Palma de Mallorca, the largest city on the island of Mallorca, is the capital of Spain’s Balearic Islands and a popular destination among cruisers.
The sun-kissed island combines a vibrant city centre and shopping areas with a charming old town, known in Spanish as El Casco Antiguo, where many tourist hotspots can be found.
With stunning views allied to great beaches, Gothic, Moorish and Renaissance architecture, as well as tasty regional food, Palma ticks all the boxes you could hope for.
GETTING FROM THE SHIP…
Cruise ships can dock at two locations in Palma. First is the Estació Marítima, a modern terminal to the west of the town, or Porto Pi, a commercial and navy port.
Estació Marítima has cash machines services, toilets and taxis nearby. There is also a bus stop outside the cruise terminal which takes approximately 10 minutes into the city centre.
Porto Pi, which is further from the main centre and takes roughly 15 minutes by taxi, does have a fair-sized shopping complex near the port.
WHAT WE LOVE…
La Seu Cathedral: One of the most famous attractions in Palma is this stunning Gothic cathedral, which features the ‘Gothic Eye’ (a large rose window) and one of the highest naves in the world. In total, the cathedral has 61 stained-glass windows, which have gained it the nickname of the ‘Cathedral of Light’. One worth checking out – even if the idea of visiting hunting down churches fills you with dread.
Portixol: You’ll quickly learn when you visit Palma that enjoying this sun-soaked paradise is not about cramming everything in – it’s about enjoying the slow life. And this former fishing village, within walking distance of Palma, has an array of seafront bars and restaurants, and is a great place to take in the views during the evening sunset. In recent years, the village has become associated with a trendy and hip vibe, as well as a thriving nightlife.
Valldemossa: The village of Valldemossa is approximately 15-20 minutes from Palma by car. It is situated in a valley of the Tramuntana mountains and is home to around 2,000 people. People journey to Valldemossa for the beautiful location and to see the Royal Carthusian Monastery, which started life a royal residence before being occupied by Carthusian monks from 1399 to 1835. The views from up here are quite simply breath-taking.
TOP 3 PLACES TO EAT…
Balagan by ETOH: This trendy restaurant in Catalina fuses Middle Eastern and Balkan flavours in a menu that’s made for sharing.
Nassau Beach Club: It may share its name with Bahamian capital, but this Mediterranean restaurant is all about fresh, tasty dishes in a cool, vibrant setting.
Ca’n Joan de S’aigo: Take a bite out of Palma’s delicious sweet treat Ensaimadas (pastries filled with cream, custard, chocolate or apricot) at this popular local café.
TOP 3 PLACES TO SHOP…
Passeig des Born: Perhaps Palma’s most well-known shopping district, Passeig des Born, is full of popular stores and Spanish boutiques.
El Corte Inglés: Spain’s most popular department store makes two appearences in Palma – perfect for getting out of the sun in the afternoon.
Santa Maria: This cross between a traditional Spanish market and a flea market is slightly to the north of Palma and is a fun, authentic experience.
OUR LOCAL TIP…
The summer heat of Palma is not for the feint-of-heart and a good sun cream is absolutely essential.