My entire family have long had a love affair with Mallorca, which started when we went on our first holiday there. Roll forward 25 years to today and our connection with the island is still as strong as it was then when we first went.
Now there is more to Mallorca than initially meets the eye, infamous for its resorts in the south, Magaluf and Palma Nova, there is actually far more to this petite island than you might think. If you head out of the capital, Palma, and drive north you hit a far more relaxed pace of life, that has been influenced less by mass tourism and retains a more traditional pace.
Where To Go In North Mallorca
The north of the island is made up of a few smaller towns with the main area being Pollensa, Puerto Pollensa and Alcudia. Clustered around Puerto Pollensa is the tiny town of Cala San Vicente a beautiful little port area and Formentor a stunning coastal retreat which you access by sea and a very steep mountain road.
But back to Puerto Pollensa; It really is one of my favourite places on earth; it’s relaxed, cosmopolitan and very very pretty. Don’t visit it if you are looking for a wild night out as you won’t find it.
The town is overlooked by the Tramuntana Mountains and organised around a horseshoe bay. Travel left of the bay and you will eventually reach Formentor and travel right and you will eventually reach Alcudia.
The Pine Walk
Arguably the prettiest part of the town is the Pine Walk. It’s a small pedestrian area that follows the beach along to the Illa d’Or Hotel. The beach is narrow and will fill up in the summer months, but it is never noisy or too busy. Take a towel and get a drink from one of the local bars and you can while away many an hour.
The town is packed full of bars and restaurants, so you are not short of places to eat. In the evening start the night out with a drink in the church square where the locals like a drink and head along the the promenade and have dinner in one of the many restaurants that line that walkway. After that head to the lanes near the marina for a night cap or walk along the Pine Walk to the Illa d’Or bar of the beach bar at the Hostal Bahia.
Puerto Pollensa has a nice mix of accommodation options. If you are looking for an apartment or a villa then the Pine Walk is the place to be. If you are looking for hotel accommodation the there are several around the promenade I like – Sis Pins and the Miramar and of course the Illa d’Or.
Out of Town
Puerto Pollensa is perfectly situated for small day trips. Each Sunday the old town of Pollensa, which is 7km inland from the port comes alive for the weekly market. This is local shopping on a big scale, farmers and growers from across the island come together to sell their goods. This ranges from fresh fruit and vegetables, amazing flowers and handmade products. You need a good morning to see the whole market and the old medieval lanes of the town. Get a lunch in the local square and if you have the energy try climbing the 365 Calvari steps to the church at the top of the hillside.
Another stunning place is Formentor to the west of Puerto Pollensa which can be reached by land and boat. My advice would be to go in one way and out the other. There is a public bus which navigates across the very steep mountains and down in what is a breathtaking and slightly scary journey, but well worth the experience. Formentor is largely unspoilt and has a fantastic small beach and crystal blue waters to swim in. It is also home to the Barcelo Formentor 5 star hotel which is where Agatha Christie wrote her novel problem at Pollensa Bay.
Read our guide to a weekend break in Palma
Alcudia to the east of Puerto Pollensa is a larger resort. I would not waste time visiting the new area, head straight or the old part of the town and you will be rewarded with a 14th century walled town, full of lanes with boutique shops, cafes and bars. The Romans settles in Alcudia and you will find many historical landmarks in the town that you can explore too.
Cala San Vicente
On the bay opposite Puerto Pollensa is Cala San Vicente. This is a tiny village built around a cove with a lovely beach. You can get to the village by bus and taxi or if you are feeling energetic you can walk across the mountain range to it, which will take about two hours and it quite a gentle walk.
Getting to Puerto Pollensa is quite easy. British Airways, Jet2, Easyjet and KLM all fly into the island. Once you arrive in Palma it is very easy to either hire a car (Europcar at the airport) or pay for a prebooked airport transfer which will take you direct to Puerto Pollensa.
Learn more about Puerto Pollensa at puertopollensa.org.uk