Mallorca is an island paradise off the southeastern coast of Spain with tall cliffs, rocky valleys, and cozy villages to the north and elegant hotels, busy bars, and dazzling night life to the south. Beyond the city, the island is covered with olive groves, many more than a thousand years old, while Palma, the capital, features feats of architecture like La Seu, a Gothic cathedral dominating the skyline high above the sea.
An Ancient Island Oasis
Spend time roaming over the wilderness of Palma de Mallorca and it is easy to get the sense that time has not touched this place for centuries. Stroll through pine forests long enough and you might stumble on a 14th-century fortress like Bellver Castle. Stop by the ancient olive groves, or walk for miles along the seafront on Palma’s wide promenade and cycle path. There is always the beach, as well — the city’s 750 meter-long stretch of sand is easily reachable from the center of town, with showers, toilets, lifeguards, and a beach club at either end.
Stuff Yourself on Palma Cuisine
In Palma, there are tapas, the typical snack-sized Spanish foods that you may have run into stateside, and then there are pintxos, a unique snack smaller than a tapa and spiked with a skewer on a bite-sized piece of bread. Be sure to try pintxos wherever you can find them, including the San Juan Mercado Gastronomico or the tapas trail in the Gerreria neighborhood. You will also find some of the freshest seafood and oysters in the world on Palma de Mallorca; dig in with a glass of champagne and a side of just about any kind of croquette you can imagine.
Witness Architectural Elegance
There are two landmarks you should see if you are interested in the most historic sites Palma has to offer: La Seu, the sandstone cathedral that took 600 years to build, and the Arab Baths from as far back as the 10th century. La Seu is impossible to miss, but it is worth it for the tour as well, where you can gaze upon its enormous rose windows and rising bell tower. As for the Arab Baths, you will be visiting a secluded garden of a manor in Old Town, where the baths were discovered only 100 years ago. A small but interesting sight to see, these baths were attached to a private home and constructed from the salvaged ruins of other buildings from even older time periods.
You will never forget the fabulous elegance of Palma de Mallorca’s architecture in all its glory. Spend all day exploring the sandstone archways and courtyards of the streets of Old Town. With its dynamic history stretching back over centuries, this is a neighborhood built on dozens of different styles and tastes. Stroll through grand palacios and medieval churches. Sit in a shady square or take a tour through local bakeries and artisanal shops. You might just get lost in the beauty of it all.
Next Stop: Ajaccio, France
After a long, sun-soaked day in Palma de Mallorca, hop back aboard the Splendor as we set off to our next port of call: Ajaccio, France, another ocean town on the island of Corsica. You can reflect on the beauties you saw in Palma while you make the ocean voyage — and if this sounds like your perfect dream destination, be sure to work hard this year to qualify for DDC21!