Living in a Mediterranean island is truly a dream. Mallorca is one of the favorite destinations to people from all over the world and now that I’ve lived here I can tell why it is a favorite destination.
There is so much to do and so much to see even though the island is very small you can go around it in a day (if you have a car). If you’re planning to visit the island or stay there for a while, ere are some of the things I discovered after living there for a month that might help you.
Stores will close at mid-day and on Sundays.
I am used at seeing everything open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. but that is not the case with Spain in general. Most stores and several restaurants will be closed for about four hours at the middle of the day, starting at noon or at 2 p.m. regularly. They start reopening at about 4 p.m., or restaurants at about dinner time at 7 p.m.
But many places are completely closed on Sundays. We arrived on a Sunday and were surprised at how quiet and deserted the city felt, but we later discovered everyone must’ve been at the beach or out in the country.
Palma de Mallorca is a very walkable city
Don’t worry about renting a car or a bike beforehand if you’re okay with walking. Distances in maps look longer than they actually are and the infinite streets have many secret stores and cafés that can only be discovered if you’re walking. If you have a car, parking can be a little bit of nightmare, since the streets are very small and everyone parallel parks. I was there during the summer, so there are also many more cars out in the streets.
There are many car rental companies offering you great prices on cars, but make sure you read all their terms and conditions before booking any. For example GoldCar offers very cheap prices, but then make you sign for insurance, tanks of gasoline at their price, etc. so the prices are actually higher in the end. We rented a car for one weekend in Alamo Rent a Car and were very pleased with the experience.
NOTE: Remember that in Europe most people drive manual cars, so almost all rentals will be for manual vehicles. If you don’t know how to drive one of these, they will have automatics, but they’re always more expensive.
Rent is cheap
Seriously. You can get a nice shared apartment for $600 a month and a three bed, furnished apartment for about $1400. We found ours through Airbnb but there are many Real Estate agencies everywhere in the island.
The people are great
Don’t be shy to ask for help and to make new acquaintances. All the Majorcans I’ve spoken to have been great, with a really good sense of humor and willing to help you. Mallorca also has many immigrants and visitors from all over the world. It is not surprising to hear English, German or French in the streets. We’ve met Rumanians, Argentines, British and Swedish people, and they have all been friendly.
You have to see all of the island
The city is amazing, but the natural beauty in the rest of the island is simply breathtaking. Our favorite side of the island was the southwest where the Tramuntana moutain range starts. The towns of Valldemossa and Sóller are very charming, surrounded by tall rock mountains and the blue Mediterranean.
But there are small towns and beaches all over the island that are worth visiting or living in.