- Majorca is well known as a holiday destination for those who love sun, sea and sand but what you may not know is that Majorca is far more than its wonderful beaches and bar-based fun. There are a wide range of natural attractions and several cultural and historic sites that are well worth prising yourself away from the pool or the sea to visit. Whether you are looking to let loose, have family-friendly fun, a romantic vacation or a retreat to the wilds of nature, there is plenty to captivate on this glorious Mediterranean island.
- Majorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands of Spain and its second most populous. It is located in the Mediterranean sea and is very, very popular with visitors from throughout Europe and beyond. The highest peak on Majorca is Puig Major in the Serra de Tramuntana, which has an elevation of 1,445m. The northern coast of the island is rocky, rugged and wild, with many cliffs along the coast. The central zone is a flat plain, while moving further south you will come to other more varied terrain such as the Alfabia Mountains, Es Cornadors and Cap de Formentor.
There are plenty of areas on the island in which you can escape into the wilds have have some respite from the frenetic and often crowded coastal resorts. Visit some of the incredible caves that lie below the surface here – for example the incredible Cuevas del Drach and the Coves del Hams. Hike or hike in the stunning mountains of the Serra de Tramuntana or the Alfabia Mountains. Visit the well known Cap de Formentor, this wild peninsula with its beautiful wind-swept, rocky landscape and sandy beaches. Take an excursion to the uninhabited isles of Dragonera, with its Natural Park, and the Cabrera Archipelago National Park.
Of course the many beaches of the island should also be included in the list of natural attractions. There are many well-known and well-packed tourist beaches around the island within hailing distance on most of the accommodation found here. But there are also some quieter places, like Alcanada Beach, Alcudia, Cala d’en Borgit Beach, on the south east coast, Cala Falco Beach in the south west and Cala Figuera Beach in the north are just a few of the places where you should be able to slip the worst of the crowds.
Cultural and Historic Attractions:
The capital of the island is Palma. There are plenty of historic and cultural attractions in this bustling city and the most famous of these, lauded in poetry and prose and subject of many artworks is Palma Cathedral. Here you can also see Bellver Castle, this circular castle was built in the 14th Century and sits on a wooded hilltop overlooking the city. It is home to the city’s history museum. In the centre of Palma you will also find the Royal Palace of La Almudaina, which was originally built as an Arabian fort but which was claimed as a royal residence in the 14th Century.
Other attractions on the island include the beautiful narrow gauge railway, Ferrocarril de Sóller, that runs from Palma to the town of Sóller. In north west Majorca you will find the incredible Sanctuari de Lluc, a monastery and pilgrimage site in an incredibly picturesque mountain setting.In north east Majorca you will find Ses Païsses, an intriguing Bronze Age talayotic settlement and one of the best preserved architectural sites in the Balearic Islands. Other talayotic sites on the island include Capocorb Vell, with five talaiots and an ancient village and Son Oleza dolmen, which was discovered in 1999.
Food and Drink:
Much of the typical food you will find on Majorca is based around fresh vegetables, pork and fish with generous use of olive oil and garlic. There is a good variety of hearty and healthy peasant style food cooked with local ingredients. You should try to sample some of the local cuisine rather than sticking to the Spanish food or bland international fare that you will find is also readily available in the tourist resorts. If you are looking for a sweet or savoury snack then you should try an ensaimada. These fluffy, spiral shaped pastries are filled with anything from pumpkin jam to sobrasada sausage. In the resorts, drinking is of course a huge part of the experience – have fun, but be sure to drink responsibly!
There are a great many opportunities in Majorca to break away from the beach and enjoy some more active pursuits. Why not take a hiking or biking excursion into one of the mountain ranges? Enjoy the plethora of well marked trails on the island and the variety of its terrain. Alternatively, if you are looking for something to really get the adrenaline pumping then you could try a range of other intense activities: canyoning, cliff climbing, abseiling, cliff jumping, coasteering, sea caving and more. Take a sailing trip or go catch some monsters on a deep sea fishing excursion. Try kayaking or other watersports near the shore. Hire a spacious yacht or learn how to sail a catamaran. Swim off gorgeous beaches, snorkel, and dive to see the wonders that lie in the deeps. The diving is particularly good to the south west of the island, where you can dive to enjoy sea caves, reefs and wrecks on a bunch of varied dives.
