S’Arenal: party hotspot in transition

S’Arenal, also called El Arenal, is part of Majorca’s most famous beach, Playa de Palma. As a holiday destination it’s infamous, at least in Germany. This party hotspot has the highest density of hotels on the island. Situated in one of the most beautiful bays in Majorca, however, this place is so much more than just Ballermann and wild parties. Just in the last few years, a lot has been achieved here – particularly since the Balearic government and a whole string of hotel chains started seriously acting on their motto advocating less mass tourism and more high-quality tourism. It has meant that five-star and four-star plus hotels have already cropped up in Playa de Palma, along with chic beach clubs and bars. Even “Balneario 6”, known as “Ballermann 6” by young German holidaymakers particularly, now boasts an updated design as “Beach Club Six”.

A different view

Thanks to these changes, people are seeing s’Arenal through different eyes. Many are also now considering this location at the south-east end of Playa de Palma as a residential area because it’s an extremely interesting spot to buy a property in Majorca. The advantages are obvious…you have the sea and a kilometres-long beach right on the doorstep, Son Sant Joan Airport just around the corner, the motorway in the immediate vicinity and you’re within sight of Majorca’s wonderful capital of Palma.

Shopping by the sea

On the lively seafront promenade, you can stroll along beneath the palms and do a little shopping. The merchandise is aimed mainly at holidaymakers, so there are shops selling beach paraphernalia, light summer fashions and souvenirs. You’ll also find supermarkets, bakeries and pharmacies. And of course there’s an enormous selection of restaurants and eateries, from stalls selling bratwurst to beach bars…from rustic-style grill restaurants to luxurious sea-view terraces in five-star hotels. The Casa do Pulpo (the house of octopus), which specialises in Galician cuisine, has a great reputation and of course offers the traditional dish “Pulpo a la gallega” – slices of paprika-seasoned octopus served with potatoes.

Dining in the old mill

Another institution among restaurants is Sa Farinera a few kilometres away, and this is a centuries-old flour mill. The restaurant draws customers wanting to satisfy their appetite for good meat. And at the same time as you’re doing that, you can be immersed in Majorca’s history of windmills.

Minigolf with dinosaurs

Children are also well provided for in s’Arenal. The long, sandy beach is a dream, the water near the shore nice and shallow and there are lifeguards in place keeping a watchful eye. If you want a change from the beach fun, the Dino Minigolf complex is particularly attractive for families with kids – and you’re being watched by prehistoric creatures as you play.

Safe harbour

The harbour of s’Arenal has developed from a one-time fishing harbour into a marina with around 650 moorings, which supplies everything necessary to the craft that moor here. But those are not the only services provided. The CN Arenal boat club also offers sailing, surfing and standup paddleboarding courses as well as dive camps for children and young people. Heading in a southerly direction along the route from the harbour brings you to a far less touristy area with rocky coastline and little bays like the Calonet des Fornàs. You are guaranteed spectacular views over the Bahia de Palma from viewing points such as the Mirador Fra Juníper Serra. This spot is named after the Majorcan missionary Juníper Serra, who was canonised by the Pope and who founded Los Angeles and San Diego, among other places. If you decide to rent a bike or a Segway in s’Arenal, you’ll get a few good suggestions for tour routes in the shop at the same time.