Location: Palma de Majorca
While Majorca is the largest of the four Balearic Islands, I wouldn't use that term to describe it. The island felt more like an exotic, hidden treasure. Only a short plane trip east of Barcelona, Majorca is full of my three favorite "C's"– character, charm, & color.
We arrived in the afternoon. And after spending 10 minutes freshening up in our hotel, we hit the streets.
The first few hours spent in a city are typically the memories I cherish the most. Waking around and soaking up the culture is one of my very favorite things about traveling. Well, that and taking pictures.
Majorca seems to have several different personalities. There's the strip along the sailboat-filled water, lined with beachfront hotels, that reminds me of a spring break destination. But if you ride your bike a few miles east, you'll find a totally different vibe–a relaxing coastal town with rocky beaches, pastel facades and people who seem like they never change out of their swimsuit. Head back towards the city center, and you've got yourself a winding city full of Medieval European charm, complete with intricate balconies, cobblestone streets and gelati shops at every corner.
The best way to see all of these personalities? By bike. We rented two (one with a basket!) and rode along the coast for about three miles, stopping to further investigate anything that caught our eye. The views, the breeze and the smell of sea salt was perfection....until we realized we should have worn SPF. Oh well. It made for a lovely tan.
We stopped at Casanova Restaurante for a leisurely lunch break overlooking the calmest blue water. It was one of those "I can't believe this is happening right now" moments. Because, for real, how often do you sit at a restaurant overlooking the Mediterranean while popping an olive in your mouth and sipping Chardonnay? Have I mentioned I'm having trouble adjusting to life back home?
We finished lunch slowly and headed back to the city.
Unless headed to a specific location, I'm not a fan of using a map while traveling. You miss out on some of the fantastic scenery and look like a tourist (talk about another thing I'm not a fan of). Sometimes unplanned wandering yields the best results. For instance, we randomly stumbled upon this striking courtyard with a killer view of the marina and some seriously photo-worthy homes. Did you take a look ay my Project 52 Yellow prompt yet? I shot in this great space.
Buildings in Europe age so gracefully. Softened by weathering, these details always seem to catch my eye.
Another place we might've missed if using a map: Can Forteza Ray. The mismatched, multi-colored tiles on this Gaudi building made my heart skip a beat.
The city is chock full of remarkable architectural gems, including the Lonja de Mallorca. Built in 1425, it is known as Majorca's Gothic masterpiece. I mean, LOOK at that ceiling.
Many evenings were spent in Plaça de la Llotja, where the Lonja de Mallorca sits. It's bustling at all hours of the day with restaurant go-ers and gelati-eaters (a.k.a. me). It's the perfect spot for a glass of wine and some quality people watching.
There was no shortage of great food in Majorica. Some of our favorite restaurants were KOA and OMBÜ, sister restaurants with excellent tapas options, great vibes and delicious sangria! Another tapas restaurant, La Boveda, had incredible bacon wrapped dates & steamed mussels. It was what the Spanish call a gastronomic experience.