Majorca holidays

Experience Majorca

Experience [destination]

Best Places to Visit

Although the vast majority of visitors arrive in Majorca for a beachside holiday, the island has much to offer in the culture and history stakes, as well as more modern delights such as water parks. Palma itself has many archaeological wonders including the magnificent Castell de Bellver, overlooking the town's Old Quarter with its Almudaina Palace. Palma is also a centre for sailing and yacht charters around the island's beautiful coastline.

Touring by car is the best way to see most of the sights. A popular route begins in Palma, passing the historically important fishing town of Santa Ponsa and winds through the mountains to the coastal town of Andraxt, one of the most picturesque of the island's towns. The Serra de Tramuntana range itself, now a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a paradise for climbing, trekking and other outdoor sports, and its unique environment will delight birders and eco-tourists.

All varieties of water sports are found along Majorca's white sand beaches, from fishing and boating to windsurfing, kitesurfing, parasailing, waterskiing, diving and snorkelling. Diving is best in Alcudia, due to its deep offshore waters, and Ciudad Jardin is perfect for windsurfing for its constant winds. Can Pastilla is Majorca's hub for kitesurfing, and surfing also possible, with the best waves found on northern beaches where strong winds blow in from the mountains.

The Majorcan town of Soller, backed by the towering mountains along the north-western coastline, is one of the most interesting small towns on the island for its heritage buildings, narrow winding streets and lovely main square. It's also a hub for challenging road and mountain biking, with the old road up to the Soller Pass a favourite for road bike riders for its 50 hairpin bends. Walking is also popular here, with local guides giving access to hidden trails.

On Majorca, dramatic natural scenery comes as standard, with northerly Cap de Formentor boasting 400m cliffs, weird rock formations and a historic lighthouse.

Another natural wonder is the Cuevas del Drach cave system, located on a bay close to the fishing village of Porto Cristo. Almost 800m of smaller caves complete with stalactites, stalagmites and fantastic rock formations lead to a huge cavern containing Europe's largest underground lake. Ses Paisses is an important Bronze Age complex of massive megaliths some 4,000 years old, built of huge stone blocks and believed to be of religious significance.

Top Landmarks

Majorca's history and rich heritage offer many attractions and landmarks, which provide an overview of the civilisations which have occupied the island since its first settlers arrived in prehistoric times. Romans, Vandals, Byzantines and Moorish armies have all left their marks here in Palma and other towns. Majorca's 500-year history as part of Spain has seen the building of magnificent palaces, castles and cathedrals.

Palma's Old Quarter holds the spectacular Gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria de Palma, begun in the 13th century and finally completed in the 19th. Known as the Pearl of Majorca, it's a vast timeline of church-building skills. The most famous landmark in the Old Quarter is the early 14th century Castell de Bellver, a dramatic fortress first built as a royal residence.

The beautiful Serra de Tramuntana hillside village of Valldemossa and its pretty nearby fishing port were home for a while to Frederic Chopin and his authoress lady friend George Sand, who stayed in the Valldemossa Monastery.

Palma's Museum of Art is set in an 18th century mansion and contains works by famous Majorcan artist Joan Miro, as well as works by Picasso and Dali. If you're interested in seeing more of Miro's work, try paying a visit to the Pilar and Joan Miró Museum. For a total contrast to a family visit, Magaluf's Aqualand Waterpark has a choice of extreme or more sedate rides, and its Marineland is a combination of dolphin and sea lion shows and aquaria with all manner of sea creatures.

Entertainment

Majorca offers a wide range of options when it comes to entertainment and nightlife. The island's southern coastline has the best of the leisure and nightlife venues, with Palma as its hub, while the northern coast is more focused on cultural and quiet evening activities. Palma's clubs, discos, bars and pubs are centred on Paseo Maritime, a stretch of night-time haunts open until sunrise and catering for all tastes and pockets.

Venues around Plaza Gomila cater exclusively for the young set with late-night dance clubs and trendy bars. The Consulado del Mar and La Lonja districts are lively with music bars and street performances. Palma's Pacha Mallorca is famous, opening at 20:00 and closing at 06:00. S'Arenal is another famous district for night-time entertainment.

The villages and small resorts along the mountainous west coast offer bars and eateries better suited to meals with conversation than to riotous dancing until dawn. Cala San Vincente has quaint bars set along its sandy coves, and Soller in the north-west of the island offers cafés with traditional music.

Theatre and dinner shows are another of Majorca's night-time attractions, with the panto-style Pirates show a favourite with families and groups alike. Come Fly With Me offers Cirque du Soliel acrobatics and Frank Sinatra hits, and the island's many traditional festivals go on until late at night with street parties, fireworks and street entertainers. Cinemas can also be found in the malls.

Dining Out

Dining out choices on Majorca depend on location, with world cuisines and English breakfasts easily found in the main beach resorts, as well as local cuisine of varying standards. Palma features the highest concentration of restaurants on the island, where diners will find an eclectic mix of sumptuous local dishes to suit all tastes.

