Let’s do a little throwback to just over a week ago when I was still living in Mallorca. I’m not quite ready to start on my Tenerife tales just yet when there is still so much to say the Balearic Island.
Although mainly known as a tourist destination due to it’s easy access from the UK and other European countries combined with its often cheap prices, Mallorca surprised me as an island. Before this job, I had never been and heard very little about assuming it was a slightly nicer version of Benidorm due to its popularity with British tourists. Mallorca is so much more and is one of the most stunningly beautiful places I have ever visited and I am grateful that for a period of time, I called the island my home. There is so much culture and history on the island, especially in the quaint little towns away from the touristic areas. The best towns I encountered were Valldemossa and Sineu.
Up in the mountains of Mallorca lives the beautiful rural village, one of the prettiest on the island, fantastic for a cultural visit. Wandering the cobbled streets, everything is authentically Mallorquian. No commercialism, not trying to be anything it’s not, just a peaceful, traditional town. Shops full of handmade goods, alleys of the cutest cafes and breathtaking gardens. An old tradition you will find is that many doorways feature the figure of Saint Catalina Thomas, the patron saint of Mallorca, meant to protest homes from harm. For a true history lesson, a visit to the monastery is a must. It is a landmark of Valldemossa and the reason many people visit the town due to its links with the composer Chopin. This 13th century monastery was originally a royal residence and also the fountain of inspiration for many writers, composers and artists.
Although I did not eat during my status in the village, a tradition of ‘coco de patata’ or potato cake is popular with the locals. Eaten often with coffee or hot chocolate, it is a sweet cake made from boiled potatoes.
A very small village with difficulty to get lost or stray too far from the centre, it is a worthwhile visit.
Another traditional, rural town, Sineu is famous for its weekly market. The biggest on the island and also the place to buy absolutely anything… even live animals!! The market will take you hours to wander but make sure you pick up some of the most scrumptious strawberries that will ever pass your list and grab freshly baked ensaimadas or churros. Every Wednesday, Sineu is the place to be so dig out your haggling skills.
As well as its fantastic market, Sineu has a lot of culture and places of interest. All streets are very traditional, the church is beautiful, many historical buildings can be explored and there is also an interesting art gallery, S’Estacid.