Culture and Tourism in Majorca
Palma, the capital of the Balearic Islands and its most important urban centre, with a population of just over 350,000, is due to host the ALGO 2005 Conference.
Palma, or Ciutat, as it is also known by Mallorcan people, is a beautiful city where history and modernity merge in perfect harmony. Adorned with yachts and palm trees, it stretches along 15 kilometres of the bay of the same name. The people of Palma, as all the inhabitants of the archipelago, constitute a bilingual community (Spanish and Catalan). Nonetheless, in the streets of Palma an endless number of languages can be heard that demonstrate its hospitable and multicultural character, testimony to the fact that approximately 10 million tourists visit our islands every year.
The old town is a monumental jewel where the visitor can admire the legacy left by all the civilisations that have inhabited it: The Arab Baths, the Almudaina, the Cathedral, the Exchange and the Bellver Castle are all ``musts''. But not less renowned are the courtyards in the noble houses, or the modernist buildings such as the Gran Hotel, site of the La Caixa foundation, with its cultural and exhibition centre. Highlights among its museums are the recently-established Es Baluard, located on the old medieval walls, the Museu Miró or the Museu de Mallorca.
In order to see the best of Palma in a single day, there is a tourist bus whose itinerary offers the visitor the opportunity of getting to know the most beautiful sites in our city. These can be visited from any one of the bus\u2019s 13 stops. More information at: http://www.a-palma.es/cast/cast_cone_arri03.htm#bus50
Balearic gastronomy, with its marked Mediterranean character, has among its main ingredients olive oil and pork. Extensive and varied, our cuisine is very much sought after both by Majorcan people and by the many visitors who come from all over the world to patronise the busy restaurants and terraces in Paseo Maritimo, the surroundings of La Lonja, or the Paseo del Borne. Majorcan sobrasada is very well known throughout the mainland, and very few visitors return home without the sweetest and most delicious of presents: our ensaimadas. Less well known, but equally delicious, are the empanadas and cocarrois, the cocas de verdura y trampó, frito mallorquín, tumbet, the conejo con cebolla or the lomo con col, to mention only some of our specialities.
Majorca enjoys a temperate Mediterranean climate, with an average temperature of 17º degrees. It is an island of great diversity: from the craggy peaks of the Tramuntana mountain range to the valleys of the Plà, and from its many coves to the extensive sandy beaches of the south-east of the island, the geography of Majorca is characterised by a succession of landscapes free of monotony, where every stretch of earth has its own distinct charm.
Although tourism provides the island´s principal source of income, thre is also a thriving shoe and leather industry, as well as furniture and glassware.