Sierra de Tramontana

 

 

 

The Serra de Tramuntana is a mountain range running southwest–northeast which forms the northern backbone of the Spanish island of Mallorca. It is also the name given to the comarca of the same area. On 27 June 2011, the Tramuntana Range was awarded World Heritage Status by UNESCO as an area of great physical and cultural significance.

 

 

Andratx

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Andratx is a municipality on the southwest tip of the island.

Port d’Andratx, located a few miles south of Andratx, is an exclusive resort.

 

 

 

 

 

Calviá

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Calvià is located in the southwestern part of Majorca, between the Serra de Tramuntana and the Serra de Na Burguesa. The municipal seat is the town of Vila Calvia.

Calvià has an approximate area of 145 km2 (56 sq mi). It is bordered on the north by the municipalities of Puigpunyent and Estellencs, Palma de Mallorca (Palma), the island’s capital to the east, Andratx to the west and to the south by the Mediterranean Sea.

 

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The historical epic that marked the most important local culture and traditions regarding the rest of Majorca is the landing in Santa Ponsa on 10 September 1229 of King James I of Aragon, and the subsequent conquering of Muslims who had arrived in the year 903. Since 1248, Calvià has had its own parochial church, Sante Ihoannes Caviano. Despite the popularity and use of the official shield locally, the municipality has no flag.

 

Tourism

 

The area contains many of Majorca’s major tourism hotspots, with the localities of Magaluf (3,865), Santa Ponsa (8,188), El Toro (2,002), Paguera(3,400), Illetas (3,286), Portals Nous (2,395) and Palma Nova (5,975).

It embraces six tourist zones with 60 kilometres of coastline, 27 beaches, 4 sport ports and 120.000 tourist units. The proximity of Palma with major road connections means that it can take as little as 15 minutes to reach the city centre.

 

 

 

With massive tourism, estimated at 1.6 million visits per year and with a resident population that itself includes many expatriates, it is impossible to evaluate municipal income or expenditure as it relates only to the residents. What one can say is that Calvià appears to be one of the wealthiest municipalities in Europe, based on per capita public investment.

In the early 1960s, Calvià began building a complete infrastructure for massive tourism, such as rapid construction of hotels. Later, more touristic features were added which included four professional golf courses (Club de Golf Poniente, Golf Sta Ponça I, Golf Sta Ponça II, Golf Sta Ponça III and Golf Bendinat), water parks, a modern promenade called Paseig Calvià.

 

 

Deyá

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Deià is a small coastal village in the Serra de Tramuntana, which forms the northern ridge of Majorca. It is located about 16 kilometres (10 mi) north of Valldemossa, and it is known for its literary and musical residents. Its idyllic landscape, orange and olive groves on steep cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean, served as a draw for German, English, and American expatriates after the First World War.

The English poet, novelist, and scholar Robert Graves was one of the first foreigners to settle in the village, where he collaborated with Laura Riding in setting up the Seizin Press. Graves returned after the war and remained in Deià until his death. He used the town as the setting for many of his stories, including the historical novel Hercules my Shipmate. His house is now a museum.

 

 

 

Anaïs Nin visited the village in the 1920s, and she wrote a short story set on the village’s beach. The Spanish writer, Carme Riera, recently wrote a short story about Nin’s. The town is also the unnamed setting of the Uruguayan novelist Cristina Peri Rossi’s The Ship of Fools (La nave de los locos). The Nicaraguan poet and novelist, Claribel Alegría, lives in Deià today. Anja Rubik married fellow model Sasha Knezevic in this village in July 2011.

In recent decades, the stars of literature have been eclipsed by the stars of rock and roll. The Virgin Records mogul Richard Branson has a luxury residence in the town, and his label’s stars have often visited the village and sometimes jammed at the local bar, Sa Fonda. Deià was home to several Canterbury-scene musicians over the years, including Kevin Ayers, Robert Wyatt, and Daevid Allen. Mick Jagger, guitarist Mark Knopfler, and Mike Oldfield played there often in the late 1980s, as did Caroline Corr. Much of Fionn Regan’s third studio album, 100 Acres of Sycamore was inspired by his time spent in Deià.

