Sunday, June 16, 2024

The Eco Travel Guide to Mallorca: Escape to the Islands of Spain


From where to stay and eat to what to do for fun — here’s your complete guide for booking a sustainable trip to Mallorca.

Nestled in the Mediterranean, Mallorca — the largest island in Spain’s Balearics — is known for its breathtaking landscape, which includes dramatic mountains, beautiful Spanish architecture, and secluded coves. Also called Majorca, Mallorca is a prime destination spot for any eco-conscious traveler. It’s got sunny beaches, dozens of wineries, and countless plant-based eateries for a wondrous vacation not easily forgotten.

In 2019, more than 14 million people visited the Balearic Islands, according to market research firm Statista. Similar to other popular island travel spots, Mallorca’s geography makes it susceptible to the impacts of mass tourism, including pollution, waste, and the overconsumption of natural resources. So when it comes to visiting the island, ensuring that your trip is sustainable is important. From places to stay to where to eat and what to do for fun — here’s your complete eco-travel guide to all things Mallorca.

Where to stay

What better way to minimize your environmental footprint than by staying in a sustainable resort like the Virgin Son Bunyola, which opened its doors last year. But there are a number of other ecological hotels the island has to offer.

Patio with a view at Ecocir | Courtesy

Ecocirer Healthy Stay

Located in the picturesque village of Sóller, this historic townhouse was built in the early 1900s but has been transformed into a quaint hotel featuring six, unique rooms. Traveling with your romantic partner? Book the “Love” room, which is nestled in the attic and offers views overlooking the village. 

For a tranquil escape, book the “Dream” room, a junior suite that offers views of the Tramuntana Mountains. Sustainability and recycling are core values for this lovely hotel, so sit back and lounge in comfort knowing that your stay is as environmentally sound as it is relaxing.

Finca Serena Mallorca nestled in nature | Courtesy

Finca Serena Mallorca

One of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, this upscale, five-star stay, located on nearly 100 acres of land, provides “luxury for all five senses.” It has flourishing Mediterranean gardens, vineyards, vegetable gardens, olive tree orchards, an on-site restaurant, and much, much more. 

The pool at LJs Ratxó Eco Luxury Retreat | Courtesy

LJs Ratxó Eco Luxury Retreat

Located in Mallorca’s Puig de Galatzó Mountains, this luxurious resort has it all: a plush, all-organic spa, an infinity pool and hot tub, a cocktail bar and two restaurants, and a scenic terrace that you’re guaranteed to not want to leave. 

The pentacle of eco-luxury, this 25-room retreat is surrounded by all that nature has to offer, including enchanting landscapes of olive trees and mountains. With a boho chic vibe, the rooms feature one-of-a-kind furniture pieces are made from sustainable timber and “lashings of Majorcan countryside charm.”

Where to eat

Now that you’ve booked your room, here’s where to get all of the delicious, plant-based eats that Spain has to offer.

Ca n'ela mallorca
Ca n’ela mallorca | Courtesy

Ca n’Ela 

Located in Old Town Palma Center, Ca n’Ela is a quintessential fine dining experience. Indulge in dishes that are as pleasing to the eyes as they are on the taste buds like a cashew basil pesto pasta salad or cucumber rolls with smoked leek patties. For a heartier meal, try the homemade seitan with lemon cream, carrot, and roasted pumpkin.

lasagna at Sabores de Sandra
lasagna at Sabores de Sandra | Courtesy

Sabores de Sandra

This vegan restaurant’s seasonal menus are deserving of a spot on your Mallorca travel bucket list. While the eatery’s tasty dishes like red thai curry and veggie lasagna are sure to appease any grumbling belly, its homemade vegan cakes take the… cake. 

Temple Natura Café Garden | Courtesy

Temple Natura Café Garden

Located in Palma, this plant-based restaurant serves up the best of Mediterranean and Colombian cuisines. For a full-course meal, start with appetizers of vegan nachos, soup, or pita bread and hummus. For a main course, bite into a juicy meatless burger or treat yourself to a bowl of spicy chili. And don’t forget to leave some room for dessert. We’re talking cocoa and avocado brownie served with chocolate ice cream, carrot cake, and sorbet.

What to do

From taking in the historic sites to trekking scenic hikes and basking in the sun on the coastal oasis, the real question is: what’s there not to do in Mallorca? 

Cap de Formentor, Mallorca
Cap de Formentor, Mallorca | Photo courtesy Fabian Schneidereit

Stunning natural attractions

Explore Mallorca’s historic towns, medieval churches, art museums, castles, caves, and everything in between. Top destinations include the Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca, Drach Caves, the hilltop town of Deiá, and the Castell de Bellver, a Gothic-style castle that offers panoramic views of Palma, the capital of the Balearic Islands.

Nakawe Swimwear
Courtesy Nakawe Swimwear

Shop local, sustainable brands

Give back to the local community by supporting sustainable shops in and around the island. From clothing to shoes and everything in between, Mallorca is a shopping haven. For the water lovers, Nakawe Swimwear is an absolute must. Founded in 2019, it offers a wide variety of eco-friendly and biodegradable swimwear. For a complete guide to where to shop, click here.

Photo curtesy Sven Wilhelm

Guided wine tours

And for the wine lovers, experience an organic wine tasting unlike anything you’ve ever had before. Mallorca’s wine industry offers a number of sustainable vineyard tours like Bodega Ribas, a local family winery located at the base of the Tramuntana mountains that was founded back in 1711.

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