Until the 1960s, Pacuera on Mallorca’s southwest coast was a sleepy little fishing village, where the only visitors might have been brave hikers attracted by its network of coastal hiking trails. But as tourism grew throughout Majorca, it quickly developed into one of the island’s most prosperous resorts, with hotels, restaurants, bars and shops galore.
As with most of Mallorca, the action in Pacuera is located on three beaches, Playa Palmira, Playa Tora and Playa La Romana, all of which are connected by a modern Clean promenade connection. The beaches themselves are child-friendly, with clear, shallow water and crabs around the rocks, although the sea urchins living on the rocks aren’t always so friendly. Inevitably, all three beaches get very busy during the summer months, so if you want to make sure you grab a sunbed and umbrella, it’s advisable to come early.
Paquera is also popular with water sports enthusiasts and is one of the few coastal resorts in Mallorca where you’ll often see surfers trying to catch some waves. For those looking for a more tranquil sailing experience, there are several companies that operate cruises on glass-bottomed catamarans that take you to various points on the island. Dolphin watching tours are also offered, although the odds may be a little hit and miss on your chances of spotting dolphins.
For a change of scenery, a few minutes’ walk west along the coast from Paguera will bring you to Cala Fornells, a quaint village dotted with stylish apartments and houses cleverly built into the hillside. Here you’ll find small, rocky, unspoilt beaches ideal for exploring, or a little further inland you’ll find a beautiful forest, popular with wanderers.
Experienced hikers and cyclists can also enjoy plenty of fun in Paquera. The town is the starting point for the trail to the mountain village of Es Capdellà, a scenic route that offers some of Mallorca’s most outstanding natural beauty. You can also take the main road, which offers easier terrain but not the same views.
Paquera traditionally hosts its own Oktoberfest every October (as does nearby Santa Ponsa) after the peak tourist season, which helps broaden the resort’s appeal. Pacuila is popular with German tourists, drawing crowds that flock to the resort’s bars and restaurants to celebrate the amber nectar.
If you’re looking for a change of pace, there are several upscale beach clubs near Paquera. Probably the most famous is Nikki Beach (Av. Notari Alemany, 1), a 15-minute drive southwest of Paquera and located on one of the island’s most beautiful white beaches. Here, guests can enjoy luxurious amenities, including an award-winning restaurant and bar, an outdoor pool, poolside cabanas, world-class DJs and live entertainment. For something a little more low-key, the Beach Club Gran Folies in nearby Port d’Andratx has been around for decades and combines luxury with the authentic atmosphere typical of the island.
As you’d expect from one of Mallorca’s most popular resort towns, there are a wide number of accommodation options to be found in Paguera. If you’re seeking somewhere with a dash of contemporary character and style, then BQ Boutique Hotel is sure to appeal. Part of a chain of hotels across Mallorca and Andalucia on the mainland, this Paguera property offers easy access to the town’s sandy shoreline and also has its own outdoor pool set in pristine gardens with pine trees. There’s also a chic on-site restaurant and bar, or if you’d prefer to venture out of an evening there are plenty of drinking and dining spots a short walk away.
Oozing Mediterranean charm, Villa Columbus is another boutique option close to the beach. Nestled in an elevated spot, guests can dine in a leafy courtyard restaurant while the bar area still has many of the same nautical-themed artefacts and quirky curios that have adorned the walls for decades. Accommodation comes in the form of bungalow-style apartments surrounding the kidney-shaped outdoor pool. If you’re looking for tranquillity, then you might consider one of Paguera’s adults-only hotels. The 3-star Valentin Hotel (Calle Peral, 3) has a no-kids policy, allowing guests to soak up the sunshine or indulge in a sauna session in solitude. Finally, for those on a budget, is an unfussy option that’s well located for enjoying all the town has to offer.
Eat and Drink
There are plenty of restaurants and cafes along the main street that runs the full length of Paguera, many of which serve up classic Spanish dishes including paella and grilled fish. In keeping with the town’s popularity with German tourists, you can also expect to find plenty of German-style dishes on menus, while German-brewed Erdinger is the house beer in most of its watering holes. Nestled on the seafront, Mar y Mar (Carrer Pinaret, 6) is a perpetually busy, no frills fish restaurant with an Asian flourish.
For visitors in search of a more exclusive dining experience, the lively Hacienda steakhouse is well-known for its selection of meats – considered some of the best on the island – and excellent salad bar. Rustic in style, the restaurant offers a warm and homely ambience and there’s a large terrace where you can dine al fresco during the balmy summer months when temperatures remain high well into the evening.
To experience gastronomy at its very best, dedicated foodies can venture eight kilometres inland to find the 2-Michelin starred Zaranda restaurant (Castell Son Claret, Carretera Capdella – Galilea). Housed within a hotel and helmed by world renowned chef Fernando P Arellano, there’s a choice of four tasting menus of extraordinary creations, all using produce sourced fresh from the hotel’s extensive grounds and the Balearic Sea.
If it’s imbibing you’re interested in, Waikiki (Carrer Platja, 70) is one of the town’s funkiest drinking joints. Featuring a tropical-style thatched roof, pumping music and with plenty of tables and bar stools dotted around the outdoor area, this buzzing cocktail bar is standing room only during peak season.
Most of the shopping in Paguera is to be found in Avenida Paguera which runs parallel to the town’s main strip. Here you’ll find not only the usual beach-wear and gift shops, but boutiques and leather goods too, including several excellent shoe stores. There’s also a good selection of practical shops such as chemists and supermarkets, so you don’t have to worry about being caught short for essentials during your stay. While Paguera caters very well for mid-range shoppers, for more exclusive retail opportunities visitors should make the short journey to the neighbouring fishing port of Puerto Andratx.
For picking up some casual clothes, Topdress-Paguera is one of Paguera’s best shopping outlets. The store stocks a wide range of loose-fitting apparel suitable for both the beach and the bars of Mallorca. They also have a good selection of footwear including classic Havaianas and more formal shoes too.
Situated directly opposite the 5-star Hotel Villamil, Galas Boutique (Bulevar de Paguera, 53) is a women’s clothing store selling a diverse selection of colourful and stylishly designed items. Whether it’s little black dress, a jump suit or something to throw on before heading to the beach, you’re almost certain to find it here.
On the same street, Orenda is a great choice for picking up gifts and souvenirs, as well as practical goods for your stay such as towels, shawls and other clothing. But it’s the eclectic mix of bric-a-bric that sets the store apart, with many items sourced from far beyond Mallorca, including Africa and Asia.