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The largest of the Balearic Islands, just over two hours by plane from the UK, has the full package for an appealing holiday destination with fascinating history and culture, exciting gastronomy with Michelin-starred offerings, to vibrant nightlife.
Around the island
A good starting point is undoubtedly Palma, the tourist capital of the island. The historic old town with its maze of narrow medieval streets and colonnaded courtyards is a must-visit.
Looming over the waterfront in the heart of this harbour town is the gothic cathedral of Santa Maria, or La Seu as it is commonly known. Its magnificent golden sandstone exterior with exquisite stained-glass windows is a prominent landmark that dates back more than 800 years and is one of the first sights you see when approaching Palma by sea.
Though it is steeped in history, Palma is a cosmopolitan capital and a lively hub for designer shopping, artesian cuisine, chic bars and restaurants and nightclubs where you can dance until the early hours.
Olde world island delights
In contrast, head further along the coast to sleepy towns and villages such as Soller, Deia and Valldemossa nestled in the Serra de Tramuntana mountains, renowned for their picturesque settings.
Soller and Port de Soller
Hop on the vintage train from Palma to the inland town of Soller, which weaves its way through orange groves and beautiful Majorcan countryside. The narrow gauge railway line, opened in 1912 and is popular with day trippers who arrive in Soller’s main square Plaça Constitució and enjoy a traditional tapas lunch in one of the many alfresco cafes or visit the local market (every Saturday). Soller’s quaint narrow streets dotted with shops and boutiques are awash with charming townhouses with traditional green Majorcan shutters.
Port de Soller, the town’s port is easily reached, also by vintage tram and is just a short ride away. Its horseshoe-shaped harbour on the west coast of the island is filled with fishing boats bobbing on the water, is a lovely place for a stroll in the sunshine, or a relaxing afternoon on the sandy beach. Along the waterfront are a fantastic choice of restaurants and bars spilling onto the pavement, many serving the freshest seafood, enticing tapas dishes, bread and aioli (garlic mayonnaise) and of course, local wine.
Deia on the rugged west coast, 22 miles north west of Palma is one of the island’s most idyllic finds. Traditional ochre coloured stone houses fringed by olive and citrus trees give visitors a taste of old Majorca.
Over the years this tiny hamlet has built up a reputation as an ‘artists town’ and popular cultural haven with its museums and art galleries. English poet and novelist Robert Graves lived in Deia in the 1930s and 1940s and is buried in the parish churchyard. His former house Ca N'Alluny is now a museum.
Nowadays Deia is popular with the rich and famous. Wandering around you may spot Richard Branson or Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones who have properties here.
Close to Deia is the picturesque town of Valldemossa, another star find in the Tramuntana mountains with its narrow cobbled streets and stunning sea views. It's popular with hikers who make their way up through the lush wooded hillsides to the town, for rewarding views over Majorca and the sparkling Med.
Away from the hustle and bustle of many of the island’s resorts, Valldemossa is a tranquil hideaway sprinkled with shops, galleries and restaurants to visit at your leisure. It is also home to an ancient Carthusian monastery, once visited by the composer Chopin who proclaimed Valldemossa ‘the world’s most beautiful place,’ he wasn’t wrong.
Other coastal gems
Other coastal gems include the pretty resort of Portal Nous on the south-west coast with its chic yacht marina, Royal Bendinat 18-hole golf course renowned as one of the best in Spain, choice of good restaurants, smart bars and sandy beach.
Perfect for families
Majorca is great for families with an array of beaches with fine, clean sand and warm shallow waters, perfect for little swimmers. Alcudia is a popular family resort and many of the popular hotels are at the western end of the Bay of Alcudia, an a 8km stretch through Playa de Muro to the resort of C’an Picafort in the east.
Palma Nova on the south-west coast, though close to the nightlife capital of Magaluf is also a popular family resort but quieter than its lively neighbour. The fine sandy beaches here are great for children and there’s plenty of food and drink places along the seafront for those lite snacks and cooling refreshments.
A great day out for families, is Aqualand Arenal on the south-coast. It is the biggest waterpark in Majorca and has various pools to paddle in, wave pools to splash about in and daredevil water slides to ride on, such as the Harikiri, Banzai, and Kamikaze slides. For smaller children there are dedicated play areas such as Dragonland and the Polynesia. The family-friendly environment too means everyone will have a fun, relaxing day in this water-filled wonderland.
Those looking for an action packed, active holiday, Magaluf and Palma Nova are two of the largest resorts on the island on the south-west coast and the liveliest. A world away from some of the more tranquil parts of Majorca, Magaluf and Palma Nova are popular with the younger generation who come here for the lively bars and nightclubs and British-style pubs.
With an expansive 500km coastline, there’s more than 200 sandy beaches on the island of Majorca. From idyllic stretches of golden sand to secret coves lapped by turquoise blue waters - the choice is yours.
Relax on a sunbed on the sundrenched sand, or take a cooling dip in the sea. Water sports are also a popular activity. Kitesurfing, jet skis, banana boats and pedalos are available to hire at most beaches
One of the most popular beaches is Platja de Palma, near Palma with its vast stretch of white sand. But there's also plenty of widely undiscovered beaches too and best kept secrets, such as S’Arenalet d’Aubarca beach with its fine golden sand and clear water, on Majorca's eastern coast.Majorca genuinely has something for everyone...
Weather in Majorca
Majorca has a Mediterranean climate with an average temperature of 20C. Winters are mild and not very cool, while summers are usually pleasantly warm. The best time for traveling to Majorca is between the months of May and October, when the temperatures are the warmest and when there is almost no rainfall.
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