There’s nothing more delightful than exploring the rugged coastline and the Mediterranean Sea on various boat trips in Mallorca. With the sea breeze on your face, you’ll discover secluded beaches and hidden coves. The possibilities are almost endless, catering to every interest group and budget. We’ll help you sort through the options and determine which boat tour in Mallorca is the best for you.
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Whether it’s sunset sailing trips, excursions to remote islands, or boat tours along the coastline, there are hardly any boat excursions in Mallorca that you won’t find. Especially in July and August, the waters can be as crowded as the beaches. Excursion boats dock in all ports of Mallorca, ready to take you to beautiful and secluded spots on the island. After all, some of Mallorca’s most stunning coves and beaches can only be accessed by boat. In this post, I’ll provide you with some recommendations and tips to ensure that your boat trip in Mallorca is a success.
- The Best Time for Boat Trips in Mallorca
- A Brief Explanation: Winds in Mallorca
- Different Types of Boat Tours in Mallorca
- Island Hopping: Boat Tours to Nearby Islands
- Dolphin Tours: Exploring Dolphins with Excursion Boats
- Sailing Tours: Catamaran Excursions with Catering
- Classics: Popular Excursion Destinations by Boat
- Boating without a License
- Our Favorites: The 10 Most Beautiful Boat Tours in Mallorca
- Morning Dolphin Tour
- To Formentor Beach
- Es Pontàs, Caló des Moro & Cala Marmols
- To the Rock Formation Sa Foradada in Deià
- Island Tour: Train & Boat to Sa Calobra
- Catamaran Cruise in the Bay of Palma
- With the Speedboat to Cabrera
- Boat Trip and Snorkeling at the Islas Malgrats
- Catamaran Ride in the Bay of Alcúdia
- Boat Tour in the Nature Reserve of Cala Ratjada
- Read more
The Best Time for Boat Trips in Mallorca
Mallorca’s beaches are beautiful, but they tend to get overcrowded during the summer. While we may know a few secluded spots where we can escape the crowds even in the high season, the true sense of freedom is found on the sea during July and August.
These two months are also the best when considering the conditions. The weather is stable, the sea is calm, and the breeze is pleasant. While some boat tours operate year-round, they are the exception rather than the norm. Most tours catering to tourists only operate during the season, from April to November.
However, even that comes with a caveat. It’s not uncommon for boat trips in Mallorca to be canceled in spring and autumn due to unfavorable weather conditions. Autumn, especially September, can be highly unpredictable, with the potential for strong storms following long, warm summers.
If you’re not boat owners or captains, you need not worry. The tour operators are well aware of the weather conditions and will make the best decisions regarding whether it’s safe to embark on boat tours. And if you possess a boating license, you likely have enough knowledge and experience to assess the situation realistically.
A Brief Explanation: Winds in Mallorca
Understanding the winds at sea is essential when boating in Mallorca, and nobody knows it better than the Gent de la Mar, the people who work on and by the sea. The winds in Mallorca function like clockwork.
The Embat is a thermal wind that forms when the air over the land heats up faster than over the sea during the summer. This creates two compensating flows. One starts in the Bay of Palma and blows towards the island’s interior, while the other starts in the Bay of Alcúdia and also moves inland.
The winds start along the coast between nine and ten o’clock and reach the island’s interior between 12 and 2 p.m. From around 6 p.m., it becomes calm until the next morning. Then the cycle starts again. Sailors have relied on the Embat winds for many years. Even the windmills on the island made use of this natural phenomenon. The airport in Palma also takes advantage of the wind currents. The runway is designed to allow airplanes to take off and land with or against the Embat winds.
Different Types of Boat Tours in Mallorca
Now, after all that theory, let’s finally get to the boat tours themselves. We’ll start with the simplest ways to explore the sea and later move on to observing dolphins and sailing across the Mediterranean. Let’s get started!
Basic: Pedal Boat Riding
Yes, I know: You had something much grander in mind when thinking of boating in Mallorca, but hear me out. A boat is a boat, and for families especially, pedal boating is perhaps the most affordable way to enjoy short excursions on the sea.
Pedal boats are available at most tourist-operated beaches. They typically cost between 10 and 15 euros per hour and can accommodate up to four people. However, there are exceptions for families. Ideally, two adults should ride together, as it can be challenging to steer the boats alone.
Most pedal boats come with a slide, adding even more fun to jumping into the open sea. However, it’s important not to venture too far out to avoid drifting away from shore.
