Top 10 Top 10 Mallorca Information - Eyewitness Travel DKk


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Top 10 Top 10 Mallorca Information - Eyewitness Travel DKk

  2. 2. ContentsContentsMallorca’sTop 10Highlights of Mallorca 6Sa Seu: Palma Cathedral 8Castell de Bellver 12Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró 14Sa Granja 16Valldemossa 18Jardins d’Alfàbia 24Monestir de NostraSenyora de Lluc 26Península de Formentor 28Alcúdia 30Coves del Drac 32Moments in History 34Areas of Natural Beauty 36Wildlife and Plants 38Ports and Resorts 40Beaches 42Coves and Caves 44Outdoor Activitiesand Sports 46Walks and Drives 48Villages 50Festivals 52Cover: Front – Alamy Images Michael Schindel main image; DK Images Joe Cornish; Colin Sinclair bl.Spine – DK Images Colin Sinclair. Back – DK Images Joe Cornish tc, tl; Barteomies Zaranek tr.The information in this DK EyewitnessTop 10Travel Guide is checked regularly.Every effort has been made to ensure that this book is as up-to-date as possible at the time ofgoing to press. Some details, however, such as telephone numbers, opening hours, prices,gallery hanging arrangements and travel information are liable to change. The publisherscannot accept responsibility for any consequences arising from the use of this book, nor forany material on third party websites, and cannot guarantee that any website address in thisbook will be a suitable source of travel information. We value the views and suggestions ofour readers very highly. Please write to: Publisher, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides,Dorling Kindersley, 80 Strand, London, WC2R 0RL, Great Britain .Produced by Blue Island, LondonReproduced by Colourscan, SingaporePrinted and bound in Chinaby Leo Paper Products Ltd.First American Edition, 200307 08 09 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1Published in the United States byDorling Kindersley Publishing, Inc.,375 Hudson Street, New York,New York 10014Copyright 2003, 2007 © DorlingKindersley LimitedReprinted with revisions 2005, 2007All rights reserved under international andpan-american copyright conventions. Nopart of this publication may be reproduced,stored in a retrieval system, or transmittedin any form or by any means, electronic,mechanical, photocopying, recording orotherwise, without prior written permissionof the copyright owner. Published in greatbritain by Dorling Kindersley LimitedISSN 1479-344XISBN 978-0-75662-490-3Within each Top 10 list in this book, nohierarchy of quality or popularity is implied.All 10 are, in the editor’s opinion, ofroughly equal merit.Floors are referred to throughout inaccordance with Spanish usage; ie the“first floor” is the floor above ground level.Left Palma Cathedral RightValldemossa2
  3. 3. ContentsLeft Santuari de Sant Salvador Right IncaAncient Places 54Castles and Towers 56Churches 58Monasteries 60Museums 62Parks and Gardens 64Family Attractions 68Shopping Places 70Nightspots 72Gay and Lesbian Venues 76Culinary Highlights 78Cafés and Bars 80Restaurants 82Around the IslandPalma 86Southwest Coast 94North Coast 102Southeast Coast 112Central Plain 120StreetsmartPlanning Your Trip 128Getting to Mallorca 129Getting Around 130Health and Security 131Things to Avoid 132Banking andCommunications 133Tips for Families 134Tips for DisabledTravelers 135Budget Tips 136Drinking and Eating Tips 137Shopping Tips 138Accommodation Tips 139Places to Stay 140Index 148Phrase Book 158Left Angel, Sa Granja Centre Playa de Formentor Right Read’s restaurant, Santa Maria del Camí3Key to abbreviationsAdm admission charge payable No dis acc no disabled access
  4. 4. MALLORCA’STOP 10Highlights of Mallorca6–7Sa Seu:Palma Cathedral8–11Castell de Bellver12–13FundacióPilar i Joan Miró14–15Sa Granja16–17Valldemossa18–21Jardins d’Alfàbia24–5Monestir de NostraSenyora de Lluc26–7Península de Formentor28–9Alcúdia30–31Coves del Drac32–3Top 10 of Everything34–83MALLORCA’STOP10
  5. 5. Mallorca’sTop10Highlights of MallorcaKnown variously as the “Golden Isle”, the “Wooded Isle” andthe “Tranquil Isle”, Mallorca is all of these, despite its decades-long dependence on mass tourism. The island is laden withhistory and sights, from its castles and enchanted gardens tocaves and spectacular mountains. The eastern and southerncoasts still sport some of the cleanest, most beautiful beachesin the Mediterranean, and the city of Palma is moreattractive, culturally alive and fun than ever.Previous pages Palma Cathedral above the port6!Sa Seu: Palma CathedralLooming over Palma Bay, theGothic cathedral’s immensity isbeautifully counterpoised by thesoftness of its golden colour andthe delicate filigree-likecarvings. Among thetreasures within are thetombs of Mallorca’s firstkings (seepp8–11).@Castell de BellverStanding sentinel on a hilltop, thecastle of Bellver is immaculately pre-served. Its walls have imprisonedqueens and scholars, and they nowcontain an intriguing museum thatevokes the island’s past (see pp12–13).£Fundació Pilar i Joan MiróThe genius and visionary power ofthe consummate Catalan artist are con-centrated here. Not only can you experi-ence the full range of Joan Miró’s work,but you can also immerse yourself in theatmosphere of his studio (see pp14–15).$Sa GranjaA mountain estate of gracious archi-tecture and bucolic surrounds. Yet thispeaceful haven is also home to a hor-rific collection of torture devices usedby the dreaded Inquisition (see pp16–17).Mural,Valldemossa
  6. 6. Mallorca (or Majorca) gets its name from the ancient Roman namefor the island, Balearis Major, meaning the “biggest Balearic”7%ValldemossaArguably Mallorca’s most beauti-ful town, Valldemossa is wherePolish pianist Frédéric Chopin andhis lover, French writer George Sand,spent a miserable but creativewinter in 1838–9 (see pp18–21).Monestir de NostraSenyora de LlucMallorca’s most ancient holy site isthe spiritual epicentre of island life.The monastery houses a sacredstatue of the Virgin and Child, anda small museum (see pp26–7).Península de FormentorA dramatic extension of the Serrade Tramuntana mountain range, and thesite of Mallorca’s very first luxury resort,where kings, presidents and movie starshave come to play (see pp28–9).AlcúdiaHome to theisland’s only remain-ing medieval walledcity. It was built onthe site of a Romanoutpost, the theatreand ruins of whichcan still be seen(see pp30–31).)Coves del DracThe island is peppered withfantastic caves, and these are thebiggest and best. Spectacularly lit,the chambers echo with liltingclassical music, played live fromboats on one of the world’s largestunderground lakes (see pp32–3).^Jardinsd’AlfàbiaCreated by an Arabwali (viceroy) 1,000years ago, thesegardens includeparterres, arboursand dells surround-ing an all but derelicthouse. A great placefor exploring and re-laxing (see pp24–5).&*(Mallorca’sTop10
  7. 7. For the Palau de l’Almudaina, which stands opposite Sa Seu,see following pagesMallorca’sTop10Sa Seu: Palma CathedralThe 14th-century cathedral is an imposing pile,with its Gothic buttresses, finials and bossessoftly glowing in the sun. Legend has it thatKing Jaume I ordered it built in 1230, though infact he merely modified an existing mosque.Work began in 1306 and has continued to thisday. The western façade was rebuilt after anearthquake in 1851. Controversial touches wereadded in the 20th century by Antonio Gaudí.8The cathedral at night!ExteriorLooking up from the oldwall on the seafront, Sa Seuseems to have more in com-mon with a craggy Mallorcanmountain than it does withany other European cathed-ral. It represents the mightof the island’s Christianconquerors.The audioguide, atextra cost, can behelpful as you tourthe interior, though itgives too muchuninteresting detail.You’ll find the finestviews of the bay andcity, as well as goodfish and seafood, atLa Lubina, oppositethe cathedral (971723350). It is best tobook in advance.Otherwise, Parlament,C/Conquistador, 11(971 726026), is anelegant institutionspecializing in ricedishes, shellfish andstuffed asparagus.Map L5 • Apr–Oct:10am–5:30pm Mon–Fri;Nov–Mar: 10am–3:15pm,10am–2:15pm Sat• Adm €3.50$Portal de l’AlmoinaThis doorway is thehumblest of them all; itsname refers to thedistribution of alms to thepoor. It was the lastGothic contribution to thebuilding’s exterior, built inthe last decade of the 15thcentury. The rectangularsurround and the pointedarch have been finelycarved, but the doorwayitself has very littleembellishment.£Portal MajorAlthough it is Gothicin overall style, the maindoor (above) is mainly theproduct of Renaissanceworkmanship. A figure ofMary is surrounded byobjects pertaining to herTop 10 Features1 Exterior2 Portal del Mirador3 Portal Major4 Portal de l’Almoina5 BellTower6 Nave Columns7 Rose Windows8 Gaudí Modifications9 Chapels0 Museum@Portal del MiradorThe seaward, Gothicfaçade is the most spec-tacular side. Rows ofornate buttresses surroundan elaborate door, whichwas formerly called theDoor of the Apostles butis now known as theMirador (vantage point).Sa Seu, viewed from the west
  8. 8. For more on Mallorca’s great churches See pp58–9Mallorca’sTop109123456789 91770(ChapelsIn all, there are 20chapels, though someare now part of the chan-cel, with their altarpiecesdisplayed in the museum.The tombs of Jaume II(below) and Jaume III arein the Trinity Chapel.OrientationDuring the week, visitorsare expected to enterthe cathedral throughthe museum on thenorth side (to justify theadmission charge). How-ever, before taking in theinterior of Sa Seu, walkaround to the south side,facing the sea, in orderto get a better feel forthe awe-inspiring scaleof the edifice.)MuseumThe collection includessome of Sa Seu’s earliestaltar panels, a polychromewood sarcophagus, ornatereliquaries and furniture.Most mind-boggling arethe pair of 18th-centuryBaroque-style candelabra,each as tall as a person.^Nave ColumnsSa Seu is one ofEurope’s tallest Gothicstructures, and the senseof space in the interior isenhanced by graceful,elongated pillars thatseem almost to meltaway in the upper reachesof the nave (above).&Rose WindowsA vibrant rose win-dow (below) at the endof the nave is the mainone of seven (a few areblocked up). Some saythat the 20th-century “res-toration” of the window’scolours was too strong.*GaudíModificationsIn 1904–14, the greatModernista architect setabout improving Sa Seu’sinterior, removing medio-cre altars and changingthe lighting effects. Thecontroversial baldachin(below) is actually only amock-up – he neverfinished the final canopy.%BellTowerThis bell (left) is setwithin a three-storey-hightower surmounted with a“crown of lace” – a perfora-ted parapet with smallpinnacles. The structure isprobably of Islamic origin.EntranceCathedralPlan
