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Palma

Beautiful, breezy, and brimming with Spanish style, Palma has long been one of the most popular and compelling ports of call on the Mediterranean cruise run. With a unique combination of bustling city life and sun splashed beachside resort hotels, it’s a multi faceted pearl of an island that brings people back again and again.

In fact, the local pearls are one of the main buys for shoppers, and they are rightly world famous, as well as being of exceptionally high quality. But shopping in the bustling main town of Palma goes way beyond pearls; leather goods are especially good value, and there’s no shortage of smart, highly styled shopping venues to tempt you in.

The town itself is dominated by the beautiful, honey coloured bulk of the Gothic Le Seu cathedral, sitting on a headland at the end of a beautifully styled, palm fringed promenade walk. With it’s huge Romanesque windows situated at front and back, and whimsical interior additions by the Catalan genius, Antonio Gaudi, it can be seen from almost everywhere in the city.

Up in the hills, fourteenth century Bellver Castle was once the residence of Mallorcan royalty and, with its round tower looming above the interior, it has an amazing stance, while also offering fabulous views out over the bulk of the island.

But Palma is far more than just history, however rich and varied. The modern town is built around the fringes of the large open bay, with a string of bars, cafes and restaurants that open out along the edges of a palm fringed promenade, perfect for some early evening tapas, some sangria, or just some indolent people watching. There are beautiful fountains and white washed houses with ornate, wrought iron balconies and a series of beautiful interior courtyards.

Though part of Spain proper, Palma has a different feel and vibe to the bustling seaside cities so typical of mainland Spain. The scale is smaller, more intimate and, for many, more welcoming.

The inner part of the harbour itself is full of yachts of all shapes and sizes, bobbing at their berths like so many contented, idle swans. Nightlife here starts quite late, and continues on well into the pre dawn hours, especially in the summer.

The beach resorts are popular with families, especially in the summertime. Palma has been sold for many years as a two centre, cruise and stay holiday and, as such, it offers tremendous value and diversity.

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