36 Hours in Mallorca
Zoe, Fall 2023, Barcelona
October 9, 2023

As beautiful, diverse, and endlessly entertaining as the city of Barcelona is, my roommates and I were itching to make our first overnight trip out of town after our first couple of weeks here. After some fairly last-minute research and planning, we decided to go for a quick two-day adventure to the island of Mallorca. Only about a 45-minute flight from Barcelona, Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands, an archipelago off the eastern coast of Spain. We woke up nice and early on Friday morning to catch a flight from the BCN airport to PMI, just outside the city of Palma. We then took a bus right from the airport to Alcúdia, the oldest town on the island about an hour from the capital, Palma. Along the way, I got to admire the beautiful mountainous landscape of the island and its small towns.

Once we arrived in Alcúdia, we spent some time wandering around the old town, which is still surrounded by medieval walls built in the 14th century. As an island town with a close location to the sea, Alcúdia was very susceptible to pirates and other attackers, so Spain ordered the building of the walls upon conquest of the island. We discovered that you can easily take stairs up to the top and walk along the wall, which gave us a great view overlooking the town. After some exploration, we found a cute restaurant for drinks and tapas. Upon sitting down and receiving our very underwhelming food, we discovered it was kind of an overpriced tourist trap, but the drinks were still pretty good! We were just happy to get something in our stomachs after an early morning and a long afternoon.


    After our light lunch, we took another short bus ride down to the beach area, Playa de Alcúdia, where we were set to stay for the night. Our hotel was situated nicely next to a beautiful mountain and close to the lovely, sandy beach. We spent the rest of the day mostly napping on the beach, doing some shopping, and exploring the area’s bars and restaurants. No matter how many times I get to see the Mediterranean Sea, I don’t think I will ever fail to be amazed by its gorgeous clear, bright blue water. I’ve never seen water like it back home, and getting to see the way the sun sparkles across the sea has consistently been my favorite view in Spain so far. The water at this beach seemed much more of a cool emerald color than the deeper blue I’ve mostly been seeing.
    Saturday morning, two of my friends and I got up extra early to watch the sunrise from the pier on the beach. The sky and the water were gorgeous in every direction, and a nice German family had also come to the pier with the same idea. After that, we took a bit of a nap, checked out of the hotel, and from here our group split in two. One of my roommates and I took a bus about half an hour up the island to Puerto Pollença for an afternoon hike. During our first bus ride through the island from the airport, I noticed some of the more rural areas had goats just wandering around. After some research, I found that the Balearic Goats are found only in Mallorca, and I found a trail in Pollença that was easily accessible by public transport where we could hike alongside the goats. We followed the trail from BLAH through a valley in the Tramuntana mountain range and ultimately arrived at a small cove opening up to the sea. My favorite part, though, was definitely all the little groups of goats we came across. Back home, my friends and I have a tradition of getting Mexican food on the way home from our hiking and camping trips, and we just so happened to come across some great Tex-Mex-style nachos in the town closer to the beach, where we then took yet another beach nap.
        Finally, to round out the trip, we headed back toward Palma. We spent some time wandering through the capital city, and it felt sort of like a small Barcelona. We stumbled across a contemporary art exhibition, plenty of churches, a wedding outside of La Seu cathedral, and a couple of street markets. We watched the sunset by the port and headed back to PMI airport where we reconnected with the rest of our group to head back to Barcelona, home sweet home.
Written by: Zoe, Fall 2023 Barcelona student from University of South Carolina

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