There truly are some beautiful beaches in the resort of Pollensa, Majorca (Mallorca), Spain There is beautiful countryside surrounding the resort of Pollensa, Majorca (Mallorca), Spain There is wonderful architecture throughout the town of Pollensa, Majorca (Mallorca), Spain Puerto Pollensa has a wonderful marina and harbour


Here we offer some personal views on different towns and resorts. We try to be as objective in our ratings and opinions as possible. If you agree or disagree, let us know! Your views are very welcome.  We also offer some general observations about things such as driving and tourist information.

Cala San Vicente
Puerto Pollensa
Click Resort to

Other places :
Alcudia Ca’n Picafort Formentor Inca Muro Playa de Muro Puerto Alcudia Sa Pobla Son Serra de Marina

General Observations :
Driving Hours / time Keeping in touch Language Medical
Safety Tourist information



Cala San Vicente


Nestling by a cliffs-dominated coastline between Pollensa and Puerto Pollensa, Cala San Vicente is a quiet, small resort. Despite its name, Cala San Vicente is a series of “calas” (coves) which provide small beaches. There is a bit of a sense of faded glory about “The Cala”. It can still boast some fine hotels, and its villas afford it a feel of exclusivity, but this has been partially diminished by the encroachment of all-inclusive hotels and some rather unlovely roadside establishments.

This said, “The Cala” offers some striking views, e.g. of the “caballo” (horse), a shape formed by the shadow and rock formation of the main promontory. In addition, the sea can strike a remarkably rich and deep shade of turquoise. There is not a huge amount to do in Cala San Vicente. There are some cafés, bars and restaurants. But otherwise it is a place for relaxation.

For anyone looking for more activity, shopping, wider selection of eating-out etc, it really is necessary to get out into the town of Pollensa or into the port. 


Bars/Nightlife in Cala San Vicente : 5/10

Cafes and bars, but now also with the chill-out bar Cafe Art 66, which is a pretty cool place.

Beaches in Cala San Vicente : 6/10

As noted above, really a series of small beaches, none of them big. Rocks to the sides of the beaches, part of the reason why Cala San Vicente can get red-flagged when the sea’s turbulent and somewhere like Puerto Pollensa (with its open coastline and beach) will not. Pleasant beach-bar and atmosphere at the Cala Molins beach. The quality of the beaches is rated with four stars for “excellent”. According to the survey of beaches published each year, there are no lifeguards here.

Restaurants in Cala San Vicente : 7/10

Not a huge selection by any means, but some with a good reputation - ranging from Mediterranean to pizzerias.

Shops in Cala San Vicente : 2/10

Almost zilch in truth apart from a bit of souvenir stuff and chemist and tobacconists.

Hotels in Cala San Vicente : 8/10

From the splendid - La Moraleja and Hotel Cala San Vicente, for example - to the less than splendid.

Character and ambience : 6/10

or the relaxed and laidback feel, Cala San Vicente scores reasonably well. There is more “atmosphere” - we feel - by the Cala Molins, which is the lower part of the resort.

Getting around Cala San Vicente : 5/10

Cala San Vicente is that small that getting around is no problem at all, except for the fact that it is on two levels and it is generally necessary to walk up or down the steps, which may cause difficulties for the less mobile or disabled. Being tucked away, some five kilometres from the Pollensa-Puerto Pollensa road, means that public transport (limited), taxi or car-hire is necessary to get anywhere. There are also walks and cycling routes.

Kids activities in Cala San Vicente : 6/10

Many children will quite like the waves of which there tend to be more than other beaches locally, but other than entertainment that may be on offer at hotels there isn’t a huge amount for them. 

Sights: 6/10

The cliffs and sea are - as we say above - quite striking, and there are also some caves in the town.

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The town of Pollensa in northern Mallorca lies some 8kms. inland from the bay of Pollensa. Guarded by the Puig Maria (puig = Catalan for hill), Pollensa has retained much of its immense charm despite the new building of residential stock, a reflection of its considerable popularity, not least amongst those from other countries who have chosen to settle in the town. Pollensa has a rich history, its “modern” era starting with the foundation of a settlement at the foot of the Calvari in the early fifth century.

