ROL Cruise recommends...
1. Mix military history with modern convenience
The historic centre of Palma de Mallorca is an hour’s walk from Palma de Mallorca’s cruise terminals, though tempting distractions en route mean it will certainly take a little longer. Immediately outside Porto Pi stands the seventeenth century San Carlos Castle, built to defend the natural port from pirates and barbarians. It is now a military museum, boasting ancient artefacts, artillery, uniforms and a peaceful bar within its well-preserved edifice. If shopping takes your fancy, the Centro Comercial Porto Pi is also on the port’s doorstep. Stop here to browse numerous stores, to grab a bite to eat, or to pick up an essential ice cream for the onward journey.
2. Take in the hilltop views from Bellver Castle
A slight detour inland brings you to the hilltop Bellver Castle, built by King James II of Mallorca in 1309. Formerly a refuge for nobility escaping the plague and a prison, this circular structure is now home to the City History Museum.
3. Admire the architecture of 'La Seu'
Along the palm-lined waterfront you’ll find numerous luxury boats, yachts and schooners. Choose your favourite vessel as you walk towards town, passing al fresco bars, restaurants and art galleries such as Es Baluard. At the end of this scenic stretch, Palma’s imposing 'La Seu' cathedral dominates the view. Admire the magnificent exterior of this sandstone gem, which dates back to the fourteenth century and combines a variety of architectural styles. Head inside to discover how Antoni Gaudí and Miquel Barceló made their marks on its Gothic interior. Don’t miss the 12m stained glass window, the Portal del Mirador or the controversial skull-adorned St Peter’s Chapel. If your feet aren’t too tired, explore the nearby Moorish Placa de l'Almudaina, visit the 600 year-old symbol of peace at the heart of Plaza de Cort, or stroll the market-lined streets for local souvenirs.
4. Bask on beautiful beaches
For sun-kissed sands, head west from the port to Cala Major Pelican Beach or pass the city centre to reach Ca'n Pere Antoni. A little further along is the family-friendly Playa de Palma, where soft sands and clear waters offer the chance of swimming, sunbathing and water sports. If sailing and secluded snorkelling are what you seek, take a boat trip past the dramatic west coast to idyllic coves in the east or to the southern Cabrera Archipelago National Park.