As a regular visitor to Mallorca, I’m often asked about the island’s reputation for nightlife, hen/stag weekends and binge drinking tourism.
While that is abundantly available in Magaluf and Palma Nova, those are just two small towns in a tiny corner of Mallorca. Outside of these towns you’ll find a beautiful island dotted with traditional Spanish towns and villages between the mountains, and stunning white sandy beaches with clear blue water.
There’s plenty to see and do while you’re in Mallorca if you want to spend some time away from the beaches – here are 5 non-beach things to do in Mallorca that I’ve enjoyed in the past and would recommend!
1. Drive the scenic mountain roads (MA-10) between Lluc and Sóller
Mallorca has some amazing twisting mountain roads running along the North of the island, with some great views over the mountains, countryside and sea.
The section of road from Lluc and Sóller is particularly good to drive.
There are plenty of places to stop and take in the views.
2. Visit the Caves of Drach
Over on the East of the island near Porto Cristo, there’s a huge underground network of caves which are open to explore.
Tickets to the Caves of Drach are €15 per person when booked online, and €16 on the day, and give you the chance to walk down in to the caves and explore the lit-up caverns and even go on a unique (and slightly bizarre) musical boat-ride in to one of the enormous underground lakes.
The Caves of Drach are well worth a visit if you’re looking for something different to do in Mallorca!
3. Ride the Orange Express Train from Sóller to Palma
There are a few different train rides in Mallorca – this historic electric trains run between the little town of Sóller, through trees, mountains and tunnels, right down to the centre of Palma, the island’s capital city on the south coast of the island.
The Orange Express will take you through mountain passes, over bridges, through long tunnels and past some stunning scenery through the mountains of Mallorca.
4. Spend the day in Palma de Mallorca
Palma de Mallorca is the capital and largest city on the island, and offers plenty of things to see and do for the day, including shopping, sightseeing, wandering and eating.
The Mayor Plaza is a large square in the centre of the city. Dating back from the 19th century, this square is entirely surrounded by very tall buildings, offering shade over the many bars, restaurants, shops and street artists below.
The main square is a great place to start the exploration of El Casco Antiguo, the Old Town of Palma de Mallorca.
Palma’s Old Town
The ‘old town’ is just north of the Mayor Plaza, and is a maze of small cobbled streets to stroll around. It’s home to quite a few small cafés and restaurants, as well as art galleries and smaller stores.
The Old Town’s winding alleyways lead you around the many historical landmarks left by the Romans, Moors and Christians, from when they occupied the island.
Passeig del Born
Passeig del Born is Palma’s take on the Champs-Élysées – it’s the city’s main shopping street, and is lined by trees offering shade on a hot day.
You’ll find most of the larger shops on this street, along with many cafes and restaurants.
La Seu Cathedral
The grand cathedral is enormous, and sits down at the south of the city next to the port, next to the picturesque fountain and waterfront.
Definitely worth a visit as you’re close by.
🅿️ Where should I park in Palma?
Parking can be tricky in Palma, but I would recommend parking in the large underground car park “Aparcament Parc de la Mar – SMAP“, which can be found in front of the cathedral near the port.
5. Explore the old town of Pollença and climb the Calvari Steps
Climbing the 365 cobbled, tree-lined Calvari Steps in the hot Mallorca sun certainly isn’t for the faint hearted, but it’s worth the effort when you reach the top!
There are a few small local shops near the bottom of the steps that offer a break from the climb, and there’s a small chapel and courtyard at the top.
The Calvari steps are part of the town, so this is a completely free thing to do while in Mallorca.
ℹ️ Tips for visiting the Calvari Steps
– There’s a small square at the bottom of the steps with cafes and a small supermarket. My advice is to stop for a drink here before your climb, as there aren’t any shops or facilities towards the top. The cold beers, iced coffees and tapas will be waiting for you in the square on your return though!
– I prefer climbing the Calvari Steps at night after enjoying an evening meal in Pollença; it’s much cooler, much quieter, and the view over the town and bay at night is just as good as in the daytime.
– When you reach the top of the Calvari Steps, take a right and walk through the gate out of the courtyard – you’ll be greeted with a great view over the town of Port de Pollença (another great place to visit) and Alcudia bay!
When you’re finished with the Calvari Steps, be sure to spend some time exploring the cobbled streets of the old town of Pollença – there are plenty of hidden squares, filled with small shops, cafes and restaraunts.
There is a huge market every Sunday morning, and the town also comes alive every evening when it’s cooler.
Thank you for reading!
If you have any other activities you enjoy in Mallorca, please share them in the comments below.