Read our Telegraph Travel expert guide to Majorca, including the best places to stay, eat, drink as well as the top attractions to visit, flights and all of the key information that you need to know before you go
Majorca, the largest island in the Balearics, may make you think of beach resorts, but there are plenty of other ways to enjoy both its coastline and the interior – particularly in autumn and winter when the crowds have gone and the temperature is more suitable for outdoor activities.
One idea would be to spend a week exploring the Serra de Tramuntana on foot or by bike. This mountain range, running down the west of Majorca, has been made a World Heritage Site in recognition of the extraordinary techniques used to develop agriculture on its steep slopes over the centuries. Or you could visit a few of the wineries in the centre of the island, where local traditions are as strong as ever.
Even if you have been to the island several times, there is always more to discover, particularly as there is now a stunning selection of rural hotels that provide a luxurious base for a week or two spent exploring the lush countryside in the interior as well as the dramatic coastline.
When to go to Majorca
Although the beach holiday season gets going in May and winds down in October, the islands are beautiful in early spring when the almond blossom is out. Outside the hottest months of July and August, all the Balearics are good for activity holidays, whether easy or more challenging, with plenty to see if you are interested in plants or birds.
From late January and throughout February, the almond trees - about four million of them – are in flower in the valleys and across the plains of Majorca. This is traditionally low season, when accommodation and flights are cheapest, and while it may not be warm enough to lie on the beach, the temperature is usually just right for exploring the countryside in the sunshine.
Although not untouched by tourism, the hitherto unfashionable towns and villages of the interior have hung onto their traditions and are now coming into their own. A day’s cycling or hiking may well also involve visiting a winery, an olive mill or a farm to learn how sobrasada, the Majorcan pork sausage, is made.
Majorcan chefs are reviving traditional recipes and adapting them to suit modern tastes. There are now seven Michelin-starred restaurants on the island, serving dishes you are unlikely to find anywhere else. This renewed enthusiasm for the local cuisine is however also evident everywhere from unpretentious restaurants in mountain villages to the chic gastrobars and delis popping up in Palma.
If you can’t get there to see the almond blossom, go in late spring when the cherry trees are flowering, or in the autumn to witness – or take part in – the grape and olive harvests. Then head to a hidden cove and plunge into the turquoise sea.
Although most resorts close down in the winter months, Palma is great for a weekend break all year round and life goes on in the villages. If you want to do more than just lie on a beach, take advantage of the low rates in winter and get a taste of real life in the Balearics.Professional cyclists come to train in the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range in the west of the island, which is now a World Heritage Site. If that sounds a bit challenging, base yourself in the foothills of the range in the Es Raigeur area, where there are quite a few gorgeous boutique hotels. Or stick to the reassuringly flat Es Pla in the centre of the island, where rural tourism is also quietly gaining ground.
Where to go
In summer, you might not want to move from the beach – whether that means snorkelling in a tiny rocky cove or sunbathing at one of the lively resorts. But there is always something to explore in Majorca, from honey-coloured villages to nature reserves. Getting around is easy by car or bus and there are some wonderful walking and cycling routes. Spend at least a couple of days seeing the magnificent architecture and museums in Palma – leaving plenty of time for shopping of course.
Read all of our latest articles on Majorca, including guides to the main attractions, the city's best museums and galleries, lesser known bars and attractions and more
Know before you go
Local laws and etiquette
Get a couple of photocopies of your European Health Insurance Card and passport, as you will need them for any medical treatment.
You must carry your passport with you by law.
You sometimes have to show your passport when paying by debit or credit card.
If driving, you must have two warning triangles,two reflective bibs, a spare tyre and spare headlamp bulbs. Children under 12 are only allowed in the front seat with approved safety belts.
It is not usual to share tables, even in fast-food joints.
Anyone you are introduced to by friends will want to kiss you on both cheeks, but this does not apply to hotel staff, etc.
Lunch happens from 2pm, dinner from 9pm at the very earliest, though 10pm is the norm. In resorts, however, you can usually eat any time you like.
Most bars won’t mind if you go in just to use the toilet – los servicios.
Although they certainly like a drink, it is rare to see Spaniards rolling drunk in public.
It is a bit cheaper to have drinks or tapas at the bar rather than sitting at a table, and sitting outside will usually cost approximately an extra 20 eurocents or so per item.
Locals usually leave very small tips – just odd change for drinks and snacks, and often nothing at all. A 10 per cent tip for a meal is considered generous and five per cent is more the norm – unless you are somewhere really upmarket, when international rules come into play.
If breakfast is not included in your hotel rate, it is much cheaper and more fun to go to a bar – unless you are starving and can make the most of the buffet.
Throughout Spain, local prefixes must be used when making phone calls. You have to dial the 971 Balearics prefix wherever you are in the islands.
British consulate: Carrer Convent dels Caputxins 4, Edificio Orisba B 4ºD, Palma; 902 109356 (from Majorca or elsewhere in Spain); 00 34 917 146 300 (from abroad, or alternative number); gov.uk/government/world/organisations/british-embassy-madrid/office/british-consulate-palma-de-mallorca
Tourist office Palma: Casal Solleric, Passeig des Born 27 (971 729604); Parc de las Estacions (902 102 365) and Plaça de la Reina 2 (00 34 971 173 990)
Emergency services: 112
Time difference: one hour ahead of UK
Phone code: 00 34
Flight time: Majorca is approximately two and a half hours from UK airports
Experience Majorca with the Telegraph
Telegraph Travel's best hotels, tours and holidays in Majorca, tried, tested and recommended by our Majorca experts