When it comes to picking a holiday, there are two possibilities. You could discover a place for yourself or you could bow to the wisdom of the masses and visit somewhere that has been built on tourism. If you want a tried and tested holiday, Majorca is practically the tourism capital of the world. With 100's of flights a week departing the UK makes finding a cheap holiday to Majorca a simple task anytime of year.
Why is Majorca so popular?
Majorca - or Mallorca - is the largest of the Balearic islands and lies off the east coast of Spain, in the Mediterranean Sea. With over five million visitors each year, you can be certain that there’s something special about the place and in Majorca’s case there's a lot that makes it a perfect holiday destination. Majorca has the kind of weather that holiday-makers crave after putting up with rain, more rain and ‘sun with the possibility of rain’ all year. There are resorts to suit all tastes, from the highly-developed Magaluf to the quieter, old-fashioned Porto Colom and as it’s only about two hours from London by air, it’s a relatively easy journey, even for those travelling with young children, and is close enough to consider visiting for a short break.
Nobody gets bored in Majorca
Just as in other Mediterranean regions, Majorcan food is often fresh, locally grown and delicious. Local produce includes tomatoes, olives, walnuts and a whole range of seafood, which is freshly-caught each day. Majorcan bread comes with a generous serving of garlic and olive oil and there’s even a local cheese, Grimalt, to go with it or for meat-lovers, there’s sobrassada, a spicy pork sausage. Almost every resort is awash with a variety of places to eat, such as quaint little seafood cafés, bars that serve Spanish and English food, intimate restaurants and, unsurprisingly, a range of fast food establishments that the UK traveller will instantly recognise.
There’s not much of Majorca that doesn’t have some sort of attraction nearby, even if it’s confined to a hotel complex. Most areas have water parks, cafés, bars, restaurants, theatres and frequent markets, in which you can buy locally-made goods to take home as souvenirs or gifts. There are also some major attractions, including a pirate-themed show restaurant, a theme park featuring an upside down Tibetan fun-house and some excellent destinations for animal lovers, such as the Sa Coma Zoo and the Palma Aquarium.
A wide range of cheap holidays to Majorca
The resorts that ring the island have grown at different rates and to a variety of degrees, so some areas are far more developed than others, which means that the range of holidays is considerable. There are many types of hotels, including giant, modern hotel complexes, apartments and villas and visitors can enjoy all inclusive deals
that are particularly suitable for visitors staying in one of the quieter areas, such as Cala Vinas, where it’s more likely that they will make use of the hotel facilities. For tourists who would rather spend more time exploring the island, it would be cheaper to book a self catering holiday and buy food in the local shops or cafés.
Similarly, the range of accommodation allows travellers to have a cheap holiday, by staying in a smaller resort with basic apartments, or to stay in one of the many luxury hotels in the larger, more commercially developed areas. The Europa Apartments in the eastern resort of Sa Coma offer good, clean self catering facilities, close to the beach and shops; they even have a good-sized pool surrounded by loungers for those who want to enjoy a lazy hour or two. At the other end of the scale, the Gran Sol luxury hotel in Cala Bona is an ultra-modern building, with a glass façade, right at the edge of the beach so guests can literally be in the sea, minutes after leaving their air-conditioned rooms. There are TVs in all rooms, a swimming pool, gym and sauna as well as a golf-course in the hotel’s complex.
Whilst the large number and variety of resorts on the island ensures that there is a holiday to suit every taste and budget, it also makes it a little trickier for tourists to decide which is the best one for them. The decision can be made easier if they opt to book online, where there are plenty of reviews to inform their choice. Many of the resorts are close to one another and share access to the same set of attractions.
Northern and north-eastern resorts:
- Alcudia is one of the main tourist areas and is a popular family holiday destination, partly due to the 7 kilometres of soft, sandy beaches and the region’s easy access to family-friendly attractions. The nearby S’Albufera Nature Park can be explored on hired bicycles or on foot and the giant Alcudia waterpark has rides to accommodate toddlers and adults alike.
- Cala Bona in the north-east is one of Majorca’s quieter resorts, comprising a modern waterfront complex which runs behind the beach, decorated with palms, and the little harbour that nestles alongside. From here, the tourists flock to Rancho Willy to hire horses for a peaceful trek through the Majorcan countryside or hop aboard a glass-bottomed boat and head off to explore the coast.
- Further south, Cala Millor is the largest tourist area on the rugged eastern coast. The Fantasy Park play area accommodates children of all sizes with a wide variety of rides and amusements, while the nearby Parc de la Mar contains an art gallery, which is built into the old city walls, and hosts outdoor musical events. Visitors can also stop at one of the park’s many cafés or simply enjoy the scenery.
