Venture into the north of the island, and you’ll hit upon very different scenes from those in the south, east and west. Past the inland town of Inca and reaching the northern border of the central plain at Sa Pobla, the diversity of the landscape becomes apparent. It’s a fresh, fertile, colourful region where the sea meets the mountains, and resorts catering splendidly to holidaymakers sit peacefully alongside traditional, historic towns and villages.
For decades, loyal visitors – especially the British – have returned to Puerto Pollensa and Pollensa town; and once you’ve discovered the charms of the north, it’s likely that you, too, will want to return time and time again.
History & culture of North Mallorca
Puerto Pollensa is a classic example of a humble Spanish fishing village turned thriving international community. Tourism arrived in the 1920s, -first tourist resort – resulting in a clutch of low-rise hotels being built along the pretty seafront. Happily, development was sympathetic, and the port escaped heavy development. The same could not be said for Puerto Alcúdia, an altogether more tourist-dense resort sitting around the next bay, which sees its population swelling tenfold during the peak summer months.
An air of old-school glamour pervades Puerto Pollensa. The original Hotel Miramar is perfectly preserved, as is Hotel Illa d’Or, favourite stay of Agatha Christie in the 30’s, and the inspiration for her novel ‘Problems at Pollensa Bay’.
Find out what makes the Mallorcan town of Port de Pollensa so special with the abc-Mallorca guide to the very best restaurants, hotels, activities and insider info. […] Port de Pollensa
Perhaps nowhere in Mallorca can boast as illustrious a past as the unspoiled peninsula of Formentor, which lies at the most northerly tip of the island. Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier honeymooned here in 1956, and the iconic Hotel Formentor has played host to royalty, public figures and a stream of Hollywood stars over the years, including Errol Flynn and Eva Gardner, Winston Churchill, Elizabeth Taylor, Lawrence Olivier, Audrey Hepburn – and the Dalai Lama.
At the time of writing, the debate over the place of bullfighting in modern society still rages on. Audiences regularly converge on the northern town of Muro to watch bullfights at its large purpose-built arena.
This abcMallorca guide explores Muro, the traditional north east Mallorcan town with a history of luxury, excellent food, wine, designer villas and more. […] Muro
Founded by the Phoenicians, the town of Alcúdia is believed to be the oldest city in the Balearic Islands. In 121 BC, a successful Roman conquest brought Mallorca under the control of the Roman empire, and settlers poured into the north and south, forming Pollentia, in the area of Alcúdia, and Palmaria (Palma).
At the turn of the first century BC, Alcúdia fell under the command of Emperor Augustus, going on to thrive for the next couple of hundred years, until the invasion of the Vandals in the fifth century. They were succeeded by Byzantine and Moorish invasions in the sixth and tenth centuries, and Pollentia fell to ruin; but even today, interesting remains of this important Roman settlement remain, and can be visited.
Defensive walls were constructed around the city in Medieval times, and these still stand, encircling the old town with its historic, narrow streets.
The historical town Alcúdia is considered one of the most beautiful on Mallorca. With lots of shops, bars, restaurants and boutique hotels. A visit is highly recommended! […] Alcúdia
Inland from the port, the handsome town of Pollensa is soaked in historical significance and authentic Mallorcan atmosphere. Its maze of Medieval streets house several grand 17th and 18th century homes that belonged to noble families, and it has an impressive church dating from around 1236, plus a beautiful 17th century convent.
Pollensa owes much of its affluence to the mysterious Knights Templar, the military style religious order who were gifted the town by King Jaime I following their successful conquest of the Moors in the 13th century.
