You have planned a trip to Mallorca? Great choice! Located in the heart of the Mediterranean sea and shaped by two mountain ranges, Mallorca will astound you with its remarkable physiographic diversity and rich cultural heritage. While white sandy beaches are still a must-visit, I wanted to share my top favorite spots to visit.
Pollensa is a labyrinth of narrow medieval cobblestoned streets, Baroque churches, Gothic chapels, and a beautiful Roman bridge. Most houses In Pollensa date back from the 17th and 18th centuries. Plaça Major, the main square, boasts several outdoor cafés and a large 13th-century church , Esglèsia de Nostra Senyora dels Àngels. One of the landmarks of this picturesque town is the 365-step stairway known as CALVARY STEPS that leads up to a chapel on top of the hill known as Calvary. When you reach the top your ‘workout’ will be richly rewarded with a magnificent view of the northernmost coast of the island.
The chapel – built between 1795-99 – hosts a sculptured group of the crucified Christ with the Virgin at his feet from the XIVth century. If you are there during the Easter break, you might be lucky enough to witness the haunting re-enactment of Christ’s body being carried down the steps on Good Friday to the sound of pounding drums.
To get to the beginning of the Calvary Steps, follow the signs to the Plaza Mayor. Then take a left behind the main church into what is known as Plaza Vieja, continue straight on until you see the start of the steps to your right.
Another favorite spot The Santuari de Lluc, a monastery and pilgrimage site located in the municipality of Escorca in northwest Majorca. It is located in a basin at a height of 525 meters and is surrounded by several high mountains such as the Puig de Massanella. The sanctuary was founded in the 13th century after a Moorish shepherd found a statue of the Virgin Mary on the site where the monastery was later erected.
Lluc is considered to be the most important pilgrimage site in Majorca. It is also known for its boys’ choir, Els Blauets – a name derived from the blue cassocks worn by the boys – that was founded in 1531; the choir holds regular concerts and has gained international fame. Today, the cells of former monks are leased to visitors. As it is located centrally in the Serra de Tramuntana the monastery is often used as a starting point for walking tours.
If you are driving up in the northeast of Mallorca, don’t miss out on the small town of Artá and the iconic Sanctuary of San Salvador, you will find lovely shops, picturesque streets, and beautiful views.
Set at the top of Puig de Sant Salvador, the sanctuary is a monastic complex and the largest fortress on the island. Although it dates back to 1348, the church standing today was built in the 18th century. The church houses a Gothic altarpiece carved in the first half of the 15th century that represents the Passion of Christ. It is the only Gothic altarpiece preserved in Mallorca.
The dome’s fresco is a work by painter Salvador Torres. It was finished in 1892 and represents the Holy Glory. Once inside the building, we find a Romanesque carving of the Virgin of Sant Salvador, the patron saint of Artà since 1922.
But, the most remarkable element of this building is found on the first floor of the facade. It is a Renaissance window framed by two attached columns that support an ornamented architrave with geometric vegetal motifs. The total renewal boosts its soaring splendor.
The 180 stone steps that lead up to the Sanctuary begin at the Parish Church of Transfiguration. The visit to Sant Salvador is free.
The municipality of Capdepera is located in eastern Mallorca between the towns of Artá and Son Servera. Built during the 14th century under the orders of King Jaume II to protect residents from pirate attacks, Capdepera Castle is the historic core of the city. Legend has it that the citizens of Capdepera hid in the castle when under siege, placing an image of Our Lady of Hope on the battlements, and the invaders were driven away by fog. The miracle is recorded inside the castle on the Capel aide Nostra Senyora de la Esperanca and is remembered each year at the town’s annual fiesta. You reach the castle by climbing the steps from the market square, Placa de Orient.
Capdepera Castle was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest (“BIC” in the Spanish acronym), a status that affords maximum protection for historic heritage.
The castle, which also houses the Museu de la Llata, can be visited all year round, every day between 10.00 am and 8.00 pm, 5.00 pm in the off-season. The income raised from the entry fee goes toward the maintenance and conservation of the cultural heritage of the municipality of Capdepera.
The 210 m tall Torre Nova at the top used to be an observation tower and dates back to 1577. It was built with limestone masonry and lime mortar, however, nearly all of the exterior plaster has fallen off over the years along with many stones, which threatened the stability of the tower.
The Central Government and Capdepera Town Hall have decided to renovate the tower and an agreement has been signed. The most expensive part of the restoration works is the transportation of materials to the tower’s location.
My advice is never to underestimate a trail – wearing good hiking shoes or boots is essential, as well as carrying enough food and water for the duration of the hike, and wear copious amounts of sunscreen because Mallorca is shining more than 333 days per year.
Read also 5 Most Fascinating And Funny Facts About Mallorca
And, as always, feel free to contact our local team if you have any follow-up questions about any of the posts on this website. We are always happy to chat and travel with our readers.