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Pollensa (Pollenca), Mallorca

Attractive rural town in Mallorca - in the North-West

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At the eastern end of the Serra de Tramuntana and tucked between two hills, each topped by a sacred site, Pollenca is the perfect Mallorcan town. Large enough to avoid being twee but small enough to wander round in a morning, it has none of the feel of other towns which have succumbed under the sheer weight of tourism.

Foreigners have long been attracted here, but Pollensa has learned to accept and adapt to tourism without losing its soul. Cafe life is still the rule; if you want to join in, come on a Sunday morning when the Placa Major is filled with market stalls and the locals congregate after church to relax in the Cafe Espanyol.

Pollenca's port, Puerto de Pollenca lies a few kilometres to the north. It has a glorious beach and a further selection of restaurants and cafes to enjoy.

Villas in Pollensa (Pollenca)

Whenever we are asked where to book a villa rental in Mallorca, the region around Pollenca and Port de Pollenca comes to mind first. The area is perfect, firstly for its abundance of villas to choose from, its proximity to the sea, stunning scenery and plenty of activities. This is the area for family villa rentals.

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Hotels in Pollensa (Pollenca)

Without doubt, the five star Son Brull Hotel is one of the finest on the island of Mallorca. Situated a few miles outside Pollenca in beautiful countryside, it offers a perfect blend of grand historical buildings, stunning interior design and a superb restaurant. More of a retreat than a full service hotel is the gorgeous La Serrania, also just outside Pollensa.

Within the town itself, there are a couple of charming options. On the main square you'll find Hotel Juma and L'Hostal, which are run by the same management. Juma offers traditional, classic rooms whilst the L'Hostal has a more contemporary and fresh feel. A further option just around the corner is the simple but sweet Hotel Desbrull. Also in the town but with the added bonus of providing private swimming pools are Hotel Son Sant Jordi and Posada de Lluc. Both are small hotels decorated in a traditional style.

If you would prefer to stay in Port de Pollenca next to the beach, there are plenty of beach-resort type hotels that offer good value for money. A prettier and more luxurious option overlooking the Bay of Pollensa is the Llenaire which offers 11 bedrooms in a beautiful converted manor house.

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Events in Pollensa (Pollenca)

Pollenca has many fairs and fiestas throughout the year. One of the most popular is the Wine Fair in April, held in the Santo Domingo church. Try samples of locally produced Mallorcan wine - delicious!

A big fiesta held at the end of July and into August is La Patrona, with it's mock battle between the invading Moors and the local Christians.

The Autumn Fair is held in November and celebrates agricultural produce along with local crafts.

Plenty more festivals are held in the Port of Pollenca, a short drive away.

The weekly market is held on Sunday mornings.

Read about some of the events we have attended in the Pollenca area. Event Reviews for Pollenca

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Things to Do in Pollensa (Pollenca)

Pollenca has many little boutiques and gift shops selling locally crafted goods from jewellery to ceramics, fabrics and interior decorations (try to visit the Pollenca fair in the middle of November if crafty fairs are your thing!). The market in Pollenca is held every Sunday between 8.30am and 1.00pm. The market in Port de Pollenca is on Wednesdays.

Pollenca is hugely popular with walkers and cyclists thanks to its marvellous location in the foothills of the Tramuntana mountains. Coastal walks are also popular, particularly up towards the Cap de Formentor on the north-westerly coast of Mallorca - road cyclists are also fond of the twisty road that takes you to the lighthouse on the Cap.

Sailors are attracted to the area for the northern coastline and there are plenty of water sports at the beaches of both Port de Pollenca and Port d'Alcudia. Golf enthusiasts have several golf courses close by, and there are a number of horse riding centres in the locality too.

Have a look at our Activity Reviews in Pollenca for inspiration!

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History & Culture in Pollensa (Pollenca)

Archaeological remains indicate that humans occcupied the area of Pollenca in pre-Talayotic times (2000-1500BC). The Romans conquered Mallorca in 123 BC and whilst there are important remains in nearby Alcudia (where the Romans based themselves) there are no ruins left in Pollensa, apart from a bridge (see below!).

Any settlement on the current site of Pollenca was likely destroyed by the marauding Vandals in the 5th century and it was not until the Moors arrived in the 12th century that the town as we know it today was formed. The Moors built irrigation systems for agriculture which allowed the village to prosper. A tombstone from this period can be seen in the Museum of Mallorca in Palma.

