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09·DEC·2014

Llucmajor - wild and rugged

Mallorca´s largest municipality is effortlessly close to the capital and within 30 minutes of the Drivalia Car Rental depot at Palma de Mallorca Airport, but thanks to a wild and rugged shoreline is completely free of busy resorts and crowds. Come here for cycling trips, cultural visits and to relax at some stunning little coves.
The best place in Mallorca for cycling The landscapes of Llucmajor are flat, with just a few hills towards the north and east of the municipality. This, combined with a maze of country lanes and a 400-kilmetre network of trails, makes it the place to swap your hire car for two wheels. Inland are farms with grand old fincas (grand old farmhouses). You can pass through olive groves and orchards growing anything from almonds to citrus fruits. If you´re here in January or February you can catch the almond trees in bloom, one of the most beautiful natural scenes in Mallorca. The coast is also served by these trails, and here you´ll encounter southern Mallorca´s least developed shoreline; here cliffs are interspersed with quiet coastal towns where you can stop off for a drink or meal. A different breed of Majorcan beach Llucmajor´s long coastline makes up a great deal of Mallorca´s southern coast. Yet here, instead of long, touristy beach strips and noisy resorts, the waterfront is rocky and the beaches are compact and intimate. Scrub and pine trees cover the cliffs, headlands and outcrops that form the backdrop for a series of beautiful little coves. One of the best of these is small resort of Cala Pi, which has a narrow but perfectly-formed beach, bookended by gorge-like walls adorned with evergreen plants. The sea is almost transparent and safe for less experienced swimmers as it cuts almost 100 metres into the coastline, protecting it from the elements. In the summer this expanse of sea is often dotted with luxury yachts.
Cala Blava is along the same lines, with crystalline waters and flaxen sands that are backed by a family-friendly residential zone. Other options for bathing in Llucmajor are a straight choice between the rock beaches that offer superb swimming in tranquil seas, such as Caló de Sant Antoni, Calonet des Fornàs and Caló de Ses Lleonardes, or the more tourist-oriented beaches that are just beyond the eastern and western boundaries of Llucmajor. If you want to jump into your Drivalia hire car to get to one of the livelier spots, then El Arenal to the east makes up the western portion of the 6km Playa de Palma and buzzes with activity both day and night. Es Trenc, east of Cala Pi, is a long sandy beach on the edge of a Natural Park and regarded as one of the best beaches, not just in Mallorca, but all of Spain. A thousand years before the Romans Llucmajor has what may well be the most important historical site on Mallorca. Capocorb Vell is a Bronze Age settlement built by the Talayotic culture, dating as far back as 3500 years. It´s essentially a village in an astounding state of preservation. There are walls that reach heights of seven metres, and it´s even possible to step into individual rooms. The site is believed to have been a ceremonial centre, and a venue for celebrations that marked important stages on the calendar, including harvests, the equinox, solstice and hunts. Or a little more recent Llucmajor also boasts its fair share of religious history, which can all be encountered within a short drive. There are charming old churches to be found in the shape of the Parochial Church of Sant Miquel, which is a lovely 18th-Century church at the heart of the town of Llucmajor. It includes elements from an earlier gothic building from the 1200s. Also in the town is the Convent of Sant Bonaventura, dating to the early-1600s. More remote, and lying in the shadow of a cliff to the northwest of Llucmajor is the 15th-century Sanctuary of Our Lady of Grace.
It wouldn´t be Mallorca without golf Llucmajor is a fine location if you want to indulge in Mallorca´s favourite pastime. There are three clubs in the area: Son Antem East, Son Antem West and Golf Maioris. The Son Antem courses are blessed with world-class facilities, including the largest practice area in all of Spain. The setting is as charming as you would expect, with fairways surrounded by Mediterranean pine forest and olive trees. Maioris is a more affordable option, but is in keeping with the high standards found on the island. Found near the coast Maioris offers year-round golf thanks to the sea breezes that quell the heat in summer, and the above average hours of sunshine in winter. Get to LLucmajor within half an hour from the Drivalia car rental depot at Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI) airport.