The Balearic Island of Majorca
Majorca remains the most popular holiday destination for the Germans outside their own country. Many other Europeans, especially the British and the Spanish from the mainland, also like to spend their holidays here and there are several very good reasons for this. Although it is not far from the mainland, no other holiday destination combines such a variety of beautiful landscapes with consistently good weather and fantastic offerings for tourists as this Balearic Island does.
Tourism developed rapidly in the 1960s and 1970s and many tourist resorts sprang up, especially on the east coast, in the north-east and around Palma. This was to cater for the growing demand for accommodation within walking distance of the beach, while offering plenty of restaurants, bars and clubs, water-sports activities and many other leisure activities. In places such as S’Arenal, Cala Millor, Peguera and Magaluf, where Spanish and Catalan are the official languages, people also now speak the language of the holidaymakers, who summer after summer regard Majorca as their second home. Not surprisingly therefore you will find in many restaurants not just tapas and paella on the menu, but also bratwurst and fish and chips.
However, if you only see Majorca as the island of mass tourism, package holidays and wild partying, then you have probably never been here or simply haven't seen enough of this beautiful island, which in reality has so many more completely contrasting attractions. For example, there are hundreds of kilometres of roads leading inland through flat countryside and mountains, passing fincas with their typical windmills, places where agriculture is more important than tourism. You can travel through enchanting towns and villages where the streets and squares only really come to life in the evenings. In the north, for example, there is the old town of Alcúdia with its romantic alleyways behind massive fortress walls. In the north-west you can take an inviting stroll around the picturesque harbour of Port de Sóller and on the east coast there is plenty to discover, such as the Dragon's Cave near Porto Cristo and the large limestone cave near Canyamel..
Palma de Majorca, the island’s capital, is also very well worth getting to know. With more than 400.000 inhabitants, it makes up almost half of the population of Majorca and with its style, culture and quality of life, it has no reason to fear comparison with other larger European cities. Palma has one of the most important marinas in the Mediterranean and is an important location for private sailing. Fittingly, Majorca has many picturesque bays and with its calm sea is an ideal spot for the skippers of yachts, sailing-boats and motorboats to drop anchor. On the whole island there are more than 40 marinas, often surrounded by exclusive holiday apartments, villas, resorts and golf clubs. Many German and international celebrities own a house in Majorca.
And then there is also the Tramuntana mountain range which stretches along the coast from the most northern point of Cap Formentor up to the La Dragonera dragon island right in the west and rising to 1445 metres at its highest point on the mountain of Puig Major. You can travel endlessly along the winding roads through pine forests and in the middle of it all is the enormous canyon of Torrent de Pareis near Sa Calobra. This is has been declared an especially protected area by UNESCO and is one of Majorca's most popular day-trip destinations. The hilly areas are also a big attraction for motorcyclists, but the numerous cyclists who train on Majorca's roads are more likely to be seen in the flatter areas.
Of course Majorca is also known as the hotspot for partying where you can literally drink alcohol by the bucket. Every year Majorca is the prime destination for huge numbers of party-loving groups of friends, stag and hen parties, as well as for sports-club trips. Here the partygoers fill themselves with alcohol as if they had won the lottery on their birthday and as if they had found themselves on a magical island where all that mattered was having as much fun as possible. Whether you are in favour of it or not, this remains an important part of life here, while by no means being everything that Majorca has to offer.
About the beaches
Every year nearly 10 million holidaymakers travel to Majorca and the majority of them want to spend a large part of their holiday at the beach. An obvious reason why the largest of the Balearic Islands is so popular with beach lovers is its coastline extending over 550 kilometres and with a large number of contrasting beaches offering something for all tastes.
In spite of the wide variety of beaches to be found in Majorca, there are some kinds of beaches which occur frequently and which are found in certain areas of the island. In the large holiday resorts such as Cala Millor in the east, in the bay of Alcúdia in the north and in the area of Playa de Palma and S’Arenal in the south are the wide beaches of light-coloured, fine sand which stretch for kilometres. Here you will find an enormous range of accommodation, restaurants, bars, water-sports activities and entertainment which perfectly cater for the needs of the holidaymakers. Here getting into the sea is usually easy as it is shallow at the water’s edge, which is ideal for children and inexperienced swimmers. These beaches have mostly no stones in the water or on land and they are cleaned every day. Walkers and runners really appreciate being able to cover distances of several kilometres along the water's edge.
The „Calas“ (Spanish for bays) are typically triangular in shape, often with a large sandy area and are mainly found in the south-east in the area stretching from Santanyi via Portocolom up to Porto Cristo. These include Cala Sa Nau, Cala Romàntica and the beaches in and around Cala D’Or. Over many centuries fast-flowing streams have gradually carved large holes into the cliff rocks and made their way into the sea. These days the streams are mostly dried out, particularly in summer and instead there are sandy beaches of various sizes which are enclosed on each side by low rocky plateaus, a few metres in height. These cosy bays are often sheltered from the wind and have large areas of water protected from the waves and great for swimming, while the ledges on the rocks make ideal diving-boards. For snorkelers and divers there is in many places an exciting underwater world to be explored here.
On the north-west coast the mighty Tramuntana mountain range runs parallel to the coast and leaves hardly any room for beaches. However, it is well worth making the journey along the winding roads to here, because as well as the famous natural wonder of Sa Calobra, where the giant rock face opens up to offer a view of the sea, there are also other picturesque sandy and pebble beaches to be found here.
Then of course there are long natural sandy beaches which in some cases can be several kilometres in length. These are mainly situated on the southern tip near Colònia de Sant Jordi and at the well-known Playa Es Trenc and the beach of Ses Covetes. Here there are no buildings, marinas or wavebreakers, only nature pure together with the crystal clear deep turquoise-blue sea. This comes as a surprise to many people who were not expecting the beaches of Majorca to be this beautiful.
"Woods and water sports in a small coastal town"
"Party season only comes once a year!"
"Pure relaxation in the north of Majorca"
"The great all-rounder of Majorca’s beaches"
"A huge range of facilities for the perfect family holiday"
"Lots of fun in and around the water"
"Pristine beach with good infrastructure"
"A family beach in a panoramic mountain setting"
"One of the most beautiful sandy beaches in Majorca"
"Picturesque bay - sadly too popular to be really romantic"
"For bathing enthusiasts, keen walkers and the whole family"
"The beach with unlimited possibilities"
"Convivial holiday bay for the whole family"
"Plenty of space for the whole family!"
"Relax with the whole family"
"Relaxed beach with a great view"
"Popular bay with flair"
"Family fun in a natural park"
"Everything the heart desires!"
"Popular bay with great bathing conditions"