Weather Mallorca - Majorca

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The island of Mallorca (Majorca) off the east coast of Spain is the largest in the Balaeric Island group, which collectively form one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world, and certainly in the Mediterranean. Mallorca took off as a tourist Mecca in the 1960s, when a development boom spawned the building of hundreds of high-rise hotels, apartment blocks and shopping centres which now line most of the island’s coast. The capital, Palma, however still retains some of its historical flavour sporting grand mansions and a magnificent Gothic cathedral in its bustling centre. The northwest coast, too, still offers some secluded coves below the peaks of the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, and several quaint old towns and villages.


If you visit Mallorca for the sun and fun, it is worth taking a break from the beach resorts and heading off for a tour of the island by car, or even bicycle, to discover the romantic fishing villages, historic monasteries, monuments, museums and spectacular landscapes tucked away from the madding crowds. The interior is largely the preserve of a thriving agricultural community, dotted with windmills, olive and almond trees.


See our separate guides to the following resorts in Mallorca: Palma de Mallorca, Magalluf, Alcudia, Cala d'Or, Puerto Pollensa, Sa Coma, Cala Millor and Palma Nova


Alcudia (Old Town)

The ancient town of Alcudia, not to be confused with the modern resort two miles (3km) to its south, has a fascinating and turbulent history. The Phoenicians and Greeks settled here and the Romans made it their capital in the 2nd century BC. Destroyed by the Vandals in the 6th century it was rebuilt again by the Moors before being liberated by King Jaime I of Spain in the early 1200s. The Spanish sensibly fortified the city; its massive city walls date from this era. Today visitors still enter the narrow streets of the old town through one of the two gates, which are guarded by large towers. Near the town, at Polentia, is a well preserved Roman amphitheatre and the Orator de Santa Anna, one of Mallorca's oldest churches.


The ancient hilltop town of Arta close to the east coast of Mallorca has been occupied for about 3,000 years, and today welcomes visitors to the remains of its Bronze Age settlement at Ses Paisses, just outside the town in a grove of olive, carob and holm oak trees. Arta presents a picturesque sight from the Santuari de Sant Salvador, the chapel-shrine on top of the hill, with its bleached rooftops spilling down the hillside below the battlements of a Moorish fortress. The town is particularly lively on Tuesdays, which is market day.

Banys Arabs

The only remaining complete Moorish-built building in Palma is the bathhouse in the medieval quarter. It contains an elegant horseshoe-arched and domed chamber, supported by 12 columns, and is fronted by a garden with picnic tables.

Opening time: Daily 9.30am to 8pm

Beaches near Palma

There are several good, though usually crowded, beaches accessible by bus from Palma. El Arenal, seven miles (11km) to the southeast of the city, attracts many German visitors as is reflected along its waterfront in the signs on restaurants, bars and hotels. The long beach boasts white sands and turquoise water. Palma Nova and Illetes, between six and ten miles (10 and 16km) to the southwest, are smaller but equally popular beaches. On the road to Palma Nova is Marineland, offering dolphin, sea lion and parrot shows as well as Polynesian pearl-diving demonstrations. Other beaches include Portixol, El Molinar, Coll d’En Rebassa and Can Pastilla. The most popular beach on the entire island of Mallorca, Es Trenc, on the southeast coast between Cap de Salinas and Cap Blanc, can be reached by bus from the Plaza Espanya in Palma with departures three times a day. The local tourist office distributes an information leaflet on 40 beaches in the Palma area.

Castell del Bellver

The round hilltop castle built in 1309 was the summer residence of the kings of Mallorca during the short period in which the island had a Royal family. The fortified castle with its double moat also served as a prison. Today it contains Palma’s Municipal Museum, displaying mainly archaeological artefacts and old coins. There are also models of archaeological digs to be seen.

Telephone: 97 173 0657; Opening time: 8am to 8.30pm, closed Sundays

Catedral O la Sea

Palma's magnificent Catalonian Gothic cathedral is a landmark of the city, standing in the old town overlooking the ocean. The cathedral is dedicated to Palma's patron saint, San Sebastian, and contains some saintly relics and pieces of the True Cross in its treasury. Construction started on the edifice in 1300. The vast central vault is 144ft (43m) high, its columns towering to a height of 65ft (20m). The wrought-iron canopy over the main altar was added by Gaudi in 1909.

