Mallorca is the largest among the Balearic Islands in the western part of the Mediterranean. On a surface of about 3.600 km² it has 860 000 resident inhabitants.
The island has roughly the shape of a rhombus with the corners pointing in the four cardinal points north, south, east and west. The extension of the island in the north – south direction is 77 km, from east to west 100 km. Along the northwestern coast there is a mountain range, the Tramuntana Mountains, along the south-eastern coast there is a smaller mountain range, the Levante mountains. The Tramuntana mountains extend into the sea as a very wild peninsula, Formentor, in the north-eastern direction from the northern corner of Mallorca The highest peak of Mallorca, Puig Major (1445 m), lies in the Tramuntana mountains. The mountains and hills are often wild and steep and covered with forests. The south and central parts of the island are relatively flat agricultural landscape (Es Pla). Along the coasts of the mountainous parts, most of the coast is very wild with the rocks go very steeply into the sea while there are small coves with beaches. Where the landscape is flatter, there are longer continuous sandy beaches.
Along the coasts, particularly on the southern side, there are many villages, but not the continuous crowding of houses and villas so frequently seen on other Mediterranean coasts. The major part of the island is uninhabited (particularly the mountain ranges) or farmland.
The capital city of Mallorca is the cosmopolitan Palma, located on the shore of a large bay on the south-western coast.
The Balearic Islands have been populated since prehistoric times. There are remains of stone age settlements on the islands. The identity and the culture of these pre-historic settlers remains largely unknown. Two periods can be distinguished: the pre-talayotic period up to the end of the second millenium BC, and the talayotic period that continued until the Roman conquest of the island. From pre-talayotic settlements, the remains are not very impressive, mostly pieces of ceramics. During the talayotic period, impressive megalolithic monuments were erected. The pre-talayotic culture generally was an iron age culture, the talayotic a bronze age culture.
The romans conquered Mallorca about 150 BC and ruled for more than 500 years. Their capital of the island was Alcudia, but they also founded Palma as a fortified village. After the Roman rule, the island was ruled by vandals and other invaders until the Arabs conquered Mallorca AD 903 and governed the island for more than 300 years. They made Palma their capital and developed the city to a center for trade and an important harbor.
In the process of Christian reconquest of the Iberian peninsula the Aragonian king Jaume 1 conquered Mallorca in 1229. He integrated Mallorca with the Aragonian kingdom. In 1479, Aragonia and Castilia were united through the marriage Ferdinand II of Aragonia and Isabella I of Castilia and the Balearic Islands were included as an autonomous community.
The following Spanish history has been plagued by large wars also involving the European superpowers of the day. The war of the Spanish Succession (1701 – 1714) between France on one side and England, Austria, Holland and several German states on the other left Europe in a miserable state.
The Napoleonic wars hit Spain very hard. The war in Spain is called the Peninsular War (1808 – 1814, in Spain it is called the War of Independence). It resulted in Spanish independence from France and a country in ruins. It was illustrated by Francisco Goya in a series of prints “Los Disastres de la Guerra” (the disasters of war). During the Spanish Civil War 1936 – 1939, Mallorca was a nationalist stronghold. An attempt by forces loyal to the government to try to capture the island in 1936 failed, and Mallorca remained in Nationalist hands and was used as a base for naval and air raids against the Spanish mainland.
Mass tourism has caused Palma to grow rapidly. The number of foreign visitors in 1950 was about 500 000, by 2008 it had grown to about 24 million. This has caused great changes in the population. Large numbers of Spaniards from mainland Spain have moved to the islands. There has also been considerable immigration from other European countries; there are large groups of residents with English, German and Scandinavian nationality.
With 300 days of sunshine a year in Mallorca the climate needs no further introduction. Mallorca has a mild Mediterranean climate. The winters are mild and the summers hot and bright. The temperature in the summer rarely becomes unpleasant. In the winter the temperature often is around 15 – 16 during the day and rarely drops under zero during the night. The coldest month is usually January but it is not long until the spring arrives in February with all the almond trees blossoming.
Mallorca has the best beaches in the Mediterranean. There is a beach for every taste and it is worthwhile to plan and find your favorite one when visiting the island. The nicest beach on the island is the Caribbean feel Es Trenc beach located in the south of the island. The beach closest to Palma is Playa de Palma.
