ATTRACTIONS & POINTS OF INTEREST IN MALLORCA
Museums & Exhibitions
Mallorca has always had a certain attraction force of artists because of its scenic natural areas that has given inspiration to many famous artists. But art is not the only thing you can enjoy when visiting an exhibition in Mallorca, there are many museums exhibiting parts and periods of the history of the island.
The churches of Mallorca are great attractions in almost any town and village you visit. They represent an important part of the local history and culture, their architecture, chapels, altarpieces and religious art testifies to this.
Convents & Monasteries
Come discover life in a monastery, or even stay here for a night or two to really get the full experience. Some of Mallorca’s monasteries and convents are world-famous and carries a unique cultural heritage.
Architecture represents and reflects culture, wealth and style. In Mallorca, there are numerous stunning architectural masterpieces to enjoy, some even designed by famous architects such as Gaudí and Bellver. In this category, you will find some of the most remarkable pieces of architecture found on the island.
Castles & Fortresses
Famous castles and fortresses such as the Alaró castle, Bellver and Santueri are just some of the amazing points of interest you can find in this category. Military architecture dating back to the Moorish times exhibits the importance of these constructions.
Mallorca is home to some of the most fascinating and mysterious underground caves in Europe, many of them has been turned into tourist attractions and been illuminated for you to see the true artworks made by Mother Nature herself. The biggest attraction among the caves, are the Cuevas del Drach, or Dragon Caves, which feature the largest underground lake in Europe, Lago Martel.
Mallorca’s nature is unique, there is a rich wildlife of hundreds of different species living side by side. In this category, you will find some of the most scenic nature parks to explore, including the islands of Dragonera and Cabrera, two major attractions for any nature enthusiast.
You do not need to be an amateur archaeologist or have a particular interest in the subject to enjoy a visit to one of the many fascinating archaeological sites found in Mallorca. The Balearic prehistory is so unique that it had its very own culture. Come discover the life of the ancient warriors of Mallorca, who lived here 3,000 years ago.
Along the coastlines of Mallorca you will find a network of old watchtowers which were a part of a defensive system to counter pirate raids. Especially during the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, Mallorca was extremely exposed to these as the Ottoman empire and North African pirates allied to try and take the island.
Highlighted attractions in Palma
Below are some of the popular sights and attractions you can visit and explore in Palma. If you want more inspiration and more places of interest in Palma,
PALMA CATHEDRAL, LA SEU
The amazing cathedral of La Seu is the crown and symbol of Mallorca, an absolute wonder and a must-see attraction when in Palma. Inside the cathedral, you will explore some of the most remarkable decorative arts, for example those made by famous Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudi, as well as the chapels and enormous collection of religious treasures and artefacts found in the museum. La Seu is impressive in many ways; the architecture, the art, the dimensions, it is every bit as outstanding on the inside as it is on the outside, don’t miss this.
Bellver is unique in many ways, but first and foremost because of its round construction which is very unusual for castles and fortresses. Bellver is situated high over Palma, allowing for divine panoramic views over the city, the bay and mountains, this alone makes it worth visiting. Inside Bellver, you will also find the historical museum of Palma featuring interesting artefacts from Roman times and insights in the development of Palma and Mallorca.
RIDE THE ANTIQUE TRAIN
An absolute family favourite attraction in Palma, is the antique train that departs from the train station in Placa d’Espanya. The train is still in its original condition from 1921 when it was first inaugurated, in order to connect Palma and Sóller, which was two of the most important trading areas of the island. Enjoy an hour of nostalgia as the old mahogany cars bumps through the scenic and beautiful landscapes of Tramuntana till you reach the heart of Sóller. From Sóller, you can can take the old tram down to the holiday destination of Port de Sóller, a picturesque and charming harbour area in a beautiful cove. Enjoy a lunch in one of the great restaurants in Sóller or Port de Sóller and do a little sightseeing before returning to Palma.
Palma Aquarium is one of the biggest family activities and attractions in Palma. The aquarium features one of the largest shark tanks in Europe, giving home to 4 species of sharks. If you are in possession of a PADI diving license, you can actually dive with these fascinating creatures. Palma Aquarium has been created to emulate real oceanic environments such as the Mediterranean, the South American and the Indian, and you can look forward to meet more than 400 different species of colourful fish here. On the rooftop of Palma Aquarium, a mini jungle has been planted to simulate a real micro eco-system.
