Palma, the thriving capital city of Majorca in the Balearic Islands, is steeped with culture, offers a varied nightlife and possesses an atmosphere of intrigue and excitement. Holidays in Palma are suited to everyone. Couples visiting the city are sure to get lost in the narrow, almost Tunisian streets surrounding the great cathedrals and castles, families will enjoy the melting pot of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences around the island’s capital and individuals will watch the world go by as they unwind in one of many open top cafes. Everyone is bound to find some peace and relaxation in Palma's all inclusive hotels. Palma, as the thriving capital city of Majorca in the Balearic Islands, is a dynamic, cosmopolitan destination that is sure to bring a spark to your getaway.
At a glance
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When to go
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Bellver Castle, which houses excavations from the island, is set atop gorgeous mountainous terrain and situated within the glorious Bellver Wood. Open to visitors all year round, there’s no reason to miss out on this little slice of Palma’s history. Palma Modern Art Museum, meanwhile, is located in Catalina so if you’re in the centre, it’s well worth a visit. If exhibitions and concerts are more your thing, visit Sa Nostra Foundation. These are the perfect places to make the most of if you’re a culture vulture looking to combine history and intrigue with some phenomenal views and fascinating facts. An absolute must for all visitors is the train journey from Palma to Soller, which truly is unmissable. With its open, wooden cabins running along the tiny railway, the ride showcases the best views of Majorca – making it ideal for both romantic trips and family fun!
If it’s history you’re after, it’s most practical to keep things central in the city staying in one of many modern hotels and boutiques around Sant Nicolau, Cort and La Calatrava. Many hotels in the area have luxurious facilities and opulent surroundings, so you may find you won’t want to leave at all! For the buzzing shopping opportunities – book a hotel in the Old Quarter, which has an array of shops for something old and new. From 3-star simplistic style to 5-star luxury, Palma City holidays have the hotel for you.
Wine and Dine
Palma has lots of excellent fresh food and you can eat sumptiously or simply and deliciously. Tomatoes are used in lots of dishes in Palma, rubbed on toasted bread with olive oil and salt or grilled with beef and eaten as a side. If you are cooking yourself, or even if you are not but want to absorb the local wares, the Olivar market is a must. Here you will see fresh seafood for sale, hams, olive oil, local wine and cheese and sausage. For a sophisticated snack, you can try the oyster and champagne bar in the market or head to nearby fish restaurant Simply Fosh for some excellent meals and local wine.
Try an Ensaimades for a sweet treat, sweet bread dusted with icing sugar that are very popular in Palma. You can eat them plain or filled with chocolate or sweet pumpkin paste.
An excellent way to kick off your evening is to snack at a tapas bar of which you will find many from the traditional to the new and trendy.
Many resorts will cater to families with entertainment and kids’ clubs factored in and people here will be geared towards families so you won’t be alone. For entertainment beyond the beach which will be enough to absorb children for days at a time, a trip to Palma Aquarium is a good bet. There are over 8000 creatures here including a shark tank that will be sure to thrill kids. Children over 8 can swim with the ray fish here and if you can already scuba dive then you can swim close to the sharks as well! For younger children (or anyone really with a love of trains) take a trip on the wooden train thsat goes from Palma to Soller. The train was originally made over 100 years ago to bring fresh oranges and lemons to the market. You will end up in Soller which is a charming place to visit, stop for a snack and an icecream and the beach there is good for families as well.
Action and Adventure
For the adventurous, water sports are a must in Palma. Captain Cook offers open sea swimming tours with dolphins or you can try your hand at sailing or scuba diving. If you are a keen sailor then hire a boat to take off to the sea and explore or go with one of the boat tours that stop for swimming along the way. Forestal Park Mallorca is an outdoor adventure park with zipwires and climbing set up in the forests or you can hire a bike and see the sights either as part of a guided tour or on your own. For a unique experience, take a hot air balloon ride over Mallorca and see the glorious landscape from the air. Flights go from Cala Millor but pick you up to get you there and you can book a private flight with champage or as a group.
Life's a Beach
Palma holidays have plenty to offer including shimmering seafronts, varied beaches and inescapable rural landscape – there really is something for everyone. If the scenery is most important to you, be taken away to a world of yesteryear by staying in a former castle or a hotel that dates back to the 13th century with its original stone features in the north eastern Port de Pollenca, unwind by the untouched beaches of western Can Pastilla or enjoy the family entertainment hosted at S’Arenal Beach.
Palma has a glamorous and trendy side that revels in its nightlife with bars and clubs providing music and drinks well into the night. The Santa Catalina district is chock full of bars, head to Bar Cuba Colonial for some salsa and a bar and café. Pacha Mallorca has three floors with look out over the port and has a restaurant as well as a few dance floors which spill onto the beach. Nikki Beach is the trendy place to hang out with beach parties continuing into the night. If you are after live music, then you can find jazz at the Jazz Voyeur Club set in a 16th century mansion or Tunnel Rock Club for some rock and metal live music. There is also an Irish pub with all kinds of live music. The Cuba Hotel Sky Bar is worth a visit for its spectacular views, the walls are glass and you can look out over the whole city while sipping a cocktail or two. For clubbing, head to El Garito Café, Pacha Mallorca or Tito’s for DJ’s and dancing.
Palma is a romantic destination whichever way you look at it, the fabulous sunsets and scenery make for a perfect setting. Dining out is one of the most romantic things to do here and there are lots of romantic restaurants to head to. If you explore a little bit you will find the more tradtional, fancy restaurants or secluded places with local charm.
If you want to relax, it is well worth taking advantage of the many spas in Palma where you can get a couples’ massage or simply sit and relax in the pools and saunas. When you want to do a bit of exploring, walking in the gorgous surroundings will be rewarding, with many picnic spots to make the day perfect. Of course, the beaches here are the main attraction and walking on the beach as the sunsets or at night with the stars out in full will create memories and romance.
Palma City is an amalgamation of Arab, Roman and Jewish influences. Although much of the older architecture is long gone, the many Roman alleyways are sure to lead to secret steals. If you like walking around to get a feel for the place, you’re sure to find a medieval church on one corner and book stalls on the next. This isn’t a faraway sleepy Spanish destination; it has history but is very up to date with its thriving bars and varied restaurants. There are many religious places of worship within a short walking distance of one another, including the Church of Santa Eulària, the Convent and the Church of Santa Magdalena in the north of the city. The Old Quarter captivates with its majestic Gothic cathedral, La Seu, which is undoubtedly the city of Palma’s architectural icon. For those wanting to unwind with a golf course and scenic views, an apartment might be more up your street. Apartments in La Bonanova are only ten minutes away from the capital, making it the perfect location if you’d like to stay outside of the city’s hustle and bustle, yet still within easy reach should you wish to explore all that it has to offer.