I’ll start by speaking my mind: 5 days is a short time in Mallorca. The ideal for exploring the island would be, at least, one week. But as I know that that’s often not the reality we live in, and that, with the exception of those living on the European continent, the island of Mallorca is visited along with other destinations like Barcelona and Ibiza, I decided to bring together the best spots on the island and present an itinerary option in Mallorca for 5 days. I believe 5 days is enough to get the main highlights and enjoy yourself nicely.
The first time I visited the island (which is big, by the way) I was pretty lost not knowing what to prioritize and only learned how to better explore it when I was already there. There were so many different tips and opinions about beaches, cities, and tours that it was hard to choose. So, don’t you too go worrying about it, just enjoy whatever you can.
Step One: Rent a Car
The essential tip to make the most of your time in Mallorca is to rent a car. It’s possible, but extremely more complicated and time-consuming to explore the island by public transport. We were able to rent a car for 4 days for 60 euros at Rental Cars, a pretty fair price and almost the same as the bus if you go to more than one beach (especially if you are in two or more people).
The key to getting this price was to remove the insurance, and instead, make a 600 euro deposit which was refunded to me after I returned the car. I know this is a tricky option for some because besides the deposit being very large, you take a certain risk and need to be very careful to make sure that nothing happens with the car. For us, it was worth it. With insurance, the car would be 60 euros more expensive for the 4 days. If you don’t want any worries, go with the insurance!
We rented through OK, a local company. But to get the best quotes, see car rental comparison by Rental Cars and choose the deal you like best. I always made my reservations there and never had a problem (Thank God!).
Setting up an itinerary in Mallorca for 5 or more days
If I had to recommend to a friend things to do in 5 days in Mallorca, these would be my personal tips. Also, this is a true story, because I did send these tips to a friend of mine and that’s why I decided to write this itinerary.
To make it easier, I divided the main tours into five regions, each at a different point on the island. Each region group needs a unique day to be well explored. It will be an intensive period of tours to enjoy the beaches and villages.
The cities mentioned in the title are the largest in that region and were chosen as reference points only to recommend the region I am talking about. I haven’t stopped at many of them myself, and having a stop in them is optional (except in Palma de Mallorca, a city we suggest stopping in and setting up your base and sleeping).
Let’s go to the regions:
1-Region around Santanyí, in the south of the island
2-Region around Polença, and the peninsula north of the island
3-Region around Sóller, a charming harbor, and an even charming-er road
4-Region around Palma, Mallorca’s capital
5-Region around Capdepera, a region with a different look
All of these places are about an hour’s drive from Palma, with slight variations like Sóller, which is 45 minutes away, and Capdepera, which is 1 hour 15 minutes from the capital. With the car, it’s easy to get from one point of the island to another and the main roads that cross the island are very good.
Let’s go to the tours that I consider a must-do in every region of Mallorca:
1- Santanyí Region
Virtually untouched beaches with lush features and otherworldly waters. Today’s tour will make you feel like an adventurous explorer discovering incredible and inhospitable places (even though that’s not necessarily true since the places do have some sort of structure and you don’t have to be no Indiana Jones to get there).
Caló des Moro and S’Almunia
Absolutely a must! They are, for me, the most beautiful beaches in Mallorca and my favorite ones. The first is because the water is of such an amazing color and the beach is so amazingly untouched (so much so that it’s the beach with the most complicated access). And the latter because it looks beautiful, like a bay protected by low rocks, with the sea inviting you to take a swim.
You can get to know both beaches in a single car stop and to get to Caló des Moro you have to go through S’Almunia, so it’s practically a “two for one” combo. But to get there, pay attention to these tips.
How to get to Caló des Moro and S’Almunia? Google Caló des Moro and use Google Maps or your GPS to get there. When you arrive there, you’ll see that access is restricted to residents at the end of the road, so you’ll have to stop your car in a street named Camí de Cala Llombards and then walk for about 15 minutes (an average of 1 km to the point indicated on the map). When you arrive, you’ll see a dirt path, take it only to check out the view from above, that is beautiful, but then go back to the street and follow towards the end, towards S’Almunia beach. Go down the stairs to S’Almunia and then turn left and go around the beach, following the trail. From there, you’ll reach the top of Calo des Moro and descend a bit by the rocks to finally reach the beach. It seems harder than it really is. Is it tiring? A little. But the view and the distractions on the way make the time fly by.
Mondragó National Park
A nature reserve that has three beautiful beaches: Playa Mondragó, S’Amarador, and Caló des Burgit. They have the same natural and unspoiled beach vibe because they are located inside a reserve, but at the same time have a great parking structure (in Mondragó and S’Amarador), bathrooms, bars and restaurants (Mondragó).
It’s possible to go from one beach to another on foot, so the tip is to stop the car at S’Amarador, which is a beach in one of the corners and has the least crowded parking, and from there walk the easy stone trail to Mondragó and then Des Burget.
A wider beach with a larger strip of sand, a really fine and white type of sand, and super transparent water. Ideal for those who want to go to the beach, lie on the sand to sunbathe or enjoy a large sea. The downside? It’s close to a popular tourist town (Colonia de Sant Jordi) and access is super easy, so it gets very crowded after 10am in high season, and parking is expensive compared to the other beaches on the island (7 euros).
