Travels in the Balearic Islands


When you think of Mallorca, you probably think of sun. In fact, living in Scotland what you think when you hear about a lot of places is probably the prospect of sun. But as well as the promise of warm temperatures, a holiday in Mallorca has plenty more to offer visitors than just a sun tan. It may be becoming increasingly well known as the location of choice for many British lads holidays, but a little investigation shows that the island has plenty more going on. Whether you enjoy sightseeing, shopping or just laying back on beaches the island is worth a visit, as well as being easily accessible for the student on a budget.

The main city of the island, Palma, is a hubbub of activity with many of the features you would associate with a European city. The main attraction of Palma is the 14th Century French gothic style cathedral. A reasonable entry fee of 4 Euros allows you to tour the intricate interior, which took around 3 centuries of building to complete. The cathedral itself is largely masked on the outside by another of the cities historic attractions, the Palace, Palau de l’Almudaina. This again is worth a wander with views over looking Palma Bay from the palace terrace. As well as such historic highlights the town also sports a wealth of shopping opportunities ranging from local daily markets to designer brands such as Louis Vuitton. Produce including pearls and oranges are local favourites and can be found in many of Palmas shops, while restaurants supply traditional tappas and Mallorcan specialties.

Also famed for its beaches and coves Mallorca hosts several sands including the 5km strip located near the airport in Palma, popular with tourists in the summer. For something slightly quieter one of the islands most exclusive hotels, the Hotel Formentor, is located on a stunning beach at the very Northern peak of the island on the Formentor Peninsula. This beautiful beach is accessible from Port de Pollenca by either ferry or car. A further drive to the peak of the peninsula houses some of the islands many secluded coves. If you chose to stay in Palma nearby coves known as the Illetes on the western side of the island are also a pretty sight and are located next to their own small stretch of beach.

If heights (and travel sickness!) don’t bother you then try travelling up the mountains to visit some of the island’s hill top towns. Valdemossa, a small town located in the mountains, is accessible via a slightly nerve-wrecking albeit very picturesque drive. The town is compromised of winding hill side streets, shops and ice cream parlours as well as a monastery where composer Frederic Chopin is known to have lived. Deia, another nearby mountainside town, is also very charming and is known for being the home and inspiration of many famous poets and writers including Robert Graves.

This whistle stop tour of Mallorca has touched on only a few of the Islands many charms, not even mentioning Palmas hilltop castle, the various limestone caves or the islands eclectic nightlife. With so much to see Mallorca is certainly worth a visit, and with temperatures in June averaging around 25 degrees maybe the thought of a short holiday could provide the perfect motivation for you to make it through the exam period!


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