Palma, Mallorca (Spain)Location: Europe
Palma, a port of call on a Disney Cruise Line 7-Night Mediterranean Cruise vacation, is a city on the island of Mallorca and the capital city of the Balearic Islands in Spain. Known for its warm climate, Palma is home to a vast array of historic sites, in addition to an abundance of restaurants, bars and boutiques.
Things to See and Do
Brimming with age-old charm, Palma is a vibrant city that is sure to stir the imaginations of the entire family. For history buffs and lovers of architecture, the 13th-century La Seu cathedral with its grand pillars, ornate spires and flying arches is an absolute must-see that is sure to astonish and amaze. Similarly, the 14th-century Castell de Bellver—a one-time royal residence that was later transformed into a prison—is another fascinating site that not only houses a museum, but also etchings on the walls from prisoners of wars past.
A relic of the ancient Arab city of Medina Mayurqa, the11th-century Arab Baths feature magnificent Roman stone columns and a tepidarium with spherical openings which stand as a testament to the luxuries of days gone by. Palma's Town Hall, the mid-17th-century structure that was once home to nobility, provides a picture-perfect backdrop that boasts wrought-iron balconies, a large clock tower and grand wooden doors.
Guests looking to get a feel for the city's past are invited to explore the Old City on foot, where narrow streets and town squares host numerous museums, boutiques and eateries. Additionally, the tree-lined promenade Passeig des Born—a popular meeting place for locals for generations—should not be missed.
Ironically, beach lovers will have to travel outside the city to find the sun, sand and surf they crave. Not to worry, though, as there is a plethora of serene shorelines nearby.
Local Culture and Flavor
Bringing together the relaxed atmosphere of the Mediterranean with the cultural and economic appeal of a thriving city, Palma is a destination that holds magic for all who visit. The city is the economic and cultural hub of Mallorca; almost half of the entire population of the Balearic Islands lives in Palma. Because of this, you can be sure to find a vast array of museums, cafés, nightclubs and shops within the ancient city walls.
What makes Palma stand out from other cities, however, is the sheer beauty which you are sure to find around every corner. Because the city is rich in Roman and Arab history, it's impossible not to feel transported to another place and era during your visit—providing an almost timeless experience where the remnants of the past blend seamlessly with contemporary Spanish living.
Past and Present
Palma was originally founded as a Roman settlement in approximately 120 B.C. After the fall of Rome, it is believed that the city fell to Byzantine control until the 10th century, when it was ruled by Moslems. During this turbulent time, Vikings raided the island and pirate attacks were frequent. In the 13th century, the Christians—who up to that point had shared the city in harmony with their Islamic brothers—became the stronghold when James I of Aragon conquered the city and named it Palma de Mallorca. In 1833, Palma became the capital of the new province of Balearic islands.
Today, Palma is a treasured tourist destination, brimming with architectural treasures that illustrate the city's fascinating history. Home to majestic cathedrals, narrow side streets and various boutiques and cafés, Palma is an awe-inspiring destination for the entire family.