In the island's smaller, quieter resorts, local Majorcan eateries are authentic and good value for money, giving visitors a chance to try the delicious local cuisine. Based on pork, lamb and seafood, Majorcan dishes also feature fresh local vegetables and garlic, and often come with rich, tomato-based sauces. Majorcan bread is served with every meal and is often accompanied with aioli.

Tumbet, served cold, is finely sliced potatoes, peppers and aubergines, fried and covered with a delicious tomato sauce. Pork and lamb roasts are all-time favourites, and paella, known as arros sec, is cooked here using meat, seafood and vegetables. Pastries come in sweet and savoury varieties, stuffed with vegetables and meat or almonds, honey, jam and curds.

If you are looking to top your main meal off with a delicious local dessert, try asking for ensaimada. These are yeast-based cakes rolled into spirals and served with hot chocolate.

Local liqueurs are based on aniseed and other herbs, oranges and almonds, with the traditional Majorcan aperitif, palo, flavoured with the bitter chinchona bark and sweet caramel. Both Spanish and imported foreign beers are easily found, with the beautiful village of Binissalem famed for its production of fine wines.

Beach

Majorca is known for its 170 white-sand beaches from crowded shores in the resorts to tiny, isolated bays elsewhere. In 2008, stunning S'Amarador Beach was voted Europe's best for its unspoilt beauty, and the tiny Platja del Mago was nominated the island's first designated naturist beach. Magaluf Beach in the heart of the tourist zone is 900 metres long, with fine sand and transparent waters fronting a stylish promenade. Lovely Es Trenc Beach is now a protected reserve. For family visits, Alcudia Beach is perfect, with its shallow waters, fine sands and children's playground.

Romance

Majorca's smaller coastal resorts are the best places to get away from the package-holiday crowds for a romantic break. Boutique hotels are set in heritage buildings, quaint fishing harbours and secluded bays. Guests enjoy walks along cliff tops and in the countryside, and quiet suppers at beachside restaurants with great sunset views are perfect for romantics. Sa Coma is a small, modern resort town with great facilities, set in rich countryside and with a pretty, pedestrian-only promenade, lined with romantic eateries.

Family

Family-friendly holidays on Majorca can have little in common with the faceless package-deal hotels and packed beaches available elsewhere. The island has a surprisingly high number of stylish places to stay, which welcome children and provide facilities such as children's menus, activities, pools and clubs. Many coastal resort villages, such as Cala Millor and Cala d'Or, have low-density boutique hotels which are happy to help parents make the most of their holidays, and self-catering suites in the large hotels at Alcudia and Playa de Muro can be had. Majorcans adore children and welcome them to most eateries on the island.

Adventure

With its varied topography from coastline to high mountains, Majorca offers activity holidays in all shapes and sizes. For the truly adventurous, canyoning in the Serra de Tramuntana mountains is a new thrill in the region: the gorges are narrow, the waterfalls are big and routes range from easy to difficult. Climbing, caving, cliff jumping and guided adventure treks are all easily arranged. For the ultimate adrenaline rush, the wet and wild experience of coasteering won't disappoint. Its action-packed combination of adventure swimming, rock climbing, caving and rock scrambling will leave you breathless. If you enjoy walking, Majorca has 24 high-quality golf courses situated around the island. T Poniente in Calvia and Son Termens near Bunyola are both well respected 18-hole golf courses.

Our best deals in Majorca

Need to know

Need to know [destination]

Language

Spanish and Catalan are the official languages of Majorca, although most people also speak Mallorquin, a Catalan dialect. English is widely spoken in tourist areas, but less so in rural districts. French and German are also spoken in popular resort areas. Locals tend to smile upon those who are sufficiently brave to have a go at the basics of their language. Even simple greetings, such as 'hello' and 'goodbye', peppered with courtesies such as 'please' and 'thank you' can help to show willing, so you may consider it worthwhile to invest in a Spanish phrasebook or language app.

Currency

The Balearic Islands, of which Majorca is the primary destination, are part of Spain. The Euro is the official currency. Banks, currency exchange outlets and ATMs are easily found in the main tourism hubs, and less frequently across the rest of the island. All major credit cards are accepted at large venues, although smaller restaurants and traders in markets prefer cash or travellers' cheques. A combination of card and cash is advisable. Banks and ATMs tend to operate between the hours of 8.30am and 2.00pm. Many of the larger hotels are happy to exchange money, although the rates of exchange may be lower than those found in banks. Official exchange kiosks are scattered across Majorca, but these tend to incur higher fees than you might find elsewhere. Bank notes range from 5 to 50 Euros, while coins range from 1 to 50 cents. Euro coins are also accepted as legal tender

Visas

Citizens of EU/EFTA/Schengen countries, including British citizens, can enter visa-free for an indefinite stay. Citizens of the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada may enter visa-free for a stay of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Citizens of other countries are advised to check with their closest Spanish embassy or consulate for exact visa requirements. However it can still be worth carrying a passport, credit card and driving licence - particularly if you intend to hire a car during your stay.

