Things to do in Palma Nova, Majorca beyond the strip

Often overlooked for its rowdy neighbour, the infamous Magaluf, Palma Nova* is in some ways the ideal resort. It has three beautiful sandy beaches, a 3 km-long promenade, and it's under 30 minutes from both the airport and the island's exciting capital, Palma*.

Palma Nova, Majorca
Palma Nova, Majorca © Alexandre Rosa - Adobe Stock Image

It's little wonder then, that this once tiny fishing village, was earmarked for a tourist hotspot nearly 100 years ago. With much recent investment in this part of the island, it means that there's never been a better time to holiday here. With that in mind, our Spanish island specialist gives us the lowdown on the best things to do in Palma Nova.

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Savvy tanners

Sun worshippers will delight at Palma Nova's choice of sandy beaches. Playa Es Carregador is the smallest of three but also slightly quieter as it's the northerly part of Palma Nova away from Magaluf. Popular with locals and those looking for laid-back vibes, it has fine white sand and a small marina for boats.

On the beach in Palma Nova, Majorca
On the beach in Palma Nova, Majorca © Speedfighter17 -

Playa de Palma Nova* is a kilometre-long stretch of sand backed by shops, bars and restaurants. Good for families, the beach has amenities including sunbeds for hire and toilets and is lined with pine trees in case you need a spot of shade.

Playa de Son Matías is even longer than its neighbour and has a livelier atmosphere thanks to its proximity to Magaluf just over the headland, and it can get busy in the summer months.

Family fun

Palma Nova is very flat which makes it easy for all generations of the family to get around. The two main beaches have lifeguards and the water here is shallow and clean and ideal for paddling or swimming.

You can rent pedalos easily on the beach and kids will love floating out in the water and seeing more of the Bay of Palma. Talking of pedals, why not hire a family bike kart that can fit two adults and two children? You can cycle up and down the promenade for about €15 an hour from cycle shops such as Bicicletas Pepe.

Palma Nova is also graced with arguably the best adventure golf courses (yes, plural) in Europe. Golf Fantasia* has been going strong for more than 25 years with an impressive 54 holes that'll make you putt through caves, windmills and next to waterfalls.

Active adventure

This glorious bit of coastline is not just about relaxing or entertaining the family, there are plenty of things to do for those more actively minded. Stand-up paddleboarding has become popular in Palma Nova as the sea is pretty calm around the bays.

Discover stand up paddleboarding in Palma Nova, Majorca
Discover stand up paddleboarding in Palma Nova, Majorca © Grafikplusfoto -

You can also snorkel and see the interesting marine life or scuba dive with the team at Big Blue Diving at the end of Son Matías Beach. They'll take you on their boat to the best spots around the island and teach you how to dive safely.

For those wanting more gentle pursuits, the coastal walk from Magaluf* to Portal Nous is spectacular and takes about two hours, or try some yoga on Palma Nova beach with instructors Lilla and Peter from Our Mind Yoga. Morning classes usually start at 9 am and cost from as little as €15.

Gourmet delights

The Palma Nova restaurant scene has improved dramatically over the past decade and you'll find a mix of chilled-out chiringuito beach bars, effortlessly cool beach clubs and stylish restaurants with sea views and exceptional dining.

To taste the very best of Majorca, snag a table at The Olive Tree on Son Matías Beach. The restaurant is built around a 350-year-old olive tree, hence the name, and serves a range of salads, seafood, burgers and more sourcing as many ingredients from the local area as possible.

For sundowners, swing by the chic roof terrace of Origin Palma Nova, which also serves several local Majorcan wines such as Supernova from Bodega Ca'n Verdura made using the indigenous grape variety Prensal Blanc, ideal for cooling down on sultry summer nights.

Be a spectator

It's unsurprising with all it has to offer that Palma Nova and the wider Calvià region has become a go-to for sporting events.

The Magaluf Half Marathon takes place in April each year and attracts an international crowd of runners. The competition started in 1984 as a local run but has grown into one of the most popular long-distance races for all ages and abilities.

The course might start and end in Magaluf, but much of the race itself winds through the streets and coastal roads of Palma Nova, too. Find a spot along the course and cheer on the runners as they fly past.

Time to explore

Palma Nova is a great location from which to explore the west of the island and, with car hire readily available and relatively inexpensive, it's worth spending a day driving the famous Serra de Tramuntana mountain range calling into villages such as Deià, Valldemossa and Sóller.

Restaurant with a view in Deia
Restaurant with a view in Deia © Pawel Kazmierczak - Adobe Stock Image

You can also rent road bikes if you fancy pedal power and make your way up to the capital Palma or down and around the coast to El Toro and Santa Ponça. Port Adriano is also only a 15-minute car ride away.

This modern marina is not only great for yacht spotting but also hosts a range of events and concerts on the portside with big-name acts such as Tom Jones, Sister Sledge, Nile Rogers and The Gipsy Kings.

Climate in Palma Nova

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum daytime temperature °C
Hours of sunshine (daily)
Days with some rainfall
Sea temperature °C

The above guide shows the climate in Palma Nova. Find out more about conditions across the island in our complete guide to the climate in Majorca and the wider Balearic Islands.

Ready to explore Palma Nova? Check out the latest deals on breaks to Palma Nova and Majorca with Jet2holidays.

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Palma Nova by month

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Ross Clarke

Ross Clarke

Ross Clarke is a Welsh travel, food and wine writer, specialising in his homeland, the Canary Islands and mainland Spain. As well as writing regularly for The Times, BBC Travel and National Geographic Traveller, Ross is a lecturer in journalism at Cardiff University and publishes a regular newsletter, "The Welsh Kitchen".

Article updated on Tuesday 4th June 2024 in: Europe Excursions Nightlife TUI

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