Majorca became a tourist destination in 1950. The 1960s and 1970s tourist boom lead to the construction of most of the hotels and setting up related industries.
Business sectors such as production of leather shoes and farming are now mere shadows of their former selves and tourism really drives the economy nowadays. Easy access to Majorca has helped, especially travellers arriving at Palma de Mallorca airport www.aena.es, which is the third busiest Spanish airport providing frequent flights to principal cities in Europe. The number of private flights has also soared.
Although Majorca is often just known for beaches and mass tourism, the island really is a charming destination, ideal for holiday-makers looking for stunning nature and a traditional way of life.
Despite the island’s cliché as a holiday destination for tourists, Majorca is in fact one of the most popular choices for people looking for natural settings in the Mediterranean. Majestic white cliffs overlook clear sapphire and turquoise water, all around the west and north coasts. Inland there are vast plains where almond trees, olive trees and vineyard thrive. Yachts drop anchor in the gorgeous little creeks on the south and east coasts which can only be reached by boat or on foot. The remarkable network of foot and cycle paths provides an excellent way to explore and enjoy nature in all its splendour. There are heaps of possibilities, ranging from one day outings to a week touring the Tramuntana mountain range villages.
The island has 873,414 inhabitants. The capital is Palma de Majorque – known locally as Ciutat. The island is divided into 6 regions: Serra de Tramuntana (mountain, north), Ponent (south-west), Raiguer (farm land & vineyards by the mountains), Pla (centre), Migjorn (south-east), Llevant (east) and Palma.
The island earns some 70% of its income from tourism that has been developed since the 1960s. For the Germans and Brits, Majorca is one of the main European holiday destinations, attracting countless foreigners. 7% of permanent residents are German, which has given the island the nickname seventeenth Land (German state).
« Whatever poets and painters may dream up, nature first created it here »
George Sand – A winter in Majorca
In 2013, 9,454,264 tourists visited Majorca (8,479,883 foreigners and 974,381 Spaniards); most foreign tourists came from Germany (43.7%), UK (24.8%), Scandinavia (8.3%), France (4.0%), Switzerland (3.7%), Netherlands (2.9%), Austria (1.9%) and Italy (1.7%).
While many people still believe Majorca represents unbridled tourism, people who rush to the seaside to escape their urban lives, life on the island and the island’s countryside offer numerous attractions that go beyond the cliché, including protected farming villages, various ancient monuments, Art and culture (philosopher Raymond Lulle – Ramon Llull – founded a famous language and theology school on the island in 13th century), mountain walks and treks (GR 221 or Dry Stone Route), and gastronomy.
Local government started clamping down on all new construction work a few years ago, aiming to protect the island’s heritage, culture and language. Many areas were declared nature reserves to protect the coastline from more new construction.
- Mondrago nature park (nearly 2,000 acres) in MIGJORN (south-east) became a nature park in 1992. Two of the island’s gems can be found here: several species of lizard, the region’s mascot and sea grass prairies, protected aquatic plants that purify the water and are home to numerous species.
- Windmills. Long ago, life revolved around the 700 windmills dotted among fertile valleys. They would grind the grain and draw water from the wells. Today, many have been abandoned. Some have been converted into restaurants or guest houses and a few are used to generate wind energy.
It is hard to find another tourist destination just a few hours away from main European cities that can rival Majorca, including the island’s easy access and magnificent scenery (40% of the island is protected and cannot be built on).
The local climate is typically Mediterranean with high temperatures in the summer (over 30ºC) and moderately lower in winter but they rarely fall under 5ºC. The economy’s main industry is tourism and the island welcomes some 12 million tourists per year.
The Tramuntana mountain range (World Heritage Site since 2010), which spreads from Andratx port to Pollença port, protects the whole island from the wind and storms. The highest point is Puig Major (1,342m). This is the most protected part of Majorca, where the Costa Nord foundation was set up by Michael Douglas to protect and preserve the environment.
Since 2005 major infrastructure investments have been made: new roads (Palma-Inca-Pollença, Palma-Manacor-Artá and Palma-Santany), the Palma-Inca railway, the airport expansion, the Son Espases and Son Llatzer hospitals, the Adriano port marina and changes to Palma port to cater for cruise ships with large hull draughts.
With 623 km of coastline, Majorca has a wide variety of marinas. Boats can be hired (with or without a skipper) at most of them to tour and enjoy the coastline, the creeks and beaches.
