Written by Sally Veall,
Last Modified: 12th April 2022

Travel platform, Tripadvisor, has released its annual ‘Travelers’ Choice Awards for 2022: the Best of the Best Destinations’ list, and one Spanish island has come out on top.

The gorgeous island of Mallorca has taken the crown in Tripadvisors’ list of best destinations around the world, with travellers citing the variety of landscapes and romantic fishing villages as the main attractions.

But Mallorca is not the only Spanish island to score highly in the list, with nearby Ibiza scooping sixth place.

Idyllic old fishing village in Mallorca

So, why have these islands fared so well, considering all the other lovely locations in the world?

We look at why these Balearic Islands are popular as both a holiday destination and as a place in which to settle for a new life.

In this article, we focus on what Mallorca offers overseas property buyers, and in the next one in May, we will look at Ibiza.

Find homes in the Balearics via our property portal.

Mallorca, Balearics

Mallorca has long been a destination for celebrities and royalty. The island benefits from being close to the mainland and has some very exclusive spots offering almost complete privacy.

The composer, Frédéric Chopin, lived there one winter with George Sand and her two children in the beautiful setting of Valldemossa, where many artists and creative people spent time. An interesting historical point is that three years before Chopin’s arrival in 1838, the Spanish government decided to seize all church property and sell it off to private investors. The old monks’ cells in the Carthusian monastery of Valldemossa were then rented out to artists, musicians and writers amongst others.

Today, the island still attracts famous and creative people, but also others from around the world seeking beauty, culture and a comfortable, relaxed way of life.

Beautiful Valldemossa

Coastal Mallorca

The island has an amazing number of beaches, 262 in all, spanning 50 km. The majority are nestling in beautiful settings with clear waters, and although some of the larger ones get pretty busy in high season, there are numerous other, smaller ones to enjoy without the crowds. For people wanting the sea, watersports, walking trails, Mallorca offers them all.

One of the best beaches in Mallorca is Cala de Formentor, a secluded beach of white sand, close to Port de Pollensa, in the northeast of the island.

Port de Pollensa

The town of Port de Pollensa is popular with British people and remains unspoiled by high rise buildings and bad planning. Here you’ll find several other beaches, shaded by palm trees and pine trees, as well as a great selection of cafés and restaurants and some very smart hotels.

It is also an excellent cycling centre and the Boquer Valley walk into the hinterland offers beautiful views and a vast array of birdlife.

Golf is never far away in Mallorca and there is a great nine-hole course at Golf Pollensa. Or, head a little further away and you will find the 18-hole Alcanada golf course, which is quite challenging.

The only international school in the north of the island, MySchool, offers the British National Curriculum. The resort is just 45 minutes’ drive from Palma airport and about 10 minutes’ from Pollensa town. Two-bedroom apartments start at €210,000, and you will be looking at upwards of €530,000 for a four-bedroom town house.


Sant Elm

Almost directly opposite Port de Pollensa lying in the southwest of the island are the delightful beaches Es Geperut and Cala Petita. The latter is shallower and ideal for families with small children.

Quieter and less commercial than many other coastal resorts nowadays, you will find some upmarket restaurants in the town of Sant Elm, backed by the lower slopes and foothills of the Tramuntana Mountains. Named after the patron saint of fishermen, it was, and still is, a fishing port. Facing the beaches is the pretty island of Sa Dragonera, a truly special place.

In the woods behind the beach are some smart villas and the few local hotels cater mainly for hikers and cyclists who come to enjoy the natural surroundings. Tourists come for the day to laze on the beaches, but by dusk the town is peaceful again. It is quiet during the winter, and because of its tranquil ambience, attracts people who want to be near the sea but away from crowds.

La Trapa nature reserve is close by, as is the pleasant resort of Andratx. The airport is a 50-minute drive away. Property prices range from €275,000 for a two-bedroom apartment up to €3,750,000 for an exclusive villa by the sea.

Shallow waters of Sant Elm

Inland Mallorca

Mallorca has a wonderful coastline but an equally impressive interior.

The Tramuntana mountains run across the northern part of the island and offer some of the finest views, particularly from the village of Fornalutx perched high up with vistas of the valleys below all the way to the sea. It is also considered to be the prettiest village in Mallorca, so well worth a visit.

Sineu

Sineu is located slightly north of the island’s centre and has a long and deep history from all those who settled there.

There is a popular weekly market and excellent golfing opportunities. Golf Park Puntiró is set in a private estate and offers golf in a very natural space.

Petra

Very close by is the smaller town of Petra, just under 50 minutes’ drive from the airport. With a population of a little under 3,000, the town is a pleasant place to live with a daily fresh produce market selling locally grown fruit and vegetables, local cheeses and locally made sausages.

The town has all the amenities you will need such as supermarkets, pharmacies and estate agencies. A 15-minute drive to Manacor (birthplace and home to Rafael Nadal) will take you to bigger shops and outlets.

Petra has an excellent range of restaurants for all budgets and a wealth of cafés, many lining the main square with its cooling fountain in the centre.  You will pay from €130,000 for a terraced village house to €3,000,000 for a 12 bedroom finca.

Read your Buyers’ Guide to Spain for all the information you need about purchasing a property.

Campos

On the south side of Mallorca is the pretty town of Campos where over 10,500 people have made their home.

With a population of this size, the town caters for all your needs, and in just 14 minutes, you can be at the beach of Es Trenc, a delightful 3 km long beach with several beach bars (chiringuitos).

Surrounding the town are numerous cycle tracks, and for those who enjoy a glass of wine, there are some acclaimed Majorcan vineyards in the region. It is also an area prominent in agroturismo with lots of organically and naturally grown produce. Golf is to be found in nearby Llucmajor.

Campos is an ideal place for year-round living with various nationalities choosing to make it their home. It doesn’t cater for mass tourism so there aren’t big crowds in the summer months. Property is reasonably priced with two-bedroom apartments from €170,000 up to several millions for large country fincas.

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The Spain Buying Guide is a free, independent resource to help anyone who is looking to buy property in or move to Spain through each critical stage of their property buying journey.

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