Cost-effective: Glass Bottom Boats
Glass bottom boats operate on various routes along the eastern, southeast, and south coasts of Mallorca. They are highly popular among tourists and can get quite crowded, but they are still more affordable than other excursion boats. Starting from Porto Cristo, the glass bottom boats cruise along the coastline in both northern and southern directions.
In the north, a glass bottom catamaran departs from Alcúdia. It takes you along the La Victoria Peninsula to the secluded natural beach of Coll Baix, offering an experience for those who enjoy untouched nature. You can book this tour here.
From the popular holiday destinations of Cales de Mallorca, Cala Romantica, Cala Bona, Sa Coma, and Cala Millor, you can take the glass bottom boat to Porto Cristo. There are various boarding options and a chance to explore the port of Porto Cristo. During this tour, you’ll pass by the famous Cala Varques and have a swimming stop in a secluded cove.
The glass bottom boat “Sea Paradise” departs from Porto Cristo and cruises along the coast, visiting hidden sea caves and coves. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the well-known Pirate’s Cave and the bay of Cala Falcó. You can reserve this excursion here.
Around Cala d’Or, the surrounding holiday resorts are served by the glass bottom boat “Starfish.” Excursions from here include visits to the Mondragó Natural Park and the fishing village of Cala Figuera, both with ample time to explore. Starfish also offers coastal boat trips along the coastline, with swimming breaks included during the summer months.
Island Hopping: Boat Tours to Nearby Islands
Mallorca is surrounded by a variety of smaller and larger islands that can be reached by excursion boats. One of the most well-known boat tours is to the pirate island of Cabrera. Cabrera is an archipelago that is protected under nature conservation regulations and is only allowed to be visited by a limited number of visitors each day.
The boat tours depart from Colonia de Sant Jordi and offer both simple round trips and trips with stops. We recommend the longer tour with a stop, as the beaches on the island are incredibly natural and offer a unique bathing experience. All tours include a swimming stop at the Blue Grotto on the return journey.
Another island that can be reached by boat is Sa Dragonera. This dragon-shaped island is also under nature protection, but is closer to Mallorca. There is a water taxi directly from the port in Sant Elm, which takes about 20 minutes to reach the island. Longer boat tours to Sa Dragonera start from Santa Ponça and Peguera.
Dolphin Tours: Exploring Dolphins with Excursion Boats
All Tours: Dolphins in Mallorca
Dolphin-watching tours are available at various locations in Mallorca. The safest zone for sightings is the eastern part of the island in the early morning hours. This area is home to a significant dolphin population that can be regularly observed.
Our favorite is the excursion with the Jungle Boat from Cala Ratjada. However, boats set sail from other locations as well, with the aim of spotting dolphins in Mallorca.
Here is a selection:
Sailing Tours: Catamaran Excursions with Catering
A classic option among boat tours in Mallorca is the sailing tours with catering. Catamaran tours are available as budget-friendly options, accommodating up to 100 people on board. There are also more exclusive trips available in smaller groups. An example of the latter is Sailing Jona. The catamaran is owned by a young family who organizes sailing excursions in small groups, including families with young children.
Here are a few more suggestions for catamaran excursions:
Classics: Popular Excursion Destinations by Boat
Not all excursion destinations can only be reached by boat. However, especially in summer, the popular spots can become crowded on the roads. It’s more relaxed to arrive by boat in these cases. For example, consider these attractions.
Sa Calobra & Torrent de Pareis
Book online: Boat tour to Sa Calobra
The Torrent de Pareis is the largest and most impressive gorge in Mallorca. Sa Calobra is the neighboring port town, accessible only via a nerve-wracking serpentine road. Particularly in summer, with opposing traffic and buses, it can be an uncomfortable experience.
Luckily for me and others who get a racing heart at steep curves, there are several daily boat trips from Port de Sóller to Sa Calobra. This way, we can arrive at the gorge in a relaxed manner while enjoying the stunning views of the rugged northwest coast. You can book the boat tour here.
Caló des Moro
Stress-free and no parking hassle: Boat tour to Caló des Moro
The most famous beach in Mallorca and, at the same time, one of the most overcrowded. In the summer, as I mentioned before, I wouldn’t recommend going there. The parking situation can be quite tense, and the space is limited. However, the perspective changes when you approach it from the sea.
