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Small guide of the Balearic Islands

MALLORCA

Capital: Palma
Airport:    PALMA (PMI)a new terminal building – a 15 min walk from the plane in some cases!  Lots of shops land side of gates.  Tel 971 789099.
Transfer Bus service (no 17) every 30 mins (0800 to midight) to Palma, Plaza de Espana,  where you can get a bus direct to most places on the island.  Rail links from here to Soller, Inca and Sa PoblaTaxi approx €15 to Palma and 20 minutes
Tourist Office 971 71 22 16

 

Mallorca is a diverse island: from the hectic nightlife and fish ‘n’ chips of Magalluf to the unspoilt beach of Formentor and the villas of the rich and famous (Madonna, Michael Douglas, the King of Spain), it never fails to delight.  Palma is now a popular weekend destination thanks to some cheap, ‘no frills’ scheduled flights.  If in Palma do take the narrow gauge, wooden train up to Soller in the north west just for the journey!  My favourite area, however,  remains the north.

GETTING THERE:  Plenty of charter flights, but also Easyjet from Luton and Liverpool, Monarch from Luton, BMI from Heathrow.

Mallorcan food to try

  • Lechona – Roast suckling pig.  Truly a sublime delight.  The best will be a whole one shared, but in a restaurant you’ll probably only get a portion, and you may have to order in advance.
  • Coca – Mallorcan ‘pizza’.  A thin pastry base topped with either red peppers or maybe spinach with raisins and pine nuts, or onions.
  • Pa amb oli – Country bread (made with brown flour and no salt)  sprinkled with salt and olive oil – if first rubbed with tomato it becomes Pa amb Tomaquet
  • Trempo – Summer only.  A salad of tomatoes, onion, apple and peppers and sometimes containing Inca biscuits – so refreshing thanks to the superior taste of vegetables out there.
  • Sopes Mallorquines – Winter dish.   A ‘soup’ made with vegetables and maybe some meat served on bread in a bowl.   The  bread soaks up most of the juice making a delicious stodgy meal.
  • Frito Mallorquin – a fry-up of offal chopped small with garlic, potato and pepper.  Much nicer than it sounds – I love it and I won’t even touch liver here!!
  • Ensaimadas – fluffy pastries topped with icing sugar.  Either small individual ones – great for breakfast – or a large one, plain or stuffed with creme patisserie or cabello de angel jam.
  • Sobrasada – a coarse meat paste made from pork and seasoned with paprika.  It is sold packed into a large sausage skin.   Good spread on bread.
  • Tumbet – a Mallorcan version of ratatouille but with potatoes .. and much nicer.

 

PALMA

A fantastic location for a relaxed weekend break – not too much to see but enough to be interesting, plenty of streets to wander, shopping, boats, cafe bars in the sunshine …If you are staying in Palma, try to stay right in the centre (see below) rather than out in the luxury hotels near the port.  All of the sights (except Bellver Castle) are within easy walking distance.  If you are driving in for the day, there is underground parking under the Plaza Mayor (€10.6 per 24 hours).

Catedral

The cathedral is one of the most famous sights of Palma, standing proud as it does, almost at water’s edge, buttresses flying.  The best view is from the port.  It is built on top of the old Mosque as King Jaume’s thank you to the Virgin for helping him see off the Moors.  The main doors are enormous Gothic affairs and hardly ever open; to enter, go around to the side and enter via the Museo (tickets €3).  There are some lovely rose windows and some railings by Gaudi in front of the altar.  Do make sure to return after sunset to see the building lit up.

Modernista Buildings

Take your camera for a stroll past these buildings.  At the top of the Passeig des Borns, head right along Avenida Jaume III to Plaza Sta Catalina where there are two tall houses on the right, commissioned by a wealthy baker in 1908; just a little further on at Plaza Weyler is The Gran Hotel on the left.  It is no longer a hotel but houses art exhibitions.  Just a step or two further and there is the picturesque Forn del Teatro, the much-photographed little green bakery (which sells a mean empanada de Galicia).   From here take the steps up towards the Plaza Mayor, where just south of it at Plaza Marques del Palmer is perhaps the prettiest, labelled the Clinica Dental.  From here you are well placed to wander the tangle of pedestrianised shopping streets between Plaza Mayor and Passeig des Borns.