  9. 9. Mallorca’sTop1010Palau de l’AlmudainaLeft Central Courtyard Centre Gothic Hall Right King’s Rooms!Functionof the PalaceStanding directly oppositeSa Seu, in an equallyprominent position thatactually obscures thecathedral’s mainfaçade from all butclose-up view, this ancient palaceadds a lighter, more gracefulnote to Palma’s assemblage ofcivic buildings. Today, the palaceis used for legislative andmilitary headquarters, royalapartments and a museum.@Building StyleAn amalgam of Gothic andMoorish styles, the palace has aunique charm. Square, medievaltowers have been topped withdainty Moorish-inspired crenel-lations. Refined windows andopen, airy arcades also tell of anabiding Islamic influence.£Central CourtyardKnown variously as the Patiode Armas, the Patio de Honorand the Patio del Castillo, thiscentral courtyard alsoevokes a Moorish feel,with its elegantly loop-ing arches and centralstand of palm trees. Afountain incorporatesan Islamic lion fromthe 11th century.$Hall of CouncilsThe largest roomon the ground floortakes its name, Salónde Consejos, from a meetingof ministers called herein 1983 by Juan Carlos I.There are 15th- and16th-century Flemishtapestries, coats-of-arms and furniture.%Officers’ MessThe walls are graced withfine 17th-century Flemish genrepaintings, some by a talentedcontemporary of Rubens. Notethe fine Mudéjar woodenceilings, by Moorish artisans.^Terrace and Banys ÀrabsStep onto the terrace forpanoramic views. Then, backinside, peer into the remains ofthe Arab Baths. By means ofmirrors, you can examine thethree separate vaulted chambersbelow – one for hot, one fortepid and one for cold water.&Queen’s RoomsTaking the Royal Staircase tothe upper floor, you encounterthe Queen’s Rooms, whichThe Palau is open Apr–Sep: 10am–5:45pm Mon–Fri, 10am–1:15pm Sat;Oct–Mar: 10am–1:15pm & 4–5:45pm Mon–Fri, 10am–2pm Sat (adm €3.20)Stone lion outside the palaceTerrace
  10. 10. Mallorca’sTop1011For more on Mallorca’s fascinating history see pp34–5contain fine antiques, orientalcarpets, tapestries and paintings.*King’s RoomsHere, you will find richlycoloured oriental carpets, huge16th- and 17th-century Flemishtapestries, bronze statuary,Neoclassical paintings and somespectacular Empire furniture withglittering ormolu fittings.(Gothic HallThis remarkable room, notedfor its huge pointed arches, isused for official receptions. Don’tmiss the fine 17th-century Flem-ish tapestry on the back wall,depicting the Siege of Carthage.)Chapel of St AnneThe chapel’s delicatelycoloured altarpiece, created inBarcelona in 1358, is a visualsonnet in sky blue and gold.356 78940Mallorca’s UniqueArchitectural HeritageStone is the keynotematerial in Mallorcanbuildings of all kinds,whether in the form ofnatural boulders orcarved segments. Howthose stones havebeen used has been adefining feature of themany cultures that have held sway on the island overthe millennia. The Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans andByzantines all left their traces and influences behind,however little may be in evidence. But what wemostly see today of pre-Christian traditions (especiallyin place names – most notably, any word with “al-”)can be traced directly back to the Roman-influencedculture of the Islamic lords, who ruled the islandduring the 10th–13th centuries. In the ensuingcenturies, something of that exotic style has beenrepeatedly renewed in Mallorcan building techniquesand tastes, moulded into the Gothic, Renaissance,Baroque, Neoclassical, Modernista and even the mostcontemporary architectural styles.Typical Features ofTraditional Houses1 Kitchen fireplace2 Clastra (main patio)3 Cisterns4 Tafona (oil press) andmill room5 Defence tower6 Capilla (family chapel)7 Stone walls, floors andsometimes ceilings8 Vaulted ceilings9 Wood beams0 Decorative motifsderived from Islamic,Gothic, ItalianRenaissance, Baroque,Rococo, Neoclassical orModernista stylesPointed stone arch, GothicHall, Palau de l’AlmudainaHall of CouncilsStone arch entrance of atraditional houseKey to plansGround floorFirst floor
  11. 11. Mallorca’sTop10Castell de BellverThis castle near Palma was a grand 14th-centuryroyal fortress, royal summer residence and laterroyal prison. Surrounded for miles by fragrant pinewoods, which are alive with whirring cicadas in theheat of summer, it also has stunning views overPalma Bay (Bellver means “lovely view” in Catalan).Looking up at this citadel, so perfectly preserved, it’shard to believe that it has been standing for 700years. It is among the world’s most striking castles.More marvellous castles and towers are on pp56–712!ViewsGo to the top for a360-degree panorama,including the foothills andsea to the west and themountains to the north.The perfume of the pineforests creates a heady mixwith the maritime breezes.@Circular DesignThe elegant roundshape is unique amongSpanish castles and apremier example of 14th-century military architec-ture (below). The circularstructure also aided in thecollection of rainwaterinto the central cistern.£DefenceTowersThere are threehorseshoe-shapedtowers and four small-er protuberances usedfor guard posts. Theirwindows are tiny sothat archers could notbe targeted by attack-ers on the ground.View from towerAvoid visiting thecastle on a Sunday,when its excellentmuseum will be shut.You can get to theBellver hill by car ortaxi, or take the citybus to Plaça Gomilaand climb through thewoods above Carrerde Bellver, passing achapel on the way.Nicke’s Svensk Bar& Café is a friendlyspot at the bottom ofCarrer de Bellver. Runby Swedish brothers,it offers sandwichesand some Swedishfare (see p92).Map R1 • 3 km (2 miles)west of city centre• 8am–8pm Mon–Sat (to7pm in Oct–Mar), 10am–7pm Sun (to 5pm inOct–Mar) • Museumclosed Sun • Adm €1.80Mon–Sat, free SunTop 10 Highlights1 Views2 Circular Design3 DefenceTowers4 KeepTower5 Central Courtyard6 Prison7 Museum Entrance andChapel8 Museum: Ancient Artifacts9 Museum: Arab Artifacts0 Museum: Spanish ArtifactsView from battlementsElegant stonework withinthe circular castle
  12. 12. 13(Museum:Arab ArtifactsSurprisingly few remnantshere beyond some pots,both paintedand blue-glazed, astone lion,terracottalamps andsgraffito ware(pottery withetched designs).)Museum:Spanish ArtifactsA great range of stylesand eras is presented,from medieval arms anda stone font with angels,dated 1591, to laterworks including 17th-century Mallorcanturquoise-glazed ceram-ics, Chinese porcelain,and items from the BelleÉpoque and Fascist eras.$KeepTowerThe free-standingcastle keep, called theTorre de Homenaje (left),is almost twice as highas the castle itself, con-nected to its roof by asmall bridge supportedby a slim, pointed Gothicarchway. It is open tovisitors by arrangement(971 730657).*Museum:Ancient ArtifactsThe first three roomscontain impres-sive Romanstatuary (right), aperfectly preservedcolumn of rarecippolino marble,carved seals, marbleinscriptions, lamps and1st-century pots.Museum Entranceand ChapelFrom the central courtyardyou enter Palma’s Museude Mallorca, in whichsculptures (right) and otherartifacts trace the city’shistory through Talaiotic,Roman, Arab and Spanishperiods. The former Chapelof St Mark is now barevaulted rooms.%CentralCourtyardThe beautiful, two-tieredcentral courtyard (left)has 21 Catalan Rom-anesque arches on thelower tier, which contrastwith the 42 octagonalcolumns supporting 21Gothic arches on theupper tier. Classicalstatues, such as those ofVenus and Nero, gracethe lower walkway.^PrisonRight up until 1915,the lower reaches of thecastle were used as aprison, dubbed La Olla(“the kettle”). Jaume III’swidow and sons (see p35)were imprisoned here formost of their lives.2 35678904EntranceKey to Castle PlanGround floorFirst floor&Mallorca’sTop10
  13. 13. For more museums see pp62–3Mallorca’sTop10Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró14The artist Joan Miró lived and worked on Cala Major for40 years. After his death in 1983, his wife convertedthe house and former studio into an art centre. Thismodern edifice, nicknamed the “Alabaster Fortress” bythe Spanish press, is the work of Rafael Moneo, a lead-ing Spanish architect. The new building houses a permanent exhibition ofMiró’s paintings, drawings, and sculptures, as well as a library, auditoriumand a shop selling items decorated with the artist’s colourful designs.!Building DesignComposed of concretemade to look like travertinemarble, the starkly modernbuilding (above) is softenedby reflecting pools, coolplanes, ramps andstaircases. Itshigh, narrowwindows affordsurprising viewsfrom the hilltopsite. Most origin-ally, huge marblepanels are usedas translucentwalls, softly light-ing the trapezoidalexhibition spaces.@SculpturesUpon entering, you’regreeted by three whimsicalbronzes and a very muchlarger monumental piece,which are all vaguely anthro-pomorphic (left). Down-stairs, the giant Womanand Bird was executedby Miró with ceramistLlorenç Artigast.Top 10 Highlights1 Building Design2 Sculptures3 Documentation4 Works on Paper5 UNESCO’sMural del Sol6 Works on Canvas7 Temporary Exhibitions8 Garden9 Murals0 StudioCarving, Miró’s houseYou can take the bus(EMT no. 3 and 6), taxior drive to get to theFundació, on a hill tothe west of Palma.An enlightening filmon Miró is shownduring the day (inSpanish); sometimesit is in English.The café is excellent,with made-to-ordersandwiches, pa amboli (see p78) andolives, fresh orangejuice and more. It’salso air-conditionedand features a won-derful mural by Miró(see entry 9).• Map R2 • C/Joan deSaridakis, 29, Palma •971 701420 • May–Sep:10am–7pm Tue–Sat,10am–3pm Sun & hols;Sep–May: 10am–6pmTue–Sat; 10am–3pm Sun& hols • Adm €4.80Gardens in front ofMiró’s houseWorks in the Fundació’s garden£DocumentationA special room isset aside near theentrance to revealthe steps Miró tookin creating thevarious componentsof his graphic images.
