The Mediterranean island Mallorca is one of those magical places where the mountains meet the sea, where wildlife mingles with historic buildings, and the weather is as lovely as the food.
Mallorca (aka Majorca) is the largest of the Balearic Islands just off the Spanish mainland in the Mediterranean Sea. It can be reached by plane from most European airports or via a 7:30-hour ferry ride from Barcelona (distance about 200 km / 125 miles).
With all its perks of warm and dry climate, rugged mountains, sand beaches, mediterranean food, Catalan culture, and proximity to mainland Spain, it’s no wonder it’s been a popular destination for European tourists and expats. Being also a very affordable place, it’s been a magnet especially for young people looking to party hard and for expats who are done with the grey skies of Northern Europe. If you just head to the popular beaches of south-east Mallorca, you’ll mostly hear German, Dutch and English spoken – or sung drunkenly.
But this is far from all that Mallorca is about. If you turn your back on the beaches in the south-east, you’ll discover a completely different island. Because of Mallorca’s beautiful landscape of mountains and the sea and its rich history (mainly Moorish and Spanish) there are so many amazing and quieter places to discover. Here are just a few ideas of where to escape the crowded beaches, take in some nature, or explore a bit of history.
Serra de Tramuntana
The Serra de Tramuntana (Tramuntana Mountain Range) stretch along the north-west to south-west coast of Mallorca – making up about a third of the island. From Palma de Mallorca, the island’s capital, the Tramuntanas can be reached in less than an hour. The mountain region invites you to spend hours or days sipping wine, hiking, cycling, eating olives, swimming, fishing or whatever you do that makes you happier.
We highly recommend a Tramuntana Road Trip – for the views from the road alone. Even UNESCO declared the Sierra de Tramontana (Spanish spelling) a World Heritage Site because of its natural and cultural significance. If you were to drive from the town of Calvià (about 45 minutes west of Palma de Mallorca) via Valdemossa to Cap de Formentor along the scenic mountain roads, the entire drive (without stops) would take you about 4 hours. Here are a few glimpses from those roads…
Stop in Vila Calvià (a 45-minute drive from Palma) for a little bit of history and as a jumping off point into the Serra Tramuntana to the west or to visit coves and beaches to the south.
Valldemossa is a picturesque village in a valley of the Tramuntana Mountains. It’s worth a visit because of it’s lovely natural setting and charming cobble stone streets and rustic architecture. But the town is probably best known for the Valldemossa Charterhouse or Cartoixa de Valldemossa (Carthusian Monastery of Valldemossa) – a palace and former monastery established in the 15th century. During the winter of 1838-39, the composer Frédéric Chopin and the writer George Sand stayed and created at the Charterhouse.
Port de Valldemossa
Down a windy mountain road from Valldemossa, you will discover the small seaside village Port de Valldemossa. A perfect place to cool off, watch a sunset, meet some cats, and dream of living in a seaside mountain village with your own little boat.
Cap de Formentor
The most northern tip of the Balearic island of Mallorca is probably the best place to watch a sunset – as you can see in the featured image at the top of the post. The rugged Formentor coastline adds just the right dash of additional drama to the change in color and light of the sun setting into the sea. Of course, you also get to see the lighthouse and maybe eve some wildlife.
Your Own Secluded Beach
The island of Mallorca is about 3,640 square km big – and its most known for its beautiful sand beaches and turquoise sea. So keep going, keep looking and maybe you’ll find a little bit of beach all to yourself…
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All photos in the post were taken by Luci – as were all these other photos of Spain. Special thank you to Bine for all the driving – and to Gilly for being Gilly.
30 thoughts on “Where Mountains Meet the Sea: The Quieter Side of Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain)”
Beautiful photos, makes me want to go there. History and beach, now that’s a wonderful combination.
Thank you so much. Glad to inspire!
I was stationed in Spain and we would often drive up to Palma de Mallorca. However, we were super young and all we did was party. I am so mad we didn’t take advantage of these places!
That must have been quite amazing to be stationed there. Can totally relate to missed opportunities of exploring (especially nature) during those younger days when socializing and partying seems to be the best way of having fun. Glad we learned there is so much more that feeds our souls!
Mallorca looks incredible. You capture the beauty so well in your pictures.
That’s so nice of you to write. Thank you, Miss J. It is quite an incredible place!
Very nice place. The mountains are so beautiful, thanks for sharing the beauty of nature.
Thank you so much for your kind comment, Owen!
Beautiful pictures. You have really named too capture the landscape and culture. In thinking about going for some hiking
Such beautiful photos! This is completely and utterly spectacular!
I would love to travel here so much. Thanks for sharing
It definitely seems worth it to me! What a beautiful place it is! I’d love to visit someday in the future, perhaps when my children are a little older.
I have never been there but all I can say is every places that you’ve shown us here are all beautiful and definitely a highly recommended destinations to visit.
Our family has plans to pass through Spain on the way to Morocco, so this post is right on time. We were already looking at Madrid and Portugal, but now you’ve given us another place to consider. The area looks just spectacular!
Just viewing your amazing photos gave me a calm relaxed longing to go there and never come back.
It is so breathtaking! Such a beautiful place to visit. I absolutely adore that cat relaxing.
the place looks absolutely beautiful! I am sure your photos try the best to capture the natural beauty! I now so want to visit it and see it with my own eyes
Mallorca has long been in my bucket list. One of my friends visited last year and was quite impressed and I can see why. Loving the photos.
i really loved this post, since Mallorca is one of my favourite places to go every year! My fav spot is Formentor but there are sooo many towns and hidden beaches i always find inner peace in..!
Mallorca is so beautiful. Those pictures are so romantic, would definitely visit.
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Thanks for bringing us to Balearic Islands, Spain through your blog! It’s now in my bucket list!
Thanks for sharing the beauty of nature! I want to visit this place one day for sure!
I’ve been to Canary island, would love to visit Balearic islands as well. Those are some amazing pictures of Mallorca.
Stunning! The mountains at the water is beautiful. Looks like a great place to visit.
These pictures are beautiful! I’d love to travel there one day!
A friend of mine was telling me today she’s planning a trip to Mallorca! I’ve never been. The island is gorgeous, can’t wait to go there myself.
What a beautiful island! Those cliffs and beaches look so amazing I would love to visit Palma some day!
I love that you have showcased other places than Palma!
It is so beautiful *-*
I love looking at places that give you that serene feeling. So beautiful!
Its history meets nature here. The pictures are absolutely beautiful.
That’s such a great way of describing Mallorca, especially that area. And thank you!