A favorite of Spain’s royal family, Mallorca has been popular with the in-crowd since Roman times. Lemon groves and olive trees adorn the jagged cliffs of the northern coast, and lazy beaches sink into calm bays to the east. The capital of the Balearics, Palma (pop. 323,000) embraces conspicuous consumption and pleases with its well-preserved old quarter, colonial architecture, and local flavor.

The tourist office (see below) distributes a list of over 40 nearby beaches, many a mere bus ride away; one popular choice is El Arenal (Platja de Palma; bus #15), 11km southeast of town toward the airport. When the sun sets, La Bodeguita del Medio, C. Vallseca 18, keeps its crowd dancing to Cuban rhythms. (Open Su-W 8pm-lam, Th-Sa 8pm-3am.) Follow the Aussie accents down C. Apuntadores to the popular Bar Latitude 39, C. Felip Bauza 8, a self-proclaimed yachtie bar. (Open M-Sa 7pm-3am.) Palma’s clubbers start their night in the bares-musicales lining the Paseo Mari’timo strip; try salsa-happy Made in Brasil,

Po. Marltimo 27 (open daily 8pm-4am) or dance-crazy Salero, Po. Maritimo 31 (open daily 8pm-6am). The bars and clubs around El Arenal overflow with fashion-conscious German disco-fiends, but braving them is well worth the price at Riu Palace, one block from the beach. (Cover ‚15, includes unlimited free drinks. Open daily 10pm-6:30am.) When the bar scene fades at 3am, partiers migrate to Palma’s discotecas. Tito’s Palace, Po. Maritimo, is the city’s hippest disco. (Cover ‚15-18. Open daily llpm-6am.)

From the airport, take bus #1 to Plaza Espanya (15min. every 20min. ‚1.80). To reach the tourist office, C. Sant Dominic 11, from PI. Reina, take C. Conquistador to C. Sant Dominic. (971 72 40 90. Open M-F 9am-8pm, Sa 9am-l:30pm.) Branches are in PI. Reina and the PI. Espanya. Hostal Cuba , C. San Magi 1, offers spotless rooms with high ceilings and wood furniture. From PI. Joan Carles I, turn left and walk down Av. Jaume III, cross the river, and turn left on C. Argentina; the hostel is several blocks down. (971 73 81 59. Singles ‚20; doubles ‚36.) Hostal Apuntadores , C. Apuntadores 8, is in the middle of the action, less than a block from PI. Reina. (971 71 34 91. Dorms ‚14; singles ‚25; doubles ‚33.) Those on a budget tend to head to the side streets off Passeig Born, to the cheap cafes along Avenida Joan Miro, or to the carbon-copy pizzerias along Paseo Maritimo. For groceries, try Ser-vicio y Precios, on C. Felip Bauza. (Open M-F 8:30am-8:30pm, Sa 9am-2pm.)

MALLORCA Photo Gallery

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