Palma De Mallorca Spain: our first family holiday

As I write this, it has been over 18 months since our first family holiday overseas, and it all seems like a distant memory now. So much so, that I am having to flick through the pictures on my phone and google search for places that we visited.
With that in mind. This post is in no way a guide to Palma De Mallorca, but a brief synopsis of what I can remember of our time there!
It was my intention that during my year of maternity leave, to travel far and wide. Mainly mini trips to Europe. Although, a very ambitious trip to New Zealand, was once on the cards at one stage, but this was scrapped in favour of ‘testing the water’ of travelling with a baby to somewhere closer to home. So we settled on Spain.
As we all know, my year of travel during 2020 didn’t happen thanks to a global pandemic.  However, we did managed to get in one trip overseas to Palma De Mallorca before the world went crazy. I wrote about our experience of our daughters first flight here.
Our daughters first flight out of the UK – March 2020
We had a lovely time, but as always anything with a little person in tow is a little different, but not as different as it will be to travel with a very active 2 year old.
Transport 
Our arrival into the airport was smooth, and we got through passport control swiftly.
During our trip, we got a hire car, which was quite a good option as meant we could explore more and not have to worry about schedules of public transport and getting on and off with a buggy.
However, we did find that parking was limited in some areas at times, and we had to spend some evenings driving around the block near our apartment to find a space.
parking wherever we could in Palma
Accommodation
We stayed in Palma City in a little Air BnB, which was lovely. It was just a studio apartment, which was all we needed. The kitchen area was great for prepping breakfast and the microwave was a godsend for sterilising our baby bottles. The only downside was that the apartment only had a shower. So our little one got her first (and possibly only) sink bath.
 What to see and do in Palma de Mallorca (with a baby)
  • Palma city
  • Although we stayed in the city, we probably only spent a day to a day seeing the main sights, which I felt was a good amount of time. The city is full of character and architecture, and so we strolled around for some time taking photos.

  • Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca
  • The Cathedral is the main landmark of the city, and sits  on the edge of the bay of Palma, and not far from the marina. You can purchase tickets to view inside, but by the time we got to it, it was closed. So we settled for photos of the outside. It is quite a prominent feature, and visible from a view points.  

    One of the good things of travelling with a 5 month old with no set bed time or routine at that point was we could be out a lot later and enjoy sunsets and capturing the city at night (looking back on those days, I miss that flexibility so much)
    Another of the main attractions in Palma is what I liked to call the castle on the hill. Its official name is:
  • Castell de Bellver
Castell de Bellver, Palma
  • I think my name is much more apt, as it was quite the hill. We decided to take a walk up there, with our little one in our compact travel buggy, which is not an all terrain type.
  • The path to the castle is far from buggy friendly. There were several steps to climb up, or you could walk a winding path.
  • We thought the winding path would be better, but it was rough ground with loose stones
  • In hindsight, using our baby carrier would have been much more effective, or carrying the buggy up the steps in one swift move.

The views from the top were worth it though.

  • Palma City centre 
  • We also spent time wondering around Palma city centre, which was very colourful, with a gorgeous central square and lovely cafes. I was imagining it in the peak of summer as a busy but glorious place to sit and bask in the sun with a glass of wine. Little did anyone know, that within 2 weeks, it would look just as deserted as it did in the photo above.
  • Wandering the streets of Palma
    A little piece of Holland in Palma
  • Valldemossa 
  • Having a car meant we could explore. So on one of our days, we drove the 20 minutes out into the Tramuntana mountains to the hilltop town of Valldemossa. It is quite a popular town to visit, and is easy to see why. It is surrounded by a terraced terrain, and has the most idyllic streets to wander around, with sweet gift and coffee shops.

  • Alcudia
  • Port d’Alcudia beach
  • Alcudia sits due North of Palma, at the top of the Island. It is a beautiful historic town, with a port, bay and beaches. It is often a busy tourist town in the peak seasons.
  • Sóller
  • Sóller is a historic town, 30 minutes drive from Palma in the North-West of the Island. It has a pretty main square, lined with cafes, some stunning architecture and a cute little tram which runs from the town to the Port.
Port de Sóller

Just 15 minutes drive from the town of Sóller is the Port. We enjoyed spending part of an evening there, but wished we had longer. The walk along by the port was stunning. The air was warm, and people were sat outside eating and drinking. I could almost smell Summer coming.

A word about baby changing facilities
 I was surprised to see that in many places in Mallorca, baby changing areas were only located in female toilets. We did however find one accessible toilet
In a Starbucks with baby changing facilities.
It may me wonder about the culture of parenting in Spain and if it is mainly mothers who stay home and care for their children. I also wondered about same sex couples, single fathers etc. What do they do? (Total side note I know), but perhaps worth considering if you are male and travelling with a baby in Mallorca. Also things may have changed. It was 18 months ago.
To add to the changing facilities thing. At the airport, many of the change tables were in the main section of the toilet, on a wall next to the sinks, so you had no real privacy at all. This was particularly joyful after having to clean a very dirty nappy.
Repacking luggage on the floor of the airport after a poo explosion at check in

Overall, we had a lovely family trip as a first time away, but definitely think we will give Spain another go in the future. It had a great mix of history, architecture, beaches and good food and drink.

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