Arab Baths

On Carrer Can Serra (plenty of signs pointing the way) these aren’t the most impressive baths, but are worth the €1.7 to see a mini, monochrome version of the Mezquita at Cordoba, as well as the enormous cactus in the central courtyard.

Bellver Castle

If you have a car, drive up; if not, take a taxi.  Heading away from the catedral along the Paseo Maritimo, turn right as signposted then left onto Avenida Joan Miro and right onto Cami Jose Cela, through the entrance gates and all the way up (ignore the madmen parking their cars outside the gates – they want to walk!).  Entrance fee is €1.5; there’s not much to see, rather the castle is worth visiting for its novel round design and its fantastic views over the city.  No bars or toilets up here.

Shopping

Avenida Jaume III – Corte Ingles, Mango, shoes, etc.  Passeig des Born – Zara.Side streets (some pedestrianised) between Passeig des Born through Plaza Mayor to Plaza del Olivar (the site of the daily covered food market).

Bar/restaurants

The best place to go for tapas is the area west of Passeig des Born that begins with c/Apuntadors, where every other door is a bar.  Anyway, here are a few bars we sampled:

  • Bar Bosch, at the top of the Passeig des Born, is a good starting place with its tables outside and patio heaters for the winter.  For tapas, they have, quote, “.. everything ..”.  G&T €3.6.
  • Vecchio Giovanni, on Carrer San Juan, is Italian in origin (but serves plenty of Spanish food) and hence there are crowds of ebullient, good looking waiters to serve you, including one whose sole job it is to stand outside and charm the female members of your party inside!  We had a good selection of tapas, including Sopes, Frito, calamares.  Worth a visit (especially if you’re female!).
  • Tirol on c/Apuntadores.  Ok, ok, it is Austrian but the waiters are all Spanish and so is the food.  You may have to wait at the tiny bar until a table is free downstairs, but movement is usually fairly swift.  Excellent habas (broad beans with Serrano ham).
  • Taberna del Capitan Nemo, on c/Boteria, is a quirkly little blue place, with a balconied upstairs, walls shelved with wine and a wicked chandelier.  They serve a fabulosa variedad de pinchos – different things on bread!  Include as part of your crawl!  Closed Sundays.
  • El Pilon is signposted just off the top end of Passeig des Born (right-hand side if heading towards sea).  It is tiny and very popular.  My only visit was at midnight when the waiters were not prepared to serve me (funny, I thought I was in Spain!  I went up to Bar Bosch.)  However, my trusty researchers, Penny and Ian, returned and found it worth a visit: good selection of tapas but owing to restricted table space, cheesy waiters are keen to move you on quickly … keep the G&Ts going to hold your table!  Good value.
  • Abaca on Carrer San Juan, for an obligatory £££ cocktail.  It cultivates exclusivity with its huge plain wooden doors that give no clue that this is a bar, but state largely NO PHOTOS.  Inside we wandered around the cascade of satsumas crossing the bar floor in search of a table; there was one left – by a very drafty door.  We sat down for all of 30 seconds  … time enough to realise that we had in fact wandered into Dracula’s parlour!  We left without waiting to be served: the exaggerated decor, deathly quiet atmosphere and the smug ‘see how rich we are’ clientele were not for us – give me the litter-strewn clatter of a real Spanish bar anytime!

Hotel Recommendation

For absolute convenience I recommend the Hotel Born on C/Sant Jaume, 3 (tel 971 712942 / fax 971 718618 / hotel_born@hotmail.com).  It’s superbly placed at the top of the Passeig des Born in a very narrow one-way street (ask the taxi to drop you outside C&A).  The hotel is a converted 16th century Palma mansion house with a lovely, palm tree planted internal courtyard.  The impressive stone staircase from reception may take your mind off the fact that there is no lift (but not if your case is heavy and your room on the 4th floor!).  Rooms are a little plain but Spanish spotless.  Double bedrooms with bath range from 69-93 Euros (11 to 15,000 Pts), suite 114€ – ask for one overlooking the courtyard, as the street can be noisy.The Hotel Almudaina would also be a good choice, locationally, being right on Carrer Jaume III, but is more expensive. (Tel 971 727340.)

