Majorca (Mallorca) Spain
For Travelers it was the pure Mediterranean light. For hikers and cyclists it is the Serra de Tramuntana’s formidable limestone spires and bluffs reigning over the island’s west coast. For others it is as fleeting as the almond blossom snowing on meadows in spring, or the interior’s vineyards in their autumn mantle of gold. Wherever your journey takes you, Mallorca never fails to seduce. Cars conga along the coast in single file for views so enticing, they make resort postcards look like poor imitations. But even in the tourist swarms of mid-August, you can find your own muse – trek to hilltop monasteries, pedal through honey-stone villages, engrave Mallorca’s lyrical landscapes to memory.
1. Banys Arabs (Arab Baths), Palma de Mallorca
These 10th century baths are virtually all that remain of the Arab city of Medina Mayurqa (now known as Palma).
They were probably part of a nobleman’s house and are similar to those found in other Islamic cities. The tepidarium has a dome in the shape of a half orange, with 25 round shafts for sun light, supported by a dozen columns.
Notice how each of the columns is different – they were probably salvaged from the ruins of various Roman buildings, an early example of recycling. Hammams were meeting-places as well as wash-houses, and the courtyard with its cactus, palm and orange trees would have made a pleasant place to cool off after a hot bath.
2. Soller & Puerto de Soller
The attractive bay offers calm waters for swimming and a pedestrian walkway for the beach.Plenty of restaurants and cafes along the waterfront.Easy to reach from Soller town by the tram system which runs about every half hour.
3. Basilica de Sant Francesc, Palma de Mallorca
The facade of this 13th century church in Palma (remodelled after it was struck by lightning in the 17th century) is typically Mallorcan – a massive, forbidding sandstone wall with a delicately carved postal and a rose window at the centre.
You enter through lovely & peaceful Gothic cloisters with orange and lemon trees and a well at the centre. Inside the church is the tomb of Ramon Llull (1235-1316), the Catalan mystic who became a hermit following a failed seduction attempt and was later stoned to death attempting to convert Muslims in Tunisia. His statue can be seen on the Palma seafront.
Outside the basilica is a statue of another famous Mallorcan missionary, Fray Junipero Serra, who once lived in the monastery here. The streets behind the church, once home to jewellers and Jewish traders, are under going a bit of a face lift with new community and organic restaurants.
It’s the hell of a job driving downwards the coast to Calobra. And shall we say that the sights, upon arrival compensate the effort?
Well… If you admire dramatic landscapes, yes. If you wanted just to see something different in the island… Yes.
Get Around and Things to Do In Mallorca Spain
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