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A very popular attraction to those with young children is the Marineland located in the nesrby resort of Portal Nous. The park is situated on the Costa d'en Blanes beach and is a fine example of marine zoology presented in a stimulating and fascinating manor. Focusing upon Mallorca’s rich natural heritage, a wide variety of shows are available to the visitor, which includes performing sea lions, parrots and dolphins. Indeed, the later is internationally acclaimed and ranks as the parks top attraction.
Although young children may be disappointed to hear that swimming with dolphins is not allowed, they may find consolation
in the underwater tunnel that the park has. This feature allows the visitor to get closer with the dolphins as they swim in their
own environment. Owing to this "close up and natural" interaction with wildlife, the Marineland is a favourite amongst children
and it is for this reason that the park gets very busy during peak times. For more information and opening times, their contact
Costa d'en Blanes, Ctra. Palma-Andratx km 10
Telephone: +34 971 675 125
Fax: +34 971 675 554
Web site: www.marineland.es
Although the city of Palma is the commercial and cultural centre of Majorca, the depth of history, culture and nightlife there often takes visitors by surprise. The easiest way to "see Palma in a day" is by the Number 50 sightseeing bus, which runs on average every 20 minutes throughout the day, and takes in all the major sights of the city. In common with most City Tour buses around Europe, you can hop on and off the bus at any point, and tickets are valid for a 24 hour period. The total journey time for the round trip is 1 hour 20 minutes.
The Almudaina Palace
The Almudaina Palace was originally built as an Arab fortress, however, following the conquest of the island in the 14th Century by King James, it became the official Majorcan residence of the Spanish Royal Family. The work was undertaken on behalf of the King, by Pere Salvà who was also responsible for building the Bellver Castle.
The Palace stands opposite the Cathedral, overlooking the harbour, and although most visitors are impressed with the
S'Hort des Rei Gardens that surround the Palace, many are then unfortunately disappointed to find that once inside most
of the rooms and corridors actually empty. Opening hours are:
Monday to Friday 10:00 to 18:30
Saturdays: 10:00 to 14:00
Monday to Friday 10:00 to 14:00 and 16:00 to 18:00
Closed Saturday and Sunday
The Cathedral of Mallorca
The Cathedral of Palma, which is also known locally as La Seu, is an impressive Gothic style building that was built over a 300 hundred year period during the 14th to 17th Century. Although it has to be said that much of the facade was actually rebuilt during the 19th Century after an earthquake destroyed part of its western front.
La Seu is a landmark of the city, and as we said on our opening page it will undoubtedly be the first recognisable landmark that you see on the final approach before landing at the nearby Son Sant Joan International airport, and the sight of it from the air never ceases to take your breath away.
Tradition has it that as King and his army were sailing towards Majorca a great storm arose that threatened to sink the fleet. James is said to have prayed for the storm to pass, and vowed that if he landed safely, he would build a great Cathedral in honour of the Virgin Mary. Symbolically on New Year's Day 1230, a day after the fall of Palma, the foundation stone of the Cathedral was laid on the site of what was the city's main mosque.
The Cathedral is actually dedicated to San Sebastian, the patron saint of Palma, and contains relics and pieces of the True Cross in its treasury, also inside the Royal Chapel are the tombs of Kings James II and James III of Mallorca.
Visitors to the Cathedral enter through a small side door which, after passing through a small museum, leads to the nave looking towards what is still one of the world's largest stain glass windows containing 1,236 pieces of glass, and measuring almost 12m across.
The Cathedral is open to the public:
Weekdays 10:00 to 18:00
Saturdays 10:00 to 14:00
Contact details for more information is:
The Cathedral of Palma
Plaça Almoïna, s/n
Palma de Mallorca
Telephone: +34 971 723 130
The Arab Baths
The 10th Century Arab Baths are virtually all that now remain of the Arab city of Medina Mayurqa. Historians believe that they were probably once part of a nobleman's house as they are similar to those found in other Islamic cities of the time. Contact details for more information is:
The Arab Baths
Carrer Can Serra 7
Palma de Mallorca
Telephone: +34 971 721 549
Construction of the castle began in 1309 by order of King James II, and during the last 700 years has been at times summer palace for the island's monarchy and also an impenetrable prison. The Castle remained in State ownership until 1931, when it, and the surrounding woodland, were transferred into the care of the Palma City Council. Today it exhibits are spread over two floors, with the ground floor containing the Armoury Courtyard and Museum of the City’s History. The second and main floor, then contains the San Marcos Chapel, Sala de Jovellanos, Throne Room, kitchen and the Despuig Collection of Classical Sculpture. If all this culture is becoming too much for you, the terrace does also offer visitors an unrivalled panoramic view over the city and Palma bay.
Although at some 3km from the city centre, and over 112m above sea level, for most people the very thought of walking to the castle is, to say the least, a little daunting. However, we are pleased to say that access by public transport has been made quite easy with the 3, 4, 20, 21 and 22 buses all taking visitors within a few hundred metres of the entrance. Admission into the castle is also very reasonable at 1.73€ per person, which works out at around £1.20.
The Bellver Castle is open during the summer months;
Weekdays 8:00 to 21:00
Sundays and Public Holidays in April, May, June and September: 10:00 to 19:00
Sundays and Public Holidays in July and August: 10:00 to 14:00 and 16:00 to 20:00
and during the winter:
Weekdays 8:00 to 20:
Sundays and Public Holidays October to March:: 10:00 to 17:00
Contact details for further information:
Bosc de Bellver s/n
Palma de Mallorca
Telephone: +34 971 730 657
Fax: +34 971 454 373
If all of this culture is becoming to much, for those in need of retail therapy as well as fans of the big screen, the massive shopping centre Porto Pi, five minutes by road, east of Cala Mayor, offers a multi screen cinema showing English language films, and also a bowling alley.
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