The endlessly popular star of the Balearic Islands was once seen as the mainstay of package tourists looking for easy thrills under the Mediterranean sun. These days though, the word is well and truly out and travellers are arriving from far and wide to sample this perfect slice of mediterranean paradise. Majorca’s recently revamped image includes streams of photos of holidaying royals, stunning lengths of white sand beaches, gorgeous rocky bays adorned with pine trees, fields graced with vineyards, many winding cycle paths, wonderfully grandiose architecture and a good collection of world-class restaurants.
The best place to begin your adventure is in the maze of medieval streets that make up Palma. Spend a day or two getting a feel for island life, take a walk through the streets to view the ornate gothic cathedral and the Bellver Castle, explore a gallery and the Palma Aquarium and finish the day with a plate of delicious tapas and some local wine. If you’re the athletic sort then you should hire a cycle and breeze along the busy promenade, either east to the chi-chi Portixol marina for a coffee, or west to pay a visit to the excellent fish market en route to the main harbour to admire its lavish collection of yachts. Alternatively immerses yourself into the Arab and Jewish quarters, not forgetting the ornate and wonderfully tranquil Arab baths.
There are numerous sets of walking trails that are of note on Majorca, first the mountain trails, the highlight of which is the journey to the peak of Puig de Massanella which offers unforgettable vistas of the island and the massive Puig Major mountain, and second the stunning coastal trails that take in some of the island’s finest beaches and bays. Stick to the north for the most scenic of the bunch and start in Fornalutx, which is often referred to as Spain’s most beautiful village and then take in the idyllic Cala Deia bay which is surrounded by lush pine covered cliffs, before journeying further north to the impressive Port de Soller to see its white lighthouse that sits peacefully perched atop a hilltop, and the picture perfect sunsets that bathe the tightly curved bay in a dreamy orange glow each evening.
You could be forgiven for thinking that each of Majorca’s beaches are teeming the year round, but thankfully many of its best are often near empty - even in the high season. In the north we suggest the heavenly Cala Formentor with its pristine blue waters and boats bobbing just off the shore, while in the south the Es Calo des Moro Beach is incredible, tucked inside a lushly carpeted cove and well positioned for the most incredible sunsets. For something a little different, head west to Sa Calobra beach which is accessed through a tunnel carved into the mountainside that opens up to a dramatic view of the sea which is perfectly framed by steep rocky crags.