Mallorca Mini Guide
How Easy is it to Get to?
Nine airlines fly from various destinations in the UK
including the major tour operators and the budget and regional airlines. Wherever you are in the UK, you’re never far from an airport which has flights to Mallorca.
What’s the Story of the Island?
Mallorca has been ruled by several civilisations over the centuries starting with the Byzantines. Not much remains of their influence though. After the dark ages, the Moors occupied the island and developed its importance as an agricultural island. Disaster struck in the early 20th century with the Phylloxera pest that wiped out all the island’s vines in a single season. As with the Irish potato famine, this caused starvation and ultimately the exodus of a large proportion of the population. In the 1950s, the island’s appeal to tourists began to grow and good times flourished once more.
What Should I see When We’re There?
The Catedral de Mallorca dominates the skyline of the capital, Palma, and its monumental building is a must for any visitor. It’s near the old town and, after visiting the cathedral, take some time to wander down the old cobbled streets. Bellver Castle is another highlight of the city. The unusual shape of the castle, together with the fabulous view from the top, makes it an interesting visit.
And if I Hire a Car?
The mountains of Mallorca’s North West coast make for a superb day’s drive. The road along them skirts the coast in places with cliffs that plunge 500 metres or more into the sea. Little villages on the way have small cafes and restaurants for sustenance and the scenery cries out for the camera. Another day trip, but one which doesn’t need a car, is the steam train journey from Palma to Soller which passes through orange groves thick with the scent of the flowers in springtime.
I Desperately Want to Relax on a Beach for my Holiday but it’s my Partner’s Idea of Hell?
You can both enjoy a holiday on the beautiful island of Mallorca which has something for everyone. Stunning beaches, some small and quiet, others big and with lots of activities, combine with the cultural and architectural history of the island. For the active, there are plenty of sports available too from golf to hiking.
What can my Partner do if they get Bored?
They can visit the island’s bull ring on the Avenue de Gaspar Bennazar. Shows are put on there regularly but you can visit at a less gory time to find out about the history of the events on the island. At night, you can visit Tito’s, the Mallorcan nightclub beloved of Frank Sinatra and still in its original premises.
What Should I eat Whilst There?
Seafood is everywhere with Mallorca being an island but the mountains and interior of the island also provide olives and almonds as well as the Mallorcan sausage, sobrassada. Try arros brut, a rice and saffron dish unique to the island. Finally, with a hot chocolate or coffee, enjoy an ensaimada, a sweet bun, sometimes filled with chocolate cream.
I’d Like a day at the Shops
There are plenty of little craft stalls in all the major resorts as well as in the old town but for upmarket shopping visit El Corte Ingles, the branches of the quality Spanish department store which you’ll find in Palma.
And if I Want to Party?
There are plenty of festivals throughout the year, the main ones being the Festival Isladencanta held in July which welcomes musicians from all over the world, the Fonart Short Film Festival that takes place in August with lots of free screenings across the island and the Festa de l’Estendard, Mallorca’s New Year celebrations which begin with mass in the cathedral.
If you're taking an out of season break to Mallorca this year and are looking for something to do in the cooler evenings, the Sala Magna in Palma hosts many performances including one of Shrek the Musical from the 9th to the 12th December. It's assured to keep the children happy!
On the 12th May, the beautiful town of Soller will host the annual Moors versus Christians mock battle. Run as one of the town's fiestas, it's a riotous affair with fancy dress, fireworks, lots of noise and street parties that go on into the small hours.