If you are looking for a cheap and cheerful Brits-abroad type holiday then you will find everything you need on the east coast of the island. But even if that sort of thing is not your cup of tea, you can visit other parts of the island to enjoy a more unspoiled experience and to see something of what this beautiful island was like before the tourists arrived. And if you like to see and do more on your holidays than go from bed to beach to bar and back again then Majorca does have a lot more on offer in that regard than you might imagine.
Holidays Majorca FAQs
- While many destinations will not require you to have an vaccinations. However, if you are travelling to a more exotic location then you may well have to be vaccinated before you go. Be sure to visit with your doctor to arrange these as soon as possible, so you are fully covered before you go away.
- Vaccinations for cholera, diphtheria, polio and tetanus booster, hepatitis A, combined hepatitis A and B, and typhoid are free on the NHS in the UK. There may be a charge if you require or desire injections for hepatitis B, C or other meningitis vaccines, for Japanese encephalitis, rabies, tick-borne encephalitis, tuberculosis or yellow fever.
- You can find out more information about what vaccinations you may require and their cost (if there is one) on the NHS website. In some cases, you will need to begin the process of vaccination at least two months before you travel, so make sure you plan ahead and are prepared.
- One of the most important things to ask yourself before you arrange any travel is whether you have a valid passport. Remember that in some countries, you will have to have at least six months left on your passport to be admitted entry. Check carefully to make sure that there is sufficient time left on your passport and that it has not expired.
- You can renew your passport at any time. Remember that if there is still time left on your old one (up to nine months) it will be added onto your new one. While it is relatively hassle free to arrange a new passport – you can do it online or through the post office’s Check and Send Service – you should be sure to leave enough time. It can take a few weeks, especially during the busiest periods. A new passport will cost £72.50, or £82.25 using the Check and Send scheme.
- The short answer to this question is ‘yes’. While many people ‘wing it’ and don’t think that they will need travel insurance for a European trip, the fact of the matter is that it is vital to arrange adequate insurance to cover you if something bad happens. The EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) is not enough and will not cover you fully for accidents, illness or medical expenses while you are away.
- Money Pug can help you to find the right travel insurance for you. By using our handy and easy to use comparison service, you can make sure that you are covered. If you are not adequately insured for your travels, you could find yourself with unmanageable levels of debt. Costs can quickly mount and some travellers have found themselves thousands of pounds in debt after treatment abroad.
- When travelling, there is always a possibility that something might go wrong. From cancelled flights to having a medical/personal/criminal emergency, one in five of us won’t have a policy protecting ourselves or our valuable possessions from harm! Don’t risk it! While it can be nice to live in the fantasy that these things will never happen to you – the truth is that they could. It is important to be prepared.
- You may have already paid for your flights and hotel accommodation, perhaps you have even booked an all-inclusive package holiday. Regardless of what sort of holiday you have booked, however, you will still need to think about how you will pay for other things while you are away. How to pay while you are away is a big and sometimes complicated decision to make. Money Pug can help. With Money Pug, you can compare all the different options for funding your travel, from cash exchange, to traveller’s cheques, to debit and credit cards, and prepaid cards for use overseas.
- If you decide to take cash on your next holiday, a visit to Money Pug can help you find the currency you need, and the best deals on exchange rates, commission and fees. When exchanging cash, make sure you make Money Pug our first port of call, so you don’t end up being short changed when arranging cash for your travels.
- While you may wish to take cash on your holiday, there are downsides to this option. Cash is less secure than a credit card or prepaid card. If you are travelling somewhere that has easy access to ATMs then a card could be your best option – just be sure to choose the right one. You can compare these with Money Pug too – simply search out the relevant pages on this website to get started.
- A passport, travel insurance and money-related documents are not the only ones you may have to concern yourself with arranging before you go away. In addition to arranging the essential things described above, you should also be sure to know any visa requirements before you go. Make sure you are aware of the visa requirements for any country you are travelling to.
