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Majorca: the pleasures of Palma – absolutely capital!

Posted by Jonathan Broom on 26 April 2018
Related property: La Reserva De Biniorella
Majorca: the pleasures of Palma – absolutely capital!

The Balearics: party zones for younger folks, right? Well, yes, partly – the island of Ibiza is still a nirvana for clubbers (and set to remain so for the foreseeable future), while on Majorca itself Magaluf has its own none-too-savoury reputation.

But the island is about so much more than that. The unspoilt Majorcan hinterland is a mecca for sightseers on two feet (and particularly two wheels), while coastal areas such as Port d’Andratx and Camp de Mar (where La Reserva de Biniorella is located) offer refinement and elegance.

But for many the island’s capital is the precious stone in Majorca’s crown: its window on the world, the side of Majorca that sophisticated Majorcans would wish to be judged by. And it’s just 35kms from Biniorella.

Home to some 400,000 people, Palma is absolutely stunning – a city bejewelled with beauty, and masses of things to see and do. But if you’re pressed for time (and with so much more of Majorca to discover, you probably will be), here are my top five reasons to visit. In no particular order:

Antoni Gaudí

While Barcelona boasts the mighty Sagrada Familia, Casa Battló, Park Güell et al, the Catalan capital isn’t the only place where the visionary early 20th-Century architect plied his trade. Gaudí’s buildings in Palma tend to be a little more understated than those in Barcelona – less gaudy Gaudí, if you will – but are well worth seeing. In particular, check out the Edifici Casasayas on the Plaça del Mercat.

The Cathedral

If you ever wanted a physical definition of muscular Christianity, the Catholic cathedral of Santa Maria de Palma is surely it. More commonly referred to as ‘La Seu’, this Gothic edifice dominates the entire city. No need to ask for directions – wherever you are, it’s unmistakable. Unmissable, too – in every sense: a masterpiece of Gothic High Catholicism, built over almost 400 years between the 13th and 17th Centuries. Gaudí had a part to play here too, during the cathedral’s restoration; but there’s much more to see, both inside and outside, and it’s well worth the €7 entrance fee. For further information, click here.


With its wide streets and tree-lined boulevards, Palma in places feels more Parisian than Spanish. Certainly it’s a place where the beautiful people of Majorca go to see and be seen (and to shop!). Given the island’s lovely climate, which ranges from benign at least to hot and sultry at best, there’s rarely a time of year when you can’t comfortably sit outside a chic pavement café, coffee ‘con leche’ or chilled fino sherry to hand, and watch the world go by; and those trees afford lots of welcome shade.

The Marina

Palma overlooks a beautiful natural harbour, and as you’d expect there’s marine traffic in and out: cruise ships, freighters and the like. But the Marina is something else; yes, it hosts its share of pretty sailing boats and pleasure craft – but they are dwarfed in size and number by the luxury cruisers and behemoth super-yachts that call this place home (some of them semi-permanently, apparently). It is a place to go and gawp at; but lest the experience leave you green-eyed with jealousy, the marina is surrounded by numerous lovely bars and not-too-expensive restaurants to ease the pangs of envy.

The Mercat de l’Olivar

Leave this till last – you don’t want to wander around fully laden. Palma boasts a number of markets, but this indoor emporium (next to the eponymous Plaza) is one of the best. A wealth of fresh produce is on display, from the very best and freshest in fish and seafood, to the choicest cuts of meat and the finest cheeses, to vegetables and fruit seemingly harvested or picked off the tree that morning. And naturally enough, this being Spain, there are lots of tapas bars and cafés in which to take a breather if all that provender purchasing gets too much. The locals shop here – there can be no higher recommendation.


You could quite easily spend a week in Palma alone (and those in search of retail therapy could spend considerably more – in time, and money). But if you can’t manage even a day – and Biniorella boasts its share of delights closer to home – don’t despair. If you’re going to and from Majorca by air (which you probably are), Palma Airport is only 10kms from the city centre. If you’re travelling light, or you can stow your luggage somewhere, give yourself a few hours after arrival or before departure to explore just a little of this most enchanting of cities.

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Jonathan Broom

Jonathan Broom

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