Along with Ibiza and Menorca – Mallorca makes up the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. Flanked by Italy on the east and Spain to the west, Mallorca is a quick 45 minute flight from Valencia or Barcelona, Spain and only 100km from east to west coast. The only airport is in the capital city of Palma (PMI).
I HIGHLY recommend this destination as it is a great blend of European small town charm with breathtaking views of the Teramontana mountain ranges and cliffside bluffs overlooking the Mediterranean.
In 4 days you can enjoy beaches, mountain walks in the cool air, and the Gothic architecture of Gaudi. Mallorca has got it all!
Where to Stay
GRAN HOTEL SON NET
Depending on what you want from Mallorca, you can stay on a “finca” aka Spanish farm as many of the Spanish “mainlanders” do. My husband and I wanted a romantic, mountain getaway as we were looking for a reprieve from city life.
The Gran Hotel Son Net delivered in spades. I can NOT recommend this place enough. The 32-room boutique hotel had a gorgeous view of the valley and orange farms (see left), no traffic for miles, an amazing breakfast spread with local meats and cheeses (included), and incredible pools.
Although the dinner menu is quite pricey, it was worth a splurge on our first night.
Gran Son Net is located in the sleepy town of Puigpunyent about 25 minutes outside of Palma by car. Unless you want to hike or stay at Gran Hotel Son Net – there’s really no reason to go to make a trip to Puigpunyent.
STAYING IN PALMA vs. RURAL TOWNS
If you are wanting to ditch the crowds and city noise for some fresh air – I’d chose Valdemossa or Deia. It’s small and charming but big enough that you’ve got a few restaurant choices. The only drawback to the small towns is that getting to the surrounding villages or Palma for outings/sightseeing is tricky. The roads are EXTREMELY narrow and winding. You are white-knuckle driving so I’d suggest that you plan on just one day of road-tripping.
Palma is fantastic, full of great sights, and food. If you want to be close to it all, choose Palma. Just make sure to spend a day driving to the outlying towns.
We spent all 3 nights at Gran Hotel Son Net (pictured below) and spent a full day in Palma and that was enough for us.
What to do
RENT A CAR
I usually HATE to rent a car. My husband’s goal is not to drive for a year if that’s any indication of our distaste for cars, ha! It’s a hassle and a liability so for us to do it, the advantages have to far outweigh the disadvantages. All that to say…
Rent a car in Mallorca. The driving is gorgeous and you have so much more freedom to enjoy towns at your pace. There are gorgeous vistas and Instragamable moments on the drive and you’ll be glad to jump out of the car and do some hiking and take in the views.
TAKE A BIKE TOUR OF PALMA
We only had 1 full day to spend in Palma and we did a 3 hour bike tour ending with tapas and a drink for $40/per person. I booked it through Get Your Guide and it was just awesome! We saw SO much in 3 hours and learned so much about Mallorca and Palma. This would also be a great thing to do on day one. Make sure to get a guide that speaks your language;)
After our bike tour we went inside the Cathedral and meandered the windy streets for a few hours.
DAY TRIP TO SMALL TOWNS
Our route took us from Puigpunyent –> Valdemossa –> Deia –> Soller –> back to Puigpunyent. We left our hotel around 10am and returned at 6pm. The first leg of the trip was pretty dicey as the roads are narrow and windy. However, the navigation was easy, well-marked, and breathtaking. I don’t know how many times I said “THIS IS TOO BEAUTIFUL!!!”
We just grabbed cheese and bread in Valdemossa and ate them in the car for lunch. I’m glad we did as 3 towns and driving didn’t leave a lot of time for a Spanish 2 hour lunch. No wine for lunch when you’re driving Mallorcan backroads.
Enjoy aimlessly walking the streets of these charming towns once home to Chopin and Robert Graves. There are some great shops and cathedrals so don’t get too sidetracked.
HIKE OR SWIM
We were in Mallorca in December and while it was chilly in the evenings and the shade, it was great hiking weather, especially in the sun. Our hotel gave us great recommendations for short and long hikes. We did not swim but I’ve heard great things about the cliffs and beaches.