Top holidays in Mallorca

Mallorca - Top 10 East Coast Holiday Resorts Reviewed

For this article, we review Mallorca's Top 10 East Coast resorts - we'll try to give a flavour of each one by including resort facilities and suitability for particular holiday types - we hope it helps when choosing your next holiday adventure.

Mallorca Hotel Pool

Mallorca's Top 10 East Coast Holiday Resorts

My top ten list contains some of the most attractive and tourist-friendly resorts in eastern Mallorca. East Coast resorts tend to be more scenic and accessible, plus they're closer to some of the island's 'must see' natural attractions, such as the impressive caves of Drach and Hams. In our opinion, East Coast Mallorcan resorts provide excellent all-round holiday facilities, good transport links and a varied nightlife for all.

  • 01 Cala Ratjada
  • 02 Cala Bona
  • 03 Cala Millor
  • 04 Sa Coma
  • 05 Porto Cristo
  • 06 S'Illot
  • 07 Porto Colom
  • 08 Cala D'or
  • 09 Ca'n Picafort
  • 10 El Arenal (south coast)

Mallorca's east coast is beautifully sculpted and has some of the finest beaches and prettiest holiday resorts, with Cala Millor, Cala d'Or and Sa Coma being some of the largest. In general, development of the east coast has been less intensive (compared to the southwest), meaning fewer high-rise buildings - plus a general feeling of openness - along with a laid-back vibe.

Some of Mallorca's best east coast resorts begin with the word 'Cala' meaning Creek - this is because many beaches, fishing villages and resorts are located deep inside large beautiful rocky bays, for example, Cala d’Or, Cala Figuera and Cala Ratjada.

If you fancy a more lively vacation, check out Holiday4's Mallora South and West Coast Resorts for a detailed review.

1. Cala Ratjada

Beautiful Cala Ratjada is located on a beautifully secluded part of Mallorca's northeast coast. Cala Ratjada is no longer a sleepy fishing village but a beautiful medieval-styled town and hidden holiday gem.

The resort offers the usual facilities - watersports, numerous restaurants and a vibrant nightlife scene. The resort remains low-key, with plenty of low-rise hotels, apartments, plus boutique-style accommodations.

Cala Ratjada's pretty marina is home to authentic fish restaurants while nearby beaches include the beautiful clear waters and white sands of Cala Moll Beach. The main bars, restaurants and shops can be found around the town’s promenade and town square (Plaça del Pins).

Top Tips:
1. Remember, Cala Ratjada is popular with German tourists, especially during early summer when the beaches (and resort) can become particularly busy.

2. If you need a break from the beach and you're feeling fit, visit the nearby town of Capdepera, a medieval hamlet lying in the shadow of a fine 14th-century castle - you can browse the town's many local shops or visit the local market on Wednesdays. The steep trek up to Castell de Capdepera is the main attraction, along with spectacular views from the top.

2. Cala Bona (good all-round resort)

Cala Bona has an un-hurried charm and a friendly atmosphere and has always been popular with British tourists. The resort is located to the north end of the neighbouring resort Cala Millor and shares the same beautiful bay. The resort has plenty of bars and restaurants to keep you refreshed - there's also a picturesque harbour that's worth investigating and enjoying.

Cala Bona has an attractive Blue Flag beach, which is suitable for families with children. There's a convenient pedestrian promenade with shops, open-air cafes, bars and restaurants serving excellent selections of varying cuisine. A 20-minute stroll or cycle along the flat promenade leads you into nearby Cala Millor and then onto the resort of Sa Coma.

Evening entertainment is mainly provided by hotels, with local bars and cafes staying open late during the summer - nearby Cala Millor has plenty more bars and clubs.
Top Tips:
(1). Put your walking shoes on and visit the nature reserve of Punta den'Amer, situated at the southern end of Cala Millor.
(2). Don't miss the magnificent nearby Caves of Drach.

3. Cala Millor

Cala Millor is a large, modern, high-rise resort - packed with family-friendly facilities. The resort caters well for both laid-back and active, fun-packed holidays.

The resort's main attraction is its impressive 1.5km-long Blue Flag beach, which has light-golden sands lapped by gently shelving turquoise waters, making it perfect for families and swimmers when supervised. The beach offers an impressive array of watersport options, including scuba diving, jet skiing and windsurfing. The beach is backed by a relaxing (but busy) palm-shaded promenade that stretches (all the way) to the quieter resort of Cala Bona. The long promenade is surrounded by souvenir shops selling beach goods, plus there are plenty of cafés and lively beach bars to keep you refreshed and entertained.

