Majorca scenic drives - suggestions for a road trip in Mallorca

Majorca, the biggest of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, south of continental Spain is an extremely popular holiday destination in Europe.

The island’s tourist offer extends way beyond beach resorts; many visitors to Majorca are astounded by its rich historic and cultural heritage, as well as the natural beauty.

Maserati GranTurismo Convertible rental Mallorca
Super sports car to rent in Majorca - Maserati GranTurismo Convertible (and guaranteed car model on per summer 2014).

Since outside of city centres public transportation is sparse, car hire turns out to be the most comfortable and, in many cases, the cheapest solution for exploring the island.

See detailed Majorca map (click to enlarge).

Majorca car hire is available in Palma de Mallorca and in bigger tourist locations on the island.

Compare rates for Palma de Mallorca Airport car hire

Majorca best scenic drives in Tramuntana Mountains
The Tramuntana Mountains, or La Sierra de Tramontana in Spanish, is a mountain range covering a large area along the northern coast of Majorca.

Tramuntana Mountains map.

Here you will find Majorca’s best scenic roads. Some of them follow closely the line of the rugged cliff coast and allow splendid views of the Mediterranean. Other, more inland roads lead through Tramuntana mountains, amongst wondrous scenery of lush vegetation, mountain streams and misty hills.

Although Majorca enjoys mild Mediterranean weather for most of the year, the highest parts of Tramuntana mountains are best to visit between April and October. In the remaining months moderate snowfall in Tramuntana is not unusual, making driving slightly more challenging.

Ford Galaxy - 7-seater car hire Mallorca
Ford Galaxy is a large, comfortable 7-seater car often available for hire from Goldcar Mallorca © Photo:

See more details on Majorca weather.

Driving in Majorca
Generally, as in any mountainous area, you will find sharp turns, steep hills and, occasionally, herds of sheep blocking the road. When looking at car hire offers in Majorca, it might be worthwhile to consider renting a four wheel drive vehicle (4X4). For the majority of roads on Majorca, however, a normal passenger car is fully sufficient.

It takes half a day to travel between the most distant points on the island. However, when planning your Majorca road trips factor in some extra time for stopping to take pictures or simply admire the scenery.

From Palma to Cap de Formentor – the longest Majorca drive
The distance from Palma de Mallorca to the island’s northernmost point in Cap the Formentor is around 120 km / 75 miles and could be covered in some 2 hours. However, many viewpoints and lovely villages along the way deserve at least a short stop, for which the trip may easily take even 4 or 5 hours.

In order to get to Cap the Formentor take a MA-1130 road to Valdemossa, north of Palma de Mallorca, or the Ma-11 road to Soller and later continue on the Ma-10 road in the north-east direction.

The Ma-10 is one of the most beautiful roads in Majorca and it stretches along the whole northern part of the island.

See Majorca road map.

This section of Ma-10 to cover leads mostly through the mountains, although stunning views of the sea and coast can be seen too.

In the Tramuntana Mountains you drive amongst pristine nature, unspoiled by the massive tourism Majorcahas been receiving since 1970’s. Peaceful Tramuntana villages have retained their original cosiness, yet are welcoming for any occasional visitor.

A great place to stop for lunch, or just a short break from driving is the tiny village of Fornalutx, nestled in the foothill of Tramuntana, near Soller and some 50 km from Palma. With a population of around 500 and a wonderous maze of old stone houses and winding streets this lost in time village is well worth a visit. Leave your hire car in the car park outside the village as Fornalutx is best to visit on foot.

Ford C-Max family car to rent in Majorca
Cheap family car: Ford C-Max - in the fleet of Record Go Mallorca © Photo:

Pollença and Formentor – driving in northern Majorca
Another recommended stop on your way to Cap Formentor is the medieval city of Pollença.

Pollença has a well preserved historical centre and an interesting choice of museums – definitely a cultural stop.

In less than 3 miles distance, Port de Pollença – the city´s port is situated in the blue-watered bay.

Port de Pollença is a nicer alternative to Palma as a holiday resort, especially for families with young children, as it is more of a tranquil place. If you happen to be driving by Port de Pollença, stop to stretch your legs and take a stroll at a pedestrian promenade, the Pine Walk, along the bay.

Continuing your trip to Cap the Formentor, already on the rocky peninsula, you will drive amongst a dramatic scenery of 400 meters tall cliffs, strange rock formations and many rare species of birds, that particularly like the deserted surroundings of Formentor. At the end of the winding, narrow, and truth to be told, not for the faint hearted road across the peninsula, find the Formentor lighthouse.

For more breathtaking views you may want to try another popular Formentor view point, Mirador del Colomer, or the nearby Taliaia d’Albgercuix watchtower (used originally for watching for pirates), almost 400 meters above sea level and with panoramic views of Majorca and the Mediterranean.

Please note, that at any of Majorca view points there will be designated spaces for parking, so you do not need to worry about where to park your Majorca hire car.

Sóller, Deia and Veldemossa on Majorca coast – short drive from Palma
Tourists on a driving holiday in Majorca will find many interesting locations along the beautiful coastal section of the Ma-10 road, in the western part of the island.

Only 30 km / 18 miles separate Palma de Mallorca from the picturesque town of Sóller and from the nearby beach side village, Port de Soller. Soller is a particularly popular day-trip destination from Palma for holidaymakers who are looking for a peaceful place to rest, have coffee or traditional Spanish tapas in a relaxed atmosphere, away from the hustle of “touristy” Palma de Mallorca.

