M A L L O R C A the beautiful.
M A L L O R C A the beautiful.
So many people ask me about things I would recommend doing/seeing in Palma de Mallorca when they are visiting the island. So, why not give a blog post to that topic. Just for y’all, my favorite peeps.
It was a difficult list. Palma has so much to offer – art galleries, museums, shopping, great bars, hidden back alleys where you stumble upon something new every single time. I could spend a whole week just exploring those narrow side streets.
In no particular order because they all rock.
First up, the Pilar y Joan Miró Foundation. If you are an art lover, you can’t miss this. You actually walk through the studios Joan Miró worked in through 1956 until his death in 1983. The collection of works by Joan Miró includes paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints. You can see how and where he worked at the two studios (Son Boter and Sert Studio), both of these have been included in the Bienes de Interés Cultural architectural heritage list.
One of my favorite Miro sculptures in Palma ~ FEMME
Next, the Cathedral – La Seu. This majestic, architectural masterpiece took from 1230 – 1601 to build. It has a gorgeous, gothic, rose glass window which is one of the largest in the world. And if you are into Gaudí, he later designed the columns and the controversial Crown of Thorns that hangs over the altar. It is situated next to the Parc de la Mar which is also a lovely place to hang out, look at the sea and have a glass of wine.
A visit begins through the museum entrance and there is a small entrance fee.
Enough architecture and art for you? Alright, how about some shopping. Did some of your ears pop up? Palma has great stores – from Louis Vuitton to Caroline Herrera to Hugo Boss. And they are all in one of my favorite spots in Palma, Passeig des Born. Come here to this tree-lined promenade with boutiques, cafes, shops and beautiful fountains at each end. You can always find a street performer or two to keep you entertained, if you are needing that.
Walk up to Jaime III and if you turn left you will find Es Corte Ingles (Palma’s big department store), Mango and other shops. Turn right and you can head to Placa Major, where pretty much in every direction are more and more shops. If you have been dying for a Starbucks, one has been recently established at the Placa Cort.
Time for a break after all that sight seeing and shopping. Stop at one of the oldest chocolatiers in Europe, founded in 1700. So much deliciousness under one roof. It’s almost a sin. Pastries, cakes, ice-cream, cava and the popular Mallorcan ensaimada. My favorite is the one with apricots. They have two locations but the Calle Can Sanc has the mosaic from the original building. Bon Profit!
Did someone say bike riding and tapas? I’m in. This is a super fun bike tour to see the top sights of Palma ~ La Seu Cathedral, the Royal Palace of La Almudaina, ride down the Rambla of Palma and discover the nightlife center of La Lonja. Finish your excursion with tapas at the Illenc restaurant.
I hope you enjoyed the list. I would love to hear about your favorite must-sees in Palma. Thanks for stopping by this beautiful city!
March First – Balearic Day. WHOOOP! The Balearic islands are so gorgeous -Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera. Have you been to all of them?
Here is one of my favorite beaches in Mallorca. I call it the Secret Beach because it can be a bit tricky to find if you don’t know about it. But it’s true name is Caló des Moro.
Man, am I ready for summer. See you at the Secret Beach!
There are so many restaurants to choose from in Palma. And so many good ones too! Over the years I have been to quite a few. Here are my top five that I feel are best overall – in food, price and atmosphere. Still looking for that great Mexican restaurant here!
What are your favorites in Palma? Please share in the comments!
These first two are in the Santa Catalina area. LOTS of bars, LOTS of restaurants and usually a lot of fun.
NOLA – This place just feels like home to me. They have Brooklyn Lager on tap and some darn good cajun cookin’. Whenever I am missing my good ole U.S. of A, I head on over to NOLA and eat some fried pickles and a big plate of BBQ ribs. So tasty, great flavor. And on most Wednesdays it’s RIB NIGHT – all you can eat ribs for 15euro per person.
Also great is the Jambalaya and Gumbo. Actually, it’s all delish. GO!
NOLA C/San Magí, 13 +34 971.667.006
ROTANA – Just up the street from Nola is Rotana. If you are craving some yummy Lebanese food, this is your place. I like to get the assorted starter to share with my peeps – hummus, falafel, stuffed grape leaves and more. Then my favorite lamb dish as a main course and I am FULL! They also have a few tasting menus to try. The mint tea is a perfect end to your dinner. Or they have hookahs that you can smoke from! Not sure if you have to bring your own tobacco.
You can sit inside or outside (if the weather is nice). But careful, on some nights they have belly dancing inside and the music can be a bit loud.
ROTANA C/ San Magí, 58 +34 971.286.078
The next two are in the Old Town of Palma – My favorite area is the Old Town (La Antigua Lonja), full of narrow alleys, historic monuments and inspiring architecture. In just a square kilometer there are quirky cafes, funky shops, art galleries and of course lots of restaurants.
