You can discover all that this picturesque isle has to offer by taking a flight from Shannon Airport direct to Palma de Mallorca Airport. From there, the airport shuttle bus (€2.50), which runs every 15 minutes, gets you into the city centre in less than half an hour. On its outskirts lie the plush resorts of Deia, Puerto de Pollensa and Llucmajor, all of which are within easy reach of the city itself.
Palma is a highly historic city (Bronze Age megaliths on the island date it back to around 2000BC) and the city still retains traces of its Roman, Byzantine, and Moorish settlements. To get a sense of the city’s history look no further than Castell de Bellver (€2), a 14th century Gothic castle which also houses Palma’s history museum. The unique building was originally a palace but was converted to house prisoners. Perched on a hilltop, the castle offers spectacular views of Palma and its surrounds.
Image used under Creative Commons from trams aux fils
The imposing Cathedral Le Seu (€5) is also well worth visiting. Construction on this Gothic structure commenced under King James I of Aragon in 1229 and finished nearly 200 years later in 1601. If you’re lucky you’ll arrive when the sun is shining through the cathedral’s impressive stained glass windows.
For a relaxing and somewhat unconventional daytrip, jump on the wooden train to Sóller. The train takes the exact route it’s taken since 1912, through main streets, scenic valleys and along the coast. You’ll feel as if you’ve gone back in time… in a good way.
Sample the Cuisine
There are plenty of places to sate your appetite in Palma, particularly in the area around Santa Catalina market. Most will serve tourist-friendly paella and tapas but if you’re looking for something more authentic, order the Sopes Mallorquin, a soupy stew made from cabbage; or the Frito Mallorquin, a mixed fry of liver, kidneys, peppers and potatoes – don’t worry, it tastes better than it sounds.
Of course, Mallorca is known for its nightlife, and thronging nightclubs can be found anywhere on Palma’s coastline. But for a more civilised night out, head to the Casco Antiguo district where you’ll find pubs and bars with a more relaxed atmosphere.
Getting around the city is relatively easy using the city’s reliable bus system, the EMT. Palma also boasts a well-run metro line connected to nine stops, so you won’t find yourself having to walk miles in the baking heat.