 

 

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Pollensa

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Pollença is a town in the northern part of the island of Majorca, near Cap de Formentor and Alcúdia. It lies inland, about 6 km (4 mi) west of its port, Port de Pollença.

Most houses were built in the 17th and 18th centuries and many streets are very narrow and compact, a legacy from the medieval era. The central square, called Plaça Major, has numerous outdoor cafés and is dominated by a large 13th-century church Esglèsia de Nostra Senyora dels Àngels (Our Lady of the Angels) which was built by the Knights Templar.

 

 

One of the town’s most distinctive features is the 365-step stairway north of the square; this leads up to a chapel on top of the hill known as Calvary. On Good Friday this is the setting for the most dramatic parade of the year. First, on the road winding up the back of the hill, there is a reenactment of the Stations of the Cross. This is followed by a mock crucifixion on top of the hill after which the figure of Christ is ceremonially removed from the Cross. There is a sombre, torchlit parading of the body of Christ through the town led by hundreds of people in cloaks, masks and pointed hats and done in total silence save for the slow beating of a drum.

 

 

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The town also has a 19th-century bridge of Romanesque design that crosses a stream to the north of town.

Most visited sights in Pollença town: Plaça Mayor, Plaça Vella, Can Llobera, Convent, Joan March Gardens, Calvari and Roman Bridge.

 

Cap Formentor
Cap Formentor

 

 

 

Beaches:

Cala Figuera
Cala Murta
Cala Formentor
Cala Sant Vicenç (Cala Molins, Cala Barques, Cala Clara and Cala Carbó)
Cala Boquer
Puerto Pollença Beach
Llenaire Beach
Can Cuarassa Beach

 

 

Puigpuñent

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Puigpunyent (Catalan pronunciation: [putʃpuˈɲɛnt], locally: [pujpuˈɲɛnt]) is a municipality in western Majorca.

It is hard to imagine a place of such unusual beauty. The situation is idyllic, surrounded by high mountains covered in pine and evergreen oak woodland and olive, almond and carob tree groves as well as tidily cultivated fields, stands a majestic country houses which we call possessions. Traditionally these grand estates were the nucleus of village life. Until the middle of the twentieth century, agriculture and cattle raising were the two main occupations of the residents. The town is still a very tranquil spot where you can wander through the winding narrow lanes.

 

Puigpunyent
Photo by Chixoy via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

The valley of Puigpunyent was one of the first inhabited areas on the island. This is clearly visible through the amount of talaiots that can be found in the area. Examples can be seen in Son Serralta, Son Burguet and Son Puig, plus the necropolis of Casat Nou. These early inhabitants also left proof of their productive cattle breeding and agriculture.

The Romans too inhabited the area and the little that is left of their presence can be found at Es Collet and in the consolidation of the olive, cereal and wine production.

During the Moorish period the village belonged to juz´d´Al-Ahwâz. They left behind their knowledge of the use of irrigation. The six water mills, the numerous water canals, fountains, channels for the torrents, ponds and reservoirs are good examples of their work and development of the horticulture. Found at the Es Ratxo.

After reclaiming the island, and having divided the land as explained in the Llibre del Repartiment (1232), the Catalans arrived under the leadership of the Bishop of Barcelona, Berenguer de Palou, who was given the village of Puigpunyent. For this reason, and until only a few years ago, all the possessions in the village had a hut for the diezmo (a tax that every inhabitant had to pay the Church and represented 10% of their production). The church of Puigpunyent was one of the first to be built in Mallorca, and was authorised by Pope Innocence III, in 1237. During this period the cultivation of olive trees and vineyards increased.

The name of Puigpunyent appears for the first time in a document written in Latin in 1248 as Podio Pugenti. It comes from Puig Punyent or pointed peak, after the shape of the Galatzó Mountain.

In a wide and green valley surrounded by high mountains the most notable of which are Na Fátima, Na Bauçana, Els Puntals, Es Piconar and, of course, the Puig de Galatzó, with its 1025 metres. These mountains separate us from Calvià on the Migjorn side, from Banyalbufar and Estellencs on the west and from Esporles to the north. Palma is only a ten-minute drive by car and is connected to Puigpunyent through the only existing gap in the valley that follows the course of the river Sa Riera.

