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Alcudia

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Alcúdia (Catalan pronunciation: [əɫˈkuðiə]) is a municipality and township of the Spanish autonomous community of the Balearic Islands. It is the main tourist centre in the North of Majorca. It is a large resort popular with families. Most of the hotels are located in Port d’Alcúdia and Platja d’Alcúdia along the 14 km long beach that stretches all the way to Can Picafort. In Alcúdia the old town is well preserved with houses dating back to the 13th century. The old town is surrounded by a medieval wall.

 

 

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History

The area where Alcúdia is located has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, but it is with the arrival of the Romans that the city makes its entry in the history books. The Romans used the beaches of Alcúdia bay when they captured the island in 123 B.C. Shortly after this the capital Palma was founded and then the city of Pollentia. From Pollentia it was possible to view both the bay of Pollenca and the bay of Alcúdia. Pollentia served as a guard for other invaders. The city was also mentioned in Rome since they here produced excellent fabrics that were used in the most exclusive togas.

After Rome lost its position as the dominant power in the western Mediterranean, Pollentia was attacked by pirates and several times by the Vandals. Finally, the city was abandoned, and the remaining population left to create a new town at a more protected location. This town became Pollenca and the area where Pollentia stood was left to ruins.

After the invasion of the Moors, a farmstead was created very close to where the ancient village of Pollentia had been. The farm was called Alcúdia, which is Arabic for “on the hill”. In 1229, the Moors were defeated by King James I of Aragon, who overtook the power of the area. In 1298, King James II of Aragon bought the farmstead Alcúdia and founded the new town. A church, a graveyard, a house for priests, and a square were created in the same year. The construction of the walls was also initiated at the same time and finished in 1362. The city plan that was made at the time remains the same for Alcúdia today. During the Renaissance, walls were reconstructed, and a second wall was constructed outside the first one. This wall has since been torn down and only details show where it once was.

During the 16th century pirates attacked the city several times. The population became less and less and there was from time to time a risk that the city would be abandoned totally. In 1779 a decision was taken to support the city by constructing a harbour. This really improved the economy of Alcúdia and the village was saved. But it remained a rather small and poor village.

 

 

Alcúdia today

In the 1920s the first tourists began to visit Mallorca and also Alcúdia. This was in a very limited scale and the economy of the village stayed weak. In the early ’70s it started to be clear that the future of Alcúdia would be in tourism. 15 years later the old harbour of Puerto de Alcúdia had developed into a major resort for European tourism. In the ’90s the construction boom calmed down and several regulations were put in place to secure the quality of the resort. The focus is on visitors searching for both relaxation and activity. A golf course has been constructed and both bicycle and hiking trips are commonplace. The old town has been preserved and pedestrianised. It has now become one of the most visited villages in Majorca.

 

Get around

There are also many organised tours that can be purchased from any of the nofrills travel agencies that are dotted around the resorts. Places of interest to visit are the Gorge of La Calobra, the famous wooden train of Soller, Puerto Soller, the monastery of Lluc. The city of Palma is very popular. Many people visit the caves of Drach whilst in Alcudia.

The best way to get around Alcudia is by car, and then to explore on foot (particularly in the old town, where the streets are very narrow and there’s not much parking).The s’Albufeira National Park can be reached by bus.

 

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S’Albufera Natural Park.

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Situated on the outskirts of Alcudia. It is the largest and most important wetland area in the Balearic Islands. Originally a lagoon separated from the sea by a chain of dunes, the area has filled up with sediments, becoming an extensive floodplain. S’Albufera is the Balearic’s prime birdwatching location. Some 271 different birds species have been sighted at the park.

 

Roman ruins

Old town. go around the city on the city walls dating from the 13th century. Visit the Sant Jaume Gothic church. edit

 

 

 

Do

 
Canal Gran de s’Albufera in Parc natural de s’Albufera de Mallorca

 

Walk (or ride a bike) in the S’Albufera Natural Park on a well marked trail of about 12 km.

Just follow the red marks, or go to the information center of the park to get a free walking map. With a little bit of attention, you’ll see interesting birds, fish and other animals. Don’t forget to take enough water and a picnic.

 


Walk around the Ermita de la Victoria, on the Alcudia peninsula.

 

Two good short trails start from the Ermita de la Victoria. First follow the dirt road for a few hundred meters. You’ll see a sign marked Penya des Migdia which brings you along the coast, just above the cliffs. Spectacular, but mind your steps. The other trail, marked Talaia d’Alcudia, leads to the top of a little mountain.

