Served by frequent flights, and with dozens of safe sandy beaches plus stunning scenery, Mallorca can be a brilliant destination for family holidays with all ages. Most visitors confine themselves to rowdy Malaguf, leaving the rest of the island to the more discerning.
The largest of the four main Balearic islands, Mallorca is small in size (taking less than two hours to drive across) but big on charm and beauty, with plenty of family-friendly modern hotels and resorts, many with kids' pools and entertainment to keep little ones amused. And as just about everywhere else in Spain, locals are extremely friendly to kids.
Things to do with kids in Mallorca
Make the beaches your first port of call, from Es Trenc in the south to Formentor in the north. If you’re averse to getting wet, glass-bottomed boats will take you out for a closer look at what’s lurking beneath the waves. There’s plenty to do by, on or above the beach, including sailing, paragliding, water-skiing, body-surfing and good old-fashioned sailing. The Bay of Palma hosts many prestigious regattas, including the Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofía and the Copa del Rey, which make for a great family day out.
At Puerto Pollenca (one of our favourite beaches), while away the hours watching sandcastle-building take on epic proportions as the pros come down to the sands and practise their art. Incredible castles as tall as a man, with drawbridge and turrets, crocodiles, and half-submerged cars all appear and disappear within a matter of days, or sometimes hours. It’s great fun to watch and may also get your kids' competitive streak going.
Head away from the high-rises and the beaches to explore Palma, Mallorca’s vibrant and beautiful capital with its largely pedestrianised winding lanes and alleyways. From Palma you can ride the rickety old Sóller Train to Sóller itself.
Take a trip to Rancho Grande in Son Serra – a working ranch where children (and adults) of all abilities can get in the saddle or in a wagon that follows the trek behind at an easy pace.
Book a hot-air balloon flight from a launch site close to Manacor – a great way to see the islands for those who don't suffer vertigo.
Enjoy some of the shows designed for tourists. Pirates Adventure Mallorca offers jaw-dropping, gravity-defying gymnastic feats in a magical setting.
Head for one of the many waterparks: Western Water Park and Aqualand El Avenal are two of the best.
Browse at a market – those are Santa Maria and Pollenca are great.
Sit in a square until late into the night watching the world and the people go by – go on, it’s a holiday, and the Spanish are used to bringing their kids out late to eat with them.
Sadly, it's quite hard to find Spanish food in or near any of the resorts – what you will find is an array of British food (fish and chips, steaks, pies, and so on) along with German food and a smattering of other cuisines. If you do hunt down an authentic Spanish restaurant, expect rice, vegetables, seafood and tapas.
Fun in Western Water Park, Mallorca.
When to go to Mallorca
Mallorca can be very busy in August, so try to schedule family holidays for just outside of the high season, when everything will still be open but the crowds will be halved. The chance of decent weather between May and October is high, with the sea warmer in September and October than in May and June.
Mallorca's Sollér Train.
Expect to pay from £2,700 for three-star all-inclusive, £5,000 for four-star B&B and £11,000 for five-star B&B, for two adults and two kids for seven nights in August including flights.
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Flying time2.25hrs All flight times are based on flights from UK London airports, to the capital or nearest destination airport.
Carbon footprint1.2 CO2 Estimated tonnes of CO2 produced for return flights for a family of four.
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