I huffed… and I puffed my way through the streets of Palma de Mallorca on a bike.
With a short day in Palma de Mallorca and I had a fantastic idea of taking a bike tour that I booked in advance. When I told the hubby about said bike tour his response was, “You are riding a bike?” I then thanked him for the vote of confidence. However, he wasn’t wrong.
It quickly turned into a thing though. Anytime I told anyone we were taking a bike tour at this cruise stop, they’d give me an incredulous look and question me. Really?!
For those that don’t know me, let me introduce myself… My name is Kathy and I don’t work out. My idea of working out is walking the dogs to the nearby coffee shop for my next latte and a chocolate croissant. Eat, sip and then walk back home a quarter of a mile to burn off the calories.
I know, it’s so bad! The truth is I haven’t found anything I really enjoy doing. And, biking is definitely not one of them. Before Palma de Mallorca, I hadn’t been on a bike for over 20 years! My husband has tried to get me to bike ride with him. Bless his heart. I just have no interest.
I should have at least trained. But when the guide explained to me that it’s an easy ride and anyone can do it, even kids, I believed I could do it too. Well, that was a lie I told myself because once I was there, I seriously thought I was going to die pedaling or die running into someone.
Thankfully, neither happened and I’m here to tell you all about our adventure bicycling through the streets of Palma de Mallorca.
Why Take a Bike Tour in Palma de Mallorca?
You’re probably wondering why I’m about to tell you why it’s a great option when I almost died. No, not really, that’s just me being dramatic.
Arriving on the Norwegian Epic, our day in Palma de Mallorca was a short one from 1 PM to 8 PM. That’s really not enough time to do much. I didn’t feel like being in a jam-packed car with other passengers, trying to see the city in traffic. I could have walked from the cruise terminal and into town, enjoyed it for what it was but I would have left with regrets. When I am in a new place that I’ve never been to before, I like to learn about the local history and try to take in as much as the culture as possible.
Bicycling is a great way to get around town, slip past traffic and pedestrians, and see as much as possible while making stops along the way. It made for smooth transportation on the day as we were able to dodge the traffic made by a cycling competition taking place in the city.
What to See in Palma de Mallorca on a Bike
If you’re arriving by cruise ship and planning to rent a bike nearby or you have your tour booked, you will most likely ride through the marina. The walk or ride from the marina into town is tranquil as you’ll have the sea breeze kissing your face and the sight of sailboats always makes me smile.
At this point, I was biking on flat ground and chanting, “I can do this… I can do this.”
I’m not going to highlight everything we did because we rode through so many streets, stopped at many hidden corners and buildings all while being introduced to the history of Old Town Palma. The legends the guide shared with us were entertaining and I could never replicate with his enthusiasm. I will share the highlights and the most memorable.
One of our first stops was across the fountain the Cathedral of Palma also known as La Seu. This is a great spot to take it in for its massive glory and for those cool family shots.
If you thought La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona was taking forever to finish, then you haven’t heard of the history of this Mallorca cathedral. In 1229 this cathedral was begun by King James I in 1229 but only finished in 1601. That’s almost 400 years! In the 180o’s, the cathedral had to be restored after a bad earthquake and in 1901, Gaudi took over the restoration. Another cool fact: the church sits on top of a mosque.
Even though I had issues bicycling, I did take notice and loved that Palma de Mallorca is a bike-friendly city. Once you are pasts the crowds, you are able to enjoy what I would say is the backend of Palma de Mallorca.
For those wondering, we booked our tour with Call & Ride. The guide did a fantastic job not only introducing us to his city but also motivating me to keep peddling. I give him an extra star for his patience.
What kept me pedaling? The tasty treats the guide introduced us to. At the mention of cookies, you bet I moved my ass as if I was in an imaginary soul cycle class I’d never attended.
Back to the tasty treats…
Cookies Baked by Nuns at Convento de Santa Clara
Baking cookies at this convent is a centuries-old tradition. You should visit the convent and see the baked goods they have for sale. For fun ring the bell and order through the turnstile table they have at a window. You will never see a nun as they do not have contact with the outside world.
One of the legends and traditions is that when someone is going to get married in the city, they are supposed to donate eggs to the nuns in order for them to pray for no rain on their wedding day. If you do not donate eggs, the chances of rain will be higher. So if you plan to wed in Palma, don’t forget to donate eggs weeks in advance!
The cookies were delicious. We got two boxes to share with the group and we had leftovers, so we had to sneak them onto the cruise ship. It was a good thing because we ate cookies during our road trip to Girona, Spain the day of embarkation.
Can Joan de s’Aigo
We were a small group, and while I wasn’t familiar with anyone in the group besides my husband, we quickly learned we had one thing in common: we loved to eat. So when our 30 min break came up, we were all asking the guide where to find something good to eat. The guide asked us if we’d like to go somewhere special. There were no objections. We all got back on the bike and followed him to this local cafe to try the best ensaïmada in the city of Palma de Mallorca.
Can Joan de s’Aigo is the oldest cafe in Palma de Mallorca. Not only can you find the Majorcan sweet bread called ensaïmada, but they are also known for their Spanish Style hot chocolate.
When we ordered there were only two types of ensaïmada’s available: plain or pumpkin. Naturally, we got one of each with cafe con leches. That’s right, I, unfortunately, skipped the hot chocolate. I knew I wasn’t going to finish it in time to resume the rest of our ride. A real caffeine kick was in order.
I loved the plain ensaïmada and could easily eat a whole one on my own with my cafe con leche. Who doesn’t like a soft sweet bread dusted with powdered sugar? As far as the pumpkin stuffing, it was good but overly sweet. I wish they had a custard-filled one the day we were there. Next time.
Oh, the cafe con leche, was excellent. I’d have one right now.
End of Bike Ride
I survived! I never gave up! Don’t give up!
We ended our bike tour back at the meeting point with a couple of hours to spare. I’m not going to lie, I was dead tired. Hubby had to convince me to return to the city center. I’m so glad he did because we were able to check out some of the shops and sit down for a nice glass of wine.
The next time I return to Palma de Mallorca, it won’t be on a bike. This city needs more than a few hours allowed when visiting with a cruise ship. However, Palma de Mallorca on a bike is definitely a great introduction to this resort city and a great adventure too.
Have you been to Palma de Mallorca? Would you consider a bike ride?
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