  14. 14. Mallorca’sTop1015Miró’s StyleOne of the best-knownartists of the 20th cen-tury, Miró (1893–1983)was a Catalan throughand through. Initiallyinfluenced by Fauvism,and later by Dadaismand Surrealism, hedeveloped his ownunique style, marked bylyricism and livelycolouring. After arrivingin Mallorca he becameinterested in graphics,ceramics and sculpture,scoring significantsuccesses in every artform. The embodimentof a uniquely Catalanway of seeing theworld, he became onethe great exponents ofAbstract Expressionism.$Workson PaperSeveral works on paperare displayed (above),most exhibiting the sig-nature primary coloursand splashes for whichthe artist is known.^Works on CanvasMany of these worksare mixed media – oil,acrylic, chalk and pastel.Some may have beeninspired by Japanese Zenaction painting. Some areblue – for Miró the mostuniversal and optimisticcolour – while someblack and white works arean aggressive responseto the tragedies of theSpanish Civil War.&TemporaryExhibitionsThe temporary exhibitionspaces feature the worksof such up-and-comingartists as Paloma Navares.*GardenIn the garden,groups of rocksresembling waterlilies “float” in apool, while in otherniches works bymodern and avant-guarde artists canbe found.)StudioMiro’s studio (above)looks like the artist juststepped outside for a breakfrom work in progress.Objects that inspired Miróare all around: Hopi kachinadolls, Mexican terracottas, abat skeleton and variouseveryday items.%Mural del SolDominating one roomis a five-panel sketch onpaper, the study for a muralin the UNESCO building in Paris,co-created with LlorençArtigast in 1955–8. The workwon the Guggenheim award.(MuralsAbove one of thegarden pools, a blackrectangle encloses aceramic mural by Miró,with shapes gyrating inspace. Taking up a wholewall in the café is amural of the sun andother celestial bodies.Plan of theFundació012346789HouseMuseumStudio5
  15. 15. Mallorca’sTop10Sa Granja16This possessió (country estate) is on a site known since Romantimes for its natural spring. In 1239, the Count Nuño Sanz donatedthe estate to Cistercian monks; since 1447 it has been a privatehouse. Visitors come today mainly to see rural Mallorcantraditions, such as demonstrations of lace-making, embroideryand spinning, and tastings of cheese,wine, sausages, doughnuts and fig cake.!GardensThe cultivated areasare very rich, including awalled rock garden, moss-covered rock formations,botanical gardens, a pondwith a water-jet fountainand a magnificent 1,000-year-old yew tree. Youcan still see some of thewater canal that wasused for irrigation.@FamilyApartmentsThese rooms evoke thegenteel country lifestyleof the house’s formerinhabitants. Of particularnote are the curtains inthe main room (below)made of roba de llenguës;the study with its curiousold medical instruments;and the antique toys inthe games room.£Dining RoomThe main attraction hereis the cleverly constructeddining room table thatdoubles as a billiard table.By turning the side crank,the height can beadjusted for bothpurposes. Thecrockery and glass-ware, from variouseras, are originalto the house, andthe tile floor isalso original.Top 10 Highlights1 Gardens2 Family Apartments3 Dining Room4 Loggia5 Workrooms6 Cellars7 “Torture Chamber”8 Chapel9 Forecourt0 PerformancesStatue incourtyardThe easiest way toget to Sa Granja isby car or tour bus.Handicraft shows andmusic and danceperformances takeplace onWednesdaysand Fridays from3:30–5pm. Otherwise,visit in the morningto avoid the crowds.The Granja Restau-rant serves lunch allday, featuring sopesmallorquines(Mallorcan soup),and there’s a snackbar/cafeteria.You arealso welcome topicnic at variouscharming settingswithin the grounds.Map B3 • Ctra. Esporles-Banyalbufar, km 2, Espor-les (between Valldemossaand Banyalbufar; followthe signs off the maincoast road, C710) • 971610032 • • 10am–7pm daily(to 6pm Nov–Mar)• Adm €8.50, Wed & Fri€10.50 with performanceThe house and groundsFountain in the gardens
  16. 16. Mallorca’sTop1017Traditional Musicand DancingFashioned from woodand animal skins, Mallor-can instruments includethe xeremia (bagpipe),fabiol (flute), tamborinoand guitarro. Typicalfamous dances are theBolero (18th century),La Jota (from easternMallorca), the Fandango(a line dance), Copeoand Mateixa (both alsofrom the east). Manydances are improvised,accompanied only bypercussion instruments;a more organizedensemble will performon formal occasions.$LoggiaThe loveliestarchitectural featureof the house evokesFlorentine tenets ofbeauty and gracewith considerablesuccess. Providing awelcome breezeway onhot summer days andcharming vistas at anytime of the year, thisporch-like gallery (above),unusual in Mallorca, is aplace to pause.^CellarsCheeses weremanufactured in thecellars, using the milk ofcows, sheep and goats.Dough was kneadedusing a stone mill, tomake all types of pasta,for soups and other dish-es. Dairy products, oil,wine and grain were allstored here.&”TortureChamber”A room displays the typi-cal implements – includingiron body cages and arack – used against Jews,other non-Christians andsuspected heretics orwitches during the Span-ish Inquisition of the15th–17th centuries.Vicious-looking chastitybelts are also on display.*ChapelThe altarpiece, withits lovely festooned arch,is Baroque; the altaritself a pretty Gothiccreation; and the twokneeling, silver-wingedplaster angels (above)rather kitsch 19th-centuryefforts. Note the well-worn original tile floor.(ForecourtThe majestic spacein front of themansion containsfour large planetrees that areabout 150 yearsold. Here you canrelax in their shade,watching craftsmenat work and samplingregional wines, liqueurs,juices, jams, sobrassadas(sausages), cheeses,figs, breads and bunyolas(potato flour buns).)PerformancesTraditional music andfolk dances are staged onWednesdays and Fridays(above, box and panel).%WorkroomsThe labyrinth ofrooms downstairs com-prises the earthy heart ofthe home. The estate wasself-sufficient with itsown oil-mill, tinsmith,winepress, distilleries (forliqueurs and cosmetics),woodworking shop,embroiderer and more.Plan ofGrounds11190Entrance
  17. 17. The former monastery, also referred to as the Charterhouse, isMallorca’s second most-visited building after Palma’s cathedralMallorca’sTop10ValldemossaThis small, picturesque town in the mountains isarguably where Mallorcan tourism began one coldwinter in 1838, when the composer Frédéric Chopinand his lover, the female writer George Sand, rentedsome rooms at the former monastery here. Shunnedby locals, the couple had a miserable time, as por-trayed in Sand’s book, A Winter in Majorca. However,Mallorcans today are proudof their Chopin-Sandconnection, and the book issold in every tourist shop.18Top 10 Sights1 Former Monastery Complex2 Monastery: Church3 Monastery: Cloisters4 Monastery: Pharmacy5 Monastery: Prior’s Cell6 Monastery: Cells 2 and 47 Monastery: Palace8 OldTown9 Church of Sant Bartomeu0 Birthplace of SantaCatalinaThomàsPalace of King SançThe best views ofthe town, with itsbeautiful green-tiledbell tower, are thoseas you approachfrom the north.If you arrive by car,park in one of themunicipal car parkswith automaticmeters, then explorethe town on foot.One of the most devel-oped tourist towns inMallorca,Valldemossahas many good diningoptions. Costa NorddeValldemossa (Avda.Palma, 6, 971 612425)offers a superbMediterranean-stylemenu and great views.Map C3 • Monasteryand Museum Mar–Oct:9:30am–6pm Mon–Sat,10am–1:30pm Sun;Nov–Feb: 9:30am–4:30pm Mon–Sat• 971 612148 (museum)• Adm €6.95 for both!Former MonasteryComplexThe town’s top attractionis the former monasterywhere Chopin and Sandstayed, which also incorpo-rates a palace and an excel-lent municipal museum(see pp20–21). Given tothe Carthusian Order in1399, the estate was amonastery until 1835,when all religious orderswere ousted from theisland. It was bought by aFrench banker who rent-ed the rooms to Chopin.@Monastery:ChurchThe Neoclassical churchhas a cupola decoratedwith frescoes by FrayBayeu, the brother-in-lawof Francisco de Goya.It is distinguished bybarrel vaulting and gilt-edged stucco work.£Monastery: CloistersFrom the church, youcan enter the atmosphericcloisters (above), known asthe Myrtle Court. Aroundthem are six chapels andten spacious monks’ cells.$Monastery:PharmacyLaden with tinctures andelixirs, a deconsecratedchapel recreates theestate’s original pharmacy.George Sand (portraitabove) bought marshmal-low here in an attempt tocure Chopin’s tuberculosis.The town viewed from the north
  18. 18. For highlights of the Museu Municipal de Valldemossa, which isset within the former monastery, see following pagesMallorca’sTop1019%Monastery: Prior’s CellThe head monk had aprivate oratory, magnificentlibrary, elegant audiencechamber, bedroom, diningroom, Ave María (prayingalcove) and, of course, asumptuous garden.^Monastery:Cells 2 and 4Said to be the rooms thatChopin and Sand rented(left), they are full of memo-rabilia, including Chopin’spiano, Sand’s manuscripts,busts (below) and portraits.&Monastery: PalaceThe core of the monasterywas originally the site of the pal-ace built by Jaume II for his sonSanç. The rooms are regally deco-rated – an especially beautifulpiece is the 12th-century wood-carving of the Madonna and Child.*OldTownThe old town (below) spills down a hill-side, surrounded by farming terraces andmarjades (stone walls) created 1,000 yearsago by the Moors. The name “Valldemos-sa” derives fromthat of the originalMoorish land-owner, Muza.(Church of Sant BartomeuNear the bottom of the oldtown, a rustic, Baroque-stylechurch is dedicated to one of thepatron saints of the town. It wasbuilt in 1245, shortly after Jaume Iconquered Mallorca, and extendedin the early 18th century. The belltower and façade date from 1863.)Birthplaceof SantaCatalinaThomásMallorca’s only saint,Catalina Thomàs(known affectionate-ly as the “Beatata”for both her saint-liness and diminutivestature), was bornin 1533 at a houseon C/Rectoría, 5. Thehouse was convert-ed into an oratory in1792 and featuressaintly scenes (aboveleft) and a statue ofthe “Beatata”holding a bird.1 2345678 0VIA BLANQUERNAAVINGUDA PALMAUETAM ROSA9
  19. 19. Mallorca’sTop1020Museu Municipal de ValldemossaLeft Hapsburg-Lorena family tree Right Central room!Guasp PrintworksOn the ground floor ofthe museum you’ll find a17th-century hand pressand one of Europe’s finestcollections of 1,584intricate boxwoodengravings. On thewalls are prints exe-cuted on the press,which is still inworking order.@Archduke Luis Salvadorof Hapsburg-Lorenaand BourbonAlso on the ground floor is a roomdedicated to an indefatigablechronicler of Mediterranean life,whose passion was Mallorcanculture. His nine volumes on theBalearics are the most exhaustivestudy ever made of the archipelago.£Mallorcan Paintersof theTramuntanaMallorca’s mountainousTramuntana region has longattracted landscape painters.Among the outstandingMallorcan artists shownhere are Joan Fuster,Bartomeu Ferrà andAntoni Ribas.$Catalan andSpanishPainters of theTramuntanaWorks by SebastiàJunyer, and themore Impression-istic Eliseo Meifrén are displayed.%International Paintersof theTramuntanaThese include contemporaryItalian master Aligi Sassu, whoseworks owe much to Futurism,Surrealism and Expressionism.^Contemporary Art:Juli RamisThe contemporary collectionwas conceived as a spotlighton Juli Ramis (1909–90), one ofthe most important Mallorcanpainters of the 20th century.Works include hissignature DamaBlava and those of hisParis contemporaries,showing a cross-fertili-zation of influences.&MiróOf note is El Volde l’Alosa (Flight ofthe Swallows) – Miró’swhimsical illustrationsfor the works ofMallorcan poets.The Museu is located on two floors within Valldemossa’s formermonastery complex – see previous pagesPainting by the Mallorcan artist Joan FusterPrinting press
