beach surrounded by woods
Cap de Formentor is the northernmost point of the island. The beach Cala Formentor is approximately 6 kilometers (3 miles) by car from the Port de Pollenca. On the way to the beach, be sure to visit the lovely view point at Cap de Formentor, where you can find the parking lot as well.
There’s also a parking lot just a few meters from the beach but be prepared to pay €7–10. The beach can be also considered children-friendly as there are no great waves and deep waters around the seashore. Concerning the watersports activities, you can rent whatever you think of in Cala Formentor. From traditional windsurfing and water bikes to catamarans and yachts. The sea is usually warmer there, heated by the warm streams flowing from Italy.
Tip: Take a look at our article about Alcúdia to get some ideas around there.
Best beaches on the east coast
Arguably the favorite tourist attraction on the east coast are the Drach Caves (Cuevas del Drac) hiding one of the largest underground lakes in the world. Besides that, there’s the medieval fortress in Artá, Llevant Peninsula Natural Park or 3 000-year-old Bronze Age settlement Ses Païsses.
Cala Mesquida: Scenic holiday retreat
This small sandy beach sitting safely inside of the bay has a protected nature reserve on the other side. There are no showers or toilets on the beach, however that’s the magic behind this place. This relatively spoiled holiday resort represents a nice place to hide, if you’re not a fan of the big-city crowded beaches. If you decide to explore the surroundings, you’ll find a small town called Capdepera, surrounded by medieval walls and towers. Definitely a good place for a low key romantic holiday.
Playa de Canyamel: Blue flag beach on the northeast coast
About 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the towns of Artá and Capdepera lies another beach surrounded by a nature reserve. This isolated beach is especially popular among the older couples and families, so if you’re looking for wild orgies go to Magaluf instead. The showers, changing stations and toilets go without saying. You can rent loungers and parasols and you can even find decent options for water sports there. The Playa de Canyamel is certified as a blue flag beach. That means the beach maintains strict environmental and safety criteria.
Best beaches on the south coast
The south coast of Mallorca is mostly flat, secluded and peaceful. There are not many resorts ,as this area is generally off the tourist route. In this place, it’s mostly about the panoramic views, olive groves and private cottages.
Cala des Moro: What used to be a secret beach
Okay, the title may sound discouraging, but Cala des Moro is actually still a wonderful place. It can get a little bit crowded in summer, because it’s just a teeny-tiny beach deep inside of the bay and there isn’t much space. It used to be a secret beach, rarely visited by locals, but you know how it works, when you write about the hidden gem on some travelers’ blogs. On the other hand, when off season, it’s practically empty and just the right spot for snorkelling. And as a bonus, you can find some great jumping points along the bay. There is a steep access to the beach, so it’s not a good idea to drag the children in there.
Es Trenc: One of the most beautiful beaches in Mallorca
This long, wide and flat beach on the south coast is perfect for children and not crowded even during high season. Thanks to its Caribbean blue waters and sandy coast, it’s considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Mallorca. There are basically no facilities on the beach and don’t expect any kind of watersports here either. You can peacefully enjoy the natural wild beauty and the remoteness though. And just between us, there is also a nudist part of the beach on the remote end.
Cala Mondrago: One of the prettiest blue flag beaches
In 1992, Mondrago was declared a natural park. Because it’s surrounded by the park, the beach is truly raw and unspoiled, it also received the Blue flag certificate. Surrounded by sand dunes, forests and rocky coves, it’s quite peaceful. There are no resorts in this area and actually three connected beaches: Cala Mondrago, S’Amarador nad Cala d’en Borgit. Thanks to the protected area, there are plenty of fish and other species on the seafloor, which makes it a great beach for snorkelling. There are obviously no water sport activities and no showers, only portable toilets. You can find two beach bars there though.
A hidden gem as a bonus: Cala Estellencs
Estellencs is a typical mountain village on the coastline of Serra de Tramuntana. It’s off the main tourist route, which makes its lovely, peaceful, rustic atmosphere. There’s only a tiny pebble beach, but the view is simply indescribable and moreover, you can enjoy that on your own, as there are usually no people around, even during high season. A little docks for Mallorcan traditional fishing boats are hidden inside the cliffs, which makes the view even more impressive.