If you fancy stretching your legs, there are some interesting coastal and inland walks; one of the nicest is the southern route towards Cala Moreya or (Platja de S'Illot) which takes you through soft-scented pine woods - the walk takes just over 1 hour.

A pedestrianised zone and a long main street wind through the resort centre - which offers plenty of restaurants, shops, bars and clubs to keep you 'energised and refreshed'. Cala Millor is one of Mallorca's original high-rise holiday resorts and is a firm favourite with British holidaymakers - it's also the most tourist-developed resort on Mallorca's east coast. Cala Millor is ideal for couples looking for a 'take-it-easy' beach break, families looking for an active beach holiday, or the 'young and lively set' looking for late-night music, bars and clubs.

As you travel along Majorca's scenic east coast, check out our attractions list and "must-visit" locations mentioned below:

Top Tip: Have a break from the beach and take a day trip to Mallorca's colourful capital, Palma. You'll discover countless cosmopolitan features, from cathedrals to museums and great shopping, plus hip bars and eateries to keep you refreshed and entertained. Walk the cobbled maze of the old town, enjoy the centuries-old Gothic buildings and colourful squares and catch glimpses of grand Mallorcan style Baronial Houses.

  • Visit the spectacular underground caves at Coves d'Arta. Guides will lead you through vast limestone caverns of colourful stalactites and stalagmites. When illuminated, these fantastically sculpted formations conjure up mysterious images depicting heaven and hell.
  • Don't miss Safari Zoo Mallorca - experience roaming wild animals like on a safari. You can drive your own car or take the safari train.
  • The best time of year to visit East Coast Mallorca is spring and late summer. The climate is reasonable year-round, with most resorts being fully booked during the hot mid-summer months. Winters are mild and can be overcast for short durations.
  • The best way to discover the east coast is to hire a car. The coastal roads MA4040, MA4023 & MA4014 run slightly inland from the coast and pass through (or near to) most main eastern resorts and coastal attractions.
Mallorca beach Cove

4. Sa Coma

Sa Coma is a purpose-built resort located at the southern end of Cala Millor. The resort forms the 'last of a trio' of top-rated and closely connected beach resorts. Sa Coma is favoured more by British holidaymakers and is geared toward catering for families - nightlife is low-key; however, there are plenty of dining options and a buzzy bar scene around the lively promenade.

The award-winning soft sandy beach covers a crescent-shaped bay and attractive promenade; the beach has shallow family-friendly waters that are good for both swimming and paddleboarding. To the south, Sa Coma runs into neighbouring town S’Illot, giving holidaymakers a further choice of beach, with calm turquoise waters to enjoy, plus more entertainment and eating-out options.

Sa Coma and neighbouring resorts are conveniently linked by an electric mini-train service called Minitrenet. This service provides excellent daytime transportation links between S’Illot, Sa Coma, Cala Millor and Cala Bona and helps provide holidaymakers with one extensive interconnected and complete holiday resort experience - it's no wonder these resorts see the most repeat stays on the island.

5. Porto Cristo

Following the coast south from Sa Coma leads to the picturesque holiday resort of Porto Cristo, a bustling traditional working fishing village full of laid-back charm and Spanish character. This family-friendly resort has lots to offer, including a lovely beach with the usual sun loungers, umbrellas, cafés and restaurants - plus a busy fishing marina.

The village of Porto Cristo (meaning Port of Christ) takes its name from a statue washed up on this part of the coast after a shipwreck hundreds of years ago.

The marina has a few chic bars and small cafes to relax in - from here, you can watch the comings and goings of small fishing boats as they supply waterfront restaurants with their fresh 'catch of the day'. Other nearby facilities include 2 golf courses (the Pula Golf will appeal to the more experienced golfer). There's also a mini safari park and organised boat trips that all the family can take part in and enjoy.

Although a successful tourist resort in its own right, Porto Cristo can appear overly busy in high season, this is due to its location next to the popular (must-see) attractions of Cuevas del Drach (The Dragon Caves), a 2km stretch of winding underground tunnels and a network of colourful and mysterious caverns.

