Mallorca is the name of the island and territory in Spain that we were visiting, and Palma is the name of the capital and port city of Mallorca.  That may sound basic enough, and you may be asking “Len, why are you mentioning such basic facts?” The reason is that I had never heard the one “Palma” mentioned without the other “Mallorca”.  Always “Palma Mallorca” together in my brain, so I ignorantly thought they were one in the same.  This is one of the major reasons why JJ and I love traveling.  We travel to learn stuff.

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Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour Palma

This was yet another destination where we took advantage of our cruise’s excursion credit, and applied it to the Hop On Hop Off Bus tour around the city.  Yes, admittedly, we like the cost of “Free”.  As we always recommend, if you’re going to do the hop on hop off, the best way to take advantage is to get on as early as possible so you can do an entire lap of the city and the full route with plenty of time left in the day to go explore the places that looked the most interesting.  

Unfortunately, this was easier said than done in Palma.  We were 1 of 5, yes count em’, 5, cruises in port that day in Palma.  Remember when I said it was a resort town?  Well apparently it’s a major cruise port as well.  That meant that even though we were pretty early getting off the ship, we were still standing at the back of a line of roughly 200 of our fellow passengers, mostly from other ships.  Even though there were 3 empty big red buses waiting for that line, we had a feeling we still wouldn’t make it on any of them for the initial pick up.  Our assumptions were correct.  It really ended up not being that bad though, and we were on a bus within 20 minutes or so.  Any time you are in such a line, there are always those special people who are trying to cut, or who want to get headphones and maps before they get on the bus.  Everything we need to know about life, we learned in Kindergarten.  Please and Thank You and wait your turn.  Some of these cruisers must have failed Kindergarten.  No matter, sitting freshly on the upper deck of our big red touristy as crap bus, we were off and running.

We saw beautiful canals:

and castles:

Castell de Bellver

Bike Rentals – Port Bike Mallorca

After doing a full lap of the city, and seeing most of the major sites, we liked the looks of the beach and a few of the beach restaurants the best. Before we got on the bus, we had seen a stand to rent bikes. Now our plan for the rest of the day was set. We came back, rented bikes and road the bike lanes down to the beach.  Bikes were only €20 total for the full day, which we thought was a great deal and kept in line with our trend of cheap excursions.

Anima Beach

We had spotted Anima Beach from our bus tour, and figured it would be a good spot to have some lunch and soak in some Mediterranean Sea views. We were quite fortunate to get a table on the patio. The place was packed and there wasn’t an empty seat left on the patio soon after we were seated. It was a swanky and trendy joint to see and be seen. In spite of it’s fancyness, their lunch menu was quite reasonable. We enjoyed some delicious sandwiches and took our time, soaking in the views.

After lunch, we rode a little further along the beach before bravely crossing the main roads over to the pedestrian-only, less bike friendly part side the road. We walked our bikes down to a place outside the “Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca” to park and lock them up. Then we were able to explore the perimeter of the massive Cathedral on foot.

Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca

Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca

It was truly an architectural wonder and one of the most decorative churches on the exterior we had ever seen. Clearly Spain likes their churches and they like to do them up big time.

View of Puerto de Palma (Port of Palma)

Len and JJ’s Overall Rating:

We Would Definitely Go Back

There are apparently many other cities on the island of Mallorca.  From the looks of it, there must be other hidden gems and beach towns on the aesthetically pleasing island of Mallorca.  But Palma, for what it’s worth, seemed to be a nice, ritzy, and happening city.  We might even go as far as glamorous.  It’s honestly a resort town with lots of fancy hotels and restaurants everywhere.  At first impression, we still think Malaga and Pedregalejo were more our speed, but feel like there is a lot left to explore on the island of Mallorca that we would love to have a chance to do so on a return visit.  We like the quieter, less in your face beach destinations more than the one’s everyone in the world already knows about.  Clearly the secret was out on Palma.

Still, we had a very nice time in Palma (Mallorca, ha). Is it touristy? Yes, but in a good way, if that makes any sense. We would once again love to go back and explore some of the lesser known towns on Mallorca and find the next Spanish beach haven that is off the beaten path.

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