From winding mountain routes, to sun-drenched coastal roads, this is Mallorca at its most spectacular. Every twist and turn presents breathtaking views and stunning nature.
The Northwest is dominated by the Tramuntana mountain range and its breathtaking scenery and is home to some of the most historical and picturesque towns on the island. The amazing windy coastal road stretches the full length of the north coast, climbing high to reveal dramatic sea views and dropping lower into the picture-postcard villages of Estellencs, Banyalbufar, and Deia. The area is surprisingly accessible from Palma (20 minutes drive) and can be reached via Valldemossa or Soller – both historical popular towns.
The southern foothills of the Tramuntana mountains are part of the Raiguer region known for its winemaking. Ancient towns and villages are dotted around this area and provide a good base for those wishing to explore.
Port de Andratx is a pleasant harbor town. It’s quite well-heeled, as it’s a favorite with ‘yachties’ and the wealthy that live in the cliff-defying houses of Cala Llamp and surrounding peninsulas. Its good selection of waterfront restaurants and bars makes it an enjoyable place for a leisurely lunch or to watch the sun go down.
Estellencs and Banyalbufar are peaceful villages in the Tramuntana mountains that spill down the mountainside to the sea and stony beach coves. Both have an untouched, enchanting feel with cobbled streets and yellow stone houses. Both villages have a smattering of decent bars and restaurants in which to enjoy the evenings. Valldemossa is set at the top of a picturesque valley. The highlight here is the royal monastery – the Reial Cartoixa made famous by George Sand and Frederic Chopin. Due to its proximity to Palma de Mallorca, Valldemossa does attract the day-trippers however the town still retains its charm and is featured on many postcards.
Deià is a magical place inhabited by artists, writers, and the wealthy. The writer Robert Graves is famed for living here. The quaint Mallorca village sits strikingly on a hillside between the rising mountains and the sea. It has a laid-back bohemian feel with a selection of good restaurants and bars. Just a 20-minute walk from the village is a pebbled beach cove with a charming bar which provides a good place to swim and relax in a dramatic setting. The beach can also be reached by car via a windy lane down the hillside.
Set at the end of the scenic mountain steam train ride from Palma de Mallorca, Soller is a small, elegant, and arty town. Surrounded by breathtaking scenery with mountains on all sides, the center is a mix of picturesque narrow cobbled streets and a large leafy square. The square is a great place to enjoy a relaxing coffee, admire Gaudi’s imposing church, and watch the ancient tram rattle down to the nearby Port. If you don’t feel like driving, you can take the old wooden train from Palma de Mallorca to Soller. This is one of the best excursions to make during your vacation.
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Just a couple of kilometers away the Port de Soller can be reached by a quaint tram. This is a low-key seaside resort, with a small sandy beach and plenty of boats to take you up the coast to visit pretty Cala Tuent and the breathtaking Torrent de Pareis.
The trip to these remote attractions is becoming very popular and it’s possibly best to go in spring or autumn.
Close to Soller are the picture-postcard villages of Fornalutx and Biniaraix, immaculate ancient villages set in a dramatic landscape. Both villages sit under the Tramuntana mountains’ highest peak, the Puig de Mayor, and provide an excellent base for hikers.
Inland and further north, the holiest place on the island – the monastery of Lluc – nestles high in the mountains. The monastery is popular with day-trippers but an air of spiritual calm still manages to prevail.
Sitting beneath the Tramuntana mountain foothills are several ancient towns and villages worthy of note. This is the Raiguer region famed for its wine-making and leather goods. The sleepy town of Binissalem with its impressive main square is the hub of the winemaking industry and home to the Jose Ferrer bodega.
Nestled right into the foothills is the attractive, unassuming town of Alaró. Here the charming main square is the center of any activity. With its statuesque church at one end and cafe terraces at the other, it provides a perfect place to enjoy the slow pace of life of Mallorca.
Just beyond Alaró is the picturesque Vall D’Orient where the tiny ancient hamlet of Orient perches above olive and almond groves and due to its microclimate is home to Mallorca’s only apple orchards.
Further East and continuing along the foothills are many ancient villages. Selva and Caimari are worth a visit. Both villages are small and traditional yet have a small artistic community that has brought with it some tasteful cafes and restaurants. This region is famous for its olive groves and has an olive oil festival every November.