Charming, multi-cultural Majorca is a Spanish island in the western Mediterranean Sea. Alternately occupied by the Romans, the Byzantines and the Moors, Majorca offers a unique blending of Gothic Churches with Islamic customs and architecture. In 1570 AD, Majorca was incorporated into Spain as a Spanish provincial, autonomous community.
With each cultural change, the economy of Majorca grew and flourished, becoming known around the world for its fine wine, olives and olive oil products. In 1891 the vineyards and olive groves were decimated by disease, forcing a major emigration of the residents to Spain and to the Americas. Because of this agricultural tragedy, and because of its mild winters and sunny summers, the island reinvented itself into the major tourist destination that it is today.
Most visitors arrive in Majorca via the Aeropuerto de Son Sant Joan, in the capital city of Palma. Located on the south coast of the island, this major seaport on the Bay of Palma plays host to luxury cruise ships from all over the world. Palma is famous for its huge cathedral called La Seu or the Cathedral of Santa Maria de Palma which was built in the Catalan Gothic style, taking almost 400 years to complete. A stroll behind the Cathedral reveals the narrow streets and walkways of the Old City, including some private homes that are open as galleries for the public to enjoy. Palma is also known as a starting point for road cycling events which run from the southern beaches to the mountains in the north of the island.
A short drive along the coast, to the northwest, is the port town of Soller. Built on the profits from its orange and lemon trade, the town is especially famous for the Orange Express tramway which links the town of Soller to the Port de Soller. Dramatically flanked by a lighthouse on each side of the Bay, Soller is a welcome retreat for visitors longing for luxurious, sandy beaches combined with an interesting assortment of bars, restaurants and shops.
An especially peaceful retreat is located just beyond Soller at the Monastir de Lluc or Luke’s Monastery. Lluc was a 13th century shepherd boy who found a statue of the Virgin Mary in his pasture. He dutifully took the statue to the local priest, but the next day the statue was found in its original pastoral spot. This happened several times, until construction of a chapel was started at the site. The Monastir of Lluc still functions as a monastery today where visitors can dine in the cafe or rent a monk’s cell for the night.
A little further north is the picturesque town of Deia, perched on a hill overlooking the crystal blue waters of Deia Cove. Long known as a haven for international expatriates, Deia is the perfect place for people looking for literary, musical and artistic inspiration. It has been said that Deia embodies the essence of all that is exquisite, enjoyable and enticing in the Mediterranean paradise of Majorca.
If you are coming to Majorca on a holiday then villa holidays are extremely popular and can be cost effective with a wide range of different types across the island, from quite villas in majorca in the peaceful north of the island near Alcudia to villas on the coast in the more lively south of the island.