A Weekend in Pollensa, Mallorca

things to do with kids in mallorca

Sometimes, I think humans are a bit like solar panels. Without enough sun, it’s easy to feel drained and fed up – and in the North of England, suffice to say, summer can be a long time coming.

This half-term, we were invited to top-up our sunshine levels with a weekend break in Pollensa, a small town in the Northern corner of Mallorca.

We stayed in a 3-bedroom villa courtesy of Balearic Villas, which has around 70 villas for hire on the island, with a focus on luxury, family-friendly properties. You can check out our thoughts on the villa we stayed in, on a separate post.

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Pollensa is a picturesque spot – think old, winding lanes and sunny squares lined with tapas restaurants, galleries and cafes. Around every corner is another surprise – we loved the 1920s cinema that’s been converted into a restaurant, with the old projector still sitting in the lobby. And the vegan-friendly smoothie and crepes stand just off the main square was another big hit with us – not just because the owner gave Flea a free crepe when he realised she’s a famous blogger

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Life in Pollensa seems to centre on the town’s main square, which is lined with restaurants serving tapas and international cuisine. On Sunday mornings, there’s a thriving (if hectic) market where you can find plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, along with clothes, toys and crafts. Our favourite find was a fruit stall that will mix you a fresh smoothie, perfect for cooling down on a sunny day.

Pollensa comes to life in the evenings, with a gorgeous glow lighting the narrow streets which are filled with people until well after dark. Many of the shops and restaurants are open late, and you can grab a gelato from the stall in the main square to eat while you window shop. We found a gorgeous little Italian restaurant thanks to a recommendation from our guide, and ate fresh pizza in the prettiest courtyard you can imagine.

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Many evenings during the summer there are shows and entertainment – on the weekend we visited, we found one of the courtyards had been taken over by a band playing live music, while kids ran riot on two giant, inflatable castles, and the adults sat around eating churros and drinking wine, being sold from a mobile stall.

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Through the summer, there are countless festivals and re-enactments in Pollensa. In July, hundreds of residents dress up in costume to re-enact the battle between local moors and a pirate. Arrive during Easter and you’ll see the locals carry a figure of Christ up the 365 Calvari Steps leading from the centre of town to a church at the top of the hill, by torchlight.

Pollensa is ideally located to explore the surrounding hills and coastline, and I think a car is highly recommended for any visitor here – although be warned the streets in Pollensa are wicked narrow, and driving past a parked vehicle is not for the faint-hearted!

Head out of town on the main highway and it’s a short 10-minute drive to Puerto de Pollensa, an old fishing town in a horseshoe-shaped bay, that is now the busiest tourist town in the area. There is ample parking on the port, and plenty of shops and restaurants nearby.

There’s a pretty promenade, which takes you past countless eateries and ice-cream stands, and on the seafront here you’ll even find the hotel that inspired Agatha Christie to create her novel, Problems at Pollensa Bay (this is highly pleasing to a book nerd like me). Flea loved seeing the local artists who create intricate sandcastles, and there are two playgrounds along the seafront, if you get bored of paddling in the sea, which is crystal clear and full of tiny fish.

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Compared to Pollensa, the port feels relatively busy and commercialised, but it retains a degree of charm and it felt like a nice place to spend time as a family, without any of the noise or ‘hen party’ element you might find in resorts like Magaluf.

If you’re after a more laid-back beach, then we whole-heartedly recommend Formentor.

From Pollensa, this gem is a good 30-minute drive along a coastal cliff road – the views are spectacular so let yourself have time to enjoy them! There is a parking spot towards the highest point of the road where you can pull over and take photos, before continuing on to Formentor. You can drive right to the end of the peninsular and see the Formentor Lighthouse, or pull off the road a few miles earlier at the beach.

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There is free parking just off the main road, or drive a little further down the beach road and you can park on-site for 10 euros a day. The beach is pretty, and sandy and the scenery is nothing short of spectacular. There is a very swish hotel tucked away behind the trees, where you can stay (or eat lunch) and a restaurant on a pier in the middle of the beach – it is expensive but looks great. Our guide tipped us off to a tiny canteen behind the hotel where the locals order snacks and we picked up burgers and fries here for a few Euros to eat on the beach. There’s even a spa just behind the beach to have your stresses pummelled away. Perfection.

Formentor also has a small water sports centre, where you can hire kayaks, pedalos, sailing boats and stand-up paddle boards – we had a go at paddle boarding and had great fun in the late afternoon, as the sun started to cool down after a long, hot day.

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Another gorgeous beach can be found at Cala San Vincente, an upscale resort with a beautiful beach tucked at the bottom of a steep, winding cliff. Park your car at the top of the hill, and walk down the path, picking up a picnic along the way. It’s a glorious spot to watch the water on a sunny afternoon.

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If the weather is less kind, we also recommend driving to explore the town of Alcudia.

The port town of Alcudia is pretty forgettable (we thought) but the original old town, which is a couple of miles inland, dates back to 1300 and has Roman ruins that date back as far as the second century BC. You enter the old town through gates set into the city walls, and then proceed to get lost in a maze of tiny streets and alleys, lined with shops, restaurants, houses and churches. On Sunday there is a huge market that takes over the old city, and we loved wandering through the alleys, getting lost and picking up bargains along the way.

