Spain’s financial crisis has had a devastating effect on the country’s property market, and it is expected that property prices on the mainland will continue to fall during 2014.
But it’s not all doom and gloom – for the lovely isle of Mallorca, things are well and truly looking up!
Importantly, many estate agents in Majorca have reported a healthy increase in ‘high end’ property sales last year of between 30 and 40 per cent.
International buyers hold the key to recovery
What’s more, the island’s estate agents agree that top-end property prices have now returned to within 10 per cent of pre-recession levels. And it is multimillion euro sales to international buyers that seem to be fuelling the recent upturn. (Figures complied by the Spanish National Notary Association demonstrate that property sales actually doubled to overseas buyers between 2008 and 2012.)
Playing an important role in encouraging overseas buyers to invest in property in Mallorca is the Spanish government. It recently brought in a new ‘golden visa’ law which permits non-EU buyers of property costing more than €500,000 to become Spanish residents.
And that’s not all. ‘Project Paramount’ has also been launched by the government. This is so Spain’s ‘bad bank’, Sareb, can attempt to cleanse the country of toxic property held by he country’s financial institutions. The jury is out, however, on just how effective the scheme really is.
Mallorca is still a great place to live
The truth is, Mallorca is still very much a highly desirable place to own a property. Antonio Fuster, CEO of Mallorca-based Balearic Properties (www.balearic-properties.com) outlines which areas of the island appeal the most to wealthy buyers. “There are four main areas: Deia and Soller in Mallorca’s northwest have some beautiful fincas for sale, whereas in the south west around Andratx, potential buyers are attracted by the modern architecture, stunning sea views and the golf courses. For families, it is predominantly around Puerto Pollensa and Formentor in the north that appeal, whereas Palma, with its fascinating history, chic art galleries, shops and restaurants acts like a magnet”, he says.
Antonio Fuster also offers some helpful advice for potential home owners in Mallorca: “Budgeting between €2,000 and Euro €3,000 a sq metre for construction is advisable if you are planning to renovate a property. And don’t forget to add on architect’s fees and VAT. Another thing to consider is the tradesmen. It’s a good idea to make sure they are all working independently to eliminate any possible price-fixing”, he says.
Building sites are busy
In Mallorca, the good news is that building sites are busy once more.
A good example of this is the stunning Marina Plaza II development in the Portixol area which is nearing completion. Also the chic ‘Paseo Maritimo’ with its high end luxury apartmentsoffering stunning views over the millionaire Royal Yacht Club and the beautiful Palma Bay, attracts many overseas buyers too.
A final word from Balearic Property’s Antonio Fuster: “Mallorca is regaining its confidence, and now is a really good time to buy”, he says. “Healthcare here is excellent, the island is not overdeveloped, there is a wide range of international schools, and it is very well-served with flights from European countries. What’s not to like!”
Factors to consider when the medium energy rating obtained is low
The requirement to have the energy certificate for the sale or rental of a property has brought to light that medium energy rating obtained by the houses certified so far is an “F” or a “G”, in other words a low rating.
Nevertheless, so far there are a few that have gained the top energy rating an “A”. Factors that determine are: a good insulation with equipment i.e. air conditioning units that are low energy consumers; using geothermal energy or led lighting.
“We are building our latest projects with the “A” energy rating. Along the general lines for a property to obtain the top energy rating the following factors need to be met” says Miquel Bauzà, director of the company LF91
1.- A good thermal insulation to prevent either heat or cold from entering the property
2.- Good windows that insulate well, that are airtight and do not transmit heat or cold and that allow the natural light to enter
3.- The equipment installed, like air conditioning must create a feeling of comfort in the interior whilst being low on energy consummation
4.- Most efficient boilers like those that use Biomass, which hardly admit co2 into the atmosphere. More and more communities of owners are relying on this type of boiler and its installation is partly subsidized by the autonomous communities like Madrid
5.- Use of led lighting: this type of light bulb or lighting consumes much less than a conventional light bulb
6.- Use of geothermal: like a source of heat or of coolness in the summer which hardly consumes energy, such as under floor heating
7.- A good orientation of the property: orientation is important to avoid a very powerful electrical impact and also the distribution of the different areas of the property is determinant
8.- Use of efficient materials: there are some materials such as those mixed together, which are seldom used nowadays but which generate a dual chamber between the real brick front and the visible one that is exposed to the weather
The cost savings generated by a home with the highest energy rating
“When designing a home of this style and with these materials, it is true that it can be around 12-18% more expensive but with all the accumulated energy savings within a period of 8-10 years, the additional costs created during the construction will be recovered, ” adds the director of the project management company LF91 based in Pollensa, Mallorca
The large majority of rated properties so far have obtained a low energy rating; this means ratings “E”, “F”, or “G”. According to the director of the company LF91 this is partially because the technical code does not require such advanced materials as those used in the home visited.
