Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands, an autonomous region of Spain located in the Mediterranean sea. As the island is an extremely popular holiday destination, it has a well-built infrastructure for tourism.
This means many resorts to choose from, good transportation, lots of beaches with facilities, and roads in very good condition (albeit often narrow).
We spent most of our Mallorca holiday on the beaches near our hotel. But we also rented a car for 3 full days to explore more of the island. This blog post will go over our road trip itinerary as well as additional locations we wish we had time to visit.
3 days in Mallorca: The perfect road trip itinerary
This itinerary includes a mix of charming villages, a short visit to the capital, viewpoints, and beaches (calas). A car is required.
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Rent a car in Mallorca
Even though the bus system in Mallorca is pretty good, the easiest way to explore the island is by car. It takes a little bit over an hour to cross it from north to south or east to west, so you can do a lot in a day. Besides the roads are in very good condition, although often they can be quite narrow.
There are plenty of options to choose from when looking to rent a car: most well-known rental companies are present on the island, as well as some local ones. We ended up renting a Hyundai i20 for 3 days (with full insurance) for 196 euros from Vanrell, a local company.
When you rent the car you will receive a paper stating that the car is a rental together with other identification data. You need to display that at all times in a visible place (usually the car’s dashboard) otherwise, you can receive a fine.
Day 1: Palma, Valldemossa and Fornalutx
Capital Palma was our first stop of the day. We didn’t spend a lot of time in the city: we walked around in the old town and we visited the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma, more commonly referred to as La Seu. It is a Roman Catholic cathedral near the waterfront with impressive gothic architecture.
You can just visit the inside of the church or you can also climb on its terrace (in a similar manner to Milano Duomo).
Tickets cost 8 euros for the inside of the cathedral (7 euros for people over 65 years of age and 6 euros for students and unemployed) or 20 euros for both. You can buy the tickets on-site or online from here or here. If you are short on time, it’s better to go for the 2nd option as the queues can get kinda long at the ticket booth.
TIP: Visit the cathedral around noon when the sun shines through the huge rose window above the altar, drawing colorful shapes on the floor: it reminded me of Sagrada Familia.
PARKING: We parked our car at Parking Palma Center (see the map below). There are several other parking lots, but I choose this one for its easy access. I didn’t want us to drive too much through the city in case there was heavy traffic. We paid around 5 euros for 2h if I remember correctly (1st hour was free).
Later edit: I don’t recommend this parking spot anymore, at least until I figured out if we received a fine (still in the process of working out the details to see if it’s a mistake or not) and for what exactly. That’s because if we did, I suspect that it was because this parking lot might have been in a restricted traffic zone (called ACIRE), hence the fine.
EXTRA: Other great things to do in Palma are visiting the Royal Palace of La Almudaina, Bishop’s Garden (a free public garden that is only opened till 13:30), and the Arab baths.
There is also a scenic train route to Soller, operated by vintage wooden carriages. The journey takes about 1 hour. Since we were running late and had the car with us, we decided to skip the scenic ride (which I kinda regret as I love trains).
Besides, at the time I also planned to stop at Soller after our visit to Fornalutx. That didn’t happen in the end as it was pretty late when we finished visiting the village.
Valldemossa is a village in the Serra de Tramuntana mountains, about 30 minutes away by car from Palma. It was my favorite stop of the day and I loved getting lost on its charming, narrow alleys. If you can visit only one village in Mallorca, this should be it!
PARKING: We parked our car at a parking lot on Carrer de la Venerable Sor Aina (Parking Valldemossa 2 on the map). The location was perfect for walking around the village and we easily found an empty spot.
Parking needs to be paid in cash beforehand, at the machines located on the premises. Then you need to display the ticket you received on your car’s dashboard. You have several options to choose from (1h – 2 euros, 2h – 3 euros, etc).
TIP: There is a nice viewpoint (Sa Miranda Des Lledoners on the map) from where you can see the village at the end of Carrer de Jovellanos street. You can also find a restaurant there.
