Mallorca is an exceptionally beautiful island, full of surprises and with something for everyone: delicious food and drink, fantastic landscapes, endless glorious beaches, mountains, hidden valleys and unspoilt villages, fiestas and traditional celebrations, the nightlife of the city of Palma, Mallorquin culture, art and crafts, or just relaxing in the warm sunshine and restoring the soul.
The rugged Tramuntaña mountain range stretches along the northern edge of Mallorca from the town of Andratx to Cape Formentor in the east. The highest peak in this range is the Puig Major which is 1,445 metres high. The beautiful mountain villages of Valldemossa, Deia, Banyalbufar, Bunyola, and Soller nestle among fragrant orange and lemon groves, and the mountainsides have been covered with ancient, gnarled olive, almond, and fig trees for centuries. Pollensa was founded in the 13th century near the old Roman settlement of Pollentia (now Alcudia), and offers a delightful mix of relaxed atmosphere and some vibrant local colour, especially in its various annual festivals.
The foothills of this mountain range are known as Es Raiguer. Here we find picturesque villages that still retain the character and atmosphere of years gone by. Alaro, Binissalem, Buger, Campanet, Consell, Inca, Lloseta, Manacor de la Vall, Marratxi, Santa Maria del Cami, and Selva are villages with a history of traditional crafts - wine and food production, glass blowing, basket weaving, clay ceramics, leatherworking, weaving and many others.
The large plain known as Es Pla in the centre of the island is home to countless impressive country manor houses and estates known as “fincas”, many of which are still plying the old Mallorquin traditional methods of farming and herding. Sencelles is a charming small village lying in the plain crossed by three rivers, and is a centre for local wine production. The small community of Costitx has given up some striking archeological discoveries, especially some fabulous bronze bulls’ heads; it also boasts the Balearic Islands’ only planetarium and observatory.
Es Migjorn, in the south, has wonderful ochre-coloured soil, cool pine forests, and some of the most spectacular sandy beaches and beautiful crystal clear seas on the whole island, especially at Cala d’Or. There are pretty towns inland, and on the coast a delightful procession of fishing villages, harbours, and luxury resorts.
With such a diverse landscape, there are enjoyable activities for every taste - golf, swimming, sailing, water sports of all kinds, excellent scuba diving off the islands of Cabrera and Foradada, walking, hiking, mountain biking, horse-riding and many others. Golfers will find fifteen golf courses on Mallorca to suit all tastes and skills.
For sailors, Mallorca is one of the best ports of call in the Mediterranean, with its beautiful bays, long sandy beaches, small deserted coves and over 500 kilometres of coastline to navigate, and numerous delightful harbours in which to moor and go ashore. The excellent facilities provided for sailors and their craft mean that the ports in Mallorca enjoy a certain prestige and are visited all year round. Hiring a boat, with or without a skipper, is easily organised.
For cyclists, Mallorca is ideal. The climate, landscapes, and the island's geography offer a wide range of opportunities to get to know places that are inaccessible by other modes of transport. There are routes for all levels of experience and everyone can enjoy spectacularly beautiful and unique surroundings.
In the summer, of course, Mallorca shows its true colours as a Mediterranean paradise, but it is of course enjoyable all year round, and for those looking for peace and quiet, the out of season months in autumn and winter are delightful. The weather is generally mild and often warm and sunny and the landscape sometimes even more spectacular in the autumn and winter light. There is an excellent winter programme of classical concerts held in different villages across the island and some of the recitals are held in very special venues - the Casal Balaguer or the Dioonis Bennassar Museum. In winter there is also a programme of excursions and cultural visits to the most beautiful monuments and landmarks on the island. Accompanied by guides, visitors discover the real Mallorca in the most delightful way and experience the nature of the island at the same time.
For nature lovers, early spring is the best time to visit the island and there are a number of protected Natural Parks as well as the National Maritime Park which is made up of a group of islands that form the archipelago of Cabrera - Conejera, Plana, Foradada, Na Pobra and the islets of Pla and Foradat.
All in all, a jewel of an island - and so easily accessible. The Mallorquins are friendly and welcoming, full of fun and laughter, and considerable pride, which is well justified in the light of all they have on this beautiful island.