“When they built in terms of maximum energy efficiency they thought about office buildings or large business parks because the amount of m2 having any energy savings represents a significant savings in money,” he adds.
Balearic Properties help people find their dream homes all the time, but whether you’re looking to move here permanently or use it as a holiday villa, ex-pats can sometimes underestimate what an important part of Mediterranean life the outside space is. You may be surprised by just how much time you will spend in the garden, so it should definitely be a major factor when searching for your ideal villa on Mallorca.
Know What Sort Of Garden You Want
Are you a keen gardener? Do you want lots of lawn and plants? Or would you prefer more terracing with lower maintenance?
Having a good understanding of what you want before you purchase your house is essential, as whilst you may not find the perfect garden, it will give you the vision needed to know whether the outside space could be turned into your dream Mediterranean escape.
Things To Consider
When you’re planning the layout of your garden there are many factors you should consider. Does your design compliment the architecture of the house? Often the house can help to dictate the best choice of materials and plants. Build areas you want to spend time in, by creating a combination of shaded areas to escape the midday sun, a place to eat, and bright open spaces; you will be able to enjoy your garden continually.
Look at the building methods used in the vicinity surrounding your villa, and compliment them wherever you can. Do the walls use mortar, or are they traditional Mallorcan construction?
Make it comfortable. In England much of the garden furniture is designed to be very robust and withstand the rigors of the varying climate. The wonderful temperatures in Mallorca mean people often use the outside space in a similar way to their living room. They can choose from a far wider array of garden furniture. Companies such as Terraza Balear provide a large range of outdoor furniture, but be sure to shop around to find exactly what you’re after.
If you have a sizeable plot to landscape, then lining the entrance with palm trees can add an element of the spectacular to your entrance. If your home is traditional and has shutters, then matching any fencing to the colour of your shutters can help it all to fit together.
Lighting is more of a consideration in a Mediterranean garden. The cool evenings make it much more likely that you’ll stay outside later. A well lit garden can provide a perfect backdrop to those lazy summer evenings with a bottle of wine.
Browse the luxury villas on our website to help find inspiration and get ideas.
Mallorca has an abundance of companies who offer professional design and maintenance services. They will know what is and isn’t acceptable locally, and may even make some suggestions you wouldn’t normally consider.
Irrigation in Mallorca
Many of the native species are hardy and don’t require lots of water. The ongoing water required to maintain the garden at its optimal level will be a factor for landscape gardeners, and their design should take this into account, as well as the times of year you intend to use the villa, so the garden is at its prettiest exactly when you want it to be.
Mallorca is located in the heart of the Mediterranean. A combination of short flight times, fantastic weather, rich culture, and a favourable exchange rate, all mean it is a hot favourite for Brits who are looking to relocate to sunnier climes.
At Balearic Properties we often help people moving to the island to find the right property. Our team of experienced professionals knows what is required when moving to the island. To make your dream move as stress free and seamless as possible, we have compiled a short list of what must be sorted, or considered, before you can call Mallorca home.
The first thing to do is to obtain an NIE number. Without an NIE you can’t rent or buy a property, or make any sizeable purchases. Under normal circumstances you must be on the island to obtain an NIE Number, but there are currently some legal firms (such as Ripoll Mateu) who are taking advantage of a loophole in the law, and can get your NIE Number by proxy, before you arrive.
If you’re going to be spending more than 90 continuous days on Mallorca, then you will also need a residency certificate. These can be obtained from the social security office in Palma. The waits can be long, and if you’re unsure of the process involved, it can be advisable to use an agent to obtain it for you. They sort everything out, and you just need to show up to sign your name and collect your certificate.
Healthcare in Mallorca
Eligibility for Spanish state healthcare depends on your personal circumstances. If you’re working and paying tax in Spain, then you and your family are automatically entitled to access to the excellent healthcare system on the island. There are also many private healthcare policies available, which in comparison to the cover on offer in the UK, represent excellent value for money.
Working in Mallorca
If you wish to work once you’re here, then you will need to get a Social Security number. If you’re working directly through a payroll for an employer, then your Social Security number is all you should need. If you want to start your own business or earn your living as a self-employed person, then we would advise going to see an accountant. There are many legal structures for the self-employed and businesses to consider, each with their own advantages. Many accountants on the island are bilingual, as well as there being British accountants.