If you want to explore the ultimate beach in Mallorca without the hassle of long walks or stressful parking searches, then this boat tour to Caló des Moro is perfect for you. You’re not familiar with this beach? That’s hard to believe, but no worries. You can read up on the essentials to Caló des Moro here.
Peninsula and Formentor Beach
Around the Peninsula: Boat tour from Pollença to Cap de Formentor.
Even at Cap de Formentor, the northern peninsula, it can get crowded in the summer. That’s why there are restrictions on car traffic between 10 am and 6 pm. The road is not closed, but a large sign warns that continuing will incur high costs.
To avoid the parking ticket, save your nerves, and still explore this wild and beautiful corner of Mallorca, there are fortunately boat tours available here as well. The tours depart from Alcúdia, Can Picafort, and Pollença.
To the Es Trenc Beach
For booking: Reserve an online boat tour to Es Trenc
Es Trenc Beach is a place where opinions differ. Some find it beautiful, while others may not share the same sentiment. However, there is no doubt that Playa Es Trenc is worth a visit. Just like all the beaches in Mallorca, it can get crowded during the summer.
Booking a tour to Es Trenc Beach will save you the hassle of transportation and parking. This excursion also includes a visit to Colonia Sant Jordi, allowing you to explore an interesting part of the southern coast.
Boating without a License
Want to try your hand at boating in Mallorca? It’s possible! There are numerous boat rental companies located across the island. You can reserve boats for full or half-day trips to get a taste of the boating experience.
Smaller boats can be rented without a boating license. However, these boats are not only small but also considerably slower. Therefore, you won’t be able to undertake long boat tours with them. It’s also not advisable to venture out to sea in rough waves, as lighter boats can make the ride uncomfortable.
Similar to stand-up paddleboarding in Mallorca, it’s recommended to set off early with small boats. The sea is usually calm before 10 a.m. The embat wind (mentioned above) picks up in the morning, and it can become quite unsettled by midday. However, this is ideal for sailors who need the breeze to move forward.
Our Favorites: The 10 Most Beautiful Boat Tours in Mallorca
That was a lot of information, wasn’t it? Sometimes, when on vacation, you need a little more help to make decisions. That’s why we’ve put together a list of our 10 favorite boat tours in Mallorca that we regularly recommend.
Morning Dolphin Tour
Duration: 3 hours Price: starting from €70 Where: Cala Ratjada – reserve here
This is clearly our family’s favorite, even though it means getting up early as Cala Ratjada is quite far from where we live. But it’s definitely worth the effort. We’ve always been lucky enough to see dolphins on this tour. In addition, the atmosphere with a maximum of 12 participants is very intimate, and the crew is super friendly.
The captain is a former fisherman who is in contact with active fishermen and is informed about the whereabouts of the dolphins. The dolphins are not lured or fed; they come to the boat of their own accord. Additionally, breakfast is provided. All in all, it’s a highly recommended excursion that will become your most memorable holiday experience. You can get tickets for the boat here.
To Formentor Beach
Duration: 1 hour Price: from €8.50 Where: Port de Pollença – book here
Our second choice is always the Lanchas La Gaviota, which depart from Pollença to Platja de Formentor. Access to the beach and the peninsula is restricted in the summer, traffic can be a bit crazy, and parking is quite expensive. However, the beach itself is a dream, especially for children.
You have the option to choose between different return times. The minimum stay at the beach is one hour, but it’s better to spend a bit more time there, especially to find the improvised wooden swing on the beach. You can reserve the boat trip here.
Es Pontàs, Caló des Moro & Cala Marmols
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes Price: from €25 Where: Cala Figuera – book here
Most people choose this tour to easily see the famous Caló des Moro. Yes, that’s nice. But the real highlights of this excursion are different. On the boat tour, which starts in the fishing village of Cala Figuera, you will pass by the natural monument Es Pontàs.
And let’s not underestimate the beauty of Cala Marmols beach. This sandy cove is sheltered and so secluded that only the bravest of souls would venture to walk there in the summer heat. You can enjoy relative solitude there, swimming and snorkeling in the incredibly clear water.
To the Rock Formation Sa Foradada in Deià
Duration: 2 hours Price: from €25 Where: Port de Sóller – book here
The rock formation Sa Foradada is one of the most iconic spots in the north of Mallorca. This natural monument is located near the small mountain village of Deià and is a popular hiking destination during the cooler months of the year. In the summer, it’s mainly boats that anchor in the small harbor below the rock formation.
