A Winter in Mallorca’ was the famous book written by George Sands describing the year she spent with the composer Chopin in Valldemossa. However, the purpose of this article is to let you know what the main resorts of Mallorca are like during the winter months should you fancy escaping the cold of northern Europe.
We went over there last March for two weeks travelling firstly up the east and north east coast as far as Puerto Pollensa then down the north west coast to Andratx. Finally we visited all the most popular resorts along the south coast on the way back to Palma.
Winter on the East Coast
The east coast was very quiet indeed with only Cala Millor having any tourists. About 95% of these visitors were German. There seemed to be a handful of British tourists there as well as a few more in neighbouring Cala Bona. With fine weather, fabulous scenery, cheap hotels and cheap car rental this was a lovely time to enjoy laid back days touring the countless little coves which stretch all along the east coast. There were very few visitors anywhere we went, parking was easily available everywhere and was free and waiters were even more chilled than usual with little to stress them. Evenings tended to be very dull as most people ate in their hotels so restaurants were mainly empty and the only occupied bars were local Mallorcan ones.
Winter on the North East Coast
The resort of Cala Ratjada was mainly closed and the few tourists we came across were all German. Alcudia was far more lively with a range of nationalities represented including a fair number of Spanish visitors. Enough hotels, bars and restaurants were open to cater for everyone and there were some great deals on hotels. Many cyclists were on the roads all along this coast and inland making the most of superb conditions and facilities to enjoy their sport. Puerto Pollensa was similarly open for (limited) business and was a pleasant place to visit at this time. The sea and swimming pools were too cold to swim in for the majority of people in all locations.
Winter on the North West Coast
Mallorca’s north west coast isn’t an area of package tourism and doesn’t have any resorts as such. Personally I think it is the most beautiful part of the island with unbelievable scenery stretching from Pollensa in the north west to Andratx in the south west. Provided you get some good weather this is a great time to visit this coast and drive the 88km of the Serra de Tramuntana with stops at Soller, Deia and Valldemossa as well as any of the numerous little villages you’ll pass through on your journey.
The roads are so much more laid back than in the summer months but do look out for cyclists who seem to be everywhere at this time of year.
The island’s main resorts of Magaluf, Palma Nova and Santa Ponsa are very quiet in the winter months. Most visitors are Spanish pensioners and some retired British tourists enjoying the mildness of the Mallorcan winter. There are certainly enough bars and restaurants open to cater for the winter visitors and sitting in the sun at a Magaluf beach bar certainly beats enduring another British winter. Plenty weekend visitors show up from the UK often on stag and hen nights so the main bars get very lively and the main clubs open on Fridays and Saturday.
To the east of Palma de Mallorca is the resort of C’an Pastilla attracts a few winter visitors whilst the neighbouring Playa de Palma is popular all year round with mainly German tourists. The wind that attracts kite surfers here isn’t so pleasant for holidaymakers.
All in all Mallorca is a delightful option for a winter break but choose your resort carefully. Its weather tends to be very mild but do pack a jumper as it can get cold. Sunbathing on a clear day is an option though swimming in pools or the sea will almost certainly be too cold.
The roads are a pleasure to drive on with so few tourists on them making it an ideal time to discover the island’s beauty. Nightlife is quiet but there’s still enough going on to keep most visitors entertained. Take a look at our Mallorca Self-Drive Tours page for a more in depth description of a drive around the coastal highlights of the island.
Incidentally, although the George Sands novel ‘A Winter in Mallorca’ is widely available at tourist shops around the island it mainly describes what a miserable time she had there. Obviously she didn’t visit Magaluf!
2 thoughts on “Winter Holidays in Mallorca”
hi…i have been reading very negative comments about magaluf in january and now im upset at having booked 3 nights there from 5th to 8th jan 2017. they keep saying its a ghost town with maybe a couple of restaurants and pubs open but thats it. i know its out of season and i dont expect the resort to be as busy as summer but i would have thought as least a few pubs clubs and restaurants would be open. am going for my 50th with 8 others and we are staying at the vistasol in magaluf. Please can you give me any more info as to whats open etc, it would help me plan out our days and evenings.
In my experience it’s fairly quiet but there are pubs and restaurants open. I can’t provide details of specific establishments.
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