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Holiday Guides for Europe - Spain

Mallorca Holiday

A sun-soaked haven of many different faces

Traditions and Culture in Mallorca

The early settlers in Mallorca were cave dwellers, although it is not entirely clear at what point they arrived or how they actually got there in the first place.

It has a chequered history of conflict as various different regimes attempted to make it their own, largely due to its trade-friendly position between Spain and Africa.

By the time the 19th century arrived, the Catalan culture on the island had begun to emerge after 300 years of civil unrest, a plague which killed thousands, droughts and epidemics.

Links with mainland Spain were improved and the island experienced great advances with new railways and improved agriculture, although many residents flocked to the US.

Since then, the island has become a hugely popular holiday destination, with over nine million visitors arriving in 1999 alone and a first-class standard of living.

Things to do in Mallorca

The island's critics will claim that its natural beauty and stunning beaches along the coastal regions have been compromised by the growing number of property developments.

However, there is still plenty to do for anyone planning to book flights to Mallorca - not least January's festival of San Sebastian, the patron saint of Palma, a major town on the island.

Every day on the island can bring something different as it boasts opportunities for cycling and bird watching, but can equally provide some of the best galleries, boutiques and restaurants in Europe.

As you would expect in such a hotbed of property development, hotel choice is widespread and the number of people on holiday on the island means the nightlife is always entertaining.

Weather in Mallorca

Mallorca has a classic Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers that see temperatures hit the high 20Cs.

Winters tend to be mild and rain is infrequent, while the sea breeze serves to ensure that weather extremes are generally rare.

Destination checklist for Mallorca

Mallorca has a population of around 741,000.

The island is one hour ahead of GMT/UTC time.

The official currency is the euro.

Spanish is the official language spoken.

The island's international dialling code is +34.