The largest and best-known Balearic island, Mallorca (or Majorca) lies approximately 140 miles east of Valencia on the Spanish mainland and is home to the capital, Palma. Although some parts of the island are densely populated, if you want to anchor and explore ashore, there's a lot more than beaches and nightlife, with scope for plenty of hiking, golf, culture and festivals, water sports, entertainment and more.
In fact, much of Mallorca retains its original, unspoiled charm. Almost 40 percent of the island is protected. There are beautiful areas such as the Sierra de Tramuntana Mountains, in the north, with peaks reaching 1400 m above sea level. Onboard your crewed sailing or motor yacht you will encounter delightful seaside villages, deep and narrow natural harbours, forests abundant with wildlife, and steep majestic cliffs broken only by small deserted beaches where no road goes. Or if it's nightlife you prefer and sophisticated marinas, your charter Captain can advise you on your choices!
Mallorca is one of the Mediterranean's most popular luxury mega yacht charter destinations, thanks to the near-year-round sunshine, azure waters, varied landscapes and warm hospitality. Here are our highlights of the stunning island that is Mallorca.
Palma de Mallorca
Palma, the capital of the Balearic islands, situated on the south coast of Mallorca and dominated by the Gothic Santa Maria cathedral is home to some 400,000 people. It is a fascinating city that we recommend you spend a little time enjoying. Palma de Mallorca comes as a surprise to many people - it is stylish, sophisticated, intimate, yet bursting with life.
The old quarter with its tiny cobbled streets and characterful buildings is so easy to explore being only a little over one square kilometre and is packed with a variety of cafes, restaurants and bars ranging from quirky little cellars serving local delicacies through to internationally renowned 5-star restaurants.
The shopping here is also an eclectic mix but there are a number of areas with stylish boutiques and shoe shops. There is an excellent night life, and yacht clubs, Club de Mar and the Real Club Nautico which hosts various superyacht and sailing regattas all year round. Palma is a marvellous blend of traditional and contemporary, with something for every inclination.
Located on the Southwest corner of Mallorca is a lovely village, Port d'Andraitx, that mixes traditional fishing port with an internationally classed yacht club, Club de Vela, and a string of cosmopolitan bars and restaurants lining the waterfront. There's nothing quite like sipping a cold quiet drink while watching the fisherman at their daily work - sewing nets, landing fish, hauling ice. And the shopping has a lot to recommend it as well with a little of everything here including some delightful designer clothes and jewelry shops.
The only village accessible by sea along the rugged west coast of Mallorca Port Soller is a gem nestled in the beautiful surrounding mountain range, the 'Serra de Tramuntana', a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While there are a variety of bars and restaurants this is much more peaceful place than many of the better known towns and villages more easily accessible by road. And one should also take the tram up to Soller village. This is an enjoyable ride through the valleys and hills on a piece of history - the same tram with it's polished brass and wood has been travelling this route since 1913. Soller Village in itself is well worth visiting with a delightful old town, cathedral and narrow cobbled streets opening up into gracious plazas.
Another attractive small village that has resisted large-scale development Porto Colom is set in a large natural harbour on the east coast of Mallorca. The entrance to the bay is signposted with a picturesque and photogenice lighthouse. Lovely pastel coloured houses line the waterfront along with mostly very traditional bars and restaurants, complemented with a myriad of small fishing boats.
Valldemossa is one of the most charming of villages in Mallorca. It is situation in the hills of the Tramuntana range about 17 km from Palma surrounded by forested hills and lush countryside. It is traditional small town with narrow streets and lanes built out of blonde stone, as are the houses. The doorways and streets are lined with beautiful green plants and coloourful flowers making this one of the prettiest towns in Mallorca. Artists, writers and musicians have long been attracted here. These have included the Polish composer Frédéric Chopin and his lover the pioneering French writer Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin, better known by her pseudonym George Sand. She wrote A Winter in Majorca, which describes their 1838–39 visit and praises the island's natural beauty. The village itself is full of delightful little streets lined with cafes, galleries and gift shops.
Another idyllic village located in the hills of the Tramuntana range Deia boasting green-shuttered, ochre-coloured houses has become a millionaires' hideaway. It is a tiny place with just a few cobbled streets, as well as two high-end hotels and eclectic array of fabulous restaurants. For many years Deia has had the reputation of being a foreign artists' colony. Most famously the poet Robert Graves made it his home in the 1930s. Tucked just below the village of Deia is the idyllic Cala Deia. A picture-perfect small shingle bay set in a stunning setting, where the crystal clear waters lap the stones. We recommend lunch at the restaurant that perches in the water there.
While not on Mallorca we do recommend a short side visit to this lovely little uninhabited island. Cabrera, located off the south east corner of Mallorca, has a unique ecosystem with a range of flora and fauna not found elsewhere. It is also steeped in history dating back to the Napoleonic wars when thousands of prisoners were imprisoned here. Many of them never left. Ashore as well as some great walks there is the one cafe/bar/restaurant where you will meet local rangers that are located here for periods over the summer. A permit is required to go here and with enough notice your Captain will be able to organise this.
For further information about magical Mallorca and the awesome array of luxury charter yachts available there please contact the specialists at the Luxury Charter Group.