Pollensa town in the north of Mallorca offers lots to see & do, enchanting surrounding areas, great restaurants and hotels plus lots more. […] Pollensa
Photographer Miquel Salom has developed a unique collection of photos of Pollensa and the north coast of Mallorca using the Wet Plate Collodion photographic process invented in 1851. See the amazing results here! […] Artist photographer Miquel Salom
North Mallorca Attractions
Without a doubt, Pollensa, Puerto Pollensa and Formentor are amongst Mallorca’s best-known locations. There is truly appeal to suit all tastes and ages in this area; from dream luxury hotels and sublime beaches, to world-class cycling, family-friendly holidaying and plenty of authentic Mallorcan character.
Located in the Northwest of the island, the beauty of Pollensa, Port Pollensa and Formentor and their surroundings are unique and breathtaking. […] Guide Pollensa, Puerto Pollensa & Formentor
They lie a mere few kilometres apart, but the towns of Alcúdia and Puerto Alcúdia could hardly be more different in character. The first has a rich and chequered history dating back thousands of years, while the latter was only really developed in the 1980’s, when the harbour was modernised and a glut of hotels sprang up.
A bustling town, much of Alcúdia is pedestrianised and lends itself wonderfully to strolling. Something of a mini Palma, the streets inside the preserved 14th century walls boast many nice bars, cafes and restaurants, and there is a market every Tuesday and Sunday.
In contrast, Puerto Alcúdia is highly modernised, with a beautiful, idyllic sweep of beach. Some 14km in length, it stretches to Playa de Muro and continues all the way to C’an Picafort further down the coast. Considered one of the island’s best, Alcúdia beach is popular with tourists and locals alike.
Find out about the town that was once the capital of Mallorca, and its port. If you enjoy beaches, golf or culture, Alcúdia has something for you! […] Alcúdia & Port d’Alcúdia
Things to do in North Mallorca
With more than 30 km of coastline, it goes without saying that North Mallorca is heaven for beach goers and watersports enthusiasts. Such a privileged natural environment makes it a remarkable place for outdoor activities and exploration galore.
In 1945, a curious thing happened in the northern inland town of Campanet. A farmer looking for a water source on his land felt a draught of air…. and upon closer inspection, discovered a huge underground network of caves. Less touristy than the other cave attractions on the island, they make for a more laid-back visit – and they’re surrounded by the prettiest countryside.
Explore the magical caves, wells and natural springs of sleepy Campanet with our abcMallorca guide to this little town in undiscovered north Mallorca. […] Campanet
Set off on the still, calm waters on a stand-up paddle board, or discover the fast thrill of kitesurfing. The bays of Pollensa and Alcúdia are ideal for both activities, and you can easily take lessons and hire equipment. Mallorca Kiteboarding & SUP is situated within Aparthotel Club del Sol, just off the seafront between the two resorts. mallorcakiteboarding.com
The views from Alcanada Golf, which stretch across to the lighthouse on the island of Alcanada, are spectacular. Play is equally good on this Trent Jones-designed course, regularly voted one of the best in Europe.
Experienced golfers should enjoy this spectacular 18-hole course with its stunning views, and challenging bunkers and long drives. […] Club de Golf Alcanada
Pollensa Golf, just outside Pollensa town, is a more modest affair, with nine holes well integrated into the stunning local environment.
Golf Pollensa is an attractive 9-hole course with spectacular views to the mountains and the north coast. Its beautiful setting and design makes it an enjoyable course for a round or two of golf. […] Golf Pollensa
Where do Bradley Wiggins & Co base themselves during Sky Team training camps? North Mallorca, of course. It’s no understatement to describe this area as paradise for cyclists, and one of the best-catered places in Europe for the sport.
There’s an abundance of professional cycle hire and repair shops in Puerto Pollensa and Puerto Alcúdia, plus several hotels designed especially for cyclists, including the excellent Pollensa Park & Spa – situated straight across from the Pro Cycle Hire shop.
Tip: head to Tolo’s restaurant on the front in Puerto Pollensa for lunch or dinner with the biking community – and a glimpse of the Olympic bike belonging to Wiggins himself. Owner Tolo is a great personal friend of Sir Bradley and Sir Chris Hoy; who he knew when they were just starting out.
