If you need proof that there's more to Mallorca than sun, sea and sand, then Palma is it.
Home to world-class art galleries and exquisite cuisine, the capital is a destination in its own right. Of course, Palma is also the entry point for the rest of Mallorca, so if sun, sea and sand tick your boxes then you're in the right place.
Arriving at Palma de Mallorca Airport
Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI) is located five miles (8km) east of the city centre. The airport – the third-largest in Spain – is modern and well-equipped, with four terminals, free Wi-Fi available, VIP lounges, and a variety of shops and restaurants.
The city bus is an easy and affordable way to access central Palma from the airport. Take bus number 1 to the city centre; it runs about every 15 minutes from 0600 to 0110, stopping at central Plaça d’Espanya before heading on towards the Estació Marítima ferry terminal. The number 21 bus runs in the other direction between the airport and Arenal every 30 minutes from 0700 to 2130. The cost of a single ride is €5 for visitors and €1 for residents. Buy your ticket on board from the driver. There are also intercity buses heading to destinations around the island, including Magaluf (take the A11) and Alcúdia (A32).
The bus is convenient, but there's also an official taxi rank just outside the airport. The official city taxis that stop here are certified and will charge a metered fare. The ride into the city centre should cost around €20.
Whether you’re cruising the promenade or tackling a mountain trail outside the city, Palma is an ideal destination for cyclists of all levels. The city is well connected with bike paths and the seaside bike lane from the port to El Arenal beach is an easy, idyllic route. Visitors can rent bikes at the many shops along the promenade.
Walking and hiking
Mallorca is home to exceptionally scenic hiking trails, but you don’t need to stray far from Palma to get your heart pumping. Slip on your trainers and hit the promenade for a walk or a jog. For some more challenging terrain, climb the 450 steps to Castell de Bellver, a striking Gothic castle surrounded by pine trees.
The bay of Palma de Mallorca is a calm and beautiful kayaking locale. Explore the rocky coast from the sea and go for a dip when the sun gets hot. Hire a guide and you can also explore some of the impressive sea caves that are only accessible with an expert.
Wild, hilly Mallorca is a thrilling setting for a road trip. The hairpin turns can be on the hairy side, but the views are well worth the ride. Here are three road trips within an hour and a half of Palma.
Cap de Formentor
Set on the northern tip of Mallorca, Cap de Formentor is a dramatic outcropping that offers stunning views of the coast. Stop at the Formentor lighthouse and drive on to Formentor beach, one of the island’s most pristine beaches.
For a quieter alternative to bustling Palma, drive north to Fornalutx. The picturesque mountainside village has cobbled streets, 17th-century buildings and rustic restaurants. For active types, the countryside that surrounds the village is lined with excellent hiking trails.
Mondragó Natural Park
This sprawling park is home to 766 hectares of wetlands, pine forests and beautiful beaches. The park is known as Mallorca’s best birdwatching spot, but you'll also find Cala Mondragó here, one of the loveliest beaches on the island.