Visiting Mallorca by car: what to do and what to see

The island of Majorca is one of the most popular holiday destinations nowadays and it is not surprising, as it has incredible places that are well worth visiting. It is a land with a Mediterranean climate and mild temperatures throughout most of the year, making it one of the most comfortable islands on the planet for summer holidays, but also for enjoying a few days off at any time of the year.

However, visiting this island in your own car is not really a cheap or plausible option. For this reason, the best and most economical option is to choose a flight that drops you off at the airport and, from there, rent a car from a nearby car rental company so you can move around the island with total freedom and peace of mind. This way, you will be able to visit the most emblematic and attractive places that the island has throughout its territory.

So, if you are thinking of visiting Mallorca by car, in this article we are going to explain the most emblematic places that you cannot miss. We will also highlight the activities you can do in each of them to make the most of your trip to this small paradise located in the Mediterranean Sea.

Palma de Mallorca

When you get off the plane, the most important city you will find is Palma de Mallorca itself, travelling along the Ma-19 road from the airport. It’s a sizeable city that’s easy to get around if you opt for car hire on the island. It has a cosmopolitan atmosphere and typical Mediterranean coastal landscapes, as well as an impressive historical, architectural and artistic heritage that leaves absolutely no one indifferent.

The Cathedral of Santa Maria

This religious temple, also known as “La Seu”, is one of the places you cannot miss on your trip around the most emblematic corners of the island of Mallorca. Its size is impressive and it stands out above the city skyline. It was built around the year 1230 on the shore of the bay of Palma, which means that it can be seen from anywhere in the city.

Its architectural style clearly meets the characteristics of Levantine Gothic, due to its large dimensions, buttresses and flying buttresses, which support the structure and free the wall, allowing the light to pass through its stained glass windows, creating an ethereal and mystical atmosphere.

It can also be recognised by its pinnacles, its pointed arches and its large rose window, which is one of the largest examples of Gothic architecture and which also lets light into the interior. Inside, you can see columns more than 20 metres high and the beauty of the chapels inside.

The Royal Palace of the Almudaina

This historic building is a fortress that was built by the Arabs around the 10th century, although it has undergone major alterations over the centuries. Around the 14th century it was transformed into a Christian palace and Gothic-style elements were added. For this reason, its current appearance corresponds, with some later modifications, to this style of construction.

It is known for being one of the current residences of the Spanish royal family when they visit the city of Palma. It is a spectacular complex, built in stone and with a markedly medieval appearance, with towers, pinnacles and pointed acts. A place not to be missed when touring Mallorca by car.

Bellver Castle

Although it is not located in the historic centre of the city of Mallorca itself, but on the outskirts, some 3 kilometres away, it is one of the places on the island that you cannot miss. It is a fortification with a marked Gothic style that was built in the 14th century.

Among its most characteristic features we find that it stands out for its circular layout and the three attached towers that are attached to it. Also noteworthy is the keep, which is free of the main structure of the castle. It contains the city’s history museum, where you can visit its exhibitions.

The Lonja of Palma de Mallorca

This late Levantine Gothic building is located on the city’s Paseo Marítimo. It was built by Guillem Sagrera in the mid-15th century and is, along with the Lonja in Valencia, which is very similar, one of the greatest examples of Spanish Gothic architecture. It was originally used for merchants’ meetings and to close deals. Inside you will find three naves divided by six immense helicoidal columns that open out like palm trees in a spectacular star-shaped ribbed vault.

Manacor

This town is located about 50 kilometres away from Palma de Mallorca by rent a car, in the east of the island. You can reach it easily, and in less than 50 minutes, if you follow the Ma-15 road. It is a very attractive city also thanks to the incredible value of the architectural and historical heritage it contains.

Nostra Senyora dels Dolors church

This is an elegant neo-Gothic style church, which was built in the 19th century, around 1890. It is characterised by its Latin cross floor plan with a dome over the transept, which can only be seen as such inside the church, as from the outside it simply looks like a circular tower. It has a large bell tower, a good 75 metres high. A place of great artistic beauty that you cannot miss on your excursions around Mallorca by car, and one of the symbols of the city of Manacor.

Enagistes Tower

This is a defensive enclosure that was used as a manor house in the 14th century. Inside, it forms an enclosed space with a single entrance door and is organised by a series of simple buildings around a central courtyard. It has two floors and is crowned with battlements.

