6 Sights 

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)

Travel Distance: 4.9 Km or 3 Miles

Starts 10am

1. Castell de Bellver (Bellver Castle)

2. S'Hort del Rei (Royal Garden)

3. Royal Palace of La Almudaina

4. Palma Cathedral

5. Arab Baths

6. Paseo Maritimo

7. Beaches

8. Bus Tour

The city of Palma is the only major city in the Baeleric Islands. As the capital city, Palma features a variety of historical places, landmarks and cathedrals to explore it's Roman, Moorish and Christian roots. The name Palma dates back to it's Roman settlements, though humans have settled on this land since the Bronze Age. Throughout the centuries, Palma switched hands between Arabic and Catholic rulership, but today, is a tourist city dotted with modern cafes, hotels and shops residing within ancient architecture. When visiting Palma, discover it's ancient history at one of these many places, museums and landmarks.

How to get to Palma City Centre from the Cruise Terminal

By public bus: A good alternative is by public bus, which stops in front of the cruise terminal and covers Palma and its surroundings. Right opposite the cruise terminal (Estacion Maritima) exit is a stop for bus N° 1 (EMT bus company) Bus N° 1 takes you in 10 minutes from the cruise terminal to Plaça d’Espanya in the city center for € 2.50 per person (one way). The bus runs every 15 minutes. If you are docked at the Dique del Oeste near Porto Pi, you can also take bus N° 1 at Dique del Oeste bus stop opposite the San Carlos Castle (which looks like a fort).

By the hop on, hop off bus: The hop on, hop off bus is a great way to see the city of Palma at your own pace. You can reach the places that are most important to you and enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city at the same time. You may be able to buy tickets on the bus but we recommend buying them in advance to avoid disappointment. Check Click Mallorca website for up to date times, stops and prices (put in the discount box  2compra  and get 5% discount).

1. Castell de Bellver (Bellver Castle)

Bellver Castle is a Gothic style castle built in the 14th century for King James II of Majorca, and is one of the few circular castles in Europe. Long used as a military prison, it is now under civilian control, being one of the main tourist attractions of the island, as well as the seat for the city's History Museum. Having been built as a seat for the royal court of James II of Mallorca, its structure combines the needs of a palace with defensive elements. The most notable feature in its structure is its circular shape, unique in Spain. Both its surrounding wall and the inner yard are so-shaped, and so are the three minor towers and the donjon. A moat is found surrounding the castle and its donjon.

The circular inner yard must be highlighted. It has a well in the middle of it, which indicates there is a cistern underneath. The palace itself is structured as a two-story building around the central yard. All its dependencies face this yard through a gallery of gothic semi-circular arches. The main yard of the castle is the seat to many different public cermonies, such as protocollary and cultural acts, and concerts. Due to its location and visibility from the sea or any other point of the city, it has become one the city's symbols.

2. S'Hort del Rei (Royal Garden)

Within the Almudaina Palace in the 14th century were the Royal Gardens. The gardens were laid out in the Andalusian style with fruit trees, vegetables, medicinal herbs, ornamentals and flowers. Until 1847 the garden was closed in by walls, the seashore and the gardener's house.

From 1847 to 1918 the area of the garden was redeveloped. Buildings were erected on the end of the Royal Gardens. The Alhombra Hotel, the lyric Theatre and small shops, newspaper offices and a shipping office stood in place of much of the garden. In 1966 architect Gabriel Alomar i Esteve executed his plan to revitalize the city of Palma.

The plan was to demolish the buildings that had taken over the garden plots and reinstall the royal gardens. In remodeling the royal gardens, Gabriel was strongly influenced by traditional Andalusian styles. In the garden today are cypresses, fountains, orange trees, shady arcades and a large pond with black swans.

There is an original Islamic arch over the pond. There are also several sculptures. The most famous is a bronze figure called the "Stone Slinger." The sculptures are the works of Llorenc Rosello and Josep Maria Subirachs and Alexander Calder.

3. Royal Palace of La Almudaina

The Royal Palace of La Almudaina is an "alcazar", a fortified palace. In 1309 it was rebuilt by King James II of Majorca. The rebuilt was based on the Royal Palace of Perpignan. La Almudaina today follows a layout established in the 14th century. There are spaces for the ruling family, a chapel dedicated to Saint Anne, and the baths.

The spaces are differentiated into ways. On the ground floor a medieval ambience is maintained with art and furnishings dating from the 15th century. The upper floor is reserved for official Royal acts and it is decorated with objects and art from the 17th, 18th and 20th centuries.

The palace is the official summer residence of the Spanish Royal Family. The family also resides at the Palace of Marivent and the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid when not in Mallorca. The Palace and Palma Cathedral are next door neighbors. Both rise over palma de Mallorca harbor, providing great views of the sea.

The Palace is open Thursdays to Sundays from 10am to 6pm. Hours may be longer in the summer. There is a small admission fee.

