It's medieval, seeped in history, cobbled and sun bleached, nestled in a valley at the foot of the Tramuntana Mountains, and a few kilometres from the sea. Pollensa is arty and eclectic, hugely popular now as a holiday destination, and a great place to rent a villa.
Family holidays, cycling tours and romantic getaways set in a landscape of almond and olive trees, villas with private pools in the garden, townhouses near the main square, beach houses, hilltop luxury mansions... country estates. The list goes on. There is a wealth of options and hundreds of places to stay in Pollensa.
There are also a multitude of things to see and do in Pollensa and in the area around town and along the coast, up in this beautiful part of the island. So, if you can bear to leave the poolside and venture out, here are our top five things to see and do in Pollensa while on holiday.
The Pollensa Sunday market is a weekly treat, both for its aesthetically beautiful, instagram-friendly ambience and for the vast array of earthly delights on offer.
It takes place in the central square of Pollensa and ripples outward down the adjacent cobbled streets, with fresh local fruit and vegetables in the plaza, olives, flowers and bread and then wines, ecological products. In the small lanes leading off the square you can find basket ware and homemade soaps, Ibiza style hippy clothing and trinkets, and there is man that comes sometimes, who sells his own, handmade leather shoes.
The cafes and restaurants around the square make a thriving business on Sundays, offering breakfasts, tapas and pintxos.
The Sunday weekly market in Pollensa is a fixture on the social calendar, a great meeting point and an alternative way to do your food shopping. There are markets in most towns in Mallorca, but along with a couple of others, the Pollensa market is one of the most impressive.
A word of warning here; parking is near impossible during the peak summer months, and along with the scorching midday heat, it is advisable to visit early.
Whether you want shopping or history, lazy sauntering or energetic strutting, wandering around town and taking it all in is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Pollensa.
The old town of Pollensa, which stretches out from the square and the main church is mostly medieval, cobbled and stone faced. For a look into the old houses, time your visit with one of the local festivities when locals open their doors to the street, offering a great opportunity to be nosey.
Cafes, restaurants and shops of every kind spring into action around Easter and stay open until the autumn. Visit Pollensa out of season and you will find the entire town closed down, with only C'an Moixet in the square and a few peripheral cafes still open for a morning coffee.
The Cloisters of Santo Domingo at the bottom of the square are also worth visiting. Particularly so during the Wine Festival in May and for Pollensa's Classical Music Festival which takes place every summer and hosts some highly acclaimed international artists.
Another way of seeing Pollensa is to climb the Calvario Steps...
365 steps lead up from a small square in town to a tiny chapel at the top of the hill. This is Pollensa's Calvario Steps, symbolic of Gol'gotha, the mount where Jesus was crucified and the site of the most solemn of the Easter processions.
If you are feeling energetic and want to see Pollensa from above, this is one of our top five things to see and do in Pollensa, a hugely rewarding climb with a look out platform at the top of the hill and views over the town and surrounding countryside.
An occasional cafe at the top serves refreshments, but on the off chance it is closed, carry your own bottle of water. In the peak summer midday heat this is a short but arduous walk.
The Puig de Maria is Pollensa's own Mount Fuji, 330m high with an ancient chapel and monastery on the top and inhabited by wild goats, it is a constant presence and a majestic backdrop to life in town.
Known formally as the ‘Santuari de la Mare de Déu del Puig’, the chapel was built in 1348 and the monastery completed 14 years later. Nuns lived here until the mid 1500s when they were ordered to move. It later housed different monastic orders, also long gone. The old monk cells can now be rented as accommodation for a relatively small fee.
It is also a great excuse for a walk. Short, steep and 2,2 km long, it can take anywhere from half to a full hour of walking up hill. Children do it, the whole town walks it once a year at Easter and I have seen women do it in stiletto heels. Practically anyone can.
As a huge bonus and incentive to take on the climb, there is a cafe and restaurant in the monastery at the top, serving drinks, icecreams and local specialties; paella and arroz brut, a hot soupy rice, best enjoyed out of season.
The views from the top are spectacular and look out over to the Bay of Pollensa, as far as Alcudia and back over the Tramuntana Mountains.
A 6km drive from Pollensa will take you to the coast and the large sheltered Bay of Pollensa. Crowned on one end by the lighthouse and fort, the marina in the middle, long sandy beaches stretching south towards la Victoria peninsula, the Bay of Pollensa is the life force and character of the Port, it maintains its temperate climate and provides the town with one of the most beautiful coastlines on the island.
For anyone who likes walking or cycling, the Bay of Pollensa provides a magical backdrop with a paved promenade along its entire length. And then there are the water sports of course, the sailing regattas, water skiing lessons, kayak rentals and kite surfers spinning their colourful kites in the wind at the end of the bay.
If you are on holiday with kids and looking for stuff to do with them, have a look here : Great tips and holiday ideas for activities with children in the Pollensa area. Or if it's teens you have at home: Water Sports & Adventures for Teenagers this Summer.
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