Work it out!! Go for a bike excursion in Puerto Pollensa. […] On your bike in Puerto Pollensa
Bicycles are a common means of transport in many countries of Northern Europe despite the bad weather. […] Cycling in Mallorca
In the middle of the Alcúdia countryside, a must-visit for paintings, drawings and sculpture, and home to the SoKraTES space (with extraordinary exhibits, including the Swarovski curtain) is the Yannick and Ben Jakober Foundation. Home to the fascinating ‘Nins’ collection of paintings of children from the 16th-19th centuries, that you can visit for free on Tuesdays.
While hundreds of children are busy tucking into ice creams on the beaches spanning Alcúdia in the North of Mallorca, just down the road there are others feasting on the artistic wonders of the ‘Fundacion Jakober’. […] Ben Jakober: Art in Alcudia
C’an Planes is a contemporary art museum in the centre of Sa Pobla. Besides housing a modest collection of painting and sculpture by Mallorcan artists, the adjacent building is dedicated to the traditional annual celebration of Saint Anthony.
The fiesta of Sant Antoni and the devil is a big deal in Sa Pobla and most traditional towns in Mallorca, and this is the place to find out more about its origins – plus see the huge model heads and figures that are a key part of the event. The museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 – 14:00 h and 16:00 – 20:00 h, and mornings only only Saturdays and Sundays. Closed in August.
Beaches in North Mallorca
Can Picafort is a somewhat busy and touristic beach, but with good reason. Pristine golden sand and beautifully clear, clean waters await at this spot along the bay from Playa de Muro.
If you plan a visit to the family-friendly holiday resort of Can Picafort, check out our abcMallorca guide to make the most of your stay in north Mallorca. […] Can Picafort
If you prefer your beaches to reflect unspoiled natural beauty rather than lots of facilities, head to Son Serra de Marina. Backed by sand dunes, this quiet sweep of beach is popular with kitesurfers and, when conditions are right, surfers.
Discover one of the best locations for adventure sports in North Mallorca with our abcMallorca guide to the quiet coastal town of Son Serra de Marina. […] Son Serra de Marina
Former British Prime Minister David Cameron and family have been known to holiday at Cala San Vicente, a precious small resort a few kilometres from the town of Pollensa. Look out for the small sign shortly after the Lidl supermarket when taking the road from Pollensa to the port – blink and you’ll miss it – and follow the winding road to this little paradise cove with its basic fish restaurant.
A beautiful secluded resort village with a splendid beach offering a good variety of hotels, apartments, and medium sized holiday villas. It is a great place to get away from it all! […] Cala San Vicente
Wild and rugged, Cap de Formentor is a secluded beach at the northern tip of Mallorca. The road from Puerto Pollensa is steep and winding – watch out for cyclists – and stretches for around 15 km. Once there, you’re rewarded with wonderful pine-flanked sands, and dramatic vistas of the Med and mountains.
Mallorca’s Serra de Tramuntana mountain range ends at Cap de Formentor, the island’s northern tip. Discover the peninsula’s best places for photography. […] Cap de Formentor
La Victoria peninsula, which separates the two bays of Pollensa and Alcúdia, is relatively unknown to tourists and a world away from the busier resort beaches close by. Made up of a succession of gorgeous little coves, you access La Victoria via the Cami de Mal Pas road which winds from Alcúdia town to the coast.
Once at the Cocodrilo marina, turn right at follow Cami Vell de Victoria for a couple of kilometres until you reach the paradise pebble beach of S’Illot, with its simple fish restaurant and turquoise waters perfect for snorkelling.
Great places to eat in North Mallorca
You could be forgiven for thinking that Palma and South West Mallorca is the best place for the international gourmet; but the north is by no means without its excellent eateries.
