If you want to to experience Mallorca’s most dramatic scenery, you have to drive the road to the Formentor Cape. This iconic 10 miles stretch of road is considered one of the most scenic in the world, and is characterised by innumerable hairpin turns along a stunning landscape, high above the sea, with views that don’t disappoint.
Starting at the ancient town of Pollença, take the opportunity to explore its lively streets around the historic old centre and its impressive Plaza Major, which hosts Mallorca’s best Sunday market. If you have the time and energy, there’s also a worthwhile hike to be had up the 365 steps leading to El Calvari. The hike ends at an 18th century church set amid unbeatable views of the town and surrounding countryside. Another good addition from this starting point is to take the 4 miles drive to the seaside village of Port de Pollença, which sits in a large horseshoe bay, where you can wander around the remains of the roman city, its marina, and the Pine Walk promenade, Passeig Voramar, before making headway to the Formentor Peninsula.
From Pollença, take the MA2210 to the Cap de Formentor, the most northern point of the island. This is a long winding road with superb views of the rocky northern coastal line where a lighthouse meets you at the end, 384 meters above the Mediterranean sea. The road was built by Antonio Parietti, the same Italian engineer who designed the road to Sa Calobra and who evidently has a thing against straight lines. As with Sa Calobra, you should expect a quiet and slow drive, as the road is similarly hampered by a plethora of road cyclists. Please be patient and respect the safe passing distance to the left, which must be 1,5 meters or greater. Although it’s not a foolproof plan, if you can time this drive for sunset you might be able to avoid its heaviest traffic, as the cyclists prefer to be off the roads before it gets dark.
On the way there or back, don’t miss the view points of Mirador de Mal Pas, for views of the rocky northern coastal line, and Talaia d’Albercutx, which is the highest point of the peninsula and offers a great 360 degree view of the area where on sunny days you can even catch a glimpse of the neighbouring island of Menorca. You can also take some time at the blue-flag Formentor beach, also known as Cala Pi. Set along the Formentor Peninsula in a dense pine forest, Playa de Formentor is a long and narrow beach with shallow turquoise waters. The down side? It is ridiculously expensive. Even the parking doesn’t come cheap!
Drive back to Port de Pollença, then turn east to Alcudia, a fortified medieval town believed to be the oldest city in the Balearic Islands and surrounded by 14th century defensive walls erected by King Jaume II. Alcudia is like a small version of Palma. Park your car and roam around its hectic pedestrian area and enjoy a typical Mallorcan delicatessen in one of its cozy restaurants or stylish cafés. If you are around on a Tuesday or Sunday, you’ll want to check out its famous open-air market.
About 5-10 minutes drive along the MA-2220 from Alcúdia is Port d’Alcudia, a lively and highly modernized resort town and a popular holiday destination. A few miles away, you can find Alcudia Beach, which is a nice sandy beach with shallow waters. Despite being in a touristy area bussling with restaurants and hotels, it feels very relaxed.
Within walking distance from Playa D’Alcudia is Playa de Muro, a beautiful 3 miles long white sand beach. It goes along the C-712 road linking Port d’Alcudia and Artà, but because the road is hidden from the beach by a bank of sand dunes, it offers a more relaxing environment than its neighbouring beaches. This beach is somehow famous for its broken wooden dock, which is one of the more instagrammed spots on the island. The beach continues all the way to the town of Ca’n Picafort where the scene dramatically changes into one of the most touristic areas of Mallorca. If you’re a nature lover, you should know that the beach backs onto the Natural Park of S’Albufera, an unspoiled marshland area. The park is home to a huge variety of wildlife, and is a great spot to hike along wild streams exploring the islands varied flora and fauna.
At this point, we would call it a day. From Sa Pobla follow the signs back to Palma, if that is where you are staying. It’s a direct 28-miles trip back along the MA-13 motorway down to Inca and Palma.
Towns on this route: Pollença – Port de Pollença – Cap de Formentor – Alcudia – Port d’Alcudia – Playa de Muro.
Length of this route: 50 miles.
Where to eat: La Llonja in Port de Pollença, Restaurant Celler Ca’n Costa Alcudia in Alcudia.
Where to sleep: Hotel Illa D’Or in Port de Pollença, Alcudia Petit Hotel in Alcudia, Iberostar Playa de Muro in Muro Beach.
This is one of my favourite drives in Mallorca. It offers plenty of sights and stops to make for a great day out. However, this only covers a small part of the island. Go check out other stunning routes in our recent posts about Mallorca!