Friday, 3 August 2018

The Best of Palma de Mallorca & Port Guide for Cruisers

Inside Palma de Mallorca's stunning Cathedral where the sunlight fills the room in colours through the stained glass

Palma de Mallorca is one of the most popular ports of call on a Mediterranean cruise, so it's wise to plan ahead to avoid disappointment. This is your guide to enjoying a beautiful, hassle-free day in Palma no matter what time of year you visit...

Mallorca Cathedral
Colourful. Colossal. Palma's Cathedral is truly breathtaking with the stained glass windows transforming the light inside as the sun moves.

Palma de Mallorca Cathedral and Fortress at night

You can book tickets online for Palma's Cathedral at the same price as you'd pay on the day, plus you avoid any queues. Be aware the hours change depending on the season with shorter hours on a Saturday and worshipers only on a Sunday.

The grand alter in Mallorca's Cathedral filled with lightsPalma de Mallorca Cathedral Museum with religious art and sculptures

The ticket gives you entry to the nearby museum too, you have to head around the corner from the port-side to enter.

Cruise ships docked in the Port of Palma including Symphony of the Seas
The cruise ship shuttle drop off point in Palma de Mallorca near the Cathedral

How to get there: Take the local bus or shuttle (using around €5) to the city centre where you'll be dropped nearby on the seafront.

Further reading: Cruise bloggers share their favourite ports of call 

Bellver Castle
The 14th century round towers of Bellver sit atop of a hill overlooking Palma in-between the port and city. If you're after amazing views of your ship (and a refreshing on-shore breeze) you'll love Bellver, plus the Gothic architecture inside is stunning!

Costa cruise ship docked in Palma overlooked by Bellver Castle
Bellver Castle Round Interior
Regent Seas cruise ship docked in Palma de Mallorca
The fairytale like Bellver Castle Round Tower

How to get there: Unless you're willing to walk up a lot of steps from the local bus stop, take a taxi from the port for around €10 and get dropped off in the car park.

The Arab Baths 'Banys Arabs'
When the arabs took over the island around the 10th century they followed in the Roman's footsteps and created a small series of bath houses. The spaces are small but the sunlight piercing through the domed ceiling gives it a palpable atmosphere that looks wonderful in photos. It won't take you long to walk around and the surrounding gardens are pretty to relax in before or afterwards.

The Arab Baths in Palma de Mallorca
Inside the Arab Baths in Palma de Mallorca, Spain

How to get there: It's around 10 minute from the shuttle bus drop off point, or you could take the #102, #104 or #106 local bus to Porta des Camp.

Further reading: Six historical Spanish cities you HAVE to visit 

Cappuccino Grand Café
If you've spent enough time of the island you'll have likely come across a few Cappuccino bars, my favourite being The Grand Café with a gorgeous patio, staircase and paintings.

Cappuccino Grand Cafe in Palma de Mallorca

For obvious reasons this will be a popular draw for opportunists, but if you make a beeline for it first and work your way back to the port you'll have a good chance of enjoying a relaxing early lunch in one of the most beautiful settings.

Cappuccino Grand Café
Lunch menu in Cappuccino Grand Cafe Palma de Mallorca

How to get there: The Grand Café on San Miguel is a very pleasant 20 minute walk through the city streets, just head for Mayor Plaza (the main square) and you'll be within easy reach from there.

The Royal Palace of La Almudaina 
The palace is situated right next to the Cathedral, so it would make sense to visit both if you have enough time. It's usually closed on Monday's and from time to time hosts the Spanish Royal Family on their visits to the island. The architecture tells a story of the cultural change Mallorca has experienced over the past few centuries.

The Royal Palace of La Almudaina

How to get there: Simply take the local bus or shuttle to the city centre, cross the road to the fountain and walk up the steps to the entrance.

Further reading: A shore excursion to Saint-Paul-de-Vence from Villefranche

How busy will it be?
You can check what other ships will be joining you in Palma on sites like crew-centre, this will give you an indication of how busy the city will be. If you've been to Palma before and there's a few ships docking, it may be worth considering something different, like heading to Palmanova and its white sand beach on the local bus (#104), or venturing inland on a private Mallorca Wine Tour.

Symhpony of the Seas docked in Palma de Mallorca
Giovanni L. Luxury Ice-Cream in Palma de MallorcaBeautiful old town streets in Palma de Mallorca
Beautiful architecture in Palma de Mallorca Spain

Alternatively, you can forgo the tourist attractions and spend your time wandering through the city streets and soaking up some of Spain's most spectacular architecture - and stopping for a luxury ice-cream at Giovanni L., of course.
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© Explore With Ed | Wales based Food, Travel and Cruise Blog

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