On our second day in Spain we explored Palma de Mallorca. It was a gorgeous town, with stunning architecture and beautiful views and so much history. Our ship docked right in the harbor and we were able to just walk into the old town.
The Balearic Islands are incredible. I can see why Mallorca is such a popular beach spot for Europeans!
The two major historic sites in the old town are the Royal Palace (to the left) and the Palma Cathedral.
The town of Palma is right on the sea and so there were gorgeous views from the walk up to the old town.
When you walk up to the old town, you’re immediately in front of the beautiful Palma Cathedral. Construction began in the 1200s. Of particular interest to me was the fact that Gaudi actually was commissioned to assist on the restoration in the early 1900s.We were in Palma on a Sunday, and so there were several Masses being held that day at the cathedral, during which time the church was closed to tourists and only open to worshippers. There was a sign that listed the times of the masses, when it said the cathedral would be closed. However, it failed to note that the cathedral would actually be closed to visitors 15 minutes before the masses began. So I was so disappointed when we showed up ready to go inside and were told that the Cathedral wasn’t letting anyone else inside because the mass would be starting in 15 minutes. What made it really frustrating, in addition to the fact that the sign didn’t say the cathedral would be closed during that time, was that people were still wandering around in the cathedral for 15 minutes after they wouldn’t let us inside- and when I asked if I could literally just peek in and look for 30 seconds they still wouldn’t let me. There were a bunch of upset tourists who were all turned away who were pretty angry and I was definitely bummed out. So the only peek I got of the cathedral was from the back doors, which were open when we first got to the old town. I was glad I got at least a look inside!
Palma was so easy to walk around and it’s filled with tons of winding, charming streets. We were walking around on a Sunday morning so everything was so peaceful and quiet.
It felt like we had the whole city to ourselves! We walked down the winding roads and followed the signs to the Arab Baths. The Moors arrived in Palma in the 700s, and the influence of years of Islamic rule is reflected in the architecture in the historic areas of Palma. The Palma Cathedral actually sits on the site of an old mosque. The Arab Baths are remnants of that time period in Palma’s history, and we wanted to check out that piece of history. What we didn’t expect was that the baths would be surrounded by the most peaceful and beautiful gardens. It was such a hot day that day and taking some time to just cool off under the trees in the shade of the garden was delightful.
This is one of the remaining rooms from the baths. Such stunning architecture! I love those arches. Megan hanging out in the gardens.
The garden was so lush and beautiful! There was even a musician there playing this incredibly calming and soothing music–it really made you feel like you’d stepped out of the bustle of the city into your own private oasis. I can see why they would pick this spot for a spa back in the day! I didn’t realize that I would end up matching the garden so perfectly with this dress, ha!
After wandering around the town and exploring the Arab baths, we wanted to stop for some food. Most spots were closed since it was early on a Sunday, but we finally found a place that had exactly what we were looking for- delicious tapas and sangria!
We were only in Spain for three days, so, of course, we had Sangria at every opportunity!
Our cute little cafe, nestled in a quiet square.
This is St. Eulalia Church, where kings of Mallorca were crowned, after Christianity became the dominant religion in Mallorca following the Moorish rule.
We stopped and had gelato at Iceberg Gelateria– it was so amazing. Now that I’m back, I miss my daily gelato!
After we realized that we wouldn’t be able to go into the Cathedral, we decided to go into the Royal Palace of La Almudaina. I am so, so glad that we did! It was originally an Arabian fort, but later became a Royal Palace. It is still used as an official Royal Residence today. Obviously, there is nothing I enjoy more than wandering around a good royal palace!
We weren’t able to take pictures inside the palace, but you can see a taste of it from the gorgeous views and pretty court yards. I loved getting a chance to see this palace because it was such a cool mixture of both the Gothic and Islamic periods of Mallorca’s history. It was also surrounded by palm trees and bright blue skies, and the windows all had gorgeous views of the sea, so it really doesn’t get much better than that!
(Also, is it just me or does this courtyard totally look like something from Stanford?)
After wandering around Palma and touring the Royal Palace, we made our way back down to the ship. As the ship was pulling out of the harbor, we sat outside and had some drinks and watched the city disappear into the distance.The coastline of Mallorca was gorgeous and it was so lovely to watch it glide by as we made our way to Barcelona.
This was our last night on the ship, and the next morning we were getting up bright and early to leave the ship, check into our hotel, and explore the city of Barcelona! Putting together all of these posts has been such a fun way for me to re-live this incredible trip. I love seeing new places and exploring different cities and spending time with my family, who loves to do the exact same thing!
Interested in my other posts from the cruise? Check these out!