Pollensa, an attractive and congenial town for holidays in the north of Mallorca

Pollensa, often written as Pollença, is situated at the most northerly point of the Balearic Island of Mallorca. This very beautiful town at the foot of the Serra de Tramuntana is full of history. The origins of Pollensa date back to the Roman era, and it has many small streets that sinuously wind down the slopes, and the houses roofed with Arabian tiles make us think of the Moorish Medinas. Pollensa covers an area of 152 km2and has roughly 14,000 inhabitants. It takes its name from the inhabitants of the neighbouring town, Alcúdia, who during the 14th century had to flee from the incessant pirate attacks. The name Pollensa is derived from the ancient Roman colony of Pollentia, which was originally located where Alcudia now stands. The fishing port of Pollensa is no longer the important port it once was. The marina is not large and it is now exclusively for sailing boats.

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Pollensa’s great attraction is its world-renowned music festival

For the last 50 years, in July and August, an International music festival has been held every year in Pollensa. This prestigious music festival is held in the cloisters of the Convent of Santo Domingo and plays a very significant role in the life of Pollensa. The programme is principally dedicated to classical concerts,but also includes world music and jazz. According to the press, Pollens has become a magnet for “people with taste”. The audience, artists and investors arrive annually in Pollensa to enjoy these concerts. Many of them have bought fabulous fincas and have installed private pools. It is therefore not surprising that, in Pollensa, Club Villamar can offer numerous beautiful villas with private pools for rent.

Pollensa, place of pilgrimage on the Calvary hill

There is sadly not much left of the ancient Roman town. After Pollensa was burnt to the ground by pirates in 1552, the town had to be rebuilt. The most beautiful sites in Pollensa are to be found on the road of the cross that starts at the Town Hall, and where we can also find the ancient Montesión des Jésuites church that dates from 1697. Behind the Plaça Major you will see the 365 steep steps that will take you alongside a cypress hedge and past different stations of the cross until you arrive at the summit of the Calvary hill, the Puig de Calvari, at an altitude of 170 metres. Each step signifies an atonement for a small sin, one for each day of the year. At the summit, you will find a beautiful little gothic chapel dating from the 18th century. The chapel has a gothic cross which is said to have come here by a miracle. The statue of the Virgin Mary at the foot of the cross is an object of worship. You have a superb view over the town from here and also of the lush countryside facing Torrent de Sant Jordi. It is not only the Mallorcans who come every Good Friday to Pollensa for the Procession of the Cross; there are also many tourists. Hundreds of people with cloaks, masks and pointed hats take part in this procession that is walked in silence to the slow and tragic beat of a drum.

The Calvary Chapel can be found on the hillside and is accessible by car or by climbing 365 steps on foot. The façade is baroque (1795) and incorporates Mannerist style and Neoclassical elements.

Pollensa, a historic town with interesting sights

  • The houses are in blocks, grouped around the Plaça Mayor. There is always a lively atmosphere on Sunday mornings at the weekly market. Once the shopping has been done, the crowds retire to the cafes on the square and enjoy an aperitif, the most popular cafe being the Espanyol.
  • Some hundred metres south-west of the square you can find the Mercado Cubierto, Pollensa’s covered market.
  • North of the Plaça Mayor is the austere church of Nuestra Senora de los Angeles, dating from the 13th century and built by the Knights Templar.
  • South of the Plaza Mayor de Pollensa, you pass the Carrer Antoni Maura to arrive at the ancient Dominican Monastery of Convento Santo Domingo,which now houses the municipal museum. We can see here a collection of archaeological objects such as the wooden sarcophagus in the form of a bull dating from 1500 BC. The cloisters and the monastery are certainly worth visiting.
  • La Casa Museu Dionis Bennassar exhibits the fine oil paintings of Dionis Bennassar. You can also find a small museum, installed in an eighteenth-century house, which tells the story of human evolution in relation to arts and crafts.
  • Although currently dried up, the mountain stream is still straddled by the Pont Romana (Roman bridge), the one remaining witness to the ancient Romans.

Interesting excursions near Pollensa

  • In the south of Pollensa, at the summit of the hill, Puig de Maria, 330 metres high, you can see the Ermita de la Mare de Déu del Puig, a monastery from the 14th century . The statue of the Virgin Mary in the chapel of the monastery was also miraculously found on this mountain. You can spend a night if you wish in the monastery, and on a clear day the view from Puig de Mari extends as far as Cap de Formentor.
  • 6 kilometres north of Pollensa, you can visit the ruins of the Castell del Rei dating from the 13th century, located on the estate of the March banking family. The ruins are only accessible on foot and are open to the public every Saturday from 8am to 3pm. The walk takes roughly four and a half hours there and back.
Splendid view from the Port of Pollensa
  • Pollensa itself is inland and therefore has no beaches. However, 7 km north-east of Pollensa is the beautiful resort of Cala Sant Vincenç, situated in a bay of the same name. The large bay of Pollensa, 6 km north-east of Pollensa, is home to Port de Pollensa, a resort that has a 4-km-long beach, Platja de Pollensa, and also a large marina. This magnificent bay is sandwiched between the peninsulas of Formentor and Alcúdia and the Cap de Formentor and Cap des Pinar.
  • For golf lovers, there is a good nine-hole golf course near Pollensa. The course is in a beautiful setting and offers a panoramic view over the mountains of Tramuntana, the bays of Pollensa and Alcúdia and the nature reserve of S’Albufera. This well-maintained golf course is characterised by its indigenous vegetation of pine and olive trees. The ground is sprayed with purified water in perfect harmony with the natural environment. The Pollensa Golf Club also offers golf lessons and equipment hire. Pollensa is the ideal holiday destination for those who wish to combine culture, beach and magnificent natural scenery.


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