Pollensa began to grow once the Chrsitians under Jaume I conquered Majorca. The King ceded this area to the Templars, who were at this time very powerful. Pollenca flourished until the Black Death ravaged the town in 1348. Poor harvests followed and Pollensa fell from being an important outpost with triumphal monuments and a university, to a typical Mallorcan medieval village.

During the 16th century, the coast to the north of Pollensa suffered repeated attacks from pirates, who would frequently raid inland aswell. These pirate attacks are commemorated each year on 2nd August where battle re-enactments, fireworks and concerts see the town come alive.

Towards the end of the 16th century, the Dominicans (a Catholic religious order) settled in Pollenca and with them started the construction of grand houses and the introduction of Guilds. The construction of a dock at the Port de Pollensa in 1830 allowed greater trading and helped create more wealth for the town.

The end of the 19th century saw the start of an artistic influx. Michael Costa llobera, a Catalan poet, and other esteemed painters, musicians and historians all descended on Pollensa, and this artistic tradition continues today. The 20th century saw the growth of tourism as a revenue stream for the area, and craft industries such as shoe-making, carpet factories and raffia products established themselves. Agriculture remained the most important employment area of the town until the 1960's when the tourism boom struck the coastal areas.

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Sights & Attractions in Pollensa (Pollenca)

Pollenca is a delightful place to wander around. The town is filled with characterful lanes that wind around little squares - you will notice how spotlessly clean the whole place is. The main square, Placa Major is home to the 18th century Nostra Senyora Del Angels church with it's rather fabulous rose window.

The Convent de Sant Domingo is the other main church in Pollenca. It was built between 1588 and 1616 and has a baroque cloister with four portico corners. The cloisters are home to the Museum of Pollenca and contains the remains of prehistoric sculptures shaped like bulls, as well as a mandate (Tibetan sand painting) given by the Dalai Lama in 1990. It also houses a collection of contemporary art and works by the artist Atilio Boveri. The cloisters of the convent are the venue for Pollenca's celebrated classical music festival. The convent also hosts the wonderful Pollenca Art Fair each year at the beginning of November. Next to the convent lie the gardens of Joan March with its 17th century tower.

The Dionis Bennassar Museum is loacted in a typical Mallorcan house and is filled with the painter's works and personal belongings.

The Pont Roma (Roman bridge) on the edge of town gives a clue to Pollenca's long history and its name dates from the 14th century, when settlers from Alcudia named the town after their former Roman capital, Pollentia (the ancient name for Alcudia).

Among its many other historic buildings is a former Jesuit convent which is now the town hall. From here you can reach the Calvari church with its ancient wooden cross and views of Puig de Maria by climbing the 365 steps which are lined with cypress trees. Fantastic views up to the Bay of Pollenca and over the plains of Majorca can be enjoyed from the top. The Calvari steps are the scene of a moving procession each Good Friday, when a figure of Christ is removed from a cross and carried down the steps by torchlight.

The Puig de Maria is a 330m high hillock on which a Gothic style fortified monastry sits. First occupied by nuns in 1371, it was abandoned for many years. It has now been restored and you can stay in simple rooms if tranquillity is what you seek - call +34 971 184 132. You can access it by following a tiny lane (cars not recommended) which goes of the main road from Pollenca to Palma.

Take a look at some of our experiences of the Sights of Pollenca.

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Restaurants in Pollensa (Pollenca)

You will find a good selection of cafes & restuarants on the main square, including the popular Italian Restaurant Il Giardino and if you pop just around the corner you'll come across Cantonet ( C/Montission 20, +34 971 530 429), which also serves Italian cuisine - home made pastas and very good meat & fish dishes. A few doors down from here is La Font del Gall which is run by a Scottish family and offers contemporary Mediterranean dishes in a traditional atmosphere.

A (very) tiny restaurant found just before the Calvari steps is Manzanas y Peras which has received rave reviews for its well priced tapas. Cantonet is an Italian restaurant in the heart of the old town.

Over in Port de Pollenca, there are a number of restaurants worth searching out. Ca'n Josep is highly regarded for its Spanish cuisine and lovely terrace overlooking the sea. La Llonja, right in the harbour specialises in fish and Mallorcan cuisine. Stay Restaurant receives rave reviews year after year and serves a classy menu, also in the harbour. O' Lume (C/Juan XXIII 25, +34 971 865 098) is also a popular choice and has a lovely courtyard for dining.

To the south of Pollenca is the 3|65 Restaurant in the Son Brull Hotel. This is the place to bring a date if you want to impress - beautiful romantic setting and glorious food.

We have eaten at a couple of restaurants in Pollenca, you can take a  look at them here Restaurant Reviews from Pollenca.

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