How to say it
There has always been some confusion as to what the real name is for this island.
Is it Majorca or Mallorca?
Although both spellings are correct, Mallorca is the Spanish/Catalan version and is pronounced ‘Mah-york-a’ which is the correct way.
Majorca on the other hand is the English version and is sometimes pronounced ‘Mah-jork-a’, although this sounds incorrect in the contextual sense.
Majorca is one of the most favoured of all the Balearic Islands with its combination of stunning scenery, rolling hills, picturesque coves and delightful beaches.
With the diversity of natural beauty found on the island, it comes as no surprise that its popularity as a tourist destination has kept on growing over many years, giving visitors a taste a Mediterranean paradise.
History of Invasion and Occupation
Like many islands in the Mediterranean, Majorca attracted many a conqueror, invader, settler and tourist who all contributed to its rich history and culture that we have today.
It flourished during the Roman occupation around 123BC which had the greatest impact on the islands social patterns.
This occupation was overturned by the Byzantine Empire in 534 which consequently allowed Christianity to flourish on the island.
Nearly 400 years later, when the Moors conquered the island, they greatly improved the agriculture and local industry but for most Majorcans, history didn’t really begin until the 13th century when the Catalans took the island from the Moors hence the reason why the official language is Catalan.
Traditional food is the best kept secret of the indigenes and is derived from that of Catalonia. Most dishes adopt a sweet and savoury taste combination, with pork being a very popular ingredient.
A must to try is Langosta a la parrilla which is the local spiny lobster dish. Infused with aromatic herbs and spices, it is usually eaten with a delicious local mayonnaise.
Make sure you also try the ensaimada, a yeast bun that’s baked in an unusual spiral shift, and which perfectly complements a strong Spanish coffee.
Places to visit
Palma, the capital, is etched in history with its cathedral, monuments and old cobbled streets, transporting visitors to a bygone era that truly mesmerises.
A trip to the town of Manacor will give you the opportunity to experience how cultured pearls are made at one of the several pearl factories on the island.
Other tourist attractions include thrilling water slides and tropical parks that are aimed at the whole family with both adults and children being catered for.
Other places include the leather factories of Inca and the many boutiques and shops around Palma for the shopaholics among you.
The beaches in Majorca are kept very clean and are of a very good safety standard so it is normally safe to swim unless the local authority states otherwise.
Being a Balearic island, Majorca has a typical Mediterranean climate of hot summer days and very mild winters.
The peak summer months are July and August which boasts of nearly 12 hours of sunshine with the winter months becoming chilly with the weather remaining mild and bright on most days.
Majorca unlike Tenerife, is not a year round tourist spot so make sure you plan your trip according to your expectations.
Majorca should be on your ‘to visit’ list if it’s not already on there and being known as the youthful island, it may even afford you the elixir that has proved so elusive.
Peter writes for the Tenerife Forum blog and has a keen interest on Spanish islands.