Next week, I’m off to visit Majorca. That’s a sentence I haven’t said in many years.

The name Majorca (or Mallorca) conjures up to Northern Europeans what I imagine the name Acapulco does to Americans: package holidays, pig roasts, loud pop music blasting from shops and cafes on busy seaside streets, embarrassingly drunk fellow countrymen…

Like the Costa Brava, the Costa Blanca and the Canary Islands, Majorca was one of the ‘original’ package holiday destinations. In Norway, this type of holiday is referred to as a trip to Syden, meaning the south. Syden is a generic term encompassing Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey – and sometimes even Florida and Thailand. Doesn’t matter where you go, as long as there’s sun, sand and cheap alcohol.

I must admit the reputation put me off these destinations, including Majorca, for years. My loss, it’s a lovely island with lots to offer. And it’s very easy to stray off the beaten path, i.e. keep away from the Syden-trippers.

I first visited Majorca with Alexandra when she was 11. That was in 1999 – and we enjoyed our little holiday there so much we returned the next year. That doesn’t happen often.

At Monasterio de Lluc

I specifically remember four things from Majorca:

  • Cabo Formentor – a gorgeous rocky headland in the northwest of the island (top photo),
  • Valldemossa – a lovely hill town – with a Carthusian monastery where Frédéric Chopin and Aurore Dudevant (better knwon as George Sand) spent a few winter months to combat the famous composer’s tuberculosis…
  • …in fact, the entire landscape of western Majorca, the Serra de Tramuntana, with mountains and ocean, including Lluc, Valldemossa, the historic centre of Pollença, and much more
  • Hearing a piano and violin-concerto performed from a rowing boat on an underground small lake in Cuevas del Drach (the Dragon’s caves),
  • Palma itself – a smaller version of Barcelona, with much less traffic.

A while ago, I was thinking it was time to take Cat, my present 11-year-old, along to visit Majorca. As fate would have it, just a few days later, an email from Viva hotels popped in, inviting us to come and have a look. Must be fate.

I look forward to seeing if the island has changed much in the last 13 years. Posts will be forthcoming, with much better photos than the scanned old things above.

Have you been in Majorca recently? Any tips?


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The Cultural Landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Here are more UNESCO World Heritage sites around the world.