Keep driving west from Sóller on the serpentine Ma-10 until you reach Deia, after less than 7 km / 5 miles. The fairly small town of Deia has surprisingly rich historical and cultural offer, worth more than a just a short visit.

The same can be said about Valldemossa, in 10 km / 6 miles distance from Deia. Reserve at least a day to get to know well the Valldemossa Real Cartuja Monastery where the unfortunate lovers – the famous Polish composer Frederic Chopin and Baroness Dudevant, best known under her artistic name George Sand, spent a winter of 1938-39. In Valldemossa Chopin composed many of his masterpieces and the town served as an inspiration for the French novelist to write “A Winter in Mallorca”.

Read more about Chopin and George Sand here.

However, if you decide to keep driving on the serpentine coastal road (Ma-10) to the west, the wonderful views will not leave you disappointed. From Valldemossa the Ma-10 road continues for another 40 km / 25 miles, to end up in another popular Majorca holiday resort, Andratx.

Majorca driving - from Manacor to Drach caves
The roads in the southern part of the island do not offer as spectacular views nor exquisite driving conditions, yet some of the locations deserve attention, especially if you have a Majorca hire car at your disposal for a longer period and already experienced the scenic roads of Tramuntana Mountains.

Manacor, in the eastern part of Majorca, is mostly an industrial city. Curiously enough, although it is deprived of many typical tourist location’s charms, Manacor still receives quite a number of visitors. Manacor’s main attraction is the artificial pearl factory, ‘Majorica’.

Majorica’s man-made pearls are famous throughout the world for being a perfect imitation of natural pearls. The “pearl essence” used for their production is extracted from organic materials from the Meditteranean sea and process remains a mystery since 1902 when Majorica company was founded.

Manacor is also famous for its street markets, one of the biggest in the island. Held on every Monday, the market is a great opportunity to buy locally produced goods and crafts.

In a short drive away from Manacor you will find Drach caves, one of the island’s most unusual tourist attractions. The caves formed by water erosion of the Mediterranean extend for almost 2,5 km and reach 25 meters of depth. The visit to the caves ends by the Europe’s biggest underground lake, Lake Martel. Frequently, floating violin concerts are held on the lake, with the visitors taking a ride on gondola-like boats.

In order to reach the caves from Manacor, take the MA-4015 road heading towards Porto Cristo and exit after some 10 miles drive to Cuevas del Drach.

Auto Safari Park near Manacor
Families on holiday with a Majorca hire car at their disposal may want to try out the Auto Safari ZOO, in a short drive distance from Manacor.

Auto Safari is Majorca's only zoo. Different species of wildlife, including monkeys, giraffes, rhinos, flamingos and deers can be seen in an open area of the park and baby elephants will be the children’s delight in the “young zoo”.

The visitors can take the park’s own mini-train or drive their private cars on an around 4 km route. Watch out for the monkeys and other curious animals though; sorting out liability issues for a hire car damage caused by animals can be rather a “monkey business”. The best thing to do is to always read carefully the insurance terms and conditions of your Majorca hire car.

To reach Auto Safari Zoo from Manacor, take the Ma-15 road towards Artá and exit after 10 km / 6 miles to the MA-4030 road to Cala Millor.

The distance from Palma de Mallorca to Manacor is 55 km / 34 miles, by the Ma-15 road.

Majorca car hire offers – cheap car hire in Palma Airport
Car hire is generally cheap in Majorca.

Compare Majorca car hire offers from many rental agencies with Cartrawler

Few places in Spain retain such low rental rates for cars throughout the holiday season. Only when booking very late before holidays in Majorca, you are likely to be paying high prices on level with Italy car hire in the holiday season in Majorca.

Expect a Ford Fiesta or similar 5-door supermini to be available from as little as £90 per week af Palma de Mallorca Airport car hire when booked well in advance.

For larger vehicles the rental rates are less advantageous, but still fairly good value.

Common Majorca rental cars
A large number of car models are produced in Spain.

Amongst them, the Spanish brand Seat naturally is a favourite with car hire companies in Spain.

The Seat Ibiza, the Seat Leon and the large full size 7-seater Seat Alhambra (produced in neighbouring Portugal) are all common cars for hire in Majorca.

German VW cars as VW Golf and VW Passat are usually not offered for rental in Spain. The French hire cars, however, are plentiful with superminis Renault Clio, Peugeot 208 and Citroen C4 being amongst the most popular cars for hire in Palma de Mallorca.

4-wheel-drive car rental in Majorca
It is possible to book 4WD (4-wheel-drive) vehicles for hire in Palma de Mallorca Airport. Often, they are considerably more expensive to hire than the ordinary 2-wheel drive Ford Fiesta (supermini) or VW Golf class (compact) type of vehicles.

When searching at Cartrawler Palma de Mallorca, from time to time cheap 4x4 cars can be found. Those are quite often a Suzuki Jimny or similar small 4x4 vehicle. For the more highway suitable 4x4 option, the Suzuki Gran Vitara, Toyota RAV4 or similar larger four wheel drive car usually can be found at prices ranging from £450-550 for a week of Majorca 4 wheel drive hire.

Find cheap car hire in Alcúdia, in eastern Majorca

Majorca or Mallorca - how to spell?
The ambiguous spelling of the name of the island may sometimes cause confusion. In Spanish it is spelled 'Mallorca'. This version will also be accepted in the English speaking countries, although 'Majorca' is the most common spelling.

Note that the name of the capital of the island is always spelled as 'Palma de Mallorca'.

Related article: Majorca driving tips and advice.

Majorca scenic drives - suggestions for a road trip in Mallorca
Article: Majorca scenic drives - suggestions for a road trip in Mallorca
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