Palma De Mallorca, Spain
The disabled cruiser visiting Palma will find that Palma is quite accessible for wheelchair users. The bus service is good and all have wheelchair access. Palma, being next to the sea, is mostly flat. However the streets in the old part of the city around the Cathedral are cobbled and can be difficult for wheelchair users. There are few smooth pavements in these narrow streets. The main shopping street of Carrer de Sant Miguel is flat with very smooth paving stones.
The cathedral is directly at the center of Palma and definitely worth a visit. When you enter the cathedral with a wheelchair through the exit of the gift shop. The floor of the cathedral is very smooth and there are ramps and a hydraulic lift that get you around the cathedral interior.
When you leave the cathedral and wander around the historic streets you will encounter cobbled and uneven streets. The main shopping square is called Placa Major with an open air market and Mercat de l’Olivar was a lovely enclosed food market open mid afternoon.
Bellver Castle has some degree of disabled access which includes a lift to the 1st floor, but not all areas are accessible. There are ramps into the museum rooms and stair lifts for wheelchairs.
In Palma de Mallorca the Disabled Cruiser can visit the wheelchair accessible beach. Enjoy beachside restaurants and walking/rolling along the accessible beachside boardwalk.
Palma De Mallorca, Spain
Palma lies on the south west coast of Majorca, one of the Balearic islands in Spain. It is also the capital of the Balearic Islands.
Sa Seu, Palma’s stunning cathedral is at the center of the historic and oldest part of town. It overlooks the Parc de la Mar, a pretty seaside park with a small lake and panoramic views of the Mediterranean.
Other places of interest include the Museu de Mallorca, Palau de l’Almudaina and the Basiilca de Sant Francesc.
The architecture of this ancient Mediterranean port blends Gothic, Moorish and Renaissance styles. Palma’s winding streets make way to grand churches, yacht harbors, beaches, fountains and old castles. Because there is so much history so close together, it’s a perfect port to explore on foot.
Valldemossa is the island’s most beautiful town. It is set in the hills, a 30-minute taxi ride from Palma. The Monastery Complex is the main feature of the town and incorporates a palace, the Museu Municipal de Valldemossa and a neoclassical church.
Where You’re Docked
Estacion Maritima has four cruise terminals and serve ships docked at the Poniente and Paraires quays. The terminals are joined by a network of covered walkways. Facilities include telephones, post office, snack bar/cafe and toilets. The Poniente Quay is around 1½ miles southwest of Palma’s center.
Occasionally ships may also dock at a pier inside Dique Del Oeste (the west sea wall). These piers are served by the Estacion Martima 5 passenger terminal.
Taxis are available at the docks and cruise lines may also have shuttle buses available.
Good to Know
Keep an eye out for traffic along the busy stretch of road between the port and the city center. Vehicles move quickly along this highway, and it can be awkward finding a place to cross. It’s also easy to catch too much sun while exploring some of the city’s sights. Wear protective clothing and sunscreen when necessary. Some shops and restaurants, particularly those catering for tourists and visitors, remain open all day, but the majority observe a traditional siesta between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
On Foot: It takes around 40 minutes to an hour to walk from the cruise ship terminals into the old town and city center. It’s a pleasant walk along the glamorous waterfront, giving visitors the chance to see a bit more of the city, including the old seaside windmills that stand on the hillside by the shore. You’ll see palm trees along the way, but these offer limited shade and, on very hot days, it can be sweaty going. Make sure to wear a hat and plenty of sunscreen. Once in town, there’s plenty to see on foot. It’s by far the best way to get around.
By Bus: Buses operate all around Palma, and visitors can get around the city, as well as to nearby places inland or along the coast, relatively quickly and cheaply. A bus is the most sensible way of getting into town, and many cruise operators offer free shuttle services.
By Taxi: Taxis run regularly all over Palma and can be a good way of getting to and from the port. They can be an expensive option, but if a group is using the vehicle, it can be cost effective. Taxis can be quicker than catching the bus, which can certainly help take the stress off when on a tight schedule.
The official currency is the euro. Money can be withdrawn or converted at any of several major banks in the city center.
The official languages of Palma are Spanish and Catalan. Though a lot of places cater to English-speaking visitors.
A lot of small antiques boutiques are located in the old town, where visitors can pick up interesting artifacts and bargain items. Mallorcan pearls have been prized by the rich and powerful for centuries, and many shops sell these valuable items. There’s also a strong tradition of Spanish art in the city.
Avinguda D’Antoni Maura is lined with sidewalk cafes and snack shops, and the adjacent Passeig des Born offers great shopping. In fact, most of the main streets have a variety of shops selling gifts such as glassware, embroidery and carved olive wood. Placa Major, an unusual underground shopping mall, is a short walk from the center of town.
