Palma de Mallorca is known as “the foodie epicenter of the Balaeric Islands,” and Mallorquin food is just what you’d expect from an island surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea: fresh and delicious. Ensaimada is exactly that – but doesn’t come from the sea - it comes from a warm oven. This spiral-shaped sweet bread is made from a yeast dough made with lard, coiled in a circle, and sprinkled with a generous dose of powdered sugar. Light, airy, sweet, and delicious ensaimadas are as much a breakfast food as they are a late afternoon snack and popular dessert.
‘Twas a brave man that ate the first oyster – so the saying goes. Equally brave were those that first ate the bark of the chinchona plant. Bitter and astringent but filled with important antipyretic and malaria fighting properties, choking it down turned out to be lifesaving for the people of Palma. Enter “Palo de Mallorca” – which literally translates as “stick of Mallorca.” Over the years the chinchona bark was distilled down and sweetened with dried figs and carob beans that successfully drowned out the bitter flavor of the bark. Today this thick black beverage is produced exclusively on Palma de Mallorca and served as an after-dinner digestive.
One of the few circular castles in Europe sits on a hill on the isle of Palma giving those intrepid enough to climb, a spectacular view of the city and surrounding Mediterranean. Built in the 14th century, Bellver Castle has been home to royalty and prisoners alike over the years. Its 700-year-old walls and turrets remain beautifully intact, offering a life-like look at medieval life. Today the castle houses a museum filled with ancient artifacts and serves as a venue for concerts and events. For the best views, walk around the moat and then climb onto the roof overlooking the courtyard. “Bellver” means “lovely view” in Catalan and is just what you’re in for.