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!
I have found my summer wine.
It is crisp, elegant and so very tasty. And it is a Spanish rosé. Perfect for the summer months that will soon be here! I had it just last week at a new restaurant in Ses Salines and I really wished someone would have ordered another bottle but alas, it didn’t happen.
Naranjas Azules (Blue Oranges), from the bodega Soto y Manrique, is the name of my new favorite.
I love the name.
Made from the Grenache grape found in northeast Spain. It has a fresh aroma, with notes of strawberry, cherry, jasmine, mint and fennel.
It pairs excellently with fish, white meat, pasta and cheese. My cheese plate was exquisite with my Naranjas Azules to accompany it.
Tell me your mouth is watering and you are dying for a glass of this rosé.
If you live in Spain, I found Naranjas Azules in the gourmet section of Es Corte Ingles.
Check it out and post a pic!Would love to see your pretty face and that beautiful rosé. Cheers!
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!
January 6th, the day of Epiphany (aka The Three Kings), when the Three Wise Men arrived bearing gifts for the Christ child. Here is a little more information for you and a time to practice your Spanish! Let me know if you need some help. Disfruta!
Happy New Year Y’all! Let’s rock this one. Felix and I have a New Year’s Day tradition of walking on the beach near sunset. First sunset of 2017. LOVES!
Spain is a lovely place to enjoy the holiday season, with events and celebrations starting early December and going through mid January. Children typically only get a small gift on Christmas Day because they receive the majority of their presents on January 6th – Three Kings Day (Los Reyes). Christmas time is truly a special time of the year in Spain.
Here are some of my favorites from Spain.
The Belen (Nativity Scene) – You can always find a Belen in the bigger cities, some with a live Belen! And they can be very elaborate and beautiful.
And a bit of a strange tradition in Catalonia is the caganer (the crapper), where a defecating figure perched behind Mary and Joseph is said to symbolize fertilization, as well as bringing luck and prosperity for the year ahead. The traditional figure is that of a young peasant from Catalonia, sporting a red cap and a pipe. But modern crappers represent public figures of the moment, from politicians to sporting heroes. Here is your Trump caganer that will probably be very popular this year.
Next up is EL GORDO! You can get your lottery ticket pretty much almost anywhere. El Gordo (The Fat One) is a Spanish institution and the second oldest lottery in the world. The first Christmas lottery took place on 22nd December 1812 in Cádiz and the event has been taking place on the same day every year since.
It’s a bit complicated because so many people take part in the lottery, numbers are repeated up to 160 times. That means, if you win, you will most likely be sharing the prize with 159 others.
The night of the drawing is a drawn out affair lasting around three hours. The balls are drawn in a unique way befitting the unique lottery tradition, while the numbers are sung by the pupils of Madrid’s San Ildefonso school.
My next favorite Spanish fiesta is Three King’s Day (El Dia de los Reyes). If you remember the Three Kings are Balthazar, Caspar and Melchior and they bring the newborn Christ child gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The one thing that really bothers me is how the person who portrays Balthazar is a Spanish who is blackened up. There are many African people who live here, who I am sure would be quite honored to play the role of Balthazar.
There are many parades around Spain with the Three Kings throwing candy to the children. Here in Mallorca, the Three Kings arrive on boat. There is also the Roscón de Reyes which is a traditional cake (a bit fruitcake like) that families eat on the day. Careful though, there is a metal/plastic figurine inside it. Whoever gets it in their piece is crowned king or queen of the table. There’s also a bean inside the pastry and whoever gets it has to buy next year’s roscón.
Good luck getting to be the king or queen of the party! Those are my favorites! What are some of your favorite holiday tradition where you live?