There are countless beaches to choose from on the island.
Palma offers dozens of seafront bars and city center restaurants. The best restaurants are located along the Passeig des Born and the picturesque La Rambla. Paella, while not a traditional Mallorcan dish, can be found, complete with fresh seafood, almost anywhere. Look for local dishes like sopas mallorquinas, a bread-and-vegetable-based soup, and pa amb oli, hearty bread spread with Spanish olive oil. Local dishes also include ‘huevos a la sollerica’ (fried eggs, sobrassada sausage and pea sauce), ‘tumbet’ (traditional vegetarian side dish) and ‘ensaimada’ (sweet pastry).
Points of Interest
- La Seu Cathedral (Mallorca Cathedral) – Spain’s second largest Gothic cathedral dominates Palma’s waterfront. The interior of the 13th- century church boasts several features designed by Catalonia’s great modernist architect, Antonio Gaudi. The Disabled Cruiser can enter the cathedral with a wheelchair through the normal entrance were there is one large step or you can enter through the exit of the gift shop. There are discounted tickets for students and the disabled. The floor of the cathedral is very smooth and there are ramps and a hydraulic lift that get you around the cathedral interior.
- Bellver Castle – The unusual round castle dominates Palma and its harbor. The ramparts, offer sweeping views of Palma. For the Disabled Cruiser, Bellver Castle has some degree of disabled access which includes a lift to the 1st floor, but not all areas are accessible. You can get a wheelchair into the main atrium in the center of the castle, but not up to the higher levels. There are ramps into the museum rooms and stair lifts for wheelchairs.
- Spanish Village – This village consists of small-scale architectural reproductions of both typical houses and famous buildings from the various regions of Spain.
- Valldemossa Carthusian Monastery – The cells where Chopin and George Sand wintered in 1842 have been converted into a small museum. The Neoclassical church boasts frescoes painted by Goya’s brother-in-law.
- Son Marroig – This typical 16th-century Mallorcan mansion once belonged to the Archduke of Austria, Luis Salvador of Hapsburg, during the late 1800’s.
- Puerto Andratix – This village was the site of the original fishing harbor, and it is here that most of the tourist development has taken place over the last few years, however the town has retained an authentic Majorcan feel. The Disabled Cruiser visiting will discover that the streets are very flat. The pavements are wide and there are dropped curbs everywhere. The area around the church is pedestrian only and fairly easy to navigate in a wheelchair.
Palma Accessible Excursions
The beautiful city of Palma de Mallorca is one of Spain’s best kept secrets. There’s great medieval architecture, an accessible beach, and excellent shopping in this coastal city.
City of Palma Accessible Guided Tour
On your 4 hour City of Palma Accessible Guided Tour you will see the second largest church in Spain, medieval architecture, outdoor markets, and more as your expert guide will take you through one of Spain’s oldest cities (established in 123 BC by the Romans) as you discover the history and culture of this beautiful Mediterranean city.
You will visit the Palma Cathedral, a stunning example of Gothic architecture, and the second largest church in Spain. You will also walk through the old town, the location of the original Roman settlement, which still exists buried beneath the ground today.
Your accessible Palma guided tour also includes a walk through the outdoor markets where you will see, hear, and smell all of the local fruits, meats, spices, produce and handmade goods being displayed and sold.
As you make your way down the winding, medieval streets, you will come across a beautiful 800-year-old olive tree! Stop to take some photos of this amazing tree that has been alive for centuries.
Your accessible guided tour of Palma finishes in Upper Town, where you will have the option to do some accessible shopping.
The City of Palma Accessible Guided Tour follows a step-free route and the guide is able to push a wheelchair if necessary. You may encounter some minor cobblestones along the way.
Palma de Mallorca Accessible Cruise Excursion
Your 6 hour Palma de Mallorca Accessible Cruise Excursion will begin when your guide and driver pick you up from the cruise terminal in a wheelchair accessible van. From there, you will go into the city to visits all of the highlights of the city and gives you the opportunity to spend some free time in the city to shop or lounge on the beach before returning to your cruise ship.
During your optional free time, you can visit the wheelchair accessible beach in Palma de Mallorca. Enjoy beachside restaurants and walking/rolling along the accessible beachside boardwalk.
At the end of your accessible Palma de Mallorca cruise excursion, your driver will return you to the cruise terminal before your ship departs.
The Palma de Mallorca Accessible Cruise Excursion follows a step-free route, uses a wheelchair accessible van, and the guide is able to push a wheelchair if needed. You may encounter along the tour route in the city smooth cobblestones. Other places have rougher cobblestones and will be avoided as much as possible.