10 things to do and see in Mallorca and 1 not to do

10 things to do and see in Mallorca and 1 not to do

Over 3.500 square kilometers surface, more than 50 municipalities e about 900.000 inhabitants. Few salient numbers, yet sufficient to understand that it would be an understatement to consider Mallorca a "simple" island. The largest of the Balearics (the others are Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera) alternates sea ​​and mountain; water sports and trekking; ancient traditions and nightlife. The typically Mediterranean climate favors tourism most of the year. Only the winter, which is rainier and with colder temperatures (10 ° approx.), Records a drop in turnout, even if the overall number of visitors is very flattering: about 10 million tourists a year, mostly from England and Germany. Palma de Mallorca is the economic, political and civil center of the entire archipelago. It is therefore inevitable to begin the story of the island from its capital. Happy reading.

1 Palma de Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca (Palma de Mallorca, in Spanish) is the outcome of dominations that have taken place in the Balearic archipelago. Romans, Byzantine, Arabs, Aragon e Castilians they have left traces of their passage both from an architectural and urbanistic point of view. Narrow streets, noble palaces, churches, squares: everything tells of the different past cultures here, without debasing the modernity of hotels (click here for recommended hotels), villas, bars, restaurants and nightclubs that arose in the last century. In short, a mix of ancient and modern where summer tourism, typical of a seaside resort, it integrates perfectly with the historical and cultural attractions with which this city is full of about 400.000 inhabitants. So once in place, the advice is to divide the days between the beaches of S'Arenal (the largest in the city), Can Pastilla e Cala Estància and the main city monuments: from Cathedral of Santa Maria (“La Seu”), al Almudiana Palace, passing through the Castle de Bellver.

2 Cathedral of Santa Maria

120 meters in length, 70 wide e 44 of height for a total area of 6.600 square meters. The Cathedral of Santa Maria is the episcopal seat of the diocese of Mallorca. Hence the name "La Seu" (the Headquarters) by which it is most commonly known. The building, second in extension only to the Cathedral of Seville, is located in the city center, facing the sea, and a stone's throw from the Almudiana Royal Palace. From an architectural point of view it is an example of Gothic style, and stands on the same area where once, during the Muslim domination, the city mosque was located. The interior, a three naves, can accommodate up to 18.000 faithful. Worthy of particular mention, main entrance portal in front of the Royal Palace; the belvedere portal, facing south, towards the sea; the rose window which surmounts the main altar and the Trinity Chapel with the tombs of kings James II and James III of Aragon, belonging to the first dynasty of the Kingdom of Majorca. For more information on history, pastoral and cultural activities, visit the official website: www.catedraldemallorca.info. Facebook page: Catedral de Mallorca. The visiting hours they change according to the time of year.

1 April 31 May / October
Monday - Friday from 10:00 to 17:15

1 June - 30 September
Monday - Friday from 10:00 to 18:15

2 November - 31 March
Monday - Friday from 10:00 to 15:15

All the year
Saturday from 10: 00 to 14: 15

3 Almudaina Palace

Together with Cathedral Santa Maria and Bellver Castle (see next paragraph) Almudaina Palace è unmissable stop for anyone who seriously wants to deepen the "Genius loci" Majorcan, the singular combination of Arabic, Romanesque and Gothic styles which represents the "Aesthetic figure" of all the historic buildings of the city and the island. The construction of Palazzo dell'Almudaina dates back to the fourteenth century on the orders of the then King of the Independent Kingdom of Majorca James II. It stands on a pre-existing Muslim fortress and, like the other historic buildings in the city, has passed through the different dominations that have occurred on the island over the centuries. Currently it is one of the residences available to the King of Spain that does not fail to stop on the island, especially during the summer, to attend the official ceremonies that take place there. Bows, column, towers and a wonderful garden draw this fascinating structure which can be visited every day, all year round, except for Mondays and the main holidays (January 1st and 6th; May 1st; December 24th and 25th etc.). The visiting hours they run from 10.00 to 20.00 during the summertime (1 April - 31 October) and from 10.00 to 18.00 during that wintry (November 1 - March 31). L'input costs 7,00 € uro with the possibility of reductions e discounts for families and guided tours.

