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Cala de San Vicente
Port de Pollenca
Playa de Muro
Son Serra de Marina
Colonia de San Pere
Best of the North
A guide to northern Mallorca and it’s resorts, towns and villages. Filling you in on what the holiday brochures don’t always tell you. Enlightening you on the best of the northern Mallorca inland towns and villages. Their niche galleries, museums and eateries are waiting for you to discover.
The aim of this article is to help you decide where is best for you in the North of Mallorca. Helping prevent you from wasting your money making wrong choices.
Planning your trip to the northern Mallorca
Which Mallorca northern resort you choose will be based on how you want to spend your time there. Do you want a beach based holiday? Do you want to discover the history of Mallorca or have a young family to entertain? Maybe you have a particular hobby you want to pursue; perhaps one of the activity blogs on this website can help you. Otherwise stay tuned for ideas! Use the map map of Majorca at top of page for reference.
You can also access my trip planning service
Climate in Mallorca’s North
The weather in the mountainous North can be more erratic than the hotter drier south-east. A shower can come seemingly from nowhere in the autumn and winter thanks to the Tramuntana mountains which end their reign in Pollenca
Cala de san Vicente
Cala de San Vicente is one of the northern most coastal resorts. On the map it is located just before the Cap de Formentor ‘rhinocerous horn’ starts. It’s a bit off the beaten track as far as beach resorts go, and is predominantly a spring/summer resort. Islanders have holiday villas here that have been built to specification and come in all shapes and sizes. All hotels and most restaurants shut down late Autumn for the winter. After that your only choice will be a private accommodation hire and probably going to Pollenca to dine.
Accommodation and Dining
A scattering of tourist hotels offer meal options which could prove useful as choices for dining out are limited. Hotel Dom Pedro is well known in Cala San Vicente for being a busy all inclusive place to stay. You can also hire a self-catering apartment or villa at Cala san Vicente. If you are staying in the summer months try restaurant Cala Barques for fresh fish.
Cooling breezes in the hotter months of June to September are welcome if you’re looking to sunbathe on the sandy beach at Cala de san Vicente. Cala de san Vicente is much more low key than the nearby tourist resort of Port de Pollenca. The resort is made up of a group of 4 coves. Cala Barqués is small with lifeguard in summer. Cala Molins (attractive cove with café/lifeguard and sunbed hire in summer. Cala Clara and Cala carbó are the other 2 coves.
Activities in Cala de San Vicente
This Mallorca northern resort is a good choice if you like sport and nature. If you are into bird watching it is possible in the Bóquer valley area. Have a look at the Bóquer valley walk soon to be added to Mallorca hiking on this website!
Atemrausch is a local well rated activity company. It has a certificate of excellence on Trip Advisor and offers snorkelling, diving, biking, Nordic walking and personal training. Stephan and Caroline, the owners, have sports science degrees and teaching certificates for all activities offered. This northern Mallorca watersports firm is open annually from 1st May to 31st October.
Do a long walk to nearby Port de Pollença where you have lots of choice for lunching out. You can do this off your own back without involving any tour operators and return by bus. Cala de San Vicente will suit you if you want a laid back summer break in a less touristy resort.
Getting around at Cala de San Vicent
If you have car hire, make the most of it and explore the areas of Formentor, Pollenca and Lluc. Visit the pretty bay of cala Figuera on the way to Formentor Also you can take the 345 bus from Cala de San Vicente to either Pollenca or Port de Pollenca
Need to Knows about Cala de san Vicente
Cala de San Vicente is not a particularly good choice if you have walking difficulties or are pushing a pram or wheelchair. If you like a rugged feel and want a breeze in the summer it could suit you.
There is not much in the way of shopping or culture here other than the seven burial caves at the entrance of the town. These caves are of archaeological importance and have history associated with them dating back to 1700BC. They are well sign-posted around town.
Bear in mind that Cala Sant Vicente is one of the longer transfers from the Palma airport. This resort is fairly windy and exposed during winter and can feel a bit cut off.
