In the glorious western reaches of Mallorca, one can behold the awe-inspiring Tramuntana mountains, charming mountain villages, and lovely harbours dotted along the coastline. This picturesque region boasts two distinct landscapes that are as different as they are captivating.
To the southwest, there reigns a realm of refined coastal resorts and high-end residential enclaves. Meanwhile, the northwest is home to the rugged Serra de Tramuntana, with its towering cliffs, verdant orchards, and untamed wilderness.
All along the western coastline, one is greeted with heavenly coves nestled amid breathtaking cliffs, beckoning visitors to take a leisurely pause. For avid nature enthusiasts and hikers alike, the western terrain of Mallorca is a veritable paradise, inviting them to revel in the exquisite beauty of the natural world. Be it a hike or a mountain bike excursion, the many trails through the Tramuntana mountains offer a sublime experience.
And for those seeking sandy beaches, the southwest coast provides a plethora of options, including the family-friendly stretches of Santa Ponça and Paguera. Truly, the western region of Mallorca offers a cornucopia of delights for visitors of all stripes.
The charming village of Banyalbufar, tucked away in the western expanse of Mallorca, remains an unspoiled gem that has yet to be discovered by the hordes of tourists. The journey there takes you on a twisting and turning road that weaves through the majestic Tramuntana mountains.
The environs of Banyalbufar are distinguished by its terraced slopes, once a hub of wine cultivation. The Moors, who once inhabited the region, constructed picturesque water channels to collect rainwater and channel it onto the terraces. Remarkably, these channels are still well-preserved to this day.
From the slopes, one can feast their eyes on breathtaking vistas of the sea and cliffs where ancient boat garages were carved directly into the rock. And when it comes to unwinding and taking in the magnificent views, Cala Banyalbufar beach is the perfect place to do just that.
For those in search of a true hidden treasure in Mallorca, the delightful village of Banyalbufar is an absolute must-visit. A world away from the tourist crowds, it is a place of sheer natural beauty that will leave you enchanted and beguiled.
Fornalutx is a small mountain village located in the northwest of Mallorca, surrounded by the impressive landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana. With only around 500 residents, it is protected by historical conservation laws and surrounded by orange and lemon groves. The mountains ensure constant moisture and abundant harvests, thereby shaping the flora and fauna of the village. The steep, picturesque alleys and idyllic stone houses make Fornalutx a charming place, easily reachable from Sóller.
The village church is well worth a visit, with a 16th-century organ that fills the air with heavenly music. The Plaza Espana, shaded by plane trees, forms the heart of the village, and a fountain stands at its center. Local lore has it that anyone who drinks from it will return to Fornalutx.
Characteristic of the village are the hand-painted tiles on many of the buildings, reflecting the nature and surroundings of the village with their colorful patterns and symbols. For those who wish to explore the surrounding areas, there are excursions to Sóller or hikes into the Tramuntana mountains that can be undertaken from here. There are many well-marked hiking trails in the vicinity, suitable for both short excursions and multi-day treks. Fornalutx is a picturesque place that offers visitors an unforgettable impression of the beauty of the island of Mallorca.
Valldemossa is a charming little mountain village located in the northwest of Mallorca that attracts nature enthusiasts and culture aficionados alike. Situated amidst the awe-inspiring Tramuntana Mountains, Valldemossa boasts a unique landscape of mountains, flower-bedecked house facades and picturesque alleys. The village is particularly renowned for the Carthusian monastery, which served as the winter residence for the celebrated composer Frederic Chopin and his partner, the writer George Sand, during the winter of 1838/39. It was here that Chopin produced some of his most renowned works and spent his happiest days.
Visitors to the monastery can still sense Chopin’s presence and meander through the rooms where he lived and composed music. Nowadays, the monastery functions as a cultural hub called “Costa Nord”, hosting concerts, exhibitions, and other cultural events. The village also boasts a prominent inhabitant – Hollywood star Michael Douglas – who owns a finca near the village. With its wealth of historical buildings and hiking trails that offer breathtaking views of the mountain landscape, Valldemossa is a place of limitless discovery and enjoyment. A trip to Valldemossa is a surefire way to create lasting memories.
Esporles, a delightful village located in the western part of Mallorca, is encircled by verdant orchards filled with succulent fruits and citrus trees, that align along the Torrent River. The village allures with its grand avenue of plane trees and a scenic countryside that entices one to embark on long walks. The weekly market, held on Saturdays, is a veritable treasure trove of fresh, locally sourced produce and is highly popular among visitors. The culinary scene here is dominated by traditional Mediterranean cuisine and has fostered a thriving gastronomic culture.
Merely a few kilometers away from Esporles lies La Granja, a historic estate that dates back to the Moorish era. Visitors here can witness firsthand the cultivation and processing of various agricultural products, such as olives, potatoes, and wine, in a traditional producer’s farm. The homemade sausage specialties, herbal liqueurs, and cheese produced here are of exceptional quality and can be purchased on-site. The La Granja museum, which is adjacent to the estate, provides an insight into the history of farming in Mallorca.
Esporles and La Granja are a part of the charming rural landscape of Mallorca, which is characterized by many unspoiled locations. Here, visitors can find serenity and tranquility, far from the hustle and bustle of the tourist hotspots.
