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Algaida, Mallorca

Traditional rural town in the centre of Mallorca

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Algaida is a handsome rural town made from Mallorca’s celebrated sandstone, complete with vibrant green shutters, narrow streets and a central square dominated by a pretty 15th-century church.

The small town of Algaida is set within the lowlands of the small hills located halfway between Palma and Manacor, just off the road that connects the two. The old windmills scattered in and around the town dominate the landscape, and are the first thing that spring to mind when you hear the town's name. Away from the tourist trail, Algaida welcomes just a small number of tourists year-round in comparison to the island's huge resorts. It is one of the best spots on the island to soak up some authentic Mallorcan culture especially if in search of some good quality local cuisine. There are six small mountains in the municipality, the highest being Puig de Randa, at 543-metres, which hosts Sanctuari de Cura, a place where historic philosopher and writer Ramon Lluc spent some time.  

History & Culture in Algaida

The name Algaida originated from the Arabic word 'al-gaida' which can be directly translated as ‘the base’. The area around Algaida has remains of Talaiotic settlements (1400-123 BC). Under Arab rule, there were two large farmsteads named Algaida, although the town did not truly develop until the arrival of the Catalans in the 13th century when a church was built (the church you see today is the second church constructed on the same plot). Algaida’s economy was based on agriculture from the 14th to the mid 20th century when tourism and small industries took over. Today it is highly regarded for its typical Mallorcan restaurants. 

You might notice the promotional black bull of the Andalusian sherry distiller Osborne that stands just outside Algaida. Perceived by advocates of Mallorcan independence as a symbol of foreign dominance, it has experienced several attacks but has each time been rebuilt. The Osborne bull is now protected throughout Spain as a "National Cultural Icon."

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Sights & Attractions in Algaida

Windmills
The town of Algaida is famous for the windmills that dominate its skyline. Mostly built in the 18th and 19th centuries, the most iconic are the Moli d'en Pau, Moli d'en Boi and Moli d'en Xina.

Algaida's historic centre
The church of Sant Pere i Sant Pau was built in the years 1410-1445 and is the prettiest attraction within the town centre, an area rich in religious history. The most recognised site nearby is the Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de Cura which sits on top of Puig de Randa (543m), the highest point in the centre of the island boasting spectacular views. This old monastery was founded by the legendary writer and philosopher Ramón Llull in the 13th century and has since received many pilgrims. Today, historic buildings, a museum, a gift shop, accommodation and a restaurant attract visitors from far and wide. On the road up to the sanctuary, you will come across two other religious sites: the beautiful 15th-century Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Gracia, which sits under the foot of an impressive cliff and the 14th-century Santuario de Sant Honorat, above the cliff, which has a small chapel, monastic buildings and a large courtyard.

Gordiola Glass Factory
Gordiola, a glass factory, is housed in an 18th-century castle on the outskirts of Algaida. The ground floor contains a workshop decorated with majestic arches and stained glass, where you can watch glass being blown. Upstairs there are museums devoted to both glass and perfume.

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Events in Algaida

Algaida hosts a market every Friday morning selling local produce and a variety of artisanal crafts. Sant Honorat Fiesta, on the 16th of January, is the town's main event, as locals commemorate their patron saint. Algaida also holds a summer festival during the last two weeks of July in honour of Sant Jaume. These festivals feature the Cossiers dancers, a traditional dance troupe comprising six men, a woman and the devil. In October, the town says goodbye to summer and celebrates the harvest with an autumn festival when the streets fill with music, cultural events and sporting competitions. 

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Things to Do in Algaida

While the town appeals to many for its slow pace of life, traditions, history and culture, the surrounding area is a true paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

Cycling
The roads around Algaida are excellent for cycling, with plenty of flat routes around the countryside lanes and the hills of Randa for the more adventurous cyclists.  A cycle tour of all 17 windmills in this area of the island is recommended.

Hiking
There are also numerous hiking routes in this area, especially popular are the paths going up to the Sanctuary of Cura on the Puig de Randa.

Golf
There’s plenty of opportunities to tee off in this part of the island. The exclusive Golf Son Gual Mallorca and Golf Park Mallorca Puntiró are both on Algaida’s doorstep.

Wine tastings & tours
Within close proximity to Algaida, there are various vineyards available to visit. Can Majoral Bodega is well-known around the island and stands close to the town. Bodegas Oliver Morague is one of the oldest family wine manors in Mallorca and is also well worth a visit. 

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Dining in Algaida

Algaida may be one of the smallest towns in Mallorca but, foodies, don’t be fooled by its size because it is home to some top-quality local restaurants. Palma locals come here at weekends for typical Mallorcan cuisine. On the edge of the village, people will travel from far and wide to visit Es 4 Vents where you will find traditional fare including freshly grilled meat and fish – the suckling pig is a favourite among its loyal following.

Cal Dimoni is another eatery offering hearty Mallorcan cuisine complete with a charming setting. Celler Bar Randa and Restaurant Es Repic are more typical local haunts, serving freshly prepared, simple food at appealing prices. 

For those looking to try something a bit different, Sa Casa Mallorquina is an extraordinary adults-only destination, offering a high end Italian fine dining experience and a marvellous atmosphere.  

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Hotels in Algaida

Algaida provides the perfect base for a country escape in Mallorca. The outskirts of Algaida, as well as the countryside towards the hill town of Randa, encompass large villas and charming rural finca hotels – old farmhouses that have been tastefully restored.

Surrounded by vineyards and oak forests Agroturism Possessió Binicomprat describes itself as a living heritage of Mallorca. This country house dates back to the 16th century and affords traditional, yet comfortable home-away-from-home accommodation complete with splendid terraces and an outdoor swimming pool. You can see why many choose to stay here.

The four-star Es Reco de Randa Hotel is a hotel housed in a rustic 17th-century building located in the picturesque village of Randa, between Algaida and Llucmajor. The charming building is surrounded by scenic gardens while the hotel claims both indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a tennis court, making it the ideal place to disconnect from the rest of the world.

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How to get to Algaida

By car
It’s a short, easy 20 minutes to get to Algaida from Palma de Mallorca’s Sant Joan airport. Come out of the airport and follow the Ma-15 towards Manacor, it’s signposted just off the main road.

Public transport
From the airport, catch bus number 1 bus to Plaça d'Espanya bus station in Palma, from here, there are direct public buses running to Algaida throughout the day. You can take either the L400, L490 or L491 – each run a few times per day. It is also possible to reach places like Porto Colom, Montuiri, Felanitx and Porreres using public buses running through Algaida.

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