The name Pollensa is derived from Pollentia, the name of the Roman town in Alcudia, from where came those who created the settlement. In keeping with other places in Mallorca, Pollensa can boast a history that saw Egyptians, Romans, Moors and Ottomans all having a say in the affairs of the town. The Pharaohs founded an earlier city of Bocchoris in pre-Christian days.

The Romans, whilst holding Mallorca as part of the Western empire, have not left a notable legacy in Pollensa, unlike in nearby Alcudia. Influence that they had was diminshed after  the Vandals sacked the Balearics in 426, though the Byzantines duly arrived some hundred years or so later. Islamic power kicked in in the early tenth century, was eliminated in 1229 by the Aragon king Jaime I, and finally rebuffed in 1550 by Joan Más who led the repulsion of the Ottomans under Dragut who had attempted to claim the town for the empire.

Less violently, and coming closer to today, Pollensa has developed a strong artistic and artesan culture. The founding of a school for painting in 1913 by Anglada Camarasa fostered a tradition, especially of impressionist art, carried on subsequently by the likes of Joaquín Mir.

The town nowadays houses several fine galleries and art shops. Poetry, to the forefront of this being Miguel Costa i Llobera whose monument can be found at the base of the Puig Maria, also blossomed, as did a musical tradition, the greatest expression of this now being the annual Festival of Pollensa, founded by the violinist Philip Newman in the early ‘60s, which each summer attracts performers (mainly classical) from many different countries.

The artesan and craft tradition owes much to the reputation and innovation of Marti Vicenç, whose eponymous museum is located towards the base of the Calvari steps. Vicenç developed textile technology that can now be witnessed in the astonishingly vibrant and rich-coloured textiles in Galeries Vicenç. 


Bars/Nightlife in Pollensa : 6/10

A low rating that reflects the fact that Pollensa is not somewhere for the party animal; there is no disco here for instance. There are bars a-plenty, but not the pubs or family fun affairs that are to be found in regular tourist resorts. There are a couple of music bars, but really nightlife in Pollensa is the atmosphere for which it enjoys a high rating - see below.

Restaurants in Pollensa : 10/10

Outstanding. Pollensa is blessed with some truly superb restaurants in terms both of decor and the quality of food. A mix of international, French, Mallorcan and Italian cuisine, and there are also café-bistros of a high standard. There is not a huge diversity in terms of different food “nationalities”, but what there is, is good ... very good. 

Shops in Pollensa : 8/10

The shopping in Pollensa is highly sympathetic with the style and culture of the town, hence there are art shops, furniture stores and jewellery outlets. In addition there are shoes, leather and fashion. You will be hard pushed to find much that is tacky or of a mass-tourism souvenir style. Pollensa has a market every Sunday.

Hotels in Pollensa : 8/10

Pollensa does not have many hotels. What there are, however, are quality. In the town itself there are so-called “interior hotels”, among which are a clutch of what one might describe as designer hotels. On the outskirts of the town is the new Son Brull, quite a magnificent place at the foot of the Puig Maria.

Character and ambience: 10/10

Perhaps unique to Pollensa is the character of the town, in that it is not only evident by night. The narrow streets and delightful squares serve to create an atmosphere that sets Pollensa apart from most other Mallorcan towns. There is also an intangible sense of its artistic nature that hovers as some unseen aura. And by night ... just delightful.

Getting around Pollensa : 7/10

If one is based in the town or just close to it there is no difficulty in getting around. Coming from outside, especially by car, can cause a few problems in terms of parking, though an unmade car park behind the Renault garage is useful to know except when it’s taken over by the odd fair. Buses operate on a pretty regular basis to and from Puerto Pollensa, while taxis can be a touch scarce at busy times. 

Kids activities in Pollensa : 4/10

Pollensa has no beach and its hotels are not those with “mini-clubs” or other entertainment. Many families do choose to stay in villas, most of which will have a pool, but unless the kids are keen on the history of a place, Pollensa is not exactly geared to keeping them amused 24/7.

