Of all the towns to visit on the island of Mallorca, Sineu would not necessarily be everyone’s obvious choice.
Situated right in the centre of the island, away from the lure of the coastline, some might consider it to be a little too ‘out of the way’ to warrant going. It is not a particularly large town, nor is it home to landmarks of any great repute, however, having spent the best part of my Wednesday there, I would certainly recommend the town to anyone looking for a relaxed day soaking up a little corner of real Mallorca.
Sineu is, in fact, quite easy to reach by road turning off the Ma-13 from the north, the Ma-15 from the south or following the Ma-3011 from Palma and, thanks to its central position, shouldn’t take you much more than 30 minutes to reach regardless of your starting point. It is quite refreshing to get away from the coastal views, stunning though they are, and to take in the rugged rolling vistas of the Mallorcan countryside. Then there is the pose struck by the town itself as it emerges from the landscape, dominated by the impressive Palace Convent at its centre.
Wednesday is definitely the day to go. The market takes over the town, filling the Plaça es Mercadal, spilling out into the smaller church square and squeezing through the maze of narrow side streets. The town was buzzing with people, both locals and visitors, who were all out to browse the wares on offer, admire local craftsmanship or simply to enjoy the day.
There were many artisanal stalls offering a wide range of hand made products and in a wide range of quality! One of the most popular products on sale was leather, a recognised speciality of the island and, in particular, the nearby town of Inca. Leather bags, belts, wallets and a whole host of other items were available in plentiful supply. Plus, with such healthy competition, the opportunity for a bargain was clear.
Other popular items were handmade soaps, often making for the most colourful stalls, jewellery, in an endless variety of shapes, designs and styles, and clothes, catering for all ages and tastes. One of the best of examples of skill and craftsmanship was a stall selling almost every imaginable item for the home and kitchen hand-crafted in wood. The craftsmen themselves manned the stand and continued to lovingly shape their goods as the market bumbled by.
One thing to be wary of is that whilst all stall owners are clearly very passionate about what they do, this sometimes boiled over into something of a ‘hard sell’ and I saw a couple of flustered tourists who were somewhat strong armed into a sale. Much as they may not like you for it, it is always OK to say no!
Following a busy morning of browsing, the hungry market-goer is spoiled for choice when deciding on lunch. The market itself offers a host of food stalls, demonstrating everything from local produce and Mallorcan specialities to stalls offering piles of sweet goodies and international favourites. On top of this, the market square is lined on all sides with cafés and restaurants providing some respite from the hustle and bustle, shade from the sun and a refreshing beer! One food stand of particular intrigue for the crowds was making Pan Dulce, a real Spanish favourite, but wrapped around a spit and cooked over a bed of coals; delicious!
If the shopping and food were not quite enough to keep you occupied, the market is scattered with musical acts entertaining the crowds, the Palace Convent is well worth a visit, offering stunning architecture as well as an education of the town, its history and traditions and, if nothing else, the narrow streets lined with pretty sandstone houses are enough to lose yourself in for an hour or two.
I wasn’t necessarily sure what to expect when I set out to Sineu, but after returning I found I had enjoyed a relaxing and engaging day as I meandered through the streets and stalls of this delightful market town.
Read more about Markets on Mallorca.