Snorkeling in Mallorca: Our 16 Favorite Places

Snorkeling in Mallorca is not the same as in the Caribbean. At first glance, the underwater world in the Mediterranean seems rather plain. But ever since everyone in our family learned to swim, we’ve been exploring the island’s seaside more closely. And we regularly discover new surprises. Caves that can only be accessed from the sea. Offshore islands with unique biotopes. And, of course, plenty of fish. Join us at our favorite snorkeling spots in Mallorca.

Best places for snorkeling in Mallorca

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The rugged cliffs and underground caves always captivate us. Mallorca is made of karst rock and has many underground holes, especially where the sea erodes the stone. While snorkeling, you can see plenty of fish, starfish, sea urchins, and if you’re lucky, rays and moray eels. You won’t see turtles while snorkeling, as they swim in the open sea. Beginners can try snorkeling anywhere in Mallorca, but some spots are more rewarding. Here, we’ll share our favorite underwater spots and tips for snorkeling with kids.

Where Are the Best Snorkeling Spots in Mallorca?

As always, when I write about the “best spots” and similar topics, it’s very subjective. Additionally, conditions in the sea are not always the same. The following selection includes places we would visit again because the snorkeling conditions in Mallorca were perfect for us at least once.

The following features make a great snorkeling spot in Mallorca:

  • Rocky seabed
  • Narrow coves with rocky edges
  • Rarely visited swimming spots
  • Nature reserves with regulated visitor numbers
  • Rock caves and uneven seabed

In general, any beach or bay is suitable for snorkeling. Beginners can also try snorkeling directly from the beach. However, on sandy seabeds, you’ll see fewer fish because they lack hiding places, and it can often be too crowded with swimmers.

The Best Snorkeling Spots in Northern Mallorca

Snorkeling trips in the north:

Cala Murta at Cap de Formetor

Both Cala Murta and Cala Figuera de Formentor are two beautiful rocky coves that invite snorkeling. However, for snorkeling adventures with children, Cala Murta is better suited because the path to the cove is easier, and the currents are less tricky. Additionally, donkeys occasionally visit there, for those who are less interested in fish.

Cala Figuera de Formentor

Cala Murta is also ideal for snorkeling in Mallorca because at the eastern end of the cove, a rock juts out of the sea. It stands somewhat detached from the land and hosts a lively marine ecosystem.

Snorkeling in Alcúdia: S’Illot

The beach of S’Illot has everything you need for a snorkeling adventure. Firstly, there’s the rocky seabed, where, as experience shows, more fish are found than on sand. Secondly, there’s a small cave near the beach. But the highlight is undoubtedly the island just a few steps or strokes away from the shore. There, little explorers can continue their exploration if they find the underwater world too dull. The water to the island is very shallow, and you can even walk there. That’s why the beach is also suitable for snorkeling with less confident swimmers.

Beach S'Illot Peninsula Victoria Alcudia
Snorkeling in Mallorca

A bit further towards Alcúdia, near the port of Bonaire, you’ll find Caleta des Frares, a spot popular among locals. It’s very rocky here, making it perfect for snorkeling. As a bonus, there’s a water cave that can be explored from both land and sea. S’Illot can be reached from Alcúdia. There’s a small parking lot, a bar, and plenty of picnic spots.

Es Caló near Betlem

Es Caló is a former fishing port used by the fishermen of Betlem to set sail. Little remains of its former activity. The peninsula is almost entirely undeveloped and natural. And the rocky bay is teeming with underwater life. The only downside: the journey to Es Caló can be quite long, especially in summer. But once there, you’ll have the fish all to yourself.

Es Caló beach near Betlem
Snorkel tours in Mallorca

And if you’re already nearby: Just behind Betlem is the beach of Na Clara. It’s sandy but also stunning, with a white sandbank stretching several meters into the sea. The descent here can be a bit tricky as it’s very steep. Make sure to wear sturdy shoes.

