This is my first introduction of Mallorca (Majorca) in this forum. As an "extranjero" living in Mallorca for ten years now I have become more frustrated as I see this beautiful island reflected in the outside world as just a destination of sun, sea and sand for the 18-30 party tourists who actually occupy a very small part of the island.
Mallorca is an island just off the coast of Barcelona with a surface area of 3,626 km2 and nearly 900,000 inhabitants. As well as the beaches and thriving tourist industry Mallorca also has mountains; cities; an incredible road and motorway system; culture; history; natural parks; a nautical industry including sailing/ water sports/boat shows with some of the most expensive boats in the world moored here. Other lesser known facts are that Mallorca has a superb national health system (even the king of Spain comes to Mallorca for his treatments); a thriving leather industry (Camper shoes originated in Mallorca); exports from Mallorca include almonds; potatoes
and Rafa Nadal!! Mallorca is also fast becoming recognised for its wine production with many vineyards across the island including Macia Batle; Jose Ferrer and Anima Negra.
Expanding on the population of the 900,000 residents, nearly half are living in and around the capital Palma city. But swelling these numbers incredibly are in excess of 12 million people (predominantly tourists) that visit the island each year. Due to this incredible influx of holidaymakers, Calvia one of the principal municipalities is the second most affluent principality in all Europe (after Monaco).
The official language in Mallorca is accredited to both Castellano (traditional Spanish) and Catalan (or the local version known as Mallorquin). This can be very confusing to tourists who have done their homework to try to converse in traditional Spanish to find road signs and menus in Catalan or Mallorquin. Suffice to say, Mallorca has been a strong British holiday destination for so many decades that English is spoken almost everywhere..
Myself and my partner Marta (a mallorquin native) currently have two businesses here in Mallorca. One is an estate agency (www.mallorcaselect.com) and the other a small rural hotel /agroturismo (www.santblai.com). from our base at Sant Blai we have both come to value so much more the natural beauty, culture and variety of Mallorca. The virgin beaches, the mountains, the country cycle routes; kayaking or canoing around the calas and bays inaccessible for vehicles; monastries high on the hilltops; vineyards; village markets; craft fairs - the list is endless.
I am currently developing a blog to introduce all the marvels of "the other" Mallorca at: www.nativemallorca.com - please feel free to visit and leave any comments for any more information you would like to see. Meanwhile I will continue posting here and hope to make contact with many of you in the World Travel travel forum.
Un abrazo from Mallorca