To help find your favorite beach the Mallorca tourism authority has created an online beach guide with information on more than 200 beaches on the island.
Click the link below for more beach information: www.platgesdebalears.com
Mallorca is a true golfer’s paradise with over 20 golf courses. Because Mallorca has such a favorable climate you can play golf year round. We offer villas and apartments for sale close to most of the golf courses on the island. We can also help you to buy a golf share in the club of your choice.
For more information about all golf courses on the island use the below interactive golf map. By clicking on the icons you will find links to the club homepages.
Mallorca boosts many top class marinas to moor your yacht. Palma harbor is one of Europe’s largest yacht harbors with all facilities needed.
For more information about the marinas of Mallorca use the below interactive map. By clicking on the icons you will find links to Mallorca Marine with further harbor information.
There are 9 international schools on Mallorca. Most of them are located in the southeastern region and Palma.
Below are links to all these schools:
Mallorca has many top class medical facilities. Mallorca’s main hospital is the brand new (2011) Son Espases hostpital situated just outside Palma. It is the main referral hospital for the Balearics offering highly specialized care.
There are several private clinics with international doctors who speak your language. They include the following:
Palma is a great shopping city full of fashion stores for all tastes and budgets. The classic shopping street in Palma is Jaume III but more and more Paseo Born is becoming the hottest shopping street. On Born you can find Louis Vuitton, Carolina Herrera, Hugo Boss, Corner Store (Prada, Gucci and more), Escada, Massimo Dutti, Zara, HM.
If you continue Calle Unión towards Plaza Mercat you'll find the famous Spanish label Adolfo Dominguez opposite the Gant store. Purificación Garcia is another famous designer with a shop in the modernist Can Casayas-building on Plaza Mercat. A little higher up if you follow the flower street La Rambla you get to Calle Olmos which is a pedestrian street full of small Spanish shops.
Calle San Miguel leading from Oms to Plaza Major is also a great shopping street. Here you can find Sfera, Spanish designer Jordi Labanda, Timberland, Camper, Bershka, Pulla and Bear, Stradavius and many small shops.
El Corte Inglés has two stores in Palma. First a small one on Jaume III, and a larger on Las Avenidas. Around the large El Corte Ingles offers designer clothing, shoes, electronics, furniture and also a food supermarket. (meningen obegriplig).
Porto Pi is a shopping center good for a rainy or too hot day. Here you can find stores including Carrefour, Zara, Zara Home, Massimo Dutti, Disney Store, Levi's, Pepe Jeans and others. There are also cinemas, a bowling arcade and a large selection of restaurants.
Outlet Festival Park
Festival Park, just north of Palma, offers a large selection of outlet stores for brands such as Levi's, Reebok, Nike and Quicksilver. There are many restaurants and a cinema as well. www.festivalpark.es
Mercado Olivar in Palma
The largest indoor market hall in Palma. Here you can buy fresh produce but also enjoy food from any of the many restaurants.
Consell market on Sunday morning
An Australian came in 1994 with the idea to start a flea and antiques market in the village of Consell. Every Sunday the market is now bustling. You can buy everything from rusty spare parts to elegant antique furniture.
Furniture & House Goods
There are plenty of opportunity to find all sorts of furniture on Mallorca. Just outside Palma you will find IKEA that needs no further introduction. Around IKEA there are some further local Spanish furniture shops. You will also find the DIY store Brico Depot here. The large El Corte Ingles has a nice furniture and house department. There are plenty of small furniture shops around Palma. Behind the small El Corte Ingles you find la Oca that sells modern design furniture. (vad är DIY store?)
This city has long been regarded as Mallorca’s furniture city.
A town in the middle of Mallorca where you will find many factory outlets for leather goods from brands as Camper and Farrutx.
Industrial estate outside Santa Ponsa where you will find everything from car dealers to furniture stores.
Luxury harbor with many small shops to attract jet setters. There are also many very nice restaurants in this harbor.
Mallorcas airport is named Son Sant Joan and is located 8km from Palma city center. www.aena-aeropuertos.es
From Palma you can take the ferry to Barcelona, Ibiza, Denia and further destinations. For more information have a look at the two major ferry companies.