Lying to the east of the Spanish mainland, the BALEARICS are becoming one of the Mediterranean’s most popular yacht charter destinations, thanks to the near-year-round sunshine, azure waters, varied landscapes and warm hospitality.
Palma de Mallorca comes as a surprise to many people - it is stylish, sophisticated, intimate, yet bursting with life. It is the island's cultural centre, with a fascinating historic old town, excellent night life and yacht clubs. The Palma Cathedral is considered "a jewel of Gothic architecture", with its imposing tower and nine bells, one of them alone weighing 4.5kg. Overlooking the sea, the 14th Century Cathedral is built over the city walls of Palma de Mallorca's old town.
The south-east coast of Mallorca is generally considered the most scenic part for its sculptured rock formations and beautiful secluded bays, every few hundred meters along the coast between Pollensa and Colonia St Jordi. Then there is classy Andraitx draped around its colorful harbour full of bijou shops and elegant restaurants. Beyond Andratx to the west is the Sa Dragonera Nature Reserve and to the northeast is the Albufera Nature Reserve, one of five that exist in the Balearic Isles. Another highly recommended outing is to the Cabrera National Park, a group of islands and islets less than an hour away from Mallorca. In the north, Pollensa a typical fishing village character where the evening paseo is still taken and local ‘news’ is exchanged in the square.
Towns such as Deià, Pollença and Valldemossa have captivated artists for centuries. Culture is a vital part of the life of the island. Throughout the year there are festivals, concerts, literary events and exhibitions. Sóller is an attractive town on Mallorca's northwest Coast. Situated some 3km inland from its port, 'Port de Sóller', the town lies in a large, fertile, bowl-shaped valley. Sóller shares its valley with the village of Fornalutx and the hamlet of Biniaraix, all of which are famous for their rich orange groves and terraces of ancient olive trees.
In fact, much of Mallorca retains its original, unspoiled charm. Almost 40 percent of the island is protected. There are beautiful areas such as the Sierra de Tramuntana Mountains, in the north, with peaks reaching 1400 m above sea level.