These are the three tours of the region that we recommend most to those who are short on time (and in this order that I wrote). For those who have a few more days, also check out Cala d’Or, Cala Pi and the boat ride from Colonia de Sant Jordi to Cabrera Island.
2- Polença Region
Get ready for another day with amazing views. The Fomentor Peninsula, in the north of the island, pops in everyone’s minds when we talk about indispensable tours in Majorca.
Cala Molins and Cala Carbo
I only saw Cala Molins when passing by, I didn’t stop to swim or go to the beach, even though it has a good structure. Now Cala Carbo was a total surprise. It’s very close to Cala Molins, just taking a turn with the car turn and following 300 meters ahead will get you there. We arrived early and almost no one was there, just a couple of girls swimming. I confess that the beach is too complicated to sunbathe in and enjoy because it’s all made of pebbles and little stones, but we stopped for a dive and it was amazing to swim in it. We went on a sunny day and the water was absurdly clear, so it really stayed with me a lot. We swan for a long time and then picked up where we left off on our travels.
Platja de Formentor
If you’ve researched anything about Mallorca, you have probably heard someone recommending Formentor Beach. A very famous beach, which is wide, has beautiful water, but a tiny strip of sand. As the usable space for the beach-goers is about 10 meters from the sea, they made an extra space beyond the sand, located on a higher level and with an earthy floor and trees. The space is nice for a picnic and even for sunbathing. The good thing about trees is that they give a nice shade, but you’re still able to have a beautiful view of the sea.
The beach has a good structure and three parking lots, each with a different price charged per minute. We saw prices of 0.04; 0.05 and 0.07 euro cents for the minute. We stopped at a beachfront which cost 0.05 cents per minute.
Cap de Formentor
Here’s another surprise in the itinerary. I saw a lot of good recommendations about this tour, but I confess I thought it was gonna be a little boring. I decided at the last minute to go there, just as I was leaving Formentor Beach and only not to leave feeling guilty, and I was surprised. I completely loved it!
Cap de Formentor is a lighthouse on the tip of the peninsula, 15 minutes from the eponymous beach. From there the view is beautiful, but what really makes it worthy is the road you take to get there. And look, the way is really a bit crazy! A curvy road and stunning views. I confess that I got a bit apprehensive on the road for a few moments, but at those times I just drove slowly and all was right.
In this same direction, you can see a beautiful beach called Figueira. We stopped the car with the intention of going down to the beach, but the trail was very steep, the heat was hellish and we ended up stopping halfway when we felt that we arrived at a point with a good view of the beach – and that even yielded good photos. I think it’s worth it if you want a more exclusive sea amid the bustle of the high season, want the adventure of going down and then climbing up a bumpy dirt trail, and don’t care about rocky beach. Besides, I think it’s worth enjoying the view from the middle of the road and the photo with the beach from the top.
3- Sóller Region
Another itinerary that is a must-do for those visiting the island. In this region, there are beautiful beaches, good restaurants, a dream hotel, cute cities, tours, and a breathtaking road. Get ready for the toughest itinerary of the 5 days in Mallorca.
Valdemossa is a cute little village on the way to the beaches, worth a visit. This is where Santa Catalina, a Spanish saint and patron saint of Mallorca, was born, so in front of most houses, there’s a little ceramic plate with the image of the Saint.
Cala de Deyá and Paella at the Sa Foradada
Let’s kick off the itinerary with paradisiacal beaches. The first stop is Cala de Deyá, a beach that is very close to the Deyá village and is reachable by car (unless you’re up to walking a lot to get there, along the same road as the cars).
If you can take some time, try the Paella from Sa Foradada restaurant. I saw this tip in several reliable places after I returned from the trip, and I’m crazy to go back and taste it to tell you my opinion about the place. In addition to having the iconic Spanish dish, the restaurant has a beautiful view.
Sóller and Port de Sóller
Arrive in the town of Sóller, have a stroll around and then travel by train to the Port de Sóller. Beautiful views await you here, especially when you leave Sóller and go to Sa Calobra (Torrent de Pareis), driving through the Serra de Tramuntana.
Serra de Tramuntana
A Unesco Historical Heritage, Serra de Tramuntana is very beautiful to see. The most famous stretches of road are from Sóller to Sa Calobra (where Torrent de Pareis is located), and also from Platja de Formentor to Cap de Formentor (to the north, which are on the Polença itinerary). Incredible views and many curves up to 360 degrees – yes, you leave at one point, go back, and forth again, but at another altitude.
Torrent de Pareis
Among some of the most famous beaches in Mallorca is Torrent de Pareis, a small beach hidden between two huge cliffs. Once again with transparent waters (it’s getting boring to say that, but what can I do when literally all the beaches are like that?) and also with little pebbled floors, which doesn’t please those who want to lie on the beach.
4- Palma de Mallorca Region
This is a day that unites beautiful beaches with the strong history and culture of Palma de Mallorca, an extremely captivating city that doesn’t get boring, even though it’s tiny.