A street down and you can find another viewpoint (Mirador Valldemossa) from where you can see the same panorama. I preferred this one for taking pictures as it was pretty much empty.
Fornalutx is another lovely village in the Serra de Tramuntana mountains, located very close to Soller. It’s smaller than Valldemossa but still very pretty.
PARKING: We parked our car right at the entrance of the village: there were just a handful of spots, so we were lucky to find an empty one. You pay by cash at the parking machine and then you need to display the ticket you receive on your dashboard. The maximum time you can leave your car here is 2h. We paid 3 euros if I remember correctly.
If you can’t find an empty spot here, you can try your luck at the bigger parking lot farther away on Carrer Arbona-Colom (Parkplatz on the map).
I do not recommend trying to park at the parking lot across the village (Pàrquing [Zona blava] on the map), especially if you have a bigger car. That’s because the main street changes from a 2-lane into a very narrow single lane in the center of the village.
Artsy Deia and Soller are other good options to visit in the area. I hoped we’d have enough time left to stop in the latter after we left Fornalutx, but it wasn’t the case. The main attractions of Soller are the vintage tram that runs between the village and Port of Soller and the vintage train connecting it to Palma.
You can also find Sa Calobra beach 1h away from Soller. It is rather small but leaves a striking impression because of the two huge cliffs that surround it. But be aware that the road going to it, while beautiful, it’s also pretty difficult because of how narrow and winding it is.
Day 2: Most beautiful beach in Mallorca (Cala Mesquida) and Mirador Es Colomer
Initially, I wanted to visit Formentor beach on this day as it was close to Mirador Es Colomer and leave Mesquida for the last day.
But, I quickly changed my mind after reading the reviews on Google for all the parking lots near the beach. Not only were they expensive (about 0.06-0.07 euros a MINUTE, capping at 18-20 euros per day), but there were lots of people saying that thieves broke into their cars while they were parked there.
However, it turns out that I was worried for nothing as we couldn’t have reached the beach by car anyway. Starting with 2021 the local authorities extended the traffic restrictions for Cap de Formentor up to Puerto Pollensa. Previously, the restrictions were in place only for Far de Formentor (and that was the piece of information that I knew at the time as well).
This means that during the high season (15th of June – 15th of September) access to the Formentor peninsula is not permitted in a private vehicle from 10 AM to 7 PM. You’d have to leave the car in Puerto Pollensa (free parking near the bus station) and take the shuttle: bus no. 333 up to Formentor beach or no. 334 up to Cap de Formentor. Doing otherwise will result in a fine. Here is more information on the restrictions.
Cala Mesquida is a sandy beach situated in the northeast of Mallorca that has unbelievable clear water. It was my favorite beach for swimming and without any exaggeration, it reminded me of Maldives.
There is a lifeguard on the beach, a few lounges (16 euros for two lounges and an umbrella), and a beach bar. I saw no showers or toilettes though. At the other end of the beach, there is a small section for nudists.
PARKING: There are several parking options near Mesquida beach. We found an empty spot in the lot marked with a yellow car icon, on the map below. Parking was free.
Mirador Es Colomer
Mirador Es Colomer is a viewpoint on Cap de Formentor that offers stunning views of the rugged cliffs and the sea below. The viewpoint is extremely popular, so it gets visited by a lot of people. This tends to be an issue because the road leading there is pretty narrow and winding, while parking space is scarce.
We visited at sunset and initially thought that this was the reason why it was so crowded (people coming after a day at the beach to witness the sunset there). But I now know that it was probably because of the new restrictions regarding the peninsula, listed above.
Another thing to bear in mind is the fact that the road leading up to the viewpoint is very popular with cyclists. We only encountered 2 or 3, but the numbers might be higher if you visit in the morning.
PARKING: As I already mentioned, parking is pretty limited. We were lucky a car left just as we were trying to figure out what to do: we were on quite a narrow slope, had parked cars on our left, nothing on our right, cars waiting to advance behind, and bad prospects of turning around in front, as there were already 2 cars struggling to do so further away.
