Cathedral La Seu in Palma de Mallorca lit up at night surronded by black darkness.

Cathedral La Seu in Palma de Mallorca ()

Germany is a very cold place during the winter season, and as such, it can be hard to be productive. The sky always seems to be gloomy, especially in Kaiserslautern, and life can become so depressing that even Glühwein won’t even remove the dread. Fortunately, a short, and simple two-hour flight can lift those spirits. So, sit back, strap in your seatbelt, and get comfortable as you start your winter getaway to the Balearic Island of Mallorca.

Due to the Mediterranean climate of Mallorca, the sun will beam down even during winter. Do not let that fool you, because none of that sunlight affects the water. I wanted to try out the beach one day and found that the water was ice cold. Instead, the island offers many other non-hypothermia inducing activities.

Waves crashing onto tan sand on a sunny day in Mallorca

Beach at Mallorca (Ian Townsend)


The city of Palma is by far the largest city on the island and is also the capital of the Balearic Islands region. It is home to many attractions that make your visit worthwhile, such as old churches and buildings, delicious restaurants that serve the greatest paella, and even an operating bull ring. If you’re looking to party, there are various bars and clubs in the partying district of Santa Catalina. Overall, Palma has something for everyone and will not disappoint.

Like other European cities, Palma is home to a massive cathedral. Its construction started in 1229 just after the Spanish conquest of the islands from the Arabs and took almost 375 years to finish. It is the tallest Gothic cathedral in the world and has a Mediterranean flair that distinguishes it from other cathedrals I see in Germany. The inside is adorned with beautiful stained glass, which, on a sunny day, illuminates so many gorgeous colors on the walls and floor. Admission to the cathedral is 12 euros which is well worth the price of architectural beauty. You can buy tickets in advance here.

Red and pink flowers in front of the Palma Cathedral during the day.

Palma Cathedral ()

Right across the street from the cathedral is the Alcazar, a palace built by the Arabs in the 9th century and was the official residence of the rulers of Mallorca. It now serves as a residence for the king of Spain but has tours open to the public. Inside are rooms devoted to the history of the island, with artifacts dating back to the pre-Roman era. It is certainly a site to visit to get a full immersion into the island’s unique history. Admission to the palace is 7 euros.

Just a couple streets down from the cathedral are the “Banyas Arabas,” the Arab baths. Built in the 9th century following Spain’s conquest by the Moors, these are all that remain of the five original bath locations used by people from all walks of life. The building is small but was constructed in the model of the old Roman baths, of which some of the brick was re-used. There is not much to see besides the main bathroom, although the property features a garden full of orange trees, and pottery from that era. Mixed in with an admission price of only 5 euros, this location is a must-see location during your stay in the city.

Vases in the Arab baths in Palma

The Arab baths in Palma ()

The last main attraction in the city is known as Bellver Castle. Situated on a high hill at the western edge of the city, the castle offers a view of Palma and the valley around it. Constructed in 1229 as a defensive castle, it is unique in that it has a circular design, which is not too common among European castles. Inside are an abundance of artifacts and guides that detail the unique history of the castle. Admission is only 4 euros, and it can be accessed by a steep hiking trail, or by car. There is a spacious paid parking area.

The Mountains

The northern half of Mallorca is home to the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range. The highest peak is just over 4,700 ft., and within this range are small but very picturesque communities. The landscape is littered with orange groves, farms, and cliffside views that will take your breath away. Unfortunately, I did not visit all of them, but places I can recommend are Valledemossa, Soller, and Port de Soller, a quaint resort town tucked into a coastal estuary.  

One can venture to these towns through a private vehicle, but the mountain passes can get very tight. Hiker-friendly paths are common in the mountain region and provide another way to access the villages. The third option is a public bus from the central station in Palma, which is what I took. The fares are extremely cheap, as I paid about 7.50 euros for all trips. No matter the method, the roads that run through the island are extremely beautiful. I highly recommend making time for this part of the island.

While Mallorca is a common summertime destination, it is worth checking out the island in winter. There are plenty of attractions and villages to visit throughout the off-season, and even though the water may not be warm, there is still a lot of fun to be had on Mallorca.

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