Mallorca has an ideal climate for holidaymakers with little rain and average temperatures kept below 86ºF (30ºC) even in mid-summer. Temperatures remain nice in the spring and autumn and even in winter rarely drop below 50ºF (10ºC), though rain is more likely at this time of year. Water temperatures range from 64ºF (18ºC) in May to 79ºF (26ºC) in August making Mallorca ideal for watersports.
Palma de Mallorca has the island's international airport and is the main ferry terminus, receiving ferries from Valencia and Barcelona on the mainland. It is also the hub of the extensive transport system that covers Mallorca, with bus services linking all main settlements, and train lines to Inca and the scenic tourist train to Sóller. The best way to get around is by car and there are several rental agencies in Palma, but in high season reservations need to be made in advance. Everything on the island is within three hours drive from the capital.
Many travellers think of wild parties and package holidays for young tourists hell bent on having a wild time, but Mallorca's quieter resorts are fantastic places for families with children to take a summer holiday. Puerto Pollensa and Cala d'Or are quiet and the beaches uncrowded, a great location for the kids to build sand castles and play with buckets and spades, but remember to pack the sunscreen as the temperatures in summer months can be searing. El Arenal boasts an enormous waterpark, as do Alcudia and Magalluf - what could be a more perfect day out for the kids? Take the kids go-karting in Magalluf, or enjoy a family horse-riding trip to see the island from Alcudia. A trip to Marineland, in Costa d'en Blanes, to watch the dolphins and sea lions perform, or be mesmerised by the sharks in the aquarium is a must. On days when outdoor activities are not an option for kids on holiday in Mallorca, many of the hotels feature kids clubs, or children's indoor playgrounds, and there are other options such as Mallorca Aquarium in Porto Cristo.
Spanish is the official language, but English is widely understood in areas frequented by tourists. Catalan, Galician and Basque are spoken in the relevant areas.
Spain's official currency is the Euro (EUR). One Euro is divided into 100 cents. Money can be exchanged at bureaux de change and major hotels, but banks give the best rates. All major credit cards and travellers cheques are widely accepted at most hotels, restaurants, and shops. ATMs are widespread and are generally the cheapest and most convenient method of obtaining money.
Perhaps not as raucous as its Balearic neighbour Ibiza, Mallorca is also famed for its nightlife which is centred round the holiday resort towns. From raging bars to quieter pubs and tavernas, Magalluf has got it all. The party starts in the capital of Palma de Mallorca's foam parties, discos, bars and nightclubs. Tito's disco and Cafe Atlantico are popular but Pacha Palma City is undoubtedly the most frequented and its spectacular position on a cliff side is unrivalled. Most of the nightlife is centred round El Arenal, Palma and Magalluf's Punta Ballena strip, all of which boast some of the hottest nightlife in Europe. But beware; much of this is aimed at British youth looking for a raucous party. Head to Woody's Bar in El Arenal, Abranaxus Bar in Alcudia, Palace Q in Cala Millor, BCM Planet Dance in Magalluf, or the risqué Disco Inferno in Santa Ponsa for an incredible night out, while Paseo Maritimo, located on the sea front, is the most exclusive club in Mallorca. Cala d'Or offers tasteful and stylish nightlife suited to an older crowd but clubs such as Farrahs Planet Ibiza still guarantee a good time while Dirty Duck pub attracts a gay crowd. Paguera, Puerto Pollensa , Cala Millor, S'Illot and Sa Coma are all quieter resorts which cater more to families, so don't expect any pulsating nightlife here. A pleasant evening activity is the traditional paseoor stroll along the waterfront before heading out to a tavern for a light meal, or for those intent on heading out, a few clubs can be found, but nothing to match those in neighbouring resorts.
Long known for its indulgent ways, Mallorca took off as a major tourist destination in the 1960s, when hundreds of high-rise hotels, apartment blocks and shopping centres began to line the coast. Palma de Mallorca is the centre of the shopping scene with sprawling malls, shop-lined streets and daily stalls and markets where tablecloths or leather goods can be scooped up for a song, with a bit of haggling. The main shopping street in Cala d'Or, Avinguda Tagomago, is a bustling flurry of shops where wonderful display windows have frantic shoppers scouring the chic boutiques, leather shops and galleries. The stretch of shops in Pageura known as El Bulevar features supermarkets, clothing shops and souvenir shops, while the pedestrian promenades on Cala Millor and Magalluf's seafronts are jam-packed with stalls selling buckets and spades and tourist trinkets, and visitors can't help but notice the same goods and tat repeated in various stores, with little variety. Markets are a great place to shop on the island of Mallorca and the Monday market in Calvia is the place to go for porcelain, jewellery and leather goods, as are the Wednesday markets in Andratx in Palma and Thursday's Inca market, but brush up on your bargaining skills. Near Cala Millor, the Friday markets in Son Servera and Monday markets in Monacor are a great place to find unique goods and fresh produce as well as souvenirs such as espadrilles, embroidery and basketwork. The weekly Sunday market in Pollensa's old town is one of the liveliest and definitely worth a wander for everything from local crafts and olive wood carvings to ceramics and lace.
Steeped in a rich and wonderful Mediterranean history, Mallorca has some fascinating attractions that will appeal to all kinds of travellers and provide an intriguing insight into the history of the island. Those looking for a taste of the outdoors will love the Castell d'Alaro, Mallorca's most popular hiking trail from the town of Alaro to a ruined 15th century castle and hilltop chapel offering breathtaking views over the island and sea. Sun-worshippers will adore the endless stretches of coastline that feature fantastic beaches, with Palma Nova, Illetes and Es Trenc, on the southeast coast being the most popular. The Mallorca Caves are also worth a visit with impressive underground lakes, stalactites and stalagmites. Take a ride on the the Sóller-Palma railway to enjoy the incredible views, while history buffs should take a trip to Santa Margalida, which boasts more than 150 archaeological sites, to visit the Son Real Necropolis, where Phoenicians were buried from the Iran Age to Roman times. Culture vultures will love the Catedral El Seo, Castell del Bellver and the Museo d'Art Espanyol Contemporani in Palma, while the Banys Arabs, the only Moorish-built building in the city, is a fascinating attraction.
Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 between the last Sunday in March and the Saturday before the last Sunday in October). The Canary Islands: GMT (GMT +1 in summer).