  20. 20. Mallorca’sTop1021Following pages Palau de l’Almudaina, PalmaFrom Mass Tourism toCulture and EcologyMost fittingly, since Mallorcantourism got its shaky start herein the early 19th century, it isalso in Valldemossa that it isbeing taken to a new level inthe 21st century. Movie starsMichael Douglas and CatherineZeta Jones own a big estate andfounded the Costa Nord deValldemossa (it is now run bythe Balearic government). Thismultifaceted organization (whichhas a great restaurant: see p18)promotes cultural and ecological tourism on an islandthat, to many, went too far in catering to cheap sun-sand-surf packages in the past. All over the island isan ever-increasing number of nature parks, museumsand wonderful inland hotels at all price levels.Cultural and Ecolo-gical Attractions1 Public nature parksS’Albufera, Mondragó,Sa Dragonera, Cabrera,S’Albufereta NatureReserve, Serra deLlevant2 Private nature parksLa Reserva Puig deGalatzo, Natura Parc,Botanicactus, JumaicaTropical Park3 Agroturism4 Rural hotels5 Centres for traditionalcultureSa Granja, Els Calderers,Jardins d’Alfàbia, Raixa,Gordiola Glassworks6 Archaeological andhistorical museums7 Accommodation inmonasteries8 Mountain shelters9 Animal rescue andendangered speciesprogrammesMarineland0 Proposed parksSerra deTramuntana*PicassoSadly, Picasso’s masterfulreworking of El Greco’s greatpainting The Burial of CountOrgaz has been removed fromthe collection. However, thereare still several paintings ofbulls and bullfighters as well assome fine book illustrations.(TàpiesAlso in the last room area few works by another greatCatalan painter, Antoni Tàpies.Master of an elegant AbstractExpressionism all his own, hiswork has little in common withthe more Surrealistic images ofhis compatriots Miró and Dalí,being more understated, poeticand monumental.)Other 20th-Century ArtistsFinally, there are somesmall but significant engravingsand lithographs by moderninternational artists, includingGerman Surrealist Max Ernst,Italian Futurist Robert Matta,French Dadaist André Massonand the English masters HenryMoore and Francis Bacon.Preserved lamp andmural,ValldemossaAgroturism: Sa Pedrissa (see p145), Deià
  21. 21. For more beautiful parks and gardens in Mallorca See pp64–5Mallorca’sTop1024Top of terraced cascadeThe arcing waters ofthe pergola walkwayare operated from abutton at the start ofthe display. However,be aware that thestones under thearbour can becomevery slippery.Books and postcardscan be purchased atthe entrance ticketroom or snack bar.The garden snack baroffers delicious freshjuices, nuts and driedfruit, and other simple,refreshing tidbits,much of it from thefarm itself.Map C3 • Ctra. deSóller, km 17, Bunyola(just off main highwayC711, before toll boothfor the Sóller tunnel)• 971 613123 • 9am–5:30pm Mon–Fri; Apr–Oct to 6:30pm and also9am–1pm Sat • Adm€4.50A legacy of the Moorish talent for landscaping andirrigation, the Jardins d’Alfàbia were probably designedby Benhabet, a 13th-century Muslim governor of Inca.The pleasures of the gardens are made possible by aspring that always flows, even in the driest of summersin this very arid land. As well as providing a fabulousoasis for visitors, Alfàbia is also a working farm.Paved walkway with water jetsJardins d’Alfàbia!Entrance andGatehouse FaçadeA broad ramp leads pasta moss-covered fountainto a Baroque façade,which is set off with palmtrees, scrolling arabesquecurves and a pair ofwindows (above) calledojo de buey (ox-eye).Terraced CascadeTo the left of thegatehouse façade is astepped, terraced cascade(right). Watercourses, calledalfagras (little irrigationchannels), serve both apractical and a decorativepurpose here and in otherMoorish-style gardens.£Queen’s BathAn open-ended cisternframes a mirror-like pool,called the “queen’s bath”,which is the source of allthe water in the gardens.Beyond it is an indescribablylush garden scene.Top 10 Highlights1 Entrance and GatehouseFaçade2 Terraced Cascade3 Queen’s Bath4 Pergola and Walkway5 English-Style Gardens6 Trees7 Groves8 Hacienda9 Flemish Armchair0 CourtyardGardens and mountains@
  22. 22. Mallorca’sTop10251234578 90$Pergola andWalkwayFrom an eight-sidedpergola, a paved walkway islined with ancient amphoraeshooting out jets of water.Between column pairs fourand five, don’t miss greetingthe black Mallorcan pig.%English-StyleGardensThese were created in the19th century and featurebougainvillea, vines, boxhedges, scarlet dahlias anda lily pond. Farm productsare sold at a snack bar.^TreesAn extraordinaryrange of trees flourishesin the gardens, includingwhite fir, maple, cedarof Lebanon, Montereycypress, poplar, datepalm, holm oak, carob,lemon, magnolia, walnut,eucalyptus and acacia.&GrovesThese magical areasare given over to denseplantings in which youcan lose yourself, withthe refreshing sound ofrunning water alwaysplaying in your ears.Hidden pools and ancientwalls are among thediscoveries to be made.*HaciendaAfter exploring thegardens, make your wayup the hill to the wisteria-covered, L-shaped hacien-da with Doric columns.Inside, traditionalllengues (flame) fabrics,old prints, instruments(above) and a guitar-shaped grandfather clockare among the exhibits.(Flemish ArmchairAlso in the hacienda is one of the old-est and oddest pieces of furniture on theisland (left). This 15th-century oak chairhas been known, among other things, asthe Moorish King’s Chair, but theimagery on it has now been identi-fied as the story of Tristan and Isolde.See if you can spot the king’s head.CourtyardThe courtyard(right) features a huge, 100-year-oldplane tree and a moss-coveredfountain. From here, you can visitsome of the other rooms, then exitthrough a pair of vast, bronze-covered hobnailed doors, whichwere originally those of the Palaceof the Inquisition in Palma.Plan of the Gardensand Buildings)Entrance
  23. 23. Mallorca’sTop10Monestir de Nostra Senyora de LlucThe monastery at Lluc is the spiritual centre of Mallorcaand has been a place of pilgrimage for over 800 years.The main point of interest is the little statue of the Virgin(La Moreneta), which, so the story goes, was found by anArab shepherd boy who had converted to Christianity. Theimage was initially moved to the church but it kept return-ing to the same spot, so a chapel was built to house it.Each year, thousands of pilgrims come to pay homage.26Top 10 Highlights1 The Complex2 Basilica Entrance3 Basilica Interior4 La Moreneta5 Es Blavets6 Museu de Lluc7 Museum: ReligiousArtifacts8 Museum: Majolica9 Els Porxets0 El Camí dels Misteris delRosariBasilica façadeAfter you’ve visitedthe monastery,explore some of thenatural areas andcaves nearby, someof which are prehis-toric burial sites.Head for Sa Fonda, inthe erstwhile monks’grand dining room,which offers Mallor-can fare (closed inJuly). Otherwise, trythe Café Sa Plaça forsnacks, or the Rest-aurant Ca S’Amitger,Plaça Peregrins, 6,where you’ll findtortillas espanyols,fish, roast lamb,mountain goat andrice brut, a Mallorcancountry dish.• Map D2 • Museu deLluc 10am–1:30pm, 2:30–3:30pm • 971 871525• Adm €2£Basilica InteriorThe church (left) wasdeemed a Minor Basilica bythe Pope – its embellishmentsare probably the reason. Everyspare inch seems to havebeen laden with beaten gold.The columns are dark red jas-per, crystal chandeliers lightthe way, and the altarpieceis alive with golden curvesand gesticulating figures.@Basilica EntranceFacing an inner court-yard, the church’s façade isan appealing Baroqueconfection that relieves theplainness of the surround-ing structures. The pompousbronze statue that domin-ates is that of a bishop whohad a hand in sprucing theplace up in the early 1900s.Courtyard within the complex!The ComplexThe complex is ratherplain but set amid frag-rant forests of pine andholm oak, and laid outaround courtyards. There’sa good hostel, choirschool, several eateries,camp sites, picnicfacilities and a hugecovered area for outdoorcelebrations and services.La Moreneta (“theLittle Dark One”)
  24. 24. For other great churches and monasteries see pp58–61Mallorca’sTop1027(Els PorxetsThe gallery of theold pilgrim’s hospice is apicturesque arcadedcorridor, with stables onthe ground floor andbedrooms off the pas-sageway on the upperlevel. Declared a Histo-rical Artistic Monument,it has recently beenrestored.$La MorenetaIn a special chapel stands the objectof pilgrimage, La Moreneta (“the LittleDark One”) – or, to be more precise, a15th-century, possibly Flemish version ofher. Unfortunately, the 1960s light fixturesin the chapel detract from the atmosphere.^Museu de LlucA broad collection ofMallorcana includes prehistoricand ancient artifacts, coins,religious treasures, vestments,sculptures, ceramics andpaintings, as well as modelMallorcan rooms from the 18thcentury.&Museum:Religious ArtifactsPieces from the original churchinclude a fabulous gilded Byzantinetrikerion (three-part sacred utensil)from 1390, a 15th-century woodentabernacle, a graceful 15th-centuryFlemish Virgin and Child (left), agold filigree reliquary for a Piece ofthe True Cross and severaldevotional paintings.*Museum: MajolicaIn the 15th century, Italyimported large amounts of tin-glazed pottery from Spain byway of the trade routethrough Mallorca, hence theterm “majolica” from themedieval name of the island.Until the early 20th century,this type of pottery was alsoproduced in Mallorca. Variousexamples are displayed.%Es BlavetsThe boys’ choir, EsBlavets (The Blues),was established in1531, named after theirblue cassocks. Pilgrimsand tourists queue upat 11am to hear thedaily concerts.El Camí delsMisteris del Rosari“The Way of the Mysteriesof the Rosary” is a pilgrim’sroute leading up the rockyhillside behind the complex,where a crucifix awaits.The broad path (right) ispunctuated by bronzesculptures framed in stone.Entrance)1234567890
  25. 25. Mallorca’sTop10Península de FormentorThe final jutting spur of the Serra de Tramuntanahas stunning views, sandy beaches and theisland’s original luxury resort. With weird rockformations and jagged edges pointing up at 45degrees, its mountains rise to over 400 m (1,300 ft).The drive from Port de Pollença has dramaticscenery and is famously scary for its steep bends.28Top 10 Highlights1 Peninsula Road2 Main Miradors3 Watchtower4 Beach5 Hotel Formentor6 Casas Velles7 MountainTunnel8 Cap de Formentor9 Lighthouse0 Flora and FaunaWatchtower ruinsTo avoid the heaviesttraffic, visit early orlate in the day. If youtake the road up totheWatchtower, parkat the turnout justafter the first bunkers,slightly down fromthe top.That wayyou’ll avoid the park-ing snarls at the top.The Lighthousesnack bar has pizzas,sandwiches, olivesand drinks of allkinds. Sit on thebroad terrace forincredible views.For something morerefined, as well as farmore expensive,head for the HotelFormentor’s beachrestaurant on yourway back.• Map F1!Peninsula RoadThe famous road(above) is narrow but wellmaintained, forking off tothe Hotel Formentor inone direction and acrossto the cape in the other.Side-roads along the way– sometimes muchrougher – wind up to theWatchtower and giveaccess to the beach, aswell as makeshift carparks for Cala Figuera.@Main MiradorsOf the main miradors(viewpoints), Mirador deMal Pas (above) is closestto the road. From hereyou can walk along a wallwith dizzying panoramasof the rocks and seabelow. You can also seethe islet of Es Colomer.£WatchtowerThe Talaia d’Albercutx(below) has an amazing viewover the Peninsula and baysof Pollença and Alcúdia. Butthe road to it isvery bad, with-out guardrails, sohire a four-wheeldrive if you can.For a furtheradrenalin rush,you have to hikeup the last bitand climb thetower itself.View from Mirador des Colomers