Sights : 8/10

One could really classify the town as a sight in itself, but being more specific there are notable things to see such as the steps of the Calvari and the chapel atop, the  museum of Marti Vicenç and the Roman bridge (the latter in truth something of disappointment).

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Puerto Pollensa


The resort of Puerto Pollensa is one of Mallorca’s finest. An excellent beach, yacht club and marina, attractive main square and promenades combine to create a superb holiday destination. Despite its success, Puerto Pollensa has managed to retain both its charm and a somewhat understated character: this is no blowzy resort. Some argue though that a rather exclusive feel has been diminished.

Here’s what Elisabeth Nash, writing in The Independent in December 2003, had to observe: “Of course, the island has not shed its cheap holiday image completely. Architecture on the seafront of the north-eastern resort of Puerto Pollensa is strikingly contemporary, but the shirtless men, burger joints, Boddingtons beer signs and Trotter's Bar evoke the worst of the Costa del Sol, circa 1980.” Well, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion and observation: “shirtless men” - how decadent especially in temperatures of 30 plus; “burger joints” (there is one Burger King); “Boddingtons beer signs” (and what is so wrong with Boddy’s may we ask?); “Trotter’s Bar” (why single out Trotter’s? what have they done to deserve this?). One can pick holes with anything or with anywhere, but for our money Puerto Pollensa is still a top place for a whole variety of reasons.

Moving on ...

The town is pretty compact, an advantage for getting around, but it has one drawback in that seemingly every available space is being used for ever more building (mainly of apartments). That in itself though reflects demand, especially from overseas buyers. The main promenade in Puerto Pollensa is the Paseo Anglada Camarasa (named after the artist who founded the art school in Pollensa).

This wide promenade gives way to the Paseo Voramar and then the Paseo Colom, which together create the so-called “pinewalk” alongside the sea. In the centre of the resort, surrounding the church square (or the Plaça Miquel Capllonch to give it its real name), there are abundant cafés, restaurants and a fair bit of nightlife in a comparatively small area. All in all we reckon Puerto Pollensa still takes some beating, despite what some may say.


Beaches in Puerto Pollensa : 8/10

There are really three distinct parts of the beach. The main section to the left of the Moll Sur as one looks at the map of the town is superb. Sandy and wide, it stretches for some distance as one heads out of the centre in the direction of Alcudia. But before one leaves Puerto Pollensa itself, the sandy beach peters out, and one is left with a rather stony and narrow strip that essentially keeps going until one gets to the outer reaches of Alcudia at the far end of the bay of Pollensa.

For those staying in the out-of-town accommodation at Club Sol the beach immediately in front is no great shakes at all. Coming back into the centre, to the right of the Moll Sur and the Club Nautica (as seen on the map), the beach is quite narrow. It is sandy and the sea is shallow (as it is for most the coast), but - especially in the pinewalk - people are walking close-by. Bit claustrophobic we think, although handy for nipping over to a restaurant.

The beach finishes just past the Bahia Apartments.  Possibilities for watersports are pretty good here. Sail&Surf Pollensa operates yachts and windsurfing, and elsewhere there is kayaking and of course the marina from where yacht charters and cruises can be arranged. Kitesurfing: this happens in the “Marina” part of Alcudia, i.e. on the main road between Puerto Pollensa and Alcudia near to the Pollentia Club Resort. Puerto Pollensa does not currently hold a blue flag, but the quality of the beach is still rated with four stars for “excellent”. (Source: Ultima Hora, 6 August 2005.)  Lifeguards in attendance.

Bars/Nightlife in Puerto Pollensa : 9/10

In many ways quite remarkable in that such a small area can house so many bars, clubs and disco. A reflection perhaps of the fact that Puerto Pollensa is not just a family resort; it has an appeal to different markets, the young crowd being well-served by the night scene. There are British bars (yes, Trotter’s is one), but this is not the Costa del Sol circa 1980, and there’s nothing wrong with them anyway - so there!

Restaurants in Puerto Pollensa : 9/10

A terrific choice - from Mallorcan/Mediterranean to, yes ok, a Burger King. But on the way ... international, Italian, tapas, Arabic, steak houses, Japanese, kebab, tex-mex, Chinese, pizzerias, and who can ignore ... four Indians.

