Wondering which side of Mallorca is best to stay and to explore?
Which coast has the best beaches?
Which side has the best resort towns?
Where are the best things to do?
Below is my guide to help you take decisions.
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Which side of Mallorca is best? - short answer & Map
Map - sides and coasts of Mallorca
Let's start with a map that clearly identifies the various coasts.
You can find several definitions on the Internet (especially regarding the South Coast). But for this article, this is what I mean for each side of Mallorca:
Which side of Mallorca is best?
There is no one best side of Mallorca, full stop. It depends on what you are looking for: long beaches, scenic coves, mountains, nightlife...
However, if I really have to make a choice:
- Best to explore: The West coast is the most scenic to explore with the Tramuntana mountains
- Best to stay: The North coast is the best part to stay with easy access to most famous attractions, nice beaches, historical towns, ruins and a little bit of everything...
Just know that the island is not big, so you are never more than 1h20min away from an attraction.
For more detailed suggestions, see the next section.
Need to rent a car in Mallorca?
- Compare prices on my favorite platform: Discovercars.com - one of the best rated comparison sites!
- Choose your car and company (prefer a smaller car for the narrow roads)
- Consider their full coverage option (I recommend it because of the narrow roads)
- Book early to have a large choice of vehicles!
Best side of Mallorca for...
Below are answers to more specific questions about the sides of Mallorca.
It really depends on what you are looking for.
You can learn more about the mentioned towns in my article about the best places to stay in Mallorca.
Best side of Mallorca for long sandy beaches
Best side of Mallorca for scenic narrow cala beaches
Every coast has beautiful coves (called calas) but the highest concentration of beautiful calas is on the East coast.
Some of the most famous are: Calo des Muro, Cala Esmeralda, Cala Llombards, Mondrago Nature Park... (see my list of the best calas in Mallorca).
A central location to stay is Cala d'Or (see best rated accommodations)
Best side of Mallorca for nightlife
The most famous areas to party at night are located on the South coast, on each side of Palma de Mallorca.
Best side of Mallorca for cycling or hiking
Well, if you want something else than flat roads, the best area is the West coast.
This is where you can find the Tramuntana mountains and some of the most famous cycling roads such as Sa Calobra and Formentor.
I recommend staying in Alcudia Bay as it provides quick access to those roads, as well as to the Arta region, which is also great for cycling (see best rated accommodations).
Best side of Mallorca for families
It is really difficult to answer that one, because it depends on what you enjoy doing as a family.
- If you are looking for a resort town with something to do for everyone at every age, Cala Millor on the East Coast is one of the most complete one (see best rated accommodations)
- If you are looking for a chill beach vacation with good food and nice beach, Colonia Sant Jordi on the South Coast is a great option (see best rated accommodations).
- And if you want to enjoy some of the best things the island has to offer, Port d'Alcudia on the North coast has a great beach, nice activities and a perfect location to explore the most famous parts of Mallorca (see best rated accommodations).
Best side of Mallorca for couples
Once again, it depends on which kind of couple you area, and what you are looking for.
- For nightlight and beach, stay on the South Coast (e.g. Arenal - see best rated accommodations)
- For an active couple vacation stay on the North-East coast to have quick-access to the mountains and cliffs (e.g. Port de Pollenca - see best rated accommodations)
- For a romantic towns, my favorites are Portocolom (East coast) or Port de Soller (West coast)
All my favorite locations are included (with GPS coordinates, maps and tips) in my travel Guide eBook that helps you easily plan your Mallorca road trip:
Plan your dream road trip around Mallorca!
The North coast - best part of Mallorca?
Introduction to the North Coast
The North Coast of Mallorca is mostly famous for the impressive cliffs of the Formentor peninsula. A road takes you to several viewpoints and beaches.
But this coast has a lot more to offer with long beaches, calas, historical towns, ruins, castles...
In my opinion, in the best side of Mallorca to stay as it offers easy access to the rest of the island (from Alcudia) and is home to a variety of landscapes and activities.
Best things to do on the North Coast of Mallorca
- Explore the Formentor peninsula with its impressive cliffs and few beautiful beaches - see article
- Take a boat tour to the Formentor peninsula to admire even more of the cliffs - see details
- Travel back in time in the Medieval town of Alcudia - walk on the walls and explore the maze of charming streets
- Walk the Casa Son Real path to ancient ruins and military towers
- Walk up hill to the castle of Capdepera, learn about its long history and enjoy the views of the region
Where to stay on the Mallorca North Coast?
There are many places to stay on the North Coast
- The most practical area with a beach is the Alcudia Bay - either Port d'Alcudia of Platja de Muro - see best rated accommodations
- However, one of the most scenic and peaceful places I enjoyed was Port de Pollenca, with views of Formentor - see best rated accommodations
- And if you don't need a beach at your feet, the medieval town of Alcudia is charming, with great restaurants, and not far from many beaches - see best rated accommodations
The West coast of Mallorca
Introduction to the West Coast
The West coast of Mallorca runs from Pollença to Andratx.