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The northern Mallorca town of pretty, unique Pollenςa is 7 kilometres inland in a south-westerly direction from cala de san Vicente. That’s about 15 minutes in the car.
There is history, churches, art and culture on offer in Pollenςa which was put on the map by the romans. With plenty of niche shops and restaurants, this old town is at it’s liveliest when the Sunday market is on. There is a bed and breakfast hotel 200 metres from the centre of town (l’hostal-hotel d’interior) and plenty of private villas in the area for hire. Because of the lack of hotels in Pollenca town, be sure to book early to avoid disappointment.
Pollenςa Food Wine and Market
Foodies will be more than satisfied with plenty of quality restaurants, delis and bars.
For some wine tasting visit the Mortitx winery off the road that runs between Pollenca and Lluc. Address: Ctra. Pollenca-Lluc km 10.9, 07315, Escorca. During the annual Festival del Vi you can sample wines at the Santo Dominigo convent. This wine festival takes place in April or May each year; the date for 2019 was 11th-12th May.
Pollenςa’s official market is every Sunday morning. It’s one of the most significant markets in Mallorca and people visit from all over the island.
Pollenςa History and Culture
Learn about the Pollenca’s origins in the local museum. Visit a talented former artist resident’s house turned gallery to view his art. Classical music lovers will love the annual music festival that takes place here. Admire the architecture of several local churches.
History and Religion in Pollenςa
Every Good Friday in Pollenca town, islanders and tourists flock to the town to commemorate the suffering of Christ on the cross. The body is carried down the 365 steps (in image above) to the church on the town square.
History lovers will be content to visit Museu de Pollenςa. The address is Carrer de Guillem Cifre de Colonya, 07460, Pollenςa. This Pollenςa museum is in a 16th century Dominican convent with to contemporary art on show. Also there’s a small display of evacuation treasures from the bronze age.
Re-enactment battle between Christians and Moors
In 1550 a Turkish pirate led a Moorish attack on the Christian dwellers of Pollenςa. The Pollencians resisted the attack and saw off the Moors. Each year at the beginning of August, the locals re-enact this attack usually around 1st and 2nd of August. The festival is called ‘La Patrona’ and celebrations start in the day and get noisy as they continue all night. Go ahead and book your trip if you want to join in the festivities. Otherwise choose a different time to stay in this town!
Quality art gallery in Pollenςa
Art lovers will be content to visit Museu Dionis Bennassar. The address is Carrer de la Roca 14, 07460, Pollenca
It’s in the heart of Pollenca in his former home. You’ll be able to view his seascapes, sandscapes and peoplescapes. Also on show is a variety of photograpy prints and sculpture. Pollenca town has a bohemian vibe with outlets, other than market stalls, selling crafts and textiles.
On the 2nd Sunday of November annually there’s an Artisan fair/market which held in the convent de Sant Dominigo.
Annual Classical Music Festival
The 2019 international classical music of Pollenςa will be held 4th-29th August. It’s offered as part of the European Festival Association music festival. The Santo Domingo Cloisters with fantastic acoustics has been the venue since 1961.
Sport near Pollenςa
Many of the villas for rent have private pools to swim in. There’s also 9 hole Pollenca golf course just 4 kilometres out of town. 5 star Son Brull hotel with it’s gourmet, Michelin starred restaurant sits right next to the golf course. Hire a bike and cycle to Lluc Monastery. OK, it is 20 kms uphill all the way so you have to be reasonably fit and take plenty of water and snacks as there are no shops on the way. Pollenςa town makes the ideal starting point to do this bike ride. Head west out of town along the Ma10. It takes about half hour in the car and the best part of 2 hours on a bike. It’s downhill all the way back so you’ll be quicker.
Getting Around in and around Pollença
Pollenca is a good base for visiting other areas in northern Mallorca, especially if you have car hire. Pollença. If a short journey to the beach doesn’t bother you and you’re more into history, then stay here!
