Visiting Palma with your Dog

I arrived in Palma in September 2018 with Mallorcan beaches on my mind, (there were 7 beach zones for dogs on the island then), but I was amazed to discover that Palma is way ahead of the game with respect to access for dogs on city buses and in shopping centers. The Iberian Peninsula has a lot to learn from this city. 

I visited Palma de Mallorca in September 2018. It was a special part of my tour through Spain, especially because I flew for the first time. I took a plane because it gave me the option of traveling in a carrier with my human and it is much faster than traveling by boat. I have to say I was lucky, because unfortunately, most dogs are not able to travel in the cabin due to airline restrictions (a dog’s weight, including the carrier, cannot exceed 8 kilos, and for some companies, the limit is even less – 6 kilos).

We flew from Barcelona. I was able to travel at the feet of my human companion, inside a Trixie carrier, which was soft and comfortable. In fact, I slept most of the way. I chose Air Europa because they allow slightly bigger carriers (55 x 35 x 25 cm) than the other airlines. Upon arriving at the airport, the check-in staff weighed me inside my carrier and checked to see that I had enough space to be comfortable. Pablo carried me through the security gate. I boarded the plane in my carrier, which has plenty of openings so I can see everything. The flight lasted 40 minutes. If you are going to fly, check all the details with your airline because they vary from one to the next. Some do not allow you to fly in the cabin, and there are destinations, like London, where it is prohibited to fly with your human. In addition, it is recommended to buy your ticket over the phone because the airline must authorize each dog. Of course, pets pay a supplement for each flight (in my case it was 25 euros). 

The flight from Barecelona went well. Before checking in to the flight, I stopped by the stupendous pet area located outside the terminal. Bravo to Aena (who runs the airport) for being so thoughtful in setting up this space for traveling dogs.

In Palma I stayed at the Joan Miro Museum Hotel. They admit pets upon request. This is the only hotel associated with the artist, and it is a four-star hotel that has 30 original works by this surrealist genius. The hotel is located near the port on Calle Major. It is 200 meters from the Joan Miro Foundation (which does not allow dogs) and a five-minute walk from the Porto Pi shopping center (well-behaved dogs are welcome inside). 

A City with Dog-Friendly Businesses

Palma is a dog-friendly city. There are several stores, bars, and restaurants that welcome dogs, like the indoor and outdoor shopping centers, and there are a number of bus lines that permit dogs to ride if they have a muzzle. 

The only bad part is that the city center does not have many big parks, so you have to count on your human to take you by car to the outlying areas to enjoy. Officially Palma has 7 leisure zones where dogs can be off-leash. There is a map with hours and rules on the city webpage.

Locals can walk with their pets to various places like the forest that surrounds the Bellver Castle, a circular castle that is located on the top of a hill in the city. Although you can’t be off-leash, I saw several friends running around the area. 

Dogs Riding the Buses Without a Carrier

As I was saying, Palma stands out in the national scene because they permit dogs to ride the city buses. At least 7 bus lines allow dogs and they want to add others little by little. As specified in the city bus webpage, all dogs can use the bus services (except those considered to be potentially dangerous). If you travel in a carrier, you don’t pay for a ticket, but all others pay 0.30 Euros.  To ride the bus, dogs must be on a leash and have a muzzle, and they should be in the area in the rear of the bus. If the bus is full, we have to wait to ride the next one. And the driver can ask an animal to get off the bus at any time if it is bothering any other passenger or is behaving aggressively or in a dangerous manner. This seems logical, doesn’t it?

Shopping centers have been dog friendly for some time and their clients love this feature. I only wish that the shopping centers on the Peninsula would admit dogs, following the example set by Mallorca. Dogs are welcome at FAN Mallorca Shopping; Mallorca Fashion Outlet, and Porto Pi Centro. 

As for restaurants, there are two I want to note specifically (although I’ve identified more below): Claxon, which has a small menu for dogs and is located next to the Plaza de España center, and Bon Lloc – the first and most prestigious vegetarian restaurant in Palma, where everything they make is delicious (it’s very close to the cathedral).

Beaches and Recreational Boats

Between filming, we wanted to escape to the beach, but it was not possible due to the cold weather. Thus, I can only tell you what they told us. In Palma, there is a dog beach called Es Carantge, which not only is like paradise, it is a great place to swim. And during the summer of 2018, there were several others on the island for dogs to visit: Cala Blanca (Andratx), un tramo de Llenaire (Pollença), Punta Marroig y Cala des Gats (Calvià), Punta des Far d’ Alcanada (Alcúdia) y Na Patana (Santa Margalida). You can find more information on the website Red Canina.

We also wanted to take a boat excursion, but we left that for the next trip (there is, at least, one route that goes between the Port of Alcúdia and Formentor).

Finally, speaking of boats, Port Adriano, a port designed to accommodate superyachts 30 minutes from Palma, in Calvia, organizes activities for dogs during the year, like doggie races, the first dog race on the island. In addition, their street food festival had a stand for dogs and the stores in the port area are dog-friendly.