 

 

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There is an alternative, less crowded, route to the Talaia d’Alcudia. Prepare for a 4 hours hike in the mountains. From Alcudia, head for the Ermita de la Victoria but turn right in the Cami de la Muntanya. The last few hundred meters are gravel road but passable with a normal car. Park your car at the sign Coll de Ses fontanelles – Platja des Coll Baix, or at the big parking 200 m further (locals use this road to go to the beach). Put good mountain shoes on, take enough water and a picnic, and follow the direction Platja des Coll Baix. At the end of the gravel road, you’ll see the beach below you and a refuge with picnic tables. Take the path on your left side, which climbs slowly up to the Talaia d’Alcudia. The path is marked with cairns and very discreet red spots.

 

Admire the beauty of the views on the rocks and on the see all along the way. Once on the summit of the talaia, have a little rest and eat your picnic to regain your strength. Now you have to find the way back : come back a few meters on the path, to about halfway between the summit and the sign Talaia d’Alcudia. You’ll see at your left side (going down from the summit) a little path which follows a ledge in the rock. That’s your way down to the car (the trail is marked with cairns, red spots and even dung as donkeys are using it also). Just follow the trail up to a T under big trees. At this point, take left to get back to your car (the trail crosses the dry river several times).

 

 

Enjoy the fantastic weather on the beach!

 

Rent a car in Alcudia

 

 

 

Binisalem

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History

Grape growing and wine production was introduced to the island by the ancient Romans in the year 121 BC when Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius took possession of the island for Rome. Pliny the Elder mentioned the wines of Majorca in his writings in the 1st century AD.

During the centuries of Moorish dominion, grape growing and wine production did not disappear despite the prohibitions of the Koran, as when king Jaume I conquered the island in 1230, he was offered top quality wine as a peace offering.

 

 

 

Before the arrival of the phylloxera fly at the end of the 19th century there were about 27,000 ha under vines in Majorca and exports were 300,000 hl of wine per year. After the devastation of the palgue, however, most of the vineyards were replaced by almond trees. During much of the late 19th century and early 20th century, the town continued its trade with France by manufacturing farm machinery.

In the middle 20th century Binissalem was noted for the quality of its woodwork and stonework. There are still successful and active quarries in or near the town, which has now grown to approximately 6,500 inhabitants.

In the late 20th century there was a revival of the wine industry due to the demand for quality wine by tourists.

It acquired its DO status in 1991, the first of the two Majorcan DOs to do so.

 

Geography

The area covered by the DO in the centre of the island, northeast of the town of Palma and is a high plateaux of rolling hills at altitudes of between 125 m and 300 m above sea level. To the north is the Sierra de Alfabia range which protects the vineyards from the cold and wet sea winds that blow during the winter.

 

Soils

The soils are loose and poor in nutrients, with lime over clay and occasional layers of hard lime crusts, which contributes to water retention.

 

Climate

The climate is maritime Mediterranean, with warm hot summers and short mild winters. Excessive heat in the summer is the main problem that the grape growers have to cope with, though the altitude helps to keep down temperatures during the night. There are occasional risks of strong winds, frosts and hailstones. Rainfall is mainly in the autumn in the form of violent storms.

 

 

Grapes

The local red variety, Manto negro, represents about 50% of the red grapes planted, the others being Cabernet Sauvignon, Callet, Tempranillo, Monastrell, Syrah and Merlot.

 

The local white variety, Moll (also known as Prensal blanc) represents about 70% of the white grapes planted, the other being, Macabeo, Parellada, Chardonnay and Moscatel.

 

Transport

Binissalem’s railway station is served by frequent services from Palma to Inca and onto Sa Pobla and Manacor.

 

 

 

Campanet

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Campanet is a town situated in the northeast of Majorca, Spain, close to Búger, Selva, Escorca, Sa Pobla, and Inca. The population recently reached 2616 inhabitants in 2011. This town is particularly known for its caves and the Fonts Ufanes.

 

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Fonts Ufanes is an intermittent spring located near the Sant Miquel hermitage. The underground water flows from the mountains (Puig Tomir) to Sant Miquel stream, which l’Albufera is the base level.

This spring is the main source of water of l’Albufera, an important natural reserve of the Balearic Islands.

 

 

 

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