  26. 26. For more areas of natural beauty see pp36–7Mallorca’sTop1029$BeachIn a long, sheltered covewith fine sand and clear tur-quoise water (above), Platjade Formentor is served bothby road and a regular ferryfrom the Port de Pollença.Eating spots and tiki shadesabound. Expect crowds offamilies at weekends.%HotelFormentorThe posh resort (right)opened in 1929 andhas been pamperingthe rich and famousever since (see p141).Part of the Platja deFormentor is reservedfor hotel guests only.^Casas VellesAn old Mallorcanhouse is preserved in thegrounds of the HotelFormentor. There’s acharacteristic courtyardwith an old stone well, aone-room house and achapel with a melodrama-tic, life-size crucifix.&MountainTunnelThe road continuesthrough pine woods andpast more miradors onits way to En Fumatmountain. It then tunnelsthrough the raw rock ofthe mountain. For thosewho need more thrills,there’s a steep staircaseup the cliff above thetunnel’s western mouth.Cap de FormentorThe terrain becomes rockier towards theend of the peninsula, and soon you have aplunging view down to Cala Figuera,Mallorca’s most inaccessible beach, where afew boats have anchored. It’s a harrowingdrive out to the end, but you’re reward-ed with breathtaking views (right).(LighthouseAround the last curve, you comeupon the silver-domed lighthouse(left), set on a dramaticpromontory with viewsover the sea. On a goodday, you can see allthe way to Menorca.)Flora and FaunaThe peninsula is all wild:pine trees mostly, with scruband clump grasses, oregano,cactus and wild palmetto every-where. On a hot summer’s day,with cicadas buzzing, you’ll seewild goats, lizards and birds.*
  27. 27. Grand Café, port areaIf you are arriving bycar, you should findample parking justoutside the old walls.Es Convent restau-rant, part of a finehotel (see p140), hasthe best food intown, Mediterranean-style with interestinginternational touches.• Map F2• Ca’n Torró Library,Carrer d’en Serra, 15;971 547311; May–Oct:10am–2pm, 5–8pm Mon–Fri; Nov–Apr: 10am–2pm,4–8pm Mon–Fri• Sant Jaume Church,May–Oct: 10am–1pmTue–Fri, 10am–noon Sun;Mass 9:30am, 12pm &7:30pm; adm €1• Museu Monogràfic,c/Sant Jaume, 30 (971547004); 10am–3:30pmMon–Fri; adm €2,includes ruined Romancity• Pollentia Ruins,adm included in ticket toMuseu Monogràfic• Teatre Romà, C/deSant Ana; open access;adm freeMallorca’sTop10AlcúdiaAt the base of a peninsula, this delightful walledtown was originally a Phoenician settlement andthe capital of the island under the Romans. It waslater destroyed by the Vandals, then rebuilt by theMoors, and prospered as a trading centre well intothe 19th century. Extensively restored, the towncontains many historical sites of interest.30Top 10 Sights1 City Walls2 Historic Centre3 Arab Quarter4 Ajuntament5 Ca’nTorró Library6 Sant Jaume Church7 Museu Monogràfic8 Pollentia Ruins9 Teatre Romà0 Oratori de Sant AnaPort d’Alcúdia!City WallsThe walls were addedafter the Spanish conquestin the 14th century, witha second ring added inthe 17th to further defendthe town. By the 19thcentury they had begunto show the decrepitudeof age and the vagaries oftown and industrialexpansion, but they havenow been restoredalmost to their originalstate. They are piercedwith gates and incorporate26 towers in all.£Arab QuarterThe narrow streets ofthe old town (below) areresonant of what life musthave been likeunder Arab rule,long after Romanorderliness hadbeen buried. Noone knows quitewhere the oldsouk (market)was, but it’s easyto imagine artis-an’s shops, withtheir wares spill-ing out onto thedusty streets.@Historic CentreWhile modern Alcúdiaextends beyond thecity walls and has acommercial porttown attached to it(see p41), most ofthe sights of historicinterest are locatedwithin or near thewalls. These includechurches, mansions,a museum andsome of the island’smost significantRoman ruins.Main gateway through city walls
  28. 28. More ancient sites are on pp54–5Mallorca’sTop1031AjuntamentThe handsomeMediterranean-Revival-styleedifice was given its presentlook in 1929. Above thebalcony is a grand towerwith clock, belfry andweathervane, its pitchedroofs gaily tiled in red andgreen stripes (right).%Ca’nTorró LibraryOpened in 1990, the libra-ry is housed in a prime exam-ple of aristocratic architecturein the 14th century. It hostsconcerts and expositions.^Sant JaumeChurchThe 14th-century churchcollapsed in the winter of1870 but was recentlyrebuilt. The rose windowis lovely, and the innerrecesses feature amazinggold altars (above).&MuseuMonogràficJust one large room, butfull of great finds, espe-cially Roman artifacts andceramics. Particularlyintriguing are the beauti-ful bone pins and otherimplements for a Romanlady’s toilette.*Pollentia RuinsThe Roman city (left) reachedits peak in the 1st and 2nd centu-ries AD. You can see the foundationsof what may have been the forum,and insulae (apartments). A fewbroken pillars have been proppedup, but many of the stones havebeen removed over the centuries.(Teatre RomàThe island’s only in-tact Roman theatre isalso the smallest survi-ving one in Spain. Evenso, it would have heldabout 2,000 people, andtoday is sometimes thevenue for special concerts.)Oratori de Sant AnaThe tiny medievalchapel (right), on the mainroad to Port d’Alcúdia, wasbuilt in the 13th centuryand features a stonecarving of a very stockyVirgin and Child supportedby an angel.$
  29. 29. For more great caves see pp44–5Mallorca’sTop10Coves del DracKnown since ancient times, these limestone caveswere mapped out by French geologist EdouardMartel in 1896. They are now one of Mallorca’stop attractions. Hundreds of people at a time maketheir way along the cavernous path, where artfullylit rock formations and lakes conjure up marvellousimagery. The name “Drac”means “dragon”, probably inreference to the mythicalcreature’s role as the fierceguardian of secret treasure.32Top 10 Features1 Garden2 Four Chambers3 Formations4 Lighting5 Fanciful Figures6 Subterranean Lakes7 Performances8 Boat Ride9 Exit0 Acuàrio de MallorcaColourful rock formationsAllow time to strollaround the gardenand visit theaquarium eitherbefore or after yourtour of the grottoes.A snack bar on-sitesells sandwiches,olives and drinks.Otherwise, head toPortocristo for one ofthe terrace café-restaurants, such asSassecador (see p118).• Map G4• Coves del Drac,Portocristo (also sign-posted as “Cuevas delDrach” from down-town); 971 820753;10am–5pm daily; toursonce every hour except1pm; adm €9.50 (freefor under 7s)• Acuàrio de Mal-lorca C/Gambí,Portocristo, 971 820971;10:30am– 6pm daily insummer, 11am–5:30pmin winter; adm €5, €2.50for children aged 4–8!GardenAs most visitors haveto wait before their tourbegins, the proprietorshave thoughtfully createda beautiful garden by theentrance. Mediterraneantrees and plants, such asolives, figs, violets andhibiscus provide the set-ting for striking displaysof limestone – one pieceeven evokes the shape ofa dragon. Gorgeous pea-cocks roam around.@Four ChambersVisitors descend to thecaves through the LuisArmand Chamber, part ofthe Frenchman’s Cave,which was discovered byMartel. The three othermain caverns are calledBlack Cave, White Caveand Luis Salvador’s Cave.The path is smooth andeven, and no guide speaks,so that visitors have theopportunity to contemplatethe scale and beauty ofthe place in peace.£FormationsThousands of stalactites(those hanging from above),stalagmites (those below),and columns(where the twomeet) range fromthe finest needlesto ponderous, mon-umental massifs(left). There arealso deep ravines,at the bottom ofwhich you cansee crystalline,impossiblyaquamarine andturquoise pools.The subterranean Lake Martel
  30. 30. More ancient sites are on pp54–5Mallorca’sTop1033(ExitVisitors exit by footpast the Lake of theGrand Duchess ofTuscany and Chamber ofthe Columns to the Vesti-bule, which is a funnel-like tunnel leading backup to the surface.)Acuario deMallorcaA short walk from the cavesbrings you to a surpris-ingly good aquarium.Thelower floor has scores ofexotic species; the upperfloor is devoted to deni-zens of the Mediterranean.*Boat RideAs a delightful climaxto the performance, visi-tors are offered boat rides(left) on the lake – eightto a boat – steered byskilled gondoliers whoemploy an elegant figure-of-eight rowing style.%Fanciful FiguresFormations dubbedthe “Inquisition Chamber”or “Ariadne’s Labyrinth”were so named in theMiddle Ages; the “Buddha”and “Flag” speak of moremodern imaginations.$LightingThe cave illuminationsare the work of engineerCarlos Buigas. Crevices,chasms, planes and spa-ces are highlighted to max-imize the effects of chia-roscuro and depth (right). ^SubterraneanLakesOf the several subterran-ean lakes here, LakeMartel is one of theworld’s largest, at 177 m(580 ft) long, with an aver-age width of 30 m (98 ft).Its calm waters reflectthe lighting effects of theperformances (entry 7).&PerformancesSeated in anamphitheatre, innear pitch-darkness,the audience isregaled with a touch-ing display at the end ofthe tour. Hypnotic light-ing effects are accompa-nied by live music from asmall chamber ensemble,floating by on a rowboat.Highlights include Albi-noni’s Adagio, Pachelbel’sCanon and serene worksby Bach, Handel, Chopin,Boccherini and others.The Caves inAncient TimesLarge numbers of Talai-otic, Punic, Roman, Araband Almoravid artifactswere discovered in thecaves during archeolo-gical excavations in 1951.The finds are held invarious museumsaround the island forsafekeeping, but ruinsof a Cyclopean corridor,indicating a prehistoricsettlement, can still beseen at one point ofLuis Salvador’s Cave.
  31. 31. 34Mallorca’sTop10Left Prehistoric walls Centre Christian sanctuary, Felanitx Right Alcúdia’s post-Unification wallsMoments in HistorySo-called Roman bridge, Pollença!PrehistoryNeolithic pastoral societieshave formed by at least 4000 BC.They live in the island’s cavesand keep domesticated animals.As bronze-working is introducedaround 1400 BC, the Talayotperiod begins (see Ses Paissesand Capocorb Vell, p55).@Carthaginian ConquestVarious peoples, includingthe Greeks, use the island as atrading post. However, the absenceof metal ores deters further col-onization until the CarthaginianEmpire spreads to this part of theMediterranean in the 7th century BC.#Roman ConquestIn the third century BC, Car-thage comes into conflict with theexpanding Roman Empire. Romeis victorious in 146 BC and estab-lishes order for the next 500years. Roads and towns are builtand, in AD 404, Mallorca and itsneighbouring islands are establ-ished as the province of Balearica.$Vandal InvasionNo sooner is the new prov-ince officially recognized, however,than the Vandals sweep acrossthe Balearics in about AD 425,swiftly ending Roman rule. Sodestructive is their takeover thatfew traces of the Romans are left.%Byzantine ConquestIn 533, the Byzantines defeatthe Vandals and bring the Balearicsunder their rule, restoring pros-perity and also an orthodox formof Christianity. From faraway Con-stantinople, Emperor Justinianrules the islands as part of theprovince of Sardinia. They enjoythis Byzantine connection untilthe end of the 7th century, thenbecome more or less indepen-dent, with close ties to Catalonia.^Moorish ConquestIn 902, the Moors occupythe islands and turn them into afiefdom of the Emirate of Córdoba.Through a succession of dynasticchanges, they hold on for thenext 327 years and forcibly con-vert all the inhabitants to Islam.&The ReconquistaIn 1229, King Jaume I ofAragón rises to oppose theBalearic Moors. His forces firstland on the westerncoast of the island atSanta Ponça, fromwhere he marcheseastwards to lay siegeto Medina Mayurqa(the Moorish name forPalma). The city fallsto him on 31 Decem-ber, after three months.
