It has been quite an eventful Summer, to say the least, in April I had a total knee replacement and to celebrate my recovery headed to my favourite Baleric Island, Ibiza in June. In a whirlwind series of events, I was heading on a 4-day festival cruise where Jon Bon Jovi would be performing 2 sets. A quick call to the surgeon and my second knee replacement was booked in just in enough time to recover to rock out on the Norweigian Pearl at the end of August.
The 4-day cruise set sail from the Port of Barcelona to the historic Spanish city of Palma. Having never visited Palma before we fully immersed ourselves into discovering what was on offer (including lots of wine) in the 6 or so hours we were in Port.
We absolutely love a hop on an open-top tour bus and decided that this was the best way to discover the city in such a short time. Having found the cheapest tickets online for the bus here, we booked them in advance.
We hopped on the bus at the stop located at the Port in the morning and took the full Red Route loop. This takes approximately 90 minutes to complete. You can pretty much discover a lot of the rich heritage, take in all the beautiful buildings and get your bearings on this tour. The Purple Route was closed when we were in Palma. It is only a 20-minute circuit however I would have enjoyed seeing what was on this loop.
I highly recommend a trip to see the Gothic Cathedral known as La Seu. The Cathedral has been designed with a Catalan Gothic style but with Northern European influences. In 1901 Gaudi was invited to help with the restoration of the Cathedral, however, stopped working on the project in 1914 due to creative differences. On our trip, we did actually see one of Gaudi’s most famous works, the Sagrada Família in Barcelona.
Anima Beach Club Lunch
We ended up along the beachfront around lunchtime and decided to grab a bite to eat at Anima Beach Club. If you know me by now you’ll know that I love nothing more than a nice bowl of pasta and a crisp glass of wine on a lunchtime.
Anima Beach Club offers a chilled and serene atmosphere. We sat outside enjoying the water lapping up against the rocks and the gorgeous sunshine.
Without hesitation, we ordered a bottle of the house white (Nuviana) which was served cold and crisp (€23). Whilst waiting for our lunch the waiter brought out some complimentary freshly cooked samosas with a chilli dipping sauce. These were unexpected and incredibly delicious.
Lunch didn’t take too long to be served, however, we weren’t in a hurry as we enjoyed the atmosphere. I had chosen the Spaghetti with rocket, cherry tomatoes, chilli and garlic (€13.50), which was a large portion and full of flavour.
Laura had the Ensaladas Anima Beach (€14.50) which was tuna olives, onions, potatoes, capers, tomatoes. It was lovely and fresh, again a large portion. We enjoyed the ambience and the vibe so much we ordered a second bottle of wine.
Palma boasts some beautiful beaches so why not take off your sandals and let the white sand run between your toes, if you’re brave you could paddle. The closest beach is Ca’n Pere Antoni where Anima Beach Club is located just in front of the Cathedral.
If beaches aren’t your thing then why not explore different areas of Palma. There’s the old town which is full of history from small thin cobbled streets to the large central square which is great to grab a cocktail and people watch.
If you’re looking for somewhere lively take a trip to the trendy Santa Catalina area. The former fishing area. This popular area is centred on a centuries-old market piled with local produce. The leafy streets are lined by gaily painted cottages and art nouveau mansions are packed with design boutiques and vintage stores. Bustling with Martini lounges and music cafes juxtaposed alongside dive bars. These are popular with a bohemian crowd, while the trendy restaurants serving global cuisines are found in the squares and down small side and backstreets.
Visit the Arabian Quarter
Palma has endured multiple invasions over the years and this is evident from the architecture around the city. With influences from different time periods, you should take some time to explore the Arab Quarter. This area contains many of Palma’s hidden treasures, including little museums, charming courtyards and unique architecture. There are exhibitions dedicated to the history of Mallorca, religious artefacts and antique toys.
Just behind the Arab Quarter, you will find the renowned Plaça Cort. This area embodies Palma Town Hall and the legendary old olive tree. A masterpiece in itself, this tree is believed to be about 800 years old and is one of the city’s most admired landmarks.
Palma is an incredible city and we didn’t manage to explore it all. However, there are the things we recommend doing in a short time frame. We certainly will be heading back for a few days to really indulge in this Spanish city.
Have you been to Palma before? I’d love to know where your favourite spots were?