Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands that lie in the Western Mediterranean off the coast of Spain. The island was first colonised back in 3,000 B.C. The first civilisation was ruled by the Carthagenians, who were overthrown in 123 B.C. by the Romans. It was under Roman rule that the first roads and civil buildings were built. After a period of 300 years of Moorish rule starting in the 10th century, Mallorca became Christianised with the arrival of the crusaders. It was only in 1719 that the island became part of the Spanish province Balaeres.
The island has a coastline that stretches over 550 km. In the high season the island is visited by up to 8 million tourists, which has resulted in an excellent tourist infrastructure including many restaurants, plenty of accommodation and lots of activities to keep visitors happy and occupied. If you want to get away from the crowds during this time, try heading inland to where the normal life of the islanders prevails and prices drop the further you get from the sea. Here you will hear the natives speaking Mallorquí, which is a sub dialect of “Balear”, a regional Catalan dialect.
The best time to visit the island depends on whether you want weather or lying on the beach (the high season between April to late September) or prefer the cooler months for exploring the island in peace.
The name Mallorca comes from the Latin “insula major”, meaning “larger island”, as it is the largest Spanish island.
Many tourists are coming to look at the ancient olive groves and the olive mills, some of which have been turned into museums...this is known as “oleotourism”.
Over 25 tonnes of sand is carried away from the beach of Es Trenc by tourists on their sandals, towels and between their toes, which has to replaced yearly!
Nearly half of the island´s population lives in Palma.
There are over 2,500 restaurants on Mallorca!
Things to Do and See
Mallorca is famed for its many beaches that have clean white sand and crystal clear waters. If you want to avoid the crowds, head to one of the less developed beaches
, eg. Es Carbo or Son Serra De Marina.
The capital is certainly worth a visit, with a famous cathedral and has a pleasant and interesting city centre to explore. Make sure to check out the many restaurants there, and try some of the local food. This includes sobrassada
, a spicy sausage made of pork and paprika, or the breakfast sweet ensaimada
, a spiral-shaped bun you can only get on Mallorca. The seafood paella is a recommended dish during your time here.
If you´d like to experience the local flora and fauna, take a trip to the large salt marsh, S'Abulfera
, near the town Alcudia. Here you´ll see many bird species, such as warblers, heron, ducks and waders. Thanks to its unique geography, Mallorca is also a premier destination for rock climbers wanting to do some deep-water rock-climbing.
Getting To and Around Mallorca
Flights go to Palma de Mallorca airport from many European cities, and also from the neighbouring islands Menorca and Ibiza. These are double what it would cost to take the ferry however, so not really worth it for the hour saved. Once on the island you can avail of the bus network, note that some of the long distance routes only run infrequently. There is a limited train network too, but your best option may be to hire a car if you want to explore the island. It is best to book this in advance, as rentals directly at the airport can be much higher in price than pre-arranged bookings.
Accommodation and Self-Catering Rentals in Mallorca
Much of the accommodation is based around the package-holiday experience, however there are some excellent 5 star hotels on the island for those looking for a more luxurious stay. If you´d prefer self-catering accommodation, a great idea is to rent a villa in the more secluded areas on the island. This is often cheaper than staying in a hotel and allows you to save on eating out every day. Wimdu has many great offers on Mallorca, from beachside holiday apartments to luxurious villas or a cosy guest house with bed and breakfast.