I am secretly a travel junkie. At night, in my free time, I browse TripAdvisor and Viator and read travel blogs to decompress. From traveling in hostels as a young adult to pre-kid adventures with my husband, I will take a travel experience over anything material. I love trying new things, learning about new cultures, and tasting unique flavors….so, having kids threw me for a little loop. I have been patiently waiting for them to be old enough to take them abroad where they just might enjoy the trip. And we found the perfect spot!
This past summer, we chose to visit Mallorca, the largest Balearic Island of Spain. We wanted to give the kids (3 and 5 years old) a little culture and a lot of beach.
Here are the reasons you need to visit Mallorca:
Mallorca is super family-friendly.
Almost all the restaurants had children’s menus and some even had coloring sheets. Children stay up much later in Spain, and so it was very common and acceptable for kids to be hanging out at the table while mom and dad enjoyed a nice glass (or pitcher) of Sangria. In addition to easy meals, there are wonderful, clean playgrounds throughout Mallorca. From the Parc del Mar beside the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma to a playground at Soller’s port, our kids were entertained, and my husband and I could enjoy the beautiful backdrop.
It’s easy to get around.
We rented a car after we landed in Palma and were able to drive around and explore a bit. This is nice if you need to rent car seats, although if your kids are 3 or older, I recommend using the Safe Rider Travel vest… game changer. We drove from city to city, exploring beaches and driving through the Tramuntana mountains. These are normal highways with good signage.
Additional Tip: We purchased a parking spot from a garage in Palma near our Airbnb before we left the States, so it was super easy to drive in and out as needed. Parking in Palma can be tricky, so I definitely recommend renting a spot for your duration in the city.
Kids love castles, and we had a lovely afternoon at the Bellver Castle in Palma. With amazing views and a taste of history and culture, the kids loved running around the castle pretending to be kings.
Nothing says summer like a beautiful beach. From Palma, we took an afternoon trip to Palma Nova beach and rented a paddle boat with a slide. From Alcudia, we drove to Muro Beach and Formentor beach, known as one of the most beautiful beaches in Mallorca. The water in Mallorca is crystal clear and very shallow close to shore, so it really allows the kids to play safely in the ocean without huge waves or deep waters.
There’s a train!
The Tren de Soller is a wooden train over 100 years old that travels between Palma and Soller through mountains and citrus fields and in tunnels. Once you arrive in Soller, there is a smaller tram that then takes you from Soller to the Port. We skipped the larger train because we wanted to get into Soller super early in the morning, but we did enjoy the 30-minute tram ride to the port. My boys loved it, and it was a beautiful, peaceful ride.
The coastline of Mallorca is made up of sandy white beaches and dramatic cliffs. Getting out on a boat is really the best way to enjoy the view. We took a day trip on the water in Soller and then again in Alcudia. We explored caves and swam and snorkeled in lagoons. These were, by far, my favorite days in Mallorca.
A family Flamenco Show.
We wanted the kids to see a Flamenco show but didn’t want to keep them up for an evening show that would be full of adults. So, we were excited to find an afternoon show in the bull arena right outside of Old Town Alcudia (it’s very cool to walk the walls of this old town anyway). Flamallorca offers shorter day time shows, easier for kids to sit through, with high levels of energy, emotion, and culture.
I think this is a given but the food and wine in Mallorca is incredible. Don’t forget this vacation is for adults, too! And to be honest, my kids also loved the food!
Day 1: SFO to Palma, Mallorca (through Munich)
Day 2: Explore Palma: Mercat de I’Oliva, Parc de Mar
Day 3: Day trip to Soller, tram to the port, and boat tour
Day 4: Drove to Bellver Castle and Palma Nova Beach
Day 5: Drove to Alcudia
Day 6: Old Town Alcudia and Flamenco show
Day 7: Alcudia boat tour
Day 8: Hotel pool fun.
Day 9: Drove to Muro Beach and Formentor Beach
Day 10: Drove back to Palma to fly to SFO (through Frankfurt)