It is home to the famous Tramuntana mountains and offer the most scenic locations in Mallorca.
The area is home to mountain peaks, hidden beaches, impressive cliffs, lakes and historical villages.
Best things to do on the West Coast of Mallorca
- Drive down the famous Sa Calobra road and discover the hidden beach
- Visit at least one of the historical mountain villages with stone houses and lots of stairs... e.g. Fornalutx, Deia, Valldemossa, Banyulfar...
- Relax at Port de Soller and take the historical trolley (or just watch it come and go)
- Head to Far de Cap Gros for incredible views of the Port de Soller Bay with the mountains in the background
- Enjoy the Ma-10 road throughout the region either by car or cycling
Where to stay on the Mallorca West Coast?
The west coast is not the most practical to stay in, unless you just want to stay in the mountains.
Since you are in the middle of mountains, there is always a longer drive to get out...
The South coast of Mallorca
Introduction to the South Coast
The South Coast has 3 distinct areas:
North, it is home to coves and resort towns.
South it has small cliffs and wilder beaches.
And in the middle is the town of Palma de Mallorca, with its famous cathedral.
Best things to do on the South Coast of Mallorca
- Explore the old town of Palma de Mallorca with the cathedral, the walls, the palace, the Arab Baths and more...
- Climb up to the top of the Bellver castle to admire its round structure and to enjoy the 360° views over Palma, the sea and the mountains.
- Enjoy the short hike between Cala Pi and Cala Beltran
- Take a boat either to Sa Dragonera island (North) or to Cabrera island (South), both natural reserves
- Go off the beaten path and hike to the hidden cove of Cala d'Egos with stunning views.
Where to stay on the Mallorca South Coast?
- If you are looking for lots of restaurants and organised tours, then stay in Palma de Mallorca - see best rated accommodations
- For a peaceful beach vacation with access to many beautiful coves, opt for Colonia Sant Jordi - see best rated accommodations
- If you are looking for great parties, then Magaluf could be the right option - see best rated accommodations
The East coast of Mallorca
Introduction to the East Coast
The East coast is full of narrow coves, and water arms going inland.
It is very scenic, with a few famous resort towns and some fishing villages.
The coastline is beautifully sculpted and dotted with forts, lighthouses, and towers. This is also the region where you can find the most famous caves on the island: Drach and Hams.
Best things to do on the East Coast of Mallorca
- Collect calas - one of the most famous is Calo des Moro - a little bit of walking is required, and access is limited in Summer, but it is magnificent!
- Explore one of the cave systems - the 2 famous around Porto Cristo are Drach caves or Hams' caves. However, there are more caves around the island, see my best of list
- Spend some time in the Mondrago Natural Park and to enjoy the beaches and do some walking around the headlands.
- Find hidden rock formations such as Mirador das Pontas and Sa Cova Foradada
- Walk around one of the headlands for example to Castell de la Punta de n'Amer
Where to stay on the Mallorca East Coast?
- Cala d'or is the main resort town - it it centrally located to many of the most beautiful calas - see best rated accommodations
- Cala Millor further North is a great town for families with activities for all ages - see best rated accommodations
- And if you are looking for something with more charm, consider Portocolom - see best rated accommodations
Introduction to Inland Mallorca
Most people explore the coastlines of Mallorca, but the inland territories also offer beautiful gems with agricultural lands, old fincas (country houses) with beautiful gardens, monasteries, and charming villages.
Best things to do Inland
- Visit one of the historical village, for example Sineu, right in the middle of the island. Notice the systematic structure of the churches with arches and a separate tower.
- Visit one of the Fincas to learn more about how life was and appreciate the peaceful environment - for example, Museu Etnològic dels Calderers
- Collect windmills - there are so many ruins of windmills all around the inland of Mallorca. Some have been restored and are very photogenic. You can learn more in Montuiri.
- Walk or drive to the top of hills to discover sanctuaries and their open views of the area
Where to stay Inland Mallorca?
The best places to stay in the Inland are in Fincas, old country houses turned into accommodations.
Check out the best rated fincas in Mallorca
Want to see more of Mallorca?
- 40 most beautiful landscapes in Mallorca (with pictures) - read article
- 7 Best Mallorca caves - read article
- 10 best calas in Mallorca (coves) - read article
- 12 Mallorca hidden gems, off the beaten path - read article
- 21 Most beautiful towns and villages in Mallorca - read article
- 21 Best beaches in Mallorca - read article
Planning a trip to Mallorca?
Check out my travel guide to help you plan:
Plan your dream road trip around Mallorca!
And keep track of your own trip!
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