Palma, the capital of Mallorca and all of the Balearic Islands: the ideal place to chill after a week of walking in the Serra de Tramuntana. We continued to adopt the Slow Travel ethos of our holiday company, Inntravel, savouring every moment with this bookable add-on city break.
Here’s why Palma is the perfect spot for a little getaway.
1. It’s a short flight from numerous UK airports: around 2 hours flight time from Stansted to Palma. Even better, the airport is only 8km from the city centre so you’ll be supping sangria or a cold gin and tonic soon after you touch down.
2. Palma is small so it’s ideal for sightseeing on foot. Lose yourself in the tiny streets of the Old Town or embrace the modern, cosmopolitan city. There are even some streets which resemble the little villages in the mountains, complete with masses of outdoor pots.
3. The weather is perfect in spring and autumn but even on a hot summer’s day, cooling sea breezes and avenues of trees will make the heat bearable. The main avenue in the city, Passeig des Born, has plenty of shade.
4. If you want to see the sights, explore the famous Gothic cathedral, La Seu, which dominates the skyline. Next door is the ancient Almudaina Palace and on a hill overlooking the harbour is the circular Bellver Castle.
5. Palma is a foodie paradise. If you love tapas, these little sharing plates can be found everywhere. Our favourite restaurants were La Bodeguilla, an intimate dining space where you’re surrounded by hundreds of wine bottles and Koa, which served excellent fish and meat alongside inventive cocktails.
6. Have a tipple in the sky by heading to the rooftops. The terrace of Es Baluard, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, is a fine spot to while away a few hours. Why not book a great value set lunch at Hotel Almudaina, served in their rooftop bar, with superb views of the cathedral and the sea, or just savour a pre-dinner G&T and watch the sunset.
7. We saw several groups of female tourists in Palma and I wonder whether the excellent shopping has some bearing on this. There are fabulous independent shops here. I was so tempted to throw out my walking trousers to make way for a few floaty dresses. And shoes! Oh that I’d had room for the gorgeous leather sandals.
8. Palma is a cross between a city and a holiday resort. Walk along the promenade, where many of the large hotels are located, and find a bar next to the fancy yachts. People-watching is a great way to spend some time, especially as Palma attracts many well-heeled visitors.
9. Use Palma as a base for day trips. Take a vintage train from the city into the mountains and stop off at Sollér. From here, Mallorca’s only electric tram will whisk you through the orange tree orchards to the very picturesque Port de Sollér.
10. Find a pretty square, an outdoor cafe or a bench by the fountains of the Parc de la Mar. You don’t need to do anything else in Palma. Just relax and take it slow.
This article initially appeared in my Trish Takes Five column in the Lincolnshire Free Press. But it’s here, tweaked a little and with extra photos.