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Palma de Mallorca is located on the southern end of the beautiful island of Mallorca, a large island located off the coast of Spain. Palma de Mallorca is the capital city of the Balearic Islands, which are an autonomous community of Spain. Bordered by the Bay of Palma, cruises to Palma de Mallorca provide a picturesque setting to explore historic sites and natural wonders.
A Mediterranean cruise itinerary that has a Palma de Mallorca cruise port of call will drop you off in a gorgeous city with a long history. That history plus Palma de Mallorca’s island location in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea means cruisers to Palma de Mallorca can find a variety of things to do while in port.
Mallorca has no shortage of beaches. From long stretches of coastline where gold sand meets turquoise seas to secluded coves with rocky shoreline, there is a piece of coastal land for every type of beach lover. Some popular beaches to visit while on Mallorca are Playa d'Alcúdia, Cala Formentor Beach, Playa de Muro beach, Port de Pollença Beach, Portals Nous Beach, Camp de Mar Beach, Palma Nova, and Sant Elm.
La Seu Cathedral is one of the defining landmarks of Palma de Mallorca. The cathedral has an impressive size and a beautiful golden sandstone color that looks striking when standing beside the blue of the sea. La Seu Cathedral is built on the former site of a Moorish mosque, and the construction on it was started after King James I conquered the Balearic Islands in the 13th century. The cathedral took more than 400 years to complete and is a great example of Gothic architecture.
Bellver Castle has a unique shape with a circular layout flanked by four towers. A moat surrounds the castle, and its location atop a hill a couple miles away from Palma de Mallorca makes it a striking castle to visit, even for travelers who think they’ve seen enough European castles.
The Plaza Mayor is a beautiful square that lies at the heart of Palma’s bustling old town. You’ll find historic architecture lining the square that houses restaurants, bars, cafes, art galleries, and shops.
Almudaina Palace is an ancient palace that dates back to 123 BC when the Romans originally constructed it as a citadel. The structure switched hands from the Romans to the Moors and the Catalans over the next millennia, until Majorcan Kings came to power who turned it into a palace and royal residence.
The Caves of Drach are an exciting part of Palma de Mallorca to visit. They are huge underground caves that are full of stalactites and stalagmites reaching away from the sandstone rock. A highlight of visiting the Caves of Drach is seeing the large underground lake called Lake Martel.
The Caves of Hams are another popular underground cave spot for those interested in the geology of Mallorca. This cave system is especially known for its unique stalactites that are in the shape of spirals and hooks.
To escape to nature and history of the arts variety, visit Valldemossa, an old stone city located high in the Tamuntana Mountains next to a monastery that is hundreds of years old. The beauty of Valldemossa has inspired artists for centuries, including musician Frederic Chopin, writer George Sand, and poet Rubén Darío.
Palma de Mallorca is home to one of Spain’s most important contemporary art collections, located at the Es Baluard Museum. When touring the museum, you’ll see over 500 works of modern and contemporary art, many of which were done by artists who lived in the Balearic Islands.
Cala Figuera is a coastal village that has roots in the fishing industry. It is a popular excursion from Palma de Mallorca since the town is visually stunning with whitewashed buildings and colorful boathouses lining the tiny harbor.
Palma de Mallorca has a thriving culinary scene that fuses traditional Mallorcan dishes with innovative international cuisine. Specialty dishes include fideua, which is a paella made with noodles, and tumbet, a vegetable dish that is fried in olive oil and then baked together. A bakery item to try while in Mallorca is the ensaïmada, a croissant-like pastry with powdered sugar on top and sometimes a cream filling.
The rise in tourism in Mallorca over the past several decades since the Balearic Islands became one of Spain’s autonomous regions in 1983 has helped Mallorca become one of the most prosperous areas of Spain.
Palma de Mallorca’s name is derived from Palmeria, an ancient Roman camp that was set up in the area in 120 BC. Along with the Romans, Palma de Mallorca’s ancient history saw it controlled by the Byzantines and the Moors before its landscape was completely overhauled by the conquest of it in 1229 by James 1 of Aragon. Most of the structures you can see in the city today date back to this time and the centuries after.
Its Art Noveau, Modernist, and Gothic architecture provides an excellent backdrop to the present day’s culture, which has seen a rise in art galleries and craft studios for local artisans, as well as cutting edge restaurants and lively bars.
Mediterranean cruises that visit the Palma de Mallorca cruise port will pull into Port Estacio Maritima, which is the main cruise port for Mallorca and the surrounding Balearic Islands. Port Estacio Maritima is a busy port that caters to luxury yachts and ferries as well as cruise ships.
From the port, you can walk into the historic center of the city, but it’s a few miles and will take about 30 to 40 minutes depending where your ship docks in port. If you don’t want to walk, you can take a taxi or bus into town since a taxi rank and bus station are located right outside the cruise terminal. A shore excursion is also a convenient way to get into the city since you’ll be guided right to your transportation and then effortlessly escorted to your first destination point for the excursion.
Renting a bicycle is a popular way to get around the port when cruising to Palma de Mallorca, Spain. The city has a myriad of bike lanes and also a coastal path that leads from Palma de Mallorca to S’Arenal.
Mallorca has an extensive bus service with 29 routes that will take you around the city center and beyond to other attractions around the island.
Palma de Mallorca has one metro line, which is used to take people from Plaça d’Espanya to the Universidad de las Islas Baleares, which is a university located in the city.
Taxis are available for hire if it has a green light on it. If you’re having trouble hailing one, head to one of the taxi stands located around the city center. Taxis in Mallorca are metered, though drivers are open to discussing a fixed price for trips beyond the city.
Cruises to Palma de Mallorca, Spain give you a good range of shopping opportunities while in port.
The street dubbed the “Golden Mile of Palma” is Passeig des Born and it’s a must-visit area of Palma de Mallorca for luxury brand fanatics. It has stores for Louis Vuitton, Rialto Living, Carolina Herrera, Mulberry, and many more.
Palma de Mallorca isn’t just luxury shopping, though. Visitors to the island who are looking for more unique souvenirs and handicrafts can head to Inca Market, a bustling bazaar that is open on Thursday mornings; or, if you’re not in Mallorca on a Thursday, you can tuck into one of the many shops located right by the port.
When visiting the Palma de Mallorca cruise port make sure you have euros on hand, as the euro is the accepted currency on the island of Mallorca.
ATMs are widely available in Palma de Mallorca and you can also find cash exchange businesses (which will say cambio on the sign). If you’re low on cash, most restaurants and shops on the island take credit cards, but it’s wise to double check beforehand, especially if you want to make a purchase in family-run shops and restaurants or hire a taxi. If using a credit card you may be asked to show your passport or another form of photo ID.
Tipping at cafes and bars isn’t expected, though people often round the bill to the nearest euro or two for good service. At restaurants, you’ll often find a service charge on the bill and it is common to leave an extra 5% on top of that.
Tipping also isn’t necessary for taxis, but rounding up is often done and a modest tip is appreciated, especially for longer taxi rides.