Mallorca is an island located in the Mediterranean Sea. It is the largest island in the Balearic Islands archipelago, in Spain.
The beautiful Mediterranean island of Mallorca is one of Spain’s jewels. With its stunning coastline and spectacular countryside, this Balearic island has established itself as one of Spain`s most popular destinations for investors looking for a holiday home or permanent residence, and it is not difficult to see why. The island offers numerous idyllic bays with crystal clear waters, numerous championshiop golf courses, 25 marinas and a plethora of local and international restaurants. In recent years Mallorca has attracted an array of celebrities including Claudia Schiffer and Sir Richard Branson, who created the spa/hotel ‘La Residencia’ in the town of Deià.
Economy & Property Market
The position of Spain in the global financial crisis has been well documented.
Despite high unemployment and other difficulties, the luxury property market remains strong. It may be true that in some areas prices have softened to reflect the broader economic difficulties, but the higher end of the luxury property market proves that people will pay for quality, and that competition for the finest real estate is as strong as ever.
Buyers from other European nations and beyond are targeting Mallorca’s more exclusive properties, and sellers and developers at the higher end are able to create superb opportunities, confident that buyers are creating healthy demand.
The region and its politics
Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands, an autonomous community and Spanish province. Official languages are Spanish and Mallorcan, the local variety of Catalan. Palma is the capital city of Mallorca, and of the Balearics.
The island’s area is 3,640 sq km, and around 780,000 people live there, nearly half in the capital. The island’s autonomous government, the Consell Insular de Mallorca, is responsible for culture, roads, railways and municipal administration.
Since the 1950s Mallorca has become a major tourist destination, and the tourism business has become the main source of revenue for the island. The tourist boom has provided significant growth in the economy of the island. More than half of the population works in the tourist sector, which accounts for approximately 80% of Mallorca’s GDP.
Tourism stimulates other areas of the economy, and attracts people and businesses wishing to invest or buy homes and property. This injects energy into the restaurant, bar, hotel and retail sectors, the real estate sector and property services and construction.
Property & House Hunting
Properties in Mallorca offer access to a wonderful lifestyle on this perfect holiday island in the midst of the turquoise Mediterranean Sea.
There’s a range of sought-after apartments in the capital Palma de Mallorca, many in the Old Town with its well-preserved streets, ideal for wandering and exploring. This is a centre of exclusive luxury living where residents can easily walk between boutique shops, magnificent views, fascinating cultural landmarks and prize-winning restaurants.
Outside the capital, buyers will find a range of luxury equestrian properties, particularly in the centre and north of the island, where the Tramuntana mountain range marks the spectacularly rugged northern coast. There are also fine villas situated near some of the best golf courses, while in the east buyers will find established vineyards and country houses.
Yacht owners can explore pristine beaches accessible only by sea, sail to the preserved parkland of Cabrera Island, and moor at exclusive marinas and ports in North and South Mallorca, East Mallorca or Palma de Mallorca.
The increasing popularity of the island as a first or second home destination makes Mallorca real estate not only an ideal location for living, but also an excellent investment opportunity.
Mallorca is well connected by plane, with Palma de Mallorca airport providing easy access to and from the island. For those looking to explore the other islands such as Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera, there are plenty of air and sea links, and the islands have extensive marina facilities for those with yachts.
Car hire is a popular means of transport, although it’s not difficult to get around the island using public transport. Mallorca is the only island in the Balearics with a railway line, servicing four destinations from the capital. Palma also has a metro system.
The bus network is extensive, and the integrated fare system covers all linked modes of transport including train, bus, metro and even bicycles. There’s a bicycle loan service, and a BiciPalma service, which has recently been made available to visitors as well as residents.
The vintage train to Sóller in the north is popular with tourists. Originally built to bring oranges from the valley to Palma, this spectacular line now transports visitors through 13 tunnels and over a five-arch viaduct and several bridges. The service has been successfully maintained using traditional methods and has run every day since 1912 without interruption. Sóller also boasts a vintage tram, which is only a year younger than the train service.
Flights and routes
Mallorca has flights to more than 160 key destinations on the Spanish mainland and across Europe.
State education is the responsibility of the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport and so the Mallorcan system functions within the wider Spanish framework. However, the autonomous government has some responsibility for its own education system.
The law determines that education authorities must promote the integration of foreign pupils and develop specific programmes in mainstream schools for those that do not have a good grasp of the Spanish language.
Free schooling is obligatory between 6-16, but generally begins at around 3. At 16 students can go to higher secondary school and at this age they can also study the Bachillerato from 16-18 years, enabling them to enter University in Europe and the US.
Mallorca offers a choice of private and state schools, as well as local and international schools. Some private schools are funded by the state (concertados), and here fees are generally lower than in other private schools.
International schools operate in various ways. They teach their country’s curriculum in their own language, follow their country´s curriculum with or without Spanish as a second language or teach in their native language and follow the Spanish curriculum.
Mallorca is also home to the University of the Balearic Islands.
International schools in Mallorca include:
- Baleares International College
- Cp Puig De Sa Morisca
- The Academy International School
- Bellver International College
- King Richard Iii College
- Escola Global
- Palma College
- Queens College
- Agora Portals
For more information about family life in Mallorca please visit www.mumabroad.com.
Around 25% of people living in Spain have private health insurance. This generally means faster access to a greater choice of specialists. Spanish companies offering private health insurance include Mapfre, Asisa and Sanitas.
Those with existing healthcare in their native country should check to see if this is transferable, but with the wide variation of policy premiums it may still be worth obtaining a quote from a Spanish provider.
The choice of private healthcare may be defined by your choice of insurer (if paying directly, you can choose any clinic). The Spanish mainland offers many alternative solutions, but private hospitals and health providers in Mallorca include:
- Clinic Femenia in Palma
- Clinic Miramar in Palma
- Hospital Quirón Palmaplanas in Palma
- Artzehaus (971228067) in Palma
- Hospital Alcúdia (971547087) in Alcúdia
Culture & Gastronomy
Mallorca has a rich heritage, fabulous local products, great fiestas and a wealth of history. It is globally renowned for offering the best of partying, the crystal clear Mediterranean for swimming, sailing and cruising, and beautiful countryside for quiet reflection or hiking.
Some say the island’s history is as long as its 5,500km coastline, and as a result Mallorca offers spectacular architecture that leads from the distant past to the latest modern creations. From castles and ruins to museums and galleries, from secret caves to national parks and reserves, Mallorca is rich in cultural experiences.
Each of Mallorca’s regions has its own appeal. The north for its history, spectacular scenery and beaches, most notably Alcudia. The east coast is an area with many small coves and picturesque villages. The south coast is home to Es Trenc, arguably the most famous beach in Mallorca and perhaps one of the best beaches in Europe. The West coast of Mallorca is renowned for its large resort and the island’s capital, Palma de Mallorca, is known for its history, culture and shopping – which is combined with a relaxing outdoor lifestyle.
Local products express the essence of the island, including liqueur made from local herbs and perfume made from the flowers of the almond blossom found all over the island. Mallorca has more than 4 million almond and olive trees. Among the food items that are Mallorcan are sobrassada, arròs brut (rice soup cooked with meat and vegetables), and the sweet pastry ensaimada.
Other well known dishes include Tumbet, Frito Mallorquín, Caldereta de langosta, Sepia con Trampó, Sopas Mallorquinas and lomo con col.
Mallorcan gastronomy has all the advantages of the healthy Mediterranean diet, but the cuisine also reflects the variety of different cultures that shaped the island and continue to contribute to its identity.
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