The Caribbean blue waters of Es Trenc

From mid-sized municipalities such as Campos, Llucmajor, Santanyi and Felanitx to stunning cove beaches defined by turquoise waters and rocky cliffs, as well a natural preserve and the home of the island’s salt manufacturer, the South of Mallorca has its own laid-back and authentic style.

As you leave the outskirts of Palma, along the southern coast, there are a few of the island’s more popular beach destinations: Ca’n Pastilla, Playa de Palma and S’arenal, built-up during the boom of tourism in the 1960s-70s. While they remain desirable destinations for certain holiday-seekers thanks to the large stretch of sandy beach and high number of hotels and rentals, Ca’n Pastilla in particular, is increasingly becoming more for local residents as well thanks to its easy connection into Palma and proximity to the airport and schools.  

Driving further southeast out of Palma, the landscape slowly shifts as it leaves behind the urban centre, transforming into terracotta-dusted fields dotted with pine and olive trees. About 20-30 minutes from Palma is Llucmajor, an under-the-radar town that deserves a closer look. Unique in that it is not a typical tourist destination, Llucmajor, population roughly 37,000, is a small city with an independent vibe. Steeped in history like most towns across the island, the town is contemporary and lively.

Further south is the municipality of Campos, which has a small commercial zone but is otherwise quite rural and laid-back. If cowboys were in Mallorca, they might hang out in Campos for its rugged style. From Campos towards the coast however, the landscape shifts again. Nearby is the iconic Es Trenc beach, the most Caribbean-like beaches thanks to its powdery white sand and shallow blue waters, and the impressive Flor de Sal de Es Trenc salt flats and adjacent natural preserve where storks and birds and other wildlife gather. Just south of Es Trenc is the beach town of Colonia de Sant Jordi, a mix of tourists and locals, the small town has a few parks and good restaurants.

Heading back inland again, Ses Salines is a sophisticated town with its own distinct style. Bustling with good shops and restaurants, the town has a strong local community not strictly dependent on tourism, giving it an authentic feel. That said, it does light up in summer months with visitors filling the streets, so it’s a nice mix of quiet and busy.

Calo des Moro
Cala S'almunia

Santanyi is perhaps the most well-known town in the South. A popular city for German tourists since the 1960s, the town has grown steadily with expats as well as Mallorcans. It has a creative flair to it as well, with several respected galleries and interesting furniture and clothing shops.. It is a great base to discover the small beaches that hang on the southeast tip of the island such as Cala Llombards and Cala Marmols and the Mondrago Natural preserve.

Both Portopetro and Cala Figuera are quaint fisherman’s villages known for good seafood restaurants along the marina and Portopetro has a local sailing club. After a meal, spend the afternoon lounging at nearby Cala d’Or, a popular beach with a nice bay for swimming. A bit further north, Portocristo, is one of the more charming fisherman towns on the southeastern coastline. Legend says it was the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, and the town does have a long history with trade and sailing. A working fishing port until the mid-20th century, when tourism slowly began, this town retains its authentic quality and is home to a mixed community of both year-round and second-home residents.

Moving slightly inland, Felanitx is a charming town with a long history of food, wine and culture. While it can get busier in the summer season, Felanitx remains low-key and is a great base to reach beaches, nature while being an easy drive to Palma.

From southwest to southeast and all in between, the Southern region of Mallorca is a fantastic place to explore, settle into and enjoy.

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