Mallorca has it all, from the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, to winding coastal roads- including one of the most famous roads to Sa Calobra, exquisite beaches and coves, and quaint mountain villages.
There are many ways to get around the largest of the Balearic Islands, we suggest hiring a car for at least a few days to cover the island. Although Mallorca does have excellent transport links and you could take the public bus around or even take an excursion.
Mallorca's West Coast is simply stunning and is a total must when visiting the island!
We were based in Puerto Pollença and hired a convertible Fiat 500 for the day with Formentor Cars (they also have an office in Palma too) The cost including additional driver and no excess cover was €64, but prices start from €24.
We also went on a No Frills Island Tour excursion which we would highly recommend as you get great local knowledge, whilst visiting many destinations on all means of transport- including, bus, boat, tram and train!
We travelled down to Valldemossa to start our West Coast adventure- taking the Ma-13 main road/ highway which took around 50 minutes at 61 km. We took the fast, straight route down as we planned to take it slow on the winding coastal roads and through the Serra de Tramuntana (Tramuntana mountain range) all the way north to Cap de Formentor.
Mallorca’s capital Palma is a good starting point too with the journey to Valldemossa just 19.2km and 25-minute journey.
Port de Pollença – Valldemossa 1 hour 67.4 km Ma-13
Valldemossa – Deià 15 minutes 10.6 km Ma-10
Deia- Soller 23 minutes 10.9 km Ma-10
Soller- Fornalutx 12 minutes 3.7 km Ma-2121
Fornalutx – road to Sa Calobra 28 minutes 20.2 km to top of the knot café
Sa Calobra town 25 minutes 12.7 km
Sa Calobra- Pollença 43 minutes 30.1 km
Pollença – Cala San Vicenç 14 minutes 7.1 km
Cala San Vicenç- Puerto Pollença 15 minutes 10 km
Puerto Pollença- Formentor 29 minutes 15.8 km
We had seen photographs before we went to Valldemossa so knew it was going to be pretty, but actually its beauty was staggering. We had been driving up and around winding roads within the national park when over to our left clinging to a hilltop there was a cluster of stone coloured buildings and an enchanting church, Parroquia de Sant Bartomeu. Valldemossa is Mallorca’s highest and quite possibly the most visited village.
We drove into the village and found a car park which was a few € an hour. Then we simply strolled through the pretty cobblestone streets which were lined with shops, boutiques and plenty of restaurants and cafés. You can visit inside the famous monastery, La Cartuja, which was first built as a palace in the 1300’s for King Sancho of Spain, it was made famous as the Polish composer Frédéric Chopin and his lover, the French writer George Sand, spent the winter of 1838/9, staying in rented rooms in the monastery. Do not miss the courtyard to the right of the monastery, the gardens are overflowing with flowers and fruit.
Be sure to wander out to the viewpoint which has stunning views over the surrounding valley and terraced terrain.
Leaving Valldemossa it will take around 15 minutes’ drive to reach the UNESCO world heritage site that is Deià. The idyllic village is made up of yellow stone houses clinging to the hillside of the Serra de Tramuntana which overlooks the coast. It is an exclusive place with literary and musical artists living there and many famous holiday makers too.
Soller town is nestled in a lush valley of orange and lemon groves and surrounded by the Serra de Tramuntana. The main plaza oozes charm and has a great bustling holiday feeling. Rolling through the middle of the plaza is the vintage wooden tram which runs from Port Soller. This is a great experience and although a little touristy- totally worth doing (€7 return) Whilst in Soller town we would highly recommend trying the ‘Soller Split’ which is made with local fresh orange juice, ice cream, almonds and whipped cream, it is delicious, otherwise please try an orange juice!
We paid a few € for parking in a nearby car park which was very handy.
We loved Soller so much we visited twice! The second time we came on a No Frills excursion which also included Sa Calobra, Soller Town and a vintage train from Soller town to Palma. The tour was amazing and the guide, Albert was utterly fantastic!
We visited Port Soller as part of our island tour with No Frills excursion, we arrived into the port by boat and wandered the streets before having a seafood lunch, of which had just been caught in the port. We then took the tram to Soller.
When leaving Soller it is only a short journey through yet more orange and lemon groves and stunning landscapes before you reach the tiny village of Fornalutx. There is a car park for again a few € an hour, and although this village is stunning, it won’t take you long to get around on foot.
