Latest update: 10 August 2022
What are the best cities and prettiest towns in Mallorca? It’s hard to choose, but let’s give it a try.
Valldemossa: the most beautiful town in Mallorca
Valldemossa is invariably proclaimed by many websites and travel guides as the most beautiful village in Mallorca. And I get it. It is a cozy mountain village with charming alleys and narrow roads. You’ll want to take another photo at almost every corner you turn, from the beautiful view or the cute little house decorated with flowers and plants.
Deià: mountain and coastal town in one
Deià does not exceed 15 km². Seen from the road, it sits beautifully on the mountain – the Tramuntana mountains. The beach of Deià is about half an hour’s walk away. The ‘center’ is tiny and is best explored on foot. It is a quiet village with a handful of restaurants. Unfortunately, most of them are closed in the late season.
From Deià, you can walk to Valldemossa (starting point on Google Maps) and organize all kinds of outdoor activities. If you follow the road for a bit, you get to the marble temple Son Marroig (Google Maps location), which unfortunately is closed when I want to check it out. Too bad, because the marble comes from the Carrara quarries I visited before. So I would have loved seeing how they’ve used it.
Randa: a place of pilgrimage
Less than a hundred people live in Randa, but the village is ‘big’ because of its pilgrimage history. The mountain Puig de Randa is a sacred mountain with the Santuari de Nostra Senyora de Cura monastery on it. The canonized Ramon Llull lived part of his life as a hermit in a cave on the mountain. He became ‘enlightened’ and saw a vision of Jesus on the cross. So he started writing about his newly discovered religion. With his efforts, he simultaneously made the Catalan language an actual language instead of a dialect.
On the mountain, you can visit the monastery, and in the souvenir shop, you can ask for the key to visit the cave of Ramon Llull. Furthermore, the monastery grounds are a quiet place to enjoy the views and the garden. In front of the souvenir shop, you’ll also see a large modern cross with 53 crosses incorporated – one for each municipality in Mallorca. You can read all the names at the cross foot.
You can start beautiful walks from another mountain top in Randa, Ermita de Sant Honorat (check out a few short hikes in Mallorca). Then catch your breath at Bar Celler Randa. Unfortunately, the village itself does not have much to offer.
Fornalutx: the most beautiful town in Spain
Okay, so Valldemossa is the prettiest town in Mallorca, but Fornalutx the prettiest town in Spain? How does that work? Take all those ‘reviews’ for granted and see for yourself. Fornaltux is surrounded by orange and lemon trees. Because of the height differences, you have excellent vistas and cute street corners. There are actually no sights. The village itself is the highlight.
The Plaça d’España is the central point; from there, you can wander a bit through the streets. There is a good chance that you will end up at the same square again – and again. During my visit, the residents are just putting up Christmas decorations. People watch the attempts from their seats at Bar Deportivo: it’s fun to see everyone help out and advice on how best to decorate the Mallorcan version of a Christmas tree.
Palma de Mallorca: the capital city
Palma de Mallorca is not just a little island town; it’s a proper capital city, just like you’d see on the mainland. But it does have those nice island vibes. So make sure you pay Palma a visit. Go sightseeing, shopping, or eat, eat, eat. There are many sights and restaurants to discover.
Artà: artistic town
Artà is a reasonably walkable town. The center is pretty concentrated around the square and the main street. If you want to visit the church of Santuari de Sant Salvador, just follow the main shopping street and the stairs. The climb is worth it, really. Artà certainly deserves a place on the list of the most beautiful places in Mallorca.
Manacor: industrial city
Manacor has little attraction for me – it’s definitely not the most beautiful place in Mallorca. On the contrary, it is an industrial city with a not-so-charming city center. So what does Manacor do in this list of the best places in Mallorca? Well, if you have a rental car (from Sunny Cars or EasyTerra, for example), it is a good area because there are many sights to find nearby. Like the caves of Drach, the horse racing track, the Rafael Nadal museum…
Alcúdia: old center + beach + harbor
Alcúdia has a relatively large historic center. Which has been modernized quite a lot. You will undoubtedly find chic shops and beautiful restaurants. Port d’Alcúdia is less than a kilometer from the center. It has both the beach with a spacious boulevard full of restaurants and the harbor area.
Montuïri: nothing for the tourist
Ok, Montuïri doesn’t have nothing to offer us tourists, but it’s not made for tourists. It is a simple Mallorcan village without fuss. And I can well imagine that you don’t like it. I lived there for about two months, so I slightly fell in love with it. In the vicinity of Montuïri, you will find a lot of small villages that are less touristy than the Mallorca highlights like Sóller and Alcúdia. You can discover them on your own or with some help from this self-drive tour.
Curious why I like Montuïri? Read my blog about non-touristy Montuirï.
Sineu: more-than-the-market town
Sineu is a town and a municipality and is best known for the excellent market that has been happening for 700 years. On market days, visitors overflood the small town. You can buy almost anything: from birds to leather bags. But Sineu is also a nice place without the market. I can well imagine people want to stay in Sineu a little longer because it is pretty and cozy. And it also has plenty of lovely outdoor cafes and restaurants to entertain you for a while.
Santanyì: atmospheric wine & dine town
The type of sandstone with which many houses in Santanyì are built gives the town a white-golden glow. The squares are decorated with plants and palm trees. In an hour, you have already seen all the streets of Santanyì’s center three times. Superb: you now have a good excuse to go for a drink. And there are plenty of options for you. So enjoy some tapas and a good glass of wine. Cheers!
Sóller: a place of doubt
Ayiii! I just don’t know about Soller. Many people will tell you that it is a lovely town in Mallorca. Especially if you combine it with a visit to the beach of Port de Sóller. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s that special. The square near the church is cozy, but to me, all the restaurants look like tourist traps – one or two aside. And I think the shopping street is too busy. So I can’t find much to love about Sóller. So as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t belong on the list of best places in Mallorca, but I know many do not agree with me. So, ok, here you go. It made it to the list. All the way to the bottom. 😉
More Mallorca inspiration?
Useful links for your Mallorca trip
- Travel guides. I love the practical travel guides from Lonely Planet, buy them at Bol.com or Book Depository. The latter has longer delivery times but is often cheaper. And I love this guidebook: 111 Places in Mallorca that you shouldn’t miss. Buy it at Bol.com or Amazon.
- Flights. Be sure to check out Transavia, but do compare all your options! Definitely check out Momondo, Skyscanner, and Kiwi.
- Boat. You can get to Mallorca by boat from Barcelona and other places on the Spanish mainland. Book your boat trip at Balearia. Balearia also sails between the other Balearic islands.
- Accommodation. All-time favorites: Booking.com, Natuurhuisje, and Airbnb. Or try BelVilla. Rather stay in a hostel? Try HostelWorld.
- Activities. You book the best tours and activities with GetYourGuide and Viator. For tours with locals, go to WithLocals or Hi,hi Guide. And for bike tours, try Baja Bikes.
- Car rental. My go-to car rental companies are EasyTerra and Sunny Cars as they have all-inclusive / worry-free offers.
- Travel gear. Buy your gear at Bever or Decathlon, or simply at Bol.com.
- Package deals. Rather go on a catered trip? You have plenty of options. For the Dutch: ANWB vakanties or Tui, or maybe Vakantie Discounter?
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