Palma de Mallorca, Spain
We were onboard the Norwegian Cruise Lines 'Epic' on
a repositioning cruise from
Port Canaveral, FL to Barcelona with various stops along the way - the sixth stop
being Palma de Mallorca.
Mallorca is 5,130.5 sea miles from Port Canaveral and 334 sea miles from Cartagena. Since December 2016 Palma is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands in Spain. It is situated on the south coast of Mallorca on the Bay of Palma. The Cabrera Archipelago, though widely separated from Palma proper, is administratively considered part of the municipality. As of 2018, Palma de Mallorca Airport serves over 29 million passengers per year.
Palma Quick History Lesson: Palma was founded as a Roman camp upon the remains of a Talaiotic settlement. The city was subjected to several Vandal raids during the fall of the Western Roman Empire, then reconquered by the Byzantine Empire, then colonized by the Moors (who called it Medina Mayurqa) and, in the 13th century, by James I of Aragon.
Mallorca became a part of Spain via conquest by King James I of Aragon between 1229 and 1231.
- The name of the island comes from an old Latin phrase ‘insula maior’ that means ‘larger island’, as Mallorca is the largest island in all of Spain. Gradually the phrase was mispronounced and the island became known as Mallorca. The British often call the island Majorca, whilst everyone else calls it Mallorca.
- The island has been inhabited by humans since 7000 BC. Due to its significant geographic location in the middle of the Mediterranean, many armies have attempted to invade Mallorca. In 123 BC, the Romans claimed the island. The most famous invasion was that of King Jaime of Aragon in 1229, which was the start of the creation of Mallorca as we know it today.
- Artists and writers have been attracted to the dramatic and picturesque west coast of the island for many decades. Robert Graves, known as one of England’s greatest poets, was one of the first English to move to the island. He resided (& was buried) in the pretty mountain village of Deia, which has since become a hub for the creative crowd and celebrities.
This was day 15 of our transatlantic cruise on the Norwegian Epic. The ship arrived in Palma de Mallorca harbor at 8AM, however, by this stage of the trip I was feeling bad with a cold that was causing coughing fits, sneezing, etc. Even though we had shore excursion tickets, I did not relish infecting everyone on the tour bus so I asked Celeste to go ahead on the tour without me.
As the Norwegian Epic entered the harbor, the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma (more commonly referred to as "La Seu Cathedral") was the first thing visible as it is so large. It turned out to be yet another Gaudi project!
Bellver Castle: is a Gothic-style castle on a hill 3 km to the west of the center of Palma. It was built in the 14th century for King James II of Mallorca, and is one of the few circular castles in Europe - in fact, it was the first circular castle in Europe. First serving as the residence of the Kings of Mallorca, and afterward long used as a military prison throughout the 18th to mid-20th century, it is now under civilian control, being one of the main tourist attractions of the island, as well as the seat for the city's History Museum.
This is a village and municipality on the northwest side of Mallorca, 24 kilometers north of Palma Harbor. It is famous for one landmark: the Royal Charterhouse of Valldemossa, built at the beginning of the 14th century, when the mystic and philosopher Ramon Llull lived in this area of Majorca.
Since the 19th century Valldemossa has been promoted internationally as a place of outstanding beauty, largely as a result of the affection of distinguished traveller and cultural writer, the Austrian Archduke Ludwig Salvator.
The village is renowned for its rich history, most notably the famous visit of composer Frédéric Chopin and writer George Sand in the 19th century, who sought refuge in Valldemossa's monastery. Today, the former monastery has been transformed into a museum, allowing visitors to explore the cells where Chopin composed some of his masterpieces. Valldemossa also boasts quaint cafes, artisanal shops, and stunning viewpoints that offer panoramic vistas of the Mediterranean Sea. The village is an ideal destination for nature lovers, hikers, and those seeking an authentic Spanish experience. With its timeless charm and serene atmosphere, Valldemossa captivates the hearts of all who visit.
- Just Traveling Thru European Travel Tips
- Just Traveling Thru Travel Planning Tips
- Mallorca History on the 'Britannica' site
- Discovering Palma on the 'See Mallorca' site
- 12 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Mallorca on the 'Planetware' site
- 20 Must-Visit Attractions in Mallorca on the 'Culture Trip' site
You should be aware that Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) varies where their ships go, as well as what ships they will reposition. To determine where NCL is sending what ships, you should visit their website. Our list of ports below, is based upon what the "Epic" did when we were onboard in 2019.
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