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Pollensa was a huge surprise to me – I went expecting sunshine and not much else, but there’s so much history and beauty here that it deserves far more than a weekend to do it justice. If you’ve headed to Pollensa, then do let me know your favourite places and beaches in the comments. I’ve a funny feeling we’ll be back there before too long.

Details: We travelled to Mallorca as guests of Balearic Villas, specialists in family-friendly, luxury villa rentals in Mallorca. Villa Alba is available for rent during summer 2015, exclusively through Balearic Villas, from 2,200 Euros per week. For full details, check out the Balearic Villas website. 

About 

Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.

24 Comments

    • 3rd June 2015 / 9:26 am

      We had a fab time Lexie!

  1. 2nd June 2015 / 7:05 pm

    I only came here for the photos but the words are interesting too. I wasn’t disappointed. Looking forward to our next holiday. I don’t actually go anywhere, I just enjoy yours via the blog posts.
    Midlife Singlemum recently posted..Air Raid DrillMy Profile

    • 3rd June 2015 / 9:25 am

      Ah, that’s what I like to hear 🙂

    • 3rd June 2015 / 9:25 am

      THanks Mirka!

  2. 2nd June 2015 / 8:55 pm

    That villa, especially the pool, looks utterly amazing. I would love to take the Grandparents (for babysitting duties) and hang out there for a few days. My Dad used to have a holiday apartment in Mallorca for a few years, it’s such a pretty island and great to just hop on a plane for a short break- the flight time isn’t long at all is it?
    Katie @mummydaddyme recently posted..Contentment, Yellow Fields and Motherhood Ramblings…My Profile

    • 3rd June 2015 / 9:25 am

      The villa was fantastic, and not so expensive if you’re sharing with a group, I thought.

  3. 2nd June 2015 / 9:43 pm

    Gorgeous part of the world, was there 9 years ago and I must go back! I recommend Cala Ratjada – mostly because that’s where my mum and Dad met, back in the late 60s 🙂
    Stephs Two Girls recently posted..Siblings {May 2015}My Profile

    • 3rd June 2015 / 9:25 am

      Oh fab, thanks for the recommendation!

  4. 2nd June 2015 / 10:20 pm

    It looks like you had a lovely weekend with just the right mix of culture, scenery and relaxing, beautiful beaches! x
    Donna recently posted..I’m the mum who…My Profile

    • 3rd June 2015 / 9:24 am

      And some well overdue sunshine!

  5. 2nd June 2015 / 10:20 pm

    Ah we loved that square in Pollensa – such a fabulous place to chill out and eat while the children were able to wander. And Formentor is still the best beach for toddlers we’ve ever found!
    Helen recently posted..The Railway ChildrenMy Profile

    • 3rd June 2015 / 9:24 am

      It’s a lovely place for kids to wander, isn’t it? We loved it there.

  6. 3rd June 2015 / 9:36 am

    I was in Puerto Pollensa when the volcano in Iceland grounded all the planes. So had a few extra days to explore Majorca. We had our own Problems in Pollensa Bay. If you go back to Majorca, take the 100 year old wooden train from Palma to Soller. We managed to explore most of the island by public transport, the bus journey from Soller to Pollensa is spectacular if a bit scary. I also enjoyed watching the sea planes while I was there, and there was an amazing pizza place in Puerto Pollensa. Must get back there soon.

  7. 4th June 2015 / 8:33 am

    The VILLA!! I seriously want to stay there. I was just in Pollensa too, with another villa company, and it blew me away. Such a beautiful old town. Love the photos of Flea in the doorways.
    Alison recently posted..34 Things That Will Happen To You As A ParentMy Profile

    • 5th June 2015 / 8:45 pm

      It is very, very pretty, I promise. And I loved Pollensa – what a revelation!

  8. Sarah
    4th June 2015 / 9:54 am

    Great post, and a lovely part of the world. There’s a wonderful cycle path from Puerto Pollensa to Alcudia that follows the waterfront – great for kids as it’s wide and flat – and you can hire bikes from the port. We stayed in the Hotel Miramar in Puerto Pollensa which is a 100-year-old colonial-style hotel with bags of character. Agree that Formentor beach is absolutely beautiful. If you visit the west coast of the island then take a boat ride from St Elm to Isla Dragonera, a nature reserve full of lizards, butterflies and falcons. Happy memories!

    • 5th June 2015 / 8:44 pm

      What a fab recommendation, thanks!

  9. 4th June 2015 / 12:51 pm

    Pollensa looks beautiful. We’re looking for somewhere to stay with friends next Easter, and Pollensa looks perfect.

    I love the look of the old winding lanes and the beach….just gorgeous.
    Emma recently posted..Win Cufflinks with Merci MamanMy Profile

    • 5th June 2015 / 8:44 pm

      It really is picture perfect, and you should definitely look near the old town, rather than the port.

  10. 24th June 2015 / 10:02 am

    Absolutely beautiful! We went to Cala Bona last year, and had an amazing holiday. It’s such a beautiful place, though I’m now thinking we may have to go back to go further up the coast 😉 It was our first trip abroad with the boys, and I was really nervous with Fin being a Type 1 Diabetic, but it all went so well we didn’t want to come home!

    Stevie x
    A Cornish Mum recently posted..What’s on Today in Cornwall? – SummerMy Profile

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