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Mallorca City Guide
- Places of Interest
- Getting to
- Getting around the city
Majorca is the largest island of Spain and is located in the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of four of the Balearic Islands; the others being Ibiza, Formentera and Minorca. The capital of the island, Palma, is also the capital of the Balearic Islands. Majorca is a highly popular tourist destination for its beautiful weather and breathtaking beaches. The island also boasts a long and interesting history and this can be discovered through walking through the Old Quarters or simply visiting one of the many museums it has to offer.
Majorca is famed for its hot, bright summers and its incredible Mediterranean climate. With two mountain ranges, the scenery in Majorca is so varied. As it is so popular with tourists, there is a wide range of amenities on offer for everyone and the gastronomy is definitely not a letdown. There are almost 3,000 restaurants on the island with all different kinds of cuisine on offer and the island is bursting with 4 million olive trees. Whether you fancy a beach holiday, a cultural visit, a break in the country or a busy list of holiday activities, you will find what you are looking for on the dreamy island of Majorca.
Places of Interest
This is one of the delights of Mallorca and you can reach it by foot from the town of Alaró. Located on top of the mountains of of the same name, this fortress offers breathtaking views over the island as far as the Palma bay. It is even possible to stay in the castle as it offers bedrooms, a bar and a restaurant and is open all year round.
This is one of the few circular castles in Europe and was constructed in the 14th century. It is one of the main tourist attractions of the island and is used for the city's history museum. Of a Gothic style, the castle takes circular shape with a principal tower and three minor ones surrounding the outside. The main yard is a popular venue for public acts such as cultural acts and concerts and with its vast green forest encompassing its surroundings, this castle has become one of the city's symbols.
These are one of the few remnants of the capital's Moorish past accessed via the quiet Can Serra street and inside can be found the blooming gardens of Can Fontirroig. The brick building is small and consists of two rooms only and was probably the home of a Muslim nobleman. One of the rooms is small with a small model of the baths as they once were. This attraction is open all year round and costs €1,50 for adults and free for children.
With an impressive mix of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance styles, the 13th century courtyards of the capital are some of the most characteristic elements to visit. There are guided tours which lead through the historic streets and show an array of palatial home built during this time. This is a truly breathtaking site and is a good alternative to the beach.
The Cathedral (La Seu)
Built during the 8th and 9th centuries, Palma Cathedral is Gothic in style and is next door to the cathedral museum. Inside the museum can be found Gothic art and gold work. Surrounding the Cathedral is the historic Old Quarter of the city providing idyllic settings for a stroll. Beautiful stained glass windows can be visited in one of the cathedral's chapels. It is open every day except for Sundays and holidays.
Mallorca does not fail to disappoint when it comes to its number and range of beaches. With the option of sand, gravel, rock and pebble, there are an endless number available for you to visit and relax on. Many of the beaches provide access for disabled people and there is even a nudist beach for those looking for it. The waters of Mallorca's glistening beaches are very calm so are ideal for swimming in and the golden sun and sand make them such an endearing attraction for people all over. Wherever you go you will find a beach and this makes your visit all that more spectacular.
This is a modernist museum is located in the town of Sóller in the heart of the Tramuntana Mountains. There is a permanent Modernist art collection with works by national and international artists and also a display of works of local artists. There is also a specialised art library and its gardens serve as a stage for concerts and other cultural events. The building is well worth a visit from architecture lovers alone due to its splendour in construction.
Set-up in 1976, this museum has been consistently renovating and extending its exhibition area. The building dates back to the 16th century and the museum has resulted in the joining of several old houses. Remains of what are considered the first identified Muslim house on the island have been found in its central courtyard. The museum is a clear insight into Majorca's history and there are even rooms showing the evolution of weapons, ornaments and spiritual symbols of the early settlers. There are even representations of different periods of colonisation and rooms of Gothic paintings with important works.
Antiques Doll Museum of Palma
This is exceptional museum with the doll collection of Alicia García Germán. She has managed to collect a large number and has placed them in this museum located in the old part of Palma. There are terracotta dolls, religious figures and pre-Columbian cloth dolls. The wax dolls have hair implanted strand by strand and their eyes have been put in by one-eyed craftsmen. The dolls from the golden century are, without doubt, the most intriguing. There are Schmitt dolls, the Jumea dolls, Japanese angels and many, many more. As well as dolls there are furniture pieces on display. The museum is open to visitors all throughout the day.
Getting to Mallorca
Every day, thousands of visitors from all over the world arrive at the island's airports and Mallorca's is one of the principal ones. Palma de Mallorca airport (Son Sant Joan) is located 11 km southeast of Palma de Mallorca and has links with both national and international destinations all across the world. Reaching the city centre couldn't be easier as buses leave from the airport for the city centre (Plaza de España) every 15 minutes and from the city centre there are a wide number of other services and routes which will take you to the other towns on the island.
Reaching the island by sea is also a highly popular choice as Mallorca has one of the main ports in the Balearic Islands. There is a highly developed network of marinas on the island if anyone wants to arrive in their own boat and there are also a large number of cruises that stop off at the island as it is such a popular destination. Also, there is the option of arriving to the island by ferry with several different ferry companies travelling there regularly throughout the day and these boats offer a wide host of services, both comfortable and fully-equipped.
The island's main bus station is located in the city centre of the capital at the Plaza de España and have services travelling throughout the city and also further out into the other towns therefore making travel on the island easy and efficient.
Getting around the city
There are a wide number of options for travelling around Mallorca both in the main city and linking the island's other town together too. For starters, the highly popular electric train has joined the capital to Sóller since 1912. There are also trains linking the capital to the northeast which means you can visit more places than you anticipated. Another option is the tramway in use in Sóller since 1913 which has a true vintage look and provides easy and insightful travel around the town. Boats are readily available for hire if you fancy exploring the island on water and inter-island flights if you want to do the same by plane.
Due to the fantastic landscape and national parks available, walking is a wonderful way to discover and explore Mallorca. And finally, if you want to cycle on the island's terrain, you can either bring your own bike or rent one there.