4. Palma Cathedral

James I of Aragon was in grave danger. On his way to conquer the Balearic Islands in December, 1229, his fleet of ships was overtaken by a violent storm. In peril of foundering, young James swore to God that if he survived and conquered Mallorca, he would build there a great cathedral.

God held him to it. Construction began in 1230 on the Palma Cathedral or La Seu, as it is popularly known. Building went on for 350 years. Finally the nave and the main portal, the last elements, were finished. James had really kept his promise. The dimensions of the church are vast: width, 108 feet; height, 145 feet; length, 361 feet.

The nave, last to be finished, is among the largest in Europe. A Gothic rose window dominates the eastern wall. It has a diameter of 41 feet and it is composed of around 1200 pieces of stained glass. Every sunrise the cathedral interior is flooded with sparkling reflections of colors in the morning light. But there is more to this light.

There is a game, called "Light Game of the Eight." The game occurs just twice a year, on February 2nd and November 11th. At 8am the rays of the sun shine through the rosette window on the eastern wall and project the image of the window exactly on the opposite wall below the rosette of the main facade.

But there is yet more to this light. Twenty days on each side of the winter solstice the sunrise is viewable through both enormous rosettes.

The cathedral shows a range of architectural styles. There are clearly Gothic influences in the seaward facing portal that date from the 13th century. The portal on the opposite side is late Gothic from the 16th century. The Gothic is replaced by the Renaissance. The chapels are Baroque. There is Classicism in the Baptistry.

Two kings, James II and James III, are laid to rest in the Trinity Chapel. The chapel is not open to the public. Visitors are charged a small entrance fee. The cathedral is open after 10 am.

Why you should visit

Here is all uplifting spirit of Mallorca spelled out in stone and light. The great cathedral reaches for the sky as the soul might reach for heaven.

5. Arab Baths

Romans, Byzantines and Arabs had settled one after the other in Mallorca before the Catalans arrived. In the Arab days it was called Medina Mayurqa and they really liked to bath. They built their baths, called hammams, using materials left behind by the Romans and Byzantines. They used old bits of columns and capitals and voila! A bath!

The Arabs built well. The baths in Mallorca are over a thousand years old. One may not vouch for the plumbing, but the building materials are still good. Maybe shabby, but ok. The hot room and warm room of the Arab Baths are still extant but the cold room is no more.

The hot room is a square room. It has 12 columns and a domed ceiling. It is a gallery with a barrel vault. The room has 24 holes for ventilation. The dome has five holes to let in light and fresh air. There is a small well-tended garden attached to the baths. The garden has a jasmine archway, subtropical trees and plants. An afternoon enjoyment.

The baths are only a walk of a minute or so from the Palma Cathedral. They open at 9am to 6pm in the evening in winter and until 7:30pm from April to November.

6. Paseo Maritimo

Paseo Maritimo is a 6 lane avenue that runs along the coast of Mallorca. There are 700 palm trees planted along here, some in the central pavement and others grouped in small garden areas. Along the avenue can be found a lot of nice cafes, chic nightclubs, popular restaurants, and also a lot of gift shops.

7. Beaches

Playa Ca’n Pere Antoni (East)

The beach is located 2km east of the city centre. It's a 4-minute taxi ride (2.1 km) from Palma's Real Club Náutico and 8-minutes (4.8 km) from the cruise terminal. A pedestrian and cycle path all along the waterfront can transform the journey here into a healthy and invigorating experience.  The golden beach is 750 metres long and 15 metres wide. Although the water isn't as clean as some of Mallorca's more remote bays, it's perfectly adequate for a refreshing swim. Facilities available are sunbed and parasol hire, showers and toilets.  There are two of Palma's beach clubs, Anima Beach and Assaona Gastrobeach, which can be found on opposite ends. They serve high-quality cuisine and their DJs provide regular entertainment. The beach is popular with Palma's residents who come to relax after work, whether to paddleboard, picnic or play beach volleyball. Despite being close to the city, Playa Can Pere Antoni rarely feels overcrowded since visitors tend to head a little further afield to Playa de Palma.

Cala Comtesa

Cala Comtessa Beach is small and located in Illetas, Calvia. The beach is surrounded by rocks on one side and pine trees on the other.

It is a beautiful beach with sand and rocks and it is very popular among both locals and tourists. The beach offers sunbeds and sunshades during high season and there is a small café located on the hillside of the beach. The café is open from around mid-April until mid-October and it has a small area with tables overlooking the beach.

The easiest way to get to the beach is by car. There is a parking lot close to the beach having space for some 50 vehicles, but it gets full from the early morning during high season. An alternative is public transportation. There is a bus,going from Palma and it stops on the hill some 200 meters from the beach. From the parking lot there are stairways to get the last bit to the beach.

How to get to Cala Comtesa by public transport

Although Cala Comtesa belongs to the municipality of Calviá, it can be reached from Palma by urban line 4. In fact, the end of the line is on Cala Comtesa street.

8. Bus Tour