The island of Mallorca is located in the western Mediterranean, off the southern coast of Spain, about 250 kilometers from the major coastal cities of Valencia and Barcelona. It is part of the Balearic archipelago and the biggest of the total of 146 islands in the archipelago. This is where the name of the island also comes from, having evolved from maior, the Latin word for greater, to Maiorica, to the current name of Mallorca. Among the better-known neighbouring islands are Ibiza, Menorca, Cabrera and Formentera.
Geologically, the island, just as the rest of the Balearic Islands, belongs to the Andalusian Fold Mountains which were formed in the Mesozoic era out of the sediments of the Tethys Ocean. The reason lies, just as with the formation of the Alps, in the drift of the African tectonic plate to the north, which pushes itself under the Eurasian plate. In addition to dolomite, the mountains of the Serra de Tramuntana mainly consist of fossil-rich lime rock. The formation of karst led to the structuring of many caves across the island.
The island has an area of almost exactly 3,600 square kilometers, equaling roughly the size of Saarland and Berlin together. The longest distance from north to south is 78 kilometers and from west to east 98 kilometers. The coastline runs for about 550 kilometers. The population of Mallorca is approximately 870,000.
The island consists of six different landscapes, also known as Comarques among locals. The mountains of Serra de Tramuntana run along the coast in the northwest and represent one of the most impressive parts of the island. Eleven peaks with a height of over 1,000 meters are located along the 90-kilometer long and 15-kilometer wide mountain landscape, from Cap Formentor in the north to the well-known holiday towns of Andratx and Calvià in the west. Midst of the mountains, the only resort for tourists is just off the picturesque Port de Sóller. On the coast there are coves with rocky beaches. With an altitude of 1,445 meters, the Puig Major is the highest mountain of Mallorca, located in the middle of the Serra de Tramuntana.
The mountains of Serra de Tramuntana border the region of Es Raiguer towards the middle of the island. The hilly and wet landscape is only very little developed for tourists. The middle point of the region is the town of Inca, well-known for its distinctive leather and shoe manufacturing. The region of Raiguer borders Palma de Mallorca in the southwest, where the largest settlement of the island, Marratxi, is also located, and Es Pla in the southeast.
The Pla of Mallorca, often referred to simply as Plà, is a plain on Mallorca which runs from the center of the island to the Bay of Alcudia in the north-east. Thanks to good soil and plenty of water from the mountains in the northwest of the region, the fields here can be harvested several times a year. Therefore, despite its mall population, Plà is also known as the granary of Mallorca. The coastal towns are popular resorts due to their sandy beaches, for example Can Picafort in the town of Santa Margarita.
Migjorn is the most southerly region of Mallorca. Consisting of rocky sections, natural reserves and sandy bays, the coastline begins in the west at s'Arenal and stretches along the southern tip of Ses Salines to the east coast in the town of Felanitx. The area is still rural; for example, the town of Campos situated in the center of the region has fewer than 10,000 inhabitants. Landmarks in Migjorn are Cala d'Or and Cala Figuera.
The Llevant is named after the smaller of the two mountains in Mallorca, the Serres de Levant. It is located on the east coast and has a varied landscape. Cliffs, coves with sandy beaches, caves in the limestone hills, small mountains alternate in short intervals. Among others, the most popular holiday resorts in Llevent include Cala Millor, Sa Coma and Cala Manacor.
Ciutat de Mallorca is an own region on Mallorca and includes today's capital of Palma de Mallorca, initially founded by the Romans, as well as the town at the Bay of Palma. Although it has the smallest area of ??the six Comarques, almost half of the island’s population, roughly 405,000 inhabitants, lives in the region of ??Palma de Mallorca. The island Dragonera off the west coast and the Cabrera Archipelago with its 18 islands off the southern coast are also part of the administrative area of Ciutat de Mallorca.