The royal palace of Almudaina was built by King Jaume II, on a site that has most likely been the seat of power during both Roman and Moorish dominance on the island. Inside the palace, you can actually still see parts of the old Moorish palace dating back from the 11th and 12th centuries when Palma was known under the name of Medina Mayorque.There are several interesting things to highlight in Almudaina, such as the Santa Ana chapel, exemplifying classic Gothic architecture dating back from the early 14th century. But also the impressive art collections, furniture and special items that has been part of the interior since Moorish times. Today, the Almudaina palace serves as offices and reception venue when the royal family of Spain are doing official visits in Palma.
The Arabian baths, also known as “Banys Arabs”, is an interesting sight in the heart of Palma’s old town and a popular tourist attraction. This place used to belong to a Arabian nobleman, and exhibits life of the most wealthy people in Palma during the Moorish dominance on the island.
Discover the many stunning churches around Mallorca
We have gathered more than 70 churches on the website for you to read about and find directions to. A thing that makes the churches stand out, is that even in the smallest villages, the churches are still of massive dimensions and executed in architectural stylistics representing the time and era of the construction. However, it is not just on the exterior that makes the churches attractive, the interior of most of them is just as astounding with the impressive altarpieces, the side chapels and the art collections stored. Even if you are not the typical church admirer, you will still find some of these constructions interesting to visit and photograph.
CHURCH OF SÓLLER – SANT BARTOLOMÉ
Visit the beautiful neo-Gothic church in the main square of Sóller The church is one of the most spectacular church constructions in Mallorca, because of the many architectural styles that decorates the exterior. The neo-Gothic style of the facade, was applied by famous architect and partner of Gaudí, Joan Rubio i Bellver.
Speaking of Joan Rubio i Bellver, we can not neglect the open-air church of Eslgésia Nova (New Church) in the small village of Son Servera. Not only is this an architectural pearl, but also a wonderful and romantic venue for weddings and festive events.
CHURCH & CEMETERY OF DEIÀ – JOAN BAPTISTA
If you have not yet been to the picturesque village of Deià in the Tramuntana mountains, it is about time to get here. Deià is undoubtedly one of the most romantic and beautiful areas in Mallorca, and the church of Deià crowns the village. Actually, it not as much the church itself that makes this a great sight, but more the situation on top of a hill, which allows for divine panoramic views over valley and sea. Stroll around the peaceful cemetery and enjoy the views of this magical place.
CHURCH OF MANACOR
The parish church of Manacor, dedicated to our lady of sorrows, is famous for its unique and high bell tower that rises high above the roofs of the second largest city in Mallorca. The church was built on top of a former Arabic mosque, and the enormous dimensions and detailed exterior is a clear sign of change of religious dominance on the island.
The parish church of Santa Eulàlia is not only an important place of interest in the history of Mallorca but also a must-see sight in Palma. The incredible details adorning Santa Eulàlia’s neo-Gothic exterior includes scary gargoyles, beautiful finials and the massive rose window in the main facade above the entrance doors.
La Porciúncula is a unique church that features an innovative and highly creative architectural design. La Porciúncula is known as “The Glass Church”, because the walls have been replaced by glass paintings, creating an amazingly colourful interior. La Porciúncula is unlike most other churches, round. The design af the church as well as the placement of the organ inside, is meant to give an exceptional sound, and it truly does! La Porciúncula is one of the only real attractions in the area of Platja de Palma.
Visit one of the historical monasteries and convents in Mallorca
There are hundreds of convents and monasteries in Mallorca, some more spectacular that other. However, each of them tells a story about the local area, and about a time when monks and nuns were a integral part of any community.
SANTUARI DE LLUC
The Lluc monastery is the biggest of them all in Mallorca, in fact, it is one of the biggest in Europe. Lluc has become famous for many things, which has made this place a religious hub attracting thousands of pilgrims and tourists each year. Most famous is it for its choir school, which is believed to be one of the oldest in the world. Each Sunday morning at the 11 o’clock mass, you can experience the purest voices of children singing hymns in the church. At Lluc, you will also find a big ethnological museum exhibiting life in Mallorca all the way back from Roman times with artefacts, equipments and arts collected. Besides from being a massive tourist attraction, Lluc also functions as a hostel and you can choose to spend a night or two in one of the apartments in the monastery. Lluc is definitely a place to visit in Mallorca.