  32. 32. For the Top 10 figures in religious history see p53Mallorca’sTop1035Top 10 HistoricalFigures!HannibalThe Carthaginian leader issaid to have been born on theisland of Cabrera, just offMallorca (Ibiza and Malta alsoclaim his birthplace).@Quintus MetellusRoman Consul who occu-pied Mallorca and Menorca inthe 2nd century.#Count BelisariusByzantine general who de-feated the Vandals here in 533.$Emir Abd AllahThis Muslim leader con-quered Mallorca and Menorcain the 10th century.%Jaume IChristian king who tookthe islands back from the Moorsin the 13th century and estab-lished remarkably liberal laws.^Pedro, Son of Jaume IJaume I’s violent son Pedroand grandson Alfonso III triedto take Mallorca away fromthe rightful heir, Jaume II.&Jaume IIThe rightful heir to Jaume I.He and his descendantscarried on Jaume I’s legacyuntil Mallorca was rejoined tothe kingdom of Aragón.*Ramon LlullGreat 13th-century mystic,poet and scholar who had aprofound influence onMallorcan spiritual life.(Robert GravesThe 20th-century Englishwriter, scholar and poet putMallorca on the internationalliterary map (see p96).)Adán DiehlThe Argentinean poet andvisionary built the Grand HotelFormentor in 1929 (see p29),marking out Mallorca as anupper-crust tourist destination.*The Kingdom of MallorcaDespite Jaume’s liberaltreatment of islanders, and hislaws embodied in the Carta dePoblació, the territory descendsinto turmoil after his death, dueto rivalry between his sons. Even-tually, his son Jaume II is restoredand succeeded by his son Sançand Sanç’s nephew Jaume III.(Unification with SpainIn 1344 the islands are onceagain thrown into chaos whenunited with Aragón by Pedro IV.Jaume III is killed during a feebleattempt to retake his kingdom. In1479, with the marriage of Fer-nando V of Aragón and Isabella Iof Castile, Aragón is in turnabsorbed into a new Spanishsuperstate. The islands becomean outpost of little importance,ushering in centuries of decline.)Since 1945Generalissimo FranciscoFranco instigates the develop-ment of mass tourism, whichbrings a much-needed influx offoreign money. This transformsMallorca from a backwater to oneof the 21st century’s choicestvenues of international stardom.The 1479 marriage that unified Spain
  33. 33. 36Mallorca’sTop10In recent years, Mallorca has begun an active programme ofpreserving its natural habitatsAreas of Natural BeautyLeft Cap de Cala Figuera Centre Cap de Capdepera Right Parc Natural de S’Albufera!Cap de Cala FigueraPeninsulaMarked by a lonely lighthouse,this undeveloped area is officiallya military zone, but as long as it’snot closed or guarded, you canwalk out for a view of the entirebay. Nearby Portals Vells is anothertranquil area, while Platja ElMago is a nudist beach. d Map B5@Illa DragoneraThe spot that precipitatedthe current conservationmovement on the island is agreat place to hike, take a picnicor just visit for the sake of thecruise. In season, you can get aferry at either Sant Elm or Portd’Andratx. d Map A4£Mirador de Ricardo RocaA chapel-like structure at thislookout point has “Todo por lapatria” (“All for the Fatherland”)over its door – a remnant fromFascist times – with “patria”blotched out some time ago by aliberal-thinkingmember of the new Spain. Fromhere and a nearby café you’ll finddizzying views down to the seafar below. d Map B3$Barranc de BiniaraixTwo pretty villages lie in agorge opposite the towering pre-sence of Puig Major, Mallorca’shighest mountain. So evocative isthe silence of the gorge – brokenonly by sheep’s bells and the blea-ting of goats – that it has been soldas a record. d Map C2%Gorg BlauCreated by seasonal torrentsover millions of years, the ravinenear Sóller and Puig Major is upto 400 m (1,312 ft) deep but only30 m (98 ft) wide, with somesections never seeing daylight.Do not hike between the cliffs inwinter (see also p103). d Map D2^Torrent de PareisA box canyon at the spotwhere the “Torrent of the Twins”meets the sea is one of thegreat sights ofBarranc de Biniaraix
  34. 34. See Around the Island for resorts and other attractionsclose to these areas of natural beautyMallorca’sTop1037the island. The scale of thescene, with its delicateformations and colours, isamazing, and the sense ofsolitude undisturbed, even by theusual crowds you will encounterhere. The tunnel-like path fromCala Calobra was carved out in1950. d Map D2&Península de FormentorThis jagged spur of the greatSerra de Tramuntana range hasbeen saved from overdevelop-ment mostly due to the fact thata large luxury hotel was builthere in the 1920s. The drive outto the lighthouse is unforgettable(see pp28–9). d Map F1*Parc Natural de S’AlbuferaPliny wrote of night herons,probably from S’Albufera, beingsent to Rome as a gastronomicdelicacy. The wetlandswere drained for agri-culture in the 19thcentury. What landwas left has nowbeen restored andturned into a naturereserve – the Medi-terranean’s largestwetlands. d Map F2(Cap deCapdeperaThe island’s eastern-most point is a greatplace to hike around,though the terrain generallynecessitates little more thaneasy strolling. You can go out tothe lighthouse on its cape ofsheer rock, or check out thepristine coves that lie lined up tothe north and south, includingCala Agulla, Son Moll, SaPedrusca and Sa Font de sa Cala.d Map H3)Parc Naturalde MondragóOne of the newer preservesestablished on the island, thisone is part nature, part heritagesite. It incorporates a full rangeof island terrains, from woodedhills to sandy dunes, as well asan assortment of rural structures.Come here for hiking, birdwatching,picnicking, swimming or simplygetting a feel for old Mallorca(see p114). d Map F6Mountain reservoir in the Gorg Blau
  35. 35. 38Mallorca’sTop10Mallorca is one of the most important stopover points in theMediterranean for migrating birdsWildlife and PlantsLeft Balearic cyclamen Right S’Albufera wetlands!Birds of PreyThe island’s dashingEleanora’s falcons constitute animportant part of the world’spopulation – you cansee them around theFormentor lighthouse(see p29).The peregrinefalcon, too, breeds inthese parts, and youcan spot black vultures,red kite, eagles,Montagu’s harrierand long-eared owl.@Marine BirdsBirdwatchers come from allover Europe to see rare migrants,especially at the S’Albufera wet-lands (see p37), including marshharriers, herons, egrets, stilts,bitterns and flamingos. Seagulls(including the rare Audouin’sgull), sandpipers, cormorants,ducks, ospreys and terns livealong the rocky coasts.£SongbirdsSpeciesbreeding here, orstopping for a visitin the spring orsummer, includestonechats,warblers, thestripy hoopoe,partridges,bun-tings, finches,larks, curlews,thrushes, mar-tins, ravens,shrikes, turtledoves, pipits,swifts, swallows, the brilli-antly coloured Europeanbee-eater and theinimitable nightingale.$MammalsYou should see plentyof wild mountain goatsin the more remoteareas of Mallorca – andthey’ll certainly spyyou. Rabbits, hares,hedgehogs, civet cats,ferrets, weasels andother small creatures may takelonger to spot. The Mallorcandonkey is also an increasingly rareoccurrence – having been cross-bred with its Algerian cousin, thereare a mere handful of registeredmembers of the unalloyed speciesthat exist at present.%Reptiles and AmphibiansFrogs, salamanders, geckos,snakes and lizards abound on theisland. But perhaps the mostinteresting creatures are theendangered ferreret, a type offrog found only in the ravines ofthe Serra de Tramuntana, and theLilford’s lizard. Hunted to extinc-tion by their natural enemies onthe main island, the latter stillthrive on the smaller islets offshore, especially Cabrera. Anotherendangered species is the carettaturtle, which lives in the watersaround Sa Dragonera and Cabrera.^InsectsIn the warmer seasons,you’ll see plenty of colourfulBee-eaterWild goat
  36. 36. Mallorca’sTop1039Orange groves, Serra deTramuntanaWildflowers in springbutterflies in the wood-ed areas of the island,as well as bees, may-flies and mean-lookinghornets. In hot weather,especially among ce-dars, you’ll be treatedto the song of the cica-das, keening away atfull volume, a wonder-ful reminder that you’rein the Mediterranean.But flies and mosqui-toes might take somedealing with.&WildflowersThe island is home to over1,300 varieties of floweringplants, of which 40 are uniquelyMallorcan. These include theBalearic cyclamen, giant orchidsand the delicate bee orchid.Spring and early summer are thetime to see them in all theircolourful bounty, but autumnalso can be good. Look outespecially for the asphodel withits tall spikes and clusters ofpink flowers, Illa de Cabrera’srare dragon arum with itsexotically hairy look, the rockrose in the Serra de Tramuntanaand the Balearic peonies.*Herbs andShrubsThese include the hair-like wild grass (Ampel-odesma mauritanica)used for fodder,thatching and rope;the Balearics’ onlynative palm, the dwarffan palm; giant yuccaand aloe; palmetto,used for basketry;aromatic wild rose-mary; wild broom; anative variety of StJohn’s wort; and thegiant fennel.(TreesThe mountain areas arecharacterized by pines, cedarsand evergreen holm oaks, whilepalms, cypress and yews havebeen planted on the island sincetime immemorial. Olives can reachgreat age (more than 1,000 years)and gargantuan size. They can alsotake on disturbingly anthropomor-phic forms – the 19th-centurywriter George Sand, in her bookA Winter in Majorca (see p18),tells of having to remind herself“that they are only trees”, whenwalking past them at dusk.)Cultivated PlantsSome of the flowering plantsyou see around the island areactually cultivated fordecorative purposes:for example, theoleander, purplemorning glory, aga-panthus, bougainvillea,Bignonia jasminoides(commonly called thetrumpet vine, withboth orange and pinkblooms – used ascover for pergolas),geranium andwisteria. Grapes andolives have been afeature of the Mallor-can landscape sinceRoman times.
