1/10 Paseo Maritimo
Mallorca’s seafront promenade, the Paseo Maritimo, offers safe cycling from central Palma down to the former fishing villages of Portixol and Es Molinar. Pack your swimmers (it’s a dead cert the kids will want a dip at some point) but don’t worry about sarnies – there are countless places to eat along the way, including the yummy Tapas Club in Portixol (Carrer Vicari Joaquim Fuster, Palma de Mallorca. +34 971 248 604)
More information: Palma On Bike offers bike hire for all ages, plus baby seats and kiddie-trailers, but you must book in advance. (+34 971 91 89 88).
2/10 Palma Aquarium
A great alternative to the beach, Palma Aquarium is a truly astonishing affair. With more than 8,000 animals; five million litres of salt water and the deepest shark tank in Europe, it’s sure to keep kids entranced. Summer months see an extensive activities range, including the chance to dive with rays (eight years and up) or cool off with a water fight on the pirate’s ship (pack their bathers). There’s decent food on site, beautiful gardens and a kids’ play area, too.
Cost: Adults, €23.50; 4-12 years, €16.50; 0-3 years, free.
3/10 Jungle Parc
Like the UK’s Go Ape, Jungle Parc is a fantastic treetop adventure centre, with high-ropes courses to suit four-year-olds through to extreme thrill seekers. Set in a forest just outside Santa Ponsa; expect zip-lines, rope bridges, Tarzan ropes and much more. For kids aged 4-11 (minimum height requirement: 105cm), the Piratas course features 40 exercises spanning seven difficulty levels, incorporating a continuous lifeline system to ensure safe (if slightly scary) fun throughout.
Cost: €13 and takes roughly an hour to complete
More information: Jungle Parc Mallorca
4/10 Isla de Cabrera
Once home to pirates, the beautifully untouched Isla de Cabrera is a must for nature-loving kids. Now a wildlife haven, this tiny island is home to genets, rabbits, hedgehogs and all manner of birds and lizards – while more than 215 fish species, dolphins, turtles and even sperm whales have been spotted off its pristine shores. Be sure to bring a picnic, plenty of water and sunscreen, and snorkels.
More information: Licensed operators, Excursions a Cabrera and Marcabrera Speedboat Excursions offer trips from Colònia de Sant Jordi on the South Coast.
5/10 Meson Ca’n Pedro II, Genova
Want a restaurant where it really won’t matter if the kids are a wee bit noisy? The hugely popular Meson Ca’n Pedro II in Genova can cover some 900 guests in one sitting – so things are never quiet. Food is hearty Mallorquin cusine, such as pa amb oli (rustic bread on which you squidge garlic, drizzle olive oil and squish tomatoes) and divinely tender suckling pig and lamb. Wonderfully family friendly, there’s also a playground to escape to between courses.
More information: To book, call +34 971 40 24 79
6/10 Artestruz Mallorca
Fancy something completely different? At Mallorca’s only ostrich farm, Artestruz Mallorca, you can meet the fine-feathered giants and also ride one. Best for kids (maximum weight is 65kgs), rides, accompanied by two handlers, last 10-15 minutes and cost €27.50. You can also visit the chicks’ créche (when they have babies) and, by prior arrangement, enjoy an ostrich art workshop, painting giant eggs or working with feathers.
Cost: Entry is €5 for over 12s and €2 for 3-12 years.
More information: artestruzmallorca.com
7/10 Best of the beaches
With more than 200 beaches, Mallorca has a Cala to suit all, from sunbed-studded shores where footie shirts are de rigueur, to deserted coves where the dress code is, erm, butt naked. Holidaying in the South West? Our favourite, Cala Comptessa in Illetes, offers beachlife Mallorquin style. You’ll have to squidge in among picnicking locals, but the clear waters, gently shelving shoreline and friendly atmosphere more than compensate.
More information: platgesdebalears.com has the lowdown on them all, including safety, facilities, and detailed directions.
A guaranteed hit with kids of all ages, Mallorca has three waterparks: Western Park in Magaluf in the South East, Hidropark, Port d’Alcudia in the North, and the biggest of the lot, Aqualand El Arenal, in the South East. But be warned – they can get horrendously busy in high season, so arrive early, hit the popular rides first and bring a picnic (food is invariably expensive and not great). Then, when the hordes descend, retreat to the kids’ areas for more low-key fun.
9/10 Pirates adventure
Gloriously tacky it may be – and cheap it most certainly isn’t – but your children will love (or parent or grandparent for that matter) the brilliantly bonkers Pirates Adventure Show in Magaluf. Now in its 28th year, expect an explosive night of gravity-defying, swashbuckling acrobatics and stunts as Blackbeard, Barbarossa and other swarthy sorts do battle with the evil pirate (aren’t all pirates evil?), Jacques Lafitte.
Cost: Tickets from €39.20 adults/€23.60 children.
10/10 Night of the fireworks
June sees Mallorquins celebrating midsummer with the Nit de Foc (Night of Fire). Like November the 5th meets Halloween (and some), expect devils and demons, bonfires and mega fireworks. But the real USP is the correfoc – fire run – that sees the costumed devils, adults and children alike, taking to the streets with firecrackers and fireworks. Other correfocs occur throughout the year – for instance in Sóller and Alaró in August. Explosive stuff, and they’re not to be missed.