Still, it was not an easy feat trying to lateral park in such conditions and I’m sure I got some grey hairs just by standing in the right seat. I still don’t understand how my fiancee was so calm..
So if you want to avoid any stress, maybe it’s better to leave the car in Puerto Pollensa and continue by bus. If I were to visit again, that’s probably what I’d do!
However, if you want to drive yourself, here’s something to remember: the smaller the car, the easier it is to maneuver it. We literally saw a Fiat 500 turning around on the spot it was parked, a feat impossible for our Hyundai i20.
Bigger cars like SUVs could barely pass without touching the parked cars. Also don’t forget that during the high season, you can’t drive a private vehicle on the peninsula between 10 AM and 7 PM!
From Mirador es Colomer you can continue to Playa de Formentor, one of the popular beaches on the island, and Far de Formentor, an active lighthouse from where you can also admire the rugged coast of the peninsula.
Further away inland, you can find Pollensa and Alcudia towns with charming old architecture. Platja d’Alcudia and Platja de Muro (not the same one as Platja del Muro) with their wooden jetties are popular spots to lay on the beach and soak up the sun.
We actually visited Alcudia beach on a separate day, by bus. The beach is pretty big with fine, white sand. It has showers and many lounges (6.5 euros for one, 13 euros for two – 10 AM to 6 PM) and the water is nice and clean, but not very clear. There are several beach bars as well.
Day 3: The calas of Mondrago Natural Park
For the last day, I decided to visit a few more picturesque calas: think small, sandy bays with rugged cliffs on either side. I knew I didn’t want to move from one beach to another by car, because if I were to swim, my bathing suit will take ages to dry enough in order to not wet the car seat.
After a bit of research, I settled for the 3 calas of Mondrago Natural Park: S’Amarador, Cala Mondrago, and Calo D’es Borgit, which many people seemed to praise for their beauty. I also liked the fact that I could walk from one beach to another and there was a parking lot pretty close, with good reviews on Google.
S’Amarador seems to be the most praised and popular out of the three beaches. It’s also the biggest. It has a few lounges and a bar. The water was not the cleanest when we visited as it was pretty windy, but had a beautiful color.
If you turn right on the dirt path in the forest (just before you reach the beach), you’ll find a viewpoint from where you can spot Cala Mondrago.
From here you can continue on the trail for as long as you want, occasionally leaving it to get close to the cliffs bordering the sea and admire the views. But be very careful with your steps to not injure yourself!
Cala Mondrago is conected to S’Amarador by a cement path. It is a bit smaller, has lounges, a lifeguard and there’s a small restaurant where you can eat. The showers don’t work, but there are toilets near the picnic area located in the forest, on the other side of the beach.
I actually took a nice, refreshing swim here after I finished with my little sightseeing tour. The water was cleaner than at S’Amarador, but not clear. Also be aware that since they’re little coves, there is a faint smell of stalled water lingering around.
You can use the hiking trails near the beach to go to Calo D’es Borgit or to simply admire the landscape surrounding the bays.
Calo D’es Borgit
It is by far the smallest of the 3 beaches. But it also seems to be less crowded as it’s harder to reach.
On your way to the beach, you can stop at the spot marked on the map below (Punta de Sa Guardia) from where you can get a beautiful view of Calo D’es Borgit.
PARKING: There is a huge paid parking lot fairly close to S’Amarador (marked with the yellow car icon on the map below). It was 6 euros for the whole day and I liked the fact that there were several people there, guiding you where to park.
It felt more secure – I still remember the awful reviews about cars broken into that the parking lots near Formentor beach had.
There are a few other beautiful calas in the area if you are willing to drive a bit. The most famous of them is Calo del Moro.
Near Cala Llombards, you can find Es Pontàs, a small stone arch that might remind you of Malta‘s Azzure Window before it collapsed.
There you have it: the perfect road trip itinerary for 3 days in Mallorca. Hope you found inspiration in it and if you have any questions just drop them below, in the comment section.