Guest Author - Rachel L Webb
Mallorca or Majorca?
Mallorca is the largest and most beautiful of the Balearic Islands, renowned for itís jet set lifestyle. But it has much more to offer, steer clear of the package-tour sea-front hotels and youíll discover the history and monuments of itís colourful past.
Mallorca sits in the Mediterranean Sea, 132 miles from Barcelona on the Spanish coast and 287 miles from Marseille on the French coast, and is surrounded by clear blue-green waters and over a hundred smaller islands that make up the Balearics.
Its temperate climate makes it a favourite year-round holiday destination, with sparse rainfall and average winter temperatures of 15c.
Said to have a history as long as its 3,439 miles of coastline, the island has seen many groups of people inhabiting its shores, leaving behind an array of monuments, traditions and gastronomic differences.
Inhabited by the Greeks, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans and Vandals and more recently the Moors whose hands have shaped the cuisine and agriculture that remains today.
The Islands thought to have been formed 150 million years ago, were at one time joined to the main peninsular as underwater islands. Mallorcaís situation in the Mediterranean Sea means the average summer temperature of the sea is 24 degrees.
With 76 beaches, most of which have the blue flag award for cleanliness, sandy shores and rocky coves abound, and so itís possible to escape the crowds and find completely isolated beaches.
Travel a little further along the coast to Platja de Coll Baix near Alcudia or Torrent de Pareis near Sa Colobra and youíll find wonderful remote beaches, full of rocks pools without tourists.
Mallorca is famous for its nudist beaches, so do take into consideration whatís going on around you before settling down to some serious sunbathing only to find that you have to take all your clothes off or put some on!
Seafood is the local speciality, there are of course many sea-side restaurants on the beach-fronts but you wonít find fresher than dining at one of the many charming ports.
For a little culture combined with some serious shopping Palma de Mallorca the capital city has it all, being the home to nearly half of the islands population, itís a vibrant cosmopolitan city.
Itís roots date from the Roman period, the Gothic cathedral is impressive and the 14th-century round castle that overlooks Palma Bay, a former prison and royal fortress is now an interesting museum. This mix of cultures blends into an appealing city, so take the time to explore it all. Wander through the old Moorish quarter with narrow streets and discover quaint museums and glimpses of colourful interior patios before heading for the modern part of town.
After all this youíll have seen more of Mallorca than the average visitor.