Alcúdia & Port Alcúdia
Restaurant La Casa Gallega, located in both Port Alcúdia and Palma are popluar with those who enjoy fresh Galician fish dishes. Book in advance. […] Tapas Restaurant La Casa Gallega
Wondering where to eat in Alcúdia? La Terraza, right next to the sea, has both a restaurant and a bistro, both highly commendable. […] Restaurant La Terraza
The north of Mallorca is home to this famous beach eatery and bar, which attracts people from all over the island. Book early for Ponderosa Beach! […] Toes-in-the-sand eating at Ponderosa Beach
The new-look Royal Beach Gastrosenses teamed up with Michelin-starred restaurant chef/patron Andreu Genestra to create their culinary offering this summer. […] Royal Beach Gastrosenses restaurant
Sample the best of Bologna in the charm of Alcúdia old town. Osteria El Patio offers a winning combination of delicious Italian food, in a warm atmosphere. […] Osteria El Patio – buenisimo!
Restaurant Jardín in Puerto Alcudia is being hotly-tipped for a coveted Michelin star; abcMallorca went to find out why. […] Restaurant Jardín, Puerto Alcúdia
Some of the best views of Puerto Pollensa are from this waterside restaurant in the port area. It’s popular for its high-quality set menu, including a bottle of wine, water, and coffee with home-made chocolates. […] Restaurant Stay in Puerto Pollensa
This is the best restaurant in Port Pollensa using the best of ingredients, combined with a very passionate chef and the flavourful result, adds up to an unforgettable experience. Bon Appetite! […] La Celtika Restaurant in Port Pollensa
The stately manor house, Hotel Llenaire overlooking the bay of Pollensa is a traditional, romantic luxury hideaway in the north of Mallorca. Beautiful views! […] Hotel Llenaire in Port Pollensa
A very talented and innovative chef Álvaro Salazar is making a name for himself in this new stylish restaurant in the northern town of Port Pollensa – Argos is the hot place to try right now! Reserve! […] Argos Restaurant in Port Pollensa
Dishes on the menu in this fine-dining hotel restaurant are described simply, giving little hint at the skills that go into creating this healthy cuisine that’s rooted in tradition. […] 365 Son Brull Restaurant in Pollensa
Can Costa Restaurant in the town of Pollença is considered by many to be one of the best in the area. Find out what our restaurant critic Jan Edwards thought here. […] Restaurant Can Costa
Great places to stay in North Mallorca
Romantic seaside stays; purpose-built family resorts; rural idylls and chic boutique hotels – the north has them all.
This Eco hotel located on a 309 acre country estate near Campanet offers large guest rooms and suites and a very impressive restaraunt with beautiful views. Book now! […] Monnaber Nou Eco Hotel & Spa
Cala San Vicente
This family run adult-only hotel in the north of Mallorca in one of the most beautiful locations on the island with a splendid beach in a small town atmosphere is the perfect getaway place! […] Cala Sant Vicenç Hotel
Pollensa and Puerto Pollensa
Much beloved of all who treat themselves to a stay there is Son Brull Hotel & Spa, a five-star boutique residence just outside Pollença town, tastefully converted from a Jesuit monastery. […] Son Brull Hotel & Spa
A small family run hotel in the centre of the town of Pollensa, with impressive gardens, swimming pool, sauna and parking. A great base to explore the north of Mallorca. Book now! […] Hotel Son Sant Jordi Pollensa
Experience the very best north Mallorca has to offer with a dual stay at Son Sant Jordi and seaside hotel El Galeón Suites, ensuring you take in the loveliest town and beach. […] Son Sant Jordi Hotel & El Galeón Suites
A newly renovated boutique hotel in the heart of the old town of Alcúdia, with nine stylishly decorated guest bedrooms, a spa pool and a wonderful homely atmosphere. Reserve Now! […] Hotel Can Mostatxins Alcúdia
This hotel offers 4 modern guestrooms and 4 suites and features a vineyard, beautiful surrounding grounds and an ideal location very near Alcúdia. Book now! […] Son Simó Vell Hotel
A specially-preserved little piece of Alcúdia awaits at Can Tem Hotel, located in the atmospheric old quarter of this appealing town in the north of Mallorca. […] Can Tem Hotel
Casal Santa Eulàlia Hotel close to Santa Margalida in the north of Mallorca has over 800 years of history, a wonderful restaurant and 25 beautiful guest rooms. […] Casal Santa Eulàlia Hotel
Events in North Mallorca
Life quietens down out of season in North Mallorca, when most events taking place are of the small community and traditional religious kind, but there are a few great events happening in summer that will add unforgettable memories to any stay here.