Get to know downtown Palma and Hort del Rei
As you’ll be staying here, there’s also the option of taking a walk through the town center at night in the previous days, after visiting the beaches. If you still have it in you, it’s a delight to walk the narrow streets of Palma or even just stop for a delicious dinner. Be sure to stroll through the gardens of Hort del Rei or walk by the Passeig del Born and Carrer de Jaume II, which are super nice streets.
Palma Cathedral and Bellver Castle
Two must-see attractions in Palma. The cathedral began construction in the 13th century and has one of the largest rosettes in the world. The photo below shows the side of the cathedral and doesn’t live up to all its beauty and pomp. We haven’t visited Bellver Castle yet, but it’s also one of the island’s landmarks.
Portals Vells’ Beaches
Thirty minutes from Palma is another set of very beautiful beaches. It’s called “Portals Vells”. I stopped the car in El Mago (Mallorca’s nude beach), and from there I walked to all 3 beaches in the region – El Rey, El Mago, and Portals Vells, and to the Portals Vells Cove. The path was an easy trail, but also over rocks at times.
This is a good and easy tip for those who don’t want to drive too far, and besides, the whole trip wasn’t long. We swam a little, did the trails, sunbathed and took the pictures in 2 and a half hours.
Cala Comptesa and Ses Illetes
They’re also beautiful beaches, but with a downside: they’re very crowded because they are close to Palma, and there are easily accessible buses to get there from Palma. It’s not a worthwhile trip during the high season unless the goal is to do something easy and practical. It stays here as a record for another option with a beautiful turquoise sea, great for those who don’t go in the summer or for those who don’t care about crowds.
For those who want to follow this itinerary to the t, I don’t think it is feasible to include the center of Palma, the Cathedral, the Castle, Portals Vells AND these two beaches in the itinerary. Ideally, enjoy the downtown during free afternoons and evenings, and leave this day to visit Portals Vells, the Cathedral, and Bellver Castle.
5- Capdepera Region
I must say it was the region that I found the most boring of the trip, and could even take it out of the itinerary. Buuut, know that my opinion may be totally biased because on the day I did this tour the weather was cloudy and rainy, so the sun wasn’t hitting the waters and didn’t cause that “WOW” effect. So, here is the report of the tours I did and some other tips and suggestions of attractions that I didn’t see, but that pleased some of the people I talked to.
Forget everything you’ve seen so far about Majorca’s beaches, Cala Mesquida is a totally different thing. A sea with waves, lots of sand and small dunes that even reminded us of the Northeast of Brazil, a downtown typical of small beaches and a bar with delicious sunbeds to lie on the beach. A totally different experience from what I showed you guys so far.
Cala Agulla and Cala Ratjada
The first is a beach and the second is a city, with a very busy downtown. I happened to go to Cala Agulla and caught a beautiful sunset after a cloudy day. It was already late and the beach was empty, so I can’t properly say what it looks like during the day (the color of the water or how crowded it gets).
In Cala Ratjada, there are restaurants and bars in a place that is sort of like a pier – or a waterfront on a clear sea and a tiny harbor. I found it nice to walk around here in the late afternoon, have some frozen yogurt and watch people enjoying that beach downtown vibe.
Cuevas del Drach or Cuevas de Artá
The Cuevas del Drach is the most touristic tour of the island. I’ve seen reports of people who loved and people who hated it (yes, those two opposites indeed). I didn’t feel like doing it yet, maybe one day, who knows … but friends of ours who took the tour said they thought it was a little boring because you spend 5 minutes in a boat, see a quick classic concert inside the caves and get out. And the place is always clogged with tourists, and the price is high.
The alternative they gave us was to visit Cuevas de Artá, a seemingly more authentic place, but I haven’t visited it yet either. I found it nice to leave this item here, however, for you to look more into it and decide if it’s worth going or not.
Colonia de Sant Pere and Capdepera Lighthouse
Two other tours that were recommended to me but I haven’t done yet were the trip to the village of Colonia de Sant Pere and the Capdepera Lighthouse. Formentor Lighthouse (Cap de Formentor) always had more positive reviews than Capdepera, so we ended up leaving this second lighthouse to visit later but didn’t go in the end, as it was late and we had to go back to Palma to sleep. Colonia de Sant Pere is a cute little village with good restaurants.
To close things up, set up your itinerary in Mallorca the way you think is best, and think of a strategy for not getting too tired. You already know that the days of “Polença” and “Sóller” are tough, so don’t do one of these tours one day and the other one on the next.
If the day is rainier and cloudy, relax and enjoy Palma, which is an absolute delight.
If you have some more days on the island, leave your comment here in this post so that we can help you with other suggestions of tours, or to organize these tours more easily spread over more days.
Always try to know what you want to visit first, and leave what you’re not so excited for in the end. This way, if something is left out in a day, it can be done at the end of the trip, along with (or “rather than”) less important attractions for you.
But, most of all, don’t stress yourself trying to “tick” all the places I mentioned above and go at your own pace. Enjoy and relax, after all, that’s why you went to a paradisaical island for, right? ♥
This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)