Property abroad: Palma, Spain

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Want to buy a refurbished royal residence without spending a king's ransom? Try Majorca's capital, says Laura Latham

Though it is renowned for its sun-drenched beaches and celebrity property owners, including Claudia Schiffer and Michael Douglas, Majorca has a lot more to offer, not least the historic gem of its capital, Palma. The city's marina, which is packed with sleek yachts, fronts a centre of cobbled streets and chic shops, all presided over by its dramatic cathedral.

The city was once the haunt of Spanish nobility and many of its buildings are former palaces that have been converted into stylish contemporary accommodation. "Most palaces in Palma are protected," says Hans Lenz of local agency First Mallorca. "The interiors can be modernised but the exteriors cannot be changed, in order to maintain the character of the area."

The agency is representing a number of historic properties in the pretty La Lonja and Catedral districts. These range from a contemporary one-bed apartment on the top floor of a traditional casco antiguo, currently being sold furnished for £315,000, to an entire four-storey 19th-century palace, almost adjacent to the cathedral, offering a wealth of original features but in need of complete restoration, for £3.6m.

If that amount of work seems too daunting, you could opt instead for one of a number of sympathetically renovated properties First Mallorca has on its books. Many of the buildings date back to the 17th century and come with cool, internal courtyards, wide stone staircases and wrought-iron balconies offering glimpses of city life.

Apartments for sale include a two-bedroom penthouse with a designer kitchen and secluded rooftop garden for £1.7m, as well as a huge three-bedroom property in a former nobleman's house with two towers, two enormous rooftop patios and stunning views towards the cathedral. It is on the market for £1.89m.

Local developer Duncan Colbrook is in the process of renovating a 300-year-old palace into three stylish apartments, with prices starting at £710,000. He has seen an increase in interest from buyers wanting character properties, who are attracted to Palma because of its cultural life and seafront location. "There is a limit to how much of this kind of property is available," he says, "so it's increasingly sought after. Palma is an absolutely wonderful city to live in."

First Mallorca: 00 34 971 425 262;

Majorca: Buyer's guide

* The Majorcan government is in the process of upgrading the island's infrastructure with new roads, a bigger airport and better local facilities

* Owners renting property on a short-term basis need a licence.

* Long-term lets are currently popular. Character properties in Palma can bring in between £900 and £4,000 per month, depending on size.

* Palma is served by lots of budget and charter airlines throughout the year, with a flight time of two hours. Off-season returns can be as cheap as £40.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before