A gorgeous Mediterranean island and on budget?
This could sound a little strange for those used to spend vacations in other islands across the globe, because, let’s be honest, islands are generally costly. Mallorca on budget is not such an impossible task, given the island’s proximity to continental Spain and excellent connections, both by air and water. Do remember, although Mallorca become a touristy landmark in the last decades, people still live a traditional life, little related to Mallorca’s travel agents and hotels. Therefore, if planned properly, inspired from the local way of life, a vacation here could be as cheap as living in your own town, maybe even better. First of all, we should all get there without spending a fortune on plane tickets.
Affordable transport to Mallorca
General tips apply – and we will mention that in the first place: book your transportation early. This is a complex concurential market and air companies battle for travellers long before the season would have started. Bargain Mallorca flights are available 4-5 months in advance, if not even earlier. Your best bet to get a cheap air ticket is to plan visit it on your own, booking in advance. Alternatively, you could just wait for the “last minute” offers, a known method for travel agencies to sell their last available prepaid spots, few days before certain periods. Again, we would suggest you get organised a few months in advance and take advantage of the transportation offers together with a low-priced villa or appartment booking in Mallorca. Thinking about Son Sant Joan airport location, less than 10 kilometres away from capital Palma, individual trips are highly recommended.
Getting around on budget
Exploring a relatively small island should not be complicated. Depending on what you want to see and do, there are a few possibilities to get around without breaking the bank. We have to talk about the way we travel between different sections of the island, because with the exception of the capital, smaller towns or villages on the island are best explored by foot. In Palma, although not as big as some of the cities you are coming from, it is better to know your way via public transportation, using either the bus or the metro lines, but the large majority of our “must-see” attractions are condensed within the city’s old town. With Palma’s subway lines – M1 and M2, you can travel within the city itseld and around the capital, all the way to Marratxi in the north-est with M2, Universidad de las Islas Baleares to the north with M1. Tube tickets are 1.60 euro/trip, 3.20 euro/return trip. Cheaper fares are available when certain conditions are met, or when buying Intermodal Cards.
Even the night transportation – Bus de Nit – is covered during the weekends or public holidays, with tickets around 1 euro/person/trip. Tickets can be bought on board the vehicles, but also from local tabaco or premises belonging to the official transport company in Mallorca, EMT. When buying a package of 10 tickets, you also get a discount. There is also a line (Bus 1) connecting the airport to the city and port, running every 16 minutes or so.
Now, if you travel with family or friends, especially outside the city, everything changes. Instead of paying separate tickets for everyone, each time you move from one corner of the island to another, you may think about renting a car. Car hire options in Mallorca are quite a few and some are really, really cheap, based on the number of days you are planning to travel across the island. Public transportation remains the best option, by bus or by train, even advisable in some areas of Mallorca, to get the best views – like the train to Soller, for example. By bus, interurban routes are operated by CTM and (Consorci des Transports des Mallorca) are marked with a 3-digits number, based on the area you need to travel to. This is the cheapest way to get around, if you are traveling alone.
Train de Soller is a special case and we have to admit – it is one of the most beautiful train tracks out there, compulsory for every traveler, regardless budget. Although the whole trip from Palma to Soller costs around 21 euro/person, worth using because of the experience itself. Train leaves Palma from Plaza de Espaa and crosses a beautiful landscape all the way to the heart of Soller. These are 27.3 km of amazing mountanous views, tunnels, bridges and arched viaducts, stopping from time to time, where you may take photos and admire nature’s performance. Here you are some more information about Train de Soller.
These are the main inter-urban routes:
- Lines 100 (1**) – around Palma, Andratx, Santa Pona, Peguera and Palmanova
- Lines 200 (2**) – nortwestern coast area, around Valldemossa and Soller
- Lines 300 (3**) – from Palma to the central and northern part of the island, around Can Picafort, Prtol, Marratx, Inca, Lluc, Moscari, Pollena and Port de Pollena, Alcdia or Platja de Muro
- Lines 400 (4**) – covers the central and eastern part of Mallorca, with connections to Palma, 3** and 5** areas, around Cala d’Or, Manacor, Monturi, Son Servera, Ariany, Sineu, Costa dels Pins, Cala Ratjada, s’Arenal, Felanitx, Portocolom or Santany
- Lines 500 (5**) – around Campos, Colnia de Sant Jordi, Cala Figuera, Cala Pi, sa Rpita or Santany
Bus tickets prices depend mainly on the distance. For example, a bus ticket from Palma to Port de Pollena is 6.30 euro/trip, double for a return trip and cheaper for seniors, students or children. More information about Mallorca Public Buses.
There are 3 train lines operated by CTM, marked with T1, T2 and T3. T1 runs from Palma to Inca, T2 from Palma to Sa Pobla and T3 from Palma all the way to Manacor. Prices are according to distance – for example, a train from Palma to Manacor costs around 4 euro/trip.
Mallorca cheap accommodation
No matter if you travel by yourself or together with the family and friends, if you visit the island during the summer or extra-season, you will find countless accommodation offers, fit to every budget. From downtown appartments to villas, holidays bungalows or mountain cottages, with or without a pool, you will enjoy the island and feel like home – usually in a generous, comfortable space. Even more, with prices starting with around 10 euros / person / night, you will be able to save and use your budget to see the rest of the island. Unlike hotel rooms, these are generally private owned premises, where your demands will be met.
Willing to promote, private owners will always offer you a good deal, with respect to your privacy and comfort. The big secret is to know what is your favorite type of accommodation – location, amenities, number of rooms – and also things you may give up to get even a better price. If you travel along with friends, even in couple, hotels could seem a little over your budget. It is the right moment to rent a private appartment. Managed by owners, they are always clean and comfortable, so you would return in the same place.
Note: all prices and itineraries presented in our “Mallorca on a budget” guide are acurate in the moment of publication. Although we try to provide the best information and update it when requiered, we advise our readers to check official operators websites.