The island of Mallorca has developed into a luxury hotspot for both residents and tourists alike. As we see the tourist numbers rise to over 14 million annually, we look at how the island has developed in recent years which has resulted in it becoming one of the most popular places to visit in the world.
One of Mallorca´s great attractions are its new high end beach clubs that attract A-list celebrities on the lookout for a good time, within privileged surroundings with sea views.
And then there are those spots which never go out of fashion and which will continue to attract visitors thanks to their location and scenery. Such is the case with the Port of Sóller, an unmissable destination within the acclaimed Serra de Tramuntana. This port on the northwestern coast has been modernised just the right amount over the years, maintaining its gastronomic offering, its unforgettable tram line which connects it to the town of Sóller and its privileged views. In fact, over the past few years it has also become a natural ‘mooring point’ for cruise liners which visit the Balearics and include it within their list of unforgettable destinations.
The town of Sóller is one of the most beautiful in Mallorca. It is paradise for hikers and cyclists, gourmet lovers and a desirable option to live. Her is your complete guide to Sóller. […] Sóller
Make the most of your time in Port de Sóller with the abcMallorca guide on the history, culture, best attractions, hotels, restaurants and things to do. […] Port de Sóller
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Serra de Tramuntana is the backbone of Mallorca. Find out what this spectacular mountain range has to offer. […] Discover the Serra de Tramuntana
Hotels by Melià, Barceló, Riu, Soltour, Iberostar . . . all of an international standard, offer accommodation both on and off Mallorca. Over recent years these large chains have been joined by others whose focus has been on the city, and in this case, the capital: Palma de Mallorca.
Thus, a number of hotels, either refurbished or newly built, have emerged to offer their luxurious services within the city centre. Such is the case with the Palacio Ca Sa Galesa, and located within an old 16th century townhouse in the gothic area of Palma de Mallorca, behind the Cathedral. It maintains the essence of times gone by and offers guests all the modern amenities (spa with sauna, jacuzzi, gym, heated pool etc) and individually decorated rooms, some featuring art by Miró, Calder and Bennasaren.
Another example is the UR Misión de San Miguel, opened in 2006 in the heart of Palma’s commercial centre, and affording easy access to all the old town. The same company is behind the hotel Palacio Avenida located inside one of the city’s most emblematic buildings, which originally housed a cinema and was renovated and reopened as a hotel.
A luxury, city boutique hotel, Palacio Ca Sa Galesa in the centre of Palma is a unique ‘palace’ experience with delightful friendly service. […] Palacio Ca Sa Galesa Hotel Palma
The Balearic capital itself has been transformed with the backing of the Fundación de Turismo Palma de Mallorca 365, created by the town hall with the objective of turning it into a capital city which is open for business all year round and one of Europe’s leading city break destinations. Palma’s existing tourism attractions are made even more attractive by its shopping options, with a huge variety of shops stocking luxury brands and jewellery, and of course, its excellent restaurants.
A prime example of the city´s transformation is the Paseo del Borne which has changed spectacularly over the past ten years. This emblematic boulevard connects the city´s coastline to Palma’s old town and is now 50% pedestrianised; it is without a doubt one of the city´s ‘golden miles’. Welcoming terraces, successful businesses and high-end shops are all featured within this stretch of little more than 300 metres. Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss, Cartier, Zara … top brands on this street have made it an attractive continuation of Jaime III and a must-visit for the thousands of tourists who now are lengthening the season from the beginning of March to November.
When it comes to leaving Palma, transport has changed radically across the island of Mallorca – particularly when travelling by car. The island´s millions of tourists now enjoy the benefits of the expanded motorway which connects the capital with Inca, a city which is well known for its shops and leather and shoe factories.
The last ten years have also seen the extension of the motorway to Llucmajor (in southern Mallorca) and the construction of a dual carriageway up to Manacor (to the east), home to Mallorcan pearls and beautiful bays (Cala Magrana, Cala Mendía, Porto Cristo . . .).
A great alternative to a car or public bus is the train service – now partially electrified and faster (between Palma and Enllaç, just after Inca) – which connects the capital with Inca, Sa Pobla and, since 2003, Manacor. Palma also boasts two underground train routes, and are mostly used by students of the University of the Balearic Islands and passengers who use it to connect with smaller stations on the main railway route between Palma and Inca.
