Many of the world's rich and famous choose to set up holiday homes in Mallorca including such Hollywood royalty as Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas and actual royalty the King of Spain himself. So understandably the largest of the Balearic Isles has much to recommend it, least of all its' miles of sun-kissed beaches and sparkling blue seas.
However Mallorca is generally known by Britons as the package holiday destination with resorts such as Magaluf and Palma Nova infamous for their drunken nightlife and full English breakfasts.
There is of course so much more to this Spanish island then immediately meets the eye though and while the main hub of Palma de Mallorca may not seem initially like an attractive proposition, it has plenty else to offer by way of a break from the traditional beach holiday.
With Palma Airport the central point of entry to the island situated just 8km away, getting here is a breeze. There is even a shuttle bus that runs every half hour during the summer and every hour in winter direct to Palma centre for a 2 euro ticket fee, although a Palma Airport car hire may be more appropriate for those with a spirit of adventure.
Palma city centre is a hive of activity which is unsurprising considering over half over Mallorca's 800,000 residents live here. With a mish mash of architecture from different eras and periods of occupation, Palma boasts a Gothic cathedral through medieval buildings and Roman remains. There are also signs of its' Moorish occupation in the ancient Almudaina Palace (Palau Almundaina)which was restyled by proceeding monarchs and the Arab Baths, both open to the public.
One of the must see attractions for art lovers is the Museum of Bartolome March (Palau March Museum). Original the home of the wealthiest banker in Mallorca this beautiful building houses some remarkable sculptures from the likes of Rodin and Henry Moore, as well as medieval engravings and a Neapolitan nativity scene from the 1700's.
There is an entrance fee of €4.50 and is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 6.30pm from April to October and 10am to 6pm from November to March. Saturdays are open from 10am to 2pm while Sundays and holidays are closed.
The Castell de Bellver is also worth a visit and unique among Spanish castles in that it is entirely round and perfectly designed to keep out enemies. Begun in 1300 by King Jaume II, it has been used throughout history as a prison is now used as a museum to display the city's history, in the form of artifacts and pottery.
However there are plenty of tunnels, secret staircases and lookout points to keep even the most attention-deficit of children interested. The entrance fee is €2.10 and opening times are 8am-8pm October to March and 8am-9pm April to September. Sunday and bank holidays 10am - 5pm from October to March, 10am-7pm from April to September. Also in the hottest months of July and August it is shut for 2 hours between 2-4pm.
If a day of sight-seeing has taken its' toll then there are plenty of restaurants and bars in which to recharge. Whether you want to look out at the boats across the harbour, retire to one of the many eateries nestled down the city's winding ancient streets or sit out and people watch in one of Palma's big, open squares the choice is plentiful.