Palma de Mallorca - sun, food and palm trees
I haven't visited Palma enough to be able to write a guide on it, but I did a couple of posts on what we did on our recent visit there, maybe it can be of some inspiration! Here I've put the two posts together.
Palma de Mallorca - Day 1
Palma had been an obsession of mine since some time, I was very curious what this little city had to offer. Now that I’ve been I’d love to go back off season, and I’d also like to see what the rest of the island is like. We had only a long weekend to see Palma, not enough time to rent a car and see more of what Mallorca has to offer. So we will go back for sure!
But even if we had only two days to figure out the city we managed to cram in plenty. Here is what we were up to on Day 1:
We flew in late Friday evening and stayed at Hotel Brondo. The location is perfect and their breakfast room/bar/terrace is really gorgeous. The rooms are all different and have been decorated in a cool and innovative way. I’d however not recommend to take the Petite Room, it’s quite small, not worth the price and located in a different building altogether.
So we woke up on Saturday morning and decided to venture out to Santa Catalina for breakfast. Santa Catalina is the hip and bohemian part of the city, and has plenty of breakfast choices. We had a look in the Santa Catalina market where they in addition to the stands have a few tapas bars which looked interesting. We decided to have breakfast just next to the market in a little Swedish-owned bar called El Perrito. The place is cute and we had a small breakfast made up of smoothies, an omelette and I had the Swedish chokladboll: a tasty chocolate-coconut ball that I used to make at home when I was little.
From there we went to a beautiful lookout from where you could see over the port:
When we walked down and headed towards the cathedral we bumped into a lovely market. In addition to handicrafts they also had food, which obviously caught my attention..! There was amazing looking artisan bread, cheeses and apricots in little brown paper bags (who can resist that?!).
You could also eat paella or pinchos, and there were little stands that combined healthy juices with perhaps not so healthy mojitos and daiquiris, which I found slightly funny..!
From there we walked up to the cathedral and marveled at the greatness of it. I had no idea it’s so big! It’s very impressive and beautiful to look at. Very close to the cathedral you can find the Arabic baths which are worth a visit, both for the baths themselves but also for the beautiful garden attached to it.
We continued up the street to a book store called Fine Books. I’m a huge bookworm and if the books are second hand that’s even better (for my wallet). Here you can find a maze of rooms with shelves filled to the brim with books. It’s paradise..! Don’t expect everything to be perfectly organized and labelled, but you can find some gems here for sure.
From here we walked onward to our lunch location: The Bahia Mediterraneo. It took us about half an hour to walk but the views were beautiful walking along the port. You can also take the bus, but we preferred to take our time and stroll along the water.
The Bahia Mediterraneo is located on the fifth floor and offers amazing views. This is the perfect place to celebrate a wedding, the decoration is beautiful with a piano, thick white curtains and crystal chandeliers in the ceiling. It has an old-school vibe to it. The staff was really lovely.
We started with a tomato-mozzarella salad and my favorite: clams in a herb sauce. I had John Dory as a main, I believe I haven’t had it before! It’s a very “meaty” kind of fish, and it came with a meat jus and mushrooms that was just a perfect combination. We finished it off with a chocolate dessert, and had really enjoyed our meal. This is a place I’d go to celebrate something, or have a family meal perhaps.
After our lunch we headed off back to the city center. My husband is a big FC Barcelona fan and they were playing a decisive game in La Liga, so we had to find a place where we could watch it. There was an Irish bar which served the purpose just perfectly. I’m not a big fan of beers but here they serve ciders which made me a happy camper.
Barcelona won as was expected, and we headed off to our next destination: Lórien. This is a beer geeks paradise: the bar has a very, very long list of craft beers. They have 5 taps but plenty of choices of beers in bottles or in cans. The bar has a lot of atmosphere and we could have been there for quite some time, if we didn’t have a dinner reservation. As mentioned I’m not much of a beer drinker but I like fruity lambics so I had a banana lambic, it tasted like banoffee pie..!
Our dinner plans took place very close by, at Tirso. It’s divided into two floors, the upper one dedicated largely to groups, and the lower floor has a large open kitchen. It’s not dedicated to show cooking, it simply shows the hustle and bustle of an busy kitchen. The chef and co-owner, Carlos Abad was amazing in the way he worked and lead his team, never forgetting a please or a thank you. And he even took time to exchange a few words with the patrons, and make a joke or two. We were lucky enough to sit very close to the kitchen and were spellbound, we couldn’t take our eyes off the team working so hard.
At Tirso we started off with pan con tomate and olives as one should, shared a beautiful French omelette, tuna, solomillo with amazingly flavorful rice and rounded off the dinner with a milfeulle and a brownie. A true pleasure!
Palma de Mallorca - Day 2
Early bird catches the worm they say, and in this case it was us heading out for an ensaimada hunt. The ensaimada is a typical pastry from Mallorca, and we were told the best ones can be found in C’an Juan de S’aigo.
The place states that it dates back all the way to the 18th century! It’s decorated with antiques and has a very old-school feeling. Amazing cakes are on display, but the real crowd-pleaser is the ensaimada. There were four different varieties, we chose one filled with whipped cream and another one with a vanilla filling. And of course we had to accompany them with hot chocolate too… The ensaimadas were without a doubt the best I’ve ever had. It was all so rich I couldn’t even finish it all!
After our decadent breakfast we decided we had to walk it off. We got lost in the alleyways of Palma and walked along the palm-clad avenues along the port.
The views are gorgeous and since Palma isn’t a particularly large city by any means the pace is calm and slow, just perfect when you’re on vacation.
Before lunch we stumbled upon a newly opened Vermuteria. The place is tiny but has a lot of charm, and perfect for a glass or vermouth before lunch.
We had a lunch reservation at a restaurant close by, the Forn de Sant Joan. We shared a canelón with parmesan and truffle (delicious!), pulpo a la gallega (octopus with potato) and squid with a Japanese-style wasabi sauce. For dessert we shared a white chocolate-yogurt mousse with ice cream and forest fruit. Very tasty!
Obviously we then had to head for a siesta. Very important when you’re on vacation! After the siesta we headed towards Animal Collective, a bar with a long list of craft beers.
For dinner we had a reservation at 13%, where we shared a board of cheese and cured meats. They also had many vegetarian and vegan options. My favorite was the dessert, a hazelnut brittle cake.
And that was the end of day 2! I enjoyed Palma but as mentioned I’d love to go back and see more of the island. The city was rather crowded even though it was only May, however I believe this coincided with a long weekend in many other European countries too. There were several places that I would have liked to eat at, but I was just too late with making reservations. One of these places was Patron Lunares, that looks really amazing. But we just have to go back I guess, haha..!