By vida villas | 13 January 2023 | pollensa
The Northeast of the island of Mallorca is the gift that keeps on giving. Home to landscapes of untouched beauty, spectacular coastal spots, and some of Spain’s most splendid traditional settlements, this Balearic beauty’s northern region offers a diverse palette for those looking to vacation here.
Much loved by visitors around the world, the region’s charming coastal towns and humble villages make for an enchanting break in the Mediterranean, regardless of the time of year. But, there are a few that are noted as firm favourites, by both tourists and locals, which have drawn them back year after year without fail.
Alcúdia town is known for its unparalleled Mediterranean beaches. Nestled just above the grand bay of Alcúdia, it is a historic settlement which boasts fascinating mediaeval architecture and a, unsuspectingly, buzzing nightlife scene. Its old town is deserving of a particular mention, with towering fortified walls encircling its aged cobbled streets, it’s almost like stepping back in time.
Whereas Puerto Pollensa is a down-to-earth destination that, whilst simple, showcases blissful and authentic Mediterranean living in its best light. It has flourished in recent years as a popular tourist destination, offering a sweeping stretch of coastline boasting magnificent views and fantastic local walks and cycle routes reaching the striking landscapes Mallorca is so well-known for.
So, is Alcúdia or Puerto Pollensa the destination for you? When it comes to finding where you want to stay, and visit, during your Mallorca break, you’ll want to know what’s on the cards in both destinations to ensure you’re making the right decision. This is why we, here at Vida Villas, have created this guide.
From the best places to eat to things to do, you can compare the two destinations to see which best suits your wants and needs to create your perfect holiday experience.
Nestled nearby Alcúdia bay, Alcúdia town borders Mallorca’s northeast coastline and is a popular destination for families across the island and beyond. Its 10 km stretch of neighbouring golden sandy shorelines is a seaside lovers’ paradise, offering an opportunity to relax in tranquil surroundings beneath the heat of the Mediterranean sun.
When considering its culture, Alcúdia is steeped in Mallorca’s rich cultural and historical heritage. The town was founded by the Phoenicians and is said to be the oldest city in the Balearic Isles. It has lived to see the sieges and downfalls of great empires, which have left their mark with the fascinating architecture and fortifications which can be seen to this day within Alcúdia town centre and beyond.
One of Mallorca’s largest, Alcúdia market offers a classic example of a Spanish market scene that is a long-standing tradition, and way of life, here.
You can’t help but love its uncharacteristically normal stalls, which radiate a sense of community and sell everything from fresh produce to artisanal goods and souvenirs.
The market is held in the centre of Alcúdia old town, and is open every Tuesday and Sunday, from 8 am until 1:30 pm. It’s certainly worth a visit if you’re looking to sample an aspect of the quintessential Mallorcan lifestyle.
Alcúdia’s old town is undoubtedly its most prominent feature. Encircled by its dominating city walls, it’s a site in itself during your visit to Alcúdia town. You can meander through its charming aged cobblestone streets and find an enticing historical sight at every turn.
You can even climb its city walls, giving an impressive vantage point over the old town to soak in the local views from above. Nearby, you’ll also find the 13th-century church of Sant Jaume, a neo-gothic style church with impressive sculptures and beautiful stained glass windows.
Alcúdia’s coastal location places it in a prime position to access local hiking routes and areas of natural wonder. For example, along the northeastern shoreline, visitors can venture to visit the Mirador de la Victoria.
Home to an amazing 12th-century hermitage and a spectacular viewing point, the Mirador makes for a fantastic day out to revel in Mallorca’s untouched splendour. You can expect exceptional panoramic views, including of the bay of Pollensa, and there’s even a restaurant nearby should you have built up an appetite en route!
Alcúdia is known for its blissful beaches, and you’ll never have to venture far to seek one of its golden coastal spots and secluded shorelines, each offering its own unique splendours to suit every type of beach-goer.
Alcúdia beach is one of north Mallorca’s most popular coastal locations. Stretching along over 20 miles of sandy shores, it’s the ideal beach day out for those in search of your typical sun, sea, and sand retreat.
Whilst other Mallorca destinations have developed their reputations as the ‘party hotspots’ of the island, nightlife in Alcúdia does offer a variety of options to appeal to anyone who can be tempted by an evening in the town.
With its own vibrant nightlife strip, known as Dollar Street, a night here is well spent with Alcúdia bars and clubs at every turn to get any party started. 5 Glops, for example, located at the top of Dollar Street, offers an authentic Spanish nightlife experience, with Latin dance and Reggeaton music playing throughout the night.
For the gourmands, Alcúdia’s long-standing history has made it a haven for traditional and authentic eateries. The town boasts a number of high-quality and delectable restaurants, tapas bars, and cafes where you can experience the best of genuine Mallorcan cuisine, which marries perfectly with its traditional historic setting.
Restaurant Cellar C’an Costa is one of the restaurants in Alcúdia old town. A family-run business, it serves local recipes that have been passed down for generations, so you couldn’t find more authentic Mallorcan eats if you tried. Its charming Spanish architecture and interiors make for the perfect setting to experience some of the best of Mallorca’s unchanged and unique cuisine.