4 Bellver Castle

For the Bellver Castle what has already been said about theAlmudaina. Anyone interested in learning more about the Majorcan “genius loci” can not help but visit this fortress built in the early '300 from James II of Aragon. The Castle stands on a hill a just over 100 meters above sea level and about three kilometers from the historic center of Palma de Mallorca. The name, as you can easily guess, refers to "Nice view" which can be enjoyed from above but, in spite of the panorama, the Castle was above all a place of detention. In fact, except for an initial parenthesis, immediately after construction, in which it was used as a summer royal residence, this fortress until the early 900s, therefore for about six centuries, was a prigione. From the architectural point of view it is another testimony of that Gothic which characterizes all the historic buildings of the city. Inside is set up the city ​​historical museum with Roman, Arab and Spanish finds as evidence of the different dominations that followed over the centuries. In addition to the museum, the castle hosts various cultural activities: from movies al theater passing through the music classic and contemporary. For more information visit the official website: castelldebellver.palma.cat.

Visiting hours:

From April to September

Monday: 8.30 - 13.00
Tuesday - Saturday: 8.30 - 18.00
Sunday and Holidays: 10.00 - 20.00

From October to March
Monday: 8.30 - 13.00
Tuesday - Saturday: 8.30 - 18.00
Sunday and Holidays: 10.00 - 18.00

: December 25th and January 1st

Visiting hours may vary in conjunction with concerts or other cultural activities.

Full ticket: 4.00 € uro

5 Valldemossa

There is a sharp contrast between the tourist Majorca, made up of resorts, restaurants, shops, beaches and services, and the more rural part of the island which, although lapped by the sirens of tourism, has retained its agricultural identity more strongly. Therefore the advice, after having visited Palma far and wide, is to go and discover the "other Majorca" where I am outdoor activities like trekking e mountain bike to mark the time of the holiday. From this point of view, the province of Tramuntana mountain range deserves to be visited all. Not a very simple undertaking, since these are different municipalities, which is why many are opting for Valldemossa, a small gem of just over a thousand inhabitants famous for its chartreuse (Real Cartuja de Valldemossa) where the musician stayed in the 800th century Chopin and his partner, the writer George Sand. From that stay the latter also obtained a novel "A winter in Mallorca" which undoubtedly contributed a lot to the fame of the places by encouraging the so-called literary tourism. For more information on the history of the Certosa, the opening hours and the cost of entry (tickets can also be purchased online) visit the place: www.cartujadevalldemossa.com

6 Cap de Formentor lighthouse

of province of Sierra de Tramuntana the municipality of Pollença, famous for both ocher-colored rural houses that for beaches of Cala Figuera e Cala Formentor. The latter is almost always offered in combination with Cap de Formentor lighthouse which is over 10 km from the town center. The road to reach the top of this spectacular lighthouse, which represents the northernmost point of the island, despite being full of hairpin bends and climbs, offers beautiful views and views (see photo), according to some even more beautiful than the view enjoyed from the lighthouse itself (from which you can see Minorca). Two in particular stops to be carried out during the journey: the first for Colombaia viewpoint (in Spanish Mirador des Colomer); the second for the watchtower Talaia d'Albertcuix if desired, reachable on foot, from the first. Finally one curiosity: the topos "Formentor" which means "wheat" is the same asisland of Formentera which is also part ofBalearic archipelago.

7 Petra

Another recommended stop for those who want to go to discover the less touristy Majorca, is the small town of Petra in 'hinterland of the island, about 40 kilometers from the capital Palma. Petra is a small rural village and count a few thousand inhabitants. The cereal production has always been the strong point of the territory even if in recent years the viticulture has gained significant market shares. The country is most famous for being the birthplace of Junípero Serra (1713 - 1784) Franciscan missionary architect of an impressive work of evangelization in Mexico and California (the canonization in 2015 by Pope Francis was strongly opposed by the American Indians who contest the use of violence by the Franciscan friar). Obviously all the places that somehow tell the friar's youth have become pilgrimage destination feeding the so-called vein of religious tourism. The feast in honor of the saint, on the third Sunday of September, is a very heartfelt event on the whole island of Mallorca, complete with floral tributes and parades of floats. A few kilometers from Petra there is Manacor, birthplace of the tennis player Rafa Nadal for many years at the top of the ATP rankings.