Snorkeling on the East Coast of Mallorca

Snorkeling Tours in the East:

Cala Rotja near Canyamel

This bay near Canyamel has two bathing areas, one with coarse sand and the other rocky. The currents here can be a bit challenging when the wind is unfavorable, so you need to be particularly vigilant. Smaller snorkelers are best staying near the shore, where there are plenty of fish to observe. More experienced swimmers can swim southward and discover several tunnels, an underwater cave, and many crevices and arches. In some areas, it gets as deep as 20 meters.

Cala Rotja

Cala Rotja is not touristically developed. It’s primarily locals who come here. Consequently, there’s no tourist luxury, but there’s a very nice restaurant right above the cove.

Cala Varques & The Pirate Cave

Guided Tour: Snorkeling in the Pirate’s Cave

Cala Varques is actually not what you would typically look for in snorkeling spots in Mallorca: sandy and very crowded. However, on the east side of the bay, there are many caves and distinctive points for snorkeling. Firstly, there’s the rock arch Cova des Pont, the sole remnant of a collapsed cave system.

 Cala Varques

Further east lies the impressive Cueva de Pirata, which can be explored from the sea with snorkeling and professional equipment. You should definitely join a guided tour, and helmets, wetsuits, and lamps are a must. The snorkeling excursion to the Pirate’s Cave is suitable for children aged eight and above.

Cala Santanyí

Diving School: Courses and Diving Tours

One of our favorite beaches is in Cala Santanyí, and it’s very family-friendly. Unfortunately, it can get a bit crowded in the summer due to the nearby hotels. However, it’s a good choice for snorkeling in Mallorca. Firstly, there’s a diving school right on the beach that you can contact for questions and uncertainties, and they can also provide you with the necessary equipment. Secondly, there are several caves along the rocky edges, offering plenty to explore.

Cala Santanyi
Es Pontàs Cala Santanyí

Even very young children can try snorkeling in the shallow water of a small cove. Another highlight is the rock arch Es Pontàs, located slightly above the cove, which was part of a collapsed cave. There are plenty of snorkeling adventures to be had among the rocks and arch. On our treasure hunt through the bay of Cala Santanyí, we even take you into the cave.

Cala Santanyí is ideal for families where only part of the family can go diving due to age restrictions. The other part can relax on the sandy beach in the meantime. The tourist offer on-site is very comprehensive, including options for refreshments like ice cream.

Caló des Moro & Cala s’Almunia

The Caló des Moro and its neighboring bay, Cala s’Almunia, theoretically have optimal conditions for snorkeling in Mallorca. However, there’s a small problem. Snorkeling is mostly an activity for summer, but during that time, these two bays are so crowded that underwater, you mostly see legs and other snorkelers, but hardly any marine life.

Cala s'Almunia
Schnorcheln auf Mallorca

Every year, the number of visitors increases, the parking situation is tense, and there’s not enough space in the bay on land. However, since the beach is included in all other lists of the best snorkeling spots in Mallorca, I thought it would be good to mention it here. And also to explain why I consider it suitable for snorkeling but wouldn’t snorkel there myself in the summer.

Snorkeling in the South of Mallorca

Snorkeling Trips in the South:

Cala Pi

Even in summer, Cala Pi can get quite crowded. However, the beach here is a bit larger, and there’s more space in the sea as well. Despite being sandy, there’s a lot of life around the rocky sides of the bay. Even near the shore, you can observe mini fish among the rocks. So, it’s suitable even for very young snorkelers who just want to dip their heads underwater for a moment.

Beach Cala Pi Mallorca

Those who are more experienced can venture further into the fjord towards the open sea. There, you’ll see larger fish and perhaps even an eel or two. Just be cautious of boat traffic. The bay is relatively narrow, and in summer, there’s a lot of coming and going of boats and jet skis. If Cala Pi gets too crowded for you, you can always switch to snorkeling at Cala Beltran.

