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This Gorgeous Island In Spain Is On Track To Become One Of The Top Destinations This Year

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Home to world-renowned cities like Madrid and Barcelona, blessed with year-round warmer weather and boasting endless miles of coastline, it's no wonder Spain is one of the top destinations for Americans flying across the pond.

The entire country is a hotspot for tourism, from the culturally-charged north-westernmost provinces to the resort-dominated Costa del Sol, but one island in particular seems to be fueling tourism growth the most (and stealing the hearts of visiting Americans).

Aerial View Of Old Town Palma de Mallorca With The Gothic Cathedral And Mediterranean Sea Pictured, Palma, Spain

How does eating heladitos as you walk down a palm-lined boardwalk, swimming in turquoise waters, and exploring postcard-ready medieval towns sound for a vacation?

Mallorca Is A Major Force Behind Spain's Tourism Boom

According to Spain's AIReF, the entity responsible for GDP-related stats, the Balearic island of Mallorca is a huge contributor to Spain's tourism rebound, with the local economy (mostly tourism-based) having grown 3.2% in 2023, above the national average of 2%.

In total, it hosted 11.6 million tourists last year, a growing number of which are Americans, who have enjoyed nonstop flights to the paradisaical island since 2022; this year, it could break all-time records, as flight frequency from key markets increases and demand soars.

Racing for the number one spot in Spain, it challenges Malaga and nearby Marbella, voted a top destination this year, the tropical Canary Islands, Barcelona, famous for its Gaudí heritage and soon-to-be-finished Sagrada Familia Basilica.

La Seu, the gothic medieval cathedral of Palma de Mallorca in Spain

Still, with so many destinations in Spain to choose from, you may be wondering why it's Mallorca where they're headed.

What Makes Mallorca So Special?

The largest island of a Mediterranean archipelago known as the Balearics, and the seventh-largest in this sea, Mallorca has been inhabited since at least the 3rd millennium BC, and though it is primarily a leisure destination in the modern age, it is a cultural site of the first order.

A Beautiful Ancient Capital
Woman taking a selfie in Mallorca

Its beautiful, compact capital of Palma de Mallorca concentrates a number of historical landmarks, from a fortified cathedral, to Bellver (one of Europe's last-surviving circular castles), to the monumental Royal Palace of La Almudaina, to the UNESCO-listed, Gothic Silk Exchange.

Similarly to other settlements in Palma, the cityscape is ochre-hued, giving it an enticing ancient flair, and there are several Mallorcan restaurants and traditional tapa bars serving cheap tintos and flavorful tidbits to satisfy the food connoisseur in you.

Magaluf Is The European Cancun
Mallorca Spain Coastline, Balearics, Southern Europe

Palma's true charm, however, lies in its unique combination of European, Old World charm and modern resort strips: a short 23-minute drive from the capital, straddling a section of the Bay of Palma where the sea is crystal-clear, Magaluf is where you'll find your perfect all-inclusive stay.

Nestled in a Caribbean-style development zone, with tourist-friendly facilities and hotel complexes distributed along a sandy coast, it is where Germans and Brits flock into for their sunny getaways irrespective of season; it is, as we like to call it, the European Cancun.

The overnight average at Magaluf Beach resorts is only $123 ahead of the peak season, top Expedia picks including Hotel Spa Flamboyan Caribe, Leonardo Royal Hotel Mallorca, and the VIP, adults-only Ibero Star Selection Jardín del Sol Suites, at an entry-level rate of $314.

Man Lounging At Resort Pool In A Tropical Setting
Scenic Coastal Scenes

Magaluf may be Mallorca's ‘Cancun', but you should bear in mind there is a whole island to be discovered, from highly-developed beach zones to unspoiled fishing villages with origins lost to time, not to mention a verdant, hilly hinterland dotted with charming historic towns.

Encompassing Palma's tallest peak and unique geological formations, the Tramuntana Range is a sustainable tourism center rich in biodiversity, while the northwestern edge of the island is best known for its scenic coastal drives and charming port towns.

Village Of Polenca In Mallorca, A Balearic Island Of Spain In The Mediterranean Sea, Southern Europe

No visit to Mallorca is complete without Port de Sóller, popular for its historic tramway and imposing Romanesque-Gothic church, the stone-built settlements of Deià, Fornalutx, and Valldemossa, with their narrow streets and terracotta roofs, or the medieval Port of Pollença (and all its pristine calas).

Mallorca Is An Affordable European Getaway

When it comes to prices, Mallorca is incredibly affordable by Mediterranean standards, as a one-week stay will set you back by $1,045 per person, including accommodation, meals and transportation between different municipalities.

Heritage Tram In Soller, A Small Town In The Spanish Island Of Mallorca, Balearics, Mediterranean Europe

Most of the food served in restaurants is locally-sourced, and thanks to Palma's fertile terrain and balmy climate, there is an abundance of tropical fruit and vegetables and freshly-caught seafood in markets; the cost of living outside resort towns is pretty low, too.

On average, restaurant menus in Palma are half the price of New York's, with prices for inexpensive meals in local eateries set at $14, and more elaborate, three-course dinners for two people in mid-range spots costing $53.87, or the equivalent in euros.

Nonstop U.S. Flights Returning This Year

Mallorca Beach, Spain

Furthermore, there will be an increase in capacity for United's New York-Palma flights this year, proving demand keeps growing among Americans: starting May 25, the carrier will operate a 240-seat Boeing 767-400 ER on this route, 26 more than last year's.

In the wake of United's success, American Airlines is also planning on operating this Transatlantic route at some point this year, with flights from Miami to Palma expected to be announced soon, though at the time of writing, no further details have been unveiled.

With nonstop flights returning, and as many as three weekly flights scheduled, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from late May through September 25, not to mention a frequency increase for intra-Europe low-cost flights, we expect Palma to become one of the top destinations in 2024.

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Wednesday 21st of February 2024

Can you please not promote the island. It's already at its breaking point with over tourism and the last thing it needs is rude Americans visiting and driving up the prices for everything. It used to be a place a family could go for a week and spend less than 600€ and now it's extremely expensive for the average family.