Palma: Keeping it under wraps

I’m a little conflicted even writing this post… I really love Palma de Mallorca and I think it gets ignored by the majority of visitors to the island.

On the other hand, I think I love it precisely because it’s ignored by most tourists.

You’ll pardon the generalisation, but in my experience (a decade of visiting Mallorca, at least twice a year), the majority of tourists head to a coastal resort and spend their time trying to re-create home. That is, going to British/Irish/German “pubs”, eating fried breakfasts and doing their best to get stocious drunk before midday.

And that’s their right.

Not my idea of a holiday, but there you go.

I’d just hate for the whole island to be viewed with the sane disdain as Magaluf. Magaluf is like an alcoholic Disneyland. Really. Top to bottom, it’s bars with multi-drink specials and girls trying to entice you in. To drink your own body weight and take photos with your phone that would horrify your dear sainted mammy.

Most of these resorts are closer to a Roman orgy than a night on the tiles, the morning after looking like the clean-up operation inside the Coliseum.

But there is another Mallorca.

Palma, for instance. Just a few minute’s drive up the coast from Sodom and Gemorrah. It’s a beautiful old city, with enough to keep even the most active visitor busy.

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It’s beautiful because it’s full of Spaniards, not drunken packs of Irish lads out to see who can get a mis-spelled tattoo first. Nor English girls seemingly on a mission to get sunburnt within an inch of a hospital visit.

It has wonderful cafes and restaurants. Beautiful views over the marina. An impressive cathedral and “old town” but also excellent shopping, if you’re into that sort if thing.

Most tourists get on a coach at Palma airport and get dropped off at their hotel, only to be picked up a week later. To them, Mallorca is the resort they’re in.

Part of me wishes more of them would hop on another bus and spend an afternoon in Palma. But a larger (selfish) part of me would like Palma to remain as it is. Without all-you-can-drink specials. Without hen parties. Without pools of vomit on the pavement every morning.

Come to Palma!

I think…

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  1. Lovely photos. Seems like over the years of ‘knowing you, online’ (since ~2006?), there’s not a bad picture to be made!

    I love drinking but like all good hillbillies prefer to do it at home: cheaper and when you fall down, it’s your fault entirely and you can simply STAY there to sleep it off. Drinking whilst travelling scares me — unless I have Handlers.

    One thing I noticed, going back and forth across the Channel every month or so for a little over a year, was British ppl got SMASHED before even getting on the ferry!

    It made for raucous (in un-fun ways) travel. There’s nothing like Young Me (all 100lb & 5’2″) trying to get 4 pished aholes off some teenaged girls. Ugh.

    Anyway! I love the drink but I don’t understand ‘wasting’ the visit someplace beautiful or different on fried brain cells.

    There’s things to DO for goodness sake.

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  2. I have not been to Palma for many years, but I thought exactly the same thing

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