Punta Negra Near Palma

Located directly on the headland called Punta Negra is a hotel that has made it a mission to make access to the beaches as difficult as possible. If you’re not a hotel guest, you have to walk extensively around the hotel area to reach the sandy beach and then the rocky cove. Despite the direct access from the hotel, few visitors are found in the rocky cove. Completely unjustifiably.

Der Strand an der Punta Negra

Because here, you can snorkel wonderfully, even in shallow water. For even more adventure, there’s a rocky crevice. In the summer, the youth from Calvia and the surrounding area also like to jump from the cliffs here. There are no tourist extras directly at the coves. However, there’s a diving school in the hotel where you can seek advice if you have doubts.

Portals Vells

The water in the coves of Portals Vells is crystal clear. You can explore three beaches here. Particularly, the westernmost of the three coves is excellent for snorkeling. Among other things, you can explore the cave located about five minutes from the beach.

Portals Vells Mallorca

In this cave, sailors from Genoa sought refuge from a storm in the 16th century and, in gratitude to the Virgin Mary, created an altar carved from stone by hand.

Snorkeling in the West of Mallorca

Snorkeling Trips in the West

Caló d’en Monjo

Sir Peter Ustinov was at Caló d’en Monjo. However, he wasn’t there for snorkeling but for work. He filmed “Evil Under the Sun” in the bay. However, it’s not that bad. Although it’s very rocky, it’s also very sheltered. For little snorkelers, there are caves. Adults sometimes swim a bit further to a boat garage or even towards the open sea.

Caló d'en Monjo
Beach Caló d'en Monjo

While the region is well-developed for tourism, Caló d’en Monjo is an exception. Don’t expect tourist infrastructure here. However, you can find it just a few meters away in Cala Fornells, where parking is available. If you feel like exploring more, you can hike to the old watchtower on Cap de Andritxol.

Cala Estellencs

Mallorca has it all. Mountains and sea. Even both at the same time, like in Cala Estellencs. The marine fauna on this side is more diverse than elsewhere, which is why many locals come here on weekends for diving and fishing. Visually, the scene is enhanced by the numerous boat garages built into the cliffs.

Cala Estellencs

For those who prefer to admire the fish rather than catch them, food and drink are available at Cala Estellencs, at least in summer. Then, the small bar on the cliff overlooking the bay is open. Access to the bay is easy, although it’s a 20-minute walk from the parking lot. We combined this with a short hike through the picturesque village.

Cala Deià

Deià, the artist village in the Tramuntana Mountains, is at least known for passing through. It’s worth stopping. Just a little below is the bay of the same name. It resembles Cala Estellencs but is completely different at the same time. In the crystal-clear water, even younger children can snorkel near the shore. Older ones can make it to the rocky outcrops where seagulls often sit, indicating the presence of many fish.

Cala Deiá

For refreshments, there are two options right here. Parking is theoretically possible right at the beach if you’re lucky. You can also park in the village. With few exceptions, all parking spaces in Deià are subject to charges. You can also combine the outing with a short hike here.

Bonus: 3 Islands for Snorkeling

Around Mallorca, there are numerous smaller and larger islands. Let’s focus on three of them here, both nature reserves with unique wildlife and underwater ecosystems.

The Pirate Island Cabrera

Although Cabrera is its own island, administratively it belongs to Palma and can therefore be mentioned when it comes to snorkeling in Mallorca. Of all the spots, this is the best. The entire archipelago is a protected area. The number of visitors and ships allowed in the protected area is strictly regulated. Accordingly, the underwater flora and fauna are pristine and diverse. Some fish are even so friendly that they swim around your legs.

snorkeling Mallorca

However, there are still some disadvantages. The excursion is not exactly cheap. And on-site, besides a small restaurant and a few rangers, there’s hardly any civilization. Therefore, there are only a few shaded areas. Nevertheless, I always recommend visiting Cabrera. Even in very shallow water, younger children can observe many fish. On the return journey, there’s a stop for snorkeling at the Blue Grotto.

