If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you must know that we recently made a trip to Mallorca, Spain. It is our favorite European getaway that we've been to so far and there's good reason for that! Being an Arizonan girl and after having lived in Germany for almost 14 years, sunshine and dry heat is something my body constantly craves. As nice as Germany is, on a day-to-day basis the weather is typically wet and dreary for the greatest portion of the year, the people standoffish and the atmosphere considerably stuffy, especially in the Northern part of the country.
Mallorca however, marches to the beat of a different drum! And here's why...
1. Bombastic Beaches
Because Mallorca is an island that is located in the middle of the Balearic Sea, and measures at about 500 km around the coastline, the beaches are plentiful. There are over 200 different beaches lining the island and each one is magnificent! They range from busy, full and noisy to quiet, small and hidden. The waters are clear and turquoise in color and often shallow in certain areas which make it ideal for small kids to splash and play all day! And the east coast is lined with small sandy coves, making it a snorkeler's dream!
2. Wonderful Weather
Mallorca has wonderful weather! The climate is typically Mediterranean with warm average temperatures and seasonal rains. Mallorca´s physical geography is shaped by the sea, which is deep, calm and relatively warm, with surface temperatures that reach 26ºC (79ºF) in August and stay above 14ºC (57ºF) in winter. Mallorca is the only place in the world where the temperature at the sea bed never drops below 13ºC (55ºF). This is great for someone wanting to get out of the cold or rain. For just that reason, you will find many Brits and Germans who find refuge in Mallorca!
3. Hearty History
The ancient Mediterranean trading route, Mallorca has seen its share of conquerors, invaders and settlers over the centuries. The first settlers are dated to at least 3000 BC! On a small scale Greeks and Phoenicians set up trading posts, but it wasn’t until the Roman period that the island was settled in any great numbers.
In 123 BC the Romans conquered the island, and for almost 600 years Mallorca’s life and prosperity was linked with Rome. In 534 AD the islands became part of the Byzantine Empire. As the spread of Islam in the 7th century reached North Africa, the Moors conquered the Balearics islands.
For most Mallorcans, history didn't really begin until the Catalans retook the island from the Moors in the 13th century.
The history is definitely rich and it is apparent with many ancient structures that remains standing all over the island.
4. Cunning Castles
We were amazed to see so many castles and sanctuaries on an island so small in size. Mallorca is only a mere 3,640 km² in size. It's only about 100km from North to South and 70 km from East to West. But the island is full of ancient Castles, sanctuaries 1and ruins, some dating back to the 12th century and mostly of Roman origin. The structures are simply breathtaking and many sit high on mountain tops overlooking the old cities.
5. Fabulous Food and Wine
Mallorcan cuisine, based on pork, fish and vegetables with generous use of garlic and olive oil, steeped in tradition and rooted in local ingredients. Almost anywhere you go, you will find locally produced olive oil, goat cheese and red wine. We also had a sandwich that was made with Mallorcan bread! The food is wonderfully fresh and full of vivid flavors. Some of our favorite dishes were tapas, otherwise known as finger foods. And Paella which is a rice dish mixed with diced vegetables and either seafood, chicken, pork, chorizo or a combination of these meats. The delicious foods are easy to come by and hard to find something that isn't tasty!Wine making has been part of the culture of Mallorcan living for centuries (and yep, it was those ubiquitous Romans again who first brought vines to the island). There are vineyards all over the island and each area is known for it's distinct flavor or blends.
6. Pleasant People
Unlike many of the conservative and standoffish Northern Europeans, the Mallorcans are a very friendly and welcoming people. We never came across one person that didn't have a smile on their face. They were willing to give directions and were helpful in all situations. What also amazed us, was their unyielding patience to communicate with us, even if they could not speak English. I can honestly say, after having lived in Germany for so many years, this is unique when it comes to friendliness within Europe. The Mallorcans were kind, courteous, patient and genuinely interested in you as a person. Their warm personalities won us over instantly.
7. Astonishing Affordability
When it comes to food, drinks, hotels, and the cost of living in general, Mallorca wins the prize! We were astonished to see the prices relatively cheap compared to Germany or the U.S. For a touristy place that is in such close vicinity to so many amazing beaches, the prices could not be beat! The grocery store food prices were lower than we have ever seen in Germany or the states. And hotels and vacation rentals were comparable. But then again, when I compare them to holiday rentals in Phoenix, the cost is probably half! And you cannot forget, you have the beach! We even went as far as to price apartments to buy, just out of curiosity, there was one right next to the one we were renting, and we were shocked! A two bedroom, two bath apartment, with pool, a one minute walk from the beach went for a mere $200,000! And that's fully furnished!
If you ever plan on visiting Europe or you live in Europe and you've never been to Mallorca, I would highly suggest heading over to the island! It's a great place to soak up the sun, snorkel or splash around on the beach, eat some tapas, enjoy the wine and have some great conversations with not only the Mallorcans... but also a wide variety of other nationalities from so many different countries that are all there enjoying and blending into the relaxed Mallorcan lifestyle, if even just for a weekend!
With Love and Blessings!