Written by: Hollie Mantle
If you’ve decided to expatriate abroad and live life as the envy of friends and family back home, one of the trickiest parts of the decision can be exactly how to bring along your furry friend.
First off there’s the struggle finding pet friendly accommodations, then there’s choosing an area with decent walks, on top of dealing with all the documentation. It can be a very time consumptive process that most of us dread.
A one way trip is generally much easier than bringing your pet two ways, as the UK quarantine system can be very strict. Having the correct documentation in order before you set off will make life much easier for the both of you once you arrive. To get your pet the EU passport he or she will need for the journey, you’ll need to complete the following stages:
- Sort your pet out with a microchip.
- Get him or her vaccinated against rabies and ensure your vet provides you with documented proof.
- Apply for a pet passport with an Official Veterinarian.
- Treat your pet for parasites.
The process for getting an EU pet passport can take as long as six months, so make sure you prepare well in advance. Your kitten or puppy will need to be 3 months old before traveling.
Travelling by Ferry
The ferry journey is generally considered to be easier on pets, especially those not in the peak of health. Most of the ferry companies provide reasonable facilities and kennels and will allow you to visit your pet during the journey.
Acciona Trasmediterranea is one of the more commonly used companies for the journey between Barcelona and Majorca. The cost per pet is 15 euros, with an extra 5 needed to secure a padlock for the kennels. This journey takes around seven hours in total, but you will be permitted to take your pet for a walk on the deck, and visit it as often as you wish during this time. Please do note, however, that you will be expected to provide food and a water bowl.
Travelling by plane
Each airline has their own individual policy on flying pets across the water. Low budget airlines are less likely to permit even small dogs, and will generally only budge for guide dogs. Other companies will charge fees depending on the size of your dog, and it can be very expensive. Pets ride with the cargo, which can make some animal owners uncomfortable. Companies such as Animal Airlines, however, organise flights where you do not have to be parted from your pet, but these do come with an accompanying large price tag.
Information by area:
Hotel Can Pastilla welcomes pets at reasonable rates; just 15 euros per day per pet or 10 euros per pet if they weigh in at under 4 kilos. Hotel Horizonte also has a pet-welcome policy and will allow you to bring your furry friend along for 10 euros for small dogs, and 20 euros for larger dogs (prices per night). Pets are not permitted to enter the restaurant or pool area in either of these hotels.
The French Coffee Shop is renowned for being pet-friendly and serves an array of fantastic pastries, breads, and provides easy parking close by. Bon Lloc in Palma (Calle Saint Feliu) is a vegan restaurant which sources all of its food locally and allows pets to wander freely. They have a daily changing 4-course lunch menu.
Beaches and walks
Animal beach near Palma is pet-friendly, (although, despite the name, does not widley advertise this fact). If you’re looking for nature walks, Dog Hiking Majorca organizes dog and owner charity hikes around the island, and they check routes beforehand to ensure you’re not stepping foot on dog-unfriendly territory.
Iberostar Albufera Park in nearby Playa de Muro comes highly recommended, as they provide beds, food bowls, toys and also guides on local walks; saving you some extra luggage space. Holiday Apartments Ses Dalies is another good bet if you’re going to be taking your time hunting for somewhere more permanent and don’t fancy having to eat out for your meals.
There aren’t any specifically dog-friendly bars and restaurants to note in this area, but a general rule of thumb is that if a cafe or restaurant has an outside seating area or terrace, it’s unlikely they will turn you away if your dog is well behaved and you speak to the waiting staff.
Beaches and walks
The more well-known pet friendly beach on the island is Pollenca in the north near Alcudia. Some visitors to the area complain that the designated pet area is slightly on the small side, but there are benches and a shaded tree area, so if you’re looking to play catch or let your pet run around while you have a relaxing break, this is the best place to take them. Other than that, dogs will generally be prohibited except on the promenades.
Alcudia is brimming with historic ruins that will make your walks around the area more exciting (at least for you, if not your pooch). The Roman City of Pollentia, located to the south of the historical quarter, is one place you’re both guaranteed to enjoy exploring whilst getting a taste of life in 1st century AD with the roman theatre and ruins of roman houses.
A few hotels in the area which are notably pet-friendly are the Hiphotels chain (such as the Hiphotels Bahia Grande Aparthotel), or the Sentido at Playa del Moro and Saturno hotel. Bringing pets will incur a surcharge but this is very rarely anything above 20 euros for larger dogs.
Beaches and walks
There are no animal-designated beaches in this area. Instead, you might try Punta de n’Amer or, where you can find similar terrain for your pet to enjoy in the nature reserve that surrounds the beautiful 17th century watch tower situated there. For information about other suitable nature areas in this area, check here for more details.
It is not uncommon to see people in the area with dog beds under the tables in restaurants, and the attitude to dogs is generally very relaxed.
One last thing… The word for pet in Spanish is animales domésticos or mascota. Best of luck!
Ever experienced bringing a pet to Majorca? Let us know!