From Port de Sóller, there is a speedboat that cruises along the rugged northern coastline and makes a stop at the rock formation, Sa Foradada. It’s ideal for snorkeling in the clear water. If you have time, the restaurant at the harbor serves delicious paella as well.
Island Tour: Train & Boat to Sa Calobra
Duration: 7 hours Price: from €57 Where: Palma – book here
The classic excursion in Mallorca takes you to the most iconic places on the island. You start in Palma and take the traditional train to Sóller. From there, you hop on the tram to the harbor, where the boat departs for Sa Calobra.
The Torrent de Pareis, the largest gorge in Mallorca, is the most impressive highlight of this tour. But you also have plenty of time to explore the important sights in the port of Sóller and the city itself.
Catamaran Cruise in the Bay of Palma
Duration: 5 hours Price: from €56 Where: Palma – book here
Embark on a catamaran from Palma to idyllic beaches like Portals Vells or Cala Vella. These small coves are perfect for snorkeling. On board, you can replenish your energy with a delicious buffet.
The catamaran tour is available in both the morning and afternoon. The five hours will fly by, although there is also plenty of time for relaxation. This excursion is highly popular, so it’s recommended to make your reservation in advance.
With the Speedboat to Cabrera
Duration: 6 hours Price: from €35 Where: Colonia de Sant Jordi – book here
The island of Cabrera is part of the largest maritime nature reserve in Spain and is open to only a limited number of visitors each day. The boat tours depart from Colònia de Sant Jordi. There are two tour options available for you to choose from. The first is the 6-hour premium tour, where you will take a complete tour around the entire archipelago and then have three hours to explore Cabrera, visit the castle, and enjoy the beaches. One of the highlights is the abundance of lizards scurrying around everywhere. The underwater world is also bustling with activity, as the fish are quite friendly. Don’t forget to bring your snorkeling gear.
The second option is the 3-hour short tour, where you will complete a full circumnavigation of the islands and make a brief stop of about 20 minutes on Cabrera. Both tours also include a visit to the Blue Grotto (Sa Cova Blava), a fascinating cave system with crystal-clear water, where you can take a quick swim.
Boat Trip and Snorkeling at the Islas Malgrats
Duration: 3 hours Price: from €60 Where: Santa Ponça – reserve here
This boat tour takes you to the nature reserve of the Malgrats Islands, a small group of islands located near the holiday resort of Santa Ponça in the municipality of Calvià.
Upon arrival at the islands, you will be provided with snorkeling equipment. An experienced guide will explain the richness of the underwater world in this area. The island group is one of the best places for snorkeling in Mallorca.
Catamaran Ride in the Bay of Alcúdia
Duration: 5 hours Price: from €64 Where: Port d’Alcúdia – book here
This catamaran excursion in Mallorca allows you to explore the bays of Alcúdia and Pollença in the northern part of the island. The activity takes place on a large sailing catamaran with plenty of comfort.
Starting from the port of Alcúdia, you will follow the coast towards Cap des Pinar. The highlight of this peninsula is the natural beach called Platja des Coll Baix, where a swimming stop will be made. If you have time, take a short walk to the beach and greet the mischievous goats that live there. Afterward, the journey continues to the bay of Pollença, where lunch will be served on board before returning to the starting point.
Boat Tour in the Nature Reserve of Cala Ratjada
Duration: 6 hours Price: from €60 Where: Cala Ratjada – book here
This full-day boat tour takes you to the paradise-like nature reserve of Cala Ratjada. The highlight of this tour is the Península de Llevant nature reserve. It starts at 11:00 am in the harbor and takes you along the lighthouse into the nature reserve. After about an hour, you will be treated to the first snacks: the typical Pa amb Oli (bread with olive oil) with various types of sausage.
After the second swimming break, a lunch awaits you. The price includes snacks, a buffet with a fish dish, stuffed eggplants with meat, cooked chicken with sparkling wine, rice or pasta, tomato salad, and seasonal fruits. Drinks such as water, soft drinks, beer, wine, and coffee are also included. The boat returns to the harbor of Cala Ratjada around 5 pm. For an additional fee of €10, a transfer from the surrounding tourist areas is offered. This excursion is not suitable for children under 5 years old. Please remember to bring swimwear and a towel to fully enjoy the tour.
Want more recommendations like this? Check out more than 100 day trips and excursions on Mallorca.