Playing golf all year round is also possible in Majorca (24 golf clubs), making the island quite unique for enthusiasts. Most of the clubs do not require membership or early reservation. Golf earns €160 million per year for the Balearic Islands’ tourist industry.
Golf club map
There are over 1,000 hotels in Majorca and heaps of apartments and houses to rent.
The island has a large range of luxury hotels including over 40
Majorca has 208 beaches, visited both by tourists and locals. However, there are some completely untouched beaches and others only accessible by boat…
There are nine international schools on Majorca and most of them are located at Palma, south-west of the island:
Baleares International College – Magalluf, King Richard III, Agora School, Bellver College – Cala major, Queens College – Bonanova, The Acadamy School – Marratxi, Eurocampus Mallorca – Palma, Swedish School – Palma, French School – Palma, Balearic Island University
The island’s geography
Puig Major, the island’s highest mountain
There are three mountain ranges on Majorca: the Tramontana, Levant and Randa ranges (the lowest). The first range has the highest summits. Eight of them are higher than 1,000m, and the highest point is at Puig major (1,445m). The second range reaches 562m at Morell Peak and the last range is 543m high at Randa Peak.
SOUTH-EAST OR MIGJORN
This is definitely Mallorca Home Connexion’s favourite region. We know this region well and can find excellent opportunities for demanding clients
Migjorn, meaning the south in Mallorcan, is an inverted triangle with the Cap Blanc to the west, the Cap de Ses Salines to the south and Portopetro to the east.
The scenery in the north is surrounded by the low Randa mountains; the peak or Mont Sant Salvador with its ancient monastery and Santueri peak and a medieval castle.
Migjorn was home to the main periods of the island’s long history. The salt marshes at the Colonia de Sant Jordi are without doubt the oldest in the entire Mediterranean region.
Near the famous ES TRENC beach, the most beautiful on the island, there are unique thermal baths at the Sant Joan de la Font Santa salt marshes. Various skin treatments are included in thermal cures at the FONT SANTA 5-star hotel.
The pink flamingos, storks, waders, woodcocks, avocets and teals that land in nearby lagoons will delight avid bird watchers.
The remains of the towers at Cap Blanc, Cala Pi, Cala Santanyi (Sa Torre Nova), Cala Figuera (Torre d’en Beu) date back to the 16th & 17th centuries.
The Talaiots are much older. These remarkable remains of Bronze Age monuments surround the village of Ses Salines.
There are also breath-taking cliffs in the Migjorn region, long beaches of white sand, quaint creeks winding through chalky rock banked by white pine trees and rock samphire.
Uninhabited CABRERA stretches out opposite Ses Salines lighthouse; national park and nature reserve home to a wide range of fauna and flora. The sea beds provide the most abundant marine eco-systems in the Mediterranean.
Dry scrub and farm land are found on the island. Wild pine trees, mastics, gum rockrose flowers and olive trees are the natural hunting grounds for small game. The arid fields of rare red-earth, on top of a layer of chalk and sandstone, produce wheat, beans, sheep fodder, carobs, almonds, apricots and figs. The authentic Santanyi, Campos and S’Alqueria blanca markets all sell local produce.
Mondrago nature park (since 1992) covers nearly 2,000 acres of land overflowing with wild pine, oak, juniper, mastic and olive trees alongside great wildlife including hoopoes, warblers, goldfinches, hedgehogs, dormice and genets…
A few large homes overlook Migjorn and some have been turned into luxurious hotels. Other buildings made from local stone are dotted around the region, edged by dry stone walls.
Migjorn’s coast is a highly exclusive leisure area: small harbours nestled between white cliffs where typical restaurants serve tapas and grilled fish, water-sport clubs offering boats, recreational fishing, and diving…..
North Majorca, from Formentor to Cala Ratjada, offers a superb coastline edged with pine forests and washed by peaceful water and two magnificent bays. Beyond Can Picafort the protected land is practically untouched and boasts delightful unspoilt nature.
West of Majorca, from Puerto de Andratx to Pollensa, encompasses the Tramuntana mountain range (UNESCO World Heritage since 2010). The picturesque villages of Estellencs, Esporles and Banyalbufar illustrate just how peaceful life in Majorca can be…
The central and largest region covers more than half the island. The charming hinterland villages, vineyards and large properties attract people looking to settle inland.
One of the most beautiful parts of the Majorcan coastline, speckled with creeks and hidden beaches, runs from Cala Ratjada down to Porto Cristo. Not forgetting Colom port in Felanitx, where the marina was renovated and there are only a few hotels, which is highly sought-after when buying property.