Palma, nestled at the head of the deep bay of Palma, is a mecca for superyachts, flotillas and bareboat boat charter bases alike. Palma offers a myriad of mooring options and a wide range of services associated with the yachting industry but it does pay to shop around to get the best deals as prices skyrocket during July and August.
As the capital city of Mallorca, Palma is a very pleasant place to visit. Well thought out shady placas (squares) allow time to contemplate the often grandiose architecture, while the waterfront sports many upmarket bars in a sophisticated atmosphere. Further from the waters edge there is no shortage of fabulous restaurants, more bars and a plethora of nightlife choices. Indeed it doesn’t take long to work out that the Spanish are the real night owls of Europe and fairly rowdy with it, so don’t forget to pack your dancing shoes and be prepared to party hard all night long.
Provisioning is easy in Palma. Several outlying industrial/commercial areas have everything you might want that can’t be found elsewhere in town.
When entering Puerto de Palma (the main port) it can be a bit confusing as to where each marina starts and stops and who is who. Therefore, if you have a chance, try and book your spot before you arrive and get precise directions. Some marinas offer good mid-week deals when they are less busy. Real Club Nautico is one that commonly has special offers and is well positioned for visiting the main tourist centre of town. All the marinas have lazy lines, power, water, offer Wi-Fi (of varying standards!) and the usual toilet and shower facilities. Expect to pay between 60€ and 90€ for a 12m yacht per night (2014) with power and water often attracting a hefty extra charge; 20€ for both per night is not uncommon (2014).
Palma plays host to several large sailing regattas and boat shows throughout the main summer season and at these times berths are scarce and premiums even higher so if you want to save on hassle and money avoid these times. That being said these events are a spectacle in their own right and it can be immense fun to join the throng and ogle “the haves” and “the have yachts”.
From Palma you have access to various day trips all over the island but one of the best is the Palma to Soller train. This is a lovely journey of about 1 hour through picturesque countryside connecting Palma with the more dramatic west coast of Mallorca. There are 5 trains per day. (15€ Palma to Soller, 21€ Palma return ticket 2015) Soller is a very attractive old town in which to spend a few hours and has many walking options including access to La Ruta de Pedra en Sec; a 170km long walking track that follows old stone walled donkey tracks through the Tramuntana mountain range of the west coast. The scenery from the ridges here is stunningly dramatic and worth every drop of sweat. From Soller you can take a vintage electric tram to the Port of Soller (5€ 2015) some 5 km away. This is a lovely harbour side village with a laidback shabby chic vibe.