Latest update: 10 August 2022
You probably already have an extensive list of things you want to do in Mallorca. But did you include some unusual things to do? Some are a little crazy, some a little different, but always a good idea.
On Mallorca, there is plenty to do on the water, there are lovely villages to visit, and obviously, you can enjoy long beach days. I have made a long list of tips for your Mallorca holiday. But what if you just want something different? Something special? Something more local? I’ve got you! Perhaps one of the following activities is exactly what you are looking for.
Visit the glass blowers
Mallorca has a long tradition when it comes to glass blowing. Who would have thought that? In the 18th century, the Gordiola family established a glass workshop. And it’s pretty successful, as the family’s glassware even finds its way into royal palaces.
On the highway near Algaida, you can buy glassware at Vidrio Gordiola (from lamps to wine glasses). But the main attraction is seeing the glassblowers at work. You can watch from behind a small fence how they heat the glass and make shapes with it. Beautiful craftwork. A visit is free, but a tip is always more than welcome.
Go to the horse races
De bevolking van Mallorca is dol op paardenrennen. De renbanen vind je verspreid over het eiland. Om te ontdekken of er ergens een race gepland staat, moet je deze agenda ontcijferen. Ik bezoek op een zondagmiddag de races op de renbaan (hipòdrom) in Manacor en vind het echt een belevenis.
The horses warm up, people bet, drink beer, and then the race starts. The horses thunder past with a jockey on a cart behind them. A round is completed in no time. A new race starts every half hour, so you’ll have to wait a bit for the next one. But because this is a fairly unknown phenomenon to me, I also like to see what happens between the races.
To my best judgment, I think my travel partner and I are the only tourists. So if you want a local getaway, the horse races are a must. We don’t pay any entrance fee; I don’t know if that is always the case.
Google Maps location Hipòdrom de Manacor
Check the mills of Mallorca
It strikes me, especially on the roads around Palma: there are so many windmills in Mallorca! Ancient ones. Some are well maintained, and others are run down. Many used to serve as water pumps, and others made flour. There are over 1000 of them on the island.
The larger ones now often have a new purpose. For example, in Montuïri, you will find the Son Fornes museum in a mill, and you have a lot of restaurants with Es Molí in the name.
Tip! Do you like visiting undiscovered places? Then buy the travel guide 111 Places in Mallorca that you shouldn’t miss. It’s full of smaller sights you won’t find on every blog or travel guide. For sale at Bol.com, Amazon, or Book Depository.
Visit a pearl factory
Huh, are pearls made in a factory? Yes and no. When I think of pearls, I immediately think of oysters. But pearls can also ‘grow’ in mussels or snails. First, a parasite or a tiny animal ends up in a shell. The oyster, mussel, or snail does not like that because it irritates. So they try to solve it by packing the parasite or animal layer by layer. And that’s the pearl. This process is all-natural, but you can also grow pearls by mimicking this process.
But things are different at a pearl factory like Majorica in Manacor. In the factory, they immerse glass balls in a substance that includes fish scales. So these are actually fake pearls. You can see the process and buy some in the factory and shop.
Eat in a celler restaurant
If it says “celler” in the restaurant’s name, you can safely bet you’ll have dinner in an old wine cellar. These celler restaurants often offer a menu with traditional meals from the island.
Typical Mallorcan food
I love supermarkets abroad. So many things I just don’t know. Different brands, new flavors, local sausages, cheeses: it makes me greedy. And often I also find a nice souvenir, local olive oil, for example. Most supermarkets in Mallorca have an extensive fish department. You will also find me in the aisle with the plastic bottles of Don Simon sangria and tinto de verano.
So what should you get from the supermarket to try? Sobrasada and ensaïmada. Sobrasada is a local sausage. It is spreadable and resembles filet americain, but much firmer. Natural and spicy variants are made according to a protected recipe.
Ensaïmadas are sweet rolls of bread in the shape of a snail’s shell. Sometimes they are filled with cream or chocolate, and they almost always have a good layer of powdered sugar. You could have a piece with your morning coffee.
Cheer for RDC Mallorca
Even if you are not a real football fan, it is still nice to experience a match in the stadium of RCD Mallorca. The fans are elated, but the atmosphere is still friendly (when I’m there anyway). The stadium is still quite big, but it feels like I’m going to an amateur club. Everything is so loosely arranged. I see very few police. Check the football club’s calendar to see if you can attend a match.
Taste the wines of Mallorca
To be honest, I’ve never seen a Mallorcan wine on a menu or at the liquor store, so I thought the island’s wines weren’t that special. But, error! There are not two or three winegrowers on Mallorca who mess around a bit; no, there are more than 70 serious wineries on the island. So bring a bottle from the supermarket, or, even better: book a wine tasting. I tested five wine tastings in Mallorca for you.
Go on an olive oil tour!
During the olive oil tour on the Son Moragues estate (near Valldemossa), I drink olive oil for the first time ever. Yes, really, from a glass. Because according to the guide, that is how you taste olive oil. But you should actually do this daily. It’s that healthy, I’m told. I will definitely not make that a habit, but a tour of an olive grove is a memorable experience.
The guide leads the group around the estate with more than 8,000 olive trees and explains the whole process of olive oil production. They once started here with a single cutting of a wild olive tree. At Son Moragues, they want to introduce people to the wonderful world of olive oil. To get them to know all the smells and the flavors.“We want choosy, picky olive oil users”, says the guide. Apparently, there is quite a difference in quality. However, we as consumers do not yet understand that very well. So if you want to know how that works, book a tour with Son Moragues.
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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