Climate

Majorca enjoys a Mediterranean climate with gorgeously hot and dry summers: one reason for its popularity with holidaymakers. In winter, however, mild and stormy days aren’t uncommon, while in the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, you could even experience snow!

Main Airports

Palma de Mallorca Airport, located 8 kilometres east of Palma is the third busiest airport in Spain (behind Madrid and Barcelona). It is the only aviation gateway on the island, equipped to deal with more than 25 million passengers per year. Most airlines operate flights to Majorca throughout the year.

Flight Options

Major carriers operating at Palma de Mallorca Airport include Air Berlin and Ryanair, both of which serve a raft of mainland European cities and towns. For UK travellers, British Airways flies from London-City, Edinburgh and Glasgow. EasyJet serves London-Gatwick, London-Luton and London-Stansted, as well as Glasgow, Belfast and secondary cities. There are frequent flights from East Midlands and Leeds/Bradford, as well as many other UK regional airports. Typical flight time from London averages 2 hours.

Travel Advice

Given the number of low-cost airlines serving the destination, there is a good chance of bagging a bargain flight if you are willing to travel outside the summer high season. Another option is to take a last-minute, discounted package deal from a charter company looking to fill a flight at a less popular time of year. Majorca accommodation is at its most expensive in the high summer, with discounts available for the shoulder seasons. Car, bus, taxi and train are the main means of transportation here, with the latter connecting travellers to the countryside.

Other Transport

If air travel isn't favoured, ferries run from Barcelona, Valencia and Denia on the Spanish mainland to Majorca. The island is also a hub for cruise liners, with several well-known companies using Palma as a stopover.

Other Transport

If air travel isn't a favourite, ferries run from Barcelona and Valencia on the Spanish mainland to Majorca. The train journey from London is via the Eurostar to Paris, connecting with an overnight sleeper to one of the Spanish port cities. Long-distance bus travel from London to the ports is an economic, reasonably comfortable option and gives an overview of Europe's spectacular countryside. Majorca is a hub for cruise liners, with several well-known companies using Palma as a stopover.

Getting Around

Getting around Majorca is by train, bus, hire car, water taxi or taxi, with hire car the best option. Transportation between the major beach resorts is straightforward, although long-distance bus travel is sparse. Trains traverse the inland region but miss out the coastal resorts. Roads, even in remote rural districts, are generally good.

Bus

Getting around the main town of Palma de Mallorca by bus is straightforward, comfortable and cheap. The town has its own bus service, EMT. Tourist buses run everywhere during the high season.

Car

Car hire is easily available, with trusted international companies offering a selection of vehicles at the airport and beyond. If you are travelling with family or in a group, self-drive is the best option, as rental charges here are reasonable. If you are planning a trip during the high season, it is essential to book your chosen vehicle online well in advance. Experienced drivers will have no problems here, although the mountain roads require careful driving.

Train

Majorca's rail service is limited to inland routes, with its hub at Palma's Placa d'Espanya rail station. There are two main routes, to Manacor in the northeast with SFM and to Sa Pobla and Soller in the north with FS.

MAP

MAJORCA`S WEATHER TODAY

Mostly cloudy °C

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE (°C)

  • 14

    J

  • 14

    F

  • 15

    M

  • 17

    A

  • 21

    M

  • 25

    J

  • 28

    J

  • 29

    A

  • 26

    S

  • 21

    O

  • 17

    N

  • 14

    D

MONTHS

AVERAGE RAINFALL (mm)

  • 55

    J

  • 42

    F

  • 44

    M

  • 54

    A

  • 44

    M

  • 23

    J

  • 12

    J

  • 28

    A

  • 65

    S

  • 76

    O

  • 60

    N

  • 58

    D

MONTHS

FACTS

  1. Majorca plays host to more than 6 million tourists and visitors each year
  2. Majorca is the largest island in Spain
  3. There are more than 2,500 restaurants to be found in Majorca
  4. The poet, Robert Graves, was among the first English settlers to arrive here
  5. There are more than 400kms of walking trails to be found here
  6. Majorca has been inhabited by people since 7000BC
  7. Famous visitors to Majorca have included Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor
  8. Majorca is favoured by professional cyclists, for training purposes. The most challenging route is Sa Calobra, a 10km route with 26 hairpin bends and an average gradient of 7.1%

FACTS

  1. Majorca plays host to more than 6 million tourists and visitors each year
  2. Majorca is the largest island in Spain
  3. There are more than 2,500 restaurants to be found in Majorca
  4. The poet, Robert Graves, was among the first English settlers to arrive here
  5. There are more than 400kms of walking trails to be found here
  6. Majorca has been inhabited by people since 7000BC
  7. Famous visitors to Majorca have included Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor
  8. Majorca is favoured by professional cyclists, for training purposes. The most challenging route is Sa Calobra, a 10km route with 26 hairpin bends and an average gradient of 7.1%

Holiday Types

Similar destinations

+
7 nights from £565/pp
+
7 nights from £2687/pp
+
7 nights from £1052/pp
+
7 nights from £166/pp
+
7 nights from £391/pp