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Friday, September 22, 2017
 
You are here:  Home - Travellers - Before departure / Where to go? / Direct destinations / Palma de Majorca
 

  Palma de Majorca (seasonal) (Spain)

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Majorca, the island of all pleasures

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Majorca - the largest of the Balearic Islands - unveils beautiful beaches, authentic coves, unspoilt nature and charming villages. To discover by car, before exploring the other islands of the archipelago, Minorca or Ibiza.

The Balearic Islands are one of the most popular destinations in the Mediterranean. Each year, 12 million visitors set foot on the Spanish archipelago off the coast of Valencia. Majorca is the largest of the islands. "It would be impossible to describe this gift from heaven. It is the most beautiful place that can be contemplated in the world", said Georges Sand, disembarking there to find Frederic Chopin in 1838. Two centuries later, Majorca continues to delight the heart. Tourists relax on the beaches and in the hotel clubs of the bays of Palma or Alcudia, but they also increasingly set out to explore the natural hinterland.
 
 
As soon as you set foot in Palma (the capital of more than 400,000 inhabitants), your attention is caught by the imposing silhouette of the cathedral - as sturdy as a fortress. With the neighbouring Almundaina Palace (former residence of the Moorish vizier) with its crenelated walls, it is the starting point to discover the treasures of the old districts of the city. Decorated facades and roofs, carved doorways and secret patios ... each medieval street, each house with its wrought iron balcony, hides a treasure. Open the doors of the episcopal churches and palaces reverently and wander through the flower market sheltered under the plane trees of Via Roma before visiting the tapas bars of the new city for an all night "movida" experience.
 
 
But the real charms of Majorca are elsewhere. As soon as you leave the capital and the seaside resorts behind you, another island reveals itself, one that is natural and luminous with its rugged landscapes reminiscent of Corsica or Provence. Nearly 40% of the territory is protected; Including the Sierra de Tramuntana, the verdant central mountain range with peaks rising to more than 1400 m, whose slopes are covered with pines, cypresses and terraced crops. By car, because the island measures 100 km from east to west! Delightful coastal roads (like the one linking Andratx to Soller on the west coast) lead you to natural coves. With each bend in the road, the panoramas are more vertiginous and the coves more crystalline. Lost monasteries and peaceful white or honey-coloured "pueblos" (villages) are dotted along the way. Notably Valldemosa, where Georges Sand and Frederic Chopin lived. A visit to the Charterhouse of Valldemossa is a must, the monastery where the musician composed the "Raindrop" prelude. His piano is revered as a relic!
 
 
Clinging to the hills with their rows of vines and almond trees, or nestling in the quiet valleys planted with orange and lemon trees, the villages of the interior have nothing to envy their counterparts on the coast. Places like Bunyola or Petra display their majestic stately residences inherited from the time when the Moors occupied the island. A sweetness of life that can be found even in the cooking, with Mediterranean cuisine embellished with touches of Arab and African flavours, the many culinary legacies of past invasions. The trip comes to a happy end with a visit to the Drach caves in Porto Cristo (on the east coast). The poetry of its stalactites and its subterranean lake would not have displeased Georges Sand...

 

 

 

WHAT TO SEE

 

Sites and monuments

In Palma

  • Sa Seu, the Gothic cathedral built in the 14th century
  • The Almudaina, a 10th century Moorish fortress converted into a royal palace
  • Bellver Castle, circular fort unveiling a lovely view of the bay
  • The Plaza Mayor, surrounded by beautiful buildings and arcades
  • San Miquel street, a pedestrian shopping paradise
  • The port, with its ballet of yachts and steamships
  • Olivar market, to buy cold cuts, cheeses, wines and fruits
  • The beaches of El Arenal and Palma Nova, at the edge of the city
On Majorca Island
  • The old town of Alcudia enclosed in its medieval walls
  • The villages of the west coast: Soller, Deia, Fornalutx or Banyalbufar
  • The Charterhouse of Valldemosa

 

Museums

  • The Mallorca Museum dedicated to fine arts and decorative arts
  • The Es Baluard Museum devoted to contemporary art
  • The Pilar and Joan Miro Foundation Museum where the surrealist artist lived
  • Palma aquarium 

 

Parks and natural sites

  • The Sierra de Tramuntana mountains, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • The caves of Drach, Arta, del Hams and Campanet
  • The Gardens of Alfabia, with the Serra de Tramuntana as a backdrop
  • Cala Figuera, one of the most beautiful coves in Majorca
  • The natural parks of Albufera and the Llevant Peninsula
  • The pristine Formentor peninsula

 

 

 

GASTRONOMY IN PALMA DE MAJORCA

 

Seafood

  • Many types of fish: scorpionfish, saint-pierre, swordfish, sea bream, grouper...
  • Lobsters and gambas, to be tasted in caldera de lagosta (a kind of bouillabaisse)
  • Stuffed squid
  • Croquette de Jonquillo, a small white fish
 

Dishes

  • Tapas, for a quick meal
  • Sobrasada, local sausage made with ground pork and peppers
  • Asado de lechona, roast suckling pig
  • Escaldum, duck stew with potatoes
  • Lomo con col, steak with cabbage
  • Empanadas, flaky pastry turnovers filled with vegetables

 

Desserts

  • Queso de Mao, an AOC cheese
  • Ensaimada, flakey brioche sprinkled with sugar
  • Robiol, sweet cake filled with cream
  • Pastisset, star-shaped pastry
  • Carquinyol, dry cake with almonds

 

Drinks

  • Wine, with two local appellations: Pia i Lievant and Binissalem
  • Orxata, a non-alcoholic sweetened drink made from nutsedge (papyrus family) with an almond flavour
  • Palo, a kind of vermouth made from black beans
  • Hierbas, digestive composed of several aromatic plants including anise and rosemary
 

 

 

UNMISSABLE EVENTS IN PALMA DE MAJORCA

 

  • January: Cabalgada de los Reyes Magos (arrival of the 3 wise kings who distribute toys and sweets - January 5)
  • February - March: Carnival, with a parade of floats
  • March: Independent Community Day (March 1)
  • March - April: Holy Week, parades of the brotherhoods of penitents with hoods and torches
  • June: Feast of Saint John with its many bonfires (June 24), Feast of Saint Pere (Saint Peter), patron saint of fishermen, with processions (29 June)
  • July: processions at sea to celebrate the Verge del Carme (patroness of sailors - July 16), Sa Mostra folklore festival (End of July)
  • August: many jazz and classical music festivals
  • September: Feast of the Mare of Deu de la Salut (patroness of Palma) with the giants parade 
  • October: National Day (12 October)
  • December: Estendart festival (to celebrate the re-conquest of the island by the Catalans in 1229 - 31 December)
 
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  practical information

Today's weather

Currency
Euros (EUR)

Dialling code
+00 39

Visa
National ID card or passport

Time zone
None

Flight time
1H20

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