|Subject: Baleares / Mallorca baerbelschmidt|
Some days ago Joao asked about the Baleares. Mainly about Ibiza. As I never was there, I did not answer yet. But as it stays quiet on the topic in general, I try to contribute some bits about Mallorca.
In general - the island is wonderful. It offers so much, it's hard to know where to start. You said you like hiking - there are even real mountains on Mallorca. But also smaller solitary hills with monasteries on it, wet areas where you can watch birds, areas where you can be lonely for hours (in the far northeast e.g.) but also wonderful bays for bathing.
Plus you got Palma as a wonderful town even with a very nice Miró museum in the suburbs.
I had a car for my week there and used it very often. E.g. riding up beneath the military at the border of Palma you wind up the hills and have breathtaking views - on your own. There is simply nobody up there.
If it's still as it was, every Wednesdy morning you find the cattle market in Sineu. Means everything from cows down to little chicks and of course other things you would expect on markets, too. But this is not the only market. Go into the smaller villages on the respective market day and you can fill up your camera with wonderful images.
I already mentioned the monasteries, but of course there is more to see. From ancient time ruins to farms. And the landscape is breathtaking, too, at many places.
The "downside" is that there are very touristy areas. Namely Arenal, east of Palma, and parts of the North east coast. The good side of it - that kind of tourists who like to be pampered, are there. They stay there. And you got the rest of the island for you ;) (ok - a bit exaggerated, but you get the basic idea)
All in all, I think this island has a lot to offer, and if I should choose, I would go there again. I got the impression that the other Baleares islands are smaller and therefore have less variety. I might be wrong though.
hth Baerbel near Stuttgart