Thinking of a Mallorca road trip by campervan? This 2021 RV travel guide with the best routes and tips to explore the island is all you need.
Exploring Mallorca by campervan is becoming an increasingly popular and attractive way to visit the island. Here is a complete guide to RV travel in Mallorca so that you can plan which parts to visit, learn about the rules and regulations for road trippers, and decide how long to spend on the island.
Traveling by RV means you will be able to discover Mallorca in a totally independent way because the motorhome, campervan, or converted van gives you a lot of freedom and flexibility: if you come across a place where you want to stay longer, you can just modify your route at your own pace.
Besides, in these pandemic times, traveling by campervan is very appealing, because you can easily maintain social distance. In fact, during the summer of 2020, there was a large increase in travelers who opted to discover Mallorca in this way.
- A brief intro to Mallorca, an island of timeless appeal
- RV travel and regulations in Mallorca
- Best things to see and do in Mallorca
- Exploring a few Mallorca road trip routes by campervan
A brief intro to Mallorca, an island of timeless appeal
Recent history of tourism in Mallorca
As with other big coastal destinations in Spain, international tourism in Mallorca took off in the 70s and grew with each decade. The 80s and 90s were the big holiday package years, with visitors buying an organized holiday package in their home country and having everything already arranged for them at their destination.
In the late 90s and early 00s, low-cost flights began forcing holidaymakers to be more independent and gave them freedom outside the restraints of the package holiday framework.
Nowadays visitors are a lot more adventurous and independent than they once were. The tour package of the 80s and 90s still exists, as does the dreaded all-inclusive package holiday, but the carefree independent traveler has definitely reached these shores. And many are arriving in a campervan!
What is the best time to visit Mallorca?
Mallorca is a wonderful destination all year round and the ferries operate year-round too. Mallorca is mainly a summer destination, as most visitors are looking for a nice beach and a good suntan. If you want to swim in the sea, then you will certainly have to schedule your road trip for the summer months when temperatures are well into the 30s every day.
If you don’t need the heat and are looking to avoid the crowds, then you can visit in winter, as long as you don’t mind that outside Palma, many bars and restaurants are closed. Winter in Mallorca can get chilly in a campervan at night, but even in December and January, the weather during the day can be pleasant with blue skies and sunshine. It can be nasty too, so in winter you take your luck with the weather.
Why should you take a Mallorca road trip?
Mallorca, the largest island on the Balearic archipelago – one of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities – has it all: great weather, gorgeous beaches, unspoiled villages, incredible mountains, tasty gastronomy, and a well-established tourist infrastructure making life easy for visitors.
There are fantastic excursions in Mallorca and many things to do and see for a memorable road trip. Located in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Barcelona, Mallorca is one of the most important tourist destinations in Spain and, despite having a population that doesn’t quite reach 1 million inhabitants, welcomes over 8 million tourists every year (most of which visit between April and October).
What do you need to pack for a Mallorca road trip?
If you’re traveling in an RV then there’s no need to travel light, but you don’t need to bring unnecessary items either. Here are a few must-brings:
- Swimsuit and towel.
- Flip flops (remember it’s illegal to drive in them though).
- Good hiking boots for exploring mountain trails.
- Sun cream and aftersun.
- Sunglasses (these are even more important for the driver).
- Driving license valid in Spain (in Spain you must carry your driving license with you when you are driving any vehicle).
- Mosquito repellent.
Getting to Mallorca in a campervan
Reaching Mallorca is easy from the mainland for people traveling with their own vehicle, as there are daily ferries from Barcelona and Valencia as well as many ferry departures throughout the day between Mallorca and the other islands.
The most popular way to get to Mallorca is the overnight ferry from Barcelona to the Port of Alcudia. Do check all the routes online before you book though, as the different ferry companies often publish special offers.
RV travel and regulations in Mallorca
A recreational vehicle is a totally autonomous home vehicle, which has a water tank (one for clean water and one for used water), a chemical toilet, a small kitchen, and a bedroom. They are designed to be traveled in with total comfort. There are different levels of luxury according to budget.
An RV can cost anywhere between 50,000 and 100,000 euros, depending on the comforts, finishes, and designs. You can rent an RV in Mallorca for between 150 and 200 euros per day in the high season, and between 80 and 120 per day in the low season.
Regulations for motorhomes in Mallorca
RV travelers in Mallorca must understand the difference between two concepts: parking and camping.
- When parked, the national traffic regulations apply.
