MALLORCA ISLAND - GETTING AROUND
The cities and towns on the island of Mallorca are easy to explore on foot. Palma de Mallorca in particular, as well as the Playa de Palma area down to El Arenal, are very beautiful and millions of tourists each year walk down Palma`s narrow streets and the Playa de Palma promenade. Keep in mind, however, that the towns and villages outlined on TripMasters` dedicated page sprawl for 25 miles along the southern coast, so getting to all ten of the cities and towns on foot would perhaps be unrealistic; you will need transportation to get you from one city or town to another in most cases.
Taxis are perhaps the best mode of transportation between towns and cities on the southern coast of Mallorca, and further afield as well. Taxis can be hailed from the street; they can also be hired by calling ahead or queuing at a taxi stand. The taxis in Palma and environs are white, with a red and yellow stripe down the middle of the car. Taxis in other parts of Mallorca will be white, but sometimes with a diagonal black or blue stripe. The light on top of the taxi will show as green when vacant.
Taxi stands (parada de taxis in Catalan) can be found in nearly all of the towns and villages on the southern coast of Mallorca, and at multiple points in Palma. The taxi stands in Palma are located at the Palma de Mallorca Airport; at Passeig del Born; at Avinguda de Gabriel Alomar near Parc de Sa Feixina; at Avinguda de Joan March across from the Estacio Intermodal; at the corner of Avinguda de Joan Miro and Carrer Castell de Bellver; and at the corner of Carrer de Company and Carrer de son Espanyolet. There are also taxi stands at Son Fuster and Verge de Lluc Palma Metro stations. There are also three taxi stands in Peguera, three in Santa Ponsa, two in Magaluf, and a taxi stand two blocks north of the beach (at Cami de les Meravelles) in Playa de Palma. You can find taxi ranks at Port d`Alcúdia portside, at the Bellevue resorts, and at Platja de Muro. There are also ranks in Can Picafort, Cala Millor, Cala Ratjada, Cales de Mallorca, and Cala d`Or.
Taxis are metered in Mallorca and drivers must operate on the meter system with prices displayed inside the car. Base fare is €5 on weekdays; the price is 25% higher on weekends and during late night hours regardless of the day of the week. Expect to pay in the neighborhood of €2-€2.50 per mile, with a similar increase in fare on nights, weekends, and holidays. Prices are 5 to 10% lower, on average, in other parts of Mallorca. To call a taxi in Palma and immediate environs, call +34 971 401 414 or +34 971 400 004. In Peguera, Santa Ponsa or Magaluf, call +34 971 134 700 / +34 971 680 970. For C`an Pastilla and points east, call +34 971 744 050. In Alcúdia, Platja de Muro and Can Picafort, call +34 971 54 98 70. or +34 971 54 97 66. In Cala Millor, call +34 971 58 69 69. In Cala Ratjada, call +34 619 11 51 04. In Portocolom/Cales de Mallorca, call +34 971 82 43 47. In Cala d`Or, call +34 971 65 71 73. Note that there is typically a surcharge added for reserving a taxi via telephone, usually well under €5.
Mallorca is a popular destination for cyclists from Europe who want to practice in warmer weather than what they experience at home. The west and northwest of the island is mountainous, but the southern coast is fairly flat and conducive to biking regardless of skill level. A number of routes are recommended by the Balearic Islands tourism board; you can view them by going to www.illesbalears.travel/en/baleares/sports-and-active-tourism/cycle-tourism. You can rent a bicycle in Palma or at one of the resort towns along the southwestern coast; the going rate is €10 to €15 per day, while mountain bikes are more expensive. Popular bike rental shops in Palma include NANO Bicycles (Carrer de la Mar 10, +34 971 667 360) and Ride a Bike Mallorca (Carrer de Tous i Maroto 5, +34 971 422 866). Bike rentals are also available from many resorts in the northern and eastern towns.
Having a car will allow you the freedom to explore all of Mallorca, even places off the beaten path and away from the coast. If you decide to rent a car for your trip to Mallorca, you will be able to reserve one during the TripMasters booking process. After booking, you will be picking your car up at Palma de Mallorca Airport and not in Palma or any other resort town. The car rental companies (save for Alamo, which is located near general parking) are located in the arrivals hall. Sixt, Enterprise, Hertz, Goldcar, Avis, Europcar, Thrifty, and Alamo, among others, are represented at Palma de Mallorca Airport. Rental prices average between €40 and €80 a day. U.S. driver`s licenses are accepted in practice in Mallorca, and it is recommended that you apply for your International Driving Permit and take it with you to Mallorca in addition to your U.S. license.