SANTUARI DE CURA
Situated on top of Mallorca’s holy mountain, you will find the famous Cura monastery. The mountain summit where Cura is situated has been a place for worshipping higher powers since prehistoric times, however, it was Mallorcan philosopher, Ramon Llull, who gave this place fame as he had his studies here and was the first person to write a book in the Catalan language. Today, Cura serves as a museum and as a hotel. Imagine watching sunset and sunrise from a mountaintop and enjoy the panoramic views over the bay of Palma, it’s simply divine.
SANTUARI DE SANT SALVADOR
Just like Cura, the monastery of Sant Salvador is situated at the summit of a mountain, offering incredible panoramic views. Sant Salvador is situated 544 metres above water, in the area of Felanitx close to the east coast. You can also choose to stay here for a few nights, and waking up early here and watching the sunrise over the east coast is indescribable. Sant Salvador is a popular place of interest to visit, especially because of the amazing views up here. If you are on foot, there is an old pilgrimage path you can follow from the bottom of the mountain all the way to the monastery, following the 12 stations of the via crucis. Cyclists can look forward to a challenge, as they have to make their way via the many sharp and steep turns ascending around the mountain. The rest of us can enjoy a nice ride in a car. The cafeteria at Sant Salvador has a great kitchen, and you can enjoy either lunch or supper here, or just a nice refreshment while inhaling the wonderful clean air.
REAL CARTUJA DE VALLDEMOSSA
this beautiful old Carthusian monastery situated in the heart of charming mountain village Valldemossa, has become a landmark of the area after famous composer, Frederic Chopin and his girlfriend, George Sand, stayed here in the winter of 1838/39. Today, the Real Cartuja no longer serves as a monastery, but as several museums, and the church of the monastery offers classical concerts. One of the museums here, is of course the flat where Chopin and Sand resided during their stay. Here, you will find all their personal items they didn’t take with them when they left, including Chopin’s piano. Another museum found in Real Cartuja, is the municipality museum of Valldemossa, where you can learn about the local area and how it has developed throughout the centuries. If you are interested in the monastery itself, you can also choose to explore this amazing building that has so many stories to tell. Real Cartuja is indeed a great attraction to visit, and the village of Valldemossa is too.
CONVENT DE SANT FRANSESC
The convent of Sant Fransesc is a unique ensemble of religious architecture, dating back from 1286 when the Franciscan congregation settled in Palma. Some of the highlights here, are the enormous cloister and the tomb of famous Mallorcan philosopher, Ramon Llull. The convent of Sant Fransesc, is a manifestation of the great religious, cultural and social influence of this congregation.
Explore the mysterious underground world of stalactite and stalagmite caves
Did you know, that famous author Jules Verne found inspiration for some of the elements featured in his all time bestseller, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, in an underground cave in Mallorca? These mysterious caves, full of curious figures made of million year-old stalagmites and stalactites, will fascinate and excite you as you slowly move along the narrow paths admiring the illuminated caves forming a fantasy world around you. These caves are great and interesting attractions for all ages.
CUEVAS DEL DRACH (DRAGON CAVES)
Cuevas del Drach are the biggest of all the caves in Mallorca, thus they are home to one of Europe’s largest underground lakes. After moving through the caves, the tour ends with a classical concert played played from boats sailing on the underground lake. After the concert, you can sail on the lake in one of the boats while enjoying the magical lightning and surroundings. These caves are one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island.
CUEVAS DE ARTA
Another top attraction in this category, are the caves of Artà, situated by the coastline of Canyamel. In the Artà caves, you move inside different “chambers”, which have been given names such as “The Purgatory” and “The Queens Hall” because of the formations of the stalactites and stalagmites here.
CUEVAS DE GENOVA
The newly restored and opened Genova Caves, are situated just outside Palma and easily accessible with bus. The Genova Caves are the smallest of all the caves in Mallorca open for tourism, but still a great attraction, especially if you are on holiday somewhere in the bay of Palma or in the south-west. You will be told interesting stories about the caves, and after the tour you can enjoy a refreshment at the restaurant. The Genova Caves are much less crowded than most other of Mallorca’s popular cave attractions.