8 The caves

So far we have focused mainly on the differences between the coast and the interior of the island: different sceneries, architectures and landscapes which, however, do not exhaust the “tale” of Mallorca. Woe, for example, to forget the underground settlements of which the territory is scattered and which, thanks to tourism, have become important attractions frequented by hundreds of visitors daily. The most famous of all are the Caves of the Dragon (Cuevas del Drach) and the Grotte d'Artà (Cuevas de Artà). The first are found in Porto Cristo village, municipality of Manacor (birthplace of tennis player Rafael Nadal). The latter, however, are located in the municipality of Capdepera, northeastern side of Mallorca. The visit of these sites lasts about an hour and in the case of the Dragon Caves it even includes a classical music concert while browsing the Martell underground lake that crosses the cavity (underground lake "Martell" from the name of the speleologist who explored the site in 1896). The atmospheres of the Grotte d'Artà are definitely more disturbing. The stalactites and stalagmites they draw a surreal landscape that some have even defined "Dante" referring to the Hell of the Divine Comedy. Fortunately, however, the excursion ends with the paradisiacal view of the surrounding bay. For learn more visit the respective Internet sites: www.cuevasdeldrach.com/it/ and www.cuevasdearta.com/en/

9 The beaches

Of some (S'Arenal, Can Pastilla, Cala Estància, Cala Fuguera e Cala Formentor) we have already talked about, but there are hundreds of beaches in Mallorca! Seeing them all at once is therefore almost impossible, so it becomes important to choose the truly unmissable ones. The opinions in this regard are almost unanimous: Playa Es Trenc, on the southern side of the island, is the most beautiful of all. A record that Majorcan environmentalists are defending with gritted teeth trying to curb real estate appetites in the area. Also not to be missed Cala Mondragò, “Bandiera Blu” and Natural Park since the 90s of the last century, e Cala d'Egos suggestive inlet bordered by cliffs dotted with pine trees. For an exhaustive review of Majorca's beaches click here

10 Sports and outdoor activities

Mallorca is an island for sportsmen. Lovers of golf on the island they find numerous fields to give vent to their passion. One of the most famous is the Canyamel Golf Club, on the north-eastern side of the island (Capdepera). It extends for over 6000 meters and was built in the late 80s of the last century byarchitect José Gancedo with the utmost respect not only of the orography, but above all of the existing flora and fauna. Not just golf. Even the Cycling it is very popular, so much so that several professional teams choose to retire here before the competitive season. The added value, in this case, is given by the mild climate almost all year round and by the overall good state of health of the roads, including secondary and local roads. Then there is the trekking. We have already said of Cap de Formentor but woe to forget Puig Major, which with its 1445 meters above sea level is the highest peak of the mountain range of Tramuntana mountain range. Woe to forget the natural parks too: in particular the archipelago of Cabrera and the reserve of S'Abulfera are certainly worth a visit among maritime excursions e birdwatching. Water sports and sailing are missing from the appeal. The Diving is one of the main attractions of the island and is practiced almost everywhere, while the high port receptivity (about 20.000 berths) favors the carrying out of different regattas during the whole year. In short, Majorca is a complete island that is well suited to the needs of sportsmen. Seeing is believing!

1 Mallorca's nightlife is not that of Ibiza

Safety, transport, health, outdoor life, climate and gastronomy (which we have not talked about): in Mallorca everything works fine, to the point that many are moving there. In truth mostly from Germany, greedy as the Germans are informal and relaxed lifestyle of the Mediterranean islands. And here is the point: if you are looking for excesses, discos and unbridled nightlife, it is not to Mallorca that you have to come. At least not in the low season. In fact, in spring and autumn tourism has a rather high average age. You can smile at the circumstance but it would be a gross error: i pensioners in general, even more so those German, they have a'high spending power, certainly higher than that of an entire generation of thirty-forty-year-olds bent over years of flexibility and low wages. That said, there is no problem. The island is really suitable for everyone: young, old, couples, singles, families with or without children. The important thing is to know what you want, especially since Ibiza is not that far away.

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