From Peguera in the southwest to Cala Ratjada in the northeast, the driving distance is roughly 60 miles and takes about an hour and a half, meaning it is feasible to explore the entire island if you wanted to. The largest freeway, the Ma-1, connects Palma with the towns to the west and southwest, such as Illetes, Palmanova, Santa Ponsa, and Peguera. The Ma-20 is the ring road which separates the inner city of Palma from its northern environs. The Ma-19 connects Palma and Llucmajor to the east. Other key motorways include the Ma-13, which connects Palma and Alcúdia, and the Ma-15, which connects Palma with Artà and Cala Ratjada. The cities of the east coast can be reached easily via Manacor, which is on the Ma-15. Motorways with just one or two numbers are major freeways, motorways with four numbers are smaller and may be two lanes in spots.
Bus routes in Palma and environs are run by Empresa Municipal de Transports de Palma de Mallorca (EMT, www.emtpalma.cat/en/home). Bus routes outside the city of Palma are run by Consorci de Transports de Mallorca (CTM, www.tib.org/en/web/ctm/inici), a subsidiary of Transports de les Illes Balears (TIB). EMT fares are as follows: to and from Palma Airport, €5 each way. Ticket to the cruise port, €3 each way. Regular fares are €1.50 each way. Buses only take €10 and denominations smaller than that, so keep smaller amounts on hand. On TIB buses, fares can only be paid with amounts up to €20; if a ticket costs more than €20, then a €50 is permitted. Tickets are bought from the bus drivers and vary in price from depending on the route traveled. Here are some sample prices based on popular TIB routes:
- Route 104: Palma - Palmanova - Magaluf - Santa Ponsa - Peguera - between €3 and €4 depending on distance
- Route A11: Aeroport - Palmanova - Magaluf - Santa Ponsa - Peguera - between €5.50 and €7
- Route A32: Can Picafort - Platja de Muro/Alcúdia - Aeroport - between €8 and €10
- Route 351: Platja de Muro - Alcúdia - Palma - between €5.50 and €6.50
- Route 390: Can Picafort - Palma - approximately €7
- Route 501: Cala d`Or - Palma - approximately €9
- Route A51: Cala d`Or - s`Arenal de Llucmajor - Aeroport - approximately €9
- Route 411: Cala Ratjada - Palma - approximately €12
- Route 441: Cala d`Or - Cala Millor - Cala Ratjada - between €8 and €10
- Route A42: Cala Bona - Cala Millor - Aeroport - approximately €12
For reference, bus routes in the 100s go to the southwest of Palma, the 200s go to the west of the island, the 300s go to the interior and the north, the 400s go to the east of the island, and the 500s go to the southeast. For more information on routes, including fares and timetables, visit www.tib.org/en/web/ctm/cerca-teva-linia.
By train and Ferrocarril de Soller
Mallorca`s limited train service (Serveis Ferroviaris de Mallorca, www.trensfm.com) runs from Palma`s Estacio Intermodal north and east to Inca, Sa Pobla, and Manacor. There is also an electrified train called the Ferrocarril de Soller, which takes travelers 14 miles north from Palma to the town of Soller. The narrow-gauge railway was first built in 1911 and the train cars, approximations of how the train cars would have looked back in the 1910s, provide a scenic route through the Serra de Tramuntana to the northwestern part of the island. When in Soller, you can ride the 1913-era tram to the Port of Soller. You can buy tickets at the Estacio Intermodal; it is only possible to buy tickets to the Ferrocarril the day of the journey. For more information, visit trendesoller.com/en.
By the Palma Metro
The Palma Metro (Metro de Palma) commuter light rail system consists of two lines: one travels north and northeast from Palma`s Estacio Intermodal to Marratxi, a half-mile from the Mallorca Fashion Outlets, and one travels northwest to the main campus of the Universitat de les Illes Balears. One-way tickets average between €2 and €5 depending on zone and location. For more information, visit www.tib.org/en/web/ctm/metro.
By the Tren Arenal
The Tren Arenal is a tourist train which travels 2.8 miles from C`an Pastilla down through Playa de Palma to El Arenal. The tourist train is of the hop-on, hop-off variety, with 15 stops along the way. The train runs from March through October, beginning at 9:30 a.m. and running every 30 minutes until crowds thin out (as a result, closing time may vary). Tickets are €4.50, although if you have a Mallorca Pass (€50), the ticket price for the Tren Arenal is already included. For more information on the Tren Arenal and the Mallorca Pass, visit www.turbopass.com/mallorca-pass/tren-arenal.html.