You would have never guess today’s photo was taken in one of the busiest tourist areas of Mallorca. The famous area of s’Arenal is buzzing with German and Dutch people during the summer months, however as winter arrives, this eastern area of Palma becomes very, very quiet. It is also very popular amongst students from mainland Spain who normally come to this area to celebrate the end of their course.
S’Arenal is located 15 kilometres east of central Palma but it is still part of the city. Palma spreads more heavily towards the sides, both east and west. In fact, it acts as the border with the neighbouring municipality of Llucmajor. Even if it is a bit far out, it is connected to central Palma via a beautiful seaside walk and cycle lane. This is why thousands of people come here jogging, cycling or simply walking at a fast pace – you can relax, listen to the sea waves and smell the sea breeze. More and more tourists have now discovered this path and do not hesitate to rent bikes and cycle along.
As a curiosity, s’Arenal lies between two municipalities: Palma and Llucmajor. They are divided by the Torrent des Jueus (the creek of the Jews) and contrary to popular belief, the Llucmajor part is bigger both in size and population than the Palma part. Some political parties have offered in the past to make s’Arenal part of one municipality to avoid it from being split in two, however it has always been dismissed.
Historically, it was one of the first regions in Spain to welcome tourists (mainly after the 70s) due to its proximity to Mallorca International airport, its good connections with the city centre and its extensive sand beach. There is a high number of hotels in this part of the city and this is why its population is so volatile, becoming very busy during the summer months and more residential and quiet during the cold months. The Royal Yacht Club in s’Arenal has been visited by the former King of Spain several times due to the celebration of the annual King’s Sailing Cup (Copa del Rey de Vela) organised by the Reial Club Nàutic de Palma.
What I most enjoy about being in s’Arenal is the view, especially when visiting during a clear sunny day. This means you get to see the whole natural bay of Palma and how the city stretches around it, almost embracing it. On very clear days, you can even get to see Palma Cathedral and Bellver Castle. It is beautiful as not only you see the bay and the city skyline but also the south of the Serra de Tramuntana as the background of this beautiful picture.
You now have no excuse for not visiting s’Arenal next time you are in Mallorca, even if you think it is a bit far from central Palma!