mallorca travel guide part two: the WEST
The Mallorca adventure continues with the second instalment of my Mallorca travel guide series...the West.
This area of Mallorca is breathtakingly beautiful and provides some of the most amazing views and as a bonus, is pretty chilled out when it comes to tourists (apart from Palma City of course). I visited pretty much all of these places when I was younger but I really didn't remember just how beautiful these places are. From driving up, down and across huge mountains to taking in the beautiful architecture of the towns and cities.
My recommendations for the Western part of Mallorca are-
Palma is the capital city of Mallorca and you won’t be surprised to know that there are a million things to do here! When we visited we only had one day so we made the most of it by heading there early to try and beat some of the crowds. First up is Palma Cathedral, an absolutely huge cathedral that you have to see to believe really. This Gothic building overlooking the sea cannot be missed! Beautiful inside and out you need to head here just to experience the sheer size of the place!
Next up is La Almudaina which is directly next door to Palma Cathedral. This is the Royal Palace and is still used today buy the Spanish Royal Family. We didn’t go inside here but again, it’s not to be missed. A walk down the Paseo Maritimo to look at all the expensive yachts, a visit to Plaça Mayor and of course getting on the train to Sóller is a must too! The train isn’t any old train, it’s quite a big attraction and will take you from Palma to Sóller, taking around an hour each way. I promise you the views whilst on the train are 100% worth the journey. The thing with any city is either researching beforehand what you really want to do or simply heading there and wandering. Palma is packed full of museums, restaurants, markets and shops that you are really spoilt for choice! One market that I would highly recommend is Mercat de l’Olivar. Think all the fresh fruits, veggies, breads, meats, fish and cheeses; it’s a gold mine! We grabbed ourselves a load of cherries, figs, peaches and bread and everything was so fresh! Even if you don’t buy anything just head there for the experience!
A breakfast and brunch spot with cool and calm design. This place is a must for breakfast or brunch before heading out to explore Palma. I had the scrambled eggs with ham and parmesan and it came on a brioche bun! I’m not usually a fan but this I was totally down with! We also shared a yoghurt, fruit and granola bowl which was pretty darn epic too.
The coffee here is also really good. I found that pretty much everywhere we went it was Nescafé that was served, but not here. This was proper coffee and it was so good!
Get here early as the place filled up quickly when we arrived!
Tips when visiting:
Bellver Castle is situated just outside of Palma and can be visited whilst you’re in or around the city. The castle is from the 1300’s and sits on a hill overlooking Palma and it’s port. The castle itself is in excellent condition and probably the only castle of it’s age in such amazing condition! I remember visiting here when I was little but I totally forgot about the incredible views you get across the sea and the island!
Tips when visiting-
Sóller is nestled in between the BIG hills of the mountain range of Mallorca and is accessible by car or by train. As mentioned above I would highly recommend getting the train from Palma, it won’t disappoint! Chugging along through the mountains you get such wonderful views, it’s not to be missed. When in Sóller there isn’t a great deal to do apart from walk around and explore the quirky shops and maybe grab a bite to eat. It’s a typical Spanish town and once you’ve seen one then they all tend to look the same. One place I would highly recommend is the Botanical Gardens. This is a haven for beautiful flowers, trees and plants. Wander around and just take in the peacefulness of the place. Don’t forget to look up too as you are completely surrounded by mountains!
I would recommend a couple of hour here, maybe three if you want to have some food too. We didn’t eat when we visited but we did grab a delicious ice cream from a place called Can Pau Gelats, situated in the corner of Plaça de sa Constitució. The mango sorbet is incredible!
Port de Sóller
Juts down the road from Sóller is the port. Accessible by both tram from Sóller or by car (we drove there). It’s a small seaside town with the usual little seafront shops and restaurants. It’s not a great big place but it’s nice to walk around and explore the little back streets and again, look around to see that you are surrounded by mountains.
Somewhere that does avocado toast, in this teeny tiny town! Can you believe it?! This place was a little gem! Protein shakes, green juices and avocado toast, yes!!
Overlooking the bay it’s a lovely little place to simply grab a quick bite or just a juice. I would highly recommend it simply just for the juices and smoothies if I’m honest! My kind of place.
Tips when visiting-
Sant Elm- Sa Dragonera Wildlife Park
Sant Elm is a small seaside town nestled amongst the mountains not far from Andratx. When I say small, I really mean it. We headed here to get the ferry to Sa Dragonera which translates to Dragon Island. The ferry costs €13 euros per person for an adult return ticket and gets you to the island in around 15 minutes. It’s not the only way to get there but it’s the quietest and fastest. The island is a must visit if you want to explore an area that is natural and not damaged by humans. The island has a few routes you can walk around to take you to different points. The longest walk is around 3 hours and that is to the highest point of the island. We didn’t head to this point as we only had a couple of hours so we decided to go on the shortest walk to a lighthouse at one end of the island. The views on the way and at the lighthouse are absolutely stunning!
As the name suggest it’s also an island full of ‘dragons’ aka geckos so be prepared to find loads of those whilst walking around! The island is peaceful, beautiful and a perfect for to just get back to nature and away from the hustle and bustle!
Na Caragola (Sant Elm).
There are only a few restaurants and places to eat in Sant Elm due to its small size but, we managed to find a little gem in there in the form of Sa Caragola Restaurant. This place offered plenty of options for food but we both wanted something light so we both decided on the Goats Cheese Salad. The salad came with the biggest chunk of goats cheese ever alongside leaves, tomatoes, breadsticks, walnuts and pineapple. Simple yet ridiculously good!
Tips when visiting-
Sa Calobra Beach
Sa Calobra beach is situated up the coast slightly from Port de Sóller. Nestled amongst the mountains I really can’t recommend a more incredible ‘beach’. I say ‘beach’ because it’s actually the exit of one of Mallorca’s torrents. Don’t expect any sand but do expect lots of stones so wear appropriate shoes! The sea here is crystal clear and more impressively you are sandwiched in between two huge cliffs and mountains. You can head here for a swim and also walk up and through the valley taking in the unbelievable size of what’s surrounding you.
The other interesting thing about this place is the drive to it. You drive up the mountains to get here and of course you have to drive down the windiest road I think I have ever seen at the other side to get down to the beach.
Tips when visiting-
Pesca Roca was a place we just happened upon to be honest. I was Google mapping places in the area and it popped up so we thought we would give it a go. It’s a bit of a random one but if you fancy a different view then why not give it a go. This view point is nestled at the end point of Urbanizacion las Brisas which isn’t far from Port d’Antratx. I imagine not many people know about this place as when we arrived mid afternoon there was nobody there. The point is through a huge (and quite posh) housing estate so definitely drive slow and take in all the massive beautiful houses there!
This place doesn’t have a wow factor but I’m glad we visited anyway.
Sierra de Tramuntana
Sierra de Tramuntana is the name of the mountain range of Mallorca. If you want a long, windy drive up the mountains with multiple amazing views then this is a must. In fact, even if you don’t I would really recommend doing it anyway. The drive we did took us from Palma all the way back to Pollença which is pretty much the whole of the mountain range. There are multiple stopping points on the way and I promise you it’s 100% worth it. A s far as views go you certainly get the best from up there! There is also a reservoir halfway along where you can stop and walk around it or simply just look out over the water, it’s up to you. The highest peak of Mallorca, Puig Major, is also situated here and you drive straight past it which is pretty impressive! If you like a walk then I do think you can pop your walking boots on and head on up but I’m unsure where you would start this walk from.
Tips when visiting-
This area of Mallorca was my favourite area to explore. Breathtaking views and pure bliss, what more could you ask for?!
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