The Dragon Island Sa Dragonera

Sa Dragonera is also an island. The so-called Dragon Island, ruled by descendants of the dinosaurs, lies west of Mallorca and is quicker and cheaper to reach from Sant Elm. However, the island’s only beach is not ideal for a full beach day. For snorkeling, though, this protected area is perfect.

snorkeling in Dragonera

Additionally, there are several excursions that take you directly to Dragonera for snorkeling. These trips do not involve setting foot on the island; instead, you snorkel in the waters around it. These excursions depart from Andratx, Santa Ponça, and Sant Elm itself. You can book the latter here.

The Islas Malgrats

The Malgrats Islands are a nature reserve located just off Santa Ponça in western Mallorca. Not only the islands but also large parts of the surrounding sea are protected. This means fishing is prohibited there. And the fish are aware of this.

The Malgrats Islands near Santa Ponça
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We love paddling to the islands on our stand-up paddle boards to snorkel there. Even on the way to the Malgrats Islands, you pass over shimmering schools of fish. At the second, larger island, there’s a sheltered bay with plenty to discover. Guided snorkeling tours also lead to this spot.

Snorkeling with Kids in Mallorca

As with any other activity, safety comes first. This applies both to the equipment and the choice of the bay where you plan to snorkel. We are not professionals. If you want expert advice, contact one of the many dive schools available in all the tourist-developed bays. Here are just our experiences and opinions.

Snorkeling Equipment in Mallorca

You should definitely not skimp on equipment. Although snorkel sets for all age groups are available in every souvenir shop and supermarket near the sea, they are usually quite cheap. However, it’s crucial that the mouthpiece is of high quality and doesn’t break with the first firm bite, which could pose a choking hazard.

Snorkel Mallorca

The size of the snorkel is also very important. If it is too long or too wide, it can lead to pendulum breathing and potentially cause unconsciousness! That’s why high-quality equipment is essential.

Never Snorkel Unsupervised

It’s also important that the children can swim on their own. Snorkeling with kids is only fun if they can move independently and confidently in the water and feel comfortable there. It might be unnecessary to mention, but for the sake of completeness: never leave them unsupervised. When snorkeling in rocky bays, it’s also wise not to enter the water barefoot. If your children are comfortable with fins, they are a good option. In shallow water, we recommend using swim shoes.

Just Look, Don’t Touch

Even if it sometimes seems like the sea is empty, many animals can hide behind rocks and in small caves. So, you should always be careful. Sea urchins can be very painful if you touch or step on them, and moray eels can become aggressive if they feel threatened.

In general, when snorkeling in Mallorca, you should only look at everything underwater and never touch anything. This helps protect the unique ecosystem and prevents you from startling any animals that might think you mean them harm.

Best Time of Year for Snorkeling in Mallorca

Technically, you can snorkel in Mallorca all year round. However, in practice, it’s a bit different. In winter, the water is quite cold, and you’ll need additional equipment like a wetsuit, which most people don’t have in their closets. Dive schools rent out equipment, but they are usually closed in winter.

Furthermore, the sea is much rougher in winter, and you should definitely have some experience to properly assess the weather and currents. The sea is very appealing in spring. It’s relatively calm with little wave action, making it clear and clean. However, it’s still quite cold.

Organized Excursions & Tours

Since snorkeling is one of the easiest activities in Mallorca, there are numerous professional providers who can take you on a snorkeling excursion. Especially if you’re unsure or just want to try it out, it’s advisable to start with professional assistance. They will provide you with all the necessary equipment.

Reservations: Book the adventure tour here.

On the north coast, on the La Victoria peninsula, an exciting adventure awaits. You’ll kayak to a hidden underwater cave, jump from cliffs, and snorkel for a sunken treasure. We particularly found the kid-friendly explanations phenomenal. Especially if you’ve never snorkeled before, you’ll get a very good introduction here.

Kajak Tour Mallorca
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