An island of great natural beauty, Mallorca offers a wide range of landscapes, beaches, and activities, making it, deservedly, one of the most popular holiday destinations in the Mediterranean.
Here are our recommendations for activities in some of our favourite areas in the west of the island, home to many of the luxury villas we have for rent here.
You could do a lot worse than start with the old town of Pollensa, originally founded in 1229 with the Catalan conquest of Mallorca. The town has since been conquered many times over the centuries, and visitors can explore its rich history, including emblematic buildings such as the Calvari, the Parish Church and the Cloister of Sant Domingo. Visit the Museum, located in the old cloister of the Dominicans, which dates back to 1588.
More recently, in the early part of the last century the beauty of the town and the area became an attraction for artists, writers and musicians who discovered the inspiring beauty of the area, and it continues to draw many visitors every year for the same reason. There is an annual Pollensa music festival which takes place throughout the month of August.
For the more active, Pollensa offers some great outdoor pursuits, including the 9-hole Pollensa Golf Club, just 2 kms from the town, with spectacular views of the Serra de Tramuntana and the bays of Pollensa and Alcúdia. For hiking enthusiasts, the Puig de Pollensa (Puig de Maria) is an ancient monastery on top of a mountain just next to the town, with wonderful views to the bay, Cap de Formentor and the Tramuntana mountains. It is a 30-45 minute walk up to the Puig and there is a café at the top, as well as picnic tables.
Cycling is another popular activity throughout Mallorca, and the countryside and scenery around Pollensa make this an ideal area for cycling enthusiasts. The coast north of Pollensa also offers some of the most popular beaches on the island, including Puerta Pollensa, about 10 minutes’ drive away, where you can rent boats, windsurfing equipment, small catamarans and water bikes.
The famous English poet and writer, Robert Graves, spent his life in Deia, which is still home to numerous artists and writers, and his original house, now refurbished, is open to visitors. Find out what inspired this writer while taking in the vistas with a coffee in one of many cafés and restaurants Deia has to offer.
It is also a short trip from the Robert Graves Museum to the Museum Chopin in Valldemossa, home to the famous composer while he recuperated from illness on the island, together with George Sand in 1838, and some of his greatest compositions were created here.
It is a very scenic drive via the mountain road to Port de Soller, although many prefer the option of the historic railway which has connected Palma and Port de Soller since 1912, although you have to change trains in Soller.
You can also visit the Museum Ca’n Prunera in Soller, which is dedicated to contemporary modernism, including works by Toulouse-Lautrec, Klee and Léger.
It is well known for its hiking trail, starting in the town itself, up past the 15th century castle and offering panoramic views of the countryside and the sea. The walk takes around 2 hours to reach the top via an old stone road, and there are picnic spots on the way, and also a restaurant. The area around here offers great cycling as well.
The town of Binissalem is also just a short drive, known for its vineyards. There is a popular wine festival here in September.
Popular with the yachting enthusiasts and celebrities, it has a very pretty harbour with many excellent restaurants and waterfront bars, perfect for watching the sunsets. Remnants of Mallorca’s history are evident in Port d’Andratx, such as the watch towers of Sant Carles and Sant Francesc, built to defend the area from pirate attacks.
The area of La Trapa contains the remains of a 19th-century Trappist monastery and, from here, there are spectacular views out to sea and over to Sa Dragonera island. Sa Dragonera has been a Natural Park since 1995, and you can take a short boat trip over to enjoy the coves and hiking trails.
For keen golfers, the Andratx Golf Club was designed by the famous Gleneagles, Scotland, and opened in 2000. The 18 hole championship course is well known as one of the most difficult and challenging in Mallorca. The well-equipped marina Club de Vela has moorings for 500 boats. The club also offers sailing lessons and canoeing throughout the year. The presence of the fishermen and their daily catch gives the port it's character - you can buy their fresh fish directly from the boats in the evenings.
For beach lovers, there are several small beaches at the port with easy access to the crystal clear waters. If you have transport, the neighbouring resorts of Camp de Mar or Sant Elm feature large sandy beaches.
Port d'Andratx's lovely scenery also attracts many hikers and cyclists. Hiking maps are available at the tourist offices. Cyclists will enjoy the coastal hill roads or, for more challenging rides, can go deeper into the countryside towards the Tramuntana mountains.
For art lovers, the Contemporary Arts Centre in Andratx hosts exhibitions featuring photography, sculptures and paintings by local and international artists. The centre also offers a an artist-in-residence programme, making studios available for artists.
Port de Soller, 5 bedrooms
Just a few feet from the sea, Villa Soller Marina benefits from stunning views of the sea, sunsets and the surrounding Tramuntana mountains. You will also be within a short walk of the local restaurants, cafés and shops around the port.
Deia, 4 bedrooms
This luxury villa sits in a wonderful, sought after location, just a short walk from the centre of Deia. It also benefits from views over the sea and the gardens of the La Residencia hotel.
Pollensa, 5 bedrooms
Situated in the Ternelles Valley, an area known for its stunning natural beauty, this villa to rent in Mallorca is also just 15 walk minutes from the old town of Pollensa, and a 10 minute drive from Puerto Pollensa beach.
Port d’Andratx, 6 bedrooms
This luxury villa rental is situated at Cala Llamp, in the south-west of the island It benefits from breathtaking views of the sea and sunsets, stretching as far as Ibiza in the distance. The beach or the centre of Port d’Andratx are only a few minutes away.
Binissalem/Alaro, 5 bedrooms
This historic and unique 18th Century finca is set amidst the vineyards between the stone villages of Alaro and Binissalem. There are magnificent views of the Tramuntana mountain range from the beautiful park-like grounds, with a swimming pool and a small chapel.