Of all the islands of the Balearic archipelago, Mallorca is the most developed in terms of tourism. There are long sandy beaches, spacious bays, and cozy bays immersed in greenery. In the mountains of the Serra de Tramuntana (the highest point of Puig Major, 1445 m) you can enjoy typical mountain landscapes. In this part of the island there are such picturesque towns as Valldemossa, Soller and Deia.
The interior of Mallorca is rarely visited by tourists, therefore, to a greater extent, it has preserved traditions and is distinguished by a variety of landscapes and architecture. In the southeast of the island are the resorts of Arenal, Playa de Palma and Can Pastilla, united by a common five-kilometer beach, the longest in Mallorca. Every 700-800 m on the beach there are “balneario” – a small bar plus changing rooms and toilets. Behind the strip of the beach stretches a paved pedestrian promenade with tall palm trees on both sides. Along it are numerous shops, restaurants and bars.
In the east of the island are the Dragon Caves (Coves del Drac), stretching for 2 km. Inside you can see 6 underground lakes. The most interesting moment in the journey is the play of musicians in a boat on one of the lakes.
According to Slang Encyclopedia, the city of Palma de Mallorca is also the capital of Mallorca and the Balearic Islands. Here is a port where countless luxury cruise ships arrive, as well as ships that connect Mallorca daily with various mainland ports. Many consider the Bay of Palma, along with the Bay of Naples, to be one of the most beautiful in the world.
Palma de Mallorca was founded by the Roman consul Caecilius Metellus. When he saw a hill hanging over the sea, he fell in love with this land and founded a city here in 123 BC. e. The palm tree became the symbol and at the same time the name of the city because, according to legend, the founding consul arrived here crowned with a wreath of palm leaves.
Today more than 300 thousand inhabitants live in the city. But, despite the rapid growth, its historical part is one of the most extensive and best preserved in Europe. Some monuments are world cultural heritage. For centuries, Palma has been a place of mingling and development of numerous cultures and generations. Here you can see, though not numerous, but beautiful examples of Arabic art, Gothic creations and other outstanding historical styles.
Right next to the bay there are two unique architectural monuments. One of them is Bellver Castle, the only round fortress in Spain. It was built at the beginning of the 14th century by order of Jaime II and is a symbol of the era when Mallorcawas an independent kingdom and trading power in the western Mediterranean. According to its characteristics, the castle is the only instance of military architecture in the civil Gothic style. It currently houses the City Historical Museum. The second monument is the Cathedral, built on the site of an old Arab mosque. The construction of the Cathedral, created in the primitive Gothic style, was also begun during the reign of Jaime II. Opposite the Cathedral stands the Almudaina Palace, the ancient palace of the kings of Mallorca, even earlier a former Arab fortress. Currently, the Command of the Military Region of the Balearic Islands is located here., this palace hosts official receptions given by the Spanish royal family during their summer stay on the island of Mallorca.
The symbol of Palma’s former prosperity as a commercial center of the Middle Ages is the magnificent civil Gothic building of La Lonja (Commercial Exchange). It is one of the most outstanding Gothic buildings in the entire Mediterranean. An unforgettable impression is made by the amazingly beautiful interiors of La Longja – six columns of a spiral section support the vault, creating a vivid image of a stone palm grove. Nowadays, major exhibitions are held here.
The Gothic church of St. Catalina, the church of Santa Cruz (XIV century), the church of St. Francis (XIII century) deserve attention.
In the old part of the city, palaces and mansions from the heyday of the Mallorcan nobility attract attention. Among them, the house of the Marquises de Vivot, the house of Oles, the house of Berg and the house of the Marquises de Palmer stand out, which were built from local white Santini stone, which acquires a golden color over time.
Palma has a wide variety of shops, cafes and clubs with a very pleasant atmosphere. The best shopping streets of the city are Jaime III, Sant Miguel, Sindicato. In Mallorca, most often they buy furniture, hand-painted ceramics, embroidery, things made from palm leaves, handmade shoes, the famous Mallorcan pearls.
To the north of Palma de Mallorca is the city of Valldemossa. Here, in the former monastery of Cartuja de Valldemossa, Frederic Chopin and George Sand lived from 1938 to 1939. Today you can stroll through the charming garden and rooms of the monastery; his piano, death mask and original manuscripts are kept here.