A lovely sunny morning for a visit to the village of Valldemossa in the Tramuntana Mountains, 17 km north west of Palma. We travelled there by TIB bus from Palma’s central bus station at Playa D’Espanya, the journey taking only 30 minutes and the bus stopping just once at the island’s university UIB. The campus is located in beautiful countryside yet is only 15 minutes from the centre of Palma.
We fell in love with Valldemossa as soon as we stepped off the bus, cobbled streets with delightful light stone buildings and old fashioned wrought iron street lamps give the feeling that time has passed the village by. It was still only 10.30 am when we arrived and there were few people about apart from a group of cyclists who were sitting outside one of the cafes enjoying a well earned rest after tackling the steep ascent into the village. Mallorca seems a popular spring and autumn destination for cycling holidays and what could be nicer than planning routes through charming villages such as Valldemossa.
Wandering through the village we came to the Cartuja monastery where Frederick Chopin spent some time with his French lover Aurore Dupin (better known as George Sand) after moving from a palatial villa on the outskirts of Palma. On the edge of the town there are splendid views of the lush hillside which has been cultivated into terraces so that fruit trees can be grown there.
We boarded a bus back to Palma at 1.00 pm and noticed that the village had become much busier as numerous tour buses had arrived, so if you have the opportunity to arrive by mid morning it would be preferable before the tour groups arrive.
Back in Palma we took a look in the Olivar market hall which is located quite near Playa d’Espanya bus station and is open between 7.00 am and 2.30pm and on Fridays from 2.30 pm until 8.00 pm. In the main hall fresh fruit and vegetables are piled high, huge earthenware pots filled with olives are very tempting and next door in the fish market there is so much fish on offer with varieties unknown to me which I wouldn’t even know how to cook – but all interesting to observe.
Palma was much quieter today as unlike yesterday there are no cruise ships in port. We enjoyed drinks and pinchos (tapas) in the warm spring sunshine before having a leisurely walk through the old town towards the cathedral before taking the seafront route back to our hotel. It takes around 30 minutes gentle walking back to The Melia Palas Atenea allowing for brief stops to admire yachts along the way.