Top Tips:
(1) The resort can be hilly in places so is not ideal for the elderly or infirm.
(2) If you're looking for a hotel that provides a complete family holiday experience, check out the Insotel Cala Mandia Resort & Spa, which includes a family splash park and adults-only areas. The hotel is next to a wide beach (Cala Mandia) and is only a five-minute drive from Porto Cristo.
(3) Porto Cristo's main beach can get very busy in mid-summer; however, there are plenty of small sheltered sandy beaches and coves to enjoy nearby, such as Cala Anguila or Cala Mandia, located just 3km from Poto Cristo.

6. S'Illot

S'illot was once a smallish laid-back fishing village - now it's a sympathetically developed beach resort with enough amenities for a relaxing holiday. The resort has a long leisurely promenade, plus a pretty 350-metre-long beach (known as Cala Moreya) with soft sands and calm, warm waters.

The traffic-free promenade is lined with the usual cafes, restaurants, bars and shops - and should you fancy a stroll, the promenade stretches north into the neighbouring resort of Sa Coma. Evening entertainment is limited to a few lively bars, with much of the entertainment provided by hotels and a few apartment complexes. S'illot has a reputation for good authentic Spanish restaurants, and in general, the resort is favoured by Mallorcans for its relaxing and laid-back feel.

S'Illot represents old Mallorca well - the town is an excellent example of resort development living 'side by side' next to Mallorcan heritage preservation. There are several 'green zones' surrounding the village, some of which have been classed as areas of 'special environmental interest'.

7. Porto Colom

Porto Colom is a working fishing port set on a natural inlet - it remains one of the nicest towns on east coast Majorca, providing well for young families and sun seekers alike. Porto Colom is one of the East Coast's original holiday resorts and offers a good range of quality hotels, bars, restaurants and a pleasant pine-shaded promenade - the resort retains a relatively quiet vibe.

Porto Colom has a low-rise development which helps preserve the resort's magnificent views and tranquil atmosphere. There are two parts to Porto Colom, the Old Town and Cala Marcel. Cala Marcel is where you'll find the beach and local square, plus several bars and cafes and most of the resort's hotels and apartments - the older part of town is home to the marina and the port.

Port Colom has a deservedly good reputation as one of the most interesting gourmet fishing towns in Mallorca, with the harbour area beeing home to several superb restaurants serving mixed cuisine, including; traditional seafood dishes and a varied priced menu.

Top Tip: Visit the nearby town of Santanyí, just a 22 minute drive from Cala D'or. Santanyí is one of Mallorca's most authentic and historic locations. It's a small medieval town containing several art galleries and studios - displaying and selling paintings, glassware and sculptures. You'll discover plenty of shops, fashion boutiques, relaxing bars and restaurants serving typical Mallorcan and international dishes. Santanyí is a must visit location during you stay in south east Majorca. Market day is every Wednesday and Saturday morning.

  • Take time out to visit the picturesque fishing village of Cala Figuera. The village is a perfect place to relax and watch the comings and goings of local fishing boats. Look out for the colourful fisherman's cottages lining the tranquil inlet and try the 'catch of the day' served at the harbour restaurants.
  • For an active family day out, visit the Club Protur Sa Coma Resort, a 54-hole crazy golf course set in tropical gardens.
  • It's worth visiting the east coast in June when the Cala d'Or International Jazz Festival takes place, when jazz bands from all over the world come to the festival to perform.
  • Top Tip: For one of Mallorca’s most spectacular inland viewpoints, visit the 1348 hilltop church and former monastery of Sant Salvador, located near the town of Felanitx in the heart of the Sierra de Levante.
Spanish Old Town

8. Cala D'or (our favourite)

Cala d'Or is a large and stylish complex, providing good all-around holiday experiences; it also has an upmarket feel and an air of 'sophistication and style' that attracts the rich and famous. The resort is known for its Ibizan-style architecture, consisting (mostly) of low-rise whitewashed buildings. To preserve Cala d'Or's uniqueness, the area has strict regulations controlling new builds, including rules for renovations to existing properties.

Cala d'Or has a relaxed vibe and is renowned for its pretty secluded coves and crystal clear waters, which help make the town one of the most picturesque holiday resorts on the east coast.

The resort has a good selection of stylish shops and a good mix of bars and restaurants, plus a lively nightlife scene. There's a large pedestrianised area containing general and high-end shopping options, including fashion boutiques.

