In this guide to Mallorca at Christmas, find out what to expect when visiting the island over the festive season.
I have been living on the island since 2005 and I absolutely love the festive season. Mallorca’s Christmas lights are some of the most magical and tasteful you will find in Europe.
Christmas in Mallorca is a season not to be missed, and an opportunity to see the island in an entirely new light.
Mallorca hasn’t experienced a full traditional Christmas Season since 2019. With New Year’s Eve celebrations cancelled in 2020 and 2021, it is hoped that the Christmas festivities will continue as normal this year in 2022.
We will keep readers up to date with events as they are announced on the Mallorca Under the Sun Facebook Group, so if you are not yet a member, come and join for free.
So consider visiting Palma de Mallorca over the Christmas season. Explore the Christmas markets, and see the lights. Do some Christmas shopping in milder temperatures, see in the New Year, and even on a sunny day, catch some rays.
So what’s Mallorca like over the Christmas season? Here is a guide to everything you need to know.
- When are Mallorca’s Christmas Lights switched on?
- Where are the Christmas Markets in Mallorca?
- Things to see and do in Mallorca over Christmas
- Nativity Scenes in Mallorca
- Ice Skating in Palma de Mallorca
- Christmas Fair Ground Rides in Palma de Mallorca
- Other Christmas Markets in Mallorca
- Midnight Mass in Palma Cathedral
- Santa Lucia at Palma Cathedral
- Mallorca Hiking
- What’s open in Palma de Mallorca on Christmas Day?
- Christmas in Mallorca – what’s it like?
- Can I get a Christmas Lunch in Mallorca?
- Are nightclubs open in Magaluf over Christmas?
- Which hotels are open in Mallorca in December?
- What is Mallorca like in December?
- Where to celebrate News Years’ Eve in Mallorca?
- New Year’s Day in Mallorca – what’s it like?
- Where to see the Three Kings Parade in Mallorca?
When are Mallorca’s Christmas Lights switched on?
Mallorca’s Christmas Lights are traditionally switched on the last weekend of November. However, in November 2022, they are being switched on a week earlier on Saturday 19 November at 20:00.
There will be an official Christmas Light Switch On Event in the centre of Palma around Plaza de Reina (at the far end nearest the sea of Paseo del Bourne).
Crowds gather in other main squares including Plaza Mayor and Plaza de Cort for the Christmas light switch on.
Turning on the Christmas lights signals the start of the festive season in Mallorca.
Over previous years there has been a huge illuminated Christmas tree in Parc de la Mar right in front of the Palma Cathedral too. You will see this as you drive along the Paseo Maritimo and into the city.
The big Mallorca Christmas lights switch on doesn’t just happen in Palma but also all over the island.
You will see Christmas lights in all the resorts and main towns too albeit on a much smaller scale than in Palma.
*One word of warning though. All of the festive events mentioned in this article (Christmas Lights Switch On, New Year’s Eve and the Three-Kings parade), these events will be extremely busy.
So please make sure you watch out for your belongings. You can now shop for anti-theft bags and body belts in my Amazon Shop here.
Where are the Christmas Markets in Mallorca?
The main Christmas markets are in Palma city centre in the Old Town area.
The opening of the markets coincides with the Christmas lights switch-on event.
Check out the market stalls in Plaza Mayor, Plaza Mercat, La Rambla and Plaza Espana.
These markets offer great opportunities to not only shop for Christmas presents but also to buy figurines for your own nativity scene.
The tradition for many homes in Spain is to have their own nativity scene with items passed on down through the years.
The best place to collect items or start your own nativity scene is from the market stalls in Plaza Mayor.
Plaza Mercat and La Rambla are great areas to pick up Christmas presents with stalls packed with locally made products and handicrafts.
Plaza España hosts many food stalls and there are fun fair rides across the Avendias (the main road) close to the bus station.
For another Christmas market experience, head on over to Pueblo Español on the West side of Palma too.
Pueblo Español is a venue made up of the recreation of elements from iconic Spanish cities. This is paid-for entry, but it’s a wonderful market.
Tickets usually include a Glühwein wine. Opening days and times are to be confirmed, however, this venue is usually open on Christmas Day.
To see a Christmas shopping guide in Palma de Mallorca, check out this video on my YouTube channel to get an idea of where to shop and the kind of presents or locally made goods to buy.
If you want to visit these markets when they are at the busiest, then Friday and Saturday nights in the run-up to Christmas will see residents pouring into Palma.
For those who prefer a quieter shopping experience, then visit on another weekday evening.
Things to see and do in Mallorca over Christmas
Nativity Scenes in Mallorca
If you are visiting Mallorca at Christmas, check out the nativity scenes or “belens” (Bethlehems) which are on display not only in the “Ayuntamiento” or Town Hall in front of the Olive Tree in Plaza de Cort in Palma, but also in many towns around the island from Deia to Alcudia.
These nativity scenes are a huge part of the Christmas festivities and visitors will queue up to see them.
