I’ve just arrived back from a week in Mallorca. Last year I took the kid there for a beach holiday and we had a great time, so decided I’d do it again this year. I’m not usually a beach kinda guy, but with a four-year-old it needs to be done. Plenty of pool and sea time keeps the kid busy, and it’s lots of fun getting a full week with no interruptions to play with her. I’ll write more about that another time…
After a week splashing about it does get a bit boring, so this year I decided we’d extend the trip by a night and spend a day in Palma de Mallorca before flying back to normality. I’d never spent any time in Palma but I heard great things.
First off we needed a hotel. I had planned this out months ago when booking the flights, but I hadn’t actually got around to booking the hotel in Palma. With not the least bit of worry, with 3 days to go before we were due to check out of our hotel in Santa Ponsa, I got on to Booking.com and did a search for a hotel in the old town.
I was a bit worried I’d left it too late, but low and behold, with my first search I found the 4* Hotel Almudaina had a room that could fit four! As I always do, I skipped over to the hotel’s official web site to see if the prices matched up with Booking.com and actually found it for 30EUR cheaper. Boom! So, hotel booked, room for four for 220EUR for a night. Sounds like a bargain!
So, on the final day, we decamped from Santa Ponsa and jumped in a taxi for the 25 minute trip to Palma. The taxi ride was 45EUR as we had to pay extra for a child seat – quite a nice little earner for Mallorcan taxi drivers!
The hotel itself was situated smack bang in the middle of the Palma Old Town right amongst the thick of the shops and bars. It was the perfect location!
The lobby has a really nice sculpture on the wall and is surprisingly peaceful given it’s location on the main strip
Check in as from 3pm, but we arrived at 12:30 hoping to leave our bags at reception, but to our surprise, the room was ready so they allowed us to check in straight away and head up to our room.
The room itself was epic. It was to sleep four, and I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was more of a two room suite. It had two bedrooms with two beds in each, and an ensuite bathroom, and then a separate little seating area with table. It was much better than I’d anticipated and even my mother was happy!
The beds were big and comfy and had great sheets. All in all, very happy with the last minute booking.
Once we were settled in the room it was off to explore Palma. I’d promised the kid I’d take her to a play park, so we headed off to find one.
Now, bear in mind this was the middle of the day so it was quite hot!
Walking around Palma is lovely. There is a river of sorts that runs through not far from the hotel, which was very pleasing on the eye.
We found a play park but it was far too hot and the slides were boiling to touch, so we kept walking with the intention of going back to play after dark. We found a little waterfall/fountain type thing and followed it down to see where it brought us.
As you follow the footpath down towards the water you end up at what appears to be some sort of old city wall. There are garden areas at the foot of it with some sculptures and stuff. Not much going on, but a very pleasant walk.
Everyone was having a nice time despite the heat
As you keep walking you come across loads of statues and things but there’s not much information about who or what they are
Outside the consulate, there are some old cannons that the Spanish must have managed to rescue and bring back from their Armada defeat in 1588! I might have made that up, but you know, history.
As with everywhere in Spain, there are loads of little squares offering the perfect opportunity for a snack and a refreshing beer.
If you keep walking towards to sea, you eventually come to the big old cathedral. It’s a mighty building completed in 1601 and is 121 meters long. We didn’t go in, but it gets rave reviews on Tripadvisor. If I was sans kid, I’d have definitely gone in for an explore.
We grabbed a seat at a restaurant overlooking the big pond at the foot of the cathedral and enjoyed an ice cream whilst taking in the view.
All the walking got a bit much for the kid and granny, so after our snack, we did the direct 10-minute walk back to the hotel and dropped them off for a nap so we could do some shopping.
The old town is made up of some main avenues which are intertwined with hundreds of little alleys. It’s these alleys where the action takes place! They’re magnificent and great fun to explore.
With no real plan, it was lovely just walking around deciding which direction to take as you came to a junction. The main avenues are full of all the standard shops you find anywhere in the world, but down the alleys, you find little gems of retail delight.
And there’s also the graffiti which you find everywhere in Europe but done a little bit different in Palma
There are little cafes and bars at every turn
All this walking and shopping made me hungry, so we stopped at Cafe Can Toni for a little bite to eat. We just stumbled upon this on our walk, and it looked good so we sat down.
The food was amazing and the staff very friendly. I couldn’t decide what to have as a snack, so ordered loads, along with Sangria and a Beer – it’s thirsty work this tourism!
After the refreshments, we headed back to the hotel to pick up kid and granny passing by The Device to Root out Evil, a sculpture from US artist Dennis Oppenheim which for whatever reason has been dumped in the middle of Palma.
Once everyone was back together again I spent a couple of hours with the kid in the play park as it had cooled down, which was a 5 min walk from the hotel. It was great fun and full of locals. There was also some trampolines and an outdoor soft play which you had to pay for, in 10-minute sessions which cost me 12 EUR!
We then had dinner at a lovely little Italian called Giovanis. I didn’t take any pictures but it was very nice.
Next, it was back to the hotel for a drink in their sky bar – which was basically a roof terrace on the top of the hotel. It was nicely done out and would have been a lovely spot for the evening meal if we hadn’t already eaten. Doh.
The bar offered stunning views over the rooftops of the old town.
After that, it was time to put the kid and granny to bed and head off for a late evening stroll around the alleys.
Although it was dark and relatively late by old man dad standards (9pm) I didn’t feel at all worried walking around the alleys. I’m a London boy and very street aware, and thee are some cities in the world I would never walk down back alleys past sun down (hello Prague) but here, it felt perfectly fine.
On the more busy streets, you could feel the vibe was getting into Party time. It reminded me of the days when I wasn’t a dad and would be eager to get out dancing!
We found a bar in a square and sat down for a nice cold evening beer. It was called Bar Coto and was very chilled. Surprisingly though outside seating closed at 10pm shattering the dream of a lazy Spanish evening sipping beer in the courtyard. Apparently, the neighbours don’t like people sitting out having fun and making noise. Fair enough, I suppose.
After that, it was a slow amble back to the hotel and a good nights sleep before leaving for the flight in the morning.
I really enjoyed Palma and would love to spend longer there exploring more and visiting some sights. But for a 24-hour flying visit, it’s a great place to just aimlessly wander and find things as you walk. There’s plenty to see and of course loads of tapas bars to fill your tummy.
10 out of 10 from me Palma. Thank you!