One of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe, Mallorca has something for every type of traveler. From the rugged regions of the west where hikers and bikers can explore the Serra de Tramuntana’s limestone landscape, to the cliffside trails of the north. From the less populated beaches of the east coast where the are many hidden coves and slivers of sand and blue water to sun and swim, to the vibrant and colorful seaside towns and beaches of the south for a little more action, this is truly a piece of paradise. Complete this tour de force with the island’s rich history and culture, amazing seafood-based cuisine, locally grown wines and olive, carob and almond groves, and voila! Here are 7 reasons to love Mallorca:
1. The Weather
First thing’s first: Mallorca’s exceptional climate is one of the main reasons why the island sees so many visitors all year round. With 300 days of sunshine and average temperatures hovering around the very comfortable 22ºC mark, this island is the place for those who like to stay away from the cold. Warm, temperate winters, very little rain most of the year and sunny, sizzling hot summers make Mallorca truly a little piece of Mediterranean paradise.
2. The Coastline
Mallorca has over 120 beaches and coves spread over 550 kilometers of coastline all around the island. From glittering turquoise bays with crystal clear waters lapping against steep rock face to long stretches of white sand beaches dotted with quaint cafes and restaurants, sun loungers and umbrellas, it has everything, from hidden inlets to nudist beaches, safe bays with shallow waters for families with young children, and even great dive sites.
3. The Food
Not only offering some of the best and freshest seafood around, the small island of Mallorca has big ambitions with five (!) Michelin-starred restaurants: Zaranda, Es Molí d’en Bou, Jardín, Es Racó d’es Teix, and Es Fum. Alongside these fine dining options, there is also a movement by a new generation of young local chefs serving up ‘new Mallorcan’ cuisine. Introducing contemporary interpretations on the island’s classic dishes at restaurants like Santi Taura, DaiCa, Joan Marc, Andreu Genestra and Miceli, discover why Mallorca is truly a great gastronomic destination.
4. The Wine
While Mallorca isn’t known for its wine to the same scale as other regions of Spain, in recent years it has been been making phenomenal strides, producing some exceptionally good vintages, moving up the ranks and demanding that oenophiles take notice. As a result, the island is starting to attract a new kind of traveller, lured by wineries and the affordable new varieties to discover. The vineyards, which are tucked away in the centre of the island, make for a very scenic trip and there’s plenty of tours and tasting available for wine lovers of every level.
5. The Serra de Tramuntana
Declared World Heritage Site by Unesco in 2011, the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range runs parallel to the coast all the way from Port Andratx in the southwest to the Cape of Formentor in the northeast. With 110 km of mountain roads and walking tracks that form the backbone of the island, the range’s highest peak, the Puig Major, stands at 1445 metres, followed closely by Puig Massanella at 1364 meters. Highly respected by cyclists, climbers and hikers for its challenging terrain and hairy descents, the route is well signposted with mountain lodges and pit stops along the route offering rustic accommodation and food for those wishing to take up the challenge.
6. The Beautiful Capital
Home to over half the island’s population, Palma de Mallorca, the capital of the Balearics, is fast becoming a popular city break destination and major European hub for both work and play. Located on the southern shores around the bay of Palma, the capital is a fascinating medley of old and new, with Sa Llonja and the old city steeped in history, showcasing wonderful architecture, gothic cathedrals and an Arab quarter all set among cobbled maze of ancient streets and arched courtyards. Make sure you take a stroll through the picturesque tree-lined promenades of La Rambla and El Born quarters and peruse the many shops, cafes, boutiques and restaurants there for a relaxing day of discovery.
7. The Shopping
Palma’s reputation as a luxury shopping destination just keeps on growing, with every new boutique and store opening. From luxurious leather bags for women and men designed by Tara Salgado and artisan-made in her workshop in Inca, Mallorca, there’s also the Mallorcan luxury jeweller Relojeria Alemana – whose clients include the Spanish royal family. And then there’s Rialto Living, the Swedish lifestyle store which has just doubled in size and includes a new art gallery, men’s and women’s fashions, books, gifts, furniture/home accessories and the chic new glass-roofed Café Rialto.