Mallorca is overflowing with history which is evident from the high number of ancient sites, historical buildings and wonderful art all around the island.
Churches & cathedrals
Almost every village, town and city in Mallorca has a beautiful church right at its centre, some more famous or distinctive than others. Most of them have roots in the Middle Ages and boast unique art pieces inside combined with majestic façades designed to stun visitors outside. If you can see only one, Palma’s Gothic cathedral, the most famous historical landmark on the island, should definitely be on your list.
If you are keen on getting away from the more touristy hot spots, try driving (or hiking) to a hilltop sanctuary to experience 'the other Mallorca' providing peace and quiet far away from the crowds. There are several chapels, hermitages, sanctuaries and monasteries dotted throughout the island, mainly dating back to medieval times. Originally inhabited by monks, they were places of pilgrimage. Nowadays, they provide excellent starting points for hikes, and you can spend the night in some of them in fairly basic but cheap accommodation.
The island's castles are imposingly beautiful and, whilst some have been transformed into hotels, others remain some of the island's most prominent historical monuments. Bellver and Capdepera castles are two of the most prevalent, preserved in their original state. The Royal Palace of La Almudaina proudly sits beside Palma’s iconic cathedral, is officially a royal residence even today but its gardens are open to visitors most of the year.
There are also a number of ancient ruins on the island. The most famous are those of the Roman city of Pollentia which has been preserved for almost 2000 years. Stone buildings, courtyards and cobbled paths are all identifiable. Bronze Age settlements like the impressive Ses Paisses can also be visited.
Whilst the island boasts around 200 cave systems, two of them are renowned for being some of the most impressive in Europe. To see magnificent stalactite and stalagmite formations, head to the east coast of Mallorca to embark on one of the guided tours of either Cuevas del Drach or Cuevas de Artà. Unique rock formations are a common sight in Mallorca so it is likely you will come across some on your stay especially if you venture towards the smaller bays.
There is a superb range of art galleries, both private and public, as well as museums in Mallorca, You can see works by Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí and many other top-tier artists here, as well as exhibitions specialising in different interests from the history of Mallorca through to the tradition of Mallorcan pottery or antique toys.