Buses run all year round at regular intervals from Pollenca to Port de Pollenca and to Palma town. In the spring and summer you can take a bus to Lluc monastery. Even more exciting, hike or cycle there and stay the night in one of the reasonably priced simple monastery rooms. Spend time looking round Lluc before making your way back to Pollenca the following day.
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One of the resorts in northern Mallorca that features in British holiday brochures is Port Pollenca. The brochures offer a wide variety of hotels and apartments and there is heaps more choice online.
There is accommodation of every board basis to suit all budgets and all manner of bars and eateries.
Despite the commercialised element Port Pollenca is still an easy going laid back resort. The evening promenade (paseo) stroll is prominent here. Buses from here go all year round from Port Pollenca to Palma with stops along the way to get off and explore. Port Pollenca market is on Wednesday morning from 9am-1pm or visit famous Pollenca town market on Sunday.
Port de Pollenca bay is sheltered on the North side by Cap de Formentor.
The chunk on the map that juts out to make the Alcanada region of Alcudia protects the bay of Pollenca on it’s south side.
Hence the calm waters of Pollenca Bay which make it a safe bay for young children and toddlers. It’s also a good bay to learn stand up and paddle and kayaking.
Enjoy an excursion by boat to Formentor beach from the dock Port Pollenca. It’s a nice 30 minute journey each way. Walk away from the dock when you arrive to find a better bit of beach.
It’s easy to get away from other tourists though. Walking in Port de Pollenca is easy as well as birdwatching and many outlets for bike hire.
Formentor consists of the famous hotel and it’s beach, a viewing point and some other more remote beaches. You will find them on the Ma 2210 road leading up to the cap de Formentor. The famous Hotel Formentor (Barcelo brand) used to be the playground of the rich and famous. Charlie Chaplin, The Onassis family, The Rainiers of Monaco and Sir Winston Churchhill have all stayed there. Perhaps this is what leads to it’s current branded name of ‘Formentor a royal hideaway hotel’.
Argentine Swank and Adan Diehl bought the entire Formentor Peninsula in 1928. Between the Diehl family and the balearic government laws have been made to further development here. So you will understand it is area of beauty and low key holiday destination. Visit Barcelo Formentor Hotel website
How to get to Formentor (a royal Hideaway) Hotel
Formentor Hotel is 10 kilometres from Port de Pollenca heading in the direction of Cap de Formentor along the Ma2210 road.
Who is Hotel Formentor suitable for?
An ideal northern Mallorca location if you want a summer escape in a charming (rather than grand) hotel. Also good if you want a predominantly beach based holiday. Families with children will like the safe, blue flag, clean beach called cala Formenter. Locals know this northern beach also as Cala Pi de la Posada. The beach itself is probably a bit small for the amount of visitors it attracts especially in high season. Windsurfing and water skiing are the active options available on the beach. There’s another natural bay with a deep water cove good for snorkelling within a 2 mile walk of Hotel Formentor beach.
Car hire would be a distinct advantage if you want to do excursions; the location is slightly cut off otherwise. If you do have a car, drive 5 kilometres up towards the cap and visit cala Murta and cala Figuera .
Cap de Formentor is the rhinocerous horn that sticks out on the map and is the furthest North (East) point on Mallorca. The lighthouse at the cap isn’t open to public but the café-bar next to it opens to the public in the summer. Bear in mind parking is a problem in high season.
The road up to Cap de Formentor
If you want to go further than Formentor hotel and it’s main beach, there’s the Mount Fumat tunnel to pass through. Also a hairy stretch of road to negotiate before you reach the tip.
Scary Road up to Cap de Formentor
Car drivers and cyclists: bear in mind this scary road negotiates sheer cliffs. It’s over a 15 kilometre twisty journey and in high season there can be many traffic jams with tourist buses. You can take the bus in high season from Port de Pollenca and Alcudia. Be warned though; the buses get crowded and there can be traffic jams in the middle of the day. You will see signs for two other beaches worth visiting on the way up to the cap. Cala Figuera and Cala Murta are both signposted and share the same parking bay.
