There is a beach fairly close to the cathedral in Palma, but some readers have been discouraged from swimming here because of foul-smelling, albeit covered, sewers nearby. The closest public beach is Playa Nova, a 35-minute bus ride from downtown Palma. Some hotels, however, have private beaches. If you head east, you reach the excellent beaches of Ca'n Pastilla. The golden-sand beaches at El Arenal are very well equipped with tourist facilities. Going to the southwest, you find good but often crowded beaches at Cala Mayor and Sant Agustí.
Take note: You can swim from late June to October; don't believe the promoters who try to sell you on mild Majorcan winters in January and February -- it can get downright cold. Spring and fall can be heaven sent, and in summer the coastal areas are pleasantly cooled by sea breezes.
Majorca is a golfer's dream. The best course is Son Vida Club de Golf, Urbanización Son Vida, about 13km (8 miles) east of Palma along the Andrade Highway. This 18-hole course is shared by the guests of the island's two best hotels, Arabella Golf Hotel and Son Vida. However, the course is open to all players who call for reservations (tel. 97-179-12-10; www.sonvidagolf.com). Greens fees are 80€ for hotel guests and 95€ for nonguests for 18 holes. Golf-cart rentals are also available for 45€. There are many golf courses on the island. For information about them, contact Federación Balear de Golf, Av. Jaime III no. 17 in Palma (tel. 97-172-27-53; www.fbgolf.com).
Because of the hilly terrain in Majorca, this sport is better pursued here than on Ibiza or Minorca. The mountains of the northwest, the Serra de Tramuntana, are best for exploring. The tourist office will provide you with a free booklet called 20 Hiking Excursions on the Island of Majorca. For hiking information, contact Grup Excursionista de Mallorca, the Majorcan Hiking Association, at Carrer Andreu Feliu 20 in Palma (tel. 87-194-79-00; www.gemweb.org).
If your hotel doesn't have a court, head for the Club de Tenis, Av. Son Rigo s/n (tel. 97-126-12-89).
Most beaches have outfitters who will rent you Windsurfers and dinghies. The best outfitter is Escola d'Esports Nàutics, Paseo Playa d'en Repic, at Port de Sóller (tel. 60-935-41-32; www.nauticsoller.com).