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12 Things You Certainly Do Not Know About Mallorca

What many a Ballermann vacationer does not know and probably does not want to know: Mallorca has countless beautiful bays 
Anyone who has been to Mallorca more often believes that they know everything about the island. There are some exciting and curious facts about the largest of the Balearic Islands, which not everyone knows. TRAVEL TRIP names 12 of them.

1. The first tourist was an Austrian

Which should surprise no one more: By far the most foreign tourists in Mallorca come from Germany. It was just under 3.7 million in 2013, followed by the British (2.1 million) and the Swiss (312,000). However, the first man to travel to Majorca as a tourist came from Austria: in 1867 the Austrian Archduke Ludwig Salvator visited the island and settled there three years later. He also opened the first boarding house in Mallorca, where visitors could spend the night for free if they brought their own food.

2. There was not a single house in S’Arenal 150 years ago

150 years ago there was not a single house where today one hotel adjoins the other and a beach bar to the next. In 1872, a man from the interior of the island built a first-holiday cottage there, and gradually a small fishermen’s cottage and cottage settlement was established, which was first mentioned in Spanish documents in 1881. When a railway line was built on Mallorca from Palma to Llucmajor, more and more workers moved into the place, which was finally baptized S’Arenal, “the Sandy”. There are three bars in 1930, but still no hotel and no restaurant. The right tourism boom began in 1960 with the opening of the international airport in Palma. Dozens of hotels were built, alone in S’Arenal 70 in number. There are almost 33,000 guest beds in the entire Platja de Palma holiday area today.

3. Majorca’s sand is just stolen


The same Platja de Palma, home of the men of the ball and the most visited beach of the island, was once much narrower than today. It was only in the 1990s that it was widened by artificial landfills to more than 500 meters. And when a heavy storm in the autumn of 2001 several large beaches on the east and northeast coast, including in Can Picafort and Cala Millor, down to a narrow strip of sand, were at the behest of the Spanish Ministry of the Environment thousands of tons of sand dredged from the deeper seabed off Mallorca and piled up on the ruined beaches. Because most of this destroyed the ecosystem on the seabed, the European Court of Justice condemned the Balearic Islands to a million-dollar fine. Of course, on Malle, there are also beaches that have been created naturally,


5. Mallorca has eleven one-thousand

Mallorca is not only popular with bathing and party travelers, but also with hikers and mountain bikers. Finally, the island has a real mountain in the northwest. The Serra de Tramuntana runs along the coast for 90 kilometers, from Andratx to Pollença, and has eleven mountains that are more than 1000 meters high. The highest is the Puig Major, which winds 1445 meters into the sky almost in the middle of the mountain range. Incidentally, the Serra de Tramuntana is responsible for ensuring that the weather is so good on Majorca: the mountains keep most of the rain clouds away and spare the island from the cool north wind.

6. Some animals are only available in Mallorca

Especially the mountainous region of the island is a protected retreat for many animals and especially birds. Some species exist even exclusively in Mallorca, such as the black vulture, which has since been settled on the Spanish mainland and in France, or the Mallorca midwife toad, which was believed until the early 1980s, she was long since extinct. The tiny Froschlurch, which is a maximum of 38 millimeters in size, attracts attention through his protruding eyes.

7. The king of Mallorca is not Jurgen Drews

Even if one of them may be convinced – the king of Mallorca is not Jurgen Drews. Although Thomas Gottschalk declared the pop singer during a “Wetten, dass …?” Broadcast in Mallorca in 1999, and Drews himself sang the eponymous hit one year later, the truth is that the island is, of course, ruled by another: Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos los Santos de Borbón y Grecia, in short Felipe IV, the king of Spain.

8. The German tourists are the most economical

Although by far the most holidaymakers in Mallorca come from Germans, they bring the island the lowest revenue in tourism compared to other nations. How does it fit together? Quite simply: the Germans are particularly economical, spend less per day than visitors from other countries. This has been calculated by the Spanish Ministry of Transport on the basis of figures from 2013. For example, German tourists spend an average of 102 euros per person per day, while Swiss and Scandinavian people spend 140 euros. After all, the British spend only two euros more per day (a beer or sangria?), The Spanish tourists spend an average of 112 euros per day on the island.

9. Mallorca has two export hits

For a long time, shoes were Mallorca’s number one export hit, and that since the beginning of the 20th century. In 2013, shoes worth 100 million euros were shipped abroad, mainly to Germany, Great Britain and France. The center of shoe production is located in Inca in Mallorca’s island center. Here also the most well-known of all Mallorquin shoe brands was founded in 1975: Camper (pronunciation by the way not Camper but as written Camper, it is the Mallorcan word for farmer). Last year, however, the footwear export of Mallorca has fallen by 50 percent. But another island commodity has enormously increased in export: sea salt. The sale of Balearic sea salt abroad has increased by more than 500 percent since 2014.

10. Mallorca’s import hit is pretty dirty

One might think that especially on an island characterized by mass tourism, which is also considered a natural paradise, the topic of waste is not easy to handle. Not so in Mallorca: In Son Reus north of Palma is a state-of-the-art waste incineration plant, which burns the tons of accumulating garbage of residents and tourists (a total of 800 kilos per capita per year!). And because the plant is underutilized, especially in the off-season, the island government decided to import garbage from other countries – a lucrative business. For example, garbage is regularly transported from the Spanish mainland, from Italy and Ireland to Mallorca, where it is burned. Of course not without massive protests from local residents and environmentalists. Like the ” Mallorca newspaper” Writes the designated new island council president Miquel Ensenyat, however, recently announced that they want to stop the controversial waste imports.

11. Beware of “thumbs up” and “Rock’n’Roll”!

Other countries, different gestures – this also applies to the Spanish Baleraren Islands. But did you know what it means to make the “thumbs up” sign in a bar in Mallorca? The gesture, which can be translated in this country with “All Good”, “Like” or “Super” means there: “I want to order another drink.”

Unpleasant consequences can be had when you do the “Rock’n’Roll ‘” – sign, the fist with the outstretched little finger and index finger. In Mallorca, this may mean: “Your wife put horns on you” or “She has gone astray”, as the provider Fincallorca.de writes in a collection of curious facts.

12. Gremlin bats instead of dragons?

Attentive vacationers may have noticed and wondered about them: the bats that curiously adorn several buildings in Palma de Mallorca. The coat of arms of the island’s capital is decorated with the Halloween animal, and in the city hall of Palma teeming with miniature bat statues, which are carved into the seats, among other things.

The explanation is simple – yet complicated. The bat, which as a heraldic animal of the kings of Aragon also adorns the coats of arms of Valencia and Barcelona, is considered a special lucky charm of King Jaume I, who conquered Mallorca from the Moors in the 13th century. Why just this animal? There are various legends – one was actually meant to be a dragon, so the bat would be the result of a misunderstanding.

However, the creature did not only encounter love: in social media, according to the media reports, it was mocked as an ugly “Gremlin” and “flying pig”. The city administration then denied that it was an official mascot. The essence is just some merchandising product. Since then it has become quiet about “Passi”.


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