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Mallorca, located off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea, is the largest of the Balearic Islands. It has long been a getaway hotspot for sun-seekers from all over Europe. After landing in the capital city of Palma de Mallorca, you’ll be close to the popular resorts, including Magaluf. But Mallorca has more to offer than its face-value appeal. Combine a rich cultural history with an enchanting landscape and you can begin to picture the real Mallorca. Self-drive is made easy by a decent road network that spiders out from the capital and traverses around the coast.
Who to Book With
Car rental agencies are spread all over the island, although you’ll find the biggest concentration in the capital, Palma de Mallorca. Firms include the top rental outfits of Avis, Europcar and Hertz, although the market is competitive and there are several other companies to choose from. It is recommended that you view the choice of vehicles and book online beforehand to grab the best price.
Best Time to Go
The high season in Mallorca always coincides with the school holidays, including Christmas and Easter, as well as the six-week summer break. In the summer, the weather is warmest, although Mallorca makes a decent winter getaway, too. Consider visiting during the shoulder season months of May and September to beat the crowds yet still benefit from fine weather.
Need to Know Essentials
To pick up your rental car, you must provide the following documents:
- An EU driving licence or a valid International Driving Permit
- A certified photo ID alongside your passport
- Details of the credit card used to make your booking
- Confirmation of your booking, such as a reference number
There are several vehicle rental locations all over Mallorca, meaning you could opt to hire a car close to your accommodation just for a day or two, or alternatively you could hire one direct from the airport as soon as you land. Prices tend to be considerably higher if renting from the airport, although the convenience counter-balances this. Book in advance to avoid disappointment during the busy season.
Driving around Mallorca is mostly a pleasure and is made easy by the main highways that exit the capital in every possible direction. The main motorway to the north coast is the PM27. To the east is the PM19 and to the west is the PM1. Several other high-grade roads criss-cross the rest of the island. Palma de Mallorca is about the only place that suffers traffic problems, but even here navigation is made easy by adjoining the inner ring road to get your bearings.
Mallorca has a decent public transport system for its size. There is a rail network that connects some of the large towns and in the capital there is a recently completed urban metro system. The bus network covers most of the rest of the island and can buy a ticket that combines all transport options.
Mallorca has implemented an Integrated Fare System (IFS), meaning you have the convenience of combining the cost of your journeys by buying the Intermodal Card. There is a structured tariff system based on the length of your journey, but a single journey across all four zones will only set you back £2.20.
Trains and Metro
Completed in 2007, Palma de Mallorca’s metro urban rail line connects with long distance rail routes at the Intermodal Station. Additionally, there are a couple of useful train routes heading out of Palma to other destinations on the island. You can plan your journey using a combination of all transport options, including rail and road services, on the TIB website.
For reaching places the rail system doesn’t go, you can use Mallorca’s extensive bus network. All buses depart from the bus station at Carrer d’Eusebi Estada. You can check the route map or plan your journey using a combination of transport options via TIB.
Taxi travel is an option in Mallorca, but taxis here are costly. To get from one side of the island to the other can cost around £60 for an hour’s journey. All taxis in Mallorca run on a meter. You can get a taxi from the cab rank at the airport or from several other locations in town, or you can book one by calling Asociacion Teletaxi de Palma on +34 971 20 09 00.
Wherever you go in Mallorca, there is plenty to see and do. The island is fairly small, meaning that it takes no longer than an hour to reach anywhere from the capital. The road network in Mallorca is good and includes three motorways, but for a much more scenic option you can take any number of other main highways.
Binissalem - Located just 20 minutes away from the capital, offers fertile slopes and ‘bodegas’ (vineyards) where you can sample some of the local produce of the wine producing island. Take the PM27 motorway north towards Inca to reach dozens of bodegas which are open to visitors.
The Dragon Caves - These are an inspirational system of caves in the far east of the island. They are well worth a trip underground for a contrast against the beautiful sandy beaches and craggy mountains of the western side of Mallorca. From Palma, get onto the C715 cross country route to reach the caves in an hour.
Serra de Tramuntan - This destination offers visitors a break from lounging on the beach. A daytrip out to the stunning mountain range - a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the spine of the northwest - offers insight into the important history of this terraced farming landscape.