For a small island, Majorca is rather good when it comes to retail therapy. Palma, especially, is prime shopaholics territory boasting everything from high-street giants like Zara, Mango and the British store C&A, to cute home-grown boutiques showing the best of local design talent, to Spanish department stores like Els Cortes Ingles. It’s also got some fantastic interior design shops; so good in fact that I have been known to fly to Palma just to pick up fabric at Rialto Living. And lets not forget an abundance of great food and wine stores - it's best not to be on a diet when you come here - and a dangerously large collection of gorgeous shoe emporiums. You have been warned.
Getting out and about
Elsewhere on the island, the pickings are a bit more specialised and that’s part of the thrill of shopping here. Bypass the ubiquitous tourist tat that you see for sale in every beach resort the world over, and you could go home with something really special that will last you a lifetime.
As an example, Manacor is home to a thriving pearl industry where you can pick up pretty necklaces, bracelets and earrings in outlet stores for a fraction of the price you would pay in the smarter boutiques of Palma. You can also do tours of the facilities.
Inca by contrast is the island's, and indeed Spain’s, centre of shoemaking. You’ll find innumerable outlet stores here, selling mainly shoes but also leather coats and belts, again at bargain prices. Of particular note are local brands Camper, Farrutx, Jaime Mascaró (technically from Menorca, but we won’t hold that against him), George’s (for predominantly men’s shoes) and the legendary Carmina cordovans (handmade pony skin brogues beloved by many an A-lister).
Artà and Capdepera on the north-east corner of the island are known for their basket weaving, and particularly a sort of Majorcan trilby. On the whole, you can pick up good quality handicrafts and pottery in all of the smarter provincial towns and villages of the interior of the island, notably Sóller, Santanyí and Valldemossa, and very often you'll stumble across some hidden gem of a boutique in the most unlikely of places.
Majorca is teeming with small, local markets (mercadillos), ranging from antiques and flea markets to country-style fairs selling livestock and crops. It’s well worth seeking some of these out and spending a morning poking around soaking up the atmosphere. I recommend sticking around for lunch too, as this is when these small country towns tend to be at their most lively.
Going by days of the week, which could even form the theme of your holiday if you’re looking for something different, my favourites are: antiques in Santa Maria on Sundays, pearls in Manacor on Mondays, local crafts in Artà on Tuesdays, food in Sineu and Santanyí on Wednesdays, shoes in Inca on Thursdays, wine in Binissalem on Fridays, upmarket crafts in Sóller on Saturdays.
General opening hours
Like the rest of Spain, Majorca still enjoys the tradition of siesta even if nobody is actually sleeping. As a rule of thumb, you’ll find shops open Monday through Saturday from 9.30am-2pm and 5pm to 8pm. Smaller shops tend not to open again in the afternoon on Saturdays, and shopping malls and department stores like Els Cortes Ingles stay open until 10pm.
What are you waiting for? Go forth and explore
This is by no means an exhaustive guide to shopping in Majorca. I’m sure you’ll discover plenty of your treasure troves of your own, and if you do we’d love you to share them with us.