 

POLLENSA

Pollensa town is a higgledy-piggledy bundle of golden, sandstone coloured houses with the Plaza Mayor at its centre.  There is a by-pass road and, if you’re driving, it’s best to enter Pollensa by the entrance opposite the modern sculpture and park straight away.  Do not be tempted to try your hand at driving around the centre!

After parking, head straight up the Avinguda Pollentia towards the main square for a drink outside the Cafe Espanol.  Do take a peek inside the church of Nostra Senyora dels Angels – it is the centre of the community and always decorated for any event; it looks particularly pretty at Christmas, hung with strings of pure white paper disks, some intricately cut.Head on upwards (follow the incline!) to the Calvari. The Calvari consists of 365 steps up to a chapel at the top (if you can’t face the walk it is possible to drive up by following the signs at the north end of town).  To the right of the chapel is a lookout point for some good views.   The Calvari is the scene of the candle-lit Good Friday devallement procession where the figure of Christ is brought down from the Chapel in complete silence.   If you want to watch be prepared to go early to get a place on the Calvari steps, and be warned the procession (once it starts) takes about 45 minutes to pass – very moving but a long time to keep quiet!.

From the bottom of the Calvari steps, follow the road left to the Pont Roma – a Romanesque bridge over the inaptly named Torrent de Jordi.The market is on Sundays: fruit and veg, etc in the Plaza Mayor; T shirts and the rest in Plaza de Ca Les Munnares.  Eat tapas after at Hotel Juma on the square – good value: 8 drinks, 4 medium tapas, 2 toasted sandwich and a bocadillo = €18.5 (Easter 2002). The Frito de Calamar is excellent. You could also eat at the unpromising looking Bar Jordi on Calle Formentor: the restaurant at the back of the bar holds awards for Mallorcan cuisine … and the price is good too!   Another recommendation is Bar Nou on the corner of Antonio Maura and Carritx, to the left of the Plaza Mayor.  C’an Olesa right on the main square offers good quality Mallorquin cuisine in a converted town house.  Prices are around €8 a head for drinks and one course.  La Fonda in the road parallel to the left-hand side of the main square offers meals a cut above – the roast kid was delicious – for around 20€ a head including wine.Don’t be afraid to go into Club Pollenca on the main square for a drink – it appears to be for members, but only the room on the right of the entrance is.

On non-market days you’ll find an ice cream kiosk in Plaza Mayor called Gelats Vals.  Do try it – the ice cream is a cottage industry located in a village house a couple of streets away.  There’s also a kiosk on the front in Puerto Pollensa in summer.

Puig de Maria

Puig (pronounced ‘pooch’) means a hill.  For the adventurous, try a drive up the Puig de Maria – but only with a hire car!.  This is the huge hill outside the town, topped with a sanctuary.  On the by-pass road heading towards Palma, take the turning on the left after the modern sculpture, signposted El Puig.  Hopefully you won’t meet anything coming down as the road hairpins upwards.  There’s a necessary turning spot at the top – turn the car and park close to the hillside.  The walk the rest of the way takes about 10 mins.  The views are inspiring.  Do make sure to ring the bell and order a glass of wine or an ice cream – the revenue helps to keep the place going.   You can stay here in a monastic cell for around £10 – see Hotels below. Take a look at the huge kitchen, where they still cook  in the huge fireplace.   Notice the ‘cooker rings’ on the right, where you can light a mini fire to heat up your tin of beans! (Firewood – leña – available for 100 Pts!)  There are also BBQs and picnic tables outside that you can use.

