The sunshine city and capital of the Balearics, Palma, has palaces and promenades, beautiful beaches and beautiful people, chic restaurants and boutique hotels and yet has still managed to retain its old town charm with its lively art scene, rich historical attractions and ancient architecture.
Located on the south coast of Majorca, this cosmopolitan vibrant city offers a big-city experience on a small-town scale. With year round appeal and direct flights from Southampton Airport withVolotea in just under 2 and a half hours it’s a great destination that showcases the modern take on its ancient past. Around every corner is a quiet plaza to sit and watch the city’s world go by.
The art scene
Now a hub of old town, the cobbled streets of Placa Major (often referred to as the "artist’s corner") is home to a number of art galleries, an outdoor craft market and a vast range of bars and restaurants dotted around the edge of the square. If you’re in search of modern and contemporary art, head to the gallery and museum Es Baluard which displays works by Spanish modern artists. Located on the old Palma’s harbour side fortifications, it’s also the perfect spot for a sunset drink with the spectacular views of the harbor.
If you time your trip around the national holidays, you’ll be able to soak up the old Spanish tradition of a fiesta where the city comes alive with exhibitions, side stalls and parades of local dancers dressed in traditional costume.
Food and Drink
from the excellent local cuisine, tapas bars to specialty establishments and Michelin Star restaurants, Palma offers a gastronomical delight. The island is also renowned for its great wines …a Merlot or Tempranillo to a Moscate or Prensal Blanc rest assured you’ll be able to accompany your dining experience with a suitably complementary, locally produced wine. And if you do want to sample the nightlife you’ll find a number of lively and trendy bars in the Paseo Maritimo area.
Amazing flea markets and organic food markets to artisan shops and designer boutiques, Palma is a hotspot for shoppers. AvingudaJaume III and Passeig des Born are the main areas with designer brands and boutiques while Placa Major is surrounded with small specialist shops.
Take the train to Soller and step back in time by 50 years. The vintage carriages of the train run 27 kilometres along its narrow-gauge tracks through the beautiful and unspoilt landscapes, villages, country stations and scenic mountains down into the citrus valley where the town of Soller is situated.
Cathedral Le Seu
Palma's pride and joy has to be the cathedral - one of the world’s finest and largest Gothic structures surrounded by a maze of narrow streets of ancient mansions and hidden squares. In front of the cathedral is the Parc de la Mar with its impressive fountains and sculptures.
Set high on a hill and dominating the skyline since the 14th century is Bellver Castle – the only castle in Spain that is totally circular in design. Built in 1309, the castle began as a summer Royal residence and was later used as a prison. Look out for the graffiti on the walls, carved by French prisoners of war.
A fascinating historical site, the Banys Arabs highlights to what heights the Arab culture and architecture had reached during the Middle Ages. Its graceful colonnade and proportionate architecture have attracted many architects and history lovers.
Fly direct to Palma from Southampton Airport in less than 2 and a half hours with Volotea or Flybe. Summer sun packages are available with: Prestige Holidays (see page 13), Thomson, First Choice and Thomas Cook.
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