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PUERTO POLLENSA APARTMENT

NOEL

PINE WALK ILLA DOR AREA

MALLORCA

BALEARICS

SPAIN

Ramblers Notes

(A few notes that you might find helpful - sorry the diagrams are a bit primitive)

 

Mallorca

Mallorca has an interesting and turbulent history, passing through numerous hands before emerging as one of the foremost tourist islands in the world..

200BC Greek and Phoenician traders regularly visited the island
123BC The Romans conquered the island to put a stop to piracy.
450AD Invaded by the Germanic tribe of Vandals and brought into their North African Empire. 
534AD The Byzantines (Helenic Romans) took over and formed a self Government under Justinian.
902 AD Mallorca conquered by Arabs. Initially the Caliphate of Cordoba and then the Kingdom of Denia before becoming an independent Kingdom.
1229AD King Jaume 1 conquered the island creating the new state of Mallorca and granted it the Population Charter.
Jaume 1 built Palma Cathedral.

In this new Christian era, Mallorcans were forced to give up Judaism and Islam - or be burnt at the stake.
Jaume 1 divided up the land between his followers and the Church creating a land of big landowners.

As a result, until the dawn of the modern age feudalism and hereditary leaseholds brought centuries of poverty and oppression

1349AD Mallora fell to Aragon in the battle of LLucmajor and became part of the future kingdom of Spain.

The fortress in the north of the Pollensa Bay was erected in 1634 to defend the island from was the plague of   pirates between the 14th to 17th Centuries.
In its ruins the lighthouse was erected.

Pollensa

1236 The Knights Templar founded the main church, Nostra Senjora del Angels.

Just beside the church past the Font des Galles, or Cock fountain, the palace of the Templars still stands

Its only a few paces to the Church of Monti Sion founded by the Jesuits in 1679 and used until the late 18th Century.

Both the Knights Templar and the Jesuits were forced to disband.

The Jesuits church however survived as the Town Hall and a school.

Note

1230 Castell del Rei near Pollensa, the objective of a ramble I describe below, was a castle built by the Moors as a refuge from Christian conquerors.

1342 Jaume 3 was forced to take cover there from the Aragon troops of Peter 4.

 

Geographical Description. Mallorca is 3.640 km². in area. It’s coast line extends for about 300km. The whole population of the Island is 534.000, that is to say 147 to a km².

The island has the form of a rhomboid with three large bays: Palma, Alcudia and Pollensa/Pollenca. The three are full of beauty.

Mallorca offers two zones: the Mountains (Sa Muntanya) and the Plain (Es Pla).

The Mountains occupy the northern part from NE. to NW. running parallel to the coast. The chain is about 100km. long with 6 to 12 kms. wide. The chain extends from La Dragonera (separated by the Freu), extreme west point of the Island, to Formentor Cape, which is the extreme northern point. The highest peak is Puig Mayor attaining 1500 metres. The northern ridge is called La Serra and it occupies the fifth of the total area of the Island.

The Plain (Es Pla) covers the southern part of the Island, it is devoted to agriculture. Its great fertility is owed to its situation, because the northern mountains give great protection from the violent gales. The surface is level and low and makes possible the subterranean water supply around Palma at Sant Jordi as well as La Puebla. One can see water mills with motors by the hundreds. In this part of the Island mountains are scare and low.

PUERTO DE POLLENSA

The delightful "Small Town" Port of Pollensa/Puerto Pollenca, used to be a quiet fishing port and a resort for the wealthy from Palma and Madrid who erected palatial retreats along what is now known as the Pine Walk. It still prides itself as being one of the most unspoilt tourist resorts on the Islands. It has a very varied selection of restaurants ranging from cafeterias to high quality fish and seafood restaurants

Bird Watching
Mallorca has outstanding bird life and Puerto Pollensa is the ideal base for anyone interested in bird watching. It is close to the Albufera Marsh, the Tramuntana mountains and the sea cliffs of Formentor.

The Albufera Marsh is considered to be one of the finest wetland sites in Europe. It is considered to be well run and there are ample hides to view the birds. Black-winged Stilts, Kentish Plovers, Glossy Ibis, Spoonbills, and Flamingos are all possible sightings.

Within walking distance, across the road from the apartment itself, is the Boquer valley which is outstanding for migrants, especially in mid-April to mid-May.

