When you think of an island you often think of peaceful beaches, minimal interactions with the rest of society and limited commercialisation. While I loved Palma, it definitely didn’t offer any of these feelings. Palma felt like a normal city you would find on the mainland, with an abundance of delicious restaurants, trendy bars and chic shops. It just had the added bonus of driving an hour away and ending up at some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Mallorca is one of Spain’s Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. Best known for its beautiful beaches, sheltered coves and limestone mountains. The island also has Roman and Moorish remains around the main cities. It was also once a major port city, with lots of Jewish inhabitants. You can find small remains around the city of Palma referencing these times. Mallorca can be reached in under an hour by plane from Barcelona, and about an hour from Madrid.
1. Cala Llombards, 2. Palma Cathedral, 3. Streets of Palma, 4. Streets of Palma, 5. Palma Cathedral, 6. Streets of Palma,
From the airport, we took Bus 1 which makes a few stops before getting to Plaça d’Espanya, the main town bus and train station. From this point, you can bus or train to various points on the island. This is 5€ per person, and the ticket can be purchased on the bus. There were also many car rental companies at the airport if you would prefer to do that.
We spent the day in Palma. We walked through the old streets; there are a plethora of shops in the main part of the town. We continued down to the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma, which is a huge 13th-century Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral overlooking the port. We walked down to the city beach, which is nothing special compared to the beaches on the rest of the island, and on the way back towards the old town you will get great views up towards the cathedral.
7-8., Cala Figuera, 9-10.,Cala Santanyí, 11-14., Cala Llombards,
We rented a car from Autos Castelló, found on the corner ofCalle Berenger de Tornamira 7. It cost 66€ for the day- but there are different prices depending on the car size, and time of year you are visiting.
We drove to Cala Figuera first, which is a beautiful fishing village that hosts a few cafes to sit and drink a coffee overlooking cobalt blue waters. Then we drove 5 minutes to Cala Santanyí, which was a coved beach with white sand. Then we drove to Cala Llombards, and admittedly got a little lost finding our way to here without any data. Make sure you either look for the sign ‘Platja de Cala Llombards’ or put that into Google Maps when searching for this beach, as Cala Llombards appeared to be a township. This was definitely my favourite beach. The water is crystal clear and bright blue, sparkling as the sun hits it and you can barely believe it’s real when you’re sitting there in front of it.
15. Palma trainstation to Sóller, 16. Port de Sóller,
Originally, we were just going to go on a day trip to Sóller and get the tram there. But when we went to buy our ticket, the guy at the information desk convinced us into buying the train/tram/boat package for 52€ per person.
After getting the train to Sóller you can take the tram/boat in your own order, at your own time- there are a few different times slots to choose from.
The train, which is a little old wooden train from Plaça d’Espanya takes about an hour to Sóller. It made a short stop on the way at Bunyola for pictures.
From Sóller we got the 25 minute tram to Port de Sóller, which was adorable. You ride through the town, past local houses with endless orange and lemon trees. This was definitely a highlight for me as I love fruit trees.
There was a boat about to depart just as we made it down to the port, so we hopped on the boat to Sa Calobra. This is a beautiful, quaint seaside village with a few restaurants to stop at for lunch- you get beautiful views from the restaurants overlooking the iridescent water and mountains jutting into the water. From here, you walk along the coast to a cove that you can swim in. When I was there, the waters were very rough but a few people were brave and swam! It takes an hour from the port to the village via boat.
A wise warning from a lesson learnt to strictly follow the set times listed on your ticket for the tram. We got on a tram 10 minutes before our set time and halfway through the journey some angry woman was shouting at my parents and I in French (and obviously we had NO clue what she was saying, she just looked very angry), then some embarrassed train conductor had to tell us we needed to depart the tram and go on the one directly behind us, as the current tram was saved for a tour group…
Despite that small hiccup, which was actually rather amusing, I suggest doing the inclusive trip because in my opinion, the boat trip and tram were the best parts, and the town of Sóller was very small, you could walk it in an hour.
17. Mountains seen on boat ride, 18-19., Sa Calobra,
I was treated to luxury staying at the Canavall apartment. My parents booked the accommodation so when I walked into the apartment I was pleasantly surprised. The apartment had all of my favourite things; white bed linens, antic wooden décor, big bath sheets (towels), beautiful soap imported from France, and a cute but trendy bathroom- every detail was perfect right down to the old door handles. It was definitely my dream apartment!
It is located in an old restored building in Palma, right in the heart of the old town. Although, it was situated in a very quiet area, so it was the perfect place to retreat to after a busy day on the bustling island.