Mallorca, better known as Majorca, is a very popular holiday destination, with people coming from as far as the United States and Canada to visit this beautiful Mediterranean treasure. Part of the Balearic Islands, it is in an area well known for partying and having a good time, with Magaluf and Ibiza being the central attractions; but there is more to this island than sangria and nightclubs. Read on to find out more about some amazing things to see and do whilst visiting Mallorca.
History and Architecture
Everywhere you look there is history, the place is literally dripping in the stuff. From magnificent castles to impressive mansions and everything in between. A treasure trove of buildings and historical landmarks await any budding history or architecture fan. The Palau de l’Almudaina is perhaps one of the most awe-inspiring sights to be found in Palma, Mallorca’s capital city. It was once a Muslim fort, but little of the original Islamic design remains after Jaume I and his various successors modified it to suit their own tastes. The current King of Spain resides here in a symbolic capacity, but it isn’t his actual home, preferring instead to live in Cala Major. If you happen to visit when he is participating in official ceremonies, however, you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of him and his family. The price of entry to this beautiful castle is very modest and you can visit all year round, although it closes earlier in winter. Some other excellent examples of architecture combined with history are the Castell de Belver, which stands impressively on a hill top in the north-west area of Palma, its round shape and Gothic design give it a unique look well worth visiting; the Castell d’Alaró is the place that Christian soldiers were starved out by Muslim soldiers during a conflict in the Early Middle Ages – the ruin can be found on a rock, high above Palma, with magnificent views all the way to Badia de Alcúdia, making this a worthwhile climb for anyone with the gusto to give it a go.
Nature and beaches
Understandably, there is much to see and do in Mallorca, especially when it comes to being outdoors enjoying nature and the sweeping sandy beaches it has to offer. With so many beautiful places to visit, it can be hard to decide where to go. Serra de Tramuntana is an impressive mountain range that stretches across the north-west coast of the island, showing Mallorca in a more traditional, unspoiled state. You can explore by car, pony or on foot and may even see mountain goats going about their business. The Mondragó Natural Park, found in Santanyi, in the south-east of the island, is a stunning park with more than seventy species of birds, excellent hiking trails and two peaceful beaches looking out on to amazingly blue waters. It is a fantastic way to wile away an afternoon. The Palma Aquarium is home to around eight thousand sea creatures, from sharks to seahorses, all from various marine habitats. It is thought to be one of the best aquariums in the Mediterranean and is a perfect destination for those with small children or an interest in marine wildlife.
Museums and the Arts
It should come as no surprise that Mallorca’s museums are dominated with works from brilliant artists such as Picasso, Santiago Rusiñol and its very own Miquel Barceló. Two of the best galleries to visit are the Es Baluard, in the capital city of Palma, and Ca’n Prunera, in Sóller. The former is home to an array of temporary exhibitions, details of which can be found on the museum website, but it also houses an impressive permanent collection, boasting works by Picasso, Joan Miró, Joaquín Sorolla and Miquel Barceló. It also possesses work on Mallorcan landscapes, created by local artists, capturing the very essence of the region. The latter museum is a testament to the variety of mediums that can be found in the artistic world, with drawings from Gauguin, Klimt and Cezanne; paintings by Juli Ramis and Miquel Barceló; and even a sculpture garden by Francesca Martí called Movement. If that isn’t enough, there is a little known exhibition to be found at the train station in Sóller, with one room presenting ceramics from Picasso and another with bright, colourful prints from Joan Miró.
One of the first things you might notice when visiting Palma is the enormous cathedral rising up from the centre of the city. The Catedral de Mallorca, also known as Le Seu, is one of the biggest cathedrals in Europe and only when you visit it can you appreciate the immense size of this structure. It is steeped in history, being the original site of the main mosque for Muslim Mallorca in the Middle Ages which was later replaced, after Jaume I successfully conquered the region, with the impressive cathedral that dominates the landscape of Palma today. The cathedral isn’t the only beautiful landmark that should be visited on a trip to Mallorca, however, because in the area of Porto Cristo is an amazing network of caves known as the Cuevas del Drach. Containing four immense caverns, each lit to beautiful effect, the Cuevas del Drach offers a tour like no other, right into the heart of Mallorca. If that isn’t spectacular enough, the caves are also home to Lake Martel, thought to be one of the biggest subterranean lakes in the world, and a short boat ride on the lake can be arranged to truly appreciate the natural beauty of the place. As you can see, there is plenty to explore whilst in Mallorca, alongside the more popular activities of partying and chilling out on the beautiful beaches. Incorporating one or two of the above destinations into your holiday itinerary will ensure that you are able to truly enjoy all that Mallorca, and her surrounding islands, have to offer.
If you would like to get around the island with ease, then why not rent a car from carhiremajorcaairport.co