• Coastline Sierras and sailing boats
  • Coast life Culture or cocktails

The biggest of the Baleares, Mallorca is a varied surprise: a rural patchwork of wheat fields, olive groves and tranquil villages; a cosmopolitan destination with well-edited boutiques and white-cube galleries; a series of beautiful beaches for party people and peace-seekers alike.

Mallorca villas and hotels vary almost as much as the island itself, from hip, minimal fincas to chic townhouses in the mountains. Palma is the island’s self-assured capital, where yachts and cocktails cohabit happily with ancient winding streets beneath the towering pink-hued Gothic cathedral. Drive for an hour, and you can escape the 21st century on the dramatic north coast or among the Serra de Tramuntana mountains. The hilltop village of Deià, with its literary credentials and an insouciant elegance, epitomizes Mallorquin glamour – the original boho chic.

Do go/Don’t go

The temperature rarely dips below 30ºC in summer, when the island gets very busy. Autumn is less hectic and the water is at its warmest. In winter and spring, Mallorca is mild, sunny and peaceful.

Getting thereView map

  • Planes Palma airport (+34 971 789099) is 10km south of the capital city – the drive to the centre shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. Monarch (www.monarch.co.uk) flies to Palma three times a week from London Gatwick and Manchester.
  • Boats There are several ferry services to the mainland: Barcelona (4hrs); Valencia (6hrs). See www.trasmediterranea.es for details.
  • Trains There are two railway lines from Palma, one heads north-east to Inca, and the other heads north to Sóller. If you take the vintage electric train from Palma to Sóller, then you can enjoy the scenic route from there to Port de Sóller by tram.
  • Automobiles Driving is a breeze on this island, and roads are well signposted. Avis (www.avis.com) has care hire branches in various locations on the island.
  • Taxis Cabs are cheap and easy to find in Palma itself, but you’re better off hiring a car if you plan to do any longer journeys around the island.