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Majorca – or Mallorca – has become a hotspot for UK tourists in recent decades. Situated off the eastern coast of Spain, Majorca is the biggest island of the Balearic archipelago. The Balearic islands, which along with Majorca consist of Minorca, Ibiza, and Formentera, make up one communal Spanish province.
Majorca’s history goes back to ancient times, and the presence of various civilisations can be felt throughout the island. Burial caves dating back to the Palaeolithic period were found in Majorca, dating its history back as early as 6000 BC. Romans conquered the island in 123 BC and cultivated the land for olive, wine, and salt production. In the fifth century the Vandals sacked Majorca, but by 534 it was under possession of the Byzantine Empire, under which Christianity flourished. Majorca also experienced Muslim occupation for several centuries. All of these invasions created cultural layers and architectural magnificence that are just as much tourist attractions as the three S’s: sun, sea, and sand.
Ever since mass tourism began in the 1950s, Majorca has become a haven for Brits escaping the rain in favour of the island’s sunny shores. Experience the way time slows down in Majorca: afternoon siestas, prolonged chats with friends, and long, sunny days at the beach give Majorca its reputation as a holiday in paradise.
Aside from the beach, the island of Majorca offers many must-see attractions. Alcudia, in current capital Palma, was Majorca’s Roman capital in the 2nd century BCE. Its restored remains contain Roman remnants and an amphitheatre. This walled city was rebuilt by the Spanish in the 1400s, and it exists in this form today.
The Cap de Formentor is a bluff at Mallorca’s northern most point known for its spectacular views of nature unbridled. Sandy beaches and the island’s first – and premier – luxury hotel are located here. This is also called the ‘meeting point of the winds,’ where natives have given the gusts their own names.
Other must-sees on Majorca include the Coves d’Arta, ancient stalagmite caves that conjure images of heaven and hell; the village of Deia, home of English poet Robert Graves; and Lluc, a former monastery and a pilgrimage site dating back to the 13th century, built after mysterious encounters with the Virgin.
Majorca may be the perfect place for your three S’s, but it has much more to offer. Nature lovers can view the island’s rare birds, swim in hidden bays, and spelunk through stalagmite, while Palma’s stunning architecture takes you back in time. Whether hiking, biking, driving, or sunbathing, Majorca is paradise in so many ways.