The island of Mallorca is blessed with a wide variety of types of beach, from rugged, hard-to-reach calas to wide sandy stretches boasting a host of facilities. This season, 6o of the island’s beaches are flying the Blue Flag – the Foundation for Environmental Education’s award for quality of water, environmental management, safety and services.
Here’s a guide to some of the best of Mallorca’s beaches:
Has a blue flag located in the southwest has a wide, long urban beach, with a small pine forest backing it at one end. Take a boat trip to the island of Dragonera.
This is the longest beach on the eastern coast, stretching from Cala Bona to the wild headland of N’Amer, a natural area of special interest. There’s a wide promenade for walking, skating or cycling, a good sandy beach, and numerous tourist eateries, bars and shops.
Playa de Alcúdia
One of the nicest beaches on Mallorca has a three-and-a-half kilometre white sandy beach, starting near the port. A bridge crosses the canal halfway along the beach, which links to a natural lake, once part of S’Albufera. Boat trips to Menorca (Ciutadella) leave from the port.
A beautiful virgin stretch of beach backed by a pine forest, with a rugged headland at one end – and the outskirts of Cala Ratjada at the other. Large pay car park and restaurant on beach. Depending on the wind direction, sea currents change the size of the beach.
This fairly remote area of the east coast, is part of the municipal district of Manacor around 70km to the east of the capital Palma, and generally visitors should normally expect a transfer time of around 1.1/2 to 2 hours from leaving the airport grounds.
If you’ve hired a car at the airport, driving to the resort from Palma is fairly straightforward, once you’ve mastered driving on the wrong side, as the main C715 takes you all the way to Manacor and if you can then negotiate the Manacor ring road, the PM-V-401-5 will take you the final few miles over to the east coast. On a good day an experienced driver should do it in around 1.1/2 hours, but as in the UK if you get stuck behind a lorry, this will increase the journey time substantially.
Cala Mandia, Playa Romantica, or Porto Cristo Novo, which ever way you wish to refer to it, is still a relatively new resort destination that has been specifically developed to meet the ever increasing demand for tourist accommodation on the island.
If you’ve ever visited Majorca before, you may recognise that the town of Porto Cristo is synonymous with two of the biggest tourist attractions on Majorca, namely the Caves of Drac and Caves of Hams. As a result of this close proximity, Porto Cristo can sometimes become very busy during the summer months with coaches of day visitors. To a large extend Cala Mandia escapes this attention of the general public, and the only day visitors to the town are normally those looking for a relaxing day on the beach.
Playa de Muro
Muro beach is 5.2 km long. It is one of the longest beaches in the Balearic Islands. Due to its special characteristics, it is divided into four beaches (Platja de Muro-Sector I, Platja de Muro-Sector II, Platja de Muro-Es Comú and Platja de Muro-Capellans).
All the beaches have crystal-clear waters, calm to moderate waves and fine golden sand. The water is shallow, which is an advantage for parents and all visitors in general. The beaches are suitable for everyone: families, old people, children, etc.
Muro beach has a great service infrastructure: restaurants and bars, souvenirs shops, vehicle rental, 35 hotels (totalling 16,294 beds), a significant number of sunshades and loungers for rent in summer (1,660 sunshades and 3,320 loungers), etc.
The holiday resort of C’an Picafort is the principle coastal development of the municipal district of Santa Margalida,60km north east of Palma, at the eastern end of the Bay of Alcudia, on the north coast of Majorca.
Transfer time into the resort from the Son Sant Joan International airport on the outskirts of Palma is usually around 1.1/2 hours, and the basic route for this journey for those wishing to drive, is from the roundabout leaving the airport grounds take the 1st exit onto the Ma-19 Autovía de Levante heading west towards Palma, before then joining the Ma-20 Circunvalación de Palma.As the Ma-20 arcs around the northern outskirts of the city, keep a sharp lookout for exit 3B signposted towards Inca/Port d’Alcúdia/Son Castelló. From here the fast Ma-13 Autovía de Palma – Inca heads north past the industrial town of Inca, where just outside the village of Crestatx, you then need to join the Ma-3420 towards the town of Sa Pobla.
From Sa Pobla take the Ma-3430 towards the town of Muro, where finally the Ma-3431 will then take you the rest of the way into the resort.
If for whatever reason you prefer not to drive, and do not have the luxury of a coach transfer, there are always plenty of taxis available from the ranks outside of the arrivals hall, although on occasions you should be prepared to queue.
In theory at least, they should all operate on a fixed price basis, typically charging around 70 euro to 75 euro for the journey to Can Picafort, however experience has shown that this “fixed price” may vary slightly depending upon the number of suitcases, the time of day or night of the journey, and of course the number of passengers carried.
Also an important consideration for families with small children, is that these taxis do not as a rule carry child seats, therefore children may have to sit on their parent’s knee for the journey. If this is a cause for concern, we strongly recommend that you make arrangements for a pre-booked taxi to be waiting for you, and clearly specify at the time of booking that a child seat is needed for the journey.
C’an Picafort is not a purpose built tourist resort, however, the influx of visitors to the island transformed it from a small fishing village with less than 200 inhabitants in 1960 to an important tourist centre with 8,750 hotel beds at the beginning of the 1970’s. Little now remains of the original fishing village, although the resort has retained a small working harbour from where a number of pleasure trips also depart several times each day.
The resort has a wide traffic free beachside promenade, which is lined with restaurants and bars running from the marina and fishing harbour, to the more modern Son Baulo area of the town, which is a further 2km away to the east.
For beach lovers of all ages, the best of the resorts two main beaches is found in the Baulo district too, where you will also find a small protected nature reserve. Parents with small children should be aware that this area has a large pool of stagnant water and is host to a number of other “less protected” species of wildlife.
Although again the local council are keen to point out that the presence of Mediterranean tortoises, red pheasants, hares, rabbits, weasels, dormice and Algerian hedgehogs, all of which contribute to making this area of great environment significance.
In all fairness, this beach is very clean and does have good facilities, although you should expect to pay around 10.5 euro for the hire of two sun beds and an umbrella for the day.
Other than the numerous bars and restaurants, the resort really has very little other tourist attractions, and with the notable exception of the two nightclubs in the town, evening entertainment is generally hotel based.
A regular bus service runs along the coast road, running through Playa de Muro into nearby Alcudia. It costs just over 1 euro per person for the one way trip, but please note that the buses can become very crowded at times, and are known to attract pickpockets. In comparison a taxi for the same journey costs around 10 euro for a maximum of 4 people.
Son Serra de Marina
This tourist resort 6 kilometers south of Can Picafort extends for about 1,400 meters along the Bay of Alcúdia. It is built exclusively of one or two-storied houses, most of which have been constructed as secondary residences for locals. Streetlife there is accordingly quiet. Only during the holiday seasons will the owners come here from Palma or the mainland. In contrast to Can Picafort mass tourism has not yet reached this place.
Son Serra de Marina features a small marina on its western beach. In the east the town is limited by the Torrent de na Borges. The beach there is a resort for wind and kite surfers.
The town has three moderately frequented beaches. The local one west of the Torrent de na Borges, approximately 450 meters long and 130 meters wide, is mostly visited by local residents. East of the town lies the 1,800 meters long beach of Sa Canova which already belongs to the Artà municipality and almost extends to Colonia de Sant Pere’s neighbourhood of S’Estanyol. To the west, slightly offside the settlement is the beach of Son Real. A hiking trail along the coast leads to Can Picafort.