Shops in Puerto Pollensa : 8/10

Some of your general souvenirish-type tat, but otherwise some good stuff in the way of fashion, textiles, furnishings, shoes and leather.

Hotels in Puerto Pollensa : 8/10

A real mixed bag. Some are grand and old, some are not so grand and old, others are modern with varying degrees of charm. In addition to the hotels and so-called aparthotels, Puerto Pollensa is popular for apartments for the more independent visitor.

Character and ambience : 8/10

Puerto Pollensa has a relaxed atmosphere. It is vibrant up to a point, but the general feel of the place is one of being chilled out. If one were asked: “what should a Mallorcan seaside resort be like?” The answer would most probably be - Puerto Pollensa. Can’t say better than that.

Getting around Puerto Pollensa : 8/10

This is very easy. The centre is compact and the outerlying parts, e.g. Llenaire or near to the military base (Hotel Playa Mar, for instance), are not so far that it is a slog into the centre by foot. Buses do get crowded, so you may need to exercise a bit of patience if you’re headed for the town of Pollensa.

Kids activities in Puerto Pollensa : 8/10

Puerto Pollensa doesn’t have the sort of “attractions” that nearby Puerto Alcudia has (the Hidropark waterpark or the karting tracks for example), but with the safe beach, boat trips, hotel clubs etc., it still offers plenty of entertainment for children. 

Sights: 5/10

The natural ones - the bay and the dramatic hills to the back of the resort - but otherwise there aren’t really “sights” as such. There again, the military base in the port houses the local Canadair water-bombing planes which often fly very low over the town.

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- For these we give just general outlines 


The historical old town of Alcudia nestles along the southern part of the bay of Pollensa and behind mountainous headlands. Some 7kms. from Puerto Pollensa, Alcudia may not have quite the “magic” of the town of Pollensa, but it is still a delightful place. Home to the Roman ruins of Pollentia, Alcudia boasts some very fine restaurants and cafes, and to its north are the beaches and small resorts of Barcares, Mal Pas and Bonaire. Unlike Pollensa, which is detached from its “port”, Puerto Alcudia is more or less attached to the old town, so movement between the two is that much more straightforward. For more detailed information on Alcudia visit -

Ca’n Picafort

This is the next town down from Playa de Muro, the Alcudia Pins area of Playa de Muro being separated from Ca’n Picafort by the forest that is part of the nature park. It is a pleasant enough place and has an enormous number of hotels (over 40) despite not being that big a resort. Ca’n Picafort also has a good beach, plenty of bars and restaurants and a pretty good nightlife. There is also a large go-karting track and a marina.


Leaving Puerto Pollensa heading north-east you enter the peninsula that ends with the Cap de Formentor. The drive is not for the faint-hearted, but if you can bear it you are rewarded with some fabulous views - across the bay, of the cliffs and the pines. The beach at Formentor is fine and sandy and lies next to the Hotel Formentor, one of the island’s grandest hotels, opened in 1929 which was singularly unpropitious as it coincided with the start of the Depression and forced the hotel into bank hands.

Still, it survives and today, according to the hotel’s website - “respecting the classical beauty of the Mediterranean landscape that surrounds it, the hotel does not refuse the modern life’s new-technological advances that assure comfort to its guests in every aspect”. Yes, quite. You can get as far as the lighthouse and enjoy views across to Menorca (on a good day). The sights on the peninsula are truly stunning.


You now mercifully pass by Inca on the way from Palma to Pollensa, thanks to the motorway extension. It is one of Mallorca’s larger towns and is singularly unlovely. It is though the centre of the island’s leather trade, and there are several factory outlets where you can get high-quality stuff - shoes, bags, coats, jackets. It has an enormous market on a Thursday, and it is possible to arrange excursions to this.


Architecturally quite interesting and historic, it was declared a “town” in 1300. Muro is indicative of a “real” Mallorca, though like its neighbour Sa Pobla, it is assuming a more cosmopolitan air. Places of interest include the Ethnology Museum of Mallorca.