- While British citizens can currently travel to the EU without a visa, this may change post-Brexit. You will need to arrange an ESTA for travel to the United States. The visa requirements for other countries vary, and the type of visa you will require will differ depending on how long you plan to stay in a country, and whether you are visiting for work or on holiday. Make sure you know, and have all the relevant documents in place before you go.
- In addition to thinking about the paperwork required to visit various countries, you may also need to make sure that you have the relevant documents to allow you to drive during your stay. If you plan to hire a vehicle during your trip then you will, of course, have to make sure that you have a valid driver’s license and insurance documents with you. A vignette is required if you will be driving in certain European countries. Make sure that you are aware of the road rules and regulations for the country you are visiting before you go.
- Always inform your bank about your travel plans if you are intending to use a credit or debit card while you are away. If the bank flags up unusual spending in an unusual place then it may stop authorising payments and cancel your card. This can be a real hassle and you may have to phone your bank in order to confirm who you are and get your card re-authorised, and this can take some time.
- Not all banks need to be told that you are travelling, but customers of the Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds and Nationwide are all advised to contact their bank prior to travel and generally speaking, whoever you bank with, it is a good idea to inform them before you leave of your destination and intentions.
- While the main focus will obviously be on the flights, and how you will travel the majority of the way to your destination, it is also important to take some time to think about how you will get to your departure airport, and, if it is not already covered by your accommodation/ holiday provider, how you will travel from the arrival airport to your ultimate holiday destination.
- If you will be driving yourself to the airport then you will need to look into airport parking. This can be expensive, though can be less so if you are sure to book long-term parking in advance. Alternatively, you may be able to get a friend or relative to drive you, or could consider taking a taxi, or a public transport option.
- When you reach your destination, if you are an independent traveller you will need to think about getting to your accommodation from the airport. You may be able to get a private taxi/ Uber or airport shuttle. An option that is often a lot cheaper is to take a bus or a train. The options will depend on where you have travelled to and how far it is to your destination.
Before you pack for your holiday and leave for your flight, it is, of course, essential to check online to see what your baggage allowance is for the airline with which you are travelling. Different airlines have different baggage allowances, which can vary quite considerably. If you are travelling with a low-cost airline like Ryanair, the allowance is obviously a lot lower than if you are travelling with, for example, British Airways. Check what weight is allowed for hold luggage and also check the maximum size/ dimension of cabin baggage/ hand luggage. Be careful not to over-pack. Don’t try to bring everything except the kitchen sink and pack what you have sensibly to make the most of the space available.
In addition to knowing what size of cabin bags are allowed, and how many you can bring onboard your particular flight, you should also make sure you are also aware of what you can and cannot place within hand luggage. For example, you should be very careful not to carry any fluids in a container carrying more than 100ml. Whatever small bottles you do have should be packed in a resealable, clear plastic bag. Arranging this before you reach the airport can save some time. It can be expensive to buy toiletries and other items at the airport shops, so consider arranging these ahead of time – decanting toiletries from larger bottles at home can save you money. You could also consider hanging onto hotel items from your last trip.
- In addition to booking flights (and later checking in for those flight), you may also wish to consider arranging a few other details for your flights. For example, you may wish to pay to arrange specific seats (this can be worth the expense for a long flight, especially if you want a little extra legroom). You may also wish to order a vegetarian or vegan meal, or tell the airline about any other dietary requirements.
- Finally, think about how you will entertain yourself or your family during your journey. However you are travelling, it is a good idea to make sure that you have items with you to keep yourselves amused. Think about books, magazines, music or other audio that you might like to have with you during your travels.
- These are just some of the things that it can be helpful to ask yourself before you travel. Taking care of all these things will help make sure that your trip goes smoothly and you have a wonderful holiday, wherever and whenever you decide to go.
If a package holiday seems to good to be true – sometimes it might be. While Money Pug works hard to ensure that all the holidays it compares are top notch, other companies may not be so scrupulous. Whenever you are considering a package holiday, it is important to do your research. Don’t just believe the information in a brochure or advertisement – check out reviews and discover what real people have found to be true when taking these holidays before you commit to a purchasing decision.