- Right at the northernmost tip of Majorca lies Puerto Pollensa. The gently sloping beaches and shallow water make this a particularly good resort for families, although it’s also popular with fans of the great outdoors, who can enjoy one of the many trails through the Sierra de Tramunta mountain range, regardless of ability or experience. Around the resort, there are plenty of ways for tourists to spend their holiday money as there is a good range of shops and food establishments. As the development of this area began long before the tourism boom of the 1960s, there are many old-fashioned hotels, some quaint and some opulent.
- The resort of Sa Coma has been encouraged in its growth by the increasing presence of British tourists. Having only developed since the 1980s, it is a very modern area and its many shops and cafés have a very British flavour. It’s definitely the place to go for those who want to be active, whether they are visiting as a family, a couple or as lone holiday-makers. As well as the water sports that are available all around the coast of Majorca, there are stables near to Sa Coma, four golf courses and the incentive to take a hike up to Castell de n’Amer for a tour of the 17th century watchtower.
Southern and south-western resorts
- Santa Ponsa, on the south-western coast, has a lot of Irish-themed bars, which would probably make a lot of the UK tourists feel quite at home. The beach is large, clean and lively and the shops stock a lot of products that would be found in most British supermarkets, so it’s quite a good place for UK tourists to enjoy self-catering holidays. With golf courses, a go-kart track and a giant water park to hand for daytime activities and a couple of nightclubs for when it gets dark, there’s enough to do in Santa Ponsa, but as it’s more of a family resort, any visitors looking for a livelier night scene should make the short journey to Magaluf.
- Magaluf and Palma Nova have practically joined to form one large resort, although the Palma Nova end is quieter, with fewer hotels. The twin resorts form the most commercially developed area on Palma Bay and are both very popular with UK tourists. Attractions, other than the award-winning beaches, include Pirates Adventure, themed restaurant and theatre, where the gymnastics, dancing and comedy shows take place as the audience dine. Any dialogue in the shows is in English and it is family-friendly. There are many bars, English pubs and restaurants as well as an energetic disco and nightclub scene.
- Any tourists hoping to find some peace and quiet need look no further than Cala Vinas. This small resort has little in the way of night-time entertainment outside of the hotel complexes, but is within easy travelling distance of the Western Park water park and the Katmandu theme park. With a much less busy beach than the larger resorts, it’s perfect for avoiding the crowds.
- A broad promenade runs from El Arenal down through Playa de Palma and then on to C’an Pastilla, which is convenient for those pushing prams but a mini ‘train’ runs the length of the promenade so there is no real need to walk. The beach has been awarded the Blue Flag for cleanliness and there are plenty of balnearios, which are kiosks, comprising snack sales, showers and toilets. Close enough to the city of Palma to make a day-trip, El Arenal is a great resort for families to stay in, but also acts as a very effective base from which to see the sights.
- The rural Cala d'Or has only had a limited amount of development but is still a very modern resort. With more than four kilometres of sandy coves, it’s a better prospect for couples and singles than for families. There are a few lively bars that have sprung up around the town and night-time entertainment is almost entirely restricted to ‘in-house’ shows in the hotels.
- With a similar feel to Cala d’Or, Calas de Mallorca is also quite reserved and its night-life revolves around a growing live-music scene, similar to that in pubs in the UK. As the beach consists of three small coves, it can become quite crowded at the height of the tourism season and is much better for singles or couples than for families.
- Probably the least commercial area on the island is Porto Colom, which still retains the air of a small fishing village, complete with a stunning headland featuring a picturesque lighthouse and scores of little sailboats tethered at the harbour. Nearby Cala Marcal beach has a Blue Flag for cleanliness and slopes gently into shallow water, so it's great for children, although the organised beach games, such as volleyball are geared towards adults. A bus service carries visitors out to the large local market at Felantitx on Sundays, but smaller markets take place at the resort on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Don’t pack an umbrella
The weather is reliably good in Majorca, which makes packing a lot easier. With average temperatures of approximately 33 degrees Celsius during the summer months and a comfortable 20 degrees Celsius during winter, it’s a good destination for a winter break. There’s very little rain between April and the end of August and even at its highest, the rainfall is seldom more than seven centimetres over an entire month, which is more like a day of rainfall by UK standards.
Easy and convenient booking with A1 Travel
Every type of holiday that is available in Majorca can be booked online through a1travel.com. Whether it’s a last minute holiday, a cheap short break or an all-inclusive luxury trip, with a user-friendly website, it’s easy to get it right and our operators are available until late at night for any queries. There are no card charges or hidden extras. With competitive prices all year and great deals that can only be found on our website, there’s every reason to book a holiday to Majorca with us right away.
Article By Nick Lima