Health & insurance
Mallorca doesn't present any health dangers – your main gripes are likely to be sunburn, insect bites, mild stomach problems and hangovers.
Before You Go
- If you’re an EU citizen, a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), available from health centres or, in the UK, post offices, covers you for most medical care. It will not cover you for nonemergencies, emergency repatriation or procedures you've travelled specifically for.
- Citizens from other countries should find out if there is a reciprocal arrangement for free medical care between their country and Spain.
No jabs are necessary for Mallorca but the WHO recommends that all travellers be covered for diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella and polio, regardless of their destination.
Availability & Cost of Health Care
- If you need an ambulance, call 061.
- Clinical standards and waiting times are amongst the best in Europe, and costs are equivalent to other Western European countries.
- For emergency treatment go straight to the urgencias (casualty) section of the nearest hospital. The island’s main hospital is Palma’s Hospital Universitari Son Espases, but other important ones are based in Inca and Manacor.
- At the main coastal tourist resorts you will generally find clinics with English- and German-speaking staff.
- Farmacias (pharmacies) offer advice and sell over-the-counter medication. When a pharmacy is closed it posts the name of the nearest farmacia de guardia (duty pharmacies) on the door.
- Heat exhaustion occurs following excessive fluid loss. Symptoms include headache, dizziness and tiredness. Treat by drinking plenty of water and/or fruit juice.
- Heat stroke is much more serious, resulting in irrational and hyperactive behaviour and eventually loss of consciousness and death. Rapid cooling by spraying the body with water and fanning is ideal.
- If you have a severe allergy to bee or wasp stings, carry an EpiPen or similar adrenaline injection.
- In forested areas, watch out for the hairy reddish-brown caterpillars of the pine processionary moth. Touching the caterpillars’ hairs sets off a severely irritating allergic skin reaction.
- Some Spanish centipedes have a very nasty, but nonfatal, sting. The ones to watch out for are those with clearly defined segments, for instance, black and yellow stripes.
- In summer, waves of stingers (jellyfish) can wash up on the island’s beaches. Vinegar, ice and Epsom salts can soothe the pain of a sting. If unavailable, rub in salt water; fresh water can stimulate the sting. Head to a Red Cross stand (usually present on the main beaches) if you are stung.
- Sandflies are found on many Mallorcan beaches. They usually cause only a nasty itchy bite but can occasionally carry a rare skin disorder called cutaneous leishmaniasis, a raised lesion at the site of the bite which can leave atrophic scarring.
Tap water is safe to drink across Mallorca, but is often unpalatable because of high sodium or chlorine levels; bottled water is cheap to buy.