  37. 37. 40Mallorca’sTop10Left Port de Pollença Right Port d’AlcúdiaPorts and ResortsPort de SóllerPort d’AndratxSome of Mallorca’s best ports have been developed as topresorts; others are still little more than quaint fishing villages!Cala FornellsA pleasant resort madeup of coves with turquoisewater, sandy beaches andlarge, flat rocks on which tobask. Families flock here,and it’s good for snorkelling.Nearby Peguera has thenightlife (see p42). d Map B4@Port d’AndratxOne of the choicestresort ports on the island,frequented by the Spanish kingand other stellar visitors. Most ofthe restaurants and shops are onthe south side of the port, with aposh sailing club on the north. Thewater is azure and lapis, with touch-es of emerald, but the only beachis tiny. d Map A4£Port de ValldemossaMore a cove than a port, thebeach here is rocky, the housesare made of rock, and rockyvillas are dotted on the hill.Getting here involves a hair-raising series of hairpin bendsdown a cliff face that’s subject torockslides, especially after rains.The lone restaurant, Es Port, is atreat (see p100). d Map C3$Cala DeiàA narrow winding road fromDeià (see p96) leads to apicturesque cove surrounded bysteep cliffs. The beach is shingle,and the water is very clear.Getting down to it by car is theusual routine of narrow switch-backs. d Map C2%Port de SóllerThe lovely bay offers calmwaters for swimming, and a
  38. 38. Mallorca’sTop1041pedestrian walk lines thebeaches. The resort hotels andnightlife venues cater to bothyoung and old. Don’t miss a rideon the antique tram that scootsto and from downtown Sóller(see also p96). d Map C2^Port de PollençaThe family-friendly resortsituated 6 km (4 miles) to theeast of Pollença town, beside apleasant bay, is an attractiveplace with a long, sandy beach.Many retired foreigners havemade the town their home (seealso p104). d Map E1&Port d’AlcúdiaBig and a bit brash, thisresort town has it all, includingwhat most visitors might preferto do without – terrible fast foodjoints and too many fluorescentlights creating a ghostly palloralong the promenade by night.Still, the beaches are good,some of the restaurantsexcellent and the nightlife non-stop (see also p105). d Map F2*Cala RajadaIdeal for watersports of allkinds, but the town itself feels alittle cramped and overused,though it is still a fullyoperational fishingport. Fine coves andbeaches nearbyinclude popular CalaGuyá, Cala Mezquidaand Cala Torta, whichallows nudists (seealso p116). d Map H3(Platja deCanyamelIf a tranquil resort iswhat you’re after, thismight be the place tocome. Even in highseason, it remains aquiet, family-oriented place – justa long, curving sandy beachbacked by pine forests, with afew tasteful hotels here andthere. d Map H3)PortopetroAlthough on the verge ofbeing swallowed whole by Calad’Or (see also p116), this littlefishing village has so far managedto retain its original flavour –possibly because there is nobeach, and only one hotel in town.Charming to walk around and ad-mire the slopes dotted by villas,or maybe just use as your baseto vist the entire area. d Map F6Cala Rajada
  39. 39. 42Mallorca’sTop10Left Peguera Right Cala d’OrBeachesCamp de Mar!Platja de PalmaAt the height of the holidayseason, this 5-km (3-mile) longbeach near the airport becomesexceptionally busy. Numeroushotels, apartments and clubscrowd behind a row of cafés andbars next to the beach.d Map C4/T2@PegueraA sprawling hotch-potch ofmodern structures and touristattractions on a bay ringed bysandy beaches and pleasant pineforests. This is where Jaume I,the Conqueror, first came ashorewith his army to retake theisland from the Moors; now theonly interlopers are the yachtingenthusiasts in the ultramodernmarina. d Map B4£Camp de MarThis tiny, modern urbanizació(development) has an excellentbeach and a pier running out to asmall rocky island in the middleof the cove. You can also climbup on the windswept cliffs ofCap d’es Llamp. d Map B4$CalaTuentOn the wild northern coast,where the opalescent hues ofmassive cliffs and sea meet, thisis probably the area’s quietestbeach, since it’s bypassed bymost of the crowds who cometo see the nearby Torrent dePareis (see pp36 & 103). d Map D2%Cala Sant VicençThe area consists of threecoves – Cala Sant Vicenç, CalaBarques and CalaMolins – with anappealing aura ofintimacy. The first twohave tiny but perfectbeaches, gorgeouswater and views. Thethird is down a hill,with a broader beachand more of a singlesatmosphere (seep104). d Map E1Platja de Formentor
  40. 40. Mallorca’sTop1043^Platja de FormentorDaytrippers from Port dePollença love to come here,either by car or ferry, to partakeof the same pristine sands andpure waters as the guests of thegrand Hotel Formentor. Theunspoiled views here are amongthe very best on the island (seealso p29). d Map F1&Cala MillorOne of the most popularresorts on the east coast ofMallorca. The first hotels beganto appear here as early as the1930s, but the real tourist inva-sion did not start until the 1980s.Similar to neighbouring Cala Bonaand Sa Coma, Cala Millor hasmany beautiful beaches; the mainone is 1.8 km (1 mile) long and isquite magnificent. There are bars,restaurants and clubs aplenty, allover-crowded in summer. To seewhat this coast used to be like,walk to the headland atPunt de n’Amer naturereserve. d Map G4*Cala d’OrActually acollection of eightcoves, which, takentogether, comprise themost upmarket enclaveon the southeasterncoast. Though sprawl-ing, the developmentsare characterized byattractive low-rise,white structuresabundantly swathed ingreenery (see p116).d Map F5(Colònia de SantJordiThe town has a hand-ful of modest hotels, afew restaurants, apretty beach and aninteresting harbour. Many peoplecome here with the sole purposeof catching a boat to nearbyCabrera (see p115), which,according to Pliny, was thebirthplace of the famousCarthaginian leader, Hannibal.The town’s other main attractionis the nearby salt lake, fromwhich huge quantities of saltwere once extracted – the mainsource of the town’s wealth.d Map E6)EsTréncThis splendid beach is every-one’s favourite, and weekendswill find it very crowded withsun-worshippers from Palma.The rest of the week, it’s thedomain of nudists, nature-lovers,and neo-hippies. It remains theisland’s last natural beach, inter-rupted only by the complex ofvacation homes at Ses Covetes(see p116). d Map E6Cala Millor
  41. 41. 44Mallorca’sTop10Left PortalsVells Right Entrance to the Coves D’ArtaCoves and CavesBendinatMallorca’s coastline is characterized by countless coves, many ofthem beautiful and some of them with remarkable caves nearby!IlletesThe western sideof Palma Bay is gene-rally upmarket, and“The Islets” typify thearea’s allure. Tiny is-lands, intimate coves,rocky cliffs and rollinghillsides are accen-tuated with attractivevillas and a scatteringof exclusive hotels.d Map C4/R2@Portals Nous and BendinatThese merged developmentsform one of the more exclusiveresorts on the Bay of Palma: notmany high-rise hotels, just rowsof private villas and apartmentsdominating the shoreline. PortPortals marina is the summerhome of the jet-set. d Map C4/R2£Portals VellsNear the southern tip of PalmaBay’s western shore, severalvirtually private coves and theirsandy beaches await, includingthis one and adjacent Cala Mago,the only officially nudist beachnear the city. The rocky cliffs arethe stuff of local legend, whichrecounts that shipwrecked Italiansailors fulfilled a vow in recom-pense for their salvation bycarving an entire chapel out ofsolid rock (see p58). d Map B5/Q3$Coves de GènovaThough they pale in compari-son with the larger caverns onthe eastern coast, these caves,discovered in 1906, are close toPalma and feature some interest-ing formations. A knowledgeableguide will show you around.d C/Barranc, 45, Gènova • Map C4/R2• 971 402387 • Jun–Sep: 10am–1:30pm& 4–7pm daily; Oct–May: 10:30am–1pm& 3–5:30pm Tue–Sun • Adm €6%Cala PiLush and beautiful, with animmaculate beach and excellentrestaurants. Perhaps because ofthe abundant vegetation, the airseems fresher here than else-where on the island. d Map D6Ses Illetes
  42. 42. Confusingly for English-speakers, caves are called coves inMallorquin and Catalan, while coves are called calas in SpanishMallorca’sTop1045^Cova Blava (Blue Grotto)This pretty little watersidecave is incorporated as part ofthe return trip to the island ofCabrera (see p115). Like it’sfamous forerunner on the Isle ofCapri in Italy, this Blue Grottooffers the amazing spectacle ofthe outside light being filtered upthrough the aquamarine waters,creating a ravishing luminositythat seems at once spectral,gem-like, and visually delicious.You can swim here, too. d Map H6&Coves del DracTake a quiet walk through anunderground fairyland. The visitincorporates a concert on thelarge underground lake, withcaptivating lights reflected in themirror-like waters. Then take aboat to the other side andcontinue your exploration (seepp32–3). d Map G4*Coves d’es HamsThe lighting in these cavernsis more carnival-like than theothers, and there’salso a subterraneanlake, with boat ridesand a light and musicshow as part of yourtour. Guides will giveenough information todelight a speleologist,and the peculiar cave-dwelling crustaceanswill be pointed out(see p113). d Map G4(Coves d’ArtàThese caves haveinspired many overthe centuries, especially sincethey were studied in the 19thcentury. In summer, you .cantake a boat cruise to them fromCala Rajada and Font de Sa Cala– the seaside exit is verydramatic (see p113). d Map H3• Cruises May–Oct: three daily)Cala Figuera,Cap de FormentorCutting a chunk out towards thevery end of dramatic Península deFormentor, this cove lies at thebottom of a precipitous ravine. It’saccessible either on foot – youpark up above, just off the roadthat winds out to the lighthouse– or by boat. Once there, theviews of the surrounding cliffsare awesome, and the beach andwater make it one of the island’smost inviting swimming spots(see p29). d Map F1Rocky cove, Palma BayCala Figuera
  43. 43. 46Mallorca’sTop10Outdoor Activities and SportsLeft Cycling Centre Golf Right Paragliding!Snorkelling and DivingVirtually all the tranquilcoves around the island are idealfor snorkelling, with plenty ofrocks and hidden recesses toexplore. A favourite is the covedown from Estellencs (see p50).As for scuba diving, there areseveral centres, including at Portd’Andratx and Cala Rajada (seepp40–41), offering the gear andboat trips out to the best spots.@OtherWatersportsParagliding and jet-skiing are popular.Though windsurfing isalso popular aroundthe whole island, it isreally best only on theeastern and southerncoasts, where thewaters tend to becalmer, and within theprotected bay of thePort de Sóller(seepp40 & 96). You canhire the equipmentfrom various estab-lishments along thebeaches.£Hiking andRock-ClimbingThe island is a hiker’sdream, with no end oftrails, many of themmarked and mappedout. There are compel-ling challenges forclimbers, too, on therocky cliffs thatabound along the entire length ofthe Serra de Tramuntana, fromSóller in the west to the end ofthe Península de Formentor inthe east. Tourist offices andparks offer published guidelinesfor tackling the island’s wilds.$CyclingYou’ll see groups of avid cyc-lists, decked out in their colourfulthreads, all over the island, fromthe twistiest mountain roads tothe narrowest stone-walled lanes of Es Pla.Given the challengesmost people experi-ence when driving inMallorca, it takes a bitof nerve to negotiatethe same roads ontwo wheels. But youcan easily rent bikesof all types in mosttowns, and the land-scape is certainly con-ducive to cycling.Watersports at Cala DeiaClimbing near Sóller
  44. 44. Mallorca’sTop1047Watersports equipment for hireYachts, Port d’Andratx%GolfThis is a sport that has takenMallorca by storm. Courses areprevalent near the big resorts,though some of the finer hotelshave their own and many morehave putting greens. There aresome 18 major golf coursesscattered all around the island.d Golf Son Termens, Bunyola (971617862) • Capdepera Golf (971 818500)• Club de Golf Vall d’Or, Portocolom-Calad’Or (971 837001)^BoatingYou can hire sail boats ormotor boats for yourself, or signon for a full-day or sunset cruise,many of which also featurewater-skiing and other activities,and buffet lunches. They are theonly way to explore some of theisland’s more inaccessible – andtherefore virtually private – coves.&FishingAs with other water activities,there are a number of boats thatwill take you out fishing for theday, particularly from the smallport towns that still fish the seascommercially, includingPortocolom (seep116). The bays ofPollença and Alcúdia(see pp104–5) are alsopopular for fishing.*Bird-WatchingNature reservesare best for birdsightings, especiallythose on the north-eastern coast,S’Albufera and thePenínsula de Formentor (seepp36–7). Spring and autumn areoptimal times to visit, whenmigratory birds use Mallorca as astaging post between Europeand Africa. The isolated islandsof Sa Dragonera and Cabrera(see p115) are also excellent.(The BullfightThere are five bullrings:in Palma, Muro, Alcúdia, Incaand Fulanito, though historicallythe bullfighting tradition has notbeen so important to Mallorcans(or to Catalans generally) as inother parts of Spain. In season,between March and October,there are eight or nine bullfights.The killing, albeit executedaccording to strictly ceremoniousguidelines, can be bloody andpathetic, so be warned.)FútbolThere are two football(soccer) teams in Mallorca: RealMallorca and Atlético Baleares,both of whom play in Palmaduring the season, which runsfrom early September to April.Real Mallorca has enjoyedconsiderable success in recentyears, and, in any case, attendinga match can be a fun, high-spirited, and good-humoured wayto see the locals participating inthe game they love the best.