Fiesta

Pollensa’s holds its patronalin the last week of July, culminating on 2 August.  The fiesta marks the saving of the town from Moorish invasion by Joan Mas, who heard the invasion beginning and woke the rest of the town to successfully fight them off.  General festivities and nightly concert during the week.  1 August evening sees the town full and partying.  The traditional drink is Mesclat .. it’s also traditional to throw it over people!  It stains light red – representing the blood shed in battle, I suppose!  This party goes on all night … try to stay up to hear the town band play La Alborada   at 5.30 am in the main square, which was supposed to wake the town to fight off the Moors.  Serious partiers hear this, have an ensaimado and chocolate and head to the beach!  On 2 August the festivities begin with the dance of Les Cossiers which starts in the main church after Mass at 10 am and then winds round town.   If you don’t want to go to Mass, hang around outside church about 11.00.   The dancers first make for Placa Vella (turn right out of the church, then right again).  The dance ends in front of the Ayuntamiento (town hall).Most people then enjoy a huge family lunch before the main reenactment of the battle of the Moors and Christians.  This is a chance for the town to let off steam!   Everyone will be dressed as either Moor or Christians (Christians wear white – supposed to be their night attire as the invasion took place at night).  Find a spot near a doorway on c/Mayor to watch the battle around 2pm.  There is first a procession of children carrying an icon of the Virgin of the Sea.   Then the man with the honour of being selected to play the role of Joan Mas (the guy that alerted the villagers to invasion and therefore the hero) shouts the start of the battle at the Plaza Font del Gallo.  You will need a doorway to duck into as the crazy action surrounds you.  The atmosphere is electric: plenty of screaming and shouting, policemen get engulfed in the fun and you wonder at the safety of it all .. but this is not something that crosses the average Spaniard’s mind!  The Christians carry long sticks; the Moors are heavily made up and colourfully dressed.  Everyone usually ends up covered in Moorish make-up!  The battle finishes at the Campo de Futbol on the outskirts of town.  Day finishes with fireworks at midnight.

Walks

Two undemanding walks to try in the area are:

  • Boquer Valley: Starts at Puerto de Pollensa.  Follow the sign to Formentor, off Calle Juan XXIII.   As the houses peter out, turn left – you should see some open, rough ground.   (Park here.)  Look up towards the hills – you should see a building about half-way up.  This is the Boquer farmhouse. Make for this, through the avenue of trees which cuts across the rough ground.  You have to walk right past the front door of the farmhouse and pass through the gate at the end.  This all looks a bit private and you may have second thoughts – there may even be a barking dog tied to the gate!   Try calling “HOLA!” in at the farmhouse door if you are unsure.   If the elderly lady is at home ask if you can pass “por favor, puedo pasar a Cala Boquer?” .  The way is public, but it feels better to ask! Once through the gate, follow the valley down to the sea.  You’ll hear nothing except the bleating of goats and the tinkling of their bells!  There is a little copse of trees about half-way which makes a good place to stop for a picnic.  The sierra on your left is the Cavall Bernat – look out for the ‘window’ that has been eroded in it.  It takes around an hour to walk to the cala, which is small and pebbly, with crystal clear water.
  • Castell del Rei: This is a walk through the Ternelles valley to a ruined castle atop a cliff (or down to the sea, depending on your fancy).  The walk is through private land and the owners only open the gates on Saturdays between 9.30 am and 3.30 pm.  As a result, it can be pretty crowded.Driving from Puerto de Pollensa, towards Pollensa itself, go straight on at the large roundabout just before the town.  Turn right down a lane signposted to Ternelles.  Follow this lane until you come to a large set of gates across the road – park here.  The walk takes about an hour and a half to arrive at the castle – the last part is a bit of a scramble up.  The valley makes for a very pretty walk; parts are through woodland.  Once through the woodland, you could follow the right-hand path that leads down to the coast, rather than the left-hand path that climbs up to the castle.If you like walking, there’s an excellent book called Landscapes of Mallorca by Valerie Crespi-Green.

 

Puerto Pollensa

Out on the coast is the port of Pollensa, a pleasant holiday resort with just the right amount of development: good shopping, plenty of bars and restaurants, low level hotels and apartments.  The market is on Wednesday in the Plaza Miquel Capllonch.  There is also a lovely church on this square and plenty of bars around the edge.

