Shoestring Traveller: A Budget Travel Guide To Mallorca
Imagine this- its 2019 European Summer, the breeze from the Mediterranean Sea is blowing through your hair as you scoot your way around the party island of Mallorca, sweating from both the boiling hot sun and the shitty instant coffee that’s pumping through your carb-fuelled body. The dream, am I right? I mean, probably more the budget traveller’s dream, but hey, it’s better than being stuck at work wishing your gram was going off! This is my ultimate budget travel guide to exploring sunny Mallorca!
MallorcaMallorca is a beautiful slice of Spanish paradise that I never knew I needed. This destination was booked on a bit of a whim but it turned out to be the greatest adventure thus far in my European travels. Click To Tweet
Better known as a Brit-abroad’s party hub and home to the one and only Love Island *cue theme music*, Mallorca is a beautiful slice of Spanish paradise that I never knew I needed. This destination was booked on a bit of a whim but it turned out to be the greatest adventure thus far in my European travels. We spent 7 days here exploring the island by foot, bike and scooter, living off sandwiches and navigating our way to the best beaches! Interested in how I managed to spend a week here without blowing my bank account? Well it’s your lucky day, read on!
Travelling to and around Mallorca is extremely affordable! €85 can get you a round-trip on a local ferry (check Direct Ferries!) from Barcelona to Palma, Mallorca’s capital. Choosing slow travel (e.g. ferries, buses, trains) may take a little while longer, but it really helps to reduce travel costs and stick to your budget! After arriving in Mallorca you are transported to local terminals in central Palma by coach for free, courtesy of the ferry company, so you won’t need to worry about taxis- unless you’re staying outside of Palma!
While you’re staying on the island there is an array of transport options to choose from! The local bus costs €1.50 for a single-trip or €3 for single-journeys on line 104 along the west-coast of Mallorca. These buses run frequently, particularly the 104 lines, and are the easiest way to see the island on as little money as possible! If you feel like getting active however, there is a variety of bike hire stores along the coastal strip in Palma which start from as little as €5 for a day (plus €2 insurance).
Want the thrill of a bike ride but without the exercise? How about hiring a scooter? This is a little more on the expensive side (€35 for 24 hours and insurance) but split the cost between two people (€17.50) and you get some serious value for money! Filling up the scooter for return is also ridiculously cheap, €3-€5 is all you need!
Staying in Mallorca
Accommodation is the most expensive cost factor when visiting Mallorca, but if you’re travelling in a couple or with friends it is extremely affordable and you can even find some sweet digs! Seven nights in a private, central and modern room (found via Airbnb) came to €31 (£28) PN/PP. This was a little more expensive for us, but staying in an apartment allowed us to cook most meals- cutting the costs of daily food spend!
Our accommodation was located in Palma, but there are a variety of locations you can choose from! Palma, from what we researched, proved to be a cheaper option as a couple, however Magaluf is also an extremely popular area of Mallorca and could be easily affordable for a group! If you’re solo travelling then try looking on Hostelworld or use Travltalk to split the costs of accommodation!
Things to do
Mallorca has an incredible array of activities and attractions to accommodate any travel style! Budget activities here are not hard to find, with the main activity being exploring the beautiful variety of beaches! And I mean if you’re coming to Mallorca as a budget traveller to do anything other than relax in the sun, swim and party then you might want to re-think your destination choice (and your travel style) because who doesn’t love living at the beach all day for free?
Palma de Mallorca:
We spent our first day exploring Palma town and its cute ocean-side markets (find hot and freshly made coated nuts/seeds that are to die for here, for only €2). Palma town is a hub of activity, with tourists exploring the many food and fashion stores along with the beautiful old Cathedral that stands tall over the harbour of the city!
Palma town is in walking distance from most accommodation spots in the centre, but local buses do run frequently for cheap if you’re staying further out!
On our second day we ventured out to Magaluf, the party hotspot of Mallorca! Magaluf is 45 minutes away from Palma, and is an extremely popular tourist destination, so I would recommend getting the bus early (9-10am) to avoid pushing crowds and having to stand! Magaluf has a variety of beach clubs to party at during the day, but that can pull on your wallet! I would recommend going to to the local supermarket (3 minute walk from main beach) grab some snacks and a few cans of your favourite drink and spend the day sunbathing, swimming and repeat!
Finish your day here at the local Tom Brown’s grub restaurant that offers cheap as hell ‘British’ food (€4 for a full English breakfast!?) to soak up the alcohol, or line your stomach for the night ahead! If you’re heading out to Magaluf nightlife, nothing kicks off until 12am and buses stop running at 12am so make sure if you’re staying elsewhere that you are aware of transport costs!
Honestly, the atmosphere in Magaluf is second to none- we spent two days here, that’s how much we loved it!
Hire a bike:
During our stay we decided to hire bikes out for the day and explore the coastline, having learnt an easy route previously by bus! We picked our bikes up from a local bike shop along the main strip in Palma. Hiring bikes was the most epic idea because it gave us a chance to fit in some (much needed) exercise and go at our own pace, stopping off at secret coves that buses won’t take you to!
Casa Major was our main stop during our little day excursion, located 15 minutes bike from Palma, but you could also head to beaches 10 minutes further out! We ended our day at a small, off the map beach cove, which we stumbled across by accident. A predominantly nudist beach, this was the perfect place to quickly explore, have a dip in the crystal blue water and then get outta there before we saw more than we bargained for!
Hire a scooter:
Hiring a scooter is a cost effective and fun as hell way to explore Mallorca! This would have to be my favourite day we spent in Mallorca. We hired out a 125cc scooter for 24 hours, and explored all day, finding incredible swimming spots and intertwining our way around the small townships of the island. We stuck to the west coast, taking direction from the personalised map that the owner of the scooter shop provided for us. Illetes Beach, Playa Del Maco, Cala Portals Vells and Cala de Peguera were the main hot spots we hit, each with its own unique beauty!
I would recommend stopping at one of the major supermarkets during your adventures, grabbing some DIY sandwich foods and a couple treats for later, to save on spending money at local cafés. This way you can ‘bring the café to you’ while you dip in and out of the ocean! To end your day, I would recommend cruising out towards the airport to watch the sunset, but hold on tight as you come back because that motorway is no joke!
This day was relatively cheap (€17.50 for scooter, €4 for loads of food, €2 for petrol PP) and left me with the greatest memory of Mallorca I could ask for!
Food on the island is pretty inexpensive for the most part! If you’re choosing to stay for longer, or if you have access to kitchen utilities, I would really recommend taking advantage of super markets and home cooking. We spent on average €5-€10 per shop, every 2-3 days which typically gave us breakfast, lunch and dinner- for budget travellers; these prices are an absolute dream. Cooking in bulk and taking food with you whilst you’re exploring really helps to minimise those food costs that pricey restaurants, particularly in the beach haven areas, normally charge.
If you do however want to go out for a meal in Palma, you can expect to spend on average €8-€15, which is pretty cheap for a decent sized meal! Try to balance it out a bit and have breakfast and lunch on the go and treat yourself to a meal out every few days to ensure you’re really experiencing that Spanish cuisine!
If you haven’t picked up on the vibe yet, I am probably Mallorca’s biggest fan girl! As a budget traveller you often perceive island destinations as notoriously expensive, but honestly after spending a week here, I found I hardly dipped into my savings! I truly couldn’t recommend travelling to Mallorca and exploring the best bits of the island enough! This place will be on my mind forever, and I hope that through this budget blog, it can now be on yours too!