But look out for the pooping man who is always placed in the nativity scene. In Catalan, he is called “A Caganer“.
Once placed in the nativity scenes as a signal of prosperity and wealth (apparently), now the game is to look for a carefully hidden Caganer in the nativity scenes around the island.
There is also a market stall too in Plaza Mayor with celebrity caganers can be purchased to place in your nativity scene!
Ice Skating in Palma de Mallorca
In 2022, it is hoped that Plaza España will welcome back the Ice Skating Rink which again hasn’t opened since 2019.
This is the only way you will be able to enjoy actual ice skating in Mallorca.
You can rent skates quite cheaply (prices for 2022 to be confirmed), but don’t forget to bring some gloves or you won’t be allowed to skate.
If you do forget then gloves are available to purchase at the ice rink for a few Euros.
I would also recommend bringing some dry socks and if you are taking young children, then also a change of trousers!
There are a couple other ice (plastic) rinks at the Puerto Portals and Port Adriano markets too.
Christmas Fair Ground Rides in Palma de Mallorca
There are also Christmas fairground rides in Palma which can be found Plaza España, outside Mercat Oliver, Plaza Mayor and in Parc de la Mar to keep the little ones busy.
All over the city centre, you can buy festive snacks to take you around the markets from freshly roasted chestnuts, sweet potatoes, or churros de chocolate.
But Christmas doesn’t just happen in Palma.
Other Christmas Markets in Mallorca
There is usually a (small) Christmas market in Palmanova, a bigger Christmas market in Santa Ponsa near the roundabout before entering the resort, as well as a Christmas market in Puerto Portals.
There are also Christmas markets in Can Pastilla, Santa Ponsa, Son Servera (near Cala Bona), Santanyi, as well as a huge Christmas market in Port Adriano.
You will find smaller markets too in towns running through the centre of the island.
Midnight Mass in Palma Cathedral
Christmas Eve is one of the most popular times of year to visit Palma cathedral to hear the singing of the Sibil.ila.
This starts at 11 pm but do arrive early if you would like to take part.
Santa Lucia at Palma Cathedral
Another magical Palma Cathedral experience is to attend the Santa Lucia.
Children from Swedish Community in Mallorca sing carols bringing light to winter darkness in this wonderful performance, surrounded by candlelight.
This normally takes place on the evening of the 13 December, but again check listings on the Palma Cathedral website.
On the public holidays when the markets and restaurants are closed, then you may wish to make the most of the cooler temperatures to explore the island.
Hiking in Mallorca is hugely popular in the winter months, and there is nothing better than packing a picnic and heading for the hills of the Trumuntana Mountains.
You can find some videos on my Youtube channel of some suggested routes. I look forward to making more of these videos over the winter over 2022/2023
What’s open in Palma de Mallorca on Christmas Day?
Unrelated to Christmas too, you’ll also find Palma Aquarium to be open on Christmas Day too if you’re looking for things to do.
The Palma City Sightseeing Bus is also running on Christmas Day, as well as throughout the festive period.
In my opinion, the best time to visit Mallorca over Christmas is BEFORE Christmas itself, and then on the run-up to Three Kings’ Day on the 6th January, as Palma is bustling and the atmosphere around the island is fantastic.
Christmas in Mallorca – what’s it like?
In this guide to Mallorca at Christmas, there is much more than a celebration building up to 25 December. It is a celebration of an entire season.
In fact, Christmas Day in Spain is a minor celebration in comparison to Three Kings’ Day.
Traditionally the Three Kings bring children presents on the night of the 5 January, however, the rise of Santa Claus in popular culture means that many children in Spain will receive a small gift on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. But more on that later.
So what can you expect?
The run-up to the 24 December is quite exciting. There is a great atmosphere throughout the island.
The island quietens down on the afternoon of 24 December.
Public holidays in Mallorca are held on the 25 and 26 December. You will see shops and businesses close early on the 24 December to prepare for the evening’s celebrations.
The 24 December is the evening when families get together and sometimes presents are exchanged and where the festive meal is served.
A traditional Christmas meal includes “Sopa de Navidad” (a Christmas Soup) which is a chicken broth with pasta stuffed with mince as well as plenty of seafood or maybe a suckling pig.
You will also see in the run-up to Christmas slabs of “turrrones” which is a type of soft or hard nougat being sold throughout the supermarkets and in the markets.
These are served in homes and businesses throughout the Christmas season.
Can I get a Christmas Lunch in Mallorca?
Yes! A limited number of restaurants will open on Christmas Day (this is a public holiday here in Spain), and you will most likely be able to book a Christmas lunch in Puerto Portals and Palmanova.
These restaurants usually advertise through social media channels when they will be open for Christmas lunch on Christmas Day.
And while only very few restaurants will be open on Christmas Day itself, others will be open during December with a special Christmas menu on the run-up to Christmas.
News will start to trickle through from November on Facebook for other restaurants open on Christmas Day, so if you are planning to visit, ensure you book early.
