After a busy few months at work, I was in desperate need of a break away. The sun beating down on me, a spacious pool, good food and absolutely nothing on the itinerary but a few books and regular sun cream top ups. As it got closer to the time off work, it dawned on me that my boyfriend and I needed to get our butts in gear and actually book something. Unfortunately, the run up to the time off went so quickly and we still hadn’t booked anything, instead settling on the fact we’d just arrange a staycation instead.
Having dinner with our parents on the Sunday, we just had a quick look at flights to Palma and found some reasonably priced for being so last minute. Add in the air miles taking some money off, and hey presto, we could afford to go! Hotel booked, and within 48 hours we were in Palma checking in to the hotel. That may be the most last minute we’ve managed yet!
Mallorca is an island full of stunning natural beauty, but Palma itself has a lot to offer for those – like me… – who are looking for a week of sun, sea, sand and sightseeing. We’d booked a hotel in Playa de Palma, a lovely little resort popular with Germans, just 10 minutes from the airport, 15 minutes from Palma city centre and about 20 seconds walk to the beach.
The plan? Well, there wasn’t one! All I had in mind was a week of relaxation, and all my boyfriend had in a mind was a week of exploring. Dang it! In the name of compromise, we lounged by the pool for the first three days, soaking up the sun and attempting to get stuck into a book, just relax and unwind. Evidently even three days is too much for my boyfriend and on our second day we had to fit in a visit to Palma Aquarium.
Just 10 minutes’ walk from our hotel, we wandered down to the aquarium, bought our tickets and made our way in with all the families. The aquarium is as you’d expect – full of fish! Thankfully we were visiting on a school day out of season, so there weren’t a great number of people there to block our view of the fish and other sea creatures. Highlight of the visit for me was the huge tank with sharks in, where you can sit in front of a huge glass screen and just watch the fish swim. Once fully relaxed from some time in front of the huge tank, we moved on and found a walkway through the tank. Definitely my favourite bit, and I was determined to grab a selfie with a stingray before we finished our time at the aquarium and made our way back to the pool.
After three days lounging by the smallest pool I’ve ever come across, and a few bouts of illness caused by the hotel food, we were keen to get away from the hotel. My negative feelings towards the hotel were threatening to ruin our break away, so we made our way to the beachfront and hired ourselves a couple of bikes. For just €6 each for the day hire, we enjoyed a few hours of cycling along the beachfront to one end of the resort, then back down to the other end and continuing on to Palma. Once out of the resort, we found ourselves under the flight path of Palma airport, cycling alongside the rock pools and park. While we might have been ok to cycle to Palma, which was about 30 minutes more from where we were, I wasn’t sure we’d then have the energy to cycle all the way back. Deciding to call it a day, we made our way back to drop the bikes off before spending the rest of the afternoon splashing about on the beach and soaking up the sun by the pool.
Although we were staying half board, the decision was made that the risk of getting food poisoning from the hotel again wasn’t worth it. Cutting our losses, we ventured into the resort to find somewhere to have dinner, and found El Patio well recommended on TripAdvisor. After an amazing meal, I finally felt like we were on holiday and my mood was boosted!
Bikes are great to explore with, but I get nervous leaving them locked up and heading off to explore on foot. As such, we used our next day to wander back up to where we’d cycled the day before, and visit a church we’d spotted. I do love a good church, so after the morning service had finished we popped our heads in for a look around. Just a small church, we left after a short while to make our way to ‘MegaPark’. Initially we thought it was a water park, but as we neared we saw signs for Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest?! Although aware that this resort is popular with German people, we weren’t expecting this! We stood in there shocked for a few minutes, before gathering our senses and getting the road train to the other end of the resort so we could walk back to the park we’d stopped at yesterday.
A short ride later, we had a new area to explore and were off in search of the park, Es Carnatge, we’d visited previously. By this time, it was hot and we were getting tired. Looking for a snack to give us a bit of energy, we spotted a deli that sells a variety of Spanish pastries. Among them, was a tuna empanada, which is my favourite Spanish food! Without a second thought we ordered one of those, and a chocolate croissant, because who doesn’t want to eat melting chocolate when it’s super warm outside?
Energy somewhat replenished, we carried on towards the park we’d cycled to yesterday. It quickly dawned on us that we’d cycled along the seafront, which was a long walk, so took a quick shortcut through a residential area and popped out at the park. Rock pools line the waterfront, and there are small private areas to sunbathe without the crowds. From the park you can see across the bay that Palma sits on, and so we spent some time checking out the rock pools, watching people swimming, stand up paddle boarding and clambering over the rocks, before making our way back towards our hotel.
All the walking of the day had completely wiped us out, so we settled in for a while beside the pool before wandering along the seafront to find somewhere for dinner in the evening. We only had one more full day in Mallorca, and we’d set our sights on a day sightseeing in Palma, so turned in for an early night.
Palma city sightseeing tomorrow!