Why go? It’s a case of one naughty schoolboy spoiling things for the whole class. Just because a 30km stretch of Mallorca’s coastline has been ruined by package high-rises, the entire island gets written off. And yet, leave the blighted Bay of Palma and you discover an island of monasteries, mountains, historic ports and untouched coves. The Sierra de Tramuntana, looming over the Balearic isle’s north-west, is the wildest area. Here you can hike along a network of trails of varying difficulty; maps are available in capital Palma and the pretty town of Soller, the best base for mountain forays. Also in the north, head to the tiny, tumbling village of Deia, where poet Robert Graves is buried; take your binoculars to the Parc Natural de s’Albufera, a wetland wonderland for birds; and explore the Roman ruins of Pollentia, which date to the first century BC.
When to go: Spring and autumn are best for hiking and quieter beaches. Almond trees bloom late January-early March. Cosmopolitan Palma is open for city breaks year round.
How to go: Many airlines fly from the UK to Palma (from 2.5hrs).