Parking: drive straight down to the roundabout on the sea front and turn right; free car park on left.  If this is full there is a waste ground car park in c/ Rotger de Flor off the main road from Pollensa – road is on the left coming from Pollensa – there is a Farmacia on the corner .The beach is nicest if you walk left at the seafront, along the wide pedestrianised boulevard, and round the bay a bit.

Mir, the supermarket with the bright orange awnings on the front, has a huge selection of alcohol of every type – his prices are a bit steep but he is open on Sundays.  There is a better value, large Caprabo supermarket on the road towards Pollensa before the Habitat apartments.

Restaurants tend to come and go here, but C’an Ferrat, a tiny restaurant on Calle Sant Pere, (last turning on right before the sea front roundabout off Juan XXIII street) seems to endure. The food is good; the price is right and it’s run by a couple of diminutive brothers!  Not exactly the place for a romantic dinner – the ambience is bright lights and fishing artefacts – it’s ever popular with the Brits and hence empty by 10 pm!  The Frito Mallorquin is excellent as is the rabbit and lamb chops.  Menorquina ice cream is a bonus.  (Having found Calle Sant Pere, do go into the bakery on the corner to buy ensaimadas and empanadas (pasties).  Also try the El Pozo tapas bar for good tapas albeit in a utilitarian bar atmosphere.

Hotels

There are now 3 hotels in Pollensa town.

  • The Jumais located right on the main square with some rooms overlooking it (for which you will pay £5 per night extra).  The busy bar on the ground floor serves decent tapas at a reasonable price.  Hotel Juma, Placa Major, 9, 07460 Pollenca.  Tel: 971 535002 / Fax: 971 534155www.hoteljuma.com.  Double room with bath €90 (+ €6 for Placa room).  Single room with shower €65.  Prices include breakfast.
  • Hotel Son Sant Jordi is a converted town house with beautiful rustic rooms and a swimming pool.  Winter prices are incredibly good value at 54€ a night for a double room and breakfast.  Hotel Son Sant Jordi, Calle Sant Jordi, 29, Pollensa.  Tel 971 530 389,www.sonsantjordi.com.
  • The third hotel is a converted medieval town house in carrer Roser Vell.  The Posada de Lluc has 8 rooms which all look lovely, but the prices start from 100€ a night including breakfast.  It also has a pool and garden.  Posada de Lluc, carrer Roser Vell, 11.  Tel 971 535220www.posadalluc.com

A more quirky stay near Pollensa would be the Ermita de Nuestra Senora del Puig, where you can stay in a simple monastic cell for around £10.  It is a most serene place where you could spend entire days just looking at the views.  There is a cafe-bar and you can use the antique kitchen to self-cater by purchasing leña (firewood).  However, do bear in mind the access:   a taxi will take you most of the way up but you will still have a 10 minute walk up to the Ermita.  If you have a car, there is no where to park – in fact doing the manoeuvre to turn around and come back down takes nerves of steel with an unfenced, sheer drop on one side!  Tel  971 530235.   For a luxury stay in Puerto Pollensa try the 4* Illa d’Or hotel – it’s in a lovely spot (quiet and pretty) right opposite the sea.  It was refurbished last year.

If you want self-catering accommodation try the Agroturismo website which specialises in high-quality rural traditional accommodation – there are some 70+ on Mallorca!  It’s in Spanish but has a clickable map to take you to details on that accommodation.  In particular, I can recommend Son Siurana, situated between Pollensa and Alcudia.  It’s a beautifully restored manor farmhouse with 4 independent apartments within the main house and 3 detached casitas in the grounds, all sleeping either 2 or 4, plus a junior suite for 2.  There’s a beautiful swimming pool, views over the plain towards Sa Pobla and a walled citrus fruit and herb garden from which you can help yourself.