Santa Ponsa, nestled in the sunny southwest of Mallorca, is a true gem of the Balearic Islands. With its pristine long sandy beach overlooking the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea and majestic rocks hugging the bay, Santa Ponsa is a breathtaking destination that will leave you spellbound.
The area offers a wide range of activities for all interests. Water enthusiasts can choose from water skiing, diving, sailing, and swimming while land-lovers can take advantage of the idyllic Santa Ponsa marina, three stunning golf courses, and classic sports like tennis and beach volleyball.
Nature lovers and hikers will find much to explore in the hilly region of Santa Ponsa. Take a stroll through fragrant pine forests and past Mediterranean orchards, or hike to the lonely lighthouses along the coast that offer fantastic photo opportunities.
Cultural aficionados will also be delighted by Santa Ponsa’s rich history. The area was once home to prehistoric settlements of the Talayot culture, and in the 13th century, King Jaume I the Conqueror led an important battle to reconquer Mallorca from the Moors. Today, a commemorative column stands in honor of this historic battle, which is re-enacted each year during a grand festival on the first weekend of September.
Of course, the region’s beaches are also a highlight. The two-kilometer-long Platja Camp de Mar is a flat, fine sandy beach perfect for families with children, while Cala Portals Vells to the south of Santa Ponsa is a snorkeler’s paradise with its crystal clear waters and two paradisiacal bays. Don’t forget to check out the atmospheric beach bar on a small island off the coast, which can be reached via a jetty.
Santa Ponsa truly has it all and is the perfect destination for a memorable holiday.
Nestled in the charming southwest of Mallorca lies Paguera, a destination that promises a holiday of endless sun, beach, and utter relaxation. The town boasts a picturesque bay with sandy beaches and scenic cliffs, making it a perfect retreat for families with children. Three gently sloping beaches offer ample opportunity for playing in the water and soaking up the sun, while a beautiful promenade, the Bulevar de Paguera, runs alongside the beach and is dotted with small shops, cafes, and restaurants. At night, the promenade transforms into a bustling pedestrian zone, where visitors can stroll and revel in the Mediterranean atmosphere.
Located just 20 km southwest of Palma de Mallorca, Paguera has a strong following among German tourists. Some German expats have opened their own shops, hotels, and bars in the town, while the locals offer German-speaking service, making it easy for visitors to enjoy their stay without much foreign language knowledge. For those looking for something beyond the beautiful beach, nearby mountains offer excellent hiking and cycling opportunities, and a ride on one of the many excursion boats is a must-do experience.
In short, Paguera is the perfect destination for anyone looking to unwind, bask in the sun, and immerse themselves in the lively Mediterranean culture.
Port de Sóller
In the west of Mallorca lies Port de Sóller, a harbor town that exudes style and charm. The most fashionable way to reach the town is by taking the historic tram from Sóller, an experience in itself. Once there, you’ll find that Port de Sóller is one of the most sought-after destinations on the island, bustling with activity and full of life. The terraced cafes in the immediate vicinity of the harbor are especially popular, offering a perfect spot to soak up the sun and the atmosphere. But for those seeking a quieter experience, there are plenty of hidden gems tucked away in the side streets where you can experience the authentic charm of the village.
While Port de Sóller may not be the ideal destination for beachgoers due to its closed bay and moderate water quality, it’s the perfect hub for active travelers planning many excursions. The town boasts a plethora of nearby excursion destinations, whether by boat to Sa Calobra or Deià, or by foot. The old quarter of Santa Catalina with the fortified tower Torre Picada and the small lighthouse at Cap Gros are perfect for an atmospheric walk. For more extended hikes, the hinterland boasts a vast network of routes of varying degrees of difficulty that lead over passes, through gorges, or to vantage points along the coast.
All in all, Port de Sóller serves as an excellent starting point for travelers seeking an active holiday and looking to experience Spain and the Balearic Islands in their own way.
Sóller, the quaint little town on the western coast of Mallorca, is unquestionably one of the most beautiful places on the Balearic island. Here, time seems to have stood still, and you can relish the unspoiled nature in peace and quiet. Unlike many other tourist hotspots, there is no overcrowding here due to mass tourism. Instead, the range of accommodation is dominated by small hotels and charming fincas.
Hiking enthusiasts, in particular, are in for a treat here. The numerous hiking trails that wind their way into the Tramuntana Mountains are perfect for leisurely strolls without any car traffic. Orange and lemon groves, olive trees, lush meadows, and flowering fields line the paths and accompany the hikers on their journey through pristine nature. At most, you’ll come across like-minded individuals or isolated locals on their way to their farms, accompanied by donkeys, horses, and goats.
Thankfully, construction activity in and around Sóller is much slower than in the large tourist centres of the island. The hotels are manageable and in no way comparable to the bed castles on the coast. If you’re looking to stay overnight in the area, we recommend the fincas run by Mallorcans or cozy, simple family hotels.
Even for a day trip, Sóller is well worth the visit. If you don’t have a rental car, there is an authentic alternative: the oldest and most idyllic connection from Palma to Sóller is the steam locomotive, also known as the “Red Lightning”. The ride takes you directly to the center of Sóller, from where you can take the open tram – almost through the front gardens of the locals – to the port of Port de Sóller.