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Trip Report Perfect weekend in Fodorite neglected Palma de Mallorca

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When doing research for this trip it was clear that Palma is a neglected destination and I guess given that this site is mostly used by people in the US then getting to a little island off the coast of Spain might not be near the top of people's lists but, for anyone that is closer or who has the chance then it is a little gem that is absolutely worth the effort to get to.

The two best airlines to use to get there from home in Manchester are Monarch and BMI Baby and we cut costs by only taking hand luggage. We were lucky enough to be staying in friends' apartment on Es Born, the main street that is lined with Palma's best shops, so can't give advice on hotels. As a location though it was perfect within easy walking distance of the old town, the harbour and beaches and best museums. Having been to Barcelona a few times now and loving it each time we go Palma can accurately be described as a smaller, cleaner, prettier, more easily handled version of Spain's second city. One of the reasons for this is that Palma is the second highest most affluent region in Spain after Madrid and it is clear that the city has money to spend on keeping it clean and tidy. As a city is it incredibly clean and it is clear that people take a pride in keeping it that way. It's big enough though to feel like a proper city and certainly has enough to keep even the busiest traveller occupied for a long weekend.

We went at the end of January and the weather was perfectly good enough to be walking about the whole weekend, day and night, in just jeans and a t-shirt.

In terms of restaurants we took friends recommendations to go to La Poule Toquee on the Friday night - we got in without a reservation but it was very busy, and then Simply Fosh on Saturday night which was excellent - great food, perfect service and lovely location.

As for keeping us occupied for the weekend the city is perfect - the huge Cathedral and its wonderful waterside setting is a must see and it was lovely just being able to walk round the quiet narrow winding streets of the old town with no route or destination in mind but just coming across street after street of fabulous old buildings. The Arab Baths were lovely and an excellent reminder of shared history. Another area that was just perfect for wandering around was the Catalina district. It is an area that is being regenerated but that retains its gritty past and kept us occupied for hours just wandering from street to street stumbling upon the old windmills that the island is famous for and old cottages close to newly built homes. Another highlight was the Baluard musem - a fantastic mseum of contemporary art housed in part of an old 16th century fortress. On Sunday we had a leisurely stroll along the seafront to an excellent bar and restaurant right on the beach were we had a lovely lunch with the most perfect views of the blue sea close in front of us and the Cathedral in the distance - absolutely heavenly. There was lots more that we didn't get chance to see and we will definately be back.

In terms of daily costs it can be expensive but clothes yet again were a bargain as they always seem to be in Europe.

As a destination it is definately hugely underated by many people and as there is so much more to the island and so much more to see in Palma itself we will definately be back. Anyone thinking of Barcelona should definately think of visting here first.

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