It’s a happy combination between luxury hotel and self-catering villa: you can have a completely independent stay, self-catering, as they are very well-equipped, but at the same time there is daily maid service and you can order  breakfast (to be taken where you want).  As Spanish breakfasts go, it’s expensiveHaving returned from a 3rd trip (just to make sure!) I am happy to report that it’s fast becoming my most favourite place on earth!  The owners go out of their way to make you comfortable, and the quality is outstanding for the price. The accommodation is arranged as follows:

Detached houses:

Portassa – 2 twin bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, large living/dining room, terrace.  The largest of the separate properties, it is at the front right of the main house.

Colomer – 1 twin bedroom, 1 bathroom, large living/dining room with kitchen area, terrace.  Cosy little house – the nearest to the pool.

Sequer – 1 twin bedroom, 1 bathroom, large living/dining room with kitchen area, terrace.  Slightly away from the rest of the properties for those who like their own space.

Moli Vell – this is the junior suite with an enormous 4-poster bed, sofa, minibar fridge and ballroom sized bathroom.  Situated at the rear of the main house, adjoining the orchard, with its own terrace.  Ideal honeymoon stuff.

Apartments attached to the main house:

Sestador and Grana – these 2 apartments are alone on the first floor at the front of the building with marvellous views over the pool to the mountains beyond.  Both have 2 twin/double bedrooms and 2 bathrooms plus large living/dining room and separate kitchen.  Cosier than Portassa for a winter stay.

Sostre – a multi storey apartment on the left hand end of the main building, with 2 twin/double bedrooms but only one bathroom.  One bedroom is the only room on the top floor and has an attic feel.  It has a spacious living/dining room and kitchen area.

Palissa – the small single storey apartment on the very left hand end of the main building – 1 twin room and bathroom, plus living/dining room and kitchen area.

Sestador – 1 twin/double bed and bath, living/dining room and kitchen area plus terrace.  This apartment is at the rear of the main building by the orchard, near to Moli Vell

FORMENTOR

The road winds up from Puerto Pollensa to the Formentor promontary.  The views both of the Puerto itself and the cliffs are spectacular – be prepared to share this with coachloads of tourists in summer.  Keep following the road until you come to Hotel Formentor (a luxurious place to stay – tel 971 865300) and the beach (Cala Pi) – unspoilt except for the essential bar/restaurant (open all year – even Christmas morning!).  The sea is crystal clear and the sand is fine.  The road carries on further past the beach, ending at the lighthouse with more fantastic views.

 

CALA SAN VICENTE

Cala San Vicente is actually 3 calas (coves):   Cala Barques, Cala Clara and Cala Molins.  The first one you arrive at is Cala Barques – if you’re lucky you’ll be able to park your car here in the little semi-circular car park – then walk down the steps past the fishermen’s houses to it.  It’s a picturesque little cove, although does tend to have a problem with tar (butter removes it from feet!).  From this cove you can walk around the path to the tiny Cala Clara.  You can drive (or walk) to Cala Molins by ignoring the car park at Cala Barques and following the road round to the right.  Turn left at the T-junction and following the headland road round.  It’s possible to walk to a further cove – Cala Carbo – by following the coast.Apart from the beaches there is not much else here – souvenir/beach shops, a couple of hotels and some apartments/villas and a few restaurants.  Of these, worth making a trip for is C’al Patrol on the steps down to Cala Barques:  just the place for paella for Sunday lunch.

 

LLUC

The monastery at Lluc is worth a drive if you’ve a couple of hours spare.  Follow the signs from Pollensa; the road winds upwards.  The monastery is home to the little brown Virgin, La Moreneta (who is a lot smaller than you might think!) There’s also a cafe/bar and restaurant.  You can stay here in a luxury monastic cell if you like – tel 971 517025 to book.

SA CALOBRA AND THE TORRENT DE PAREIS

A stunning drive down looping, hairpin bends down to where the Torrent de Pareis river emerges at the coast.   Not to be undertaken by nervous drivers or those suffering travel sickness!  At one point the road actually loops back and under itself – the so-called ‘tie knot’.  As you near the coast the road passes through gaps in the rocks that appear almost too narrow to pass.  You reach the coast at the cove of Sa Calobra.  Follow the partly tunnelled walkway, right, around the coast to where the Torrent de Pareis emerges into a boxed in beach and then finally out to the sea.