  45. 45. 48Mallorca’sTop10LeftWalkers, Palma Centre Bunyola–Orient road Right Sa Calobra road (“The Snake”)Walks and DrivesView from Sa Calobra!Palma’s Walls (Walk)The best part of the old wallfor walking is along the Parc de laMar (see pp64 & 90). d Map K–P5@La Reserva (Walk)The reserve on the slopes ofPuig de Galatzó is best describedas “Mallorca’s paradise”. A 3.5 km(2 mile) trail leads past waterfalls,springs and olive trees. d Map B3• Two hours • Adm €10.50£Sant Elm to SaTrapa (Walk)This popular walk leads to anold Trappist monastery (and futuremountain refuge) and has fineviews of the island of Sa Drago-nera. A shorter route is signpostedbeside the cemetery on the SantElm–Andratx road. d Map A4 • Threehours for whole route$Puig de SantaEugénia (Walk)From the village ofSanta Eugénia, walkto Ses Coves, used atvarious times as bandithideouts and winecellars. From here, aseries of tracks takesyou up to a pass andthe cross on the summit of Puigde Santa Eugénia, affording fineviews. d Map D3 • Two hours to top%Archduke’s Mulepath (Walk)Only experienced walkersshould attempt this day-longround trip from Valldemossa. Redmarkers take you up to a miradorand a high plateau before droppingback down through a woodedvalley. d Map C3 • Six hours^Andratx RoundTrip (Drive)Take the main highway northof Andratx to the Mirador RicardoRoca, Banyalbufar, then Miradorde ses Ànimes (see p56) for stun-ning perspectives. Turn towardsSa Granja, then pass down throughPuigpunyent, Puig de Galatzo,Galilea, Es Capdellà and back toAndratx. d Map B3–4 • Two hours&Old Road to Sóller (Drive)The drive over the Coll deSóller, with its 57 hairpin bends,is the most terrifying in Mallorca.But it’s worth it to see what lifeused to be like before the tunnelopened. d Map C3 • About 45 minutesSince most of the island remains undeveloped, there are plentyof opportunities to explore off the beaten trackSection of Palma’s city walls
  46. 46. Mallorca’sTop1049Top 10 Peaks!Puig MajorThe island’s highest moun-tain is part of the Tramuntanarange. Its stark, rocky promin-ence provides a powerfullandmark for miles around(see p106). d 1,447 m (4,747 ft)@Puig de MassanellaThe highest mountain thatcan actually be climbed on theisland. d 1,367 m (4,484 ft)£Puig de ses BassetesSouthwest of Massanella,near the beautiful Gorg Blaureservoir, among some ofMallorca’s most stirring land-scapes. d 1,216 m (3,989 ft)$Puig d’esTeixIn the heart of the mostverdant part of the Tramuntana,northeast of Valldemossa.d 1,062 m (3,484 ft)%Puig GalatzóOverlooks the picturesquevalley of Puigpunyent, northof Palma. d 1,025 m (3,363 ft)^Puig RoigJust north of the holy siteof Lluc and named for its reddishcolour d 1,002 m (3,287 ft)&Puig CaragolerAccess is via Camí Vell deLluc, a pilgrim trail that used tobe the only way to get to LlucMonastery. d 906 m (2,972 ft)*Puig MorellGood for hiking, this is thehighest peak in the Serres deLlevant by the southeastcoast. d 560 m (1,837 ft)(Puig de RandaThe only highpoint on theCentral Plain – site of Santuaride Nostra Senyora de Cura(see p61). d 543 m (1,781 ft))Puig Sant SalvadorThe second highest peakin the Serra de Llevant, hometo a well-loved monastery(see p61). d 510 m (1,673 ft)*Sa Calobra (Drive)Driving anywhere aroundPuig Major affords great viewsand challenges your drivingskills. This purpose-made road –which translates as “The Snake”– has earned its name, with 270-degree loops and other harrow-ing features. It leads to a tinysettlement, where you canexplore the dazzling beauties ofthe box canyon created overaeons by surging torrents (seep106). d Map D2 • About 30 minutes(Pollença to Puig deMaria (Walk)You’ll find the signpost to Puigde Maria at Km 52 on the mainroad from Palma to Pollença. Asanctuary, set on an isolated hillthat dominates the bays ofPollença and Alcúdia, offersstirring views of the Penínsulade Formentor. d Map E1–2 • 90minutes to top)Bunyola–Orient–Alaró(Drive)Another extremely narrow roadthat threads its way along preci-pitous mountain ridges, but worthit for the unforgettable views.The town of Orient is a prettyeagle’s-nest of a place, and theglimpse of Castell d’Alaró willfire your imagination (see p50).d Map C3–D3 • About 1 hour with stopsOn mountain hikes, take food and water, a map, compass, whistleand mobile phone, as well as protection from sun, wind and rainMirador de ses Anímes
  47. 47. 50Mallorca’sTop10Left Estellencs Right CapdeperaVillagesFor nalutxAlaró!EstellencsThough it is apretty terraced townin a magnificent moun-tain setting, its oldhouses of grey-brownstone – left unplas-tered and unadorned –were essentially builtfor defence. Even the15th-century churchbelfry was used as aplace of refuge, aswere most towers onthe island (see alsop98). d Map B3@DeiàSpilling down a steep hillside,Deià’s earth-tone houses are, tomany, the finest on the island.English poet and writer RobertGraves and his artistic friendscertainly thought so, bringinginternational fame to this reallyrather modest town. Today, thetiny artists’ retreat has beenbought up by the wealthy, thoughit still retains its humble appear-ance (see also p96). d Map C2£FornalutxOften voted Mallorca’s loveli-est town – if not all of Spain’s –this enchanting mountain villagewas founded by the Moors in the12th century. The tiny town squareis a friendly gathering place, butit is the heady views peopleremember – up to the island’shighest mountain and down intoa verdant chasm below (see alsop97). d Map D2$OrientAgain, it is themountain setting thatdazzles: this tiny,remote hamlet ofsome 40 houses hassome of the finestviews the island hasto offer. It’s also anexcellent base forhikers or anyone whojust wants to breathethe exhilarating air (seealso p98). d Map D3%AlaróAt one end of a very scenicmountain road, under the shadowof the commanding Castell d’Alaró,this pleasant village dates fromat least the time of the Moors. Ifyou want to climb up to thecastle, drive up to Es Vergerrestaurant and proceed on foot:the ascent takes about 45minutes and the view ismarvellous (see p97). d Map D3
  48. 48. Mallorca’sTop1051^BinissalemThe town is probably secondonly to Palma in the number andsplendour of its mansions, datingfrom the 18th century, when itbecame the centre of a boomingwine business. All that ended atthe end of the 19th century,when phylloxera wiped out thevines, but wineries are making acomeback these days, producinggood reds (see p121). d Map D3&Santa Maria del CamíA way station for wearytravellers through the centuries,the village has a charmingBaroque belfry, the Convent delsMínims and a quaintly traditionalMallorcan textile factory (seep125). d Map D3*AlgaidaMost people passthrough the outskirtsof this small town ontheir way to Puig deRanda, but it’s worthstopping for somegood restaurants,where the people ofPalma dine at week-ends (see p125). TheGordiola Glassworks(see p123). are alsonearby. d Map D4(SantanyíFounded in 1300 byJaume II, Santanyí wasgiven a protective walldue to its proximity tothe coast. Only part ofthat wall remains but itgives the place a certaincharacter. For thisreason, the town hasattracted a large numberof foreign dwellers, whohave turned it into arather cosmopolitan,well-kept place com-pared with nearbytowns. Check out the art galle-ries on the main square (seealso p117). d Map F6)CapdeperaThe extremely large andwell-preserved medieval fortressthat dominates the ridge abovethe town is the main reason tocome to Capdepera. With itscrenellated walls draped over therolling hilltop, it is certainly anoble sight and one of Mallorca’sfinest castles. Some sort of forthas been here since at leastRoman times, and more or lesscontinuously used throughoutcenturies of internationalsquabbles and pirate raids (seealso pp57 & 113). d Map H3Orient
  49. 49. 52Mallorca’sTop10Watching the Setmana Santa procession in PalmaFestivals!Revetla de SantAntoni AbatOne of Mallorca’s mostunusual festivals, inhonour of St Anthony,the patron saint of pets.For two days in January inSa Pobla, pets are ledthrough the town to beblessed outside thechurch. Elsewhere, dancersdrive out costumed devils,to ensure harmony duringthe coming year, andeveryone circles bonfires andeats spicy pastries filled withspinach and marsh eels. d 17 Jan• Palma, Sa Pobla, Muro and elsewhere@MaundyThursdaySetmana Santa (Holy Week)in the capital city is observed bya solemn procession of some5,000 people parading an icon ofthe crucified Christ through thestreets. d Mar or Apr • Palma£Good FridayMany Mallorcan towns haveprocessions during Holy Week.The Calvari steps in Pollença are thescene of a moving re-enactment,the Davallament (the Lowering)each Good Friday, when in totalsilence a figure of Christ is re-moved from a cross and carrieddown the steps by torchlight.d Mar or Apr • Pollença & elsewhere$Festas de Sant SebastiàMallorca’s capital cityhonours its patron saint withfireworks, dragons, processions,street concerts and beachparties in one of theisland’s most colourfuland exuberant festivals.d last fortnight in January• Palma de Mallorca%Festa de Nostra Sen-yora de la VictòriaPort de Sóller is the venuefor a mock battle betweenChristians and Moors, incommemoration of askirmish in which Arabiccorsairs were routed in 1561.Expect lots of rowdy, boozy fun,brandishing of swords and thefiring of antique guns. d Around9 May • Port de Sóller^Corpus ChristiParticipants dress up aseagles and perform the Ball delsÀguiles (“Dance of the Eagles”)in Pollença’s town square. Whatexactly this has to do with themiracle of Transubstantiationduring Holy Communion is notreally explained, thus scholarssuspect the celebration’s originsare pre-Christian. d Jun • Pollença&Día de Mare de Déudel LarmeThis celebration of the patronsaint of seafarers and fishermentakes place in various coastalsettlements. Boats are blessed,torches are lit (as at Port deSóller), and sailors carry effigiesof the Virgin. d 15–16 Jul • Palma,Port de Sóller, Colònia de Sant Pere,Portocolom, Cala Rajada & other portsFesta de SantJaume
  50. 50. Most island festivals are religious in origin, but some celebratefamous victories, some food and others the artsMallorca’sTop1053Top 10 Figures inReligious History!LlucAn legend recounts thatover 700 years ago, an Arabboy named Lluc, recentlyconverted to Christianity,discovered the effigy of theMadonna at Lluc (see pp26–7).@Ramon LlullThe 13th-century mysticfounded several religiousobservances on the island.£KnightsTemplarA rich and powerfulbrotherhood of Christianmilitary monks (see p90).$Inquisition JudgesThe hated Inquisition wasintroduced to the island in1484 and led to the burningalive of at least 85 peoplebetween 1484 and 1512.%XuetesThe name given to theJews who were coerced bythe Inquisition into convertingto Catholicism.^Junípero SerraImportant 18th-centurymissionary, born in the townof Petra (see p122).&Santa CatalinaThe island’s only home-grown saint, Santa CatalinaThomàs was born in the 1500sin Valldemossa (see pp18–19).*Cardinal DespuigThe 18th-century cardinaldeveloped the more opulentside of church life on theisland (see p95)(Bishop CampinsThe driving force behindthe renewal of the monasteryat Lluc as a pilgrimage site.)GaudíHighly devout himself, thearchitect was responsible forthe restoration of Palma Cath-edral and other holy sites.*Festa de Sant JaumeSt James is celebrated withthe usual summer highjinks, inclu-ding folk dancing, fireworks andparades, featuring an icon of thesaint and various religious symbols.d Week leading up to 25 Jul • Alcúdia(Mare de Déu dels ÀngelsAnother, even longer battlebetween the Christians and theMoors, this time in Pollença.The town spends a whole yearpreparing for the event, in whichhundreds of youths dress up.d 2 Aug • Pollença)Festa de ÀngelVillages across Mallorcacelebrate the Feast Day of theAngel with a pilgrimage to theirlocal shrine. The biggest eventtakes place in Palma’s Castellde Bellver (see pp12–13) butthe pilgrimage from Alaró (seep50) to its castle is also verycolourful. d Sunday after EasterRevetla de Sant Antoni AbatChristians fighting Moors, Port de Sóller