It your are lucky you may see Black Vultures, Eleonora's Falcon, Audouin's Gull, Moustached Warbler and Marmora's Warbler. All of which are difficult to see in the rest of Europe

Recommended reading are the following; A Birdwatcher's Guide to Mallorca by Graham Hearl, Finding Birds in Mallorca by David Gosney, and Gosney in Mallorca.
These can be purchased 'on line' from www.birdguides.com 

FORMENTOR

The road runs thought the hamlet of Puerto de Pollensa/Puerto Pollenca and immediately after leaving the village it begins to rise. The panorama changes completely after Puerto de Pollensa/Puerto Pollenca. We are now in the middle of Costa Brava (fierce or wild coast). 10 kms. from Puerto de Pollensa/Puerto Pollenca the pinewoods stretch away for several square kilometres, and in this wilderness is a beach of fine sands and the Hotel Formentor.

FORMENTOR LIGHTHOUSE

If Mallorca were a Continent we could say that Formentor is a Peninsula terminating in Cape Formentor, the extreme north of the Island. In clear weather one can see the island of Menorca with Ciudadela at the nearest point (4OKms) between Mallorca and Menorca.

POLLENSA

About 6 kms inland from Puerto de Pollensa/Puerto Pollenca lies the "Old Town" with its small narrow, older world streets and local shops. On Sunday the town is brought to life by the local market in the morning. It has plenty of noteworthy features and picturesque surroundings which can be the aim ofmany excursions. The principal ones are:

 

To CALVARIO (CALVARY)

Magnificent view of the surrounding area from the "Calvario" Chapel at the top of 365 steps (one per day of the year) which are lined with Cyprus trees.

NOTE: On Good Friday in the Town of Pollensa the "devallament" takes place, a ceremony which dates from the middle Ages. At night, in absolute silence, the torch-bearing towns people dressed with the regional cape carry the Statue of Christ Reclining from its place in the Oratorio del Calvario on a hill overlooking the town to the Parish Church of Nuestra Senora de los Angeles.

 

THE ORATORY OF THE PUIG DE MARIA:
Opposite the town of Pollensa, at 52 kilometres, a sign pointing to the Puig de Maria will be seen. Here you start the climb (approx. 27Om/885ft) to the Sanctuary, which takes about an hour and a half, the Church being located on a isolated hill with splendid views overlooking the bays of Pollensa and Alcudia. You can have your lunch in the Sanctuary’s hostelry or enjoy your picnic contemplating the breathtaking views. You can drive your car for part of the way (highly recommended), but you should wear a stout pair of shoes for the demanding walk as the surface of the route is made of sharp stones! 
THE CASTELL DEL REI (KING’S CASTLE)

I picked the details below from the Pollenca Forum.
So things seem to have changed but I have not tried out the advice given.

"When I was in PP in May, I inquired at the Tourist info at the Taxi rank in the port. I was given a form to fill in and return when I had my Passport as they could not process this without it. It requires the applicant to state their passport number and the number of people accompanying them on the walk.

I was told that they telephone the security at Ternelles and book you in the next available date. I was told they only allow so many per day and weekends are often booked up quite a way in advance.

I did this walk many years ago when you had to get permission in Banco March, the owners. It was time limited entrance and quite a hike in the time available.

I remember the views were excellent and well worth the slog.

I think I will apply in Sept/Oct when next out to do the walk again.


It’s a good place from which to view the lofty cliffs of the northern coast. However entrance to the estate is restricted to Saturday mornings up to noon. You may also be asked to show some form of identity
".

 

 

 

THE VALLEY D’EN MARCH:

On the road leading to Lluc; itself the starting point for other excursions.

ALCUDIA

This is the ancient capital of Mallorca, in those days called "Pollentia". The walls of the old city still remain intact and it is just by these walls where they hold the market on Sundays and Tuesdays mornings. A wide choice of souvenirs is available from leather goods to embroidered tablecloths. Remember to bargain and as always beware of pickpockets especially the gypsies!!.

ROMAN REMAINS:

To the right of the walls, on the opposite side of the road, can be found the remains of an old amphitheatre. This is open to the public and there is no charge.

PLAZA DE TOROS BULL RING

This may be found to the left of the walls in Alcudia. In summer bullfights take place once a week.

