Mallorca has become an extremely desirable place to live. The rich and famous, including Michael Douglas, Claudia Schiffer and Richard Branson have all made a home on the island and are helping to dispel the unfair myth that the island offers little more than high-rise hotels and cheap package holidays. It is certainly true that there are areas of the island that were ravaged by developers in the sixties and seventies, but these are more or less confined to the Bay of Palma and a few enormous resorts. Most of the island retains its staggeringly diverse natural beauty, with the striking cove beaches of the northwest coast, the rugged peaks of the Serra de Tramuntana, and an array of charming old towns. The island's capital Palma has also been much maligned in the past, and those who visit more often than not have their preconceptions shattered by a lively, vibrant city steeped in history and culture. It is estimated that there are 15,000 British residents on the largest of the four islands, although Mallorca lags behind the Costa Blanca and the Costa del Sol in terms of popularity. The largest number of foreign home-buyers on the island has always been the Germans, followed by Scandinavians and Dutch. However, the slump The greatest number of foreign buyers are attracted to the southwest corner of Mallorca which has better weather, a popular coastline and exclusive residential areas. However, more and more buyers are considering inland villages, due to the lower prices and the lack of tourist activity. Those who live in the main tourist areas, particularly the east coast of the island, point out that the end of season exodus and the subsequent closing of businesses can be quite depressing.