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 many boxes.
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, for a journey of approximately 10 minutes into the city centre.
Porto Pi, which is further from the main centre, does have a decently sized shopping complex near the port.
NEED TO KNOW
Palma uses the Euro and guests should take small change with them when shopping among the stores and stalls in the old town.
It is relatively compact, too, meaning guests can sample a good chunk of the attractions even with limited time.
There are a host of beaches in Palma, including Cala Major, close to the centre of the city, and plenty others for visitors to top up their tans while enjoying food and drink at the plethora of beach-side bars and restaurants.
WHAT WE LOVE
La Seu Cathedral: One of the most famous attractions in the city is this 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, giving it its nickname of ‘Cathedral of Light’.
Portixol: This former fishing village, which is within walking distance of Palma, has an array of sea-front 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.
Es Baluard: The Es Baluard Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art, which opened in 2004 in a former military fortress, houses Balearic and Mediterranean exhibits dating from the 19th century to the present day. While the displays are worthy of a visit, a trip to the restaurant is also advisable, with lovely views overlooking the Bay of Palma.
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.
Deià: Deià is a small coastal village that is bursting with character and charm. Dotted throughout are gift shops and art galleries. The village is part of the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Accessible old town features many interesting attractions
- Range of restaurants to appeal to foodies
- Time is not of the essence – the compact Palma can provide plenty of entertainment even for time-poor visitors