Germany’s 17th Bundesland? Well, Almost.

By Corinna Bienger on Email

Dearly beloved by German vacationers, Majorca has a long tradition in the tourist business. Almost one in every five tourists enjoys the sun on this island in the Mediterranean Sea.  No other island is so favored with the Germans. More than 3.5 million Germans spend their vacation on “Malle” every year. Also, an estimated 60,000 German “snow birds” spend their winters here, which itself has a population of 750,000. For this reason, the island is called Germany’s 17th federal state.

Ever since the early 80’s, traveling to Majorca for one’s vacation, is extremely popular. Families love the island because of the large hotel complexes that offer all-inclusive vacations with lots of amenities for adults and children, along with a large variety of sports, games, and other activities. If one prefers a quieter time, they can relax at the pool or the pristine beaches.

For the younger crowd coming to Majorca, there are continuous parties in the capital, Palma de Mallorca, and in the southern small city of S’Arenal with the well known “Ballermann” alcohol kiosk on the beach; but there are also the villages on the coasts of this beautiful island which offer her visitors enough room for a restful stay, well off the beaten track and the large amounts of tourists.

The temperatures are between 10°C in the winter and 28°C in the summer, with the sun shining an annual average of more than 7 hours a day. Because of the warm Mediterranean, the temperature of the water seldom drops below 15°C in winter; in summer it even warms up to 25°C!

On Majorca, Spanish is an official language together with Calatan, although the Catalan spoken on Majorca is a very special dialect called Mallorquí. Due to the extensive German tourism, many services are offered in German on the island, making Majorca a treasured retirement destination.

In the early 90’s, a German politician even commented that Germany might want to buy Majorca, or lease it for 99 years, and make it officially the 17th German federal state. But since this news fell during the “Sommerloch”, (silly season), he was not surprised to find that his silly tabloid proposal actually made the headlines.

Hmmm, too bad the idea was just a passing thought. I myself remember dearly the warm winters on the island, covered with blooming almond trees, and the gaily colored cyclists covering the island like a swarm of locusts.


Originally published in the Aug./Sept. 2011 German-American Journal

Photo by Jan Kalle Ribbert

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Corinna Bienger