Palma Neighbourhood Guide #
Palma is a city that just keeps growing in popularity. More and more people are discovering the beauty of enjoying everything a big, yet small, city has to offer while still being so close to everything else on the Island. Those who really can’t make up their minds as to whether they want to live with the Palma buzz, the village vibe or rather by the sea, tend to settle down in the areas of Portixol and Es Molinar. These unique, old fishing villages are located at walking distance from the city centre. Yes, that’s right – walking distance!
Take a stroll along the beach promenade and C’an Pere Antoni, also called Palma beach, and enjoy the view of the glittering Mediterranean, and in less than 20 minutes you will reach the charming Portixol and Molinar, and the neighboring area Es Coll d’en Rabassa, or as the Mallorquins say – “El Coll”.
Portixol is really a unique little place. In this old fishing harbour, old meets new and authentic Spanish merges with hip and trendy. The name itself is Mallorquin for ”port and sun”, and that more or less sums it up. People come here to visit the many restaurants and cafés along the sundrenched promenade, watching the sea, the boats and all the people who walk, run, skate or cycle by on the water front walkway. Come here on a Sunday morning to have a cortado in the sun, and you will get a feel of the nice mix of residents and visitors. Or why not make it a Friday night? The bars and restaurants are just as trendy.
Es Molinar #
Often mentioned in one breath, Portixol and Es Molinar are part of the same area and sometimes even described as one neighborhood. Es Molinar, though, is calmer than the trendy Portixol and the atmosphere is more residential, with low build buildings and quiet streets.
The name derived from the many windmills, "los molinos", that used to be in this village, which reminds us that this too used to be a place where farmers and fishermen lived. To this day, you won’t even find one big hotel in Es Molinar, and thus not many tourists. The people living in Molinar are mainly local Mallorquíns or foreigners with holiday homes.
Es Coll d'en Rabassa #
Now we’re getting still more authentic Spanish. “El Coll”, as the Mallorquíns say, is a big area sliced in two by the high way. On one side, we find a mix of exclusive first line properties and the beautiful beach of Ciutat Jardín, as well as a bigger apartment complex and many, many local bars. The other side is a more industrial area with a big shopping mall.
Worth mentioning is also the proximity to Palma Airport which is less than a 10 minutes' drive away. What some consider a big bonus might put off others who are wary of noise emissions from aircraft overhead - although, they never actually come quite as close as they do in C'an Pastilla.
At present, there are mainly locals living in Es Coll d’en Rabassa, but more and more expats are discovering the beauty of this area.
Points of interest
Food & Drink #
Restaurante Molinar, Club Marítimo
Unquestionably famous for its seafood, Molinar boasts a reputation that has been well-earned amongst locals and tourists alike. Situated just next to Portixol, this is definitely a less-affordable option - but one you’ll definitely want to consider if you’re a fan of fresh seafood in a lovely ambience.
Contact: +34 971 27 30 57
Ola del Mar
Another great option for seafood lovers, Ola del Mar combines this with wonderful views of the sea and is arguably more affordable than Restaurante Molinar in the Club Marítimo.
Contact: +34 971 27 42 7
Not just a hotel, but also a beautifully decked out restaurant. Hotel Portixol is where you’d want to go for a certainly more fashionable alternative to previous options. Also providing seafront views.
Contact: +34 971 27 18 00
AM Tip: As for whether or not Portixol and Es Molinar are affordable? You would, of course, pay more to sit on the seafront in the renovated, chic restaurants, or you could traverse the centre to find some absolute delicious, and no doubt fresh bargains further within the town.
Since Portixol and Es Molinar are located so close to Palma, the greatest shopping experience nearby is, of course, in the city centre. Shopping is not going to be the reason why you visit Portixol and Es Molina. It’s the cafés, the restaurants, the sea and the atmosphere.
In Es Coll d’en Rabassa on the other hand, the huge shopping mall FAN recently opened up and soon became a very popular place for locals and visitors alike. With its 170,000 square metres and 120 stores, FAN is the biggest shopping mall in Mallorca and you can literally spend the entire day there, as the mall is open from 10 a.m. till 10 p.m.
There are more than 2,500 parking spots, but for those who still prefer to go by bus you can get on the number 28, which will take you from Portixol, Es Molinar and El Coll to Palma and back if you wish.
Sports & Recreation #
This whole stretch of Palma being located right along the coastline, the beaches are the main spot for sports and activities - stand up paddleboarding, canoeing and even surfing on windy days …
Portixol has a lovely little bay with a beach, which often is both calmer and cleaner than its neighbour in Playa de Palma. But there are more beaches to enjoy in Es Molinar, the Ciutat Jardín in Es Coll d’En Rabassa, and the “city beach” Ca'n Pere Antoni, where you will find the popular Anima beach club.
The long seafront promenade connecting Palma to Portixol, Es Molinar and Es Coll d’en Rabassa, is also very popular among skaters, cyclists, or simply anyone who wants to take a stroll or a run along the seaside.
Fiestas & Annual Highlights #
On the 23rd of June, Nit de Foc is celebrated - seeing the whole beach lit up with candles, and often turning into an unmissable festival of everything Mallorquin.
Living in Portixol, Es Molinar and El Coll d’en Rabassa #
Portixol and Es Molinar have become very sought-after areas which shows, of course, in increasing property prices. The fact that foreign investors picked up on this rising star of an area a couple of years ago explains why it is not particularly affordable today. The price per square metre is hard to compare with other parts of Palma, but then again so are the unique village vibe and waterfront feeling you get here.
Es Coll d’en Rabassa, on the other hand, is yet to be discovered, and if you’re willing to give up the plus of this walking distance from Palma you will definitely get more for your money there. To be only a short walk away from some of the trendiest areas in Palma might be bonus enough.
Charm factor #
To tell you the truth, the charm factor of Portixol and Es Molinar is through the roof! Just picture it – an old farmers' and fishermen’s neighbourhood with small ports and historic windmills, waterfront townhouses and calm beaches… Add a few trendy bars, a sporty touch and Palma within a stone’s throw, you pretty much have it all. Es Coll d’en Rabassa doesn’t reach quite as high when it comes to charm factor, mainly because it’s bigger, but still has so much to it and you will certainly get more for your money.
By Maria Strömqvist
21 November, 2018