Instant expert: Mallorca

08 Apr 2018

It may only be the size of Essex, but Mallorca is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a cathedral restored by master architect Gaudí, a magnificent mountain range and a sun-splashed coastline that covers over 340 miles. Brush up on this Balearic beauty with our fact-packed guide.

Mallorca at a glance

Population: 870,000
Capital: Palma de Mallorca
Official language: Spanish
Currency: euro
Flying time from the UK: 2 hours 15 minutes
Timezone: GMT+1
Visas: No visa required for British citizens
Tipping: Relaxed. Most people will round up to the nearest euro in all but the smartest restaurants and bars

10 things you need to know about Mallorca 

1. Mallorca or Majorca? It depends who you ask. Majorca is the British appropriation of the original Latin name, insula maior (larger island). It's Mallorca in Spanish and Catalan. Whatever the spelling, it's pronounced "mah-yor-ka".

2. Almost half of Mallorca's residents live in the island's capital, Palma. It's also the capital of the Balearic Islands.

3. Mallorca is home to the world's first adult-only water park. Twisted in Magaluf features nine white-knuckle rides and a slide with a 360-degree loop.

4. Mallorca's sunny Mediterranean climate boasts around 2,763 hours of sunshine per year (compared to 1,379 in Manchester). 

5. Palma's Gothic cathedral took 370 years to construct and it was partly restored by Antoni Gaudí in 1901.

6. Mallorca has a long tradition of producing quality olive oil. Around 90% of the island's olive trees are more than 500 years old.

7. Spanish surrealist, Joan Miró spent almost 30 years on the island. The Fundació Joan Miró in Palma displays some of his finest work.

8. Mallorca is roughly the same size as Essex.

9. Almost half of the island is protected and the cultural landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011.

10. The pretty village of Deià has been home to artists, writers, actors and musicians over the years including English poet Robert Graves and Hollywood couple Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. It also starred as a filming location in the hugely successful BBC thriller, "The Night Manager". 

When to visit Mallorca

With year-round average temperatures of around 21°C and more than 300 days of sunshine per year, it's always a good time to visit this classic Mediterranean hot spot. Long sunny days and clear blue skies are pretty much guaranteed between June and September but if you're looking to score a deal and avoid the peak-season crowds, consider planning a trip in spring or autumn. Winter is a great time for a laid-back city break in Palma or to enjoy the natural spectacle of the almond blossom season. See our season-by-season guide to the best time to visit Mallorca. 

Mallorca is best for...

Beach bums. From quiet pine-shaded coves to action-packed mega resorts, Mallorca has a stretch of sand for every kind of traveller.

Art fans. Palma's fantastic art galleries showcase works by some of Spain's finest artists including Picasso, Dalí, Juan Gris and former resident, Joan Miró, whose former art studio is now a museum.

Fence-sitters. City break? Beach escape? Can't decide? Pick Palma - with its cultural treasures and urban beaches - and fret no more.

History buffs. Explore palaces, castles and towers on an island shaped by Romans, Moors and Spanish conquerors

Party people. From Palma's fancy beach clubs to Magaluf's super clubs, Mallorca is a great place for a good time.

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