The Mallorca Shore Excursions – Your Cruise Highlight
Sailing into the Bay of Palma, the island of Mallorca shimmers in the sun….you get sunshine here all year round. To the forefront is the town of Palma, the capital of Mallorca, while the mountains on the northern end of the island rise in a blue haze in the background.
The cruise ship terminal is about 4 miles from the town center and there are plenty of transport facilities available although most cruise lines offer a shuttle service A walk to the center takes about an hour and can be very energy-sapping at the height of Summer.
Sa Seu cathedral dominates the town center, a beautiful 16th century Gothic structure, with a magnificent entrance. Some of its interior features were designed by the famous architect, Gaudi, particularly the main altar. Among its magnificent windows is a large stained glass rose window, reputed to be the largest of its kind in the world.
Across the square from the cathedral sits the Palau de Almudaina, a Moorish palace and later a Summer holiday home for the Spanish monarchy, now a museum. Its beautiful interiors are a mixture of Islamic and Christian architecture and art. It contains many antique artifacts and period furniture from its time as a royal residence.
The area around the cathedral is rich in ancient buildings and museums. Many of them are of Arabic-style architecture as well as Christian/Renaissance and local island structures Not very far away is Basilica de Sant Francesc, a 13th century Gothic church which is well worth a visit.
You cannot have a shore excursion on Mallorca without doing some shopping. Nearly everyone speaks English and the local currency is the Euro though you don’t need a whole pile of them as prices are quite reasonable. If you do run short there are plenty of ATMs, especially in the main shopping areas and thoroughfares.
Although many public places are closed for a couple of hours in the afternoon…siesta time, most of the shopping centers and large stores remain open. Also, a visit to the local handcraft shops and art galleries is a must where original oil paintings and sculptures as well as locally handcrafted jewelry and other artifacts, especially leather goods and hand-blown glass, can be purchased.
There are many fine restaurants and snack bars in Palma. It is renowned for its sea-food restaurants especially down by the harbour, where the food is from ‘sea to plate’ almost and you can always relax in the shade with a cool beer during siesta.
If your shore excursion in Mallorca extends to a couple of days, the night life in Palma is very lively. Providing your hangover isn’t too bad its well worth taking a tour to the small towns of Valldemossa in the hills to see the terraced farmland and visit the small shops and cafes.
Then return to your ship. Unforgettable Mallorca!