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The streets of Pollença
The 365 Calvari steps

Pollença (Pollensa) is a town and municipality situated in the far north corner of the island of Mallorca, near Cap de Formentor and Alcúdia, and has an estimated population of 15,536[1]. It lies about six kilometres west of its port, Port de Pollença (Puerto Pollensa).

It was founded in the 13th century around 6 km from the coast in an effort to avoid pirate attacks.

Most houses were built in the 17th and 18th centuries and many streets are very narrow and compact, a leftover 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 an enactment 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 it is led by hundreds people in cloaks, masks and pointed hats and done in total silence save for the slow beating of a drum. The town is packed with tourists and locals who come to witness the spectacle, and there is a large screen set-up in one of the squares for people to follow the event.

Pollenca in the north

The town is popular with tourists and holidaymakers, particularly from Britain and other European nations.

One of the best kept secrets of the region is the underwater world and numerous diving centres which exist. There are many festivals in Pollença:

"The trade fair is in the 2nd week of November; on January 16th massive bonfires are lit all over town for the Eve of feast of St. Anthony. The following day an event called El Pino involves a huge pine tree which is dragged through the town, stripped of its branches and erected in front of the church. Youths then compete to climb the trunk. In February the annual carnival is held and in July the patron saint is honoured with parades, concerts and dancing."[2]

Beaches

Cala Figuera
  • Cala Figuera
  • Cala Murta
  • Cala Formentor

External links

Coordinates: 39°52′38″N 3°00′59″E / 39.87722°N 3.01639°E / 39.87722; 3.01639

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Pollença from the church on the top of the hill
Pollença from the church on the top of the hill

Pollenca is a town in Mallorca, one of Spain's Balearic Islands. Nestled at the feet of the Serra de Tramuntana, the mountain chain along Mallorca's northern coast, it is a very attractive traditional Mallorcan town which is a world away from the package holiday resorts found elsewhere on the island.

Get in

Pollenca is in the north-east of the island. You reach it from the Palma - Alcudia highway, the turn to Pollenca is some 40 km from Palma and after that you have 7 km by fair road. From the airport, Pollenca is reached by taking the Palma direction, taking the first turn off (el Coll d'en Rebassa) and heading for Inca until you hit the Palma-Inca (and on to Port d'Alcudia) highway. After that, see above. Driving and parking in Pollenca is awful. Try to find a parking spot on the lower part of the city where you enter it, and walk from there. Walking is no problem with strollers and wheelchairs in this small town, although the town rises towards El Calvario.

The steps to the church on the hill
The steps to the church on the hill
  • The Good Friday procession from the church at the top of the hill to the church in town. And on any other day of the year, you should climb the 365 steps from the church in town to the church on the hill. Beautiful view from there. The fourteen stations of the Cross can be followed (reverse) on the narrow road going from the hill down to the main city square.
  • Get a nice cold beer in the main square on market day and sit back and enjoy the view.
  • Climb to the top of Puig de Pollença. The name Puig de Pollença or Puig de Maria refers to the hill as well as to the ancient hermit nun's monastery on its top. Its first origins reach back to 1348. Main parts of the complex have been built in the 15th century. After 1564, it was only sporadically used as monastery, while the church had been maintained during all the centuries as a pilgrim church. The last nuns left the convent in 1988. Since then, it is used as a hostel. Its location high over the town of Pollença and the old, venerable but simple buildings together with the view on the coastline, the Serra de Tramuntana and the wide plane give quite a mystical atmosphere. In the outer yard, there are several fireplaces and tables for one-day-visitors and there is a bar and restaurant service provided by the keeper family - Prices are moderate.
Cami Vell del Far
Cami Vell del Far
  • Walk on the Cami Vell del Far (the old track to the lighthouse). A 3 to 4 hours walk for good hikers in the wild nature of Cap de Formentor. Drive to Port de Pollenca and then direction Cap de Formentor. At km 13, you'll find on the left side a big parking for your car. Put good hiking shoes on and take water and food with you. Go back on the road, to find the start of the walk, marked Cala Murta. Walk down for about 30 minutes to Cala Murta on a good dirt road. Cala Murta is a beautiful little beach. Now go back on the dirt road for a few hundred meters. On the right side of the track, you'll see a picnic area with a few tables. At the end of the picnic area, you'll find the starting point of the path to the Coll de la Creu. There's no sign, just follow the cairns. A few hundred meters later, you'll see the Cami Vell del Far winding up to the pass. Try to follow the stone track as much as possible, avoiding shortcuts which destroy the track. Remember the people who have built this track by hand, many years ago. Once at the pass, you can lunch, and then go to the second pass (easier than the first one). From the second pass, just follow the track down to the road. Take the road left, pass through the tunnel and reach your car a few hundred meter further.
  • Or just walk or run one of the areas several trails, leading to Alcudia, Lluc, Cala Sant Vicenc or nowhere up a hilltop.
  • Mallorca is great for biking, hiking and adventure sports. The latter can be booked through mondaventura.com, which has offices on Placa Vella. Look for 1st floot banner.
  • There is a very good market [1] in the main town square on Sundays.
  • Ice Cream
    • Gelats Valls, (on the main square). Very good ice cream in many flavours. It seems to be open daily, and also has a shop on Plaça Vella which sells the same ice cream by liter or half-liter (across from the panaderia, in the street going away from the church).  edit
  • Bakeries
    • Pasteleria Il Giardino sells good cakes and other pastries. Closed on Mondays.
    • There is also a more typical panaderia on the Plaça Vella. They sell excellent local pastries. Taste their turnovers, their cookies with chocolate filling or their spinach flans.
  • Groceries
    • Ensenyat, fine delicatessen grocery and priced as could be expected therefrom. Carrer Alcudia 5. [2]
  • Supermarkets
    • Eroski, out of town, on the road to Puerto Pollensa. This supermarket has everything you need for your stay. Open Mo-Sa & Su morning.
    • There's another supermarket - Suma - on calle de Sant Domingo. It has a basic selection but is easier to get to than Eroski.