Telephone: 971 72 31 30; Opening time: 10am to 6pm weekdays, 10am to 2pm Saturday, closed Sunday (summer); 10am to 3pm, closed weekends (winter)


About 20 miles (32km) beyond Soller, after a precipitous drive through the Serra de Tramuntana in the north of the island, is the remote mountain village of Lluc, in a valley that has been an important place of pilgrimage since the 13th century. Lluc became Mallorca’s most sacred site when a shepherd boy discovered a dark wooden statue of the Virgin in a cleft in the rock. The miraculous statue returned to its cave three times after being placed in the local church. Now the statue, known as La Moreneta, has been encrusted with precious stones and presides in its own chapel, receiving pilgrims and tourists who come to pay homage each day. On Sundays a traditional boys' choir gives a concert at 11am in the monastery complex where the statue resides.

Museu d'Art Espanyol Contemporani

Palma’s most renowned art gallery contains works collected by the Juan March Foundation, housed in a restored mansion on the Carrer Sant Miquel. The collection focuses on modern works including Picasso’s Head of a Woman and paintings by Miro, Dali, Juan Gris and Antoni Tapies.

Opening time: Monday to Friday 10am to 6.30pm, Saturdays 10am to 1.30pm, closed Sundays

Palau del'Almudaina

Opposite the cathedral in Palma stands an austere fortress palace that was erected by the Moors and later became the residence of the kings of Mallorca. Inside, most rooms and corridors are bare, but there are some beautiful Flemish Gobelin tapestries on display as well as a few antiques, art works and suits of armour. The palace, on the Plaza Reina, is surrounded by a pleasant Moorish-style garden sporting fountains, which offers panoramic views of the harbour.

Telephone: 0971 72 7145; Opening time: Monday to Friday 10am to 6.30pm, Saturdays 10am to 2pm, closed Sundays (April to September); Monday to Friday 10am to 2pm and 4pm to 6pm, closed weekends (October to March)

Pollensa (Old Town)

Situated in the hills, towards the north east of Mallorca, Pollensa is a peaceful old town that has been largely unaffected by tourism. The town was established a few miles inland to protect against any sudden pirate attacks; its harbour, Puerto Pollensa, was left as an unprotected outpost. Today the port has grown into a popular family resort. Some of Pollensa's medieval centre remains around the Plaça Major, the main square, including the church of Nostra Senyora dels Àngels. From the outside the church is fairly austere, the sheer stone façade is pierced only by a large rose window, but the interior is highly decorative particularly during the packed Sunday morning services when it is ablaze with candles. Other than the church, the main square houses a cluster of bars and cafés, and on Sunday morning, a busy market. Just north of the square is the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross), a long stone stairway, bordered by ancient cypress trees. At the top, in a small chapel, is a much-revered statue of Mare de Déu del Peu de la Creu (Mother of God at the Foot of the Cross). On Good Friday, a figure of Jesus is slowly carried down the steps by torchlight in the Davallament (Lowering). Perched on a hill just south of Pollensa is a rambling 18th-century monastery, a peaceful and serene spot to take in wonderful views of the surrounding area. The monastery is an hour’s walk from town.


Soller, set in a lush valley of orange groves between the mountains and the sea, half way along the northwest coast of the island, is a popular day-tripper destination because it can be reached on a vintage train ride from Palma. The town is awash with tempting pastry shops, ice-cream parlours and tapas bars in its quaint squares, but there is more to do than just eat and drink. There are some good examples of modernist architecture, like the church of Saint Bartomeu with its 1912 arched tower above a rose window, and needle-like spires. There are also two museums: the Natural Science Museum displaying fossils and the Museu Municipal filled with antiques.


Mallorca’s favourite titbit of tabloid gossip has turned the monastery in the small town of Valldemossa, on the west coast, into a tourist attraction. In 1838 Frederic Chopin arrived with his lover, George Sand, to stay in a former monk’s cell in the Cartoixa Reial monastery and carry on their affair away from the eyes of Paris. The shocked locals shunned the tubercular Chopin and his lover, and the couple were so unhappy that their relationship never recovered from the wet, windy and miserable winter in the monastery. Today the cells occupied by the lovers are open to visitors. The library and old pharmacy can also be visited and there is a small art museum with works by Picasso, Miro and Juli Ramis.

Opening time: Cells open Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 6pm, and Sunday 10am to 1pm


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