Best Beaches for Snorkelling in Mallorca, Spain

The rocks that border the bay at Cala Llombards, and at other less touristy spots on Mallorca, make it ideal for snorkelling
The rocks that border the bay at Cala Llombards, and at other less touristy spots on Mallorca, make it ideal for snorkelling | © Helmut Corneli / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Leon Beckenham
28 April 2017

Mallorca is well known as a prime destination for lounging on the beach, with its long sandy coasts and tourist-friendly seaside towns, but if you’re interested in catching a glimpse of some of the marine life that calls the Mediterranean home, these popular spots are less than ideal. Happily for snorkellers, there are plenty of more secluded places, off the beaten track. Here are 10 of the best.

Cala Varques

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Cala Varques Majorca Balearic Islands
Cala Varques Majorca Balearic Islands | © Werner Hinz / Alamy Stock Photo
A small, protected cove on the eastern coast of Mallorca, Cala Varques is one of the more remote snorkelling spots on this side of the island – and all the better for it. The beach is only accessible via a 15-minute walk from the road, so not ideal for families with young children, unless of course you arrive by boat. Once there, rocks lining either side of the sandy bay and clear waters provide some great snorkelling. There are no facilities close by, so don’t forget to pack a picnic and plenty of water.

Cala Llombards

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Typical of many of the beaches in this southeastern part of the island, Cala Llombards is composed of a narrow strip of sand flanked by low cliffs. It’s around these rocky sea walls that plenty of local sea life congregates, easily visible thanks to a generally calm sea. Snorkellers can also walk around the rocky inlets and jump straight into deeper water for a chance to see some larger fish. The beach is best accessed by road with ample free parking at the entrance.

Cala Morlanda

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cala morlanda
cala morlanda | © Paul Tacke / Alamy Stock Photo
While sunbathers looking for a stretch of sand will certainly be disappointed, snorkelling enthusiasts will find the rocky Cala Morlanda beach one of the best and least crowded places for some underwater exploration. Situated on the southern outskirts of the small resort and traditional fishing village of S’illot, the surroundings are peaceful and laid-back, with the bonus of a small sandy bay within walking distance.

Cala Deià

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Cala Deià is a small, scenic, and sandless beach found on the northwest coast just down from the picturesque mountain village of the same name. Comprising boulders, rocks, and pebbles, its not the most easy to traverse and slippery stones can make accessing the sea tricky. Once in the water, however, sealife is abundant and the waters particularly clear, especially just around the rocky headland. Despite its modest size the rocky cove is home to two restaurants – one of which featured in the BBC drama The Night Manager.

Cala Sant Vicenç

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Nestled in a low valley in the northeast, Cala Sant Vicenç is a small, upscale and relatively quiet resort featuring three separate sandy coves. There are some excellent snorkelling conditions just off these beaches, and the surrounding rugged rocks and cliffs provide great jumping-off points. There are also vantage points for viewing the dramatic and mountainous surrounding landscape. A handful of bars and restaurants can be found here, while Port de Pollença’s long stretch of golden sand is a quick 15-minute drive away.

Cala Estellencs

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Cala D'Estellencs,Island Of Palma,Balearic Islands,Spain
Cala D'Estellencs,Island Of Palma,Balearic Islands,Spain | © guichaoua / Alamy Stock Photo
Positioned at the bottom of a sheer rust-red cliff surrounded by pine forest, this tiny cove certainly boasts one of the more dramatic settings to don your mask and snorkel. The sea on the north side of the island is known to have particularly good visibility, and there’s plenty of rocky coast to explore either side of the bay. It is also a small fishing harbour and there’s a small terraced cafe at one end. While there is parking nearby, spaces are limited, so its usually better to leave the car in the nearby village from where it is a pleasant 20-minute stroll.

Badia Blava

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Just a 20-minute drive from the island’s capital, Palma, Badia Blava offers one of the most stunning ocean views anywhere in Mallorca, but that’s just the start. The road serpentines down to a small car park (maximum capacity of about 20 cars), and from there a steep stairway leads you down towards the water. The rocky shoreline has crystal-clear water which is home to plenty of marine animals and vegetation, making it popular with snorkellers and scuba divers alike. Interestingly, the cliffs which surround this beach were used to construct the Cathedral de Palma, one of the tallest gothic cathedrals in the world.

Calo des Moro

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Not far from Cala Llombards on the east side of the island, Calo des Moro is a practically untouched inlet protected by pine covered cliffs. The actual beach is relatively small, but the shallows give way to deeper water close to the shore, so you don’t have to swim too far out.Once over the depths, expect to see large schools of fish congregating, of many different shades, shapes and sizes. There aren’t any facilities to speak of, so bring water, but remember that you’ll only a few kilometres from the town of Santanyi, providing an ideal destination for a winddown meal after a day of swimming.

Dragonera Island

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Sa Dragonera island in Majorca, Spain
Sa Dragonera island in Majorca, Spain | © one eye / Alamy Stock Photo
Since 1977, Dragonera Island has been a nature reserve, and has now earned a reputation as one of the best places in Mallorca to see wildlife. To get there you need to take a boat from Port Andratx, Santa Ponsa or Peguara, and once you arrive you’ll be marvelling at the surroundings before you even dip a toe in the water. The island is one of the best places to spot Lilford’s wall lizard, and the Eleonara’s falcon, both of which are endemic to the Balearic Islands. Beneath the waves, snorkellers will get an amazing view of sea life, including a colourful garden of coral, and on a good day you may spot barracuda, white-beaked dolphins and maybe even a fin whale.

Caló d’en Monjo

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Caló d’en Monjo is one of the better-kept secrets on this list. You can reach it by travelling to the car park for the larger, sandier Cala Fornells, but where most would simply stay put, you instead follow a gorgeous coastal path for about 20 minutes, and are rewarded with a secluded ribbon of beauty. The smooth sandbank leads you into a curved inlet with clear water and a forest of seagrass and coral beneath. Fish gather here, as well as other marine creatures such as lobster and even octopus.

Additional reporting by Callum Davies