Restaurants

There are several restaurants worth visiting in Pollenca, especially in the streets around the main square. Few are more than good, though, and the ones on the main square are mostly cafés.

  • The exception from the main square's cafés is Ristorante il Giardino, Placa Major 11 (bottom of the main square), 971 53 43 02. A classical Italian restaurant with lovely food.  edit
  • Clivia, Avenida Pollentia 7 (south of the main square), 971 53 36 35. A fine restaurant in the main shopping street of Pollença. Good fishes (sea bass, lobster) and meat (excellent confit of lamb shoulder). Appropriate clothing advised (no short nor tee-shirt). Reservation recommended. Two-course meal with wine €50.  edit
  • Bar Nou, Antoni Maura 13 (street west of main square, below the church), 971 53 00 05. The best in town for mallorquin cuisine. The fish soup is fantastic. Two-course meal with wine €35.  edit
  • La Posada, Antoni Maura 40 (southern corner of the main square), 971 53 00 53. Very good Spanish/Mallorquin kitchen Two-course meal with wine €50.  edit
  • Hostel in Old Monastery at the top of Puig de Pollenca, 971184132 - 639958096. You can get one of the former nun cells as single/double rooms or dormitory. The rooms in the upper flat give a great view of Pollenca and the surrounding countryside and are furnished modestly with an electric heater, a desk and a chair. The rooms in the lower flat are very basic, limited to only a bed and desk. Toilets and (solar heated) showers are available. The big goal is the perfect infrastructure for self-suppliers. You can use a big (really big) kitchen with fireplace. Bring your own dishes with you. The 15th-century refectory is a very contemplative (but coolish) lounge. Double rooms €14 or €19 for the room for a night, dorms €5 pppn. During the high season, reservations are very useful.   edit

Hotels

Pollenca has some well regarded hotels for a break, they tend to be smaller than the big resort hotels, and friendlier too. Some of the favourites include La Moraleja, Son Brull Hotel and Spa and Hotel Daina.

Internet access

There's a very helpful internet shop on Calle del Mercat which also has color print available. Pollenca has its share of wi-fi access points, and there's even a wlan network over the town - although information on how to aceess this is hard to come by. For public, immdiate use, either look around or use the Emilton café on calle Sant Domingo - it's a typical Spanish cafe with locals and nothing to see. Other places are the youth club Club Formentor and the restaurant next to it on calle Joan Mas/Costa i LLobera. Wifi access is free in these places as long as you eat or drink.

  • Playgrounds are located in calle Sant Domingo and in the NE part of town. The former is covered in trees providing much-needed shade and has a rather big and modern selection of stuff to do for kids.
  • Port de Pollenca - the nearest beach, (its also a very good beach!)
  • Cala Sant Vicenc - just as close, it consists of 4 small beaches with some okay restaurants attached to them. Great mountain views in the bay, popular with children.
  • Formentor - the beach on the Formentor peninsula is after the first viewpoint, at a large parking lot (the only one to pass on your way to Cap de Formentor) is also very nice, with all amenities. It seems there's a pier here so boat trips from Alcudia might be available in high season.
  • Alcudia - give the package holiday resort a miss, and head to the Roman ruins around the old town. Or hike the remarkably undeveloped peninsula which has several good trails.
  • Palma de Mallorca - Mallorca's capital, full of things to do, and places to see (the Banys Arabes are fantastic)
  • Soller and Port de Soller - don't drive there direct! Go to Palma and catch the Soller train - the best way to see Mallorca!
  • S'Albufera Natural Park - a fantastic place to come and see the fantastic birdlife that exists on Mallorca.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

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