The Sibarist

Mallorca and Menorca: two sister islands with different personalities

The Balearic Islands are not one, they are many. First of all, because the archipelago is made up of several islands and islets, but also because the rhythms can be very different, depending on the chosen enclave. In this article we look at the two most relevant islands, which belong to the trio known as the Gimnesian islands: Mallorca and Menorca (the third one would be Formentera).

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Like good sisters, these two islands share many things but are also, at the same time, very different. Mallorca, the larger of the two, represents more than 75% of the Balearic real estate market and although many still think of the beach when talking about this destination, the reality is that the island’s varied topography means that it can cater for all needs, lifestyle, sports or residential requirements. The northwestern regions of the island are dominated by the imposing Tramuntana and Levante mountain ranges, a landscape different from the light sandy beaches of the rest of the coastline, or the central plain. This variety of the natural environment also translates to its real estate market, where the exclusive buyer will find everything from impressive rural estates in the Tramuntana hills, to elegant seafront villas in the port of Andratx, or beautiful apartments in the city of Palma.

Sa Rapita es una propiedad a la venta a 5 min de la Playa de Es Trenc, en el municipio mallorquín de Campos.

The warm climate, the well-kept lifestyle, the good transport connections and the gastronomy are the great attractions of this island. But also sports, with sailing and golf at the forefront. In Mallorca there are about 25 golf courses, 21 of which are green fee, that is to say, it is not necessary to be a member to be able to play. Especially around Palma, but also in the north and northeast of the island, you will find a large concentration of golf courses.

Menorca, on the other hand, has a different tourist age than its big sister. The certain isolation that the island lived in the decades from the 60s to the 80s, made it develop at a much slower pace, but also in a more respectful way with the environment, keeping like few others the natural heritage, which has been recognized by UNESCO in 1993 giving it the title of Biosphere Reserve, highlighting precisely its “high degree of compatibility between the development of economic activities, the consumption of resources and the conservation of a heritage and a natural landscape”.

Water sports are a highly valued attraction in the Balearic Islands, but sailing takes on a special importance in Menorca, whose perception changes completely if visited on foot or aboard any boat. Given the lesser exploitation of the island, some of its most special coves and corners are only accessible by boat.

Villas with panoramic views, restored country houses with Mediterranean charm and contemporary residences of exceptional architectural design remain the most sought-after options for those looking to invest on the island.

From the most rural to the most maritime Mallorca

As we said, Mallorca is both sea and countryside. And this house for short stays is the best way to test if our concept of relaxation and enjoyment suits this lifestyle before buying our own finca. It is located in Felanitx, in the east of the island, a perfect place to enjoy the authentic rural Mallorca, on a plot of 2 hectares between Mediterranean forest and farmland. In the middle, the centenary farmhouse restored in 2021 with great care has respected the traditional architecture and has been restored with manual techniques and natural materials such as lime, earth and sandstone, typical of the island.

Fantástica finca con masía centenaria en Felanitx, al este de Mallorca, y que se puede alquilar preguntando por la referencia THSTESMALL0004.

It has capacity for 10 people that would be distributed in 5 bedrooms with 4 en suite bathrooms and one guest bathroom, saline pool and private parking. It is also sustainable and can be 70% solar powered. The garden offers the opportunity to understand the Mediterranean landscape, experience it and observe how the plants evolve throughout the seasons.

For those who dream of a more manageable property, in terms of space and maintenance, as well as for those for whom the proximity to the sea is a must, we offer for sale this semi-detached property in Ses Salines, a beautiful village in the southeast of Mallorca with excellent restaurants and beaches. It is a newly built house with south orientation and large windows, plus a solarium upstairs and a solarium with swimming pool that offers stunning sea views. The house has areas of the facade covered with typical Mallorcan stone, as well as restored antique doors that give it a touch of unique charm. Inside, the spaces are flooded with natural light thanks to its large windows, it has a cozy porch perfect for enjoying the surroundings.

Casa de nueva construcción en Ses Salines, al este de Mallorca. Referencia:

The demand for property in Mallorca is very high, and the supply relatively low, so this beautiful new build townhouse is a real gem.

The treasure of leisurely living in Menorca

Orchards, cisterns, gardens, crystal clear water, and warm stone… these are the unique elements that make this property in Menorca a haven of peace. A farm of 5 hectares whose origins date back to the 15th century. These farmhouses with agricultural crops received the name of rafal (of Arab origin) and this special one is located in the municipality of Alayor, only 13 km from Mahón and 30 km from Ciudadela. The various buildings on the property total 1,956 meters and have been recently renovated respecting the original materials, making it an agritourism farm that can be rented privately for groups, families or events and filming.

Antiguo rafal (masía agrícola) en Menorca a la venta. Referencia: THSTESMEN0002

If anything characterizes Menorca is its low density, emphasized in buildings such as this 570 ha. also in Alayor, in the typical Mediterranean countryside, which also includes an organic farming farm of aromatic herbs. A certain romantic air surrounds this 19th century hacienda with 1000 meters built and whose interior perfectly combines its past with a contemporary rehabilitation where art and good taste are not lacking.

Lovers of architecture and decoration will enjoy its original ceilings and recovered hydraulic floors, moldings made by craftsmen… being able to appreciate that perfect harmony between yesterday and today, but with all the comforts and conveniences of the XXI century.

On an adjoining building there is also a yoga room and even a workshop for handmade pottery classes. In total there are 11 double rooms with bathrooms, and an additional space for 6 children, with a projection room and games.

A stable investment

The most exclusive buyers are looking for properties “with history” to reform and update, and both Mallorca and Menorca are offering such jewels, with a slow but steady trickle coming onto the market.

Finca del s. XIX en Alaior perfectamente restaurada y en alquiler con la referencia THSTESMEN0001

From a real estate market point of view, both destinations are a very interesting option, with a continuously growing market, especially after the pandemic. And although it has moderated in recent years, as has the entire real estate market in general, affected by inflation, rising energy prices and the unstable geopolitical situation of armed conflicts on the mainland, these two islands continue to enjoy a worldwide reputation as an elite tourist destination, and their real estate market has proven to be resilient to global economic downturns and crises. And although it is true that 1 out of every 3 real estate transactions in both destinations is carried out by a foreign buyer, with the Germans leading the way in Mallorca, and the French in Menorca, it continues to be an idyllic destination with a very high rate of loyalty for thousands of Spaniards and large fortunes in our country.