As we leave friends and family behind when we move to Mallorca, a priority for many of us is meeting new people. This doesn’t always happen without a little effort, but by putting yourself in the right situations, it won’t take long before you are forming new friendships within both the local and expat community. Here are some of the best ways to do just that!
1. Rent a vegetable patchThere are several places around the island where you can rent out your own patch of earth and cultivate not just flora but budding friendships. Biogranja Real is one just place, located on the outskirts of Palma but with a rural feel, lovely views, and experts on hand. You can also find allotments or ‘huertos urbanos’ mostly in and around Palma – ask at your local town hall to be put onto the waiting list.
2. Join a theatre groupReleasing your inner thespian isn’t just good for the soul, it’s also a great way to meet like-minded theatrical types. Isla Theatre is the biggest group on Mallorca that uses theatre to connect people of all ages, island residents and the wider international community. Or if you have kids keen to tread the boards, the Anglican Chaplaincy of Mallorca runs the largest amateur theatre company on the island.
3. Do a beach cleanIf you are keen to do your bit to keep the island’s beaches pristine, and meet some interesting people while you do it, why not volunteer for a beach clean-up. ‘Dos Manos’ by the Save the Med Foundation is one of the biggest, organising beach cleaning events every month around the island. People of all ages are welcome, and there’s also underwater clean ups involving scuba divers, free divers and paddle surfers.
4. Arrange an intercambioFancy improving your Spanish while making new friends? There’s no better way than signing yourself up for an intercambio. There are plenty to choose from all over the island, with Mallorca Language Exchange one of the best-known. Another popular group is Language Intercambio Group Palma, and both hold weekly events that will have you chatting away in Spanish in no time. Search Facebook for groups.
5. Join a running, cycling or hiking groupIf there is one thing that Mallorca is not short of, it’s fantastic running, cycling and hiking trails. And the best way to get to know them – and meet people in the process – is by joining a club. If you live on the northeast of the island, Runny Knows is a fun and friendly running group in Puerto Pollensa covering some of the island’s most picturesque terrain. The well-organised Mallorca Hiking Club connects outdoorsy types for rambles around nature.
6. Take a cookery classFood has always been a great way to bring people together, and cookery classes add an extra fun dimension to the occasion. There are numerous options to choose from, with the likes of muymuybueno offers a range of courses in the heart of Palma. Lonja 18 is also a popular choice, and includs market tours and tastings. The Gallery Club in Santa Catalina also has a dizzying choice from Sushi Workshops to Aphrodisiac Cooking…
7. Volunteer for charity workMany find volunteering for charity work not only a hugely rewarding pastime, but a great way to get out and meet all kinds of people. Projects like ‘Cancer Support Group Mallorca’ are always looking for those with some time to spare, while the likes of Lions Club Mallorca and Rotary Club Calvià International focus on fundraising events and volunteer work to help those in need on the island.
8. Hit the webObviously, the internet is a great place to make contact with people on the island. There are several ‘Expats on Mallorca’ Facebook groups, as well as the popular ‘I have a question’ to post queries to the expat community. More general groups include ‘Meetup’ and the women-only ‘Girl Gone International’, which are both fabulous resources for finding people in your neighbourhood and beyond.
9. Join a classic car clubIf you own a vintage car on the island, joining a classic car club is the best way to show it off to – and meet – fellow motor connoisseurs. The Classic Car Club Mallorca was formed in 1997 by a group of enthusiasts and holds numerous driving events throughout the year. They are mostly centred around driving rallies and runs around the island, with the main event their Mallorca Classic Week in Port Adriano.
10. Sign up to the abcBusiness club and gourmet clubOne of our proudest achievements is the amount of friendships and business collaborations we have played a part in. This is largely thanks to our networking clubs – the abcBusiness Club and Gourmet Club – bringing like-minded people on the island together to share interests, ideas and inspiration. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to get in the know about launch parties, gourmet and cultural events, and lots more…
11. Join the ESRAThe English-Speaking Residents’ Association started in Mallorca in 1983 and has over 1200 members island-wide. The association organises social events, lunches, hobby groups, holiday events as well as ‘Bring and Buy’ sales. Members help each other with everyday problems and offer support for newcomers to the island.
Expanding your social network isn’t easy wherever you are, made even more difficult if you don’t know the place very well. Luckily in Mallorca, there are plenty of ways to meet new people thanks to its strong expat community.
Out of the millions of people who visit who visit Mallorca every year, there are many who choose to make the island their permanent home. This is down to its vibrant social scene, healthy lifestyle and relaxed culture. Once your feet land in Palma, the Mallorca magnet sets in…