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The Luxury Editor's Inside Scoop on Palma de Mallorca

By HarryThursday 04th August 2016

Take a stroll along the seafront.


Throughout August and September, Harmony of the Seas will visit Palma de Mallorca, a favourite destination of ours. If you’re not familiar with this beautiful part of the Spain, you’re missing out. That’s why we’ve enlisted the help of Catherine from The Luxury Editor. Read on for her top recommendations for this Mediterranean gem if you are planning any cruises from Spain.


What to do in Palma­

Palma is full of treasures, but the obvious place to start on any visit to the city is the Old Town, near the sea front. Here you will find a maze of hidden alleyways, lanes and peaceful courtyards ready to be explored.
The beautiful streets.
The area is full of boutiques and cafes, with the impressive Plaza Mayor at its centre, like a spider’s web. The Old Town is also the perfect place to see the characterful and varied architecture of Palma, including great examples of Renaissance, Baroque and Gothic buildings. The area itself is small, so it’s easily walkable, not to mention largely traffic-free, and there’s so much to do packed into just one square kilometre!
Lovely buildings.
Central to the Old Town is the impressive Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma, more commonly referred to as Le Seu. This impressive gothic structure holds court over the Old Quarter of Palma and is one of the first things you will see as the ship comes closer to the city. The cathedral is as beautiful from the inside as the outside, with an immense vaulted ceiling and one of the largest rose windows in the world.
Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma.
Palma is known for its multicultural influences; it’s location in the Med has meant it acts as a meeting point for Middle Eastern and European cultures and architecture. For possibly the best example of Muslim architecture in Palma, visit the Banos Arabes on Can Serra Street. Located in the beautiful gardens of Can Fontirroig, the Arab baths are an incredible glimpse into the city’s deep-rooted history. The architecture is said to date from the 11th century and it is thought these baths formed part of a noble palace.
Banos Arabes.
The trip up to Castell de Bellver, atop a hill overlooking Palma, is worth the effort for the unrivalled views of the city and the bay. The castle itself has been standing for almost 700 years and is unique in its design and shape. Castell de Bellver is entirely round; it’s made up of three large, round towers connected by a circular outer wall. After checking out the view, venture inside the castle’s museum to learn about Palma’s amazing history.
Take a walk along the seafront in Palma, and enjoy the palm tree-lined promenade and the busy marina. There is a public beach to the west of the Cathedral, around 20 minutes’ walk from the Old Town, but if you are a big beach fan, we recommend jumping in a taxi and heading along the coast. There are plenty of great seaside towns, like Illetes, which are the perfect place to enjoy the turquoise water and white-sand beaches of the Badia de Palma.
Badia de Palma.
Also not to be missed is the Passeig des Born. This wide, tree-lined avenue is great for those who love to shop, with a variety of stores, from Spanish high street favourites, to designer brands such as Hugo Boss and Louis Vuitton. The promenade also plays host to parades and fiestas and is worth going just to soak up the atmosphere.
Passeig des Born.

Eating and Drinking

Palma is a great place to experience traditional Spanish tapas, and the Carrer de Apuntadors is a tiny street packed full of great tapas bars! One of our favourites is Restaurant Provenzal. With a tavern-like feel and a great menu, Restaurant Provenzal gives diners an authentic experience of Spanish cuisine.
Delicious food at Restaurant Provenzal.
For something more upmarket, there is Ombu tapas bar, a mix of traditional and modern, with a slick contemporary interior and delicious food, all beautifully presented. Less than half an hour’s walk from Palma is the Tapas Club restaurant in the beach resort of Portixol. The small journey to get there is definitely worth it; this restaurant is generally considered as one of the best places for tapas on the island. We recommend trying the cocktails and getting a seat outside, overlooking the beach, if you want to really enjoy the stunning views!
Any visit to Mallorca should include trying the island’s traditional savoury pastry. The Ensaimada is a spiral shaped pastry made using ‘saim’ (pork lard) and is often eaten for breakfast, or as an afternoon snack with coffee. It is thought to have been invented in Mallorca in the 17th century and is available at bakeries all over the city.
Tasty pastries.
If you fancy something refreshing to cool off, ice cream is a popular treat on the island. There are lots of ice cream parlours dotted about Palma, although the best can found at Placa de Cort, a beautiful square in the Old Town with a large olive tree in the centre. The square is a great place to eat lunch alfresco, or relax and enjoy a spot of people-watching with cold drink.
Placa de Cort.

If you’d like to explore Palma de Mallorca for yourself, take a look at Harmony of the Seas’ destinations and start planning.

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