Why Americans Should Ditch the Cliché European Destinations and visit Palma de Mallorca
Close your eyes and imagine your dream summer European vacation with your family. The warm Mediterranean sun beaming down on your newly tanned skin. The sea glistening and sparkling as ships sail into port. The sweet smell of pastries and tapas filling the air. Locals mingling with romantic accents and dialects as you pick out words that you recognize. None of your family members are fighting, and everyone is perfectly content with your escape from reality. Believe it or not, this is reality- you are in Palma de Mallorca.
It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? For avid travelers that venture to popular European destinations such as Barcelona, Rome and Paris, you probably think that it is too good to be true. Whether you choose to believe it or not, the destination that I am describing is real, and flies completely below the American radar. While I do love Italy, and I love mainland Spain, but there is something truly unique about visiting Palma de Mallorca.
The travel community certainly advertises the unique culture and flawless beaches that earned Palma de Mallorca its fame. The city is no stranger to tourists, with 80% of the economy relying on tourism and Business Insider referencing Palma de Mallorca as the #3 European Beach Destination.
Despite this, very few Americans have visited or plan to venture to the sheer perfection that is Palma de Mallorca.
This summer, I had the pleasure of visiting Palma de Mallorca with my family on our tour of the Mediterranean. Much of our trip included popular (and tourist saturated) destinations including Rome, Barcelona, and Florence. For this reason, I expected to find Palma de Mallorca overcrowded, full of tourists, and consumed with tourist-trap vendors and tours along the sidewalks.
Much to my surprise, Palma de Mallorca offered a peaceful escape from the everyday world. The conglomeration of culture, friendly locals, and unique history created the perfect vacation experience that all travel destinations aspire to achieve.
Contrary to American tourism trends, the praises that I am singing do not fall on deaf ears for our friends in Europe. 40% of tourism traffic is comprised of the 2.3 million British and 3 million German travelers that visit the island annually. In fact, Palma de Mallorca is the busiest Spanish airport during the summer months, and transports over 26 million passengers annually.
Often referred to as the California of Europe, Palma de Mallorca’s infrastructure offers both Spanish and Arabian influence. The unspoiled and romantic streets of Palma offer a clean and safe environment ideal for both families and honeymooners alike. Visitors can feasibly explore the city on foot, which I highly recommend.
Some of the most precious components of the island include preserved street art and tapas bars found in hidden alleyways.
As you visit major attractions of the island, the hints of Arabian influence will quickly populate your field of vision. Beautiful cathedrals, castles, and shops line the cobblestone streets, which wind from peaceful beaches to awe-inspiring cliffs. Admire the similarities of the architecture, climate, and culture to major European destinations as you too question why Americans are yet to discover this piece of heaven in the Mediterranean Sea.
Americans will find comfort in knowing most locals are fluent in English, a barrier that often deters international travel altogether. The island is very tourist friendly, with hundreds of potential excursions available to enhance your holiday.
Personally, I recommend reserving a tour with Tours Mallorca during your stay. The tour guides are extremely accommodating and can arrange a tour that specifically suits your party’s needs.
Furthermore, the company offers two free walking tours of the city- available by making a reservation online. Spend your morning seeing the most important and famous jewel of the city, the Cathedral of Palma. After an afternoon siesta, enjoy a tour dedicated to exploring the mysteries and legends of the city. Both provide a different experience that is free, fun, and educational.
Once you’ve had the opportunity to see for yourself just how accommodating Tours Mallorca is, book a more personalized tour and enjoy experiencing Palma de Mallorca with a local. You are guaranteed to walk away with a truly memorable cultural experience.
Lastly, you will find that Palma de Mallorca is extremely budget friendly and offers options for any sort of budget. Furthermore, flights to Palma are extremely affordable, with flights averaging about $500 round trip from New York and Miami. With that extra cash you saved on flights, you can enjoy the vibrant shopping scene. Keep in mind that Palma de Mallorca is known for their pearls and ceramics. In my experience, shopping in Palma is even more enjoyable than my experience shopping in Italy. The friendly nature of the vendors enhances your experience, and they truly want to help you find that special keepsake.
There is nothing standing in your way from visiting the quaint and vibrant city of Palma de Mallorca. From the diverse landscape and mild climate, the history embedded in the city, the vibrant culture, to the friendliness of the locals, Palma de Mallorca is the slice of culture and paradise that will make your trip a vacation to remember.
Have you visited Palma de Mallorca or found another underrated city in Europe? Share your experience in the comments!