Over the past decade, as witnessed by abcMallorca, the island has also progressed significantly when it comes to its healthcare services. Palma now has a new public hospital, the Hospital Universitario Son Espases, opened in 2010 and replacing the antiquated Son Dureta in the provision of services to the population of eastern Palma and the municipalities of Esporles, Banyalbufar, Estellencs, Valldemossa, Andratx, Calvià, Sóller, Fornalutx and Deià.
Public healthcare has been further boosted with the opening of the Hospital de Inca, and provides services for the Raiguer county, at the foothills of the Tramuntana, and the north (Alcúdia and Pollença) areas which are all significant in the world of tourism.
Complementing the new public centres, Mallorca´s private healthcare has also beenreinforced with improvements at hospitals such as at Clínica Palmaplanas (which now belongs to the Quirón Group) and Clínica Juaneda, both located in Palma and, more recently, with the newly built Hospital de Llevant, within the touristic area of Porto Cristo.
The first private health care network in the Balearics, Juaneda continues to go from strength to strength for its international patients. […] Clínica Juaneda Hospital
One of Mallorca´s great attractions is its nautical tourism. The island´s offering, both for residents and visitors, has increased over the past few years, and now includes two marinas which are world-renowned: Puerto Portals and Port Adriano.
Puerto Portals, which was built in the 80s, is one of the island´s most important nautical and leisure resorts. Apart from the hundreds of moorings for luxury yachts, you can have dinner here, do some shopping, go dancing or sip cocktails under the stars next to the shimmering Mediterranean. Its services are continually improving and include the launch of new high-end brand boutiques and the continued success of more established ones (Flanigan, Ritzi, Tahini . . . ) – all within an elite atmosphere which even accommodates popular festivals such as the Three Kings’ Parade and other events for children held during the year.
Where do Bill Gates, Brad Pitt, Paris Hilton and the King of Spain go when they’re in Mallorca? Puerto Portals, of course. […] Puerto Portals – must-go draw since 1986
Following in its footsteps, to the west of the Bay of Palma, is the renewed Port Adriano in El Toro (Calvià). This commercial marina was transformed two years ago by the well-known designer Philippe Starck. With its new look (wooden decking, open spaces, more moorings and increased parking area) it is on a par with other yacht clubs as an essential destination for lovers of the sea, good restaurants and luxury in general.
Port Adriano: The Philippe Starck designed harbour of 80 sailing and motor yacht moorings, 40 fashion boutiques, chill-out bars and restaurants. Visit now! […] Port Adriano
Finally, when it comes to food and drink, Mallorca has nothing to envy the rest of Spain. Its huge variety of restaurants now includes more establishments boasting Michelin stars. One of the latest restaurants to receive the prestigious award is Zaranda (2 stars), located within the Castell de Son Claret near Es Capdellà (Calvià). Within indescribable natural surroundings, chef Fernando Pérez Arellano incorporates the best ingredients in his modern traditional Mallorcan cuisine.
Close to Andratx town this five star, luxury hotel offers a Michelin star restaurant and excellent spa facilities in the countryside. Book now! […] Castell Son Claret Hotel
Other restaurants boasting the prestigious Michelin star include classics such as Es Racó d’Es Teix in Deià, where the Sauerschell-Payeras family has been awarded the distinction every year since 2002.
There are now seven Michelin-star restaurants on Mallorca, with a total of eight stars. Here’a an overview of the successful chefs. […] Michelin star restaurants on Mallorca
Not starred in the famous Red guide, but also worth a mention, are chefs who have gained international acclaim such as Santi Taura, whose restaurant in Lloseta typically has a waiting list several months long. This talented young chef defines himself as a ‘lover of Mallorca, its ingredients, traditions, recipes and sceneries.’
Santi Taura’s innovative modern Mallorcan cuisine makes his restaurant one of Mallorca’s must visits. Book your table well in advance! […] Restaurant Santi Taura Mallorca
All of the above are proud advocates of the booming Mallorcan wine industry which has multiplied over the past 25 years and currently boasts 70 different wineries which are not only recognised nationally and internationally but are also now selling their wines in countries which represent the main markets for Mallorcan tourism. The island´s most established wineries, such as José Luis Ferrer, Jaume Mesquida and Macià Batle, also offer daily tours of their vineyards and facilities, open both to locals and tourists.
Wine and the Med go together like bees and honey. Find out all you need to know for enjoying the nectar of the Gods on Mallorca here. […] Wine Mallorca
If you appreciate good wine then you are going to love this magazine about the 101 best wines of Mallorca as carefully tested and selected by our wine connoisseur. Enjoy the best of Mallorca. […] The 101 Best Wines of Mallorca