’s party resorts are all well and good, but if you’re on the hunt for something a bit more refined then take a look at the elegant town of Pollença
on the island’s north coast.
Loved for millennia
was an important settlement in Roman times, when it was known as Pollentia. Not much survives from this period, and the centre of the cobblestone old-town is an enchanting, more recent ensemble of buildings from the late medieval period and early modern age. The Parish Church of Our Lady of the Angels
is a gothic Knights Templar church from the 1300s, but was in fact built on an ancient Greek-Roman temple.
To explore another exquisite old church pay a visit to Nostra Senyora del Roser
, boasting a preserved gothic carving of the Virgin, a baroque altarpiece from the 1600s and a stunning organ dating to the 1700s.
For a glimpse of a Roman settlement you need to head into the steep surrounding countryside, where the torrent of Sant Jordi
is traversed by a stone bridge from the 300s. Other historical fragments around the town include stone watchtowers built for early warnings of Berber and pirate raids, and beautiful hermitages nestled high in the hills to afford spiritual reflection.
The closest of these is atop Pollença’s
own Mount Calvari
, and can be accessed by climbing a stairway with 365 steps.
A beach destination with style
Port de Pollença
is the town’s coastal settlement and is set next to a curved beach in a bay that is protected by two long headlands. This makes the sea at Port Pollença
invitingly calm and perfectly clear. Families will be delighted by the large swathes of shallow water at this gently shelving beach, great for younger kids. Here on one of Mallorca’s
premier beaches, visitors will not want for services and facilities, with sunshades, sunbeds and lifeguard.
The scenery will be memorable too, with eye-catching ridges of scrubby limestone hills running from the north getting larger as they pass the town to the east. In the evenings you could take a stroll or bike ride along the sea wall and take in the silhouette of the mountains as the sun sets behind them.
Rugged activities for the adventurous
Many people will be seduced by the tall hills that rear up behind Pollença
, and the terrain means that active holidaymakers will be in their element, climbing hills, trekking across wild headlands and biking along trails flanked by pine forest.
This is a spur of the Tramuntana Mountains
, which take up most of northern and eastern Mallorca
. They tend to be covered in dense pine forest and are home to wandering herds of goats, olive groves and citrus trees bearing lemons and oranges in late-winter and spring.
The most immediate attraction will be Puig de Pollença
, which poses a similar if slightly more taxing version of the 365-step climb to the summit of Mount Calvari
. Puig de Pollença
is steeper, and sturdy walking shoes will be in order for the trip. Although the slope can seem formidable, most walkers will take under an hour to get to the top. At the summit the reward will be inspiring views of the mountains and sea, as well another beautiful old hermitage and a medieval watchtower.
Bird-watchers can head to the Boquer Valley
, which cuts through a section of the mountains and has large numbers of blue rock thrushes amongst a wealth of migratory birds. Also well worth the trip is Cap de Formentor
northernmost tip. The landscapes here are rough and rugged, with precipitous cliffs, stark rocky hills and the occasional sheltered beach.
If all that sounds a bit much, then take advantage of the local golf courses. Golf Pollença
is a 9-holer with gorgeous mountain views, while Alcanada
is 15 minutes away and is by most measures one of the very best courses on an island famed for its high-end golf.
Local markets and traditional food
has roving markets offering anything from fresh local produce to a range of artisan products including textiles and souvenir trinkets. The Port’s market takes place on Wednesday’s and there’s one to check out in Pollença
Also take the chance to dine like a local. Pollença’s
rural heritage has endowed the town with a cuisine based on soups and similarly hearty meals. Tumbet
is a satisfying combination of peppers, aubergine, potatoes and tomato. The cured sausage sobrasada is a Mallorcan classic, similar in flavour to chorizo, but with a softer, spreadable texture.
Get to Pollença in 40 minutes with your car hire from the Drivalia Car Rental
depot at Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI)
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