Palma

Beautiful, breezy, and brimming with Spanish style, Palma has long been one of the most popular and compelling ports of call on the Mediterranean cruise run. With a unique combination of bustling city life and sun splashed beachside resort hotels, it’s a multi faceted pearl of an island that brings people back again and again.

You might want to check out the local pearls; these are one of the main buys for shoppers, and they are rightly world famous, as well as being of exceptionally high quality. But shopping in the bustling main town of Palma goes way beyond pearls; leather goods are especially good value, and there’s no shortage of smart, highly styled shopping venues to tempt you in.

Do not miss the stunning, honey coloured Le Seu cathedral,a Gothic giantĀ  sitting on a headland on a beautifully styled, palm fringed promenade walk. With it’s huge Romanesque windows situated at front and back, and whimsical interior additions by the Catalan genius, Antonio Gaudi, it can be seen from almost everywhere in the city.

You could also visit the fourteenth century Bellver Castle; it was once the residence of Mallorcan royalty and, with its round tower looming above the interior, it has an amazing stance, while also offering fabulous views out over the bulk of the island.

But you should also make time to just stroll here. Palma is built around the fringes of the large open bay, with bars, cafes and restaurants that open out onto a palm fringed promenade, perfect for some early evening tapas, or just some indolent people watching. There are beautiful fountains and white washed houses with ornate, wrought iron balconies and a series of beautiful interior courtyards.

Though part of Spain proper, Palma has a different feel and vibe to the bustling seaside cities so typical of mainland Spain. The scale is smaller, more intimate and, for many, more welcoming.

TheĀ  harbour is full of yachts of all shapes and sizes, bobbing at their berths like contented, idle swans. Nightlife here starts late, and continues on well into the pre dawn hour.

Getting around: There are two areas where cruise ships arrive. Most ships dock at the Estacio Maritima, a forty minute, six kilometre walk along the sea front. it is a pleasant stroll but, of course, you can always take a taxi.

Some ships dock at Porto Pi, the naval base, which is around a seventy five minute walk to the city centre.

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