Not far from Alcúdia town at the edge of the Tramuntana mountain range, sandwiched between Sa Pobla and the Port of Alcúdia, you’ll find Finca Simovell.
This charming holiday rental can host up to 16 guests in 8 double rooms and features its own vineyard, large outdoor pool, a wine cellar, terraces, and a barbeque area.
The property even has its own private hiking trails linking it to Sa Pobla and Puerto de Alcúdia, meaning you’re never far from some of the north of the island’s best destinations.
Situated right on the edge of the bay of Pollensa, the lovely seafront town of Puerto Pollensa is a haven for sun, sand, and scenery. Nestled in the sheltered confines of the bay, the town’s bustling streets and beautiful seafront piers are slotted between beautiful mountain ranges and swathes of golden shoreline.
Whilst Puerto Pollensa draws new and old visitors every year for its beauty, you may be surprised to hear that the town has been responsible for sparking creativity in some of the greatest novelists of our modern age.
Agatha Christie, for example, wrote her novel ‘Problems at Pollensa Bay’ whilst inspired by this otherwise normal North Mallorcan settlement. But, we can assure you that you aren’t likely to have any problems whilst discovering this blissful resort town.
Near Puerto Pollensa is Cap de Formentor. Located where the Tramuntana mountain range ends, it is the northernmost point of Mallorca and has unrivalled views of the surrounding mountainous and seafront landscapes.
Cycling to Cap de Formentor is one of the best ways to view its splendours whilst also immersing yourself in the beauty of north Mallorca en route. Taking roughly an hour and a quarter to reach from Puerto Pollensa town via the Ma-2210, once reached, it has a fantastic viewing point and lighthouse with a cafe to take in the views with a bite to eat in hand.
Whether in the evening as the sun sets, or amidst the hustle and bustle of Puerto Pollensa’s peak morning or afternoon hours, taking a stroll along the scenic Pine Walk, Puerto Pollensa’s main promenade, is time well spent.
Listen to the waves lap along the shore and take shelter from the sunshine beneath its bordering verdant trees, it’s the perfect place for a spot of people watching and to slow down after you’ve spent time exploring the town.
Puerto Pollensa beaches and its coastline offer the ideal conditions for watersports, which is why you’ll find the opportunity to try your hand at many of its most popular watersport activities whilst you’re here.
Whether you’ve always fancied water-skiing, or admiring the bay from above whilst paragliding, Puerto Pollensa offers ample opportunities to sample the best of watersports in Mallorca.
Puerto Pollensa offers brilliant access to some of North Mallorca’s best beaches. But its main beach, Port de Pollensa, truly takes the cake.
Much like Alcúdia’s beach, this curving stretch of coastline reaches 1.5km in length and offers an unrivalled landscape, featuring the exceptional Tramuntana mountain range which is only a stone’s throw away.
Other than its wonderful scenery, it boasts a prime location close to Puerto Pollensa town, with plenty of space to spread out and spend a whole day enjoying its turquoise waters and golden sands.
Puerto Pollensa’s nightlife isn’t all that riveting when compared to other locations on the north of the island. It has a more relaxed atmosphere and is home to a number of lovely pubs and bars, as opposed to vibrant nightclubs, for a more chilled evening.
Pubs and bars in Puerto Pollensa are most saturated along its seafront near the port, offering a tranquil atmosphere set right in front of the town’s beautiful shore. Puerto Pollensa town square is also buzzing in the evenings, with its local pubs and bars’ terraces often busy or fully packed.
Given that Puerto Pollensa is one of Mallorca’s most upmarket resort destinations, it's unsurprising that its range of restaurants and eateries offer some of the best of the culture’s cuisine.
From Michelin restaurants to specialist Vegan and Vegetarian eateries, there’s something to be said for this coastal town’s ability to tantalise the senses.
La Terrassa and Restaurant “1929” for example, offers the most romantic destination for your evening meal. It’s situated on the famed Pine Walk and serves gourmet Mallorcan and Mediterranean cuisine, with blissful views of the Mediterranean and surrounding landscape from its terrace.
Villa Cien 32 is a homely and comforting modern villa offering unrivalled access to the harbour of Puerto Pollensa, which is within walking distance. Sleeping up to 10 guests in 5 bedrooms, it's in a relaxing setting situated in a small residential area, and features its own heated outdoor pool, garden, and children’s playroom.
Each offering its own unique attractions, sights, and atmosphere, both Alcúdia and Puerto Pollensa are spectacular North Mallorca destinations worthy of a visit during your next trip.
Depending on what you enjoy most on holiday, whether you’re a sun-seeking beach lover, an active wilderness explorer, or a history buff, we hope this guide gives you the insight you need into these two equally lovely destinations to help you decide which is the right fit for you.
If you’ve decided whether you’re visiting Alcúdia or Puerto Pollensa and you’re now looking for a place to stay, here at Vida Villas we offer a wide selection of rental properties in both Puerto Pollensa and Alcúdia.
However, should you still be unsure of where to visit, you can find the perfect place to stay between both of these Mallorcan favourites on our website. Alternatively, contact our team, we’ll be happy to find the best property for you.