There is the ‘Fumat walk’ which takes you down to Cala Murta. Once this walk has been added to my hiking section on this website, I will link to it here.
Northern Mallorca Photo Opportunities
To get to the cap de Formentor (the tip), bleak sea cliffs await but you’ll have some of the best photo opportunities on Mallorca. If you have car hire, go early evening when the crowds have died down; Especially between May and September.
You don’t even need to go right to the tip of Formentor; there is a mirador along the road. At around the 5 kilometre mark where Es Colomeris the 200 metre high rock islet. Es Colomer means ‘the dovecote’ and gets it’s name because wild doves shelter here. There are 360 degree panoramic views across half of Majorca from here. Also in the evening you’ll get great photo opportunities for spectacular sunsets.
One of the best known tourist beach resorts in Majorca/Mallorca. Alcudia is more touristy and British around the beach nearest the Port. It’s not all about the beach though. There’s important history and culture associated with the old town. Also there are many sport and nature options on offer.
There are a handful of music bars the best reviewed/best value are Goodfellas and The Banana Club. Many of the hotels are self-contained, providing in house entertainment; generally this keeps people from being rowdy on the streets.
Three different Parts to Alcudia
Alcudia is one of the Mallorcan northern resorts that can be split into three different regions. There is the more touristy area of the beach, strip and port where the main hotels, shops and restaurants lie.
Then there’s the old town where the history of Alcudia and Pollenca can be discovered.
The third part to Alcudia is the ‘dragon’s head’ that juts out on the map above the Port of Alcudia often referred to as Cap de Pinar. This later section is worth exploring if you love the outdoors, sport and nature. The areas of Bon Aire and Alcanada are situated here. Alcanada is famous for it’s quality golf course. Alcanada is a small area; just one or two accommodation bases and restaurants.
Good for Families
Waterpark and Paintballing
Alcudia is good for young families because many hotels offer value half board and all inclusive deals. Also there is a lot to do in the area for action loving kids in the area.
If you’re looking for some reasonably priced excursions, try no frills excursions( above).
There’s also the Hidropark with giant water slides, boating pools and 3 mini golf courses. Address avinguda Tuca, 07400. Paintball Xzone Mallorca is on Avinguda Pere Mas I Reus 42, 07400 Alcudia.
There are opportunities for family walks and picnics in the natural cap de Pinar area of Alcudia (mentioned above).
Another good company to contact if you want some organised family activities is Sports and Nature Alcudiamar. Their address is Paseo Saralegui, Port Turistic Alcidiamar, 07470. Telephone: +0034 871 577 017. Their website at the time of publishing this article needs updating but you can send them an enquiry.
Eating out in Alcudia
If you do choose self-catering, there are several good restaurants around the port to eat out. For example, there’s Bodega des Port with something for everyone. Address: Teodora Canet 8. Avery good Italian restaurant is D’on Vito Pizzeria Trattoria. Address: Ctra. Arta 11 07400.
There is plenty to discover in the old town up the hill from Alcudia’s port. There’s a church, museum, significant roman ruins and roman theatre in this interesting old town.
Alcudia used to be the capital of Mallorca under the Moors around 700AC. Before that, the town of Pollenca was capital under the romans. Alcudia was destroyed by the Vandals but the Moors re-built it in the tenth century. It was known by them as Al-Kudia (on the hill). City walls were added around the town in the 14th century after the Spanish conquest.
You can discover more about the interesting history of both Alcudia and Pollenca at Museu Monografic. The address is Museu Monogràfic de Pol·lèntia, Carrer de Sant Jaume, 30, 07400 Alcúdia.
Sport, Nature and Bird spotting in Alcudia
The s’Albufeira wetlands and natural park are easily accessible when you stay at Alcudia or Playa de Muro. Birds from all over Europe return to nest every year.
