Home to half of Mallorca's population, Palma City is stylish,
sophisticated, and intimate yet bursting with life. You can
enjoy the island's best restaurants, shops and nightlife as
well as a thriving arts scene and a lively cafe society.
Palma's masterpiece is its Gothic cathedral, rising out of
the city walls, which once marked the edge of the sea. Close
to the cathedral is the old Arab quarter, which exhibits its
maze of narrow streets hiding museums, palaces, and exquisite
courtyards. You can take coffee in the former Gran Hotel,
marvel at the art galleries in a converted mansion, join Palma's
bright young things on their evening passing along the waterfront,
and you will begin to appreciate the variety of this fascinating
Perched between two huge bays, Badia de Pollença and
Badia d'Alcodia, this busy town was once occupied by the Romans.
Although there are remnants of its ancient past, the town
has a sanitized feel and most of the medieval walls encircling
it reflect modern architecture. The remains of the Roman city
of Pollètia, lies just outside the walls, 1200 sq m
(2150 sq ft) of which have been excavated and opened to the
public. The Pollètia Museum exhibits archaeological
finds from the site. You can also pretend to be a gladiator
in the ruined amphitheatre.
For a quick day trip and change of scenery, the Parc Natural
de l'Albufera nature reserve nearby is excellent walking,
cycling and bird watching country. You will find moorhens
and coots in the grass, and herons and flamingos in the reeds.
You can pick up a map and list of birds to spot at the reception
center. Buses go to the park from Port d'Alcúdia (the
seaside resort around 2km (1mi) from Alcúdia), and
from Alcúdia to Palma.
This enormous cathedral is often related to a huge ship moored
at the city’s edge. The construction work is believed
to have started in 1230 and was completed in 1600. This awesome
structure is predominantly Gothic, apart from the main facade
(replaced after an earthquake in 1851) and parts of the interior
(renovated in Modernista style by Antoni Gaudí at the
beginning of the 20th century).
The cathedral can be entered through a three-room museum,
which holds a rich collection of religious artwork and precious
gold and silver effects, including two amazing candelabras.
The cathedral’s interior is highly spaciousness, with
a series of narrow columns supporting the soaring ceiling
and framing three levels of elaborate stained-glass windows.
The front altar’s center piece, a twisting wrought-iron
sculpture suspended from the ceiling and periodically lit
with fairy lights, has been highly praised, mainly because
it was Gaudí’s handiwork.
You get to experience a bohemian feeling when you are in the
idyllic town, Deia. The setting is stunning and it has attracted
a large number of artists, writers, and musicians over the
years. Robert Graves, the English poet, was buried in the
hillside cemetery after his death in 1885.
Artists' workshops and galleries litter the town's main street.
There are also many bars and cafes where you can sketch, write
poetry, or just have a beer. Beside the church is the Museu
Parroquial, which has an interesting collection of religious
effects, icons and old coins.
The Archaeological Museum & Research Centre displays artifacts
found in the Valldemossa area. On the coast, Cala de Deià
has popular swimming spots and bar-restaurants.
Museu d'Art Modern i Contemporani
The spectacular new Museu d'Art Modern i Contemporani takes
the grand Renaissance-era seaward fortifications, Es Baluard,
as its setting. Into the walls have been built a 21st century
concrete complex that is a playful game of light, surfaces
and perspective - the perfect framework for this major
exhibition of contemporary artists from Spain and beyond.
On show are items from many of the great names, from local
boy Miquel Barceló through to Kandinsky. Ceramics by
Picasso, notes and sketches by Miró and sculptures
by the late Basque master Jorge Oteiza await discovery.
The views from the ramparts are splendid and there is a funky