Majorca Winter And New Year Holidays - By: Roger Munns

Description : New figures recently released by the island's tourist group has shown that winter holidays in Majorca have grown in popularity by some twenty per cent over the last five years.

And while the weather is still good, it's not necessarily the beaches that are attracting holidaymakers to the island for a pre-Christmas and New Year break, but the culture and history too, with many tourists venturing inland to discover the 'real Majorca' often overlooked on traditional package holidays in the summer months.

And of all the many Europeans that visit Majorca for a holiday it's the British who have increasingly taken trips outside of the main summer months, often for two and three day breaks, with low cost airlines allowing a short off season holiday in Majorca to be financially possible.

Porto Cristo is an area of Majorca providing solace for tourists looking to enjoy a quiet holiday. The centre of the island's pearl industry, Porto Cristo uses a unique method of combining glass and pulverized fish scales to produce artificial pearls that are nearly indistinguishable from real pearls. While the hotels in Porto Cristo aren't the best in the world, their olde world charm makes staying in town worthwhile. At night, the streets of the town are quiet and peaceful, unlike some area of Majorca. Porto Cristo is popular with middle-aged couples looking for solitude and quiet romance.

And if the beach isn't quite as inviting in the off season months, there's always great shopping in Majorca. You can find crafts and handmade goods at many of the small open markets. Designer products can be found at the shopping malls. The hours for the shops and boutiques typically allow an extended lunch break. Tourists and visitors should make a note of this if they are interested in shopping. The small open markets are open weekly, and it's best to arrive early in the morning during the summer months, but in the autumn and winter time the markets are quieter, and with less jostling much more of an enjoyable experience as stallholders have time for a chat.

Mallorca has fine leather goods, pearl jewelry, Lladro porcelain, and even siurells for the children. Siurells are clay whistles that have been made in Mallorca for centuries, dating back to Arab times. There is definitely something for everyone!

By visiting the interior of the island, autumn and winter visitors can see the island's true history and be able to see Majorca's agriculture. Many older farm homes are transformed into bed and breakfast type rooms where families and couples can stay - a great alternative when Mediterranean views become a bit boring! Agro tourism is a growing concept. Holidaymakers enjoy the countryside and self catering accommodation like villas, cottages, apartments and fincas. Located in charming villages, these alternatives to traditional hotels offer character in a picturesque environment that the heavily occupied outskirts of the island can't.

Majorca is rich in culture and history too and a day sightseeing in the capital with coffee breaks and lunch in one of the squares in the cool of the autumn can be quite a day - the Cathedral in Palma and any of several churches and museums are worth heading for. Many architectural ruins and buildings date back to the early 100 BC era. Historic botanical gardens lend an air of historic reverie to the older places of the city. Several times during the year, Majorca has cultural events with plays, concerts and opera.

But whatever season visitors descend upon Majorca, the good news is that the island really has made an effort to keep her holidaymakers happy. In recent months for example no fewer than three hotels have received Excellence and Leisure Nominations and Awards, further proving that Mallorca is the perfect holiday destination year round.

The Hotel Aimia in Puerto Soller on the northwest coast of Mallorca received a nomination as one of four contenders in the Most Excellent European Value for Money Award. Many of the Aimia Hotel's rooms face the Puerto de Soller and offer breathtaking views of Mallorca's white sand beaches. Nearby Port De Soller is the only commercial seaport in the Serra De Tramuntana.

Porto Petro Beach Resort Hotel, just opened in 2005, is neatly tucked into two beautiful, sandy coves along a half mile stretch of Mediterranean coastline in Porto Petro. This 300 room waterfront resort was nominated for the Most Excellent European Value for Money Award in 2007.

If you're thinking of a winter holiday, and wondering what Majorca can offer - it can offer as much or as little as you want it to, at a pace you can dictate yourself.

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Popular in Majorca are villa holidays, and the guide has villa holiday in Majorca photographs and information along with other Mallorca holiday news.