They call it Palma's green lung and it is, in fact, the only wooded area in the Balearic capital. Bellver Castle and its wonderful natural environment provides a unique space in the middle of the city to enjoy nature with an incomparable view of the Mediterranean Sea. To let you discover its history and its lovely nooks and crannies, Zafiro Hotels bring you a short visitors' guide to what is considered one of the most unique castles in the world.
Table of contents
- The origin of Bellver Castle
- Palma History Museum
- The best viewpoint in Palma
- Routes through the Bellver Wood
- Practical information
The Origin of Bellver Castle
Bellver Castle is one of the most famous architectural works in Palma city. It was king James II of Mallorca who ordered it to be built, in the year 1300. It is the oldest circular castle in Europe and was designed by the architect Pere Salvà as a fortress and palace: its exterior is sober and austere, located on top of a hill, while its interior was designed to be the monarch's residence.
Palma History Museum
During the course of history, however, Bellver Castle has had different and varied functions: from a refuge of monarchs and noblemen to residence of viceroys, and a prison. In recent years it has been rehabilitated and is now the main location for the City History Museum. Its beautiful parade ground is the setting for beautiful classical music concerts and cultural events of all kinds.
Room by room, Bellver Castle offers up a complete journey through the city's history, from its Talaiotic origins up until today. During your visit you can see what the original urban nucleus of the Balearic capital looked like, get acquainted with the heritage left here by the Muslims and even learn how the Palma city walls were built. You can also find an art exhibition here, part of the famous Despuig collection.
The Best Viewpoint in Palma
Located on a 113-metre-high hill, only three kilometres from the historic centre of the city, Bellver Castle is – without doubt – the best viewpoint in Palma. From its high walls it offers up an amazing view of the entire bay, with all the sailboats moored in the marina and in the background the silhouette of the city crowned by Mallorca's Cathedral and its imposing rose window.
The views of the sea are complemented by wonderful views of the Serra the Tramuntana mountain range, the Na Burguesa mountain and the Mediterranean forest that surrounds Bellver Castle. An ideal natural setting for a romantic walk with your partner, an excursion with the kids, or part of an active holiday without having to leave the city.
Routes through the Bellver Wood
The perfect location of the forest surrounding Bellver Castle, in the heart of Palma, and its walking paths make it not only an idyllic place to walk, but also the perfect setting for a bit of trail running.
If you are a fan of active holidays and staying at one of our hotels in Palmanova (Zafiro Palace Palmanova or Zafiro Palmanova) it only takes you 20 minutes by car to get to this ideal training spot with sea views.
The best trail route is about nine kilometres long and starts from the entrance of the Sa Teulera park (with a parking area where you can leave the car), following narrow paths that surround Bellver Castle, including those in front of the caves.
The family excursion is easier. It takes about half an hour, along the main path of the Bellver wood, that leads directly to the castle. The entrance is the one in Sa Teulera and it is one of the best activities with children in Palma de Mallorca, outdoors.
>> Visiting Hours
Open every day of the week, Bellver Castle offers free guided tours. It is a municipal service subject to availability that you can enjoy from Mondays and Saturdays at 11:30 a.m.
>> How to get to Bellver Castle
Take the tourist bus (line 50, Castillo de Bellver stop) or bus lines 3, 20 and 46 that take you there from the El Terreno neighbourhood. You can also go there in your own car (there are parking spaces by the entrance), by taxi or by bike from the centre of Palma.