Majorca is essentially a relatively safe holiday destination, however just like at home, its wise to avoid empty streets at night and to be vigilant when in crowded places. That said, there are some places, scams and potential hassles that you may want to look out for:
Areas to avoid
This partly depends on what sort of holiday you want to have. If youre after something more relaxed, do stay away from Magaluf and Palma Nova as these places are where youll find a lot of the 18-30s groups, along with English-style pubs, a big drinking culture and all-night parties. They are also jam-packed during the peak tourism months of July and August. However, if youre young and looking for revelry youll probably want to stay away from Puerto Pollensa which is much quieter.
The resort town of SArenal also has a mixed reputation. While its long sandy beach is popular by day, the streets at night have a slightly different reputation. There are many reports of large numbers of prostitutes targeting single men for pickpocketing, and taxi drivers in the area have a dubious reputation for charging exorbitant fares at the end of the journey. Be firm about using the meter or if they say it is broken, agree a price before you get in.
Many people complain about the scam artists that frequent tourist spots. A common trick is for them to present a lady or child with a flower and then demand money for it. As soon as you try and pay their accomplices crowd around and aim to pick your pockets. You can see the same thing happen on beaches with bracelets and soft drinks. The only thing you can do is avoid and if they do come near, make it clear that you arent interested. It should be enough just for them to see that you are not going to be an easy target and they will move on.
Youll also find plenty of street vendors, and while they probably arent out to steal or scam you, if they think you have the slightest slither of interest then you may find that they wont leave you alone. Its wise to only get into a conversation with vendors if you are interested in buying.
Crimes and Scams
Timeshare sales people are, of course, the the most well-known scammers of Majorca. Theyll be very charming (and often very attractive) and will act extremely excited when they tell you that youve won a prize, and that all you need to do is sit through a short presentation to claim it. Dont. Youll find yourself whisked away somewhere unknown and having to sit through hours of hard-sales talk with little chance of a prize at the end. Just ignore and walk on.
If youre booking a tourist excursion, be sure to ask exactly what youll be getting. Trips to Las Cuevas del Drac are notorious for crowding hundreds of tourists into boats for a 15 minute boat ride. Its best to book excursions and trips through your tour operator or a reputable company.
Mosquitoes are often rife here, so come well prepared with insect repellent and burn citronella candles by night if youre in your own villa. Another natural threat are the many different types of the jellyfish that can plague beaches at different times of the year. Do check if jellyfish are around before you swim and dont even go near a dead one as they can deliver a hefty sting even when theyve been washed up. This is also a good reason not to go swimming at night, as you wont be able to see them coming.
Finally, whilst the Spanish drivers are often reported as being erratic enough, there will also be a huge number of Brits on the road, all trying to cope with driving a left-hand drive car on the wrong side of the road. So do take it easy and drive with care.Top