This gear change is most evident in the Serra de Tramuntana mountains, spanning from Andratx in the prime south-west coast to Pollença in the north.
Properties there include some of Majorca’s priciest waterfront homes and country villas in rural isolation. Hotels also range in style, from rustic agritourisms to modern splendour, such as Son Brull, a former convent near Pollença.
“Majorca has many faces, as the choice in the Tramuntana mountains shows,” says Eddie Barrera of Engel & Völkers. “There is something for everyone.”
DISCOVER MORE HOMES IN DREAM DESTINATIONS:
Track down a super-luxe retreat in your dream destination
Track down a super-luxe retreat in your dream destination
1/12 Soak up the sun, Sugar... with a hot property on St Lucia
Winter retreats on this beautiful island range from elegant apartments to beachfront mansions, with blue skies and January heat only part of St Lucia's enduring appeal. Sugar Beach Residences are two- to four-bedroom detached villas, starting from £1.76 million.
2/12 Hot property on St Lucia
A former sugar plantation, Cap Estate has 250 homes, priced from £191,000 for two-bedroom flats up to £6 million for mansions, through Savills. Flats and villas at Allamanda, a gated development overlooking the sea, also on the Cap Estate, start at £379,000 through Sotheby's.
3/12 Snap up a second home for well-connected Swiss ski trips
Linking the Alpine resorts of Arosa and Lenzerheide, a new cable car created Switzerland's fourth largest ski area last winter, which is home to tennis ace Roger Federer's family ski chalet. Travel company Powder Byrne is selling two- and three-bedroom flats from £646,000.
4/12 Stay well-connected while you ski in the Swiss Alps
At the top of Laax, the Hohegarten Residence is a striking project of flats spilling gradually down the mountainside, so that they are all hidden from one another's view. One- to three-bedroom apartments start from £341,000 through Investors in Property.
5/12 Follow the stars to find perfect peace in Provence
Just 30 minutes from St Tropez but a million miles from its razzmatazz, historic, rural Var is home to some great-value bolt holes. However, La Bergerie, a fully staffed stone house with six bedrooms and spacious gardens, is available from £14,250 a week.
6/12 Trend-setting stars led the way to Var
David and Victoria Beckham led the way to Var in 2003, buying a grand, 19th-century house, followed by Helen Mirren, whose three-bedroom home in Saint-Paul-en-Forêt is now on the market for £464,500 through HomeHunts.
7/12 Grand Cayman’s most striking contemporary home
Grand Cayman, blessed with glorious sandy beaches and blue skies, is one of the safest, wealthiest, most tax-friendly places in the world. With a roof terrace made for parties, Camden House is on the market for £4.6 milion through Savills.
8/12 Claim your piece of paradise in the super-safe Caymans
This substantial five-bedroom waterfront home, close to Seven Mile Beach, is fully furnished and on the market for just over £3 million.
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9/12 Invest in the best and soak up the culture in elegant Madrid
An elegant capital and cultural hub, Madrid is surprisingly overlooked by Britons buying a second home in Spain, especially considering consultants PwC placed the city at number three for investment prospects in Europe this year..
10/12 Enjoy a capital lifestyle in property hotspot Madrid
Justicia is Madrid’s Chelsea, where Lucas Fox has an one-bedroom flat for £258,400. At the top of the city’s main shopping street loft-style apartments start from £335,800; to the south, a two-bedroom apartments starts from £133,000.
11/12 Green and serene living where the desert blooms in Dubai
Skyscrapers, bright lights and increasingly interesting construction are what come to mind when you think of Dubai. Fifteen minutes from the city centre, however, Al Barari is a 365-acre green oasis...
12/12 Live in Seventh Heaven with a spacious new flat in Dubai
Newly for sale are 157 one- to four-bedroom off-plan apartments at Seventh Heaven, and 300 apartments among the trees at Ashjar. These will be spacious, modern flats with full-height windows and contemporary interiors. Prices start from £538,000.
VILLAGE ABOVE THE SEA: DEIÀ
Barrera describes coastal Deià as a “fairy tale mountain village above the sea”. He adds: “It is 45 minutes from Palma airport and has always attracted artists and writers.”
Prices start from £188,500 for a one-bedroom, 753sq ft apartment on the main road and rise rapidly.
A three-bedroom townhouse with a wide terrace but no pool costs £616,200, while a charming detached stone house with gardens twice as large and with two bedrooms is £1.7 million, all through Engel & Völkers.
Barrera adds that the average sale of properties on Majorca’s west coast last year was £870,000, but in Deià it was closer to £2.53 million.
NORTH EAST: POLLENÇA
Further north-east, the town of Pollença has markets, shops and a lively central square. In the centre, Londoners James and Kim Matthews are selling their three-bedroom townhouse for £326,250 through Engel & Völkers to get more space for their young family.
The couple moved 15 years ago to Majorca, where their two young daughters were born. “I was a broker in the City for 10 years but I wanted a change,” says James, 40. “We have mountains, beaches and the climate to enjoy.”
Buyers can also find a cheerful two-bedroom townhouse with a pool for £282,700. “A townhouse like this was £362,500 in 2004,” says Gary Hobson of Engel & Völkers. “It is private, has a pool and is central, so would rent for about £1,800 a week in high season.”
A RURAL RETREAT
Inland and east of the Serra de Tramuntana are many small and quiet rural villages, such as Santa Maria del Camí. Mandy and Graham Smart, from Cobham in Surrey, bought a holiday home in Majorca in 1999 and moved to the island in 2002. Now the couple’s traditionally styled four-bedroom stone house built in 1995 is for sale, reduced from £1.45 million to £1.26 million through Engel & Völkers.
More than half of historic buildings in Palma’s old town have been restored, while the city’s newest hotel, Sant Francesc, opened last month in a painstakingly restored 1880 manor house.
For visitors, Palma Suites in Plaza Mercadal is a good option. Now in its second year, the scheme of 35 contemporary flats in a renovated palacio is the brainchild of Swedish architect Peter Ödlund. It is centrally located by Plaza Mayor with a communal pool, small gym and reception. Prices start from £500 a week for a junior suite based on two people sharing.