CUEVAS DE CAMPANET
The Campanet Caves are a great alternative to many of the other caves, especially if you are holidaying in the northern areas of Mallorca. These caves are less hyped, but just as interesting, and the tour guides tend to be a bit more enthusiastic about telling you the stories of the caves. The Campanet Caves are situated in peaceful surroundings north of Campanet, close to the natural park of Ses Font Ufanes.
Enjoy Mallorcan culture exhibited in these museums and exhibition spaces
LA GRANJA D’ESPORLES
La Granja d’Esporles is a great attraction for the entire family. Enjoy more than 75 exhibition spaces as you move around on this spectacular property, learning about life of the most wealthy people on the island and their servants. Some of the highlights of La Granja include the old olive press, the free-range peacocks in the courtyard, the impressive dining, living and bedrooms of the nobles, the beautiful gardens with natural springs and the kitchen. You will also be taken down to the basement to the horrifying prison and torture chamber. When you are done admiring this majestic place, enjoy free Mallorcan sweets and pastries.
SA BASSA BLANCA
The most outstanding collection of contemporary art, is found on the peninsula of Alcanada between the bays of Pollenca and Alcúdia. There are several interesting and quite impressive collections to see here in this huge exhibition space. Of highlighted exhibitions here, you will find the collection called “els Nins” (the children), a collection of portraits of noble and royal children from the Middle Ages from all over Europe. Another interesting exhibition, is the hall called “SoKraTES” which features an impressive collection of contemporary works, among these, the rhino skeleton with a blanket of Swarowski crystals behind it and Einstein’s theory of relativity written in neon lights. In the gardens, you can stroll around in the sculpture park inspired by the animal kingdom, hundreds of curious and cute sculptures of fabels and animals reside in these beautiful gardens. Also, don’t forget to visit the scenic rose garden. The impressive mansion is itself a piece of art, a symphony of different art stylistics brought together. This is a spectacular attraction, and can be visited and enjoyed by adults and kids.
The estate of Son Marroig is undoubtedly one of the most emblematic and iconic pieces of civil architecture found in the Tramuntana region. This impressive manor used to belong to the famous archduke of Austria, Ludwig Salvatore, who explored the island and published his experiences in a book called “Die Balearen”. He bought this estate along with several other impressive buildings on the island, and had the marvellous marble pavilion installed on the slopes over the coastline to have a place of unlimited inspiration. This pavilion is not only a unique landmark of the area, but also one of the most romantic scenes for weddings in Mallorca. Inside the estate, you will discover the life of the famous archduke; his personal belongings, furnitures, sea maps etc.
MILITARY MUSEUM AND FORTRESS OF SANT CARLES
If you are fascinated by firearms, defence systems and other military related themes, a visit to the Sant Carles fortress in Cala Major is a must. This unique fortification with four bastions, was built to protect the industrial harbour of Palma back in the 1600’s on request by merchant’s organizations. At the museum, you can look forward to extensive collections of military equipment gather throughout the years, such as firearms, communication systems, tactical and planning tools, uniforms and much more. You will also gain knowledge about Spanish colonies such as the Philippines and Cuba. A visit to the military museum is a different kind of attraction in Mallorca, and should not be missed if this theme has the slightest interest.
Jardins d’Alfabia is a botanical garden and former estate of an Arabic Emir. Walking in the gardens among scenic flowers, palm trees and water fountains, makes, is so idyllic and speeks to all senses of the body. One of the gardens has been names after Queen Elizabeth II, after her stay in the estate. In the gardens, you will also find a range of protected species from the Balearic islands that are being cultivated here. The house of Alfabia is a piece of art itself, both exterior and interior beautifully combines stylistics of Arabic, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Roman, Rococo and even English. It exemplifies a mansion that has always been an asset of the wealthiest, regardless of the dominating culture on the island. Jardins d’Alfabia is one of the most beautiful exhibitions found in Mallorca.
explore the Mallorcan prehistory and the Balearic talayotic era
Have you ever wondered what life was like 3,000 years ago? Behind the kilometres of sandy beaches, hundreds of white hotel buildings and the whole tourism image, lies remains of a time gone by. Mallorca and the other Balearic islands was home to a culture known as the “Talayotic Period”, and was characterized by massive tower-like constructions, which allowed tribes to gather together and to scout the landscapes surrounding their villages. The excavation sites of these early day settlements are now open for visits, most of them for free, and you can explore these amazing constructions built by tribes thousands of years ago.