Art and Sculpture in Alcudia for families
There is also an interesting and unique gallery/museum in this area: The Ben and Yannick Jakober Foundation. Ben and Yannick married in 1972 and their child was born in 1973. Out of the tragedy of Maima being killed in a road accident in 1992 arises artistic visions. There are a collection of antique children’s portraits which keep Maima’s memory alive and much more art see besides. Outside there’s a sculpture park with granite animals for children to touch and a rose garden It is off the beaten track but you can drive or walk there.
Alcudia Market, shops and annual Fair
There’s a selection of bohemian shops in Alcudia old town selling linens, rugs, orniments or souvenirs.
The Alcudia weekly market is every Tuesday and Sunday morning from 9am -at least 1pm. You’ll find it just outside the city walls and items for sale include produce, leather, jewellery and souvenirs. In high season the market is bigger and spreads out inside the city walls as well.
Every year, usually on the first weekend of October, the Alcudia fair happens. There are parades, music and market stalls which sell arts and crafts amongst other things.
Alcudia’s sandy beach near the port doesn’t have the best views (). The beach merges with Playa de Muro and stretches on for several kilometres. So if you’re finding it a bit cramped at the Alcudia walk along towards Playa de Muro. You’ll find beach shacks along the way too.
Hiking, Biking and Diving in Alcudia
This resort makes an excellent base for walkers and cyclists. Pick an adults only hotel if you want a quieter time. Or a hotel geared to cyclists if that’s what you’re going there for.
Alcudia makes a good base for exploring Majorca’s north in the spring or Autumn. That is if you’re not restricted by school holidays.
If you are into diving try the reputable 5 star PADI Skualo Mallorca Diving centre. Address: Avinguda Mal Pas 1, 07400, Bonaire, Alcudia. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This Skualo dive centre also offers a daily speed boat trip for snorkelling in caverns and caves.
Team Sky used Alcudia as their training base for several years. It therefore stands to reason it’s good hilly cycling territory for cyclists wanting to get fit
Getting around in Alcudia
Plenty of buses stop by the old town and there is parking. If you’re staying nearer to Alcudia Port or where Playa de Muro ends and Alcudia begins, there are also regular bus stops along the main road.
Something else to do from Alcudia’s port is to get the ferry over to Ciutadella, Menorca’s capital. It costs 60-70 euros each way. Why not stay the night there to make it a more relaxing trip?
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Playa de Muro
The 8 kilometre stretch of sand runs from Alcudia Bay to can Picafort and Playa de Muro sits in the middle. The beach is well separated from the road by both hotels and pine woods. Playa de Muro attracts international many European nationalities rather than just British. Rather than a Mallorca Northern resort, Playa de Muro is simply an beautiful stretch of natural beach. Many of the local businesses along the strip have shut down due to the half board and all inclusive boom. The restaurants in the area that do remain open are a bit over priced and lacking in imagination. If you do stay here, choose a hotel that offers the sort of food you want to eat. For lunch you can visit a beach shack; there are several especially if you walk in the direction of Alcudia
Comfortable Hotels at Playa de Muro
You will find some very comfortable half board hotels here such as five star Grupotel Parc natural and Spa.
Maybe the best stretch of beach in Mallorca
The beach stretch is one of the best on the islands. There’s room enough on it too to spread out. If the part of the beach you choose isn’t slap bang in front of your hotel, you are likely to have pine woods behind you.
If you are after a beach and hotel based holiday you don’t have to look any further. In the summer months you’ll find water-based activities on the beach. Also there are bus stops not too far from the front of your hotel convenient for the odd trip out to a neighbouring resort.
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Muro is a small inland town roughly 10kms from Playa de Muro and 7kms from can Picafort. It’s pretty and is a lovely place to stop off and have a coffee. Remember to visit outside siesta time to find things open.
Museu Etnologic de Muro is in a 17th century mansion. It gives you an insight to rural life in past times and there’s a cobblers and blacksmiths workshop.
