Majorca

In need of sunshine and downtime? What about glorious beaches, dramatic mountain scenes and historical cities, not forgetting the tantalising local fare. Then hotfoot it over to Majorca, the largest island in the Balearics.

Let's start with the 340-mile coastline boasting more than 200 beaches. Head over to the south and be lured by turquoise waters meeting swathes of soft white sand on the beaches around Cala D’Or such as Es Trenc and Cala Llombards, and then to the family-friendly shallow waters of the north with the beaches of Puerto Pollensa and Cala San Vicente.

Mallorca is an amazing family destination. Theme parks, water parks, sailing, water-sports on the beaches, along with good old-fashioned bucket-and-spade fun.

It's not all about families though. Whether you're looking for an intimate retreat for two, a cultural extravaganza, a trip to a cosmopolitan city or a wander around a pretty port town, take your pick.

Venture inland and discover Mallorca's peaceful villages surrounded by open countryside and renowned vineyards. Here you'll find the traditional pace of life on the island, along with excellent restaurants and authentic fincas (converted farmhouses) in which to stay. Fancy a cycle or hike? You'll be overwhelmed by the opportunities, particularly if you head towards the Tramuntana mountains on the west coast. Now a world heritage site, you'll find professional cyclists, hikers and visitors out for a walk along this magnificent range. You might even find a little village or two on your travels to stop and enjoy a delicious light snack surrounded by Instagram-worthy views. Boasting some incredible natural parks too, including S'Albufereta's wetlands, the Llevant Peninsula Nature Reserve and Mondrago Natural Park, to name a few, you won't be short of incredible days out.

Want to see a city? Not a problem. Mallorca's cosmopolitan capital, Palma, is a revelation. Stylish and seductive, yet vibrant and atmospheric, it's full of surprises. A city immersed in history and culture, walk around the streets of the old quarter and look out for its fantastic gothic cathedral, and seek out the baroque churches amongst chic boutiques and stunning restaurants. Eating out here is a real treat. Alongside traditional bistros you'll now find many Michelin-starred restaurants as the capital gets serious about food.

Don't forget a visit to Perfect Pollenca - a beautiful old town that has lost none of its charm, a place where cafe life rules. Spending a lazy morning or two here is one of life's simple pleasures. Then head over to Puerto de Pollenca for a relaxing afternoon on the beach.

From the beaches to the cities, to the mountains and rural villages, and coves that pepper the coastline, Mallorca has it all. It's no wonder it attracts the people it does, including international celebrities and wealthy Europeans who holiday and live here. And what places to stay - traditional fincas, white-washed villas and stylish modern resort properties, all with swimming pools. This is one holiday you'll be glad you took...

Some images © Instituto de Turismo de España (TURESPAÑA)

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