- When camping, the regulations of the Balearic Government apply, and the SEPRONA (if you are camping on rustic land), IBANAT (in protected areas), Coastal Demarcation (in the coastal zone), or the local police, can move you on and fine you if you are breaking regulations or camping in an unauthorized place.
Parking is defined as being inside the vehicle (watching TV, eating, sleeping, etc.). If you are outside, setting up a table, taking out chairs, or placing jacks to stabilize the campervan, then you are camping. In Mallorca you cannot camp freely wherever you want, as it can carry a series of penalties. If you are not sure whether you are allowed to camp or stay in any place for any length of time, please check with the local authorities to avoid being fined.
Campervan parking in Mallorca and service areas
In Mallorca, there are more than 500 recreational vehicles. In France, over 500,000 and in Germany, more than 600,000. In Spain, about 230,000.
Mallorca is an ideal place to visit by RV, in that the temperature is ideal and the setting is gorgeous, but Mallorca is not very well prepared for RV travel; this is something that is only just becoming popular on the island. In fact, on the entire island, there are barely two service areas for motorhomes:
- In the Son Castelló industrial estate in Palma: it belongs to EMAYA, and is located in the Son Castelló Parc Verd. It is a separate area from the waste collection area and has a place to safely dispose of grey waters and a water facility to clean and fill the water tanks. It opens from 8:00 to 20:00.
- Petroest gas station in Son Rossinyol on Carrer Gremi Cirugians i Barbers, 11: For 5€ you can use the ecological point to change the water of your vehicle.
In Mallorca there are just a few clear parking places specifically for campervans:
- Lluc Monastery car park: this is a very quiet car park surrounded by nature, although it is not exclusive to campervans. Nearby is the camping area, Sa Font Coberta, where you can load and drain the water from the motorhome. It also has showers and barbecues. The parking fee is 10€ per day.
- Parking in Son Servera: located near the beach of Port Vell, it has 12 spaces and you can park for a maximum of 48 hours. At the Repsol gas station in Son Servera they have set up a service area.
- Parking in Son Serra de Marina: there is the possibility of parking up at Son Serra de Marina but the guidelines are not clear. Parking is possible by the local council offices and that is also where you can get up-to-date information about regulations.
Best things to see and do in Mallorca
The routes below, which have been designed especially with campervans in mind, can be enjoyed over a couple of days or a longer time. Visitors to the island who like to travel in this way are normally looking for hidden corners, beautiful coves, nature, and little-known villages, so the suggested routes below don’t include Mallorca’s most commercial attractions like waterparks, shopping centers, or big coach tour day-tripper hotspots.
At the end of this post, you will find a list of beaches that can be found in the same areas as the routes and can easily be incorporated into your holiday itinerary.
How many days should you spend in Mallorca?
The longer you have in Mallorca, the more opportunity you will have to delve into the local culture and gastronomy and explore areas in depth. If you have the time, at least two weeks in Mallorca are ideal for exploring all the following suggestions, giving yourself time to relax and enjoy beach days in between.
A suggestion if you are traveling for only a few days or a weekend is to follow just one of the routes. The following year, do the next one on the list and so on.
Exploring a few Mallorca road trip routes by campervan
There is a lot to see in Mallorca, and it is difficult to cover everything. But if you are traveling by campervan and are flexible with time, you should be able to cover much of the following itineraries. Everything boils down to time and budget, but the beauty of exploring Mallorca by RV means that you can get off the beaten track, take your time and move around slowly.
Road trip through cala Agulla
Close to the tourist center of Cala Ratjada, is the beautiful beach of Cala Agulla, which has a large parking lot and an area for motorhomes where you can park for 10€ per day. Although the parking ticket office closes at 6:30 p.m., you can enter and park later, and pay the next day. The RV parking area is in an area without shade, a little far out from the beach.
There are free bathrooms on Cala Agulla Beach, which work with tokens that you buy at the parking office, only in the summer season.
Things to do in and around Cala Agulla:
- Take a swim in the crystal-clear waters of Cala Agulla. If you’re visiting Mallorca during the summer months, then one of the main reasons to park up at Cala Agulla is to enjoy this wonderful beach and swim in its perfect Mediterranean waters.
- If you like hiking, you can walk to Cala Mesquida (another spectacular beach) or to the old defensive watchtower of Son Jaumell from where you can enjoy excellent views. Despite being close to large tourist resorts, you will feel like you have the whole area just for yourself.