Mallorca offers a range of state and international schools. The state schools are located all over the island, whereas the international colleges tend to be predominantly around Palma and the surrounding area. The international schools on the island often have waiting lists, so be sure to plan ahead to make sure they have availability at your desired school. Most follow the English Syllabus, with all lessons being taken in English. We have selected here some of the best international schools currently in Mallorca.
You should register your driving licence with the authorities if you are planning on staying here for a decent length of time. You will retain your current driving licence, but they may stamp it to say that it is officially recognised by the Spanish authorities.
Finding a Home
When you’re deciding which part of the island you would like to live, make sure you’re taking into account all of the factors important to your day to day lives. Balearic Properties has been matching people with their dream homes for many years. We use our local knowledge to help you to eliminate areas and properties, narrowing your search to only the homes best suited to your needs, and we would be more than happy to provide you with any assistance required.
Why are the Balearics the new target for investments
Property has always remained a great investment option for generations as it offers a wide array of benefits to the investor for a very long period. With real estate, you not just get a long term real estate asset but you can also generate ongoing income by renting the property. However, there are many points to consider, the most important of which are the selection of right time and right place for investment. Mallorca, the largest among the Balearic Islands Archipelago in Spain, is a well known holiday destination with a rich cultural history and incredible sights, that tourists love to explore. But another major reason behind Mallorca’s popularity is that it has been welcoming the rich and the famous from far and wide for generations by being one of the extensive markets for luxury accommodations and other real estate properties. Many people from across the world have invested in Mallorca properties and these investments have turned out as profitable ventures for them.
Read these steps before you invest
Once you decide to buy property in Mallorca, the next step is to find the most appropriate real estate deal. A few imperative factors which you need to mull over before indulging in the actual deal are:
The place where you are buying the property, the property itself and the associated price. The property and the place are certainly the most significant factors and must be thought about, in relation to the purpose with which you are buying the property. For example, if you are buying it to rent it out, then it must satisfy some of the requirements that tourists often look for before renting the property like, contemporary amenities, its location, the view it offers, the space it has for living along with a rental price which justifies the amenities while being cost effective as well. Similarly, if you are planning to buy the property for personal use, then you must consider your priorities and the expectations you have from your villa or apartment before indulging in the purchase.
The price , of course, is also a vital factor but certainly it comes into account later when you have finalised a few of the properties suiting your requirements.
Sea View Importancy. Finding villas facing the sea with all the modern facilities is not very difficult in Mallorca. Mallorca is full of striking properties with budgets of every amount.
Since, people are going digital in every industry branch you can easily find some of the properties for sale on the internet yourself and consider the deal. There are numerous websites which offer such deals but always remember that you must only work with the credible and reliable companies.
Like here we have a marvellous villa located on the coastline of Sant Elm:
Ref 4146 – 2,200.000 Euro
It is a beautiful Mediterranean style villa situated in the romantic village of Sant Elm. It offers splendid panoramic views overlooking the spectacular coastline and the open sea on an 850 sq m plot. The villa has been constructed so magnificently, that you would be mesmerized with its lavishness, amazingly beautiful covered terraces and a pleasant pool facing the sea. There are many excellent restaurants and a prestigious yachting harbour in close proximity of the villa.
To have a closer look at this luxury villa which has been put on the market for sale in the Southwest of Mallorca, you can log on to: www.balearic-properties.com/en/property/SWOSAT4146/Frontline-Villa-Sant-Elm
Another, villa which is bit different regarding architecture and location but equally marvellous is
Villa 4728 – 1,750.000 Euro
This villa, which has also been put up for sale is a spectacular property that offers picturesque views to three bays and is located in the north of Mallorca. It has been amazingly constructed on a hill top in one of the most preferred locations in Pollenca. The architecture of the property is such that you live with all the modern amenities yet you feel a serene closeness to the nature. Here, you can live some of the most relaxing, calm yet adventure filled days of your life. In the close proximity of this villa, is the town centre of Pollenca which has numerous fine restaurants and bars. Sunday mornings are the most vibrant mornings of the week as the whole town centre is transformed in to a vivacious weekly market, where you would love to shop.
You can use the above mentioned link to know about the intricate details of the property and its price. You will also find an extensive list of the features of the property. See the full details here: www.balearic-properties.com/en/property/POL4728/Mallorca-luxuryvilla-Pollensa
Emerging new boutique real estate shops
A whole new concept that is emerging these days in the real estate sector of Mallorca is of new boutique residential properties which are unique in terms of their interiors and architecture. To understand the concept, let us imagine a contemporary home with an innovative modern design, world-class interiors and premium value, where you would love to spend a few days away from the hustle bustle of the city and crowd. Boutique homes can be characterised by modern designs and first class amenities along with a breathtaking panoramic view. Everybody wants to live in a lavish, modern house which looks picture perfect and fitted with all commodities you need for a convenient living. Vogue Properties, one of the leading real estate companies in Mallorca can help you with the purchase of some of the finest architecture pieces and boutique homes with a service par excellence and unmatched by their counterparts. They have more than 15 years of extensive experience in the real estate market of Mallorca and their experience is reflected in their work ethics and understanding of the properties of the island of Mallorca.
Their multi-lingual, dedicated and friendly team will help you by completely understanding your requirements and specifications, as they offer their clients with the most varied selection complemented by highly professional and efficient service. If you are looking for boutique homes in Mallorca, then Vogue Properties must be your destination. To know more about Vogue Properties and their contact details, log on to http://www.vogueproperties.com
In one of her interviews Mrs. Iris Grunewald, the managing director of Vogue Properties in Mallorca, confirmed the re-establishment of market. In 2011, the real estate market in Mallorca was not considered one of the prime market for real estate investments but it has grown considerably in the last 2 years and now in 2013 it is attracting many investors from across the globe. She stated that we are seeing a lot more activity at the top end of the Mallorca’s real estate market as we make our way into the coming fall season, with more offers, more inquiries, and more viewings. If we observe the sales statistics for the market above Euro 800,000 this year shows an increase and slightly more sales to date as compared to the sales status this time last year; same happen to sales above Euro 1,500,000 are slightly increased from last year in Mallorca.
If we compare the status with the last year, the main high-end market appears to be rising very slowly off the bottom line. Some specific areas, like Monport in Andratxt, or Pollensa, seem to be well on the way to a fast recovery. Some other areas in the centre region of Mallorca, are still very quiet except the villages of Santa Maria, Binissalem and Alaró, where property sales have also increased considerably in the last year with property prices similar to the top coastline resorts of Andratx and Puerto Pollensa.
Not sure yet? Try a holiday villa first
However, if your purpose is only to visit Mallorca for a holiday, a business trip or to explore the place in order to gather first hand information on real estate investments, you would need someone with the necessary expertise to provide the perfect and independent-living accommodation for you. One such agency which specializes in arranging holiday rentals of luxury apartments and villas in Mallorca and other places in Spain is “Balearic Villas“. They have a friendly and adept team of multilingual, holiday-accommodation experts who assure professionalism and excellent services while organizing a luxury accommodation for you. The “Balearic Villas” network system has access to over 1400 handpicked properties and they can also arrange the extra facilities which you may need during your stay. Some of these facilities are a private chef, SPA and Massage services, car rentals etc. To know more about “Balearic Villas” and the holiday accommodation that they can offer, log on to http://www.balearic-villas.com
“Buy and Let” properties has become a prominent source of income for expat investors. It gives them an opportunity to have a property at their disposal and the additional advantage that the property can be used for earning a steady income by letting it to tourists. Mallorca properties certainly have the potential to appreciate and pay a regular income to your for years. Mallorca happens to be a place with all the contemporary facilities and a broad range of cultural & leisure destinations. This fact ensures a good outlook for growth in the years to come. Any real estate investment in Mallorca, regardless of its size is a solid investment which assures attractive returns. For a detailed insight regarding the potential of “Buy and Let” properties and to collect information on how to buy the properties & tax implications in Mallorca, log on to http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/expatproperty/9326529/Why-buy-to-let-homes-are-a-worthy-investment.html
According to the toughest gastronomy critics, there are five restaurants in Mallorca which deserve the distinction of a Michelin star for their mixture of classic and innovative cuisine, as well as their first class service, location and interior design.
Located in the idyllic village of Deià in the Serra de Tramuntana, we find Es Racó des Teix by Joseph Sauerschell, the first chef on the bigger of the Balearic Islands to get a star in 1991.
Experts have also been awarding Es Fum (Costa d’en Blanes, Andratx) since 2011, when it was under Thomas Kahl’s responsibility. Despite the fact that Khal left both the establishment and the island last October 2013, the restaurant keeps its prestige and will reopen in April 2014 introducing their new chef.
Talented chef Fernando Pérez Arellano relocated his restaurant Zaranda from Madrid to Hilton Sa Torre (Llucmajor) first, to finally set up in Castell de son Claret (Capdellà, Calvià). His Michelin star was not transferred at the same time, but Michelin inspectors came soon. “In my opinion, I haven’t got a new star, but I have managed to keep it, instead” Fernando P. Arellano said. His statement has to do with the existing discussion whether Michelin awards are given to restaurants or to chefs.
Finally, Mallorcan chefs have also found their place. Jardín in Port d’Alcúdia is owned by Macarena de Castro, the first Mallorcan female chef to get recognition on the gastronomic guide. Across the island, in the east coast, Tomeu Caldentey is in charge of Es Molí d’en Bou (Sa Coma). Caldentey’s cuisine has been recognized by Michelin every year since 2004.
Traditional signature cuisine in Mallorca
Not only are Michelin-starred restaurants worth a visit, but there are several talented young local chefs running their own restaurants who have been reinterpreting traditional recipes from Mallorca, working with top-quality local products. Their cuisine, restaurants and service share similarities with Michelin awarded ones, with the difference that their tasting menus (including wine pairing) are usually a bit more affordable.
Lloseta is lucky to have two of the most renowned signature cuisine restaurants. Restaurant Santi Taura offers a tasting menu that changes weekly at a great price – but it is essential to book far in advance. Santi Taura belongs to a new generation of excellent and innovative chefs on the island. Not only has Santi a restaurant named after him, but he also has Celler Santi Taura in Lloseta –which offers 3-course menu based on a more traditional cuisine– and Urbà in Palma.
On the other hand, Joan Abrines Ramon runs Celler Can Carrossa, formerly a family house dating back to the 18th century, which has now been awarded with a ‘Q’ (quality) distinction by the ICTE (Institute for Spanish Tourism Quality). Joan Abrines offers a different 5-course menu every day which can be adapted according to the customer’s preferences (vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose-free).
Solivelles sisters run Ca Na Toneta in Caimari. This charming little restaurant is located in the village of Caimari at the foot of the Serra de Tramuntana. From Friday to Sunday, they offer a multi-course surprise menu whose ingredients are organic vegetables from their garden. In the same area, in Selva, we find Miceli, first opened in 2012 by Marga Coll, where you can choose every day from two different tasting menus.
Joan Marc Garcias, the former chef of 3/65 in the Hotel Son Brull is now in charge of Joan Marc Restaurant in Inca that has been awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2013 for its ‘first-class affordable’ kitchen. Also in Inca is the award-winning Celler Can Amer, open since 1963 in a cellar dating from 1700.
Further north, in Alcúdia, next to the Auditorium, is Genestar, where Joan Josep Genestar prepares a 5-course menu combining traditional recipes with modern creative cuisine in an elegant but informal environment. Like, Joan Marc Restaurant, Genestar was also awarded with a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2011.
In my opinion, there is no better award than a guest’s satisfaction after enjoying an exquisite menu which has been prepared by outstanding professionals with the best ingredients from our land. I have personally eaten at some of these restaurants and I truly believe you can’t miss the chance to try any of them!
The property crisis in Mallorca could soon be a thing of the past thanks to the Russians, at least regarding the luxury market in which northern Europeans generally operate when buying houses on the island.
More Russian Tourists
The influx of Russian tourists in Mallorca continues to grow. According to Natalie Tours, the operator specializing in Russian travel to Mallorca, this year some 150,000 Russians visited the island compared with 105,125 the last. These figures fall far short of the 3.4 million Germans who each year spend their holiday here. But this kind of tourism is exponential in growth: three years ago Russia barely featured on the radar, two years ago there were 80,000 Russian visitors and in the coming year, in excess of 200,000 are expected. Natalie Tours has great confidence in their Mallorcan market. In fact, in the coming years they expect it to grow further due to the increase in air routes and an easing-up in the processing of visas. There are direct flights from Palma de Mallorca’s airport to two of the major Russian cities, Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and easy connections with one stop only to many others. The Russian effect is making itself felt in terms of a longer stay – ten days – than that of the British or German holidaymaker, and in particular, they spend much more: around 165 euros per person per day.
Palma de Mallorca, A Shopping Paradise for Russians
Palma stores have already taken this into account. It is not uncommon to see all type of signage translated into Russian to facilitate these valued customers. The influence of this new tourism is evident also from the fact that since 2012 a biweekly Russian newspaper called Vesti Mallorca is published in Mallorca. It is meant to be a useful guide for Russian-speaking tourists and new residents who wish to pursue integration more easily, while being the essential tool for companies who wish to address Russian-speaking customers, who day by day have more purchasing power and presence on the island.
From Tourists to Property Owners
Among the new influx is a growing number who opt for residential tourism; that is, they buy a house in which to spend their holidays, or for longer stays. The President of the Real Estate Developers Association of the Balearics, Jose Luis Guillermo, recently said that last-minute purchases by Russians are becoming a boom area of Mallorcan trade. In the last three years, the island has become the favourite choice of Russians when buying a house in Mallorca or Ibiza. Purchase prices have dropped somewhat in the latest economic downturn, so that now the average property price for Russians lies between 300,000 and 600,000 euros, and few reach prices up to 10 or even more millions euros. Usually they secure houses in tourist areas: Port Andratx , Pollença, Alcúdia, Capdepera, Cala Millor, Playa de Palma – and also refurbished flats in Palma’s historic quarter. Continuing demand will not affect a ready supply. This year´s market figures are already better than last year´s, and they themselves were very good.
There is no precise data yet about the economic figures driving this new residential tourism in Mallorca. But all indications are that important changes are afoot. Not in vain have the main island estate agents who operate in foreign markets added Russian to their promotional literature. The President of the Developers Association claims that the growth of Russian investors in Mallorca has increased dramatically, and will continue, in the coming years particularly since the Spanish Government has approved to give the residence permit for foreign investors who purchase properties above 500.000 Euro.
Already 80.000 German have their Redisency in Mallorca
Not that residential tourism is new in Mallorca. First it was the British who bought houses and apartments in Mallorca, taking advantage of low prices in the seventies and eighties. But the corresponding German-led boom of the nineties was a phenomenon specifically sought for, that is, trying to attract affluent Europeans who buy real estate on the island. The flow of German summer tourists has never stopped growing, by far exceeding that of the British, who had traditionally been the mainstay of this market. Purchases of longer-term homes have included those by many pensioners, who now number in their thousands. It is estimated that there are currently around 80,000 German residents in Mallorca. Right now, Mallorca could be on the verge of experiencing a similar Russian boom, at least, for the workforces of real estate and construction. Nor has this escaped the political world: within the actual Government of the Balearic Islands, there is already talk, if as yet no formal proposals, of facilitating this Russian investment.
Both the political left and the nationalists have their antennae set to alert, given that current planning restrictions governing the building on rural land in Mallorca could soon be reduced to a minimum. This would lower the price per square metre of land and thereby allow for more construction. Indeed, the increase of one to two acres as a minimum plot to build on rural land was imposed by the Council of Mallorca in the 1995-1999 term. At that time, the island was embroiled in intense controversy over the massive acquisition of properties by the Germans, something which produced countless pages of press copy, public discussion and a degree of political activity.
The Russians are hot in Mallorca and despite its fabled climate
Why the Future of the Investors is Safeguard
Legal reform will undoubtedly safeguard future Russian investment. It is not just these institutions which are keen to facilitate, however. In recent weeks the local press too has helped, according interviews to three prominent Russians here: a lawyer, a diplomat and a businessman. Mallorca at least seems to become hot and trendy in Russia.
According to recent statistics, Mallorca is at the top of the ranking when it comes to looking for the best place to live in.
The biggest of the Balearic Islands and its capital, Palma, offers everything one needs to live a comfortable, safe, happy, entertained and also relaxed easy life. It provides good opportunities for business and real estate investment thanks to its stability. As it is the destination for millions of tourists every year and an island that has historically welcomed expats from all over the world, Mallorca has a multicultural environment and it has international projection.
Here are some of the reasons why it is difficult to leave Mallorca once you visit it:
1. Mediterranean Life Style
Mediterranean life style is a perfect balance between work and leisure, family and food. People fully enjoy all the goodness of their lives and know when is a good time to relax. In Mallorca, life style options are diverse, as it offers all the best of traditional products together with state-of-the-art technology; any type of leisure activity to enjoy yourself and breathtaking natural places to chill out. The combination of all these aspects and the well-known delicacies of their cuisine make Mallorca the place everyone has ever dreamt of.
The island enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate of hot, dry summers and mild winters. The island is mountainous and this gives rise to varying climatic conditions according to location: the prevailing winds come from the northwest so southeast regions are generally warmer and drier. Northwest regions and the mountains receive the highest levels of rain, though this is never particularly high. Coastal regions receive around 300 days of beautiful sunshine per year. Higher altitudes always experience cooler temperatures. Mallorca benefits from its southerly location in the Mediterranean Sea. Hot summers and mild winters are a result of its proximity to the equator. The island is also great for a perfect autumn breack when the weather is still good and the beaches are not so crowded.
3. Natural paradise combined with fine architecture
If you wonder why Mallorca attracts so many people, it could be said that it is because of the mixture of its breathtaking views of its mountains, turquoise beaches, small towns and villages and the cosmopolitan, yet historically relevant, main city, Palma. You will find buildings as special as the Cathedral, the Bellver Castle, Arabic Baths or modernist buildings in the same area as 21st century buildings, which at the same time combine traditional materials with the most exclusive new ones. The combination of past, present and future is what makes the island an idyllic beautiful place.
4.Dynamic economy and stability
Balearics’ contribution to production in the Spanish economy has increased. Per capita income is above the European average and the islands have a growth pattern very similar to that of the most established economies. Within the framework of the European Union, legal and fiscal stability encourages economic activity and positions the Balearic Islands as the perfect location for business development. Therefore, it is the Spanish region with the largest number of companies per thousand inhabitants. The islands are home to internationally famous companies with top quality products, innovative technologies and an environment-friendly approach.
5. Fun, leisure and cultural activities
For most foreigners, Spain is synonym to fun, and Mallorca is not the exception. Contrary to what most people think, the island has a huge variety of activities and events for people of all age, not only during summer, but all year long. Apart from the typical nightlife entertainment in bars, pubs and clubs, Mallorca offers all sorts of festivals devoted to different arts, such as jazz, classical or indie music, cinema, theatre, visual arts, crafts, gastronomy, etc.
Sports have always played an important role –Rafa Nadal, Carles Moyà, Jorge Lorenzo and Margalida Fullana are some of the best sportspersons in their category who were born here. Regularly competitions in sailing, golf, horse racing, football, tennis or paddle, among many others are organized all over the island. There is no time to get bored.
6. A well connected and easy to reach destination
In spite of being a small island in size, Mallorca is well connected with direct flights to all major European cities and several national and international airlines also offer connected flights to distant places all over the world. In fact, Son Sant Joan Airport is the third busiest airport in Spain, after Madrid and Barcelona, thanks to the millions of visitors the island welcomes every year.
7. International schools for children
Regarding education, a great variety of international schools (British, German, French and Swedish) – all private and located in the south west, close to Palma and Calvià – offers curricula according to expats’ home country’s education system and combines their mother tongue (with native teachers) together with Spanish and usually additional languages. You can find information about curriculum, annual fee and method of teaching of any specific school on the net. It is advisable to visit them and check availability as soon as possible because they usually have waiting lists. Obviously, there is also the option to attend local Spanish schools, for it will allow you to live anywhere in the island.
8. Shopping in Mallorca
Like all the best international cities, Palma offers several fine shopping options. The capital of the island has several department stores containing very many fashion boutiques and superb food halls. The diversity of specialist shops (selling antiques, home-made sweets, chocolates and cakes, designer fashion, fine cosmetics, exclusive jewellery, design and interior items, etc), restaurants, cafés/bars to be found down narrow lanes or old steps is amazing. Some of the main spots are carrer Sant Miquel, Plaça Major, carrer Jaume III, Es Born and Les Rambles.
The end of summer in a touristic destination does not always imply that fun is over and so is the case of Mallorca, for example. When the next season is at the corner, a series of fairs take place every weekend in different towns all around the island. Whether they date back to some decades, and so they are kept by tradition, or they are relatively new, the truth is that fairs are of great interest to both foreigners and locals. In general, they have always been linked to the local trade, especially farming and cattle industry and craftsmanship. Regarding food industry, products sold are first class and, lately, ecological, given the high demand, whereas crafts are very much related to exclusiveness. Wine Fairs are popular during all year round in almost all towns of Mallorca but now we will list some of the most important crafts and traditional fairs in 2013.
All fairs share the particularity of taking place during the weekend, except for one, the well-known Dijous Bo (“Good Thursday”) in Inca. Here is a list of some of the upcoming Autumn Fairs:
Pollença’s Crafts Fair
9th-11th November. Apart from the dozens of stalls set all around the town of Pollenca, it is of special interest the Crafts Fair held in the cloister of the Convent of Santo Domingo, a Gothic building from the early seventeenth century. Throughout the weekend various activities also take place in the streets and squares of Pollença, like exhibitions, horse shows and tackle, a peasant fair, demonstrations of production techniques and an opportunity market.
Pumpkin Fair in Muro
10th November. Traditionally, Muro has been known for its high production of pumpkins and this fair is the result of it.
Dijous Bo in Inca
14th November: It is the largest and most multitudinous fair of Mallorca, Dijous Bo is registering about 200,000 visitors on each issue. This event concludes the autumn fairs of Inca, which take place on the three previous weekends. It is mainly agricultural, involving livestock, craft, industry and food, with lots of stalls and displays of all kinds and a wide range of activities. In recent years they also celebrate the day before, Dimecres Bo (Good Wednesday).
Olive Fair in Caimari (Selva)
16th-17th November: Oil production is one of the most deeply rooted activities in Caimari, a beautiful village situated at the foot of the Tramuntana Mountains. This exhibition pays tribute to the tradition with many products related to the olive. There is also a wide range of tasting and selling of all kinds of products such as almonds, carob, oils, ales or nougat, among others. There will also be exhibitions of falconry birds, canaries, tractors, cars and old motorcycles. For those interested in art exhibitions, Ca ses Monges will be the place.
Honey Fair in Llubí
17th November. Apiculture is an activity that in Llubí dates back to the fourteenth century coming to export their honey to Provence. Beekeepers from the Balearic Islands participate, including local businesses. Besides the exhibition and sale of products related to honey, there are tastings and presentations.
Autumn Fair in Sa Pobla
23rd and 24th November: is fir Th promotes the agricultural, commercial and gastronomic sectors of this town, famous for its massive production of potato. Within the scheduled activities, we find a tasting of local wines, equine shows, art exhibitions and a conference of alternative medicine, with workshops, massage and natural medicine stands, etc.
Mancor de la Vall celebrates the Mushrooms and Mountain Fair.
24th November. Autumn is the time to go to the woods to look for esclata-sangs (a type of mushroom), an essential ingredient in the autumn cuisine of Mallorca. This fair is dedicated to the precious fungus with various activities such as exhibitions of mycology, painting and sculpture. It also takes place a culinary day when restaurants and bars offer delicious dishes made with esclata-sangs.
Christmas Fair in Palma
25th November – 6th January. The end of autumn means Christmas is coming and, therefore, every year Les Rambles and Plaça d’Espanya hold a colourful market where to find all type of Christmassy products.
Property for sale in the north of Majorca with a traditional stone façade: Read more details
The local architecture which attracts international buyers
The origin of tourism in Mallorca was thanks to those people who came attracted by its architecture and landscape, such as the Archduke Lluís Salvador and a whole host of intellectuals. Part of the beauty and cosiness of Mallorca is due to its particular architecture, which combines the legacy of tradition, current trends and the future of the new eco houses.
After the economic chaos unleashed by the burst of real estate bubble, it is time to reconsider the techniques and materials used to build our homes, in order for them to be as sustainable as possible.
Experts have been analysing some possible solutions for the counterproductive mass use of land and it turns out that plan B was always there: building with local materials employing local workers. This is the best formula proved by hundreds of builders over generations. So far, they used to replace certain contempt for the past by wasting energy. We have relied too much on technology without paying attention to the high amount of resources needed, such as, oil. At the same time, though, it is hard to do without technology. Thus, a balance is required: traditional building systems to rely as little as possible on external factors together with a moderate use of technology and a responsible use of energy.
The traditional Mallorcan homebuilding is similar to all vernacular construction, as it is based on local materials, local workforce and adjusted to the local climate. The use of materials depends on the geographical area. In Serra de Tramuntana and in the centre of the island, it is common to find houses made of stones either coming from the mountains or from the fields, whereas coastal areas homes are usually built with we sandstone, a traditional material that is extracted from quarries nearby.
Stone façades keep predominantly in most of the country properties and new villas searching the combinations of traditional style with modern interiors
In our case as in the rest of the Mediterranean, our main problem was the change of temperature between the summer sun and winter cold days. We have solved it by building thick stonewalls -keeping the house cool in summer and warmer in the winter-, small windows facing south and a ‘screen’ on the porch that protects us from the sun in summer but it naturally disappears in winter, that is, vine arbor .
The typical Mallorcan house, then, consists of a single block with small windows facing south. There is a roof that faces the main facade or a gable roof. Other details that give a particularity to the house include the ‘batiport‘, a tiny chamber that connects the front door you access from the outside with the actual door to get into the house. This kind of decompression room prevents the wind and cold/hot air coming into the house. Then you have shutters made of wood –a very effective insulating material- and four panes, because at that time they were very expensive and it was easier to replace them if they broke. In addition, the wooden cross over the window makes it a bit more resistant.