ALCUDIA HERMITAGE OF LA VICTORIA:

From Alcudia, at the very beginning of the road going to the Puerto, on the left there branches off the road which, from Mal Pas, borders the sea until it reaches the beginning of the road up to the "Ermita de la Victoria". From the Hermit age there is a magnificent panoramic view of the entire Bay of Pollensa and Formentor peninsular.

Refreshments can be had in the Hermitage’s hostelry. On the way down there are numerous small coves suitable for swimming.

For those preferring a shorter excursion, you can go by car to the starting point of the road up to the Hermitage, the climb up then taking 15 minutes.

If you take advantage of the opportunity of lunching at the hostelry you can then return to Alcudia and visit the city’s walls and the ruins of ancient Pollentia.

 

INCA.

The chief Town of the district is situated in the centre of the island and is very important as an agricultural centre. Every Thursday a busy market is held there, and the November fair is very well known especially the DIJOUS BÔ, the most important among all the agricultural shows held in Mallorca.

There are textile mills and an important shoe and leather industry.

On left of the road leaving Inca there is the glass blowing factory at Menestralia (this is Campanet). 
There is also an excellent shop selling their products.

Next door on the other side there is a large leather factory shop that has wonderful leather goods at a fraction of the UK price.

 

INCA:— HERMITAGE OF SANTA MAGDALENA
Inca can be reached either by train or by car. Following the main road to Alcudia, about two kilometres from Inca, on the right hand side, you will find the way back to the Hermitage. After a climb of about four kilometres one reaches the top of the Puig d’Inca, upon which one can enjoy a beautiful overall view, not only of the Mallorca plain, but also of the bays of Alcudia and Pollensa.
SELVA
During the summer (March to October) Mallorquin dancing is held in Selva every Tuesday and Friday at 15.30hrs (3.30pm), at other times of the year it takes place at 15.45 (3.45pm).
CUEVAS DEL DRACH

They are known throughout the world. Inside is the Lake Martel, supposed to be one of the largest underground lakes in the world. There, concerts of classic music are performed daily.

The beauty of these caves is considered exceptional because of the lighting, planned and realized by Dr. Buigas.

These Caves are open to the public all year round.

CUEVAS HAMS (HAMS CAVES)

They are called HAMS after the Mallorca word for "hook" on account of the great number of’ harpoon—shaped white, transparent stalactites in them. They stretch out for about 350 mtrs.

 

CUEVAS DE ARTA (ARTA CAVES)
The gateway is like a high vaulted mouth gaping over an enormous precipice onto the sea. The sea is seen from a very great height through the opening in the rock. The visit is carried on with all comfort on account of the firm track and electric lighting. They stretch out for about 300 mtrs and have been considered by some as among the most beautiful in the world.
CUEVAS DE CAMPANET:-
In Campanet the Parish Church is worth a visit. It was begun in 1717, and its outstanding feature is the sculpture on the altar. The Church conserves the relics of the Martyr San Victoriano, the complete body of the Saint dressed as a warrior. After this visit one can follow the road bordering the stream bed (Torrent de San Miquel) until reaching a bridge. After crossing we arrive at the HERMITAGE, WHICH WAS ONE OF THE FIRST CHURCHES CONSTRUCTED IN Mallorca after its conquest by King Jaime I. In the pulpit there are three very old carved figures, representing Saint Peter, Saint Michael and Saint John the Baptist. Other altar pieces and paintings and paintings can also be seen in the Hermitage. When the visit to the Hermitage is over the walk can be continued to the Caves of Campanet, which one can visit before returning to the village by the same road. The total distance covered will have been about 8 kilometres.
SOLLER

A centre for very interesting rambles. The most interesting mountain excursion that can be made from Soller is the "CORNADOR".

Leave Sóller and continue our excursion by the same road that brought us there, 5 kms. from the Town we come to the Port. It is a fishermen’s village, and a summer resort — a favourite place for long stays with its fine beach.

VALLDEMOSA

VALLDEMOSA Is the starting point for many mountain excursions.

A full list of them would be practically endless. One such excursion towards the sea and the so called Port of Valldemosa can be carried out.

La Real Cartuja (Royal Carthusian Convent) was founded in 1339 by King Martin, who relinquished the Palace of the Kings of Mallorca for the purpose of founding

 

PALMA

The first news we have relating to the foundation of the city goes back to the time of the conquest of the island by the Romans.

It was the Arab Capital for four centuries.