Most of the population that makes up the municipality of Puigpunyent and its surrounding area is in the village of Galilea which is found at an elevation of 550 metres above sea level and is only four kilometres from Puigpunyent. Galilea is a magical place of great beauty that was once predominantly an agricultural centre and is now mainly residential. With a population of around 200 inhabitants, it has medieval origins and fabulous views over the migjorn side and the sea.

Today, the municipality can be characterised as a dormitory municipality as most of the population work either in Palma or the coast side, reducing the economical activity to the basic necessities of the inhabitants.

 

 

Sóller

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Sóller (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈsoʎə]) is a town near the north west coast of Mallorca.

 

Soller
Port of Soller. Photo by BuzzWoof, via Wikimedia Commons

 

The town is some 3 km inland, from the Port de Sóller, in a large, bowl-shaped valley that also includes the village of Fornalutx and the hamlets of Biniaraix and Binibassi. The combined population is around 14,000. A famous tramway, the Tranvía de Sóller links Sóller to Port de Sóller.

 

 

 

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Valldemosa

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Valldemossa is a village and municipality on the island of Majorca, part of the Spanish autonomous community of the Balearic Islands. It is famous for one landmark: the Royal Charterhouse of Valldemossa, built at the beginning of the 14th century, when the mystic and philosopher Ramon Llull lived in this area of Majorca.

 

 

 

Since the 19th century Valldemossa has been promoted internationally as a place of outstanding beauty, largely as a result of the affection of distinguished traveller and cultural writer, the Austrian Archduke Ludwig Salvator.

Valldemossa is a very attractive tourist destination, as it shows early Spanish culture. There are many shops and restaurants to indulge in Spanish culture.

 

 

Tourism

Valldemossa is a very popular tourist destination in the Balearic Islands of Spain. Some main attractions include the 13th century monastery, where the musician Frederic Chopin spent a winter (1838-39). The monastery was originally built as a royal palace, however in 1399 it was converted into a monastery.

 

 

Events & Festivals
There are many spectacular festivals that take place in Valldemossa. For example:

 

Festes de la Beata
Takes place during July 28. Celebrates the Saint of Valldemossa. Many parades take place on the streets during this festival.

 

Festival of Saint Bartomeu
During the 24th of August, celebrates the Patron Saint of Valldemossa. There is magnificent performances in the Cloisters of the Monastery.

 

Annual Artdemossa
During this time there is art and performance exhibitions. It is during the end of July.

 

 

Activities

In Valldemossa, one should enjoy the setting in the countryside and the views. However, there are also hikes, cycling, rock climbing, golfing, and horseback riding that is available in the near vicinity.

 

 

History

In the 1830s the Spanish government confiscated monasteries and the historic estate was sold to private owners, who have since hosted some prominent guests. These have included the Polish composer Frédéric Chopin and his lover the pioneering French writer Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin, better known by her pseudonym George Sand, who wrote a notable account of A Winter in Majorca, describing their 1838–39 visit and praising the island’s natural beauty, but criticizing what she perceived as the prejudice and vices of the natives.

Later the Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío was guest of the Sureda y Montaner families who own the Chartreuse estate. To fight his own nightmares Rubén Dario would sleep in monk habits, however his drinking habits caused a rift with his private hosts and thus his departure from the former monastery and from Majorca.

Also Jorge Luis Borges lived in the town with his parents and his sister Norah, after the First World War let them free from their refuge in Geneva. Borges passionate friendship with the young artist Jacobo Sureda Montaner, son of the painter Pilar Montaner, was decisive for Borges writing mainly in Spanish.

In 1956 British composer Joseph Horovitz visited the island, with his wife Anna, on their honeymoon, and later named a clarinetpiece, based on Spanish folk-tunes he had heard there, after the village. Until the elections of 2007 the town’s mayor was the only one in the democratic Kingdom of Spain to remain in office from the times of the Francoist dictatorship, which legally disappeared as the current Spanish Constitution of 1978 was passed.

Valldemossa is the birthplace of Catalina Thomas, Mallorca’s patron saint.

 

 

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