Introducing Palma De Mallorca
In the Balearic Sea, 100 miles off the south east coast of Spain, lies the island of Mallorca. Palma is located in Palma Bay on the south western side of the island.
Romans were the first to exploit the potential of Mallorca as a trading center, and in 123BC set up two ports, once of which was Palmeria. Mallorca was captured by the Moors of North Africa in the middle ages, but little remains of this era, except the narrow maze-like arrangement of the streets of the old city reminiscent of a
The plundering of Catalan vessels by ships under the flag of the Moors provoked James I of Aragon to attack then conquer Palma in 1229. James I of Aragon annexed the city into the Kingdom of Aragon. The Golden Age of Mallorca began, which was characterized a blossoming of the island’s commerce, trade and agriculture. The massive Bellver Castle and magnificent le Seu cathedral were built, and the Almudaina was transformed into a fine Renaissance palace.
In 1516 the Kingdoms of Aragon and Castile were merged when Charles I, son of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella of Castile was crowned to become the first King of all Spain. From this point in time on the history of Mallorca is linked with the history of Spain.
For the next three hundred years Palma fell into a prolonged slump, caused by a mix of unremitting attacks by Barbary Corsairs, many plagues and political indifference. Finally the threat of the Berber Pirates was ended when the French occupied Algeria in the early 19th century. Palma’s trade and business began to thrive again.
At the end of the 19th century, tourists began to discover the gorgeous shores and the balmy climate of Mallorca. World War II did not have any direct effect on Palma, but saw shortages and a halt to tourism. At the end of the war the tourist industry began to grow strongly once more, to soon become Mallorca’s main source of income.
Today Palma is a charming and vibrant city, combining the liveliness of a major center with the relaxed pace of a Balearic island port. It has enjoyable pavement cafes, striking architecture, friendly inhabitants and an array of cultural attractions.
Mallorca is located in the middle of the West Mediterranean making the island a favorite port-of-call for cruises. In recent years, mainly due to the well served close by Palma de Mallorca airport, it has also become a busy departure port for cruise ships.
The signature Moorish style of the Almudaina Palace echoes its origin as a Moorish castle. After the conquest of Mallorca by the Catalan army in the 13th century the fort was converted into a palace for the Mallorcan monarchy. Today it is a museum containing artworks like an excellent selection of paintings, Flemish tapestries and middle eastern carpets.
Palma’s spectacular cathedral la Seu is Palma’s number one attraction. Building started in the early years of the 13th century, and continued for over 300 years. A major renovation project was initiated in the the 20th century, with the renowned architect Gaudi designing several noteworthy additions.
C’an Pere Antoni Beach
The coastline south of the city center has a thin ribbon of sand, which, if you walk for 5 minutes in an easterly direction, broadens into the expansive C’an Pere Antoni beach. The golden sands shelve gently into warm waters. A few palm trees behind the beach give a cooling shade, and nearby stalls offer beach items and refreshments.
The 600 year old Bellver Castle is home to the Despuig Classical Sculpture Museum and the Palma History Museum. There are magnificent views from the castle’s ramparts over the aquamarine Bay of Palma. Bellver Castle is a 10 minute walk up the hill from the Muelles de Poniente.
Palma To Soller Railway
This quaint electric train links Palma de Mallorca with the mountain township of Soller, a journey 27km long. The railway crosses a wide stretch of countryside, then heads upwards through 13 tunnels to arrive at Soller. The journey, which takes little more than an hour, is an excellent way of getting to know the undeveloped interior of Mallorca. The Palma terminus is sited in the city center, just next to the modern train station.
Palma is an ideal port of embarkation for a week long cruise calling at ports in the Western Mediterranean.
Favorite shore trips on offer at ports-of-call would include the frightening Cappuchini Catacombs in Palermo, the towering Colosseum in Rome (from Civitavecchia), the atmospheric D’Alt Vila of Ibiza, the infamous Monte Carlo casino in Monaco and the awe-inspiring La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
Towards the end of the year one-way cruises may be on offer to the Canaries and the Caribbean.
See cruises from Palma for a full calendar of cruises.
Palma Cruise Terminals
Estacion Maritima Cruise TerminalsEstacion Maritima 1,2,3,4 cruise terminals access ships docked at the Poniente piers.. The terminals are connected with a series of raised foot bridges. Facilities include health office, customs, waiting areas, office, post office, telephone kiosks and police station. These cruise terminals are about a mile and a half southwest of Palma’s center.
Estacion Maritima No 5 Cruise TerminalSome ships moor inside the south western breakwater of the port, Dique Del Oeste. These piers are served by the Estacion Martima number 5 cruise terminal.
See Port Authority of the Balearic Islands for the port website.
Getting To The Cruise Terminals
From The AirportThe simplest way to travel between the airport and the cruise port is by taxi or shuttle coach. An alternative is to catch the no 1 bus which travels from the airport through the city to the Estacion Maritima. After alighting from the bus walk into the Estascion Number 2 terminal opposite then follow the signs to your required terminal.