The talayotic village of Ses Païsses is one of the biggest of all the prehistoric settlements in Mallorca. At Ses Païsses, you can enjoy some spectacular constructions, including the almost 400 metre long wall, hypostyle, horseshoe-chamber and the central talayot. Ses Païsses is an activity for all ages to enjoy.
The Capocorb Vell village, features one of the biggest talayots of the Balearic islands, burial sites, habitations and a temple, all in incredibly good conditions. There is a lot to see and learn at Capocorb Vell, an interesting place of interest in the area of Cala Pi south of Llucmajor.
S’Hospitalet is a large excavation site found outside Manacor. This talayotic settlement features various types of building constructions such as talayots, habitations, navy forms, barracks and burial chambers. S’Hospitalet is free to visit all day, there are information boards set up explaining the different areas of the site.
Just a few kilometres outside the medieval village of Montuïri, you will find the excavations of Son Fornes talayotic village. Son Fornes is a great sight for you who love to explore and enjoy outdoor activities. Before or after visiting the talayotic site itself, you should also visit the associated museum housed in an old mill in Montuïri town to see and learn about the talayotic period, as well as all the artefacts found during excavations exhibited here.
Explore the wild and unspioled Mediterranean nature
You do not necessarily need to bring hiking boots, sticks and backpacks to enjoy some of the most scenic and untouched natural areas of the Balearic islands. Mallorca and the small islands close to the shorelines offers some of the most beautiful and unspoiled nature you can imagine, and you have easy access to these stunning areas. Here, you can meet the wild nature and all the creatures that lives here.
The Mondragó park is a piece of paradise located in the south-eastern corner of Mallorca. In Mondragó, you can enjoy two of the best beaches in the Migjorn region offering silky soft white sand and crystal clear waters, perfect for swimming and snorkelling. Stony paths leads about in the wild Mediterranean nature in the park filling you with amazement and serenity, as you inhale the scents of real harmony. There is also a great wildlife in the Mondragó park, you can observe cormorants, urchins as well as other Mediterranean birds and sea animals. The Mondragó park measures 785 hectares of beautiful nature and you should not miss this opportunity, you will be impressed.
Sa Dragonera is one of the most spectacular nature reserves in the Balearic islands. The island has gotten its name from two things; the dragon back shape and the black lizards that lives out here. Sa Dragonera offers several great walking tracks leading about in the wild nature and to breathtaking viewpoints, especially in the southern end by the lighthouse and old watchtower are found. It is very easy to get to Sa Dragonera, you simply jump on a boat departing from the docks in the village of Sant Elm and sail for about 20 minutes. At the island, you will meet the black lizards living here, that are so used to human contact that they can be hand-fed. Also, if you are into birdwatching you can be fortunate enough to spot the rare Eleanor falcon, A half-day excursion to Sa Dragonera is a must for any lover of nature.
The s’Albufera wetlands and nature park is found south of Alcúdia and Play de Muro, in the northern part of Mallorca. S’Albufera is home to more than 200 different species of animals living in perfect harmony in the more than 2,000 hectares large park. The s’Albufera park is a popular place for cyclists and walkers to enjoy some unspoiled biodiversity while feeling the natural serenity this place brings. Needless to say, if you are enjoying activities such as birdwatching you are really in luck here.
An excursion to the island and nature reserve of Cabrera is a great way to try something different and really get some fresh air in your hair. Cabrera is the largest of a small group of islands south of Mallorca that takes about 4 hours to get to by boat. These islands together makes up the protected nature reserve of same name, and it is prohibited to sail here without permission. The last time Cabrera was inhabited, was during the Spanish civil war when the fortress on the island was used as a prison. The old medieval fortress is exciting to exlpore itself of course, but the nature out here along with the many breathtaking viewpoints, is simply indescribable. On your way to Cabrere, you will also sail to the hidden cave called “Cueva Azul” (Blue Cave). This day excursion is for you who really want to explore nature at its finest.