This post is in collaboration with Passion For Palma, following a press trip to Mallorca.
Although I have visited Mallorca a couple of times before, I have never actually had the time to venture into its capital city for - Palma de Mallorca - for more than a few hours. Located in the south of Mallorca, Palma is a popular tourist destination for British holidaymakers.
Having passed through the city to visit the Embassy, visiting for a city break soon rose to the top of my bucket list. From characteristic streets to stunning harbours, it seemed like the city had everything.
Luckily, not long after my passing visit, I was invited on a press trip with Passion for Palma, the tourism board for the city. Under their new initiative to showcase the cities emblematic shops, me and three other bloggers were invited to see the authentic side of the city.
What Are Emblematic Shops?
In order for a store in Palma to be considered emblematic, they must comply with at least one of the three following statements:
- The shops must have opened before 1943, or be more than 75 years old
- Shops must showcase traditional trades of the Balearic Islands
- The shops must be housed in a heritage building
With well over 70 stores meeting this criterion, it’s easy to see how Palma is a city that is staying true to its heritage.
Emblematic Shoe Shops
To help showcase how Palma is a year-round destination, we were given an incredible tour of some of the cities most popular emblematic stores by Luisa, our amazing guide for the morning.
Whilst we weren’t able to see any of the places where they make the shoes in the store, we were able to take a look at some of the stunning handmade shoes in a store nearby to our hotel. The Carminia Shoe Store was established in 1866 and sells both traditional handmade Mallorcan shoes as well the classic styles we know and love - including loafers, boots and wedges.
Opposite the shoe store was Forn Fondo, a gorgeous bakery that has been selling traditional Mallorcan pastries for just over 100 years. Established in 1911, Forn Fondo is a much-loved bakery that is famous for it’s Mallorcan Ensaimadas.
For those that haven’t heard of an Ensaimada, they are MUST when visiting the island. Made with predominately lard, this pastry is both light and fluffy. You can either have them plain or opt for one of the 20 different fillings including cream, apricots, or chocolate - but honestly, the plain ones are the most authentic in my opinion.
As well as selling delicious Ensaimadas, the bakery also sells a range of pastries, empanadas, cocas and delicious confectionery. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the city.
After we had visited Forn Fondo, we took a short walk to a nearby bakery - Forn Des Teatre.
As soon as I saw the outside of the 19th-century building I knew that the inside was going to be pretty spectacular. From the stunning rustic wooden frames to the gorgeous flooring, it’s safe to say I was a little head over heels for this little bakery.
We were lucky enough to be given a tour around the bakery by the owner, seeing both the ensaimada making process and the giant oven they used to be baked in all those years ago. It was fascinating watching the bakers put so much care and attention into each and every product. Afterwards, we were given a little sample of their famous empanadas and oh my gosh, if I could have bought home a 100 of them, I would have!
Emblematic Ceramics Stores
Although the ceramic store wasn’t open when we passed by, we were able to have a sneak peek inside. There were lots of stunning Mallorcan ceramics lining the walls, showcasing their signature bright colours.
Emblematic Glass Stores
Once we had passed by the ceramics store, we started the short walk to one of Palma’s emblematic glass stores - Gordiola Glass, who are celebrating their 300th year of glass making this year.
Before coming to Palma I had no idea that you could buy glassware that was native to Mallorcan, but after stepping inside this magical store I could see why it was so popular with the locals and tourists. Each piece of glassware was unique and individual in its own way as they were personally hand-blown in Gordiola’s factory just 20 minutes out of the city.
In the middle of the store, there was a traditional Mallorcan home set up, showcasing how people may have styled the glass in their own home all those years ago. Of course, I had to see what it felt like for myself.
Emblematic Wicker Stores
One of my favourite stores we visited during our tour was actually the last stop we made - Mimbreia Vidal.
Walking around the wicker store looking at all of the handmade bags and baskets took me right back to being in the markets and shops in Bali. Everything from the smell of the wicker to the gorgeous designs lining the walls made me remember how much I love shopping for traditional products wherever I travel. Whilst these bags reminded me of Bali, they were all completely handmade in this store in Mallorca.
Emblematic Toy Stores
Although our tour with Luisa had ended with the Wicker store, the next day we had the opportunity to visit La Industrial, a traditional Mallorcan toy store established in 1989. Although we didn’t spend long here, we had the opportunity to speak to the current owner who shared all of her stories and memories of growing up in the store.
She showed us photographs of the store when it first opened, giving us a chance to see how they have stayed true to its roots 100s of years later.
I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Palma and loved hearing about the history of some of the cities oldest stores. It was great to be able to meet the owners and hear how they had been passed down through generations of people in their family. It made me realise how wholesome and pure the city actually is. Palma, I’ll be back.
For more information about Palma as a tourism destination, please visit www.visitpalma.com or follow the tourist board on social media at @passionforpalma.