Majorca revisited: Seeing the other side to the island

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The largest of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca is sometimes unfairly classed as just a basic package-holiday destination, offering little more than alcohol and sun. However, this does this beautiful island a major disservice. When one of the first landmarks visible as your plane comes into land is the stunning 14th-century Gothic cathedral of the capital Palma, you realise that there is much more to Mallorca than you might have thought. Here are some other reasons why Mallorca has much to fascinate the intrepid visitor.

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The City of Palma

The capital of the island has a long and fascinating history which can be traced back to before Roman times. A visit to the city today allows visitors to experience the best of both worlds as the historic beauty of the old quarter mixes seamlessly with the chic delights of a very modern shopping area. Palma is somewhat underrated as a tourist city but Majorca’s capital is growing in popularity as a short-break destination. Indeed, if you are looking for 2014 Majorca deals, you may want to consider Palma as a potential place to stay.

Caves of Drach

With a name that translates to Dragon Caves, the Caves of Drach are truly an awe-inspiring sight. Located near the beautiful harbour town of Porto Cristo, the caves are a natural wonder offering a dazzling array of stalactites and stalagmites and a variety of rock formations. Well-laid pathways take you through this large underground expanse, with clever lighting adding to the spectacle. Perhaps the best experience to be enjoyed here is the boat ride across one of the largest underground lakes in the world, accompanied by soothing classical music and lighting effects.

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Vintage Train to Sóller

Mallorca boasts some of the finest scenery of all the Balearic Islands, with lush mountain ranges and valleys offering plenty of fine photo opportunities. Leaving from Palma, this trip aboard a vintage narrow-gauge railway train featuring authentic wooden carriages is a fine day out. The train takes in mountain ranges and citrus valleys before arriving at the delightfully quaint town of Sóller.

Pueblo Espanyol

Translating as Spanish Town, Pueblo Espanyol is one of Mallorca’s best-kept secrets. This little gem is located on the outskirts of the capital city of Palma and is a fine example of traditional Spanish architecture. The very fact the town is a little hard to find means that it is seldom overcrowded. The streets and plazas inside Pueblo Espanyol are lined with meticulously designed copies of many famous Spanish buildings, built to exemplify the very best of the country’s architecture.

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When you consider that the island of Mallorca has a history that predates even the Romans, it should really come as no surprise that there are so many places of historic interest to be discovered here. Combine this with stunning natural scenery, which is perfect for undertaking outdoor activities such as cycling and hiking, and you have a wonderfully diverse holiday destination to suit all tastes.

 

Images by Cristian Bortes, Stefan Kellner, Michael Button and Poo-tee-weet? used under creative commons license.