Fornalutx is regularly voted as being the most beautiful village on Mallorca, and is one of the most stunning in the whole of Spain, and you will not disagree! The village oozes so much charm and warmth, in fact we could picture ourselves living there! Wander the narrow and winding cobbled streets which are adorned with stunning flowers and potted plants
Cúber & Gorg Blau
From Fornalutx you will now be travelling towards Puig Major the tallest mountain in Mallorca, by now you are around 1000 metres from sea level, so be sure to stop off at the lookout ‘Mirador Ma-10’ which has views panoramic views across the landscape. You’ll know you are at the lookout because there will be other cars pulled into the side and there is a tunnel going through the mountain. After the tunnel you will pass by the Military area of which Puig Major belongs to (so you cannot climb it, but you can climb the second highest mountain Puig de Massanella) carry on passed another bend and you will find another lookout point, this one better than the last ‘Mirador Del pantà de Cúber’ has it all; mountain views, nature and the gorgeous ice blue lake / reservoir of Cúber. Continuing in the car around the bends of the road for a few minutes, you will arrive at the first of two car parks, where you can park up and have a stroll to the lake side or turn it into a bit of a hike should you wish. We came across roaming sheep and cows which was lovely. (We have since heard stories of thieves operating in the area, so take valuables with you on your walk). You are now in the valley between Puig Major and Puig de Massanella, it is such a lovely drive here with mountains and trees lining the road side. After around 5 minutes you will find another car park, where you can stretch your legs as you walk across Torrent de Gorg Blau, or there is another car park just up the road where you can stand right next to the lake. Along with Cúber they give water to the city of Palma and surrounding areas.
Road to Sa Calobra
The road to Sa Calobra is one of the most beautiful drives you will ever take- it is narrow, hair pins bends which twist and turn around the steep drop offs of the Serra de Tramuntana. The drive has the most incredible views, even if it can be a bit hair raising at times. We recommend doing this route very early morning or late afternoon to avoid the tour buses, unless of course you are on a tour bus, which we took as part of our island tour with No Frills. The bus took us the village of Sa Calobra and we had time to visit Es Turrent de Pareis which is a dramatic canyon which you could sail into or on land, walk through tunnels to reach this hidden bay. From here we set sail to Port Soller.
We loved the views of the road winding its way down the mountain, so when we toured the west coast we went as far as the ‘top of the knot’ where there is a café and great spectacular viewpoints- just be careful of the cyclists! This route is a cyclist’s haven.
From ‘the top of the knot’ driving through some more pretty towns and villages you will reach Pollença Town in around 45 minutes. Here you are located at the bottom of the Serra de Tramuntana in a town first built in the 13th century, Pollença Town (also referred to as ‘the old town’ in relation to Port de Pollença) is a popular destination in Mallorca and is a wonderful place to visit with its gorgeous buildings and quaint streets, with many restaurants, cafés and boutique shops. There is the famous El Calvari (Calvari Steps), which are 365 steps, one for each day of the year and were a pilgrimage route. At the top you are rewarded with a stunning panoramic view over the town and across the land below. Treat yourself to a large gin and tonic (they are free poured) in one of the many restaurants in the square. Visit Pollensa Town anytime, but it really comes alive on Sunday’s for the weekly market, here there is an abundance of local fruit and vegetables, plenty olives, flowers, handicrafts and souvenirs.
Cala San Vicenç
Over the mountains from Port de Pollença is the resort of Cala San Vicente, there is a walk which takes you over the mountains or you can go via bus or car, we decided to fly our drone instead… (there is a no fly zone around the Port de Pollença area but if you travel outside the zone, you are all good)
Port de Pollença
A popular resort for tourists and expats. Port de Pollença is situated around a horseshoe bay with the Sierra de Tramuntana Mountains providing a backdrop to this small town, there is a beach with sand imported from the Sahara Desert! Boutique shops, cafés, restaurants, line the ‘Pine Walk’ a lovely walkway covered in pine trees. There is a weekly market on Wednesdays and nighty entertainment in most bars.
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At the most northern end of the west coast is Formentor, here you will drive round twisting roads clinging to the cliff edge, and visit coves, beaches and a lighthouse. There is an amazing viewpoint -Mirador Es Colomer as you travel up the winding roads from Port de Pollença, be sure to pull over and take a walk along the pathways and take in the panoramic views.
Note cars are not permitted 10am- 7pm past Formentor Beach, there is a bus service however to get you to the Lighthouse
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Formentor Cars We paid extra for no excess cover which was only €12 but totally worth for peace of mind.
Have you been to Mallorca and travelled around the West Coast? We would love to hear from you!