As the children get older finding a holiday that suits all the family can be hard. We discovered on our recent Family Friendly Villa Holiday that Mallorca was an amazing place for all the family. Our boys are 12 and nearly 11 and both love being active, but Mini loves history whereas Maxi not so much. MadDad is not a sun lover and would prefer to be active rather than sit by a pool. Me, well as long as I am not cooking I can deal with anything!
Family Friendly Mallorca
One of the reasons we go on holiday is to spend time with the boys. We are not yet at the stage where we are happy to leave them on their own and have never been ones for popping them into kids clubs on a regular basis (partly down to Mini not wanting to go to a kids club and him having ASD and also down to the fact that we want to spend precious time with them). So we need a holiday that can tick all of the boxes for all of us most of the time. Mallorca did this for us.
Firstly we came to an agreement with the boys that we would do exploring and touristy things in the morning and early afternoon and then return to the villa for our evening meal and their pool time on most days. Giving the boys plenty of time to enjoy the pool and do their own thing. We found that mornings worked well for getting out and about as it was much quieter and cooler meaning fewer queues, fewer people and also less stress for Mini.
We stayed in near Sa Pobla about 5 minutes from Pollenca on the North of Mallorca. I have been desperate to go back to Mallorca with the family since a visited on a press trip with Ford. it is quieter here and really family friendly. We visited at Easter, so the waterparks were not yet opened, had they have been then we would have certainly had a full day at one of them.
Family Friendly Excursions around Mallorca
Pollenca Old Town
A visit to Pollenca is a must. The town is filled with charm and history and if you can manage the 365 steps lined with cypress tree to the chapel you are rewarded with a panoramic view of Pollenca town, the mountains and the Puig de Maria (a hilltop monastery).
On Good Friday the figure of Christ is removed from a cross and carried down the steps by torchlight. Make sure you park on the outskirts of the town and enjoy walking around the narrow roads stumbling upon squares filled with bars and cafes.
Cala Mollins is one of 4 calas which are fabulous beaches perfect for snorkeling with fabulous turquoise water. Access to the beach at Cala Mollins is easy and it has a car park close by making it perfect to visit for the morning or day. The sea is beautifully clear which makes it perfect for snorkelling. There are also a number of cafes and bars and public toilets too. It is much less commercialised than Puerto de Pollensa
We visited early and it wasn’t too crowded, but it did start filling up as we were leaving around 2pm. You can walk to Puerto de Pollensa from here and there are 3 geocaches along the way.
We really loved the vibe in Alcudia Old town. it is pedestrianised and perfect for families. With lots of winding streets and alleys full of fabulous family friendly bars, shops and restaurants. The boys really enjoyed walking the defensive walls and visiting the roman amphitheatre.
Puerto de Pollensa
Puerto de Pollensa is a horseshoe shaped bay and is Mallorca’s most popular family tourist destination with plenty of bars, shops and restaurants along the sandy promenade. The beaches are really family friendly and there is even a play park too. It is very popular and has a marina and plenty of parking, but can seem rather commercialised although not as much as Port de Alcudia.
Caves de Drach
Not on the North of the Island, but well worth a visit the Caves de Drach are one of the Islands top tourist destinations, so it pays to get their early. Your entrance fee includes a coat ride on the underground Lake Martel and a short classical music concert. We walked from the free car park at the caves to Porto Cristo and had a delightful lunch overlooking the marina.
No trip to Mallorca is complete without a trip to Palma to see its magnificent cathedral. As we were there Easter week it was shut in preparation for the Maundy Thursday service when we visited so we had a wonderful visit to the Palace La Almudaina next door instead. Mini really enjoyed this and €3 gets you an interactive tour on a tablet perfect for children.
Rather than lunch on one of the main squares or streets, we had a wander and found a delightful tapas bar for lunch and had a leisurely lunch. I highly recommend wandering slightly off the beaten track and looking at which restaurants the locals use as you will probably find the food amazing.
If you have time the Palma Aquarium is a great place to visit and it has one of the deepest shark tanks in Europe.
The Great Mountain Road – Tramuntana Mountains
If you are up for a challenge then a drive through the Tramuntana mountains is spectacular, but I am going to warn you it is not for the faint hearted or those that suffer from travel sickness. It is filled with twists and turns and at one point we reached over 900 meters above sea level.
In 2011, the mountain range was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the cultural landscape category and there is so much to see including butter coloured towns, terraces, water mills and dry-stone buildings and it is planted with olive trees, almond trees, oranges, tomatoes, and vines.
The mountains in Mallorca are also the premier location for cyclists, both professional and hobbyists (it is the place to train for the likes of the Tour de Yorkshire and Tour de France) and it seemed as though we shared the very narrow lanes with thousands of them making it even more challenging (and fun) to drive.
We stopped for ice creams and café con leche at Valdemossa an impossibly pretty town where Chopin spent the freezing winter of 1838-1839. Sóller is also a beautiful place to stop with a vintage tram that runs from the town to the port. The drive via the Coll de Soller has 57 hairpin bends (trust me we counted)!
Markets and Food Shopping
One of the things that we love about holidays is discovering local foods and markets. Mallorca is full of markets and pretty much every town will have a weekly market. We found a list of local markets and made sure that we stocked up at them. Most markets open around 8am and we picked up all our local produce from the market. The fact that we didn’t speak much Spanish didn’t hinder us and most of the stall holders understood what we were trying to say. We got out fruit and veg, cheese, bread and some meat from the various markets we visited.
Lidl on the Island is perfect for any additional shopping you may need if you are self-catering. We bought our bottled water and other necessities there.
Want a take on the island of Mallorca when you have younger children? Donna from What the Readhead Said also visited the week we were there. See what they did here.