Actually an agricultural town re-claimed from the swamps, bigger town than Muro although not as sweet. There’s some fine old houses there and a 17th century church and a town square. Potatoes grown here are exported for sales in the UK but sa Pobla is best known for it’s jazz festival. It will be taking place in sa Pobla’s main square in August 2019. Often there are free gigs which are jazz or jazz funk orientated.
Germans love Ca’n Picafort and it is has an international flavour rather than just appealing to the British. The promenade stretches out for roughly 3 kilometres along which can find all manner of touristy but fun cocktail bars and eateries.
The views of the seascapes along the promenade are awesome with mountains in both directions. There is a feeling of openness about Ca’n Picafort.
Reasons to stay at ca’n Picafort
Good value for money here in terms of accommodation and eating out. And there is plenty of choice for half board and even all inclusive here. From May to the end of September it is buzzing here; during the winter months it can seem like a bit of a ghost town. However this is when you will get the best deals and more peace. Why not take and autumn or early spring break to do some inland exploration or hiking?
Can Picafort: Good base for Exploring Inland
Can Picafort makes an excellent area to explore rural inland towns and villages either by car or bike. Pay a visit to Sineu’s Wednesday morning market which is roughly 25 kilometres and a half hour drive. If you’re reasonably fit it is a very pleasant cycle ride. Get yourself the Mallorca cycle map and stick to the minor roads for the most enjoyment. Unfortunately there is no direct bus route from can Picafort to Sineu. There is however a good bus service also to explore other inland Majorca as well as neighbouring tourist resorts.
Eating Out in Can Picafort
You are spoiled for choice here. Especially along the sea front, restaurants and café bars offer ‘menu del dia’ deals (menu of the day).
Going towards the Son Baulo end of the promenade you’ll find a handful of more unique eateries offering local cuisine. Can Picafort is great for cocktail lovers with may bars all competing with each other to get you in! (high season only)
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Son Baulo is Can Picafort’s smaller neighbour and is situated at the southerly most end of the Picafort strip. It has several hotels and shops and it’s main area of beach is right in front of the commercial Son Baulo Hotel. This part of the beach can become heavily populated in season.
Walk further along and the beach becomes more uneven, more natural and peaceful
Son Real Burial Site
The archeological remains of the burial site in this Mallorca area are significant to Majorca’s 7-2BC history. Find out more about the story of this necropolis burial ground at The Finca Son Real public estate. This rural estate belongs to the Balearic government. It has a visitor’s centre/museum. It’s easy to get to the beach to see the remains of the necropolis.
Natural Farmland Area
The Son Real estate is set in a natural area and has a functioning farm with local breeds of sheep and pigs, you can cycle as well as walk the trails around the estate. Find it on the fairly busy Ma12 road (not a motorway) approximately 5 kilometres from can Picafort heading south.
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Son Serra de Marina
Once back in your car or on your bike three miles down the road you reach Son Serra de Marina. It’s a small, niche and up-coming resort with mainly private apartments and villas for hire. It is a popular area with the Spanish for holiday homes. With just a scattering of restaurants it may be a bit quiet for some. But there is certainly an appeal on a summers day and when the winds appear, so do body boarders and kite surfers
Playa de sa Canova is the beach stretching from Son Serra de Marina to neighbouring Colonia de San Pere. It’s the beach the surfers love.
Colonia de San Pere
Colonia de San Pere is slightly bigger than Son Serra de Marina and has a couple of hotels and a few more restaurants than it’s neighbour. As the crow flies it’s not far from Son Serra de Marina. However we’re not crows so we have to get back in the car and head back to the main road. Turn left and it’ll take you about 20 minutes to reach there. Hotel Naturplaya provides accommodation for naturists. There’s also a sailing club: club Nautico.
Have cycle delivery to your accommodation in Colonia de Sant Pere. It makes such a great cycling base to explore north-east Mallorca
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