It is currently the headquarters of the Manacor History Museum, which has four rooms dedicated to the permanent exhibition and others, those on the upper floor, for temporary exhibitions. We recommend visiting it as one of the most interesting activities in the city to learn more about the evolution of the island of Mallorca.

Rafa Nadal Museum Xperience

Sports lovers are in luck when they visit the town of Manacor, home town of the famous tennis player Rafa Nadal. In this museum you can learn all about the history, as well as the main anecdotes about this famous sportsman. Along the way, you can visit his collection of trophies and sports equipment, all surrounded by a high-tech environment with light and sound shows. You can also see a collection of objects donated by other successful sportsmen and women from different eras.

Alcudia

This town is the third largest town on the island, after Palma and Manacor. It can be easily reached by taking the Ma-13 road from the island’s capital: you can’t get lost. Its Roman origins have given rise to the current configuration of a large part of its urban layout. In fact, it is characterised by its historic centre surrounded by an impressive medieval wall. The most outstanding places in this city are the following:

The church of Sant Jaume

Although this church was originally Gothic in style, what we see today is a 19th century reconstruction in a clear neo-Gothic style as a reference to the old church that collapsed. However, you can still visit the chapel of Santo Cristo, the only part of the original church that survived the collapse and which remains practically intact.

The Porta de Mallorca

Also known as the Porta de Sant Sebastià, this is the best-known of the three gates leading into the old quarter of the city. It dates from the medieval period and is flanked by two large, massive defensive towers crowned with battlements at the top. It is connected to the medieval walls surrounding the medieval city.

The Porta del Moll

Along with the previous one, it is one of the three gates that gave access to the medieval walled city. It is very similar to the previous one, but it has a more massive and overall appearance, with the towers located on the same line as the gate itself. It also has battlements at the top and its original function was defensive.

Pollensa

Pollensa is a municipality in the north of the island, in the Serra de la Tramuntana mountain range. It is not very big, but it contains very interesting places from a tourist point of view that you should not miss. To get there from Palma de Mallorca, take the Ma-13 road in the direction of Alcudia and, on the last stretch, turn off onto the Ma-2200 road.

Santo Domingo Convent and surrounding area

One of the must-see sights is the Convent of Santo Domingo. This building was completed in the early 17th century in the Baroque style. Within the complex, its marvellous cloister stands out, where a prestigious classical music festival is held every year. Inside, you can also find the museum of Pollença. Next to the convent, you can visit the Joan March gardens, which contain the medieval Gothic Desbrull Tower.

The port of Pollensa

Less than 15 minutes away by car, following the Ma-2200 road, you can reach the port of Pollença and enjoy its promenade and relax in this coastal environment. It is a perfect place to stroll around the port, have some tapas on its terraces or, if you feel like it, you can even practice water sports.

Valldemossa

This is one of the most beautiful places you can see on the whole island of Mallorca thanks to its more rural character than the examples we have seen so far. In fact, it is characterised by being perfectly integrated into the vegetation, nature and landscape. It is easy to reach if you want to take a route around Mallorca by car along the Ma-1110 road, as it is only 23 kilometres from Palma.

The historic centre of Valldemossa

The historic centre of this town is known for housing two of the most important monuments or buildings that you should visit: La Cartuja and the Palace of King Sancho. Both are located in the same square. The castle was built at the beginning of the 14th century on the site of an Arab fortress and the Charterhouse at the end of the 14th century.

The church of Valldemossa

Also known under the name of “church of San Bartolomé”, it is a neoclassical style temple that was built between the mid-18th and early 19th centuries. It is characterised by its barrel vault, as well as by the dome over the transept and the fresco paintings that can be found both in the dome and in the central nave of the church itself.

Sa Miranda dels Lledoners lookout point

This is the best place to see the village of Valldemossa as a whole. It is located in Plaza Rubén Darío. From here you can see the church of San Bartolomé silhouetted against the natural landscape and the mountains. Here you can also enjoy some good restaurants, which are one of the best places to eat and dine in this municipality.

Finally, there are many other interesting places to visit in Mallorca by car, such as Capdepera, Deià, Sóller, Andratx, Porto Cristo and Artà. In some of them you can also visit the most important natural caves on the island.

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