You can get some peace of mind by making sure that you only ever select a holiday that is regulated and ATOL protected. This will ensure that if anything goes wrong, you will have some legal protection under the 1992 Package Travel Regulations. You will be able to find plenty of ATOL protected holiday options by searching on Money Pug’s website.
It can be easy to be lured in by the advertising, but it is always a good idea to check that the information given on a hotel or resort in one location online or in a brochure matches with the information found elsewhere. Make sure you do your research so you do not get any nasty surprises when you reach your destination.
Before you commit to a package holiday, it is important to make sure that the option you are considering really does offer everything you want. Make sure that you take a good look at the flights, transfers, accommodation, and, for an all-inclusive stay, what else is included in the package. Think carefully about what you need and want from your holiday and also, of course, what will be desired and required by any travelling companions/ family you may have with you.
So, you’ve found a holiday that you really like the look of and are almost ready to press the button and get the show on the road. Wait just a moment – are you sure this really is the best alternative available to you? There are so many package holidays out there – you don’t want to kick yourself when you find out that you could have got something more for your money. This is where a comparison site like Money Pug can really come in handy. By comparing a range of different holidays, you can make sure you really are getting the best bang for your buck.
Before you actually commit and sign on the dotted line, as it were, it is important to make sure you are aware of all the booking terms and conditions. Always make sure that you read all the small print before you commit to any purchase – especially a big one like a holiday abroad.
Flights are usually an integral part of a package holiday. It can be good to get everything sorted in one go. That said, it is important to ask certain questions about the flights for your package holiday. Asking the following questions should help you to determine what exactly you are getting for the money and whether that is suitable for you:
Is it a direct flight?
A straightforward question, but an important one. Make sure you know where you are flying from and to, and whether you will need to take more than one flight to reach your destination. If there is a layover, how long will that be? How will the logistics of transferring from one flight to another work? Indirect flights with one or more stops can often be cheaper, but will take a lot longer and can make for a more stressful journey. Whatever you choose, make sure that you are fully informed and choose it with your eyes wide open.
Which airport and terminal am I flying from?
It may sound obvious, but make sure that you know which airport and terminal you will be flying from. Consider how you will get there and how easy the whole experience will be for you before you commit to a particular package holiday.
Which airline am I flying with?
Again, it may sound obvious, but you should also make sure that you know which airline you are going to be flying with. Which airline it is will have a big bearing on how much space you will have for your baggage and for yourself on the flights, as well as how comfortable and easy the whole experience will be. Reading reviews of particular airlines can help you decide whether flying with them is the right choice for you.
What is the baggage allowance on the flight?
Different airlines will have different policies when it comes to how heavy your hold luggage can be. If you are not someone who finds it easy to pack light then you may struggle to come in under the allowance for lower cost airlines. Make sure you check up to find out how heavy your suitcase can be, and what fees might be payable for excess luggage if you think you might need to pay for it.
What can I take in the cabin with me?
Airlines will also differ when it comes to what you are allowed to take into the cabin with you during the flight. Cabin bags will have to be under a certain size, and some airlines are much more restrictive about how many bags you can have and how small these have to be. Make sure you are aware of the restrictions before you fly. Oversized cabin bags may well be removed from you and placed in the hold, which could be a pain if you were expecting to have access to things during the flight.
How long before my flight should I check in?
Check in is usually open for bag drop from around two hours before your flight, though you may be recommended to arrive three hours before your flight for international long-haul flights. Earlier, online check in is also sometimes possible, so it is a good idea to check out your options and be aware of what is possible before you go.
What happens if I miss my flight?
This is another important question to ask before you commit to a package holiday. If you miss your flight, will you still be able to take the rest of the holiday and return flight as planned? Of course, whenever you are travelling you should make sure that you have the right travel insurance in place. But again, reading the small print on a package holiday is crucial if you do not want to be caught out.
How much legroom will I have on the flight?
Once you know which airline you would be flying on, it is a good idea to check out some other elements to see whether you will be able to have a comfortable and pleasant flight. Legroom varies considerably on different airlines. Especially if you are tall, you may wish to check to see how much legroom you will have on the flights of the package holiday you are considering. Sometimes, you may have the option to pre-book certain seats with extra legroom for an additional fee. If this is something you would want to consider then check that you can do this before booking your holiday.
