If what you really need is a quick escape to recharge the batteries, then this five-day Spanish island holiday is for you. You'll make a beeline straight for Mallorca, the largest of the Balearic Isles, and tour its historic capital of Palma on foot. The rest of the time will be spent enjoying Mallorca's gorgeous scenery as you embark on sailing tours and hiking excursions around the coast.

Highlights

  • Discover the historic capital Palma de Mallorca on a walking tour
  • Sail around the rocky coasts of Mallorca and visit hidden coves
  • Hike the rugged Tramuntana Mountains and marvel at the sea views

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Spain & Mallorca - Explore Palma Palma de Mallorca
Day 2 Guided Tour of Palma de Mallorca Palma de Mallorca
Day 3 Mallorca Sailing Tour Palma de Mallorca
Day 4 Hiking the Tramuntana Mountains - Village Tour Palma de Mallorca
Day 5 Depart Spain from Mallorca  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Spain & Mallorca - Explore Palma

The city of Palma de Mallorca
The city of Palma de Mallorca

Welcome to Spain!

You'll arrive on Mallorca, the largest of Spain's Balearic Islands. Mallorca is one of Europe's most popular island destinations because here you have it all: beautiful Mediterannean coast and beaches, coves hugging turquoise waters, ancient villages, mountains perfect for hiking, and great nightlife and shopping in the capital city of Palma de Mallorca.

Upon arrival at the airport in Palma, you'll pick up your rental car and transfer to your hotel in the capital. Take some time to relax before heading out to explore. Not only is Palma de Mallorca an exciting metropolitan capital, but it's also a medieval historic gem. All around you'll find Moorish fortresses, royal palaces, and Gothic landmarks.

Day 2: Guided Tour of Palma de Mallorca

The Royal Palace of La Almudaina
The Royal Palace of La Almudaina

In the morning you'll meet a local guide for a four-hour historical tour of Palma. Like much of southern Spain, the Balearic Islands have been occupied by various empires and cultures over the years. This includes everyone from the Romans and Visigoths to the Muslims, Christians, and even the Bourbons. Although Mallorca has officially been a part of Spain since the 13th century, you can still see many remnants of this history in Palma's historic landmarks.

One you'll visit is the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma, or simply the Palma Cathedral. This expansive Roman Catholic church was built by the Catalan Crown of Aragón in the 13th century over the site of a former Mosque that had been erected during Moorish rule. And even that sat on the site of the citadel of a previous Roman city.

Palma Catedral is designed in the Catalan-Gothic style and is one of the largest such churches in Europe. It has been restored over the years, and in 1901 legendary Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí took over duties, adding a distinct Art Nouveau interior. You can see a fine example of his contribution in the wrought iron canopy over the main altar. 

Just opposite the cathedral is another stop on the tour: the Royal Palace of La Almudaina. Its position overlooking the Bay of Palma made it strategically important, which is why the Moors built a fortress there in the 10th century (before that the Romans occupied the site). Like with the Palma Cathedral, the Christians under King James II of Majorca built this Gothic fortified palace over the Muslim fortress after the conquest of the 13th century. 

A tour of the palace involves visiting the three grand staterooms, the royal staircase, and the royal apartments. You'll also visit the Capilla de Santa Ana, a Romanesque chapel that was commissioned by King James II. Today the palace is the official island residence of the King and Queen of Spain. 

About a mile west of Palma is the 14th century Castell de Bellver. Perched on a hill amid pine woods, this unique Gothic castle (it's one of the few round fortresses in Spain) was another of King James II's pet projects. Here you'll enjoy incredible 360-degree views of Palma plus tour the castle. Features include a moat and drawbridge, three defensive towers, and the imposing Torre del Homenaje (the fortress' keep). Inside is an open-air courtyard with Roman arches that often hosts evening concerts. 

Day 3: Mallorca Sailing Tour

Sail from one stunning cove to another on a boat tour
Sail from one stunning cove to another on a boat tour

After breakfast, you'll drive to the port to depart for a half-day (optional full-day) sailboat tour along the beautiful Mallorcan coast. Make no mistake, it's the 344 miles (555 km) of gorgeous coastline that makes Mallorca the Balearic's most popular destination for summer holidaymakers. Rocky coves string the island like pearls, and running from its shores out to the horizon are vast expanses of water as blue as the cloudless sky.  

This boat tour will take you to various points on Mallorca, and each has its virtues. The eastern side of the island is home to some postcard beaches like the white sands and crystalline waters of Cala Formentor. Further south you'll find pine-shrouded coves guarding turquoise waters, like at Caló des Moro. And on the west side are some attractive rocky inlets comprised of small cliffs perfect for diving. 

On the boat, you can pick your pleasure. If you want to relax and sunbathe on the deck between cove-hopping, no problem. If you prefer something more active, there will be ample time for swimming and snorkeling (equipment provided). Whenever you feel peckish feel free to indulge in some of the complimentary snacks on board; and if you book a full-day tour, you and the other guests can sit down and enjoy a full lunch. 

Day 4: Hiking the Tramuntana Mountains - Village Tour

Hiking the Tramuntana Mountains
Hiking the Tramuntana Mountains

A guide will pick you up from your hotel in the morning and drive you to another of Mallorca's highlights: the Tramuntana Mountains. Located on the northwest of the island, these limestone mountains with sharp ridges and handsome bluffs are a hiker's dream. You'll be enjoying a medium difficulty hike that takes between 1.5-3 hours and requires no more specialized equipment than hiking boots or athletic shoes. Expect breathtaking views of the coast from many lookout points. 

You'll also visit some of the historic mountain villages famous in the area. These include the carless hilltop hamlet of Valldemossa, the tranquil cove and rocky beach of coastal Deià, and Sóller, with its rickety wooden cable cars and long waterfront promenade.

These villages have long been home to painters, musicians, and writers from across the globe. They're attracted to the area by the relaxed way of life, endless sunny afternoons, and the ideal location between a pine-covered hillside and the glimmering Mediterranean sea. Valldemossa, in particular, is home to the 14th century Real Cartuja, a well-preserved Carthusian Monastery. Here the composer Frédéric Chopin and his lover George Sand rented rooms in the winter of 1838.

Day 5: Depart Spain from Mallorca

Farewell, Spain!
Farewell, Spain!

In the morning, a driver will meet you and transfer you to the airport. You'll then catch a flight back to mainland Spain, where you'll meet your connecting flight home. Adios!

Map

Map of Highlights of Mallorca: Beaches, Mountains, and Culture - 5 Days
Map of Highlights of Mallorca: Beaches, Mountains, and Culture - 5 Days