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10 Interesting Facts about Mallorca

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Mallorca is justifiably renowned for its beautiful beaches and weather, but there is a lot more to this picturesque island than meets the eye. We thought we’d let you in on 10 varied and interesting facts about Mallorca that will help you get to know the island that little bit better….

Mallorca Beaches

1. The name of the island comes from an old Latin phrase ‘insula maior’ that means ‘larger island’, as Mallorca is the largest island in all of Spain. Gradually the phrase was mispronounced and the island became known as Mallorca. The British often call the island Majorca, whilst everyone else calls it Mallorca – there appears to be no reason for this other than the British love of the letter J rather than L!

2. The island has been inhabited by humans since 7000 BC. Due to its significant geographic location in the middle of the Mediterranean, many armies have attempted to invade Mallorca. In 123 BC, the Romans claimed the island. The most famous invasion was that of King Jaime of Aragon in 1229, which was the start of the creation of Mallorca as we know it today.

La Seu Cathedral, Palma de Mallorca

3. Tourism has been present on the island for many years, playing host in the 1920s to the glamourous likes of Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor. More mass tourism took hold on the island from the 1950s.  

4. Artists and writers have been attracted to the dramatic and picturesque west coast of the island for many decades. Robert Graves, known as one of England’s greatest poets, was one of the first English to move to the island. He resided (& was buried) in the pretty mountain village of Deia, which has since become a hub for the creative crowd and celebrities.

S'Hotel des Puig, Deia, Mallorca

5. In 2011, Mallorca’s stunning Serra de Tramuntana mountain range was awarded World Heritage Status by UNESCO for being an area of great Physical and Cultural significance. Its highest peak is the Puig Major (1445 metres & is the highest mountain in the Balearic Islands). It is followed by the Puig de Massanella, which is 1364 metres.

Serra de Tramuntana Mountains, Mallorca

6. The impressive La Seu cathedral in Palma is one of Mallorca’s most significant heritage sites. It is a huge cathedral built on the site of a former mosque. The building of the cathedral began in 1230 and continued for 400 years. The cathedral has continued to have additional work undertaken with the renowned architect Antoni Gaudi adding to it more recently.

La Seu Cathedral, Palma de Mallorca

7.  Nearly half of the Mallorca’s permanent population resides in the island’s capital Palma, making it a vibrant and lively hub.

Palma de Mallorca

8. Mallorca welcomes tens of thousands of cyclists each year for professional training and racing, as well as those that prefer more leisurely biking. The cyclists (including Team Sky & Bradley Wiggins) take advantage of the islands varied and challenging terrain. One of the favourite and most feared routes for serious cyclists is Sa Calobra, a 10 km ride that hangs down the side of a mountain. There are 26 hair pin turns climb 668 metres at an average 7.1% gradient.  

9. Mallorca has an amazing range of cave systems, with the most impressive being the Coves del Drach on the east coast of the island. This underground world is filled with an array of giant stalactites, stalagmites and shimmering underground lakes.

Coves de Drach, Mallorca

10. The island enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with a year round average temperature of 21°C on the coast and an average of more than 300 days of sunshine throughout the year. 

Hotel Esplendido, Port de Soller, Mallorca

Read more about the gorgeous island of Mallorca>>

All images copyright of The Other Mallorca and Coves de Drach

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