Palma de Mallorca is a city of dreams and the best magnet in the heart of the Balearic Sea. Town was founded by the Romans before Christ, not to leave such a comfortable and beautiful bay of Mallorca to the pirates (yes, they used to run the place too). The capital of the Balearic Islands has about 500 thousand residents, most of them involved in tourism, and it is not surprising — only the city’s airport of the island takes up to 25 million passengers a year. Another 1.5-2 million arrive by ferry or cruise ships. The Royal family of Spain regularly visits town to enjoy the crystalline waters and fabulous scenery. Also, the sports and pop stars come here to unwind. Palma de Mallorca sounds like a good recommendation for your next vacation!
Relax on Palma de Mallorca beaches
The beaches of Palma are for lazy days when you don't want to leave the town in search of new scenic spots. Beaches are the best place for children; the coast has a decent sea, soft sand, a gentle entrance, quiet water, Blue Flags, nightly cleaning of garbage, all infrastructure, and popular entertainment. The main drawback is that there are a lot of holidaymakers. You can try your luck at Can Pere Anthony, a 20-minute walk east of the Cathedral, but there are more and more tourists every year. Bus trip to the good beaches takes 10-20 minutes. There are a long Playa de Palma, neighboring Cala Estancia, and Arenal, which is part of Palma’s town. On the other side of the bay are the noble Illetas, with its many secluded coves, the respectable Palma Nova, and the bustling Magaluf.
Almost all municipal beaches have sunbeds, toilets, and showers. An umbrella and a sun lounger cost about 10 euros. In the store, an umbrella costs about 17 euros. Almost all the beaches in Palma are free. The exception is small club beaches with the best level of comfort, relative privacy, and additional services. In the capital, there are a few of these. There's the Nassau Beach Club and the Anima Beach Club at the Can Pere Antoni beach and Puro Beach near the airport. But while the first two have access to the sea, the last one is all "luxury" with no sea and sand. But you can take a dip in the pool.
Diving off the coast of Palma’s town will satisfy divers of all levels — there are facilities for training, advanced divers, and professional exploration of the underwater world. The water is clear, the sites are diverse, and the living world is rich and colorful. It is the best destination for diving! Most dive centers are located on the shores of the Bay of Palma de Mallorca, which is convenient for those who have settled in the capital city. Besides, it is not far from Palma Bay to the Dragonera nature reserve — Island of Dragons. There are some fascinating diving spots in the surroundings and on the way to it — barracuda caves, the sunken yacht M.S.Goggi, and a big cave with a statue of Madonna and air pockets. You can explore the Palma Wreck, a 40-meter-long drydock shipwreck near Palma.
The best times for diving are from May to June and September to October.
The price tag for a trial lesson starts at 50 euros, and a PADI Open Water course will cost about 400 euros. The best times for diving are from May to June and September to October. At any time of the year, you can swim with sharks in a special aquarium in the park "Palma Aquarium", but you will need a diver's certificate. Instructor-led educational dives for the whole family are also available here in the summer. Registration must be made in advance.
Taste local cuisine
An outstanding legacy of the many nations that have visited Mallorca at different times is the colorful local cuisine that may be found in Palma's restaurants. For the first dish, try the Mallorcan Roast, a plate of meat, blood, and offal roasted in olive oil with potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and red peppers. For vegetarians, we recommend "tumbet" — fried eggplant with potatoes, peppers, and tomato sauce. Soups are also the best, but some of it may surprise you. The local "dry" soups are so boiled that you can eat them with a fork. Fans of fish are advised to try cod in various variations and stingray roast with almonds. As an appetizer, "okairos" patties filled with vegetables and pine nuts or figs with jamon are interesting. The local sausages, "sobrasada" and "botifarra" require attention. For dessert, there is the famous ensaymada, a snail bun with or without toppings, and bunjols, a doughnut made from potato dough.
Many places offer a set lunch for 12 euros during the day. For 25 euros, a large paella for two and a liter of sangria are served. On average (without coziness, but not starving), you can eat between 20 and 30 euros per day per person without additional drinks. If you go to famous restaurants, the cost will increase significantly — a dinner of seafood for two will cost at least 100 euros. Do not forget the tips — the custom here is to leave for service 10-15% of the check.
Visit Bellver Castle
The Castel de Belver is the best masterpiece of Gothic art. Located a few kilometers from Palma de Mallorca town, it is the only Gothic building in Spain with a very unusual round shape. Bellver Castle, built on a hill, offers a breathtaking view of the Bay of Palma, a panoramic view of the city, and on sunny days you can even see the outline of Cabrera Island. The history of the castle begins in the 14th century when the Aragonese King Jaime II decided to build his ancestral home in the picturesque hills of Mallorca. However, a few centuries later, Belver lost its status as the monarch's residence. In the 18th century, the castle was used as a prison. Among its inmates was the famous Spanish writer Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos. Three wide cylindrical towers, a vast courtyard, and a spacious patio on the upper floor, from where you can admire the enchanting Palma, attract attention to the castle grounds. The castle museum exhibits an interesting collection of archaeological finds and classical sculptures.
