Seneca used to say: “Traveling and changing places, revitalizes the mind”. That quote could be a lot more accurate if you travel to a charming and full of life place such as Majorca. If you haven’t been at Majorca or you just landed on the island, this is the ultimate guide with selected Majorca facts to help you navigate your first hours on this territory and avoid getting lost.
But don’t you worry about anything, like Dalai Lama said in his 1990’s visit to Majorca: “I love Majorca because this island has been thought with the very energy of love”.
Majorca island is in a growing demand as a vacational spot and second residence during the winter months. Majorca even managed to make famous people fall in love with it, like Michael Douglas, the actor, who owns a mansion in S’Estaca, a small seacoast town located between Valldemossa and Deya. Douglas said he loves Majorca due the mix of civilizations, it’s strong international influence and above all, because it treasures its own culture.
Majorca itself can be compared to a work of art, specially the north zone, colliding with the Tramontana mountain range and the sea, creating beautiful sights that fulfill all the requirements to be the muse of many artist, like Frederic Chopin, famous composer, who established himself in Valldemossa to live his final years, in which has been said, he composed most of his 24 preludes. “Valldemossa… I’ll be living a caring exile in the most beautiful place in the world.”-Frederic Chopin
Mallorca Facts 1: Learning Majorcan (“mallorquín”)
What´s the language in Majorca?
Even though Spanish is the official language of the country, 6 of the 17 autonomous communities have other languages that coexist and thrive, such as Catalan (9 million people), Gallego (3 million people), and Euskera (850.000 people).
Among this very eclectic mix of languages, we can find the Majorquin, a variant of Catalan language used at the Balears Islands. It has a very distinctive traits such as replacing the masculine and feminine articles (el/la = the ) for se/sa respectively, but rest assured, every Majorquin-speaking person also speaks Spanish.
Majorcans tend to use the colloquialism “Mem” which roughly translate to “Let’s see…”. If you’d like to say that you’re very tired from your journey, you could say “Ses cames en fan figa”. Never forget to say “gracis” to any friendly Majorcan who helps you along the way. If you have trouble finding people who speak your language, don’t worry, Majorcans are very polite and will try to help you even with sign language!
The toponymic Can, Son and Bini. Another curious case in the Island of Majorca
Majorcans regularly use the prefixes Can, Son, and Bini, these are very characteristic and you will hear them often. The prefix “son” is used to denote property and goes back to the time were the catalan-aragon language took the place of islam, around the XV century. In most cases, this particle is followed by the last name of the proprietary, it doesn’t change even if the property changes ownership.
The exception of this rule is when “son” is followed by another possessive noun as “can” or “bini” which means “House of…”. The use of the “Bini” prefix is more prevalent in the island of Menorca, and the Valencian comunity.
Fact 2: Weather
The temperature in Mallorca is warm most of the year.
In summer, temperature varies from 18ºC to 28ºC (64.4ºF to 82.4ºF) with temperatures ranging from 3ºC to 18ºC (37.4ºF to 64.4ºF). Weather in the outskirts of the island tends to be colder, being January the coldest month but hardly getting snow at all. If you want to know the temperature in Mallorca, click here.
The most amazing thing about Majorca’s weather is that it only has 52 days of rain per year, compared to cities like Berlin, Moscow or London it will be almost assured you will have amazing sunny days at the island.
Fact 3: Weather
A little info about the different zones at the island
Fact 4: Population
Majorca is the biggest of the Balear islands, it has a population of 864.763 in a 3.635 km² landmass. Now let’s see the top 10 most populated cities of Majorca:
Fact 5: Geography
The Tramontana mountain range is the stellar point of the island, creating a strong contrast with white sand beaches and cliffs.
Most important mounts are:
- Tramontana mountain range: Puig Major (tallest point in Majorca, with 1436 meters), Masanella, Puig Tomir, Puig de lÓfre, Puig del Teix and Puig de Galatzó.
- Levante mountain range: Puig de Morell, Bec de Ferrutx y Puig de Sant Salvador.
- Outside the principal mountain ranges: Puig de Randa and Puig de Galdent.
Spanish newspapers have dedicated space to talk about the beaches of Majorca as it appears in this article.
Camp de Mar
Playa de Alcúdia
But even the deep Majorcan underground has amazing secrets and places, such as the amazing Drach, Hams, Genova, Campanet, Blanques, and Arta caves.
Fact 6: Culture
Majorca is art, and is the chosen destination for many artists, such as Miguel Barcelo or Tony Catany.
Majorcan, specifically from Felanitx, whose mother was a painter of typical majorcan landscapes.
His artwork belongs to the expressionism, and have a strong influences from Joan Miro, specially his last work, strong with images of the life and people from Africa.
One of his most important pieces, could be the construction he performed at the Majorcan Cathedral and the decoration artwork of a dome in the XX room of the Palace of the United Nations in Geneva.
Considered one of the top representatives of surrealism. Spaniard Painter, sculptor,engraver and ceramist.
His relationship with the island beings in 1929 when he marries his wife in Palma de Majorca, and spent several years here, creating artwork inspired by the Majorcan people, culture and landscapes.
The fountain of the turtles
Along with the Sphinxes, this obelisk at the back of the 4 turtles with lion-head fountains and crowned with a bat. The Majorcans celebrate at the well-known “The square of the turtles” most celebrations of their soccer team, and because it’s in second-division, the tickets are inexpensive.
Fact 7: Gastronomy
Majorca has several original dishes worth trying out, these are the most well-known:
- The Ensaimadas: Baked flat, rounded spira, sprinkled with ultra-fine sugar coating, it can be filled with a lot of different things, but the most traditional is Cabello de Angel. Did you notice all of those boxes on the conveyer belts at the airport? Those are ensaimadas people bought to take back to their hometowns!
- Frit mallorquí: Traditional Majorcan dish made of meat, pork’s blood and liver, lamb and even turkey.
- Sobrasada: Seasoned, raw sausage make out of select pieces of pork.
- Coca trampó: Vegetarian pizza.
What a true Majorcan knows…
You’re almost a born and bred Majorcan! Here’s some fun facts and secrets that even some Majorcans don’t know…
- London’s newspaper The Times published a list with the 50 best cities to live in, and Palma de Mallorca was #1
- It’s a Royal Family tradition to spend the summer in the island; they always stay at the Marivent Palace.
- Mallorca’s Cathedral, commonly known as “La Seu”, it’s the only gothic cathedral with sea views.
- There are several antique defense towers all over the coast line, from the times when conquerors used Mallorca as a stop on the way to African territories. They used to be 2 stories tall, and equipped with canyons and fire weapons.
- The average house-price at the Balear Islands keeps rising, and is currently at its peak, with a 2,8% of growth the past year, ahead of Madrid, the country’s capital city.
And when the sun goes down, magic happens… the most special, beautiful colors of dusk that you can enjoy everywhere in the island, overshadowed only by sunrise, with its endless possibilities at this great island.
Any relevant Majorca facts you would like to share with the Dompick team and our readers? Please share it in comments so we all keep learning!