Tag Archives: Mallorca

Exploring La Palma

If you’re planning a stay in one of our villas in Mallorca then make sure you pay a visit to the island’s vibrant capital.

Palma de Mallorca is one of the oldest European capitals in the Mediterranean, dating back to pre Roman times and has seen many successive cultures taking root since then, including a period under the Moors, a Byzantine presence and the arrival of the Spanish in 1229. As a result, the city has a pleasing mixture of architecture and a real feeling of antiquity.

La Palma, Mallorca
La Palma – Mallorca’s Vibrant Capital

The physical layout of the city has the port area at its heart, with the huge Cathedral de Mallorca, known as La Seu, sitting to one side of the harbour and dominating the seaside promenade. The port was obviously one of the most important aspects of the city’s geography in historical terms, providing trading routes to North Africa and beyond.

When Spanish and Catalonian cultures began to diverge after the Succession War of 1714, with the emergence of separate cultures and languages, Mallorca, as part of the Balearics, was firmly entrenched as a leading Catalonian stronghold. Its commercial importance was already well established as can be seen in the architectural splendour of the silk exchange, which was constructed in the 1400’s.

The city is a wonderful place for exploring as a pedestrian, with many narrow streets winding through the oldest parts towards the Bellver Castle and the Royal Palace of La Almudaina, which are yet further examples of the city’s architectural riches. Palm and tree-lined avenues provide pools of shade and there are plenty of restaurants and cafes where visitors can pass the time of day.

The Castell de Bellver is a particularly interesting building as it can claim to be Europe’s first circular castle. It sits in densely wooded grounds, occupying a commanding position overlooking the harbour and dates back to the 13th Century. Similarly the Palace of La Almudaina has a position of strategic importance and while the main structure dates back to the Moorish occupation of the fourteenth century, it is believed to be built on the foundations of much earlier fortifications.

As a seaside resort, naturally enough, there are some wonderful sandy beaches within close proximity to the city’s centre. The Platja de Palma and Platja de Palma in the El Arenal area boast fine sand and palm trees, ideal for city break visitors who fancy a day at the beach. With a vibrant nightlife and several large hotels the city is an exciting alternative to the traditional beach holiday location.

Visit the official Palma de Mallorca website for more information about the capital and upcoming events there.

Mallorca Property Prices Grow Faster Than London’s

If you thought recent price rises in the London property market were impressive then you’d best think again. As a small Spanish island in the Balearics is currently outpacing even the priciest boroughs in the British capital, such as Chelsea and Kensington, with property prices on Mallorca surging by nearly 16% in the last 12 months, according to international estate agents Chesterton Humberts.

Villa, Mallorca
Prices Rose By 16% Last Year

Britain’s capital city isn’t the only property hot spot in the world at the moment. As according to the Chesterton Humbert’s report other locations such as the Cote D’Azur, Barbados and Switzerland have also experienced serious price growth over the last year, with little Mallorca leading the way.

Just as the property market in London has been fuelled by investment from overseas the picture is much the same in Mallorca, with interest primarily coming from the German, Russian and Swiss markets – as well as from the UK. British buyers, buoyed by the recent improvement in the domestic economy, low interest rates and rising house prices in the UK, are now turning to overseas property as a viable investment once again, with Mallorca very much on their radar.

And whilst property prices across Spain as a whole have fallen since the onset of the crisis in 2007 certain pockets, such as the top end market in Mallorca have remained largely unaffected, driven by both rental investors and retirees. As a result prices on the island have now risen by 38% since 2007, whilst in the last 12 months the 16% rise in price has outstripped other markets, such as London. With the level of foreign investment estimated to have doubled over the last five years, now accounting for some 30% of all transactions on Ibiza and Mallorca during the course of 2013 alone. A figure reflected in the fact that over 18% of all residents of Mallorca are now of non-Spanish origin.

All of this of course makes very happy reading for the thousands of overseas owners of holiday rental properties in Mallorca, who not only enjoy excellent rental returns from their properties but also substantial capital growth.

Mallorca Announces A ‘Bikini Ban’

If you’re planning to take a break in one of our villas in Mallorca this year then make sure you’re ready to cover up when you’re away from the beach or the pool.  As new laws look likely to be introduced that could result in a 600 euro fine for anyone who dares to wear just swimming trunks or a bathing costume in the street – an initiative which is just part of a wider Good Citizen Plan designed to promote ‘harmony and civility’ on the island.

Palma, Mallorca

This new measure, which has been drawn up by the council in the capital of Palma, has already made the national press in the UK and is designed to stop tourists wandering topless or half -dressed through the streets of the capital. 

Other proposals include outlawing cycling on the pavement, the consumption of alcohol in the street and taking glass bottles onto the beach, all of which seems reasonable enough.  However the current plans also include banning the use of buckets on the beach – which isn’t great news for anyone who was planning on creating a few sandcastles with their kids this summer!

The Ordenanza Civica isn’t just designed to frustrate tourists however as it is also aimed at island residents in an attempt to promote good behaviour across all sectors of society.  Some observers have suggested that it is just a money making scheme though, an accusation that has been flatly denied by the city’s Vice Mayor, Alvaro Gijon.

A similar ban on “nudity or virtual nudity in public places” was introduced in Barcelona a few years ago, limiting swimwear to pools, beaches and adjacent roads, with trunk-wearing wanderers facing fines there of 120 to 300 euros.  Both Barcelona and Palma are of course major, sophisticated cities in their own right and these bylaws illustrate the difficulties facing urban areas that also play host to beaches.

The new laws on Mallorca are set to be implemented from May 1st, so make sure you revise your holiday packing accordingly!