Playa de Muro

Like Puerto Pollensa, the beach resort part of Muro is separated from the town that gives it its name by several kilometres. You can be forgiven for thinking it to be a mere continuation of Puerto Alcudia as there is little to indicate where the two start and finish. While Playa de Muro enjoys the same superb coastline as Puerto Alcudia and a beach just as excellent, one cannot deny that it lacks something in character.

Fine hotels (a couple absolutely outstanding), some pretty good restaurants and bars, but there is no focal point that would add something. However, Playa de Muro is home to the remarkable wetlands of S’Albufera and its abundant wild- and plantlife, while the “rustic” part of its beach is increasingly popular with naturists. For more detailed information on Playa de Muro visit -

Puerto Alcudia

Puerto Alcudia enjoys a deserved reputation as an excellent holiday destination. The main beach in Puerto Alcudia is one of the finest to be found in the whole Mediterranean, and the resort boasts a multitude of bars, restaurants and shops. There are really two main parts to Puerto Alcudia (three if you include the small resort of Alcanada which adjoins it and is home to the golf course, Golf Alcanada).

The port itself has a wide promenade (now being extended) and a marina. There is a very good atmosphere, especially in the evenings. The second part of Puerto Alcudia is formed by the areas known as Ciudad Blanca and Magic. This area is unashamedly touristic. It isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it is extremely popular, and there is something here for everyone. For more detailed information on Puerto Alcudia visit -

Sa Pobla

A town inland some 10kms. from Pollensa  around which there is a substantial amount of market gardening. Not a tourist place as such, and in August much of it closes down, as is common with “working” towns. In summer though there are music events, in particular a jazz festival.

Son Serra de Marina

Some 8 kilometres past Ca’n Picafort you’ll come across Son Serra de Marina. This is a bizarre place that gives the impression of being a development still in progress or one that has been forgotten. Apart from the small nautical club and a few bars/restaurants, there’s nothing here. It can feel like a ghost-town even in summer, yet it covers a fair size area with roads laid out on a grid basis like much of Ca’n Picafort.

The beach here is popular for naturism. Off the main road just after the turning into Son Serra is Rancho Grande, which lives up to its name as it is grande (big). Horse-riding, wagons, barbecues - it’s a good place.

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General observations

Driving : Mallorca has a poor record for accidents, and there are a load of nutters around. If you hire a car, and there is plenty of choice - Autos Arbona being just one agency - here are some tips or things to watch out for:

1. Roundabouts : Indicating at roundabouts can be confusing if it occurs at all. Just make sure where the guy on the roundabout is going before pulling out.

2. Pedestrian crossings : As most drivers here ignore these, watch out in case someone’s too close behind you. Shunting is a very common type of accident, and is partly explained by the fact that drivers don’t expect the car in front to stop. On wide carreteras (main roads), don’t be too surprised if someone overtakes you at a crossing - hopefully when the people using it have passed!

3. Turning left : Don’t cross continuous lines in the road or ignore no left turns. If the police spot you, they’ll fine you.

4. Cyclists : In the summer there are fewer cyclists around, but in spring there are many, especially cycle teams. Look to give them a wide berth. Again don’t be too surprised if a cyclist appears to be going in the wrong direction - this happens all the time!

5. Parking :
In Puerto Pollensa during the season it is necessary to pay if you occupy a parking space with blue lines (check the hours/days for when this is necessary on the meters). A fine awaits from the zealous local plod if you don’t. There is parking in front of the marina in the port with a curious system whereby you have to put your own note in the window to say what time you parked. An hour and a half is the maximum. Otherwise there is parking on unmade areas - see the map - and if you’re struggling to find a space, a tip is to park behind the Oro Playa hotel. A bit of a walk then, but hardly that far to the centre. In Pollensa, parking can be a bit of a nightmare. Head for the unmade area behind the Renault garage (see map) if you can’t find anywhere else.

6. Under-taking : On the wide main roads it is quite common for someone on a scooter (or even occasionally a car) to go past on your inside. Always check to your right to see who may be there.

7. Mobile phones : The use of mobiles while driving is banned, not that you would know it.

8. Accessories : Make sure you have the required items in your hire car, such as the hazard triangle and luminous jackets. Check with your car-hire agency that you do have everything.