Are nightclubs open in Magaluf over Christmas?
During the festive season in 2020, BCM nightclub in Magaluf opened for a huge event Christmas Eve.
Another party was scheduled for News Years’ Eve, but it was cancelled due to Covid restrictions.
However, it looks likely that in 2022, events will go ahead as usual.
While events are yet to be announced, check the Mallorca Under the Sun YouTube channel and this channel for updates.
Which hotels are open in Mallorca in December?
You will find more hotels open in Palma city over December and January than anywhere else on the island.
This allows you to not only enjoy the festiveness of Palma but also to be centrally located to take the bus to explore other areas of the island.
There are also some hotels open in popular resorts. As an example in Palmanova, you will be able to book the 4* Elba Sunset hotel, the 3*Roc Portanova and in Santa Ponsa, the 4* Hotel Santa Ponsa Pins hotel over the Christmas period.
What is Mallorca like in December?
Firstly, don’t expect Mallorca to be anything like you would experience in the Summer months.
The resorts will be closed for the season but that’s not to say all businesses are closed.
There will be some restaurants, and bars open for residents everywhere around the island, however, the experience you will get here will be entirely different to that you will experience in the Summer.
The crowds will have gone home and this is a great time, particularly if you are considering living in Mallorca and you can read all about this in an article I have written here, to really see and experience what the island is like in Winter, outside the Summer holiday season.
While the sunbeds and umbrellas will have been cleared away, on a sunny day, it’s entirely possible to find a sheltered beach from the wind and sunbathe, or even swim.
If you want to see my recommendation for a beach to visit on a sunny, day, then check out this video here.
Where to celebrate News Years’ Eve in Mallorca?
The most traditional place to celebrate New Years’ Eve in Mallorca is in Plaza de Cort in Palma in front of the Town Hall.
Revellers gather to see in the New Year, and at the stroke of midnight drink cava and eat 12 grapes – one at each chime of the Town Hall clock for luck.
We are currently waiting to hear if there will be News Year’s Eve celebrations on the island, and which nightclubs will be open over Christmas in Mallorca in 2022.
If you plan on going out for dinner, then the recommendation is to book early.
Many restaurants, particularly in Palma will host a special New Year’s Eve menu. In some cases, you may need to reserve and order in advance.
Also with the volume of revellers going out, then taxis may well be hard to secure. So my advice again is to book a taxi early if you think you will need one.
I have written a detailed guide about celebrating New Year’s Eve in Mallorca, plus I have a list of hotels which will be open and hosting their own New Year’s Eve celebrations.
New Year’s Day in Mallorca – what’s it like?
News Years’ Day in Mallorca has (almost) always been a wonderful sunny day (obviously I can’t guarantee this for future years).
However, the weather has usually been fantastic and it’s been great to sit out in the sunshine.
While this is a public holiday in Spain it’s unlikely there are many restaurants open for New Years’ Day, but once again join the Mallorca Under the Sun Facebook Group to get informed nearer the time.
Buses will also run a limited service. In fact, on any public holiday mentioned here, expect a reduced bus service and also more of a challenge to get a taxi.
Where to see the Three Kings Parade in Mallorca?
The arrival of the Three Kings is celebrated on the night of the 5 January to celebrate the Feast of Epiphany, with the day after, the 6 January, celebrated as a public holiday.
This is also the time when the Three Kings Christmas bring presents to children in Spain (in the same way as Santa Claus).
This night is bigger than Christmas itself and there are many Three Kings Parades in towns and ports around Mallorca. Check local listings or ask in the Mallorca Under the Sun Facebook Group as we receive confirmation.
However, these parades normally take place in Palma (in La Lonja, parading through Jaime III and up through old town).
Be warned though that the centre of Palma is extremely busy on this evening. The car parks fill up early and the buses are busy.
My advice is to take a bus into Palma and maybe get a light bite in a restaurant before seeing the parade.
You will also find 3-Kings parades in Arenal, Puerto Portals, Palmanova, Port d’Andratx, Port de Soller, Puerto Pollensa, Alcudia, Cala Bona, Cala d’Or and throughout the centre of the island.
Normally sweets are thrown from the floats at the Three Kings parade past waiting children and families who line the streets. You’ll hear children chanting the name of their favourite King, whether it’s Melchior, Balthasar and Caspar.
Children go to bed excited after this event to wake up the next day to find their presents delivered.
The 7 January (if this falls on a weekday) normally signals the return to school for children and the end of the Christmas season.
From this point, you will not see the Christmas lights turned on in Palma after this date.
The lights are only turned on again in the main squares for the San Sebastián Festival on the days around 19 January, when Palma springs into life again for days of celebration and music events to celebrate their patron Saint.
If you would like to see more photos from Christmas in Mallorca, click here.
And if you are unable to visit us here in Mallorca, there will be videos and live streams right across the festive season, so if you are unable to join us here, you will not miss out.
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