No matter how you spell it — Mallorca or Majorca — this Balearic Island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea is as synonymous with summer as lazy days at the beach. In fact, the picturesque Spanish isle (and hometown to tennis superstar Rafael Nadal) has been welcoming summer visitors since Roman times. Today, the gothic city of Palma hosts small and large ships that dock near its center.
What We Love
The Wine: This is Spain, after all. And the island is home to an intimate group of bodegas (wineries) that produce floral whites, fruity reds, and some sparkling varieties. The Plà i Llevant region in the east claims winemaking traditions that date back to the Romans.
The Village at the Top of the Mountain: High in the mountains of the interior of the island is the tiny town of Valldemossa, composed of stone buildings set along a dizzying maze of streets. One of those picturesque structures is Cartuja, a former monastery where the composer Frédéric Chopin and writer George Sand lived for a creative sojourn. Essayist and poet Jorge Luis Borges, known for crafting tales of magical realism, also spent time in the village.
Best Known For
The Beaches: The sun-kissed island is home to nearly as many strands as days of the year — a whopping 306. Look for blue flags, which indicate niceties such as lounge rentals, bathrooms, and lifeguards.
The Miró Museum: The surrealist painter and sculptor’s former studio (where he worked until his death in 1983) is open to the public as part of a foundation created by Miró and his wife. The collection encompasses drawings, paintings, sculptures, and personal correspondence.
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Who It's Best For
Outdoor Enthusiasts: In addition to the endless array of beaches, active visitors can enjoy golf, tennis, and hiking across the interior studded with olive and fruit trees.
City Explorers: Chockablock with cultural activities, shops, and marquee attractions — including the Gothic Cathedral — Palma is a city lover’s dream. Plus, navigating via public transportation is a snap.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
It’s Seasonal: Summer here is bumpin’ and crowded. All other times, the island is a sleepy spot. Many hotels and restaurants close up shop and some sites have limited hours.
Jenna Mahoney is a Brooklyn-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Allure.