Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Palma de Mallorca - Island Paradise with Gothic Beauty & Beaches

by and - last updated on 5/9/2024

Travel Tile 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. The Epic arrived here early morning, and the views of the island and harbor were beautiful; sunny, clear and photogenic.

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.

Interesting facts about Mallorca / Where is it?      Map
  • 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.
  • Tennis star Rafa Nadal was born in Manacor, and was trained on the island by his Uncle and family. In 2016 he opened the Rafa Nadal Tennis Academy in his hometown to allow young Mallorcans to pursue the sport whilst still completing their school studies.
  • Porto Pí lighthouse is the 2nd oldest functioning lighthouse in Spain, and the third oldest functioning lighthouse in the world. To put that into context, there are over 19,000 documented lighthouses in the world. The lighthouse dates back to the year 1300 and can be seen today standing proud in Palma Harbour.
  • Valldemossa was once the home of the renowned composer Chopin and his partner George Sand. Their time spent here left an enduring impact, inspiring Chopin’s musical compositions and forever linking Valldemossa’s allure to their artistic journey.
Palma Mallorca Coat of ArmsImage is the property of Heraldry of the World
Exploring Mallorca

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.

Palma de Mallorca - Island Paradise with Gothic Beauty & Beaches
Palma de Mallorca - Island Paradise with Gothic Beauty & Beaches
Palma de Mallorca - Island Paradise with Gothic Beauty & Beaches
Palma de Mallorca - Island Paradise with Gothic Beauty & Beaches
Palma de Mallorca - Island Paradise with Gothic Beauty & Beaches
Palma de Mallorca - Island Paradise with Gothic Beauty & Beaches

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!

 Quick History Lesson 

Palma's vast cathedral built on a previous mosque which was built atop an original Christian church. Although construction of the present Cathedral began in 1229, it did not finish until 1601. Local architect Antoni Gaudí was drafted in to restore the building in 1901. The Parc de la Mar (Park of the Sea) lies just south, overlooked by the great building which sits above it on the city's stone foundations.

 More Info for Palma de Mallorca 
  • Palma de Mallorca Wikipedia Article:
  • Palma de Mallorca Google Images Set:
Bellver Castle       Map
Palma de Mallorca - Island Paradise with Gothic Beauty & Beaches
Palma de Mallorca - Island Paradise with Gothic Beauty & Beaches
Palma de Mallorca - Island Paradise with Gothic Beauty & Beaches

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.

 Quick History Lesson 

The castle originally served as a residence for the Kings of Mallorca whenever they were not staying in mainland Europe, and was subsequently seldom used as a residence for viceroys during the 17th century. As a fortification, it suffered and successfully resisted two sieges during the Middle Ages; the first of them in 1343, during Peter IV of Aragon's campaign to reincorporate the Majorcan territories to the Crown of Aragon, and then again in 1391 during an anti-semitic peasant revolt. The castle has only fallen once in its history into enemy hands, in 1521 after an assault during the Majorcan seconds Revolt of the Brotherhoods.

The castle was usually governed by a Lord Warden. In 1408, King Martin I of Aragon gave the lordship of Bellver to the Charterhouse of Jesus of Nazareth in Valldemossa. Charles of Viana arrived in 1459 to take possession of both the island and the castle, as he had agreed with his father King John II of Aragon, even though finally the king did not grant the lordship or Bellver Castle.

 More Info for the Bellver Castle 
  • Bellver Castle Wikipedia Article:
  • Bellver Castle Google Images Set:
Valldemossa       Map

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.

 More Info for Valldemossa 
  • Valldemossa Wikipedia Article:
  • Valldemossa Google Images Set:
Some Useful Links for Mallorca
  • 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
  • Google Search Results list for "Palma Restaurants"
  • Google Search Results list for "accommodations in Palma"
  • Amazon Search Results list for "Mallorca Spain"
  • Youtube Search Results list for "Mallorca Spain"
  • Things to do in Palma de Mallorca on the "Get Your Guide" site
  • Visit our Youtube Channel
  • Our Image Gallery for Malaga
  • Wikipedia Article for Malaga
  • Google Image Gallery for Malaga

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.

Palma de Mallorca - Island Paradise with Gothic Beauty & Beaches

 Norwegian 'Epic' Cruise Overview

This is a large ship; 1,081 feet long, 155,873 gross tons in weight, and 133 feet wide. We cover the ship from bow to stern in our overview page.
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Palma de Mallorca - Island Paradise with Gothic Beauty & Beaches

 Ponta Delgada, Portugal

Ponta Delgada is located on São Miguel Island, the largest and most populous in the archipelago. 137,856 (2012) island population and 62.1 kilometers in length by 15.8 kilometers in width.
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Palma de Mallorca - Island Paradise with Gothic Beauty & Beaches

 Funchal Madeira Portugal

This island is 599 miles from Ponta Delgada, with a population of 267,785. The island is 35 miles long and 13 miles wide and has 99 miles of coastline, but the shore is all rock and cliffs. It's a mountainous island; the highest peak is 1,862 meters/6,100 feet high.
 Read More 
Palma de Mallorca - Island Paradise with Gothic Beauty & Beaches

 Cadiz/Seville, Spain

This port is 659 miles from Madeira. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Western Europe, with archaeological remains dating to 3,100 years and was founded by the Phoenicians.
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Palma de Mallorca - Island Paradise with Gothic Beauty & Beaches

 Malaga, Spain

This port is 141.5 miles from Cadiz. With a population of 571,026 in 2018, it is the second-most populous city of Andalusia and the sixth-largest in Spain. The southernmost large city in Europe, it lies on the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) of the Mediterranean.
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Palma de Mallorca - Island Paradise with Gothic Beauty & Beaches

 Cartagena, Spain

This port is 199 miles from Malaga. With a population of 213,943 inhabitants, being the Region’s second-largest municipality and Spain’s sixth-largest non-Province-capital city.
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Palma de Mallorca - Island Paradise with Gothic Beauty & Beaches

 Mallorca, Spain

This port is 334 miles from Cartagena and it is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands in Spain. Population of 409,661.
 Read More 
Palma de Mallorca - Island Paradise with Gothic Beauty & Beaches

 Barcelona, Spain

This port is 153 miles from Palma. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within city limits.
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