Discovering the quiet side of Majorca

January 9, 2014

Europe

Port de Soller, Mallorca by ILA-boy (Creative Commons)

Port de Soller, Mallorca by ILA-boy (Creative Commons)

Majorca is one of the busiest and most popular of the Balearic Islands, so you could be forgiven for thinking that you’ll encounter crowds wherever you go. However, there are some amazing little gems that are hidden just off the beaten tourist trail that are perfect for a quiet day out.

Even if you want to base yourself in an all-inclusive resort or head off on a late deal (you can see a selection of these here), there’s nothing to stop you exploring a bit more of the island during your trip. The following are our top picks if you want to see a side of Majorca away from its busiest spots.

Valldemossa

Valldemossa is tucked away in the mountains near Majorca’s west coast but is relatively close to Palma, so if you’re based in or near the capital it’s an easy journey to reach for a day out.

The village is considered to be one of the prettiest on the island, as well as being incredibly tranquil. Its streets are lined by traditional buildings, with plants and flowers spilling out of window boxes and growing out of pots by seemingly every doorway.

Simply strolling along the narrow streets is the best way to explore – take your time and pop into any of the small galleries, gift shops or cafes that catch your eye along the way. One of the big attractions here is the Real Cartuja monastery, which dates from the 14th century. Its main claim to fame is that composer Frederick Chopin and author George Sand rented cells here in 1838-39.

Soller

Also in the west of Majorca, although further north than Valldemossa, is Soller. This charming town is surrounded by verdant orange groves and is a delight to discover. It’s also incredibly easy to reach from Palma, thanks to the vintage train that runs daily to the town.

Soller is a couple of miles inland and this region in the Tramuntana mountains has been inhabited for thousands of years. The main draw here is the peaceful atmosphere and the picturesque architecture. In the centre of the town is the imposing Church of Sant Bartomeu, which has stood here since the 13th century although it’s undergone several renovations over the years.

It’s well worth paying a visit to the botanical gardens, too, which are part of the Natural Science Museum. Within the gardens you can see a vast array of plant life from the Balearic and Canary islands.

Andratx

Our final suggestion for a top day trip in Majorca is Andratx, another inland village but this time in the south-west of the isle. This town also has a tranquil vibe, although it’s well worth visiting on a Wednesday if you can as this is when the weekly market is held and the streets come alive with vendors selling all manner of local produce. The town itself is surrounded by orange and almond groves, providing a wonderfully picturesque backdrop.

However, there’s more to Andratx than just its weekly market, with the town also being home to one of the largest art centres in the Balearic Islands – the CCA Andratx Art Centre. Paintings, sculptures, photos and many other pieces are on show here, some by local artists and others by international names.

Don’t leave Andratx without paying a visit to its charming 13th century Church of Santa Maria, either. Its location near the top of the town means it’s got some stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

 

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