Spain Guide


Mallorca Balearic Islands

Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands, located in the Mediterranean off the east coast of the Spanish mainland. Mass tourism arrived here in the 1960s, transforming the island into one of Europe's top holiday destinations. More than six million visitors year flock to Mallorca from members of the international jet set and royal houses of Europe to hordes of budget conscious British and German package holidaymakers. The island is about 100 kilometres from east to west and about 75 kilometres from north to south.

It's an island of great contrasts with dramatic rugged mountains in the north west, a rural heartland virtually untouched by tourism, hidden coves favoured by owners of multi million pound yachts and the international playgrounds of La Palma and Megaluf. Traces of human life dating back 4,000 years to the Neolithic period of the cave dwellers have been found here.

The island's strategic location in the Mediterranean brought various civilisations to settle here including the Phoenicians, Carthaginians and later the Romans who conquered Mallorca in 123 AD and dominated for five centuries. The Moors arrived in 902 AD and made a major impact on the island's customs, language, agriculture and architecture.

The island still has many reminders of these ancient civilisations but in the minds of many today its name is sadly synonymous with British lager louts, the most recent foreign invaders to arrive at these shores. Mallorca is just two and a half hours flying time from London, making it a firm favourite with the British package holiday industry. There are also regular ferries and flights from the Spanish mainland. But if you're one of those who thinks there's nothing more to Mallorca than drunken British youths, then take a closer look at the island's many attractions. It's beauty has seduced the likes of Frederic Chopin, Robert Graves, King Juan Carlos of Spain, Michael Douglas and Claudia Schiffer. Royals and celebrities holiday here and often make the island their home.

http://www.palmademallorca.es Official tourist site for Palma.

Palma is fast gaining a reputation as one of the Mediterranean's most exclusive holiday venues and further afield you'll find a magical world of romantic mountain villages, ancient monasteries, historic castles and breathtaking scenery. So choose your resort area and accommodation carefully and Mallorca will be whatever you want it to be. All night ravers, families with young children, couples and "eco tourists" will all find something to suit them here.

There are more than 70 beaches including long stretches of sand with banana rides and pedaloes to isolated coves which you'll need a boat (or a good pair of fins!) to reach. You can eat bacon and eggs and pie and mash or dine in exclusive seafood restaurants and traditional tapas bars. You can spend your days at the water parks and nights at the casinos and clubs or you can hike along ancient mountain paths and rest for the night at a 15th century finca. It's all here in Mallorca!