- You can visit the beautiful town of Capdepera, where a visit to its medieval castle is a must. (If you’re traveling with a furry friend, dogs are allowed in the castle grounds too).
- Every Tuesday the town of Arta holds one of the nicest markets on the island and has a dedicated farmers’ market. You can make a day of it and take a walk through the town and up to the Sant Salvador Sanctuary atop a hill with magnificent views back over the town and for miles across the island and out to sea. In the outskirts of Arta, the talayotic settlement of Ses Paisses is worth a visit.
Road trip through Alcudia Bay
On a beautiful road trip along Alcudia Bay, you can start by spending the night in Son Serra de Marina at the southern end of the bay. Right in front of the municipal offices, there is an area where you can park your RV. Stroll through this small town with its chilled-out vibe and enjoy its pretty beach and promenade.
Dedicate the next day to visiting the municipality of Alcudia. Here are some options for parking:
- In front of the church of Alcudia, there is a car park.
- In Puerto del Cocodrilo there is another car park right next to a bathing area.
- On the way to the Ermita de La Victoria, before reaching S’Illot, there’s a small bridge and an area that is popular with campervans.
- At the Ermita de La Victoria itself, there is a parking area.
- Another very popular motorhome site is on the beach of Aucanada.
Except for the first option, which is in the center of Alcudia Old Town, all these parking locations are quiet and have stunning coastal views.
Things to do in and around Alcudia:
- The perfectly maintained streets of Alcudia Old Town are a delight for a stroll. You will be able to walk on the medieval walls, browse around the small artisan shops and enjoy lunch at one of the typical Mallorcan restaurants. Finally, you can visit the Roman ruins of Pollentia, one of the few archaeological remains preserved in Mallorca from that epoch.
- Alcudia stands out for its quantity and quality of beaches. The most popular is the beach of Puerto de Alcudia which, with its large stretch of sand, is ideal for families. If you like to snorkel, both the S’Illot area and Aucanada are perfect.
- Alcudia Port is a busy one with a wide range of daily boat trips on offer. Sailing is a magnificent way to enjoy the gorgeous northern coastline.
- If you like hiking, there are some marvelous trails in Alcudia, especially around the area of La Victoria. From the Atalaya of La Victoria or the Peña del Migdia, the views of Alcudia Bay and Pollensa Bay are spectacular, and on clear days, you can even see Menorca.
A route in Mallorca for the experienced road tripper
This route in Mallorca takes us to a place that is not easy to reach by RV, but which is well worth the effort and nerves (nerves because the road is narrow and winding and with many cars in summer and many cyclists out of summer). But the site’s beauty will leave you speechless.
It is Formentor Lighthouse, also known as Cap de Formentor, the northernmost point on the island.
You can park your campervan at the lighthouse, although the parking lot is not very big. IMPORTANT: the road from Formentor Beach to the lighthouse is restricted to traffic from 15th June to 15th September from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. In that period of time, you cannot circulate on this road in a motor vehicle.
Things to do in the Formentor area:
- Due to the orientation of the Formentor peninsula, this is one of the best places on the island to see both the sunset and the sunrise. Both are spectacular.
- If you want to swim, Formentor Beach should be top of your list. It is a beautiful beach, with excellent views and crystal-clear waters. This beach is very popular with people on daily boat trips from Puerto Alcudia and Puerto Pollensa so the best time to enjoy this beach is after 4 pm.
- On the way to Formentor, don’t forget to stop at the Es Colomer viewpoint. You’ll see some of the best views on the island from here and it’s also great for sunrise and sunset.
- Visit Puerto Pollensa, and also visit the old town of Pollensa. There is plenty to do and see in both Puerto Pollensa and Pollensa, so if you are not pushed for time, try to allocate a few days for both places.
- If you like wine, visit the Can Vidalet winery, where you can taste wine made on-site at their bodega, with a focus on local grape varieties and artisan production.
- Like Alcudia Bay, the bay of Pollensa is ideal for sailing, either on a catamaran excursion, a sailing excursion, or a private boat trip. Some places offer windsurf, kitesurf, and canoeing experiences.
Road trip through the Tramuntana mountains
One of the most beautiful areas of Mallorca declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Tramuntana Mountains cover a third of the island along the entire west coast.
If you are coming from the previous route, your first stop will be at Lluc Monastery, where there is a campervan parking facility.
There are many trekking routes around Lluc and the information center has maps and hiking trails. A particularly nice hike is the one that takes you to see Es Camell, a karst rock that has been shaped by the effect of the rainwater, and looks like a camel. The area immediately around Lluc Monastery is beautiful, and the monastery itself, considered the spiritual center of Mallorca, is quite majestic.
