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Postcard from Palma

Palma moves at different paces. From the holidaymakers that visit Mallorca’s shores to the local designers and craftspeople that have carved out the city’s reputation as a buzzy creative hub, there are varying speeds at which to experience life here. For cyclists, who flock to Mallorca en masse for its warm weather, quiet roads and lush rolling scenery, this is especially true. On two wheels, you can make your way around the island with ease and design a day that takes in all the best bits. Whether you zip or amble is your choice.
Pas Normal Studios x Monocle

Begin in Palma at (1) Pas Normal Studios where you can secure your caffeine fix with an excellent flat white. Close to the store is the (2) Mercat De Santa Catalina, a market full of delicious local food that’s always a good bet for breakfast – grab a pastry, load up on fruit and you’re on your way. Cycle for five minutes into town and you can find yourself at (3) La Pecera. Marlene Albaladejo opened her furniture shop in 2006, which makes her something of a newcomer when compared to (4) Gordiola. The shop is owned by the Gordiola Glass Company, which opened in 1719. You can find a selection of artisanal glassware here, created using techniques perfected over three centuries.

Spend a bit of time in both spaces and you’ll have worked up an appetite. Luckily, in Palma there is no shortage of bakeries, cafés and restaurants to choose from. Take a detour through the urban green space that is the Parc de Sa Feixina and grab a table at (5) El Perrito. This charming neighbourhood food and coffee spot is pet and (crucially) cyclist friendly. The menu is simple but effective with plenty of choice for those with dietary requirements. With outdoor tables and friendly staff, you can happily spend a couple of hours here.

Gallery

What happens next depends on how you want to cycle. If you wish to remain in Palma, there are numerous shops and stalls that you can dedicate the day to exploring. (6) Mimbrería Vidal, for instance, is a family-run basketery stocking a plethora of woven goods. It’s places such as these that embody Palma’s creative spirit: contemporary products that draw on the traditional techniques of local artisans. However, if you prefer to stretch your legs on Mallorca’s winding mountain roads, there are a number of longer distance cycle routes. Why not drop in at Pas Normal once more and ask their advice?

Either way, be sure to make your way to the rooftop bar of (7) Hotel Hostel Cuba by sunset. With gorgeous views of Palma, it’s a perfect spot to relax with a well-earned drink.

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The return journey into the city is fairly easy if you choose to ride along the placid waters of the lake. A stop-off at secluded sauna (6) Stadtoase to soothe your aching muscles will probably make you thirsty for something chilled; thankfully, our itinerary leads you straight to the peerless (7) Gamper Bar, where you can toast your achievements with a well-mixed negroni in the same neighbourhood where you started the day.

Palma de Mallorca itinerary

1. Pas Normal Studios

This Palma space serves as a meeting point for local cyclists and those visiting from further afield. Drop in here for a coffee and browse items from the brand’s new collection while you’re there. Group rides, organised by Pas Normal, leave from here weekly, making it a key cycling community hub.

2. Mercat De Santa Catalina

This fresh-food market gives a great flavour of Palma’s culinary offering. While it’s a handy spot for breakfast, you can visit at any time of day and find something suitable to eat. Bar La Tapita, for instance, is always good for a few plates of tapas – and a couple of cervezas, if the mood takes you.

3. La Pecera

La Pecera – or “the fishbowl” – uses smart, contemporary pieces to champion the traditional methods of local craftspeople. Owner Marlene Albaladejo sells a range of chairs, lamps and tables, all of which are produced in Mallorca. It’s a shining advert for the island’s rich creative spirit.

4. Gordiola

Mallorca is home to a few traditional glass-blowing factories but, at more than 300 years old, Gordiola is the longest running. Its Palma shop has an array of beautiful items on display and according to the staff, no one piece is the same. If you’re looking to pick up a gift for someone that feels considered and special, there is plenty to choose from here.

5. El Perrito

A regular haunt for Mallorca’s cycling community, perhaps in part due to its proximity to Pas Normal. Whether you’re a seasoned rider, a fairweather enthusiast or simply arriving on foot, this is a charming, easy lunch spot to frequent.

6. Mimbrería Vidal

For another great example of Mallorca’s artisanal character, Mimbrería Vidal is well worth a visit. A family business for decades, it’s one of the island’s last traditional wickerwork shops and home to a variety of bags, baskets, hats and more.

7. Hotel Hostal Cuba

A good rooftop bar should have three things: cold drinks, fun people and a gorgeous view. Luckily, the roof space at Hotel Hostal Cuba ticks all these boxes. Toast your day exploring the streets of Palma and beyond by grabbing a table here with friends.