Pollensa Wine Fair
A taste of history combined with that of the island’s best grapes comes courtesy of Pollensa’s annual Wine Fair. This popular event has been taking place each April since 2004, and is held in the town’s atmospheric Santo Domingo cloister. Visitors buy and entrance ticket which permits them to sample a wide variety of Balearic wines; many of them award winning, and there are also several gourmet stands showcasing delicious island produce.
Moors & Christians
Every year on 2nd of August, a big battle takes place in the otherwise peaceful streets of Pollensa. No, it’s not an overheated teenage brawl, but the day of the town’s patron saint, Our Lady of Angels. The clash between the Christians and the invading Moors is re-enacted with great fervour on this date, and with the mock fighting, amazing costumes and general atmosphere, it really is a sight to behold.
The days leading up to the battle see all manner of festivities taking place, from dancing and art exhibitions, to live concerts and fun activities for children.
Alcúdia is Europe’s most popular Ironman race destination. This legendary annual event sees athletes descend on the north of Mallorca to tough it out in cycling, running and swimming competitions. There’s a fantastic sporting spirit in the area at this time of year – usually around May – when everyone seems to be bitten by the training bug.
The race itself takes participants around six hours to compete, attracting many spectators who come to see the fittest of the fit sweating out this gruelling international challenge.
Historic Alcúdia possesses a certain magic at night, and its annual jazz fair ramps up the summer ambience. Held from the end of August through the month of September, it features five concerts a week, held at special venues both in the town, and in the port. You can also expect to find local musicians jamming informally in the local bars during these weeks.
Living in North Mallorca
The north of the island with its long sandy beaches is paradise, particularly for families and fans of watersports. The coastlines, which are well developed for tourism, are well contrasted by the historic towns of Pollensa and Alcúdia, where everyday life is still very traditional and Mallorcan. This delightful contrast is one of the reasons why the North is so popular with property buyers.
Ideal for families, couples, the elderly, golfers, hikers and sun-seekers alike, the region is quiet, peaceful, clean and safe. Properties on offer in the communities of Pollensa and Alcúdia range from studio apartments at a starting price of 80,000 euros, up to luxurious country residences worth millions.
This luxurious Real Estate agency specialises in luxury villas, country houses and Feng Shui! Rodemann & Wood goes the extra mile so, visit them now! […] Rodemann & Wood Real Estate
The buyers in the North are a mix of different nationalities with the majority being British and a notable increase in the Spanish buying back into the market. However, eight out of ten buyers are British families looking for early retirement and a better quality of life. Many buyers are looking for properties as holiday homes for now, with the potential to become primary residences sometime in the future. Price is important, but the typical buyer is more interested in quality, situation and comfort, and developers are responding to this need.
The property price range in Pollensa is one of the most expensive on the island, but Alcúdia, because of its vast size and the variety of property on offer, has something to suit most pockets.
Pollensa, Puerto Pollensa, Cala Sant Vincens & Formentor
The town of Pollensa, surrounded and sheltered by the dramatic Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, is highly popular with buyers who enjoy being close to the vibrant Puerto Pollensa but prefer to live among locals. Another major plus point, mainly for permanent residents, is the fact that businesses and restaurants stay open all year round.
