Majorca, the island paradise off the east coast of Spain, isn’t the kind of destination most people would put on their shortlist if they were looking for a budget holiday destination around Spain. The government, apparently, has an interest in keeping Majorca positively upscale, too – they’ve actually enacted legislation to keep hotel builders from opening anything lower than a 3 star when they build new. The tourism business model that they are interested in, apparently, goes after the high-end high profit tourist.
What do you do if you can’t go that high?
You can’t let a little hurdle like the unavailability of budget accommodation keep you from such a special holiday destination. As with as any other tourist spot, you always have ways of working around the system (one of which is to travel in spring or in autumn when the weather is beautiful, but it still isn’t considered high season).
If the idea of taking the trip when it’s the off-season doesn’t seem your style, you do have two options. One would be to book far ahead enough so that you are able to find something in one of Majorca’s older, budget hotel pickings.
The other choice is rather new – a holiday rental. Going with a company like HouseTrip holiday rentals, you could easily find a home to rent at seasonally competitive rates.
Money doesn’t really talk in Majorca, if you think about it
If you were to visit New York, London or Paris on a tiny budget, you would find yourself priced out of the most sought after attractions. A small budget on at an island paradise, though, doesn’t run into quite the same kinds of problems. The main attraction at a place like St. Tropez or Majorca is the natural beauty of the place itself. There isn’t much to spend money on, anyway.
The breathtaking views to be had on the Majorcan west coast, the peaceful little secret beaches of the south of the island, the exotic Mediterranean environment to be found on every little Majorcan market street, getting back in touch with nature on a hikingtrail and a chance to rejoice snorkelling in the jewel like waters all around – most people who visit Majorca, do so for its spectacular natural beauty. Even if you had a great deal of money, you wouldn’t have much more to spend it on in Majorca. The greatest Majorcan experiences are free.
How do you make up for the expensive hotel, though?
To be certain, the main attractions of Majorca don’t cost much. All you need to do is to set aside enough money for the expensive hotels. To do this, you need to know how to save money when you eat, though. Luckily, expensive Majorca does offer plenty of ways to save money.
- Majorcan restaurants have a curious policy in the way they price their menus. While their regular menus are expensive, they all suddenly drop their prices when it’s lunchtime. It’s a 50-year-old tradition from the time Generalissimo Franco ruled. He believed that the working classes needed at least one filling and affordable meal a day. Even at the posh restaurants, a menú del día will get you a full three-course meal and wine for more than €18. You can get by on half as much at one of the more mid-market restaurants. You just need to fill up at lunchtime.
- Since evening meals tend to be routinely expensive, many tourists in Majorca take a page out of the locals’ book – they go around from one restaurant or bar to the next, only ordering the cheapest parts of the menu – sausages like the sobrassada, local salads like the tumbet, and so on. While most Majorcan beach bars happen to be there expensive, the ones on the southern beaches are quite affordable. Spending no more than €15 can get you seafood and sangria.
- Some skip the restaurants altogether. They shop around the markets of Majorca for the ingredients of a great picnic and take their meal to the beaches.
Getting around Majorca
Many tourists arriving in Majorca look at the inexpensive car rentals available at the airport and grab a car. This is a mistake, though, because parking anywhere can be very expensive. Instead, renting a bicycle or taking the bus can be a far better idea.
Celebrating life in Majorca doesn’t need a huge budget – it only needs a fertile imagination.
About the writer
An expert in European travel and a holiday home owner, Simon Dance works for Holiday Rental marketplace HouseTrip.com.