What food and drink will I get on the flight?
Another element to consider when trying to decide if a certain holiday with flights on a particular airline is right for you is what refreshments will be available on the flights. Will you be served a meal? Will drinks be complementary? If you have particular dietary requirements (are vegetarian or vegan for example), will you be able to arrange to be catered for on the flights in question?
Can I take my own food and drink onboard?
Usually, you will also be able to take your own food and drink on board, as long as you purchase it after passing through security at the airport. However, it is a good idea to check what you are and are not allowed to carry with you into the cabin on the flights on the holiday you are considering.
Can I use an e-cigarette on the plane?
No. You will not be able to use an e-cigarette in the plane. These and their fluid must be carried in your hand luggage. You will also not be able to use the e-cigarette in most areas of most airports, so if you are addicted to nicotine, you may have to consider a different solution if you are taking a long flight. It is also important to note if you are going to Thailand, that e-cigarettes are completely illegal there and you could get into serious trouble for contravening the law.
Once you have established whether the flights of a package holiday will be right for you, you should also look into the transfers from the airport to your accommodation. Be sure to ask:
Are transfers included in the price of the package holiday?
Make sure that you are aware of what exactly is included in the package holiday. If transfers are not included, you will have to make sure that you know how you will get from A to B and what it will cost you to do so.
How long will the resort transfer take?
Another important detail to uncover is how long it will take to get from the airport to wherever it is that you are staying. The last thing you want is to suddenly discover, after a long flight, that it will still take an hour or more to reach your destination. For warned is for armed. Make sure you understand exactly what your journey will be like, from beginning to end.
How will I find my transfer at the airport?
Will people meet you at the gate, or will you meet a shuttle or private driver somewhere else in the airport? Make sure you understand who will be there to meet you at the airport, how you will be able to identify them, and where they will be waiting, so you don’t end up with a stressful search at the arrival airport.
So, by now you should be clear on all the details of how you are going to get there and back again on your package holiday. But there are still a lot more things that you will need to know. It is important to be fully informed about exactly what you are purchasing when it comes to the accommodation and other elements of your package holiday. Be sure to ask:
Is this an all-inclusive holiday?
As you compare package holidays, it is vital to know whether or not the option you are considering is all inclusive. Some package holidays include only flights, transfers and accommodation, while others can come with lots of other things included in the price. Make sure you are aware of exactly what you are paying for, and what other charges you might be in for once you reach your destination.
What is included?
An all-inclusive holiday will usually include:
- Food (3 meals a day, and snacks and ice creams)
- Evening entertainment
- Use of hotel facilities
- Kids clubs & activities
- Non-motorised water sports
- Excursions (Sometimes these are included in the cost of an all-inclusive cruise, but sometimes they are not, so it is important to check the details.)
Be sure that you are fully aware of exactly what is and is not included in the price of your package holiday.
Can I pre-book restaurant tables, kids clubs, excursions or activities before arrival?
Tables in resort restaurants cannot usually be booked ahead of time but are usually arranged via reception. Check with hotel staff when you check in to find out when and how you can book. Clubs, excursions and activities, however, often can be booked online before your holiday. It is a good idea to check with the holiday provider to find out exactly what is possible in this regard. Sometimes, booking early is essential to avoid missing out.
We all like to think that everything will always go according to plan. But unfortunately, things can sometimes go awry, no matter how carefully we prepare and plan. Before booking a package holiday it is a good idea to look into whether it will be possible to change hotels while you are away, or to alter your return flight plans. Will it be an option to alter your holiday in any way, or will there be costs/ penalties?
Another thing to consider when booking your holiday is how easy and efficient the customer service will be. How easy will it be to make a complaint while away, and does the company in question have a good track record when it comes to answering complains and solving problems for its customers? While we hope you do not have to complain, going with a reputable travel company can help you make sure you have a more pleasant experience, even if something does go wrong.
The above questions should have led you to have a good understanding of what exactly is on offer with a particular package holiday option, and should help you to determine whether that holiday is right for you. Of course, once you have a good idea of what you want, comparing with Money Pug can help you find that package holiday of your dreams for the very best price.