If you plan to explore the island rather than sticking in one place it makes sense to rent a car since public transport can only get you so far. Car rental prices are relatively inexpensive, especially out of season, and give you the freedom to get to all the hidden nooks and crannies of the island, especially in terms of smaller beaches and more remote villages. A good place to shop around is through www.mallorcacar.com, which offers rates from as low as 10 euros a day. See more on Majorca car hire.
That said, if driving is your idea of hell it is possible to see quite a lot of the island by public transport, especially if you have a bit of time. Top recommendation is the Ferrocarril de Sóller train from Palma to Soller. The main line train station in Palma is at the Plaça d’Espanya metro station. From here you can connect to Manacor on the north-east side of the island, and Sa Pobla in the North. Both lines make several stops en route in interesting towns and villages like Santa Maria del Camí and Inca, both good for markets.
The main bus station in Palma will also move to the Plaça d’Espanya on 8 March 2011. For now, it is still on the Calle de Eusebi Estada, located on the far side of the plaça. The bus network connects nearly all major towns on the island and particularly those featured in this guide such as Pollensa (lines 300), Deià (lines 200), Sóller (lines 300) and Cala d’Or (lines 500) as well as other places I’ve mentioned such as Alcúdia (lines 300), Valldemossa (lines 200) and Artà (lines 400).You can find full details of various train and bus routes to main towns and villages around the island from on www.caib.es.
The Majorca taxi system is two tiered. Fare 1 applies to Saturdays, Sundays, Bank Holidays and nightly between 9pm and 7am. If you are travelling at these times the minimum fare is 2.25 euros plus just over 1 euro for every kilometre travelled thereafter. Fare 2 comes into force weekdays only between 7am to 9pm. This costs 1.95 euros to hail the cab off the street then a further 0.80 cents for every kilometre travelled. Many taxis have set fares for different destinations around the island. These change fairly regularly and go up depending on how many suitcases you have. This is a rough guide, but will give you some guidance as to how much cash you need to have with you (generally taxis do not accept credit cards). On my last check, the standard fares from the airport to Pollensa was 71-84 euros, airport to Sóller 46-56 euros, airport to Cala d’Or 66-72 euros, and airport to Deià 46-56 euros. Cheaper fares indicate Fare 2.
You can also retain a taxi for the day to take you on tour for the day through www.taxitourmallorca.com (also a good option for your airport to resort transfer). Trips range from a couple of hours around Palma for 85 euros, to a morning spent exploring the villages of the Tramuntana for 160 euros, to or an afternoon visiting the pearl workshops and caves in the east of the island for 160 euros.
See How to get around Palma for advice on getting around Majorca's capital.