Mallorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands has a population of just under 1,000,000.and along with its sister islands of Menorca and Ibiza, lies in the Mediterranean Sea off the south east coast of mainland Spain. Flying time from most UK airports is around 2 - 2.1/2 hours and on arrival local time is 1 hour in front of GMT. The first recognizable landmark on the final approach before landing will be the magnificent 14th Century Gothic cathedral at nearby Palma, and the sight of it from the air never ceases to take your breath away. Son Sant Joan, which is the main tourist airport, is a large modern facility, and is located in the south of the island just outside the capital Palma. Since the onset of mass tourism in the 1960's, Mallorca has without doubt, been one of the most popular destinations for all nationalities, offering a wide range of attractions to suit all tastes. As a generalization, the resorts on the islands south coast are the more lively and perhaps more suited for groups of young singles, or those seeking an active nightlife. In more recent times Mallorca has reinvented itself with an emphasis on more up market tourism with visitors encouraged to explore the island's beautiful coastline and interior. The east coast of Mallorca consists of more than fifty secluded coves of enormous beauty. Cala Minor or Cala Bona is ideal bases from which to discover this region. Mallorca's north east coast has an enormous bay which is home to the popular resorts of Can Picafort and Alcudia. Nearer the island's most northerly point at Cap de Formentor is Puerto Pollensa which has long been a favorite with holidaymakers. This whole area is very popular with cyclists, walkers and birdwatchers. The Serra de Tramuntana is the mountain range running parallel with Mallorca’s North West coast. The rugged terrain and mountain peaks present quite a contrast with the gentle east coast. Its well worth renting a car and heading out to Soller, Deia and Vallidemusa as well as the lesser know villages inland. Mallorca’s history is very interesting and is showed in many museums and buildings across the island! So there are lots of places for you to learn more about the historical background of Majorca and the other Balearic Islands. Evidence of other people to settle on Mallorca has been found and includes findings of tools made from animal horns and pottery that are from around 1000 BC. Other evidence to prove this time is in the towers shaped like cones. They are a feature for around this time. They are sited in the south of the island at capocorp vell. These were named The Carthaginians. The Next people thought to arrive were Greek traders. This is where it is thought that the name Balearic came from ballein, which is the Greek word for sling throwing! The Carthaginians worked in conjunction with the sling throwers to fend off the Romans over time, until the Romans eventually took control in around 123 BC. In the tenth century the island began 300 years of Moorish rule after the Emirate of Cordoba assumed power. Mallorca had a very contrasting 300 years in these times, as holy battles for power would commence between Muslim's and Christians. Eventually, however, due to the considered location of the island between Islamic Spain and Africa, trade flourished, as did agriculture. In 1229 King Jaume I of Aragon and Catalunya invaded the island of Mallorca. The Mallorcan Emirate stole his ships and this enraged him. Moorish buildings were destroyed and with this he set up an independent Kingdom of Mallorca. He built the Palma Cathedral. He was a very good governor. Well ahead of his time he would do all he could to assist traders in the region as well as give equal rights regardless of religious beliefs. After he died King Jaume left Mallorca along with some of his other provinces to his son Jaume II. Pedro IV of Aragon landed in Mallorca in 1349. He was jealous of Jaume II and so claimed control of the island for himself. Mallorca's traditional language up to the 18th century had been Catalan. This was then replaced with the Castilian variation of Spanish. However during the Napoleonic wars Mallorca still saw more than its fair share of Catalan speaking refugees. 19th century life on the island of Mallorca was a tough time for the island with Famines and droughts throughout the century.
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