9. Speed limits : The motorway is 120kph, the carreteras (main roads) vary as they are dotted with speed restrictions. 

10. Drink driving : Random checks are commonplace, especially late at night. To be safe, just don’t do it.

Hours/time : The working day for many shops starts at 10:00am, finishes for lunch at anything from 13:00 to 14:00 and then starts agan from 16:30 or 17:00 till around 20:00 or 21:00: Many essentially tourist shops stay open all day, including supermarkets. The main supermarkets (such as Caprabo) have long hours, normally to 21:00 and are open Sundays till 14:00 in summer. Watch out for local holidays as these can mean that places are shut.

Banks close at 14:00. Bars, cafes and restaurants will tend to vary. Some restaurants will close for two to three hours from around 16:00, and some will close one day a week. In the evenings, the kitchens are open till pretty late, some into the early morning.

The Spanish sense of time differs to British in the sense that “mornings” extend to 14:00, “afternoons” finish at 20:00, and evenings ... well, who knows. The concept of midday (mediodía) is a very loose one. It normally never means 12:00, but any time till 14:00.
Keeping in touch : Most hotels have Internet facilities and you’ll also find these in some bars. British newspapers are available on the day at numerous places. There is also a local English-language paper, “The Daily Bulletin”. Telephone kiosks abound, and cards are available at newspaper and tobacco outlets.

Language : The indigenous language is Mallorquin, a dialect of Catalan (though many claim it to be a language in its own right). Spanish - or more strictly speaking Castellano - is spoken by all local folk as well. The Mallorquin accent is very different to Spanish, and is quite different to Catalan spoken on the mainland. Just some examples of how Castellano and Catalan differ - buenos días (good morning) is bon dia; adiós (goodbye) is adéu; de acuerdo (agreed or ok) is d’acord.  English is widely spoken but often not very well.

Hotel staff will generally speak English well, certainly at reception, and bar/restaurant staff (those that aren’t British that is) will normally have sufficient to handle orders. At chemists and banks, English is normally spoken by someone. But there are places where English won’t be spoken or only spoken poorly, the main supermarkets for instance. Note the spelling and pronunciation of the local place names. Firstly, Pollensa and Puerto Pollensa (or more accurately Puerto de Pollensa) are Pollença and Port de Pollença in Catalan.

The “s” version is used by Spanish speakers and by the English and Germans. Cala San Vicente is Cala Sant Vicenç in Catalan. As for pronunciation - Pollensa is not Poll-enser, but Poiyensah. The “ll” is a sort of “y” sound. Also, the areas of Siller and Llenaire in Puerto Pollensa are not “Cilla” and “Len-air” but “Seeyair” and “Yenayer-e” (the “aye” sounding as in “aye, aye, captain”, and the “e” being a short vowel sound like at the start of “exact”).

Medical : Do make sure to have insurance. There are a number of doctors’ surgeries, as well as dentists (Clinica Inle, for example, doubles as both). There are no hospitals in Pollensa or Puerto Pollensa. The nearest are - Hospital d’Alcudia, which is in Alcudia town, and Hospital General de Muro, which is in Las Gaviotas just inside Playa de Muro. These are both private, but insurances are usually ok. There are two chemists in Puerto Pollensa, three in Pollensa, and one in Cala San Vicente. 
Safety : The resorts are mercifully quite crime-free. Police and the Guardia Civil are pretty much in evidence, and there is a keenness to promote the emergency number 112 if you have any problems. Inevitably there is some crime but mostly petty theft. Do take particular care at the markets, where pickpockets can be active.

Tourist information : There is a tourist office by the entrance to the nautical club in Puerto Pollensa, one near to the bus station in Pollensa, and one close to the Calas Clara and Barques in Cala San Vicente. Hours of opening vary. The office in Cala San Vicente closes in winter. We work closely with the tourist offices and can only say how helpful the staff are at each office.

Pollensa produces its own published information, which can be obtained from the offices, and provide all manner of other information on excursions, bus times etc. as well as the independent local guide, “El Puente”, which is also to be found in numerous hotels and other places.

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