Are you aware of the historical significance of Majorca? Few people are, which in all honesty, comes as no surprise. After all, Majorca has carved out a huge tourism industry for itself, offering very cheap holidays mainly based on its lovely sandy beaches and family friendly resorts which litter the island.
But if you enjoy exploring the cultural heritage of a destination, do not write off Majorca.
For such a small island, Majorca packs quite a punch on the monastery side of things. The Monestir de Lluc is just one example of this and it is even possible to stay there. In Palma, the skyline is dominated by the wonderful Gothic Cathedral known locally as La Seu. Construction began in 1229 a mere 400 years later was finally completed! In 1901 it underwent another reconstruction and remains a popular spot for tourists to the island who also explore the nearby ancient city walls which are still standing to this day. The Carthusian Monastery is another favourite and can be found in the town of Valldemossa.
Castell de Bellver
Any capital city worth its salt has a museum, and Palma is no different. The Castell de Bellver is a circular castle which sits on top of a hill and although once used as a prison, these days houses various artefacts which chart the interesting history of Majorca. It was built in the 14th century for King James II of Aragon and has emerged in recent years as the most popular tourist attractions, with views of Palma possible from the rooftop.
Majorca is not just made up of sandy beaches. Parts of the island has very different terrains and the Dragon Caves, located south of the village of Porto, are well worth exploring if natural wonders are something you can appreciate. The wetlands found at S'Albufera d'Alcúdia could not offer more of a contrast to the dry, sandy terrain of the coastal resorts and should be explored if you crave a bit of moisture after a few days under the sweltering summer sun!
Majorca has a lot to offer. For many, Majorca holidays will always be about laying on the beaches, soaking up the sun. But if you do get the urge to take in a bit of culture, there is a lot to keep you entertained no matter where you are based on the island.
Written by Ricky Durrance for Beat the Brochure.