Check out these 3 South West Mallorca highlights away from the popular resorts of Palmanova, Magaluf, Santa Ponsa and Peguera in the South West of the island.
If you plan to stay in the South West of the island, or planning a day out, I can really recommend travelling a little further West.
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1. ST ELM
When I first discovered St Elm, I thought I’d discovered paradise.
My first visit reminded me of a trip I’d made to the Amalfi Coast in Italy many years ago, when arriving on a boat to the island of Capri.
Of course St Elm doesn’t have the glitz and glamour associated with Capri, but this is what makes it a little more down to earth, and less touched by mass tourism.
You can see evidence of the towns fishing heritage all over the resort, from the little boat sheds to pretty old fashioned fishing boats moored in coves.
There are two main beaches in the town, but check my video below to find out about the secret beach on the other side of St Elm that tourists rarely venture to.
St Elm town has some lovely shops selling locally made handicrafts, as well as a mini-supermarket for essentials, drinks and snacks and beach supplies.
We love the ice cream shops in St Elm, especially after a day on the beach or post hike out of peak season.
St Elm is most famous now for its fantastic seafood restaurants, most of which have great views of the coast. Restaurants on the west side of the resort have the best views of neighbouring Dragonera Island.
In the evening expect to enjoy some of the very best sunsets while you are having dinner.
You can also make a day trip over to Dragonera Island from St Elm on the ferry which leaves frequently during the summer months.
Check timings with the tourism office in the town. Make the most of this day trip to enjoy a hike to the lighthouse or to snorkel off the coast.
St Elm feels like it’s completely set apart from the rest of the Mallorca because of its location off the main highway, and over a little mountain road.
Book a recommended tour
If you are travelling with a group and you are looking for a private charter, then this private speed boat costing just 58€ each if you are a party of 9 allowing you to enjoy a private skippered boat from Port Andratx to St Elm, with the option to have lunch in St Elm. This is great for hen or stag parties or families or friends gatherings!
You can check availability here:
For the fit and sporty, you will also see hikers and cyclist out making their way to the resort.
St Elm is also home to some fantastic hiking routes including La Trapa and the Torre d’en Basset tower. On both of these walks you can see why Dragonera was given its name, because of its resemblance to a dragon lying in wait for passing ships.
I only recommend doing the La Trapa hike in the Autumn, Winter and Spring months. Check out my Youtube video here.
2. PORT ANDRATX
Port Andratx is a magnet for yacht rentals and yacht charters but it remains a magnet for day trippers wishing to come into the port for lunch, dinner or a wander around.
Today Port Andratx attracts many of Mallorca’s rich and famous, not least because of the neighbouring, high-end residential area of Monport is home (or second home) to film, music and sports stars the world over.
You can really get a feel of Mallorca’s fishing heritage as you can see active fishing trawlers moored near the market and nets lying out on the harbourside.
Walk down to the restaurants and cafés from the parking area or bus stop to see the fishing trawlers gearing up to go out or return with the day’s catch.
The fish market too lies right beside the trawlers and you know you’ll be able to pick up the freshest fish at the market. This opens at between 5:45pm and 8pm most evenings.
Stop for a light bite or a bigger meal at the many restaurants or cafes. Of course, this area is extremely popular at the weekend for those looking for somewhere to enjoy a traditional Sunday paella.
There is even a small beach in the port to enjoy when Summer temperatures are high, as well as a scuba diving centre, and somewhere to rent small boats.
There are a couple of great tours you can do from Andratx too.
Dinner is made even better from the east side of the port since sunsets on this west facing location are stunning.
You can get to Port Andratx from resorts all over the South West, and also from Palma bus station using the TIB buses.
3. CAMP DE MAR
Camp de Mar beach is a fantastic resort to visit for the day and just like St Elm, it is famous for its seafood restaurants.
The most famous being the La Illeta which is on it’s own little island. This restaurant is just about the most iconic in the South West of the island. You may recognise the La Illeta Restaurante from the Netflix series White Lines which was although it was set in Ibiza, was filmed in locations all over Mallorca.
The paella and the seafood here, in my opinion is some of the best you can get on the island.
I would recommend booking a table before visiting as this restaurant is extremely popular with locals.
The beach is Camp de Mar is wonderful, again with golden sands, a kids playground and lovely clear blue waters. And during peak season, it’s possible to rent sunbeds here.
But for a different experience head to the rocky section on the East side of the resort for great snorkelling and less people.
Right next to the beach too is a small Euroski supermarkets, some beach shops and icecream outlets.
There is a golf course nearby too for enthusiasts.
4. GETTING THERE
You can get to St Elm, Port Andratx or Camp de Mar by taking the TIB busses down to Camp de Mar from Palma and also connecting from Andratx Port. I really recommend these resorts for a day visit even if you are booked elsewhere for some quality beach time, and too a great sea food lunch.
Route 121 timetable: St Elm to Port Andratx:
Route 101 timetable: Palma to Port Andratx and Camp de Mar
Route 122: Peguera, Santa Ponsa to Camp de Mar
5. THE 3 SOUTH WEST MALLORCA HIGHLIGHTS VIDEO ON YOUTUBE:
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Excellent video Alex , nice to see a more relaxed report in places you obviously know well , been to Andrax once in 2009 so I’ll probably revisit it in August , St Elm also looks a very nice place so I’ll try and fit that in too during my 3 week stay 😎🏖☀️
Hi Tony! Oh you must go back to Port Andratx and you’ll love St Elm . Such a beautiful corner of the island!