Christmas in Majorca - what's it like? Will the weather be warm? Is anything open? Just some of the questions you may ask if you're considering a festive break in Majorca.
If you are considering a Christmas holiday in Majorca, there are a few things to consider.
Like many popular holiday destinations, many resorts in Majorca do 'shut down' for the winter to some degree, so you should consider your choice of resort depending your preferences: are you looking for an action-packed beach holiday, a shopping trip, a cultural or sightseeing trip, or perhaps just a peaceful break away from it all? You can find them all in Majorca at Christmas, depending on where you stay, and what you are looking for!
First things first, what's the weather like in Majorca at Christmas? On the whole, quite pleasant - it is usually dry and sunny although temperatures can be a little unpredictable at this time of year.
There are no guarantees of course, the weather does what the weather wants to do, but generally you can expect reasonable amounts of sunshine with temperatures on a good day reaching up to 17°c (63°F). The sea can be quite chilly at this time of year, and temperatures drop when the sun goes down, so you do need to take some warmer clothing for evenings out. Rain is rare at Christmas in Majorca.
The most obvious destination for Christmas holidays is Palma city itself, packed with shops, boutiques, bars and restaurants open all year round, so you'll never run out of things to do and see.
Palma is also a great base for sight-seeing and walking holidays, with a range of cultural gems and fabulous countryside within a short drive.
Accommodation in Palma does tend to be more expensive than other places around Majorca, and so probably isn't the best bet if you are on a budget. However, this could be offset by the fact that flights are generally cheaper at this time of year.
Palma's streets are festooned with Christmas lights throughout December, and has regular Christmas markets. There is also a uniquely Mallorcan feature at Midnight Mass (Misa del Gallo) in Palma cathedral, (and also at many other Mallorcan churches and sanctuaries on the island), where a traditional mediaeval chant, 'Sibil-la', a gloomy ditty about judgement day is sung.
Around the island, many resorts shut down to some degree or other, so you may find your choices limited when it comes to restaurants and bars.
Some of the south west resorts such as Palma Nova and Magaluf are still quite active at Christmas time, with plenty of bars and restaurants staying open through the winter. Further afield, Puerto Alcudia is quieter but probably the most 'open' of the resorts on the east of the island.
In between, around the coasts, most other resorts are very quiet. If peace and quiet is exactly what you are seeking, you will find this agreeable, particularly if you get an all-exclusive holiday deal and are happy to stay within your hotel or apartment complex most of the time, or spend your days walking and exploring.
It is possible to arrange Christmas lunch in Majorca - although many places tend to get booked up, try consulting the local press such as the Daily Bulletin, The Islander, or Mallorca Magazine, all of which feature 'what's on' and classified sections. If you can speak Spanish there is also Diaro de Mallorca.
Christmas in Majorca is celebrated in a traditional style, and is noticeably less commercial than many other places, retaining strong Mallorcan cultural ties and Catholic traditions. Christmas shopping is kept mainly in December, and there is an atmosphere of tradition and spirituality throughout the city of Palma, where you will find the most festive activities taking place. The festivities in Palma begin on December 8th, with 'The feast of the Immaculate Conception', a ceremony and performance of dance called los Seises. Celebrations continue with various special days, until January 5th, Three Kings Night, celebrated all over Spain. In Palma, there is a spectacular scene as parades arrive by boat in the harbour.
Feliz Navidad y un Feliz Año Nuevo! (Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!)