LA BOVEDA – Tapas, tapas and more so very delicious TAPAS! The classics – prawns and garlic in oil, Iberian ham, pa amb oli, plates of tempting cheese and sausages. I recommend their plate – Estrella de la casa, which has a little bit of everything. If you’re lucky, you might get the occasional guitarist. Go early because it gets full quickly. But if that happens you can always go over to their sister restaurant around the corner – La Taberna de la Boveda
La Boveda C/ Botería, 3 +34 971.714.863
FORN DE SANT JOAN – This one you definitely need a reservation for if you want to eat here. They do have online reservations, which is nice. And it is a bit on the pricier side than the others but worth it. Full on menu with lots of tapas style appetizers to start with – my personal favorite is one of the oysters, the grilled octopus and the king crab. Then there is a grande selection of things to tempt your palate with pastas, fish and meat. Oh and the desserts! The cocktails are excellent, the service is superb and it is one of my top favs on the island.
And if you want, you can go across the street to the over-the-top bar cocktails at Abaco Cocktail Bar. It’s pricey, but quite the experience.
Forn De Sant Joan C/ Sant Joan,4 +34 971.728.422
And my last one is in the Genova area of Palma. If you don’t have a car, you will need to get a taxi to get here, but it’s not too far out of Palma.
CASA JACINTO – This is your typical Mallorquin/Spanish restaurant that focuses on the popular tapas, fish and meat. Not much decor to talk about but it’s more of a place with good food, good prices, nice waitstaff and to get in with the locals and away from main stream of Palma. Order some dates with bacon or the pimientos de padron for a starter and my favorite is cooking your own steak on the hot stone they bring to your table. The house wine is pretty good too.
Casa Jacinto Cami de Tranvia, 37 +34 971.401.858
Saint Sebastian is Palma de Mallorca’s patron saint and is honored for a week long during the end of January with each day becoming more and more adventuresome. Tonight there will be devils, fire and torradas. Will you dare the devils or will they dare you?
Devils aren’t part of the celebration of Sant Sebastià, they are from the fiesta of Sant Antoni but the two are celebrated in Mallorca at the end of January and they have kind of merged together. Which makes for one fun party! The devils come for you as the correfoc (firerun) continues on, careful for fireworks and devils spitting fire at you.
The correfocs are my favorite.
It’s cold in Mallorca so don’t forget your warm clothes, sausages for the torrada and you might want to forego that hairspray for the night.
(Pictures above taken by me January 2011)
Ahhhhh….. still thinking about my lovely time at Hammam Palma yesterday. A massage was definitely in order and it was a darn good one! Even got my face and scalp massaged. Have you ever been to a hammam, or Turkish bath? My first experience with one was a few years ago in Marrakech where I did the whole experience – steam, warm water sloshed over me with a bucket and then the fun begins; you are lathered up with black soap and then the attendant dons a loofah glove and vigorously exfoliates you from head to toe. Your body won’t know what hit it. And then off to a massage with oils. Heaven.
Yesterday was my first time at Hammam Palma. I had been searching for places for Felix and me to get massages. And it is seriously insane out there – either the place has closed for the winter season, closed on the weekends (what?!) or booked for months in advance. It was truly frustrating. Imagine my total glee when my email that was sent the night before was answered when I checked emails in the morning. And their answer was YES! All I had to answer was how long massage we wanted, our names and a phone number and we were booked. No calling and waiting, no giving a credit card. Thank you!
We arrived at 15:00 and were given towels and swim footwear to be worn inside the hammam. They want you to relax and experience the thermal bath and sauna for about an hour before your massage. They offer 15, 30 and 60 minute massages. They also offer the whole experience – black soap, exfoliation and massage if you wanted to be completely pampered. But just remember with the thermal spa you need to add an hour to whatever experience you choose. We scheduled an hour massage and were there two and a half hours.
It was so needed to take away stress and have a place that makes it easy and comfortable to do. I will be back very soon! Maybe I will do the complete experience next time. Stay tuned!
Hammam Palma ~ Calle Costa i Llobera 20, Palma de Mallorca 971.412.860
So beautiful. It was even better in person. Come join me next time!
If you are ever in the southern (es Trenc) part of Mallorca and you want a simple hike, you should stop by S’Estanyol. There is a small beach, which usually has a bit of seaweed because the beach is so small the city ignores it. Which is good because it is NEVER crowded! And once you wade past the seaweed the water is crystal clear. If you want to go on a little hike it is the perfect place to just enjoy nature and the fresh air and a lighthouse at the end.
To arrive you would follow the MA-6015 to the end (arriving at S’Estanyol) and turn right. Park at the end of the road, after the S’Estanyol Club Nautico and there you are! You can take several different paths but stay on the path because there are some private owned areas that you can’t venture onto. And follow the FAR signs. FAR is lighthouse in Catalan. Just keep following that and soon you will arrive at the rocky coast where you will find the beautiful lighthouse. You can also wander around for quite some ways. Come and explore! When you are done, there are a few small restaurants to enjoy in S’Estanyol. Make a day of it!
Some pics from my hike there last week. Enjoy!