Ibiza it isn’t, but Majorca likes to party as much as the next island. If you like to shake your booty, pack your party shoes and get in plenty of siestas, because the ball starts late and keeps going until dawn. You’ll find the widest range of nightlife in energetic Palma, home to lively tapas bars and trendy coctelerías, hot discos and glitzy beach clubs, as well as classical music venues, opera and theatre.
Pollensa and Cala d’Or are big on theme bars and live entertainment, as well as more Spanish-style spots. The high proliferation of hotels and rental apartments means that it’s also a good place to meet holidaymakers from home. If hard-core clubbing is your thing then head for Magalluf, Majorca’s answer to Ibiza’s Sant Antonio.
Deià and Sóller are both good destinations for classical concerts, live music and low-key bars for grown-up drinks, while Puerto Sóller is just a little bit trendier for cocktails and grooves.
For beach babies
For many visitors the best thing about Majorca-by-night comes in the shape of beach clubs found on the fringes of the Bay of Palma. Since they are all open by day too, bring a suitably glamorous kaftan or shirt to throw over your bikini or trunks once the sun goes down.
Puro Beach (Cala Estancia s/n, airport exit, Palma, +34 971 744 744, www.purohotel.com) is just beyond Ciudad Jardin on the East Bay and boasts a private jetty, massage on request, shaded day beds, swimming pool and spa. Voted the best beach club in the world by Virgin magazine in 2010, it has a lot to live up to, and on the whole it delivers. Bagging your spot by the pool in advance is strongly recommended (sun beds are held until 12.30pm) and it’s ultra trendy, so don’t forget to look the part: outsize shades are essential.
A little more laid-back, though still exuding a certain Mediterranean chic, is Virtual Club (Passeig del Illetas 60, Calvià, +34 971 703 235, www.virtualclub.es) on the west bay. Spread along terraces cut into the cliffs, the champagne bar is a great place for an aperitif before settling in for one of their cabaret-type shows.
If you’re travelling as a family, the recently revamped Pabisa Beach Club on the road to S’Arenal (Ctra. Arenal 56, +34 971 743 334, www.pabisabeachclub.com) is hip without being overly happening, so it’s great for kids. It has mini-golf and a sports café that show all the big games and matches on wide screen TV, and access to the sea is easy and shallow.
For club kids
The predominantly British resort of Magalluf is situated on a rather lovely beach, these days smartened up considerably though still lined by pubs selling fish and chips and pints of beer. What it is best known for is mega-clubs like BCM (Complex Avda. S'Olivera s/n, Magalluf, +34 971 132715, www.bcmplanetdance.com), which can fit 5,000 people per night and draws party animals like moths to a flame each summer. It even has a hotel built for the purpose, Mallorca Rocks.
For culture vultures
Majorca is brimming over with theatre and classical music venues, and many of the towns host summer festivals that attract an impressive line-up of international stars. The Bellver Music Festival (July) and ‘Serenates d’Estiu’ (August) take place at the Bellver Castle in Palma. The Chopin Festival (August) is in the Cloister of the monastery at Valldemossa. The Deià International Music Festival (April to September) is held in the grounds of the Son Marroig estate; and the Pollença Festival (July/August) in the cloister of the Sant Domingo monastery. To get a handle on Balearics cultural events check out www.artescenic.es.
A little less serious is 'Come Fly with Me' at Magalluf's Gran Casino Theatre (Gran Casino de Mallorca, Urbanizacion Sol de Mallorca, Calvía, Exit 14 on the motorway to Andratx, www.comeflywithme.com). The Broadway show has enjoyed huge success since opening, featuring a heady mix of swing music, dancers and acrobats. Tickets cost from 46 euros upwards. Try your luck on the Black Jack tables in the casino afterwards.
You don’t need to dress up to tapas hop or go to the pub - unless you want to of course, nobody will complain - but if you plan to end up at a nightclub like Tito’s or Puro Beach then you need to glam it up a bit. Likewise theatres and classical music venues expect a certain amount of decorum from their guests (no trainers, though smart jeans are acceptable). Expect to pay anywhere from 10 euros (at somewhere like Tito’s) up to 40 euros (at Abraxas) to get in. This usually includes a drink.
Bars open anywhere between 7pm and 9pm for an aperitif, while nightclubs don’t start filling up much before midnight. The busiest nights are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, though most places open every night through the summer. Palma is open and raring to go no matter when you visit.