Beyond the beach and bars: The real Majorca
The Spanish island of Majorca has been an extremely popular holiday destination for quite some time. Although it is easy to associate this sun-drenched Mediterranean archipelago with holiday resorts and package deals, you might not know that Majorca has a rich and intriguing past with plenty of cultural delights left to explore.
Few can argue with the island’s favourable yearlong climate and thanks to its Mediterranean location, you can be sure that the cuisine will be top notch too. But what lies past the shore and the cocktail bar? For those who are prepared to search beyond those enticing Majorca deals and beach resort holidays, a whole alternative island can be found.
Castles and Ruins
Evidence of habitation in Majorca can be traced back to the Palaeolithic period (6000-4000 BCE), with the Romans also occupying the island in 123 BCE. Therefore, there are plenty of castles and ruins to explore.
The Roman remains of Pollentia in the north of Majorca are a truly impressive sight to behold. Alongside a museum, three areas are open to the public – the theatre, the forum and the residential area of La Portella.
Some of the other most notable sites, such as Parc de la Mar, Castel de Bellver and Palace de L’Almudaina, can be found in the capital city of Palma. However, the quaint rural village of Sineu encapsulates the region’s traditional charm and is steeped in history. Be sure to sample its authentic gastronomy cellars that serve typical Majorcan fare.
Nature Parks and Reserves
In addition to the imposing Tramuntana Mountains that scale the island’s west coast, all four corners of Mallorca benefit from stunning scenery, while there are protected natural parks in abundance too. So fans of the great outdoors can go walking, hiking or cycling both on and off-road.
Take advantage of the 3km way marked trail at La Reserva Park in Puigpunyent, which leads you through some fantastic mountain scenery in less than two hours. Along the way, you’ll come across a number of natural wonders from waterfalls and springs to olive trees and wildlife.
Pedal-powered aficionados should definitely check out the east coast’s Cala Millor, as its shoreline routes are truly breathtaking. There is also the opportunity to visit Llevent Natural Park, where steep hills in protected surroundings provide more of a challenge.
Sailing and Watersports
Whether you want to relax on the deck of a yacht or get wet and wild in the mild Mediterranean water, Majorca has something for every seafaring individual.
Protected bays and calas in Puerto Pollenca and Port d’Alcudia offer the perfect environment for beginners to learn sailing without having to worry about strong winds or waves. However, if you simply want to sit back and let an experienced sailor take you on a maritime journey, plenty of tours are available.
You can also take part in some scuba diving, fly boarding, wake boarding, motor cruising, kite surfing or parasailing, as a multitude of waterspouts activities are on offer all over the island.
Majorca may not spring to mind when contemplating an outdoor or cultural adventure, but this small-sized Spanish paradise offers more than meets the eye. Along with Canary Islands like Tenerife and Lanzarote, Majorca’s natural topography and history is helping to reinvent the island as a destination for all types of traveller.