The coastal region around the British party stronghold of Magaluf in the south-west of Majorca is around 25 minutes by car from the island’s capital of Palma. The four long, adjacent, sandy bays are dominated by package tourism. The beaches are well-kept, with plenty of room to spread out and there are also promenades lined with restaurants and bars. Hundreds of hotels and apartment buildings can be see along the shallow shoreline. Whether on the sea or on land, whether it is parties, sport or relaxation you are looking for, here you will find everything you can possibly imagine and more.
In the family holiday resort of Palmanova the first efforts to develop tourism began already in the 1930s. After the war there was increasing demand and from the 1970s onwards this was to lead to intensive and often reckless building developments in southern Magaluf right up to northern Palmanova. Only in recent years has it become more of an issue about how much the beauty of the beaches and their natural surroundings has suffered as a result of this.
The main target for criticism is the party hotspot of Magaluf. It is the headquarters of the young, British partygoers who have overtaken their German counterparts for having the largest, loudest party stronghold on the whole island. About a million, mainly British, tourists flock to Magaluf during the summer months to enjoy themselves in the countless restaurants, bars, casinos and discos. The associated problems of drug abuse, violence and tests of courage resulting in deaths such as balconing (jumping from hotel balconies) have prompted some journalists to draw comparisons to Las Vegas and Sodom and Gomorrah. Only in the last few years have attempts been made to improve the holiday resort's image, which has been dominated by sex and alcohol abuse, through the introduction of stricter regulations and bans, as well as by increasing prices.
The strategy of the hotels and tourist organisations seems to be paying off. At the beaches of Magaluf and El Arenal excessive drinking sessions and partying at the beaches of Magaluf are now forbidden and as a result families and also the older generation are now more likely to spend a holiday here. Some beach clubs, as well as restaurants and hotels with prices in the higher price brackets are aiming to attract a more exclusive clientele and by doing so help towards the desired change of Magaluf's image. Perhaps this is also a reason why for some time now the number of tourists coming from Britain has been in decline.
You can fairly quickly get to three further popular beaches of Magaluf by walking north along a promenade. Playa Son Matias, Playa Palmanova and Playa Es Carregador are all between 300 and 500 metres long and have clean, light-coloured sand together with shallow, clear water. All three beaches have excellent amenities and a wide variety of restaurants and entertainment on offer, making them ideal for a family holiday.
If you are looking an alternative to the busy tourist beaches in and around Magaluf and Palmanova, we can recommend two nice destinations for trips nearby, namely the small, quiet bay of Cala Cap Falcó in the south and the rocky, natural beach of Playa de s’Hostalet in the north. Both are ideal for relaxing and switching off in a natural environment, which does not get very busy.
"Lots of fun in and around the water"
"Let me entertain you!"
"Family beach with special flair"
"Small beach oasis that invites you to dream the day away"
"Small, hidden dream bay"
"Games, fun and relaxation for all"
"Family paradise not far from a party mecca"
"Bastion of the German package holiday"
"Idyllic but overcrowded bay"
"Red cliffs and massive apartment blocks"
"Small stony and sandy bays for relaxation-seekers"
"Relaxed charm with an eco-friendly element"
"Pampering on various levels"
"Rocky natural beach with places to retreat"