The resort is spread along several secluded coves known as calas, these coves provide several picture-postcard-perfect beaches of white sands with calm turquoise waters - the calas are truly spectacular.

You have a great choice of beaches, with the main one being Cala d’Or, there's also Cala Gran, plus Cala Serena or Cala Esmeralda, which are perfect for families and children when supervised and lifeguard monitored.

Cala Llonga is where you'll find a pretty sparkling harbour, with a high-end and well-equipped marina nearby. The marina has a lively atmosphere and is packed full of expensive Superyachts - plus a welcoming mix of expensive and reasonably priced bars and restaurants and more shops to explore.

9. Ca'n Picafort

Ca’n Picafort is a popular laid-back resort located on Majorca's northeastern coast; the resort is purpose-built and provides easy-access and family–focused accommodation.

Ca’n Picafort is a great location for all ages, and offers good family friendly facilities, including the fun and popular Alcudia Waterpark (20 min drive away). There's a buzzing nightlife and a good range of shops, restaurants and supermarkets, with the main strip 'Paseo Colon' offering a good choice of bars and restaurants to suit every taste.

Ca'n Picafort has a lovely fine sandy beach (over 3km long) that's backed by a relaxing palm-lined promenade, the promenade slopes gently down to an endless stretch of fine white sands and clear warm waters. A nice surprise is the breathtaking view towards the sweeping bay and the mountain range on the horizon. The scenic views from the promenade are particularly impressive, with many of the relaxing seafront bars and terraced restaurants taking maximum advantage of the vistas.

Behind the resort, you'll find a cooling pine forest and some interesting walking routes through fields of almond and fig trees. Hiking and biking have become popular pastimes on the island, with plenty of Majorca's resorts providing cycle and safety gear hire, including guidance and suggestions on trails, routes and pathways in the area.

10. El Arenal (south coast)

El Arenal (also known as just Arenal) is a bustling and lively holiday resort and is probably Mallorca's largest holiday destination. The resort is located on the south coast, only 15km (20 min drive) east of the island's beautiful capital, Palma.

The name Arenal translates as 'sandy location' The resort's main attraction is its beautiful three-mile stretch of pristine sands and turquoise waters. The seas around Arenal's coastline border the bay of Palma and provide the perfect place to relax and unwind.

Watersports and the coast play a big part in Arenal’s holiday entertainment program; the beach has excellent facilities for hire, including showers, sun-loungers and parasols, plus a wide range of watersport options, including the usual pedalos, jet skis, paragliding and banana-boat rides.

The beach is backed by a traffic-free promenade, with plenty of shops, bars and café serving Spanish snacks and good old fish ‘n’ chips. The promenade runs through to the neighbouring resort of C’an Pastilla. Conveniently, there's a mini tourist train which winds along the prom during the summer months (should you fancy giving your feet a rest).

Arenal offers lots of fun and family attractions, including the adrenaline chutes at Aqualand ElArenal, the largest waterpark on the island which is good for kids and adults alike. Arenal has a vibrant nightlife, managing to offer something for everyone and is a magnet for groups of partygoers, especially during the peak summer months. Transport links from Arenal to Palma are good, with regular bus services and plenty of taxis for hire.

Mallorcan Beach Cove

My Favourite East Coast Resort.

It's difficult to choose just one resort from the above list; however, Cala d'Or stands out as a contender for the number one spot. Cala D'or is naturally pretty - it feels special, well preserved and not overly touristy, but still provide all the facilities you need for a relaxed and enjoyable stay.

The resort has lots of authentic Mallorcan charm, with plenty of bars, restaurants and shops to enjoy. Cala d'Or has mostly low-rise buildings with smaller or boutique-style hotels and villas, which I prefer. Some hotels are located next to sandy coves edged by pine trees, which can feel peaceful and exclusive. There's a good selection of adult-only accommodation, perfect if you fancy leaving the kids at home or want a quieter break.

A big plus for me is the number of beaches on offer, with seven sandy and sheltered coves to enjoy, it's easy to find one that's not too crowded. Cala d'Or is upmarket but not exclusive; you'll find a good choice of expensive fine dining, as well as good value rustic tapas bars to enjoy - in general, there's a good mix of eateries and entertainment to suit most moods and budgets. Location wise, Cala d'Or scores well - it's close to one of my favourite Spanish towns, Santanyí and stylish Palma is just 1 hour's drive away.

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