Get to know what it’s like to visit this destination. Image @iamsailorsam (Instagram)
Getting To Know Palma – Cruise Port Guide
Palma de Mallorca is one of the most familiar ports in Spain and it’s always popular on Mediterranean itineraries. It’s a trusted Spanish destination that we Brits have come to love and our Palma cruise port guide is here to help you make the most of your time in this wonderful city.
The Balearic Islands feature on more than 50% of summer cruises in the Mediterranean and for good reason. The hot days and warm evenings make for great outdoor activity options and wonderful evenings at sea out on deck. Palma is Mallorca’s capital city and the largest city within the Balearic’s. Your cruise ship is most likely to dock at the Estació Maritima ferry and cruise terminal, which is roughly a 45-minute walk to the city centre. Shuttle buses are often provided, but if you do decide to walk, it’s virtually a straight line from the terminal gates to the city and you’ll have the added benefit of being able to walk along the wonderful harbour front, admiring all the super-yachts that fill the marina as you go. There are also numerous bars, restaurants and cafe’s on the route, so you could also stop for some refreshments.
Shuttle buses will drop you across the road from the architectural masterpiece that is the Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca, also known as La Seu. This jaw dropping Gothic cathedral was built on the site of a Moorish-era Mosque and construction began in 1229 by King James I of Aragon, although, it wasn’t finished until 1601. Visitors can enter the cathedral, so make sure you do. It really is stunning.
Popular excursion options from the port of Palma include day trips to Valldemosa and the incredible mountain range of Tramuntana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2011. Another option that will take you out of the city is a visit to the town of Port de Soller where you can board the Soller Train. This wooden train was built in 1912 and runs on a narrow-gauge track along a route comprising of 13 tunnels, numerous bridges and the cinc-points viaduct. It really is something special and certainly worth considering. Lastly, our third ‘out of town tour’ recommendation would have to be the Caves of Drach, They were discovered by Eduard Martel in 1896 and feature one of the largest underground lakes in all of Europe. There are four caves in total: Black Cave, White Cave, Cave of Luis Salvador and Cave of the French. The latter two are connected to each other.
If you want to stay within the city, consider taking a walking tour, they’re incredibly popular. For those taking in the city on their own, everything is within a reasonable walking distance and in the city centre itself you’ll find lots of shops, bars, restaurants and cafe’s.
If you’ve been to Palma before and want to do something different and maybe independently, then why not consider going further afield, if you have enough time, and explore some other parts of the island, including the resort area of Alcudia in the island’s north, or heading slightly further south and to the area of Palma Nova where beautiful Mediterranean beaches await.
Make sure you stop and try some tapas
The Euro is used in Mallorca and most shops and restaurants accept credit and/or debit cards
Palma is not expensive
There is a Duty Free outlet in the terminal building
Key highlights of Palma
- Palma Cathedral
- Caves of Drach
- Palma City
- Palma Harbour & Marina
- Palma Nova
Regular cruise line visitors
- Celebrity Cruises
- Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
- P&O Cruises
- Holland America Line
- Princess Cruises
- Viking Ocean
- Oceania Cruises
- Regent Seven Seas
- Royal Caribbean
Cruise Expert Insider 🔎 Palma Cruise Port by Jo Rzymowska
Palma de Mallorca has always held such a fond place in my heart, not only because my career started here with my repping days, but every time I return, which has been many over the years, I am reminded why I instantly fell in love with it – sunshine, smiles, serene beauty and some of the best beaches and views in Southern Europe. It struck my partner Lynne and I so much as a destination, that we chose to get married at Mirador La Victoria in Malpas. It is the most stunning venue set in the mountains high above Alcudia, along the coast from Puerto Pollenca with incredible views of the crystal blue sea that envelopes the island.
The capital of Mallorca is nestled within a beautiful bay with some of my favourite views of the Mediterranean, and offers sunshine for most of the year. Palma has something to offer for everyone, from culture and art, beaches, fantastic food & drink to opportunities to explore the mountains. In recent years, Palma has become even more of an attraction with character hotels and trendy bars complimenting the culture and art that’s always been available.
Any visitor lucky enough to have Palma on their itinerary must visit The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma (or La Seu for short). This iconic building is a gothic wonder to behold and dominates the landscape, making it a true focal point. The history of the building spans eighty years and it is easy to see the contributions of multiple artists throughout the years. It’s worth paying the minimal fee for entry to lay eyes on the breath-taking interior, especially the stained glass windows. The “Gothic Eye” is one of the largest rose windows in the world with 1236 pieces of glass, and an early-morning visit will gift you with a remarkable light show.
For anyone feeling athletic, cycling is one of the best ways to see this fabulous destination; they have the perfect weather and are very well set up for it. My favourite route starts in the Old Town of Pollenca; a beautiful old square with ornate buildings and streets full of character. It is home to a fabulous Sunday morning market where you can pick up local crafts, fresh produce (including magnificent olives) and grab a coffee to people-watch and soak up the bustle of morning life. Once you’ve had your fill in Pollenca, an energetic cycle to Cap de Formentor is worth the effort. While the twists and turns of this infamous Majorcan road maybe be a little tough, the crystal-clear waters at the secluded beach that awaits at Formentor are reward enough.
The food scene in this beautiful Mediterranean city is alive and plentiful. From rooftop restaurants that offer unmissable views of the ocean, to romantic hidden gems on the backstreets, there is always an incredible new place to try. I’ve discovered Asian fusion cuisine, quirky desserts, laid-back home cooking and indulgent Italian, along with classic traditional Tapas and seafood.
I can’t go without mentioning the golden beaches. Formentor is my personal favourite, but there’s also Playa de Cala Mayor, which is a small but pretty beach with calm waters. And if you’re looking for a little piece of paradise, Calo Des Moro is tucked away, so does take a bit of walking, but snorkelling in the clear waters makes it so worthwhile.
Every time I come back to Palma de Mallorca, I fall in love with it all over again. If it’s not on your bucket list already, make sure to add it to see it for yourself.