The British and Spanish from the mainland discovered Puerto Pollensa long before the boom of tourism started in the sixties and many families have been spending their summers here for generations. This gives the port a unique atmosphere, unrivalled on the island: the foreigners know each other and the locals!
Whether sailors or yacht owners, golfers or hikers, everybody will find it easy to make friends and to integrate into the wider community. Those who live here enjoy mixing with the locals and their children go to local schools. The port is select without being snobby, which differs from the Southwest for example. The atmosphere is friendly and down-to-earth, even though many of the richest families are from British nobility or the business world and have their summer residences here, or are simply part of the expat community.
An American family who moved to their relatives estate in the hills overlooking the magnificent bay of Pollenca. The Barratt-Brown family describe their new way of life in Mallorca. […] Conserving Tradition
Properties for sale are mainly located in the urbanisations. La Font and El Vilar are quiet residential villa areas at the edge of town, while Gomar and El Pinaret mainly offer apartments.
The Bellresguard complex in Puerto Pollensa is considered to boast some of the best apartments not only in Pollensa, but possibly the whole island. The well-designed dwellings are large, and the quality superb.
The most exclusive properties in Puerto Pollensa can be found on the Pinewalk, towards the end of the seafront promenade, and of course on the Formentor peninsula. Due to the sea views, limited availability, and seclusion, the villas and residences built on Formentor are worth millions and have mostly been owned for generations by the same families, many of them aristocrats and celebrities.
Another highly sought-after area is the picturesque Cala Sant Vincens, situated west of Pollensa with crystal clear water and a romantic bay. This is an ideal location for those looking for a bit more peace and quiet. In winter however, it may be too quiet for some: unlike the port and Pollensa, all the restaurants and hotels close down over the winter months and only a few residents stay in the small village.
The quiet urbanisations of Mal Pas and Bonaire, which are half way between Pollensa and Alcúdia, are also up and coming. The villas spreading up the mountains boast spectacular sea views, are private and quiet, but are still close to the beaches, restaurants and shopping facilities.
Further towards Alcúdia an area called Aucanada is currently very much in demand. It is a quiet, discreet urbanization which is the home of both foreigners and Spanish and boasts one of Europe’s best golf courses bordering the sea. Properties here start at around 400,000 euros.
Alcúdia, Puerto Alcúdia & the bay
Finally, the region of Alcúdia is split into the historic town of Alcúdia with its picturesque old town, Puerto Alcúdia and the resorts, which spread along the eight kilometre long sandy beach of Alcúdia down to Can Picafort.
Alcúdia is the oldest town on the island and even used to be Mallorca’s capital in former days. The well-kept city wall shelters the old town, which has been beautifully restored over the past few years. Similar to Pollensa, property buyers here are looking for a life more off the beaten track. In addition, the property prices are lower compared to Pollensa or the Southwest for example, a fact that applies to the entire Alcúdia bay.
The harbour of Puerto Alcúdia has been modernised and has matured very well. The quality of building has improved considerably in the port, as well as in the resorts along the bay of Alcúdia. Those who love to be in walking distance of the beach and are dedicated to all sorts of water sports will find paradise here. In addition, there is a nice variety of restaurants and clubs and even in winter you’ll find Puerto Alcúdia more animated than Puerto Pollensa for example.
Those who are buying to rent in the Puerto Pollensa or Alcúdia areas, will not only be spoilt for choice with the range of property, but will also find the region very well established for renting. Many of the rental agencies have been in business here for years and will take care of anything you need when renting out your property: procurement, hand-over and maintenance, gardening, pool service etc. The renting season runs from April to October, and while high season belongs to beach-lovers and families, spring and autumn attracts mainly hikers, cyclists and bird watchers.
We hope you’ve found this guide to central Mallorca useful. It’s just one of more than 5,000 articles on this website detailing everything you need to know about the largest Balearic island.