The conquest of the City by the Christian Catalonians changed its life and constitution, the Arab style being replaced by the Gothic.

 

PALMA CATHEDRAL
Palma’s splendid Cathedral, dedicated to the blessed Virgin Maria, and known to Mallorcans as La Seo, is one of the wonders of Gothic architecture, not only on account of its size and the beautiful golden sandstone from Santany, of which it is built, but also for its grace and lightness. These have been achieved by the provision of sturdy outside buttresses that take a great proportion of the weight off the pillars, so that these manage to be unusually slender as well as taller than the average.
PUEBLO ESPAÑOL  

THE SPANISH VILLAGE OF PALMA

In an area of 25,000 metres² and, one might say, in the middle of the City of Palma, an unusual architectural complex has arisen.

In a walled enclosure a veritable village has been built in which the palaces, churches and houses are reproductions of many different Spanish cities. In spite of the different styles a completely harmonious whole has been achieved, remarkable Moorish and Mozarabic monuments, Medieval, Renaissance or Baroque walls and palaces from Andalucia and other Spanish provinces come together in this walled enclosure to form the most unusual village the visitor could ever imagine. A living village in which the houses are habitable, where the local crafts are carried out, a tranquil village without cars where one can walk, buy something, eat and drink Spanish wines.

This, in a few words, is the Pueblo Español, synthesis and resume of Spain.

 

BELVER CASTLE

On a hilltop above the western suburb of "El Terreno" stands Belver Castle, which is the only round castle in Spain. Situated 140m (400 ft) above sea level and surrounded by a pine forest you can make your way to the castle along the various pathways. Get off the bus at Plaza Gomila and walk up Calle Belver to the castle entrance there you can either take the steps which lead to the castle or follow the road. If you are travelling by car you can drive directly to the castle by following the continuation of the road in Calle José Cela (near Gomila Park).

The building of the Castle was ordered by Jaime II in the 14th century at the same time as the reconstruction of the Almudaina palace (next to the Cathedral). Belver Castle was in its time one of the most impregnable fortifications in the Mediterranean but it was never seriously put to test in battle, which is why today it is still so remarkably intact. A sinister part of the castle’s history is that after the reign of the Mallorcan Kings during centuries it was used as a dungeon for political prisoners. Today the castle contains a very interesting archaeological museum giving visual evidence of the history of Mallorca. The view from the main tower is also unforgettable- remember to take your cameras!!

 

VALDEMOSA

During the winter of 1838—39 Chopin and the celebrated novelist Georges Sand lived here in the company of her son and daughter; here Chopin composed a number of his well known Preludes. Sand's book 'A Winter in Mallorca' is quite scathing about her experiences in Mallorca. Her book is on the bookshelf of the apartment. However VALDEMOSA is well worth a trip both for a tour of the Monastery and for the pleasant restaurants.

Open 9.3Oam to 1.00.pm and 15.00pm to 17.30pm. 

LA GRANJA (THE OLD FARMHOUSE) 

From Roman times, the natural water supply of La Granja has been of prime importance. From a rock formation it spouts ten metres (30 feet) into the air from an unknown source. It was of interest to the Moors who, from 1116 until 1229, dominated the Island. La Granja, the Al—Caria (place of little houses) was at that time called Alpich. From here the windmills pumped the water along aqueducts to Canet, some four kilometres away. This system is still in use today. 

The conquest by Jaime I in 1229 soon established rule over the scattered Moorish settlements and the feudal system came into being. A quarter of the Island was controlled by Count De Nuno Sans and he settled at La Granja. 

In 1239, La Granja was given to the Cistercian Monks (an order, founded in 1098 at Cistercium) who established the first convent on the Island. Two hundred years later, in 1447 the Monks adjoined themselves to the St. Bernard Monastery near Palma and sold La Granja to Don Mateo Vida.  For two hundred years it remained in his family and then changed hands to the Fortuny family who are still the existing owners today.  

As though cut off from the rest of the world, life goes on here as it always has done and it is only now that visitors are permitted to see it on its pure state. One cannot but be fascinated in the way the artisans skilfully follow their crafts, as their ancestors have done before. The peace and tranquillity of this beautiful spot with the mountain water splashing over rocky crags is a visit into the past and a glimpse of the real Mallorca. If you enter by the old farm near the car park, 15.30 hrs., you will start your visit where the farmer milks the cow.