Take a walk in the Spanish Village "Poble Espanyol"
The Spanish Village (Poble Espanyol) is an open-air museum located in Palma de Mallorca in the district of Son Espanyol. The area of more than 26,000 square meters is built up of 20 buildings — houses, palaces, churches, and castles — each characteristic of a particular region of Spain. A walk through the museum is an opportunity to trace the evolutionary path of Pyrenean architecture from the times of Arab rule to the present. By the way, there is a similar museum in Barcelona city. The Spanish Village in the capital of Catalonia was built especially for the 1929 World Expo. In Palma town, the same kind of museum was opened in 1967. Mallorca's Spanish Village looks a little more modest in comparison with the Barcelona one, but it's worth visiting anyway.
In the Spanish Village, you can learn about Iberian folk crafts and cuisine; in Poble Espanyol, there are bars and restaurants located along the replica streets of Seville, Cordoba, Toledo, and Madrid. So if you didn't manage to visit, for example, Granada, don't despair: just go to the salon, baths, and patios of the Alhambra. Many characteristic arches and many mosaics in the Arab style-all impress even those who have seen the originals. The Spanish Village also serves as a museum of folk crafts. Several small stores sell souvenirs and jewelry.
Visit the best aquarium in Europe
The Palma de Mallorca Aquarium and Marine Nature Park is a realm of the sea in all its enchanting and mysterious beauty. Its 55-themed aquariums are home to more than 700 species of Mediterranean fauna, with a total area of 41,000 square meters. When visiting the Palma de Mallorca Aquarium, it is strongly recommended to join a tour so you will learn a lot of surprising and interesting facts about the underwater world of the Mediterranean. The tour lasts about 4 hours, during which visitors pass through five themed zones. The Mediterranean section consists of 24 flora and fauna aquariums and an open mini aquarium where you can touch a sea urchin or a sea cucumber. The 25 tropical aquariums are inhabited by species from the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans. Gran Azul is the deepest shark aquarium in Europe; they swim right over the heads of visitors. And on the roof of the complex is a section of the tropical forest.
Relax at the Magaluf resort
Magalluf is a popular Spanish resort in Mallorca. It attracts tourists of two fundamentally different but excellently compatible types: British and Scandinavian youth flocking to Magaluf for "bachelor" parties, and the more sedate family and not-so-restful weekend visitors on tourist permits. However, if you are looking for a quiet and peaceful holiday, it is better to go straight to the neighboring Palma Nova. If you prefer a non-stop party, noisy and cheerful company, then Magaluf is the best place to find it. The town has two beaches, both with golden sand and a warm, clear Mediterranean Sea. The first, a small beach resort, Palma Nova, is adjacent to another beach resort, Palma Nova. The second, the main beach of Magaluf, with many coastal cafes and restaurants, is equipped with a special pedestrian walkway.
Buying souvenirs in the capital city of Mallorca is easy to combine with traditional shopping. Buying at a value of 90 euros or more in tax-free stores, you will be able to return up to 13% of the check. The main subjects of hunting are qualitative and inexpensive Spanish clothes, footwear, accessories, and the places to live are malls like Porto Pi, outlet Festival Park, democratic department stores like El Corte Ingles, and small stores on the town streets. Leather, faux pearls, alcohol, and incredibly tasty souvenirs are the best. For the first item, it is better to go to the neighboring town of the Inca, where they have worked with leather for centuries; drive for less than an hour. Moccasins or sandals in leather will cost 10–20 euros. Do not be afraid of artificial pearls – it's not plastic trinkets. Manacor jewelry has a 10 years guarantee, and not everyone can tell glass beads from real pearls.
If you want something edible, they recommend buying "sobrasada" — a spicy, dried, and smoked pork sausage. Packed in a vacuum, it will survive on the road. To go with the sausage you can buy fig bread, also packed for long storage. For those with a sweet tooth, a couple of boxes of enzamaida air cakes, and for grown-up winter evenings, a couple of bottles of herbal liquor. Painted pottery and handmade glass, clay toys, painted fans, and crafts from the olive will take a role in the memorable things. Small items are better at fairs and markets so you can bargain for a better price.
Visit the Royal Palace of Almudaina
The first fortifications on the site date back to before Christ. When the Romans came here, the fort defended their settlement of Palmeria. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Moors destroyed all the fortifications and built their palace, the Almudaina. From the Arab rulers, the fortress passed to the Spanish kings, who added Gothic features to its appearance. Each new monarch altered the palace to its taste, creating the Great Reception Hall, the military grounds of the Patio de Armas, the Royal Hall, the Chapel of Saint Anne, the Armoury, and the Flemish and Spanish tapestries.
Don't miss Almudaina's darkest landmark, the jagged Tower of Heads, where the heads of executed criminals were hung in the old days. The second tower of the palace, the Tower of the Angel, symbolizes life: it is crowned by a statue of the Archangel Gabriel, the patron saint of Palma de Mallorca. Even though half of the palace complex has been given over to the National Museum, Almudaina retains its status as a royal palace and remains the summer residence of the Spanish Bourbons. The current King of Spain, Philip VI, belongs to this branch and, together with his wife, Queen Letizia, and other dignitaries, stays at Almudaina during his visits to Mallorca. If you're lucky, you'll see the royal cortege, but if you're not, you'll still enjoy a stroll through the magnificent vaulted halls and the Royal Garden with its fountains.
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