Whether you’re finally able to enjoy a well-deserved summer holiday, have a few days off or can’t get away from work but still need a few hours of relaxation, there always comes a moment when it’s beach time! But then comes the age-old problem: you want to find out which coves are the most beautiful in Mallorca but you don’t know which ones to choose. I must admit it’s a difficult decision, and I’m sure that, if you already know the island, there will be at least a couple that you’re already pining for. Here are my very difficult choices.
IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR COVES IN THE NORTH OF MALLORCA…
In the heart of the Sierra de Tramuntana mountain range are two of Mallorca’s iconic coves. I’ll tell you right now that it’s a long journey getting there, navigating winding and, at times, very busy roads. You’ll have to drive along what the Mallorcans call “Nus de Sa Corbata” (tie knots), where the roads pass underneath themselves.
1. CALA SA CALOBRA and TORRENTE DE PAREIS
Named after the small settlement nearby, this pebble cove is about 60 metres long. It was only accessible by sea until the road you arrived by was built in 1935.
And not far away you’ll come across one of the most beautiful places on the entire island: the Torrent de Pareis. Its imposing walls, some of them more than 200 metres tall, were sculpted by nature throughout the centuries, offering a truly spectacular sight. It’s a cove that is actually, as the name “torrent” suggests, the mouth of a gorge.
2. CALA TUENT
The same road that takes you to Sa Calobra also goes to another must-see place. Don’t drive too fast or you’ll miss it, as you’ll pass very close to the Hermitage of San Lorenzo where there’s a big car park. Get out and enjoy the views from afar. This marvellous cove is about 180 metres long and is made up of pebbles and sand.
As with Cala Sa Calobra, parking is paid, and I recommend not going too late as it can become impossible to find a space.
3. PLAYA DE FORMENTOR
This beach is a truly heavenly and idyllic spot. Almost a kilometre long, the beach is nestled between mountains and surrounded by a lush pine forest. It’s an iconic place if ever there was one, especially thanks to the famous Hotel Formentor, a meeting place for writers such as Robert Graves who used to stock up on the best food at the La Pajarita grocery store.
If you decide to visit this beach, a very comfortable and novel way of discovering it is by taking a boat trip. The company Lanchas La Gaviota runs a ferry service from Puerto Pollensa. The trip takes about 20 minutes and will allow you to enjoy unique views of this wonderful setting, all from a comfortable seat with none of the hassle of going by car.
4. PLAYA DE MURO
What more can I say about a beach voted 17th in the Tripadvisor Traveller’s Choice Awards for the 25 best beaches in the world?
You can’t help but be moved when you see this sprawling beach of fine white sand and its crystal-clear waters. And, of course, it’s ideal for families.
IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR COVES IN THE SOUTH OF MALLORCA…
1. PLAYA S’ARENAL in SA RÀPITA
The first thing I’d like to mention about this wonderful place is its location, as it falls inside the nature reserve called Parque Natural Salobar – Es Trenc de Campos. The beach is about 800 metres long and boasts fine white sand.
And what can I say about the water? I’ll let you make up your own mind. This beach is an ode to beauty, life, and light, as described by the poet Miquel Costa i Llobera in his poem Cala gentil, whose words Oh, dolç moment (oh sweet moment) are displayed in one of the bunkers along the beach.
By the way, if you like yourself a nice paella, don’t miss the chance to try one at the Sa Rápita yacht club.
Before I forget, you can also get to this beach by bus. Check out the timetables here: www.tib.org.
6. CALA S’AMARADOR
If you head towards the municipality of Santanyí, you’ll get to the Mondragó nature park, where this paradise of crystal-clear waters can be found. When I first visited this spot, I never imagined it could harbour such treasures. And while I’m at it, I should tell you that smugglers used to use the caves along the coast to hide their wares. When you reach S’Amarador, you’ll see that there’s a pedestrian walkway that connects to Cala Mondragó, another highly recommended spot.
As for the car, don’t worry, there’s ample paid parking.
IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR COVES IN THE EAST OF MALLORCA…
7. CALA VARQUES
As you head into the municipality of Manacor, you’ll find a host of coves and beaches, some suitable for families with children and others that are more difficult to access. Cala Varques is one of the latter. It’s not easy to park here (I know from experience), and you have to walk for about 20 minutes, but when you reach your destination, all the hardships will be forgotten.
The cove itself is about 70 metres long and is completely surrounded by pine trees and the cave network that encircles it invites you to go and explore. Are you up for the challenge?
8. CALA NA CLARA
Well, to be exact, we’re now in the north-east of the island and, more specifically, I’m taking you to the tourist resort of Betlem, which belongs to the municipality of Artà. It’s a somewhat treacherous cove, especially in summer, because you’ll have to walk in the blazing sun, but the reward is well worth it. You definitely won’t regret it! Also, don’t miss the small coves along the way, each one with its own special charm.
I hope you enjoy these wonderful places; that being said, it’s also extremely important to respect the environment. The ecosystem in which these coves are situated is unique and, needless to say, every little bit helps when it comes to protecting them so that they can be enjoyed by all.