Our 5 landscapes of Mallorca beyond the beach…
Ask anyone the question, what is Mallorca famous for? They will probably say sun, sand and sea.
There is no denying that Mallorca’s popular seaside towns welcome plenty of tourists every summer and it is easy to see why. The coastline is stunning and its proximity to the UK means you only have to board a short flight before you arrive in paradise.
It’s reputation for being a tourism honeypot means that it is often overlooked as a geography school trip destination. However, beyond its azure waters and golden shores, the island is bursting with geological wonders, dramatic landscapes and unique ecosystems to discover.
To give you an idea of what Mallorca offers beyond the beach here are our 5 favourite landscapes…
Wander down the streets of Mallorca’s capital city and you will be instantly impressed by its stunning architecture and bustling, vibrant surroundings. The impressive Gothic style cathedral is at the heart of the city and aristocratic townhouses line the narrow medieval streets. Bellver Castle is a showstopper, rich with history and with exquisite views across the expanding city and down to the sea. 50% of the population of Mallorca live in Palma, meaning it is teeming with locals and tourists alike, both enjoying the galleries, restaurants, churches and public squares, which give an endless supply of culture to absorb.
Whilst here, students will be able to learn about how the city has grown in recent history and how it has adjusted to mass tourism. The gentrification in the area gives insight into Mallorca’s recent urban rebranding and how the city is working hard to become more sustainable.
Es Pla Villages
The open plains in the centre of the island, sandwiched between the large mountain ranges of the West and East Coast, is often referred to as the Es Pla region. This part of the island is often considered the most authentically Mallorcan. Small villages and agricultural land, including olive groves, open fields and vineyards make up this beautiful area. Among our favourite’s here are the villages of Sineau and nearby San Joan.
Whilst visiting the tranquil village of Sineau, students will be able to explore how locals adapt to the 700-year-old weekly market’s popularity with tourists, attracting 6,000 visitors each week and why local councils are placing great importance on creating a responsible tourism model in these areas. In the village of San Joan, you can see how locals adapt to and manage the often-limited water supply.
Stretching the entire length of the West Coast, the Tramuntana mountain ranges are a UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Landscape. A collage of dramatic limestone peaks and forested hillsides, the mountains are full of stunning villages, historic sites and are home to one of Mallorca’s most popular tourist activities; cycling! On the opposite side of the island you will also be greeted by an impressive mountain range, Serra de Llevant. This area is very popular for hiking and gives visitors unbeatable views. You can see watch towers overlooking the coast, indicating Mallorca’s fascinating and turbulent history.
Within the windy roads, picturesque villages and hiking trails of the Mallorcan mountain ranges, students are able to get a 360° view of life on the island and discover how the mountains are used as a great resource in Mallorca.
Mallorca has over 200 cave systems across the island, caused by waves, water drainage or erosion. The cave systems on the east coast of the island are unique as they actually sit above sea level. Perhaps the most impressive, and by far the most popular with tourists is the Drach and Hams Caves, which both have large underground lakes.
Enter the caves and you will be immediately hit by the grandeur of not only the formations around you but by the show that these caves put on for tourists. Geology students can explore the stalactite formations as they wind through the mesmerising caves and those interested in tourism on the island will be thrilled to see how the classical music and boat shows at the end of your tour through the caves create a spectacle of the natural attraction to enhance tourist experience.
Mallorca has one national park and plenty of natural parks. In fact, 40% of the island falls under official environmental protection. Each park has its own dramatic landscape, and has a plethora of nature and wildlife to be discovered.
Students can explore some of Mallorca’s iconic natural parks by hiking or cycling through them. Amongst the wetland of Albufera Natural Park you may catch a glimpse of one of the rare birds here, including the Eleanora Falcon. Elsewhere, Llevant Natural Park also provides stunning insight into Mallorca’s diverse flora and fauna. Mallorca’s one and only national park can be found on the uninhabited island of Cabrera, which has had national park status since 1991. Swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Blue Cave and discover the marine life that can be found below.
Discover how these landscapes could fit into a school trip by taking a look at our sample itineraries…