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Majorca: Why the Balearic island is loved by the A-list

Jane Oddy

The island of Majorca has long been a favourite of the world's rich and famous and A-list celebrities continue to flock there in the summer months to enjoy the beautiful sandy beaches, cafes, fine cuisine and picturesque villages that dot the coastline. Puerto Portals is a hot spot for celebrities, particularly British soap stars and TV presenters, but the most exclusive place for the rich and famous is probably Deià, a small coastal village in the Serra de Tramuntana in the west of the island. It has been popular with artists since the 1950's and is a perennial favourite for many.

Hollywood power couple Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones have their own 19th century estate in S'Estaca, on the coast between Valldemossa and Deià, while supermodel Claudia Schiffer has a mansion on a headland in Camp de Mar, where she returns every year to celebrate her August birthday with her X Men director husband Matthew Vaughn.

The beach at Calla Millor, Majorca

The list of famous visitors to Deià is endless. From the late Princess Diana to Gwyneth Paltrow, Harrison Ford, Goldie Hawn, Kate Moss, Sting, Jamie Oliver, to Paris Hilton and Sir Richard Branson, a regular holiday-maker. His son Sam even named his own daughter Eva-Deia in honour of the island's town. Majorca has been the official holiday destination for the Spanish royal family ever since the current king King Felipe VI was five years old. They enjoy two properties on the island: Almudaina Palace in Palma next to the cathedral, and Marivent Palace in Cala Major, where they spend their summer break.

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Majorca, or Mallorca in Spanish, is also home to world-renowned tennis player Rafael "Rafa" Nadal, known as "The King of Clay". The international sports star, who made history clinching his tenth French Open title at Roland-Garros in Paris last Sunday, was born and raised in Manacor, a town on the east side of the island where his parents still live. The star never needs an excuse to rhapsodise about his island home and it is easy to see why. He has even made investments in property, in particular in the modern resort of Cala Millor (which translates into English as "the better bay"). It is on the island's rugged east coast, and is separated from its more quiet and traditional neighbour Cala Bona ("the good bay") by a small rocky headland. A trip from Palma Airport through scenic landscape to the resort, it is worth the journey.

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A junior suite at Iberostar Calla Millor

Here Iberostar Calla Millor, a jewel in the Iberostar crown, is one of the best hotels on the island. In a superb location, it is situated by a pretty nature reserve and moments from the beach. This stunning adult-only hotel is relaxing from the minute a guest arrives to be greeted by their friendly, attentive staff. Ocean-facing rooms are luxurious, spacious, with cool tiled floors and all the mod cons and open onto balconies that overlook the turquoise Mediterranean. A priority location corner room on the 7th floor of the hotel has a breath-taking panoramic view of the beach below and the entire resort and coastline.

The beach here is considered by many to be one of the best on the island, with clear water and gently sloping sands. Parasols and sun beds can be hired at various points along its length, along with the usual selection of water sports activities including a windsurfing school. Lazy days can be spending reading or relaxing on sun loungers by the hotel's pool, indulging in pampering treatments in the spa, or sipping a cocktail or two.

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The hotel is moments from the beach with incredible views across the Mediterranean

As always with Iberostar hotels, the food is top class, and does not disappoint with a daily changing buffet menu of fresh local fish, tender meat dishes, vegetables and fruits and Majorcan specialities amongst the delicious cuisine, some of which are cooked in front of you at the grill section.

Away from Calla Mallor, is nearby Porte Verd. One of the main attractions is the Sa Punta restaurant, off the road from Cala Bona to Costa del Pins. Owned by Rafael Nadal's family, it is no wonder the eatery is one of Nadal's favourite places to dine - particularly the catch of the day when it is salt-baked fish.

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An indoor pool and spa area at Calla Millor

Picture windows offer sea views when dining indoors. In summer you can enjoy your meal in the attractive sheltered garden, amid palm trees and plants, or on the more exposed 'punta' terrace by the Mediterranean. Live music – often a guitarist – on many summer nights adds to the romance of the location. And sometimes, Nadal's grandfather even plays the piano!

Public transport along all of the east coast is limited so it may be worthwhile considering car hire, especially if you want to visit the nearby Caves of Drach, Dark and cool, these four limestone caves on the edge of Porto Cristo have become one of Mallorca's top tourist sights. The magnificent stalactite formations within the cave are truly astonishing.

For those visitors who consider public transport an adventure and not a challenge, the local bus operator Aumasa does actually run a service over to Alcudia on the North West coast of the island, and even over to Soller, which is deep in the Sierra de Tramuntana mountain range. Whether for holiday relaxation or exploring island life, Majorca will weave its magic on you.

WHERE TO STAY

Stay at the Iberostar Cala Millor from 98 euros per person per night.

TO GET THERE

Monarch, the scheduled leisure airline, operates year round flights to Majorca from Birmingham, London Gatwick, London Luton, Leeds Bradford and Manchester airports with fares, including taxes, starting from £39 one way (£72 return). For further information or to book Monarch flights and Monarch Holidays, please visit monarch.co.uk.

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