Vacation for Less in Majorca – Affordable Spanish Island Getaway

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With Europe’s finances in tatters, tourists around the globe are enjoying rock bottom airfares. However once you set foot on the continent you may be in for a rude shock, as many European cities are still as expensive to experience as they ever were. But you needn’t strike the continent from your vacation wish list just yet. The Spanish island of Majorca offers all the glamour and culture of Europe for far less than you’d expect. It’s sadly seen as the poor cousin to neighboring Ibiza, but it’s a reputation that’s undeserved. The Spanish port is just as beautiful by day, and just as exciting by night.

The best things about Majorca really are free. There are worse ways to spend a day than lounging about the island’s pristine beaches and frolicking in the Mediterranean Ocean. The coastline’s sheltered underwater coves will delight divers with their unique variety of marine creatures.

If you begin to tire of the wet stuff the sprawling Tramuntana Mountain range is perfect for exploring. Serra de Tramuntana as the locals call it has earned UNESCO World Heritage status for its breathtaking natural beauty and cultural significance. While the highest peak Puig Major is not accessible to the public, driving down the R710 from Andratx to Pollenca is a great way to see the sights. If you prefer to go it on foot there are some beautiful hiking trails around Lluc, Soller, and Pollenca.

Visiting the capital city of Palma can drain your finances, but it costs nothing to explore the streets of the Old Town and soak up the atmosphere at bustling European marketplaces. You can also take in works by Salvadore Dali, Pablo Picasso, and more at the acclaimed Museo d’Art Espanyol Contemporani and see the historic Arab Baths for free.

If all that activity doesn’t tire you out, Majorca’s nightlife certainly will. Magaluf’s bars and nightclubs often host internationally renowned DJs like David Guetta and Judge Jules. You can generally purchase a ticket for a night out, including all alcoholic drinks, for less than €25.

If the thumping clubs aren’t your scene, head to Puerto Pollensa Marina. This picturesque waterfront spot is a great place for enjoying Spanish food and wine, with a side order of romance.

Eating in Majorca is a great pleasure that need not empty your bank account. In the Franco years the Generalissimo declared that Spain’s working class should enjoy at least one substantial and affordable meal each day. In this tradition local restaurants offer a menu del dia at lunchtime, generally consisting of three courses and a glass of vino to wash it down. Expect to pay around €10 at a basic restaurant, or €20 at a high-end eatery.

By filling up at lunch you won’t need to eat too much in the evening. That makes it the perfect time to try tapas, which are small dishes designed to be shared. This style of dining provides a great opportunity for trying unfamiliar dishes including the rustic paella called arros brut, the spicy pork sausage sobrassada, and the roast vegetable salad called tumbet.

If you’re spending time in Palma, resist the temptation to hire a car. Buses are plentiful, and their fares cost a lot less than the city’s parking fees. Alternatively you could rent a bike and soak up the city and it’s surrounds at a slower pace. Hire cars are useful if you’re spending time out of town though as public transport in less common.

Majorca’s temperate climate means there’s never really a bad time to visit, although if you’ve got your heart set on time spent on the beach you may want to avoid winter. While it’s never incredibly cold, even in June and July, the ocean can get a bit chilly. Affordable airfares are available all year round, although you’ll enjoy a discount if you fly in the evening or during the week.

A small street in Palma, Majorca

A small street in Palma, Majorca

Once you’re there you’ll find a diverse range of accommodation from hostels to five-star resorts. As with most international destinations, accommodation in Majorca costs the most in the high season. If you insist on staying from April to October you may need to stay a little further from the beach or book a package holiday to see value for money. Many frugal travelers will be impressed with the number of all-inclusive hotel deals available for less than €20 a night.

The savings in Majorca will ensure you have more to spend on your next European vacation port, if you can bear to leave!

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