Mallorca has 262 beaches. Some are long, sandy, and lined with restaurants and bars, like Platja de Muro. Others are small, rocky, and hemmed in by steep cliffs, like Sa Calobra. Some, celebrities like to frequent, such as Cala Deiá. But Es Coll Baix is my favorite type, a virgin beach that is adventurous to reach.
Es Coll Baix is a long pebbly beach with plenty of space for bathers to spread out. It is my favorite shore on which to sit, on the soft pebbles, letting the waves lap over me. Upon these smooth, colorful pebbles, you can lie warmed by the sun and cooled by the sea without getting scratched by clinging sand.
To access Es Coll Baix, one must drive down bumpy roads, park on forest floors, hike through pine trees, and crawl over steep rock piles. The awards are within the journey itself and the stunning beach at which you arrive.
Es Coll Baix
|Type of Beach:||Black pebble cove|
|Body of Water:||Bahia d’Alcúdia|
|Best Hotel:||Can Mostatxins|
How to Get to Es Coll Baix
Es Coll Baix is located on the far eastern side of Mallorca at the end of the Alcúdian Peninsula. It necessitates a hike to reach since the roads end before the peninsula does.
Driving from Palma to the trailhead for Es Coll Baix takes around an hour.
Take the Ma-13 out of Palma directly to Alcúdia. Drive straight through the first two roundabouts outside Alcúdia to stay on the Ma-13. Follow the road to the right onto Avinguda Príncep d’Espanya. Continue on Avinguda Príncep d’Espanya as it veers to the left until you come to a stoplight. Take a right and then an immediate left onto Carrer de Xara. You will turn right onto Carrer de la Muntaña at the next juncture. Follow the winding road through the forest for 5.5 kilometers until you reach a large parking area. From here, you hike.
You will see cars parked all along the forest road. We parked on the road before making it to the parking area due to the fragility of our car, but there are two well-established and shaded areas to park in. Unlike ours, most cars should be able to make it to the first parking area. The final parking lot, however, necessitates a 4×4 car.
A bus is not recommended as the closest bus stop to Coll Es Baix is 4.5 miles from the trailhead. Alcúdia is the nearest town. It can be reached on the 302 bus from Palma’s Estació Intermodal and is a 50-minute ride.
The hike to Es Coll Baix passes through a pleasant, shady forest and is only 2.4 miles roundtrip from the parking area. Initially, the hike is straightforward as you head up a steep road to Refugi del Coll Baix. The road then turns to trail moving east beyond the refugio. Here you are elevated above Es Coll Baix Beach and the blue of the Med for about half a mile.
The trail then turns to switchbacks as you descend steeply graded terrain. Upon getting closer to the beach, you will be inclined to go left towards it, but you want to keep heading out right (eastward). Out right the elevation drops more gradually, and you can get to the coast on steady ground. Once upon the rocks on the shore, you loop back around (westward) towards the beach.
On the coast, there is a decent amount of rock scrambling and one section necessitating some crab walking. It is easy for most but could be tricky for someone afraid of heights or with small children. That said, people carry down children, chairs, umbrellas, and coolers as if it was an easily accessed beach.
Remember to bring lots of water, as the hike back out along the same trail is steep and hot.
Best Hotel: Can Mostatxins
Hotel Can Mostatxins allows you to enjoy Old Town Alcúdia. A 15th-century and 19th-century home have been skillfully refurbished to provide a quiet, comfortable stay with old Mallorcan charm. The hotel has an outdoor pool, spa, wellness center, onsite bar, and offers a freshly cooked breakfast. It’s an easy, affordable choice for a stay on the Alcúdian Peninsula.
Es Coll Baix Rankings
Natural Beauty: 8/10
Es Coll Baix attracts those who love spending time in nature. The hour-long hike to the beach is part of the fun. The views from the trail above the bay are stunning, and the small pebble-stone beach is colorful and soft to the touch. The waters are clear, and the rock formations surrounding the beach are alluring. Being immersed in this location, naturally sculpted by weather, geography, and time, is humbling and inspiring.
Family Friendly: 2/10
There are no safety outlets at Es Coll Baix, and the hike down, especially as you start rock scrambling along the coast, gets a bit technical. I do see small children make the journey and even smaller children get carried all the way to the beach. But this is a virgin beach, so there are no accommodations of any kind.
Accessibility & Parking: 2/10
The complexity of accessibility is why we venture to Es Coll Baix. But without a car and a driver comfortable on a bumpy, rocky, pothole-filled road, accessibility is not easy. Once you make it, however, the parking is ample.
The 1.2-mile hike to the beach is less straightforward as you get closer to the water (see above for directions). Also, the steep descent means a steep ascent back to your car—this can be highly exhausting after a dehydrating day in the sun, so come prepared with loads of water and snacks.
Space & Crowd: 7/10
The beach will not be crowded, as the accessibility issues leave the less adventurous at Port d’Alcudia. Still, many people make the trek down to Es Coll Baix on a summer afternoon, so this is not a secret, secluded paradise, but you will have abundant space to lay out your towels and umbrellas on this large beach.
Boats can detract from the virgin beach feel as many personal, rental, and tour boats come to Es Coll Baix, making the water in front of the beach a bit noisy and crowded.
Glass bottom boats make the trip multiple times a day to Es Coll Baix. Smaller rented boats, too. Therefore, several options exist if you want to skip the hike and arrive by boat. I recommend choosing a boat that plans a swim, as there is no place to be but in the water during the Mallorcan summer.
Swimming is a perk of this beach. The water is blue and beautiful, and the sea floor is mostly sand. The soft pebbles on the beach make access to the water easy and comfortable.
The tides push against the shore with a bit of force due to the geographical location of the beach, making the waves playful and great for swimming. Furthermore, the beach’s width allows for lots of space to swim, and there are rocks on the beach’s edge from which to dive into the water.
Sea Life & Snorkeling: 7/10
Life under the waves at Es Coll Baix is intriguing, especially around the rocky shores on either side of the beach. Still, with the relatively pushy water (no water is that pushy in Mallorca), the sand on the sea floor gets stirred up, creating a haze under the water. Definitely bring your snorkel equipment, but be prepared for less than crystal-clear waters below the waves.
Restaurants & Amenities: 0/10
There are no amenities at Es Coll Baix. You do pass a refugio on your hike, but it’s usually closed, and the water fountain outside is signed as non-potable.
Es Coll Baix is classified as a nude beach, yet I do not give it a 10 due to the number of tourist boats leading gawkers to the shore. But the sand is soft, and the crowds on the beach are minimal.
Es Coll Baix is a wild, virgin beach, and the hike out is technical and steep. You need to be prepared and take responsibility for your well-being.