Pollenca Majorca - Mallorca Travel Destinations Spain

Set between the hills of El Calvari and Puig de Pollenca, Pollenca marks the northern end of the Serra de Tramuntana.

It does not feel as touristy as other north-western towns, but is still popular with the expatriate community, successors to the early 20th -century artists who 'discovered' Pollenca's tranquil beauty. By some definitions, this is where Majorcan tourism began.

Pollenca dates from the 13th century and was built a few kilometres back from the sea to protect it against pirate attack. This measure more or less worked, and the town successfully fought off a string of brigand adventurers. However, there are signs of even earlier occupation in the shape of the fourth-century stone bridge that the Romans built across the Sant Jordi stream.

The Placa Major, with its cafes and restaurants, is the soul of the town, and it is especially lively on Sunday mornings during the weekly market. Many of the houses nearby date from the 18th century - the medieval ones have not survived - and the narrow streets make for atmospheric wanderings.

There are two fine churches in the town. Nostra Senora dels Angels, a 13th -century construction remodelled in the 18th, looks over the square. It has a beautiful rose window with arabesque tracery and was founded by the Knights Templar on the site of a Greek temple. On nearby called Antoni Maura is the church of Nostra Senora del Roser, which has been deconsecrated and contains a Gothic carving of the Virgin.

From the Placa Major, the 365 stone steps of the cypress-lined Via Crucis lead to a chapel atop El Calvari. The climb is said to atone for a year's sin and will also supply a pretty decent view. The chapel contains a famous statue of the Virgin. On Good Friday, a statue of Jesus is carried down the steps accompanied by a torch-lit procession.

At the southern end of town you can walk to the 18th -century hermitage on top of the 320-metre Puig de Maria in an hour. There are no longer any monks here, but tourists can stay the night.

The town's separate port, Port de Pollenca has a popular white sand beach (much of the sand imported specially) and is very touristy.

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