The Christmas season in Mallorca combines magic and tradition. Visiting the island this Holidays can be quite an experience. But there are many activities you can choose from. For this reason, we have summarized the best things to do in Mallorca at Christmas so that you can organize your wonderful trip in this memorable time:
- Stroll around streets full of lights and garlands.
- Choose gifts at the Christmas markets.
- Visit the most emblematic Nativity scenes.
- Try ice skating.
- Look at the stars at Costitx.
- Admire the rose window of Palma’s Cathedral.
- Enjoy Mallorcan gastronomy.
- Listen to the Song of La Sibil·la.
- Attend the New Year’s Concert.
- Go to the Three Kings parade.
1. Stroll around streets full of lights and garlands.
One of the most remarkable and magical events for many of the residents is the lighting of Christmas lights in streets and buildings, which in recent years has taken place days before Black Friday.
There is something magical in Christmas lighting that dyes the streets and towns with glimmer and colour and awakens the Christmas spirit of people. Mallorca’s villages, which already are fascinating, are filled with even more charm with these lights. And Palma, the capital, takes the opportunity to expose its best winter garments.
If you have the opportunity, take a walk before twilight around Parc de la Mar, there you will not only be able to see a formidable sunset, but also how the spectacular Christmas tree is illuminated near the Cathedral of Palma. After sunset you can guide your steps towards, for example, Paseo del Borne or Las Ramblas with their wonderful illuminated trees offering us a beautiful image every year, since these long streets look like magical forests.
If you have time to stroll around more streets of Palma, you can discover for yourself how the most commercial areas, such as Avenidas or Jaime III, have facades full of stars, balls and garlands in their most important shops. On the other hand, in Plaza Cort, passers-by will be able to see a light show, the Cortlight, inspired by Dadaism, where the façade of the Town Hall will be filled with lights and colours. An exhibition of a few minutes that will be repeated throughout the night.
2. Choose gifts at the Christmas markets.
Besides the street lights, another of the great attractions are the Christmas markets in the capital and the different villages of Mallorca. In them you can find all kinds of gifts, try the most typical gastronomic preparations of the time and enjoy both the atmosphere and the music.
Plaza Mayor, La Rambla, Vía Roma, Plaza de España, Plaza de la Porta Pintada or Plaza del Mercado are some of the locations in the centre of Palma where you can find these interesting markets, with stalls ranging from handmade Christmas figurines to clothing, gifts or gourmet products.
There are some other well-known markets in the outskirts of Palma such as the Swedish Church Christmas Bazaar or the Rata Market. And if the dates of your trip do not coincide with these markets, you should know that the one located in Pueblo Español remains open practically the entire month of December, giving the opportunity to those who visit us only during holidays to enjoy this activity as well.
On the other hand, villages such as Esporles, Valldemossa, Costitx, Porreres, Petra or Manacor among others, also offers a large selection of products and items the days before Christmas in their markets, to buy the best souvenirs and make unique gifts to your loved ones.
3. Visit the most emblematic Nativity scenes.
Another traditional plan where they exist is the Christmas Nativity Scene route. If you are not familiar with them, the Nativity scenes are representations of the holy family in a manger or stable, by means of figures that are usually accompanied by a whole series of recreations of trades, customs and traditions of the island with miniatures of peasants in their traditional clothes.
Among the Nativity scenes on display, which are exceeded every year, we highlight in Palma the Bethlehem of Cort, the Cultural Centre of Mercy, the Santa Catalina Market or the one located in El Corte Inglés shopping centre. These Nativity scenes are usually on display until after the Three Wise Men Day, January 6th.
4. Try ice skating.
Although we don’t have winter temperatures as cold as in other northern European cities, on the island we can also enjoy this attraction on synthetic rinks. This activity is a great family option and allows you to exercise, necessary before the imminent Christmas meals, while enjoying laughter and, perhaps, the occasional fall.
You will find the ice skating rinks in Ses Estacions Park in Palma, a good idea to end a day of shopping or a walk through the capital, or in the Christmas Park in Port Adriano, where you can take advantage of your visit to discover this seaport full of shops, bars and restaurants.
5. Look at the stars at Costitx.
If you like the outdoors and nature in its purest form, there cannot be a better plan than visiting the Planetarium and Astronomical Observatory of Mallorca. One more way to admire the lights, this time, authentic ones that unfold in the night sky of the island. Of course, remember to wrap yourself well, it’s winter after all.
This observatory is one of the pioneers in Spain in the use of robotic telescopes with the aim of discovering and tracking asteroids. If you love the stars, you can request a guided observation session, in which you will be able to use the equipment for the island’s Astronomical Observatory. The supervisor will be in charge of showing you the different visible objects at this time of year.
6. Admire the rose window of Palma’s Cathedral.
If, on the other hand, you have been fascinated by the island’s architecture and, more specifically, have discovered the wonderful Palma Cathedral, you should know that you can enjoy an authentic light show at 8:15 on December 23rd, the day of the winter solstice.
This day in La Seu, as islanders know it, you can see a curious effect of coloured lights during sunrise, thanks to one of the main protagonists of this construction: its spectacular rose window. The best place from where you can see it is Es Baluar museum. But if you are not on this date, do not worry, the majesty of the Cathedral will continue to surprise you on any date.
7. Enjoy Mallorcan gastronomy.
This season is as good as any other to enjoy gastronomy. In addition to traditional Mallorcan dishes, at this time, many restaurants expand their menu with typical Christmas preparations such as galets, a pasta soup filled with minced meat, or porcella (suckling pig) as well as turkey scallops.
Follow the tradition of many people from Palma of going to Can Joan de s’Aigo to try hot chocolate with an ensaimada on December 24th, or another day on which you are sure to avoid long lines. Try the spectacular neula nougat. And why not, go on a gastronomic tour, like the Treurer oleotour.
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8. Listen to the Song of La Sibil·la.
Undoubtedly, one of the essential events for lovers of the Christmas season as well as history and art in all its facets is Canto de la Sibil·la, a liturgical drama with a Gregorian melody that is traditionally interpreted in the Palma Cathedral or Lluc Monastery on December 24th.
This song, declared Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, was popular in the Middle Ages and is today one of the most relevant vestiges of medieval folklore on the island of Mallorca. For this reason, regardless of how religious one is, it is really interesting to take the opportunity to admire this piece, inherited from the Christian tradition.
9. Attend the New Year’s Concert.
Music lovers are also in luck, and in addition to the Canto de la Sibil·la, in Mallorca you can enjoy an interpretation of the traditional New Year’s Concert by Johan Strauss. This year, the island’s version of the concert will be performed at the Palacio de Congresos de Palma by the Symphony Orchestra of the Balearic Islands. A unique evening in which you can enjoy a selection of fascinating musical pieces.
10. Go to the Three Wise Men parade.
Last but not least, the Three Wise Men parade on January 5th, a deeply rooted tradition in every corner of Spain, also has its version in the streets of Palma. While it can be considered a great family experience, this show entertains both adults and children. Starting in Moll Vell, where their Majesties arrive, and continuing through central streets until reaching Plaza del Rey Juan Carlos I. This is a great opportunity to live the Christmas experience in Spain but don’t the streets will be closed to traffic this day.