Places to Visit on Mallorca to Escape the Summer Crowds

Estellencs is a charming village on Mallorca not overrun with tourists
Estellencs is a charming village on Mallorca not overrun with tourists | © imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo

While always a popular holiday destination, Mallorca has seen a sharp increase in the number of tourists visiting, and the Balearic isle is starting to creak at the seams. With packed beaches and overcrowded resorts becoming the norm over the warmer months, we’ve picked some of the best places to dodge the worst of the Spanish island’s summer squeeze and the finest hotels nearby.

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Restaurante Es Guix

Among the verdant surrounds of the Serra de Tramuntana, Restaurante Es Guix features a truly magical setting. While the food is excellent, the spring-water swimming pool carved out of the rocks and surrounded by dense forest is the main draw. A huge bonus is you have to book, and numbers are always limited, meaning it never gets too crowded. Just be sure to reserve a spot well in advance.

Kick back at Son Alzines near Es Guix

Stay near Restaurante Es Guix at this complex of stone-walled Mallorcan cottages, just an eight-minute drive away. It has an outdoor pool and a restaurant with views of Puig Major, the highest mountain on Mallorca. Geared towards couples and families, it offers accommodation in one- or two-bedroom apartments, all of which feature kitchens, living rooms and wood-burning stoves with a generous supply of logs – some also have outdoor spaces with barbecues.

Sa Marina

While the north side of the long sweeping Pollensa Bay is home to one of the most popular resorts on the island, Port de Pollensa, you can escape the crowds by heading to the south end, known as Sa Marina. Away from most of the hotels and touristy developments in the area, it’s a relatively unspoilt stretch of coast, popular with locals and a great spot for windsurfing and kitesurfing.

Indulge in spa time at Forum Boutique Hotel and Spa near Sa Marina

If you’re seeking a spa break within easy reach of both town and countryside, this four-star boutique hotel has you covered. Within the ancient city walls of Alcúdia, about 3km (2mi) from Sa Marina, its relaxation offering comprises a sauna, a sensory shower, an outdoor pool and steam baths. The airy rooms feature stone and whitewashed walls, impressionist art and organic design touches, such as lamps perched on tripods of locally sourced wood. Book the bohemian deluxe suite for a private outdoor jacuzzi.

Estellencs

Estellencs is a charming village on Mallorca not overrun with tourists

In one of the less-traversed corners of the Serra de Tramuntana is the tiny and impossibly quaint village of Estellencs. Too small to attract coach loads and just remote enough to discourage most casual day trippers, this authentic slice of sleepy Mallorcan life attracts just a trickle of hikers and cyclists. It even has a small rocky cove, Cala Estellencs, and the surrounding views are some of the most breathtaking on the island.

Experience life in the country at Hotel Nord near Estellencs

Rooms at this country-chic B&B centre around a plant-filled courtyard and a lounge with a wood burner and old olive oil press. Stay in rustic, white-and-terracotta doubles – some with balconies or terraces – or Sa Posada, a two-bedroom villa with a private garden. Nearby hiking options range from an undemanding 8km (5mi) trail to the top of the Mola de S’Esclop to a tougher 11km (7mi) route up Puig de Galatzó, the highest mountain in west Mallorca.

Llucalcari

Sandwiched between the now well-documented destinations of Deià and Sóller is the lesser-known Llucalcari – a secluded clifftop village comprising only a few dozen houses. From this peaceful, charming and usually blissfully tourist-free spot, you can also access the narrow cove of Es Canyaret. While the setting is certainly unspoilt and scenic, the real highlight is the waterfall that cascades over the mountain face, generating clay pools that you can use as natural mud packs before washing it off with a dip in the turquoise waters.

Get active at Hoposa Hotel Costa D’Or near Llucalcari

Tennis courts, a gym and a bike rental service await sporty travellers at this adults-only resort. Within three traditional Mallorcan farmhouses, the rooms feature whitewashed walls and pine accents, with pops of colour provided by cushions, curtains and striped armchairs. Most also have views of the Mediterranean, the Serra de Tramuntana or both, which you can enjoy from loungers on private terraces in the superior sea-view doubles. Other benefits include a kidney-bean-shaped pool, a solarium and an à la carte restaurant.

Cap des Pinar

Stretching out into the sea between the huge twin bays of Alcúdia and Pollensa is the Cap des Pinar. A modest mountain range forms its backbone and provides plenty of lovely and relatively empty hiking trails lined with Aleppo pine forests and peaks with spectacular sea views. There are also several out-of-the-way coves ready for exploring, including the particularly secluded Platja des Coll Baix. It can be a bit of a tricky trek for some – hence its sparse occupation. Alternatively, hire a boat from the nearby Port de Alcúdia and approach from the sea.

Stay at La Victoria Hostatgeria, close to the Cap des Pinar

Housed in a 300-year-old hermitage, this stylishly sparse boutique hotel comprises 13 singles and doubles with terracotta floors, textured stone walls and mountain views through small square windows. If you’re going to hike one of the trails that start from the hotel, the staff can prepare a picnic for you to eat in the mountains; alternatively, make your own sandwiches in the shared kitchen once breakfast has finished. The Cap des Pinar is about 5km (3mi) away.

Santuari del Puig de Maria

What better place than a hilltop monastery to escape from the tourist crowds? While not a challenging walk, there’s no road access, and the 45-minute hike to the top is sure to get the heart pumping. The views from the puig (hill) are stunning. As well as having a nose around the monastery, you can visit the small restaurant serving a menu of unfussy Mallorcan cooking.

Have a blissful stay at Son Brull Hotel and Spa

Of course, one way to get away from the crowds is to treat yourself to a top-notch rural retreat. They don’t come much more blissful than Son Brull, just a five-minute drive from the bottom of the Santuari del Puig de Maria. Within a restored 18th-century Jesuit monastery set among vineyards, lavender and lemon orchards, this five-star property expertly combines charming historical architecture with 21st-century design. The luxury teakwood spa is a highlight, as is the on-site restaurant, serving produce grown primarily on the surrounding farmland.

Manacor

Despite being the second-largest town on the island – after, of course, the capital Palma – and having a reputation for industry over sightseeing, Manacor remains relatively unscathed by mass tourism. There is, however, plenty to see and do, including Mallorcan markets, the spectacular interiors of the Church of Nostra Senyora dels Dolors and the factory shop of the famous Majorica flawless imitation pearls. As Manacor is also the birthplace of tennis champ Rafa Nadal, fans can peruse the Rafa Nadal Museum Xperience, which includes a display of all of his major trophies, a range of sports-related activities and experiences with high-tech simulators.

Unwind at Hotel Son Trobat Wellness and Spa near Manacor

About a 15-minute drive from Manacor, you’ll find Hotel Son Trobat. The spa at this luxury estate offers relaxation sessions with Tibetan singing bowls and Cleopatra skin-cleansing treatments, as well as an indoor pool, a jacuzzi and a Turkish bath. Make sure you book the Sa Volta suite, a romantic space encased by ageing stone walls and vaulted ceilings, along with a private shaded terrace. Perfect your tennis skills on the clay court, workout at the gym with views of the grounds and sample classic Mallorcan cuisine at the indoor-outdoor restaurant.

For more options, see the best rooftop pools in Mallorca.

Mark Nayler contributed additional reporting to this article.

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