While it’s not possible to jump on a plane to Mallorca right now for a sun-sand-sea holiday (sigh), at least BBC One drama The Mallorca Files is back to brighten our cold winter afternoons.
The light-hearted detective series, which stars Elen Rhys and Julian Looman as mismatched cops investigating crimes on the Spanish island, returned for a second season in February 2021.
And across both seasons one and two, the show uses plenty of exciting locations – from beaches to opera houses, and from antique trains to luxury villas. Here are all the details:
Is The Mallorca Files filmed in Mallorca?
Yes! Fittingly for a drama set on the Mediterranean island, The Mallorca Files was – in fact – filmed in Mallorca.
Filming at the horse ranch (series 2, episode 6)
Episode six’s “El Rancho Rey” was filmed at Rancho Grande Park (Son Serra de Marina) close to the north east coast, near Can Picafort.
This is Mallorca’s largest horse ranch, and is a popular tourist attraction.
The stunning mountain terrain which features during the manhunt sequences was filmed in the Serra Tramuntara mountain range around Inca, Miranda and Max mainly follow the track around the Puig de Masanella, Mallorca’s second highest peak.
Birdwatching at the wetlands (series 2, episode 5)
Much of the episode is set in the “Paraiso Parque Natural”. Filming took place in Es Salobrair de Campos, a wetlands area near Es Trenc in the south east of the island. We’re told: “Comprising a richly diverse landscape of dunes and lagoons, the saltwater plains attract nesting wildlife like flamingos, sea eagles as well as reeds and is a magnet for migrating birds and the people who come to watch them.”
The episode also takes us to the opposite end of Mallorca, and to Puerto Pollensa – the relaxed fishing village at the north-eastern tip of the island.
The football stadium (series 2 episode 4)
The Mallorca Files pulled off quite a coup for this episode – as the team were able to film at the actual home of Real Mallorca FC, the Estadi Son Moix.
This stadium, located to the north west of the capital, is the largest football ground in the Balearics. Special permission had to be requested to film the opening scenes, which were shot during half-time in the middle of a live football match (while the fans looked on).
The restaurant and the steps (series 2 episode 3)
This episode takes us to a Michelin-starred restaurant (where, of course, one of the diners is just about to die dramatically). Filming took place at the Gran Hotel Son Net in the town of Puigpunyent (set in the Serra Tramuntana mountain range to the west of the island).
Away from the restaurant, one of the most dramatic scenes in the episode was shot in Pollensa – using the famous 365 Calvari Steps for an exhausting chase scene. Flanked by cypress trees, the steps lead up to a small church.
The road (series 2 episode 2)
The episode “Son of a Pig” begins with beautiful shots of Diego Gris (Alberto Maneiro) in his flash convertible, driving on a winding single-lane road in rural Mallorca.
What we see on screen is the Coll de Sóller, a stretch of road to the north west of Mallorca which includes over 50 hairpin bends as it passes through the Serra Tramuntana mountain range.
The Gris family’s village (series 2, episode 2)
To solve the mystery of a missing (and probably murdered) man, Max and Miranda visit his family home in the mountains. They quickly discover that the whole village is practically owned by the Gris family, who are extremely wealthy and have a lot of local power.
To film this episode, the real-life village of Artà was used as a filming location. Artà is a picturesque town inland from the north east coast.
The episode also features scenes shot outside a church – using the Parroquia de Santa María de Sine, in Sineu. You can see it in flashback scenes to the Spanish Civil War.
The concert in the caves (series 2, episode 1)
The opening episode of season two features the Cuevas del Drach (Caves of Drach) in Porto Cristo on the east coast of Mallorca.
The caves were already known by the Middle Ages, and feature a series of remarkable rock formations as well as an internal lake – which is one of the largest underwater lakes in the world.
Electric lighting was installed by 1935, and it has since become a popular tourist attraction. Visitors are offered a tour that includes a classical music concert (well, a 10-minute long concert) and a boat trip across Lake Martel.
The opera house (series 2, episode 1)
Much of the opening episode of season two is set in the Teatre Principal de Palma, Palma’s main theatre.
The building dates back to the 17th century, but it has recently undergone a major refurbishment programme. It is located by the Placa Major, in the centre of Palma old town.
The beach (series 2, episode 1)
In the pre-title sequence that opens season two, we see a woman drown herself in the sea. The beach where this was filmed was the Cala Anguila in Porto Cristo Novo, on the east cost of Mallorca.
This is a tranquil cove surrounded on both sides by cliffs, and spotted with stone pines and palm trees.
The Soller train (series 1, episode 4)
Yes! Episode four of season one, titled ‘Number One Fan’, follows the disappearance of a German supermodel on the famous Soller train – and filming took place on the Soller railway itself.
The Tren de Sóller or Ferrocarril de Sóller runs between the towns of Sóller and Palma, stopping along the way at various smaller towns. It dates back to 1912, and nowadays its vintage trains wind through the mountains carrying passengers (and plenty of tourists) who enjoy the beautiful scenery.
The church (series 1, episode 3)
Series producer Dominic Barlow told Radio Times: “The church we filmed in for episode three of series one was the Església de Monti-Sión de Palma. It’s in the middle of the island’s capital city, Palma, and attached to the Colegio Nuestra Señora de Monte-Sión, which is actually a school. The courtyard was used in the scene unveiling the Icon, which we filmed in the corridors when Miranda was given her tour.”
The airport scenes (series 1, episode 1)
The show filmed at the island’s Palma de Mallorca Airport for several days, where the opening chase scenes were shot for the first episode of season one.
Other scenes in the first episode were filmed at Ses Cases del Virrey, a hotel near the central town of Inca.
The bullfighting episode (series 1, episode 8)
Felanitx, a rural town in the southeast of the island, became the back drop for the bullfighting episode in season one, titled ‘Death in The Morning’.
The vineyard (series 1, episode 5)
In episode five of season one, appropriately titled ‘Sour Grapes’, Miranda and Max head out into wine country to investigate the killing of a dog at one of Mallorca’s most famous vineyards.
This was was set in the beautiful wine region of central Mallorca amongst the vines of Bodegas Oliver Morgagues and Bodegas Ribas.
Max and Miranda’s cycling race (series 1, episode 2)
In ‘King of the Mountain’, season one episode two, Max and Miranda go up against each other in a cycling race. The route they take on is Sa Calobra (the Knot) in the mountainous north.
Where did they film all the luxury villas in The Mallorca Files? (Series 1)
First up is a villa in Clara Blava on the east side of Palma Bay, which was used in the pilot episode. This is where the friends and family of the “murder victim” gather for the wake.
Episode six of season one, ‘To Kill a Stag’, features an ultramodern villa in Sol de Mallorca, just south of Magaluf.
The wacky home of German designer Otto Caligari in ‘Number One Fan’ is another filming location. This is a modern minimalist property just outside Muro in the northeast of Mallorca.
The final episode features a villa (owned by the fictional Jurgen Kuhl) high up above Calvia in the southwest of the island.
The Mallorca Files is available on BBC iPlayer. Check out what else is on with our TV guide.