Staff Review

Palma and the Towns of Mallorca

by The Kirker Team

I have recently returned from Mallorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands, and one which many still associate with crowded resorts and golf courses. However, I am pleased to say that there is so much more to this beautiful island than meets most tourists' eyes. What struck me was the diversity of this island, to the north there is a spectacular mountain range which encompasses and protects ancient towns such as Pollensa, made up of a labyrinth of attractive narrow streets and a main square lined with cafes, bars and restaurants. Having been invaded by foreign powers throughout the years, the town bears signs of its varied history, including a Roman bridge and the 'Puig de Pollensa' which is a small monastery nestled on a nearby mountain top. More recently the town has become a colony of artists, and modern art can be seen dotted around the galleries and public spaces in town.'If you take a hire car to explore further afield, the north of the island is also home to lovely hidden coves with sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters. It was the north-west coast of the island that was my personal favourite, in recent years artists and writers have sought inspiration from the untouched villages nestled into the mountains here. The settings of villages such as Deia and Valldemossa are extraordinary, with the honey coloured houses against the green mountains.'I also spent two nights in Palma, the island's surprising capital. My favourite hotel here is the Sant Francesc, located in the old town, it used to be a manor house and retains beautiful original features dating back to the 1800s. There are terraces and courtyards which are a safe haven in the summer months, and a roof top terrace and summer swimming pool with magnificent views of the Church of San Francesc.'For me Palma was a highlight of the whole trip. It also has a lovely cathedral located in the old town, and a traditional harbour where you can sit and watch the fishermen bringing in their catch from the night before. Wherever you wander the influences of Gaudi and Miro are evident, with modernist buildings which mirror the styles of Barcelona's Sagrada Familia. The old quarter is very walk-able, with the shaded back streets lined with boutique shops, art galleries and squares lined with café - Palma really is so much more than a gateway to the beaches, and for discerning travellers in search of something different, it will not disappoint.

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