|Railroad station at Palma.|
Getting there: If you're flying into Spain, it makes sense to just continue by plane into the island's one airport at Palma. If not, consider taking a ferry from the Spanish mainland from Barcelona, Terragona, or Valencia. The flight from Barcelona takes just 40 minutes, while the ferry will take 8 hours.
Getting around: Transportation is a breeze on Mallorca. Car rentals are fairly inexpensive and rental agencies abound. You might also consider renting a moped if you won't be exploring far afield. Palma has a very extensive, inexpensive, and reliable bus system, though, so there's really no need to rent a car. Mallorca also has an excellent bus system for travelling between towns. But you might find a car gives you a little more speed and flexibility. Taxis are also widely available.
Climate: Spring and autumn are the ideal seasons for a visit, when the weather is comfortably warm but it's not scorching. Winter tends to be the wet season, and the summer is usually dry. The average daily maximum temperature in January is 14 degrees Celcius, and in July and August, it's 29 degrees. The Serra de Tramuntana mountains protect most of Mallorca from inclement weather, but they're often buffeted by storms.
Language: Mallorqumn, a variation of Catalan, is one of the official languages of Mallorca. Castilian is the second. But you'll find that most people working in businesses serving tourists speak English and German, as well. What follow are some translations of words that will help you in exploring the island.
albufera - lagoon (and surrounding wetlands)
badia - bay
barranc - ravine
cala - small bay, cove
coll or col - mountain pass
llac - lake
platja - beach
puig - hill
Where to stay: Most people choose to stay in or around the capital city, Palma, which serves as a good home base for exploring the rest of the island. Hotels are plentiful, but we recommend that you reserve a room early if you plan to travel during the busy summer season.
Visas: Visitors from most EC countries must simply present a valid national identity card or passport to enter Spain for up to 90 days. United States and Canadian citizens need a passport, but no visa, for a stay of up to 90 days. Australians and New Zealanders need to obtain a 60 day visa before leaving for Spain.
Other Internet Resources
Spanish National Tourist Office - The official site.
Balearic Island Information - Drill down to info on the island chain that includes Mallorca.
Balearic Tourist Office Scads of good info, including ballooning and yacht charter.
Majorca Hotels Association - A useful directory.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication