Americans are back to Europe en masse for the continent’s first restriction-free summer in years.
While the entire bloc is poised for a surge in tourism, a majority of tourists are headed to one spot in particular, where the weather is pleasant all summer, and the waters warm enough for swimming:
A legendary sea famous for its ancient cities, lining pristine sandy beaches and lapped by serene, turquoise-colored waters — it is the go-to place for sun-seekers taking trips across the pond this season.
From Andalusia’s scenic Costa del Sol to Croatia’s picturesque Dalmatian coast, there are numerous gorgeous Mediterranean destinations to be discovered, but if you’re looking for a paradise island where you’ll get both the fascinating culture and the subtropical vibes, Mallorca is the place to go.
The largest of Spain’s Balearic islands, it is also the only one to host nonstop Transatlantic flights, making it the easiest to reach from the States:
Where Is Mallorca And Why Is It So Popular This Year?
It belongs to Spain’s collective of the Balearics, a quartet of islands comprising Mallorca itself, the neighboring Menorca, the party destination that is Ibiza, and the naturist spot of Formentera.
Palma de Mallorca Airport is one of the busiest in Spain, handling over 25 million passengers every year, on average, and hosting the only nonstop flights between America and the Balearics.
Earlier this year, United Airlines confirmed their nonstop service between Newark International and Palma, Mallorca’s capital, would officially return, kicking off in time for summer. They followed through with their schedule, launching the nonstop route on May 26.
It was first launched in the summer of 2022, proving such a tremendous success in sales that, instead of two weekly flights this year, frequency has been increased to three.
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More Information On Newark-Mallorca Flights
They depart from Newark on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 7:00 PM EST, landing in Mallorca the following day at 9:05 AM, local time, for a total duration of 8h05, without any layovers.
Returning home, Americans have Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for options, always leaving at 11 AM, Spain time, and touching down in Newark at 2:25 PM EST.
Basic Economy one-way tickets start at US$1225 for July dates on Skyscanner, though baggage restrictions apply. If you’d like to benefit from the lowest possible fare, find out how to pack for a one-week vacation with carry-on only here.
Since the route was launched, Americans have been able to reach one of Spain’s trendiest offshore destinations without resorting to stopover flights connecting to the mainland.
Previously, Palma-bound travelers arriving from the States were generally required to change flights in Madrid or Barcelona or any other non-Spanish European hub where flights to the island depart from during the peak season.
Fortunately for vacationers, that is no longer necessary.
What Makes Mallorca Such A Great Summer Destination?
Mallorca is one of the Mediterranean’s most culturally-charged and naturally beautiful islands.
It’s been inhabited since immemorial times, though it flourished as an insular community around the eighth century BC, when the Phoenicians, a people from the Levant, built settlements along its sandy shores.
Over the centuries, control of Mallorca would be passed on to Carthage, a North African power, the Romans, Vandals, Islamic caliphates originating from Morocco, and finally, Christian kings from Iberia until it was incorporated into modern-day Spain.
The several different influences it’s been subjected to, as well as contrasting architectural heritage, from Phoenician ruins to Roman walls and Moorish palaces, make Mallorca a one-of-a-kind cultural destination among its Mediterranean peers.
Sandy Beaches And Medieval Heritage
Unlike most of Croatia’s Dalmatian provinces or Italy’s Amalfi Coast, the Mallorcan coastline is not pebbly, with golden sands lapped by crystal-clear waters.
Magaluf is easily the trendiest beach zone, best known for its luxurious resorts and lively nightlife, though quieter swimming spots can be found in Cala Millor, Cala d’Or, and Pollença.
Palma de Mallorca, the compact capital, has a population of just over 400,000 inhabitants and an ancient heritage hard to match. It is home to the landmark ‘Seu’ of Palma, a Catalan-style medieval Gothic cathedral built on the site of an Arab mosque.
Palma is the only major urban conurbation in Mallorca, though it has no shortage of charming, small coastal settlements and hinterland villages to keep more avid explorers busy for a few days if not a couple of weeks.
Bustling Resort Zones And Charming Mediterranean Villages
Puerto Pollensa is a busy resort strip popular for its luxurious hotels and long stretches of unblemished white beach, bordered by the aqua-toned waters of the Med.
A short one-hour drive from the capital, on the island’s North coast, it is an easy day trip for travelers basing themselves in Palma, with numerous shuttles and municipal buses operating on this route daily.
Deia, on the other hand, is a more traditional inland Mallorcan village. Here, tourists are likely to hear Catalan, the language of the natives, being more widely spoken than Castilian (Spanish), and they’ll be met with idyllic views of old stone houses stacked on top of each other amid the hills.
For true cottagecore enthusiasts, they should check out Banyalbufar, a tiny village facing the azure Mediterranean, where generations of families have lived continuously for centuries, since at least the 1100s.
Soller is yet another hidden gem of Mallorca worth visiting, what with its heritage tramway, scenic port, and imposing Catholic church with an ornate facade.
In the same valley where Soller is located, visitors will find Fornalutx, possibly one of Spain’s prettiest small towns. The rocky mountain range in the surroundings are traversed by hiking and biking trails, leading to rewarding views of the Tramuntana range and the valley below.
When Will The Tourist Season End?
United’s nonstop service to Mallorca will continue through September 27, when they will pause ahead of a potential second re-launch in summer 2024, so make sure you book your seats before they all sell out on this highly sought-after route.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com