Palma is both the capital of the island of Majorca and the administrative capital of the autonomous province of the Balearic Islands.
The resident population of the island is only about 600,000 but, of course, the non-resident population accounts for considerably more than this, especially in the peak tourist season. With its all-year-round mild to hot climate, Mallorca attracts visitors from Britain, Germany, Holland and the Scandinavian countries in particular.
The islanders are an increasingly cosmopolitan (and latin) mix of Mallorquins, Latin Americans and other immigrants. Although some Mallorquins speak Catalan as a first language, Spanish is very much the dominant language around most of Mallorca, and Catalan is not promoted in the same way as it is in Barcelona and the rest of Catalonia.
Mallorca is surprising to many visitors in that it is by no means purely a tourist destination of the type characterised by Magaluf. In fact there are many wild beaches protected by law, and many picturesque towns and secret getaways, hidden from the main throng of tourists. It is for this reason that stars such as Michael Douglas, Claudia Schiffer and Boris Becker have houses here.
The island is served by a recently renovated and enlarged airport, and it’s a thirty minute hop over to Barcelona or Valencia, while Madrid is just an hour’s flight away. Residents are eligible for a 33% travel discount on all flights or ferries to the mainland or to Ibiza and Menorca.