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This elegant island has to offer anything a visitor might dream of. Tourism at Mallorca started to develop already in the 1920s, and until the Spanish Civil War it was mainly intellectuals and artists who were attracted by this island. Mallorca's wonderful climate, beautiful landscapes as well as its cosmopolitan ambience make it a privileged holiday resort, with a cultural offer comparable to the one of many European capitals. The Auditiorio de Palma , for instance, ranks among Europe's top concert halls. At Mallorca, you will find relaxation, inspiration, culture and entertainment.

Mallorca has a serious range of mountains, the Serra de Tramuntana, along the north-west side and a range of pine-clad hills along the east (the Serres de Llevant).

In between is the vast plain to the east of Palma called Es Pla, sprinkled with little-known historic country towns and planted with around six million almond trees.

Elsewhere olives, artichokes and melons vie for space alongside wild flowers, cactuses and migratory birds stopping off between Europe and Africa.

Towns such as Felanitx, where local farmers fill a colourful market around the old church on Sundays, and Petra, where families sit at quiet cafes in tree-shaded squares, give a glimpse of what life was like before the tourists arrived.

The flat north-east coast is heavily developed at Alcúdia but still has its out-of-the-way attractions, such as the Iron Age cemetery at Son Real, just outside Ca'n Picafort. The east coast is dotted with sandy coves.

Head for Cala Mondragó or Porto Petro, where low-rise development hasn't destroyed the original charm. Of the competing caves in this area, those at Artà are the most impressive.

Mallorca's south coast is a mix of lonely, windswept sand dunes, ideal for a romantic walk.

The liveliest resorts are around the bay of Palma - S'Arenal (more popular with German visitors), Magaluf and Palma Nova are where the massed ranks of hotels and apartments are crammed along the superb, sandy beaches.