ALCUDIA

Alcudia town is worth a trip to see the well-preserved city walls and gates.   The market is on Tuesdays.  Puerto de Alcudia is a sort of down-at-heel Puerto Pollensa: it’s bigger and more commercialised with more beach shops and fast food outlets.Alcudia holds an annual Romeria (a festive ‘ramble’ to have a picnic somewhere) with horse drawn carts carrying the party food – 25 July.A good place to drive for lunch is towards Mal Pas:   drive into Alcudia town towards the centre, passing the town walls on your left.   As you hit the traffic lights at the T-junction just past the walls, turn right then left immediately (a sort of staggered junction).  Follow this road, turning right off it following the sign post to Ermita de la Victoria.  The road passes through woods: look out for a lone restaurant on the left and pull off the road into their rough car park.  The sardines are great here.  You can get down onto the pebbly beach, as well as enjoying the views over the bay of Pollensa.

 

INCA

Two main reasons for coming here: the huge market on Thursdays, and the leather factory outlets – particularly shoes – the Camper(TM) shoes factory shop is worth a visit (this is the home of Camper) and also Yanko, Pelinca and Lotusse .  Inca also produces the small, round, hard biscuits, available packeted in all grocers and supermarkets, that are crumbled into Trempo salad.Parking: from Pollensa drive straight into Inca town   and turn right at the lights (you’ll see the beginning of the market just ahead); drive down and park in one of the side roads on the right.  Get there by train from Palma.Eat at C’an Amer, c/Miguel Dran 39 (if you can find it – half way down the market and off left!), tel 0034 971501261.  Seafood soup and roast suckling pig in bodega atmosphere.

 

WINE TASTING

If the weather turns sour what better way to pass the day than sampling Mallorca’s wine?  Head off to Santa Maria to find one of the biggest bodegas on the island – Jose Ferrer.  The tour costs 6€ and ends with a tasting of 3 different wines in the caves.  The shop is good, with interesting objets for sale such as sawn down barrels (¼ barrel would make an excellent coffee table!).  The building dates from 1931 and the operation was expanded in 1995.  Sporting the familiar orange labels, this is perhaps Mallorca’s most prolific wine – but still only 20% makes it off the island.  The ’99 Reserva was absolutely superb at 11.89€.  Ferrer was the second bodega in the Binnisalem region to be awarded the ‘denominacion’: the first to get it couldn’t be more different.

Jose L Ferrer
Tel 971 511050 – www.VinosFerrer.com

The Nadal bodega is away down the country lanes behind Santa Maria and housed in a lovely stone masia.  This is a family run operation, making wine from the Mantonegro, Monistrol and Callet grapes grown around them.  You can have a free tasting of their joven (young) wine, or pay the price of a bottle of wine and they will open it for tasting.  We tasted the crianza at 4.50€ a bottle and were so taken with it we bought a case.

Antonio Nadal – Bodegas Finca Son Roig
Tel 971 451 146

Note: most bodegas are closed during the lunch period, 2-4 pm.

 

MARKET DAYS

Sunday Pollensa, Alcudia, Arenal, Muro, Sa Pobla, Valldemossa
Monday Manacor, Calvia
Tuesday Alcudia, Arta, Campanet
Wednesday Puerto Pollensa, Andratx, Sineu
Thursday Inca
Friday Son Servera, Binisalem, Can Picafort
Saturday Soller, Cala Ratjada, Alcudia, Arenal, Palma

MALLORCA TRAINS

Trains The train station is located in Plaza de Espana in Palma and the line runs up to Sa Pobla via Inca.  Trains are on the hour (and every half hour in rush hour).There is also a narrow gauge line up to Soller on which a quaint wooden train rattles through 13 mountain tunnels and the most beautiful countryside. The wooden trains depart daily at 10.40 am and 3.15 pm, stopping once at a photo-opportunity! Return times from Soller – 9.15 am and 14.10 am. Return fare is 10 – upgrade to 1st class for about 60p!

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September 2nd 2019, 13:38

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