Don’t leave Lluc without having visited the church and having heard the Blauets sing. This is one of the oldest singing schools in Europe.
From Lluc, continue your RV trip to Sa Calobra. The road to Sa Calobra is considered one of the most spectacular in Europe. Make a stop at the “knot of the tie”, where you will see that the road turns underneath itself, and there is a wonderful viewpoint.
Sa Calobra itself is quite a touristy place with tour groups, so it’s better to visit late afternoon once the crowds have moved on. You can spend the night at Sa Calobra in your RV, as there is a parking area.
The beach at Sa Calobra is framed with impressive cliffs of the Serra de Tramuntana and is where the Torrent de Pareis Gorge meets the sea. Swimming here is pure joy.
From Sa Calobra, drive through the area of the reservoirs and the foothills of the Puig Major, the highest mountain on the island, to the Valley of Soller. Here you can dedicate a day or two to these suggestions:
- Take a walk through the town, especially the square and the Carrer Lluna with its modernist buildings.
- Visit Can Prunera, a restored modernist house that houses a museum.
- Go by tram to Puerto de Soller, to have dinner there or take a walk to the Santa Catalina viewpoint.
- Try a homemade orange ice cream (the Soller Valley is renowned for its orange orchards) at Gelats de Soller or Can Pau. Their ice creams are delicious, with no comparison to today’s industrially-produced versions.
In Soller, you can park your RV on the main road, near Soller Botanical Garden.
Deia and Valldemossa
The last part of this road trip through the Tramuntana Mountains takes you to Deia and Valldemossa. Be very careful driving on this road, which is narrow and curvy in some sections.
Both Deia and Valldemossa are among the most photographed locations in Mallorca thanks to their stunning surroundings in the Tramuntana Mountains and their perfectly preserved streets and stone buildings.
In Valldemossa, the larger of the two, you can visit the Carthusian Monastery Museum and the Palace of King Sancho. Then walk to the oldest part of town, where you find the parish church, and you will discover some of the most beautiful streets in town.
Banyalbufar and Estellencs
If you want to extend this RV mountain route, take the road to Banyalbufar and Estellencs, two small villages near the sea, which retain all their charm with their stone houses and beautiful streets. The two places are the image of postcard perfection and are known for their typical terraces where olive trees and grapevines are cultivated. There’s a car park in Banyalbufar.
Road trip through the Pla de Mallorca
The inland area of the island, known as the Pla de Mallorca, is often overlooked by visitors, and road trippers tend to prefer the coastal areas. But the interior of Mallorca is where you can see the true rural side of the island, untouched by tourism. Here are some recommendations:
- Ariany: a town that retains all its rural character. Take a stroll to see the views from the viewpoint in front of its church.
- Petra: another charming town, where you can visit the museum and the house where Fray Junipero Serra was born. Afterward, drive or hike up the Puig de Bonany hill to visit the well-preserved hermitage and take in views of Alcudia Bay. Go back to Petra just in time for a late lunch at one of the cellers that the town is famous for.
- Sant Joan: you can visit the Els Calderers house-museum and go up to the Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de la Consolación, a popular place with campervans.
Beaches in Mallorca to explore by motorhome
Finally, to end this post about road tripping Mallorca, some excellent beaches to visit:
Mallorca has more than 300 beaches and coves, so there are a lot to choose from. When traveling by motorhome in Mallorca, you will be somewhat dependent on the parking options. To narrow it down, the following are very picturesque beaches that you can find without diverting much from the routes mentioned and all have car parks accessible for RVs.
- In Pollensa: Cala San Vicente, Cala Murta, Cala Figuera, and Puerto Pollensa.
- In Alcudia: Manresa area, Sant Joan Beach, La Victoria area, Aucanada.
- In Muro: Playa de Muro.
- In Can Picafort: Son Serra de Marina.
- In Capdepera: Cala Agulla.
- In Arta: Betlem area and Colonia de Sant Pere.
- In Cales de Mallorca: Cala Murada.
- In Colonia de Sant Jordi: Es Trenc and Ses Covetes.
- Cala Mondrago.
These are just some proposals for beaches that you can visit with your motorhome or campervan while taking a Mallorca road trip, but there are undoubtedly many more. And if you are happy to park up and hike or take a boat trip to otherwise inaccessible beaches then your options are endless.