Mallorca (Majorca) is one of Spain's Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean. It's known for beach resorts, sheltered coves, limestone mountains and Roman and Moorish remains. Capital Palma has nightlife, the Moorish Almudaina royal palace and 13th-century Santa María Cathedral. Stone-built villages include Pollença, with its art galleries and music festival, and hillside Fornalutx, surrounded by citrus plantations.
Our horse riding holiday is located in the margins of the Albufera, a natural park and wildlife reserve, famous for birds, plants and small mammals and the Tramuntana Mountains. The whole mountain range has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site for its historical, cultural, and environmental importance.
While on your horse riding holiday this is an area you've got to take some time out to explore!
Things to Do and See
- Tramuntana Mountains - It goes without saying that a mountain range this huge is going to provide some incredible views, but it’s hard to imagine just how spectacular they are until you see them with your own eyes. From the Moorish terraced hillsides dropping down to the sea in Banyalbufar, to clifftop viewing points like the Mirador de Ricardo Roca and the Mirador Es Colomer that will take your breath away. At the Mirador De Ses Barques you can enjoy a drink or a meal on the restaurant deck, with views down the mountain to the Port of Soller in the distance – particularly worth doing while the sun sets over the sea. Ancient irrigation systems from the time of the Arab occupation of Mallorca still exist, and the dry stone terraces – built to create space to grow produce in a somewhat challenging agricultural landscape – are a distinctive feature of the mountain landscape.
- Galilea – Mallorca’s highest village - At 460 metres above sea level, Galilea is the island’s highest village. A tiny and blissfully quiet place, there is little more to it than some houses, a 17th-century church, and a couple of restaurants, but the main reason that people brave the slightly terrifying drive is the views. The village church has a courtyard out front with panoramic views down across the hills to the sea in the far distance. If you’re not in any rush, the best way to take in the stunning vista is over a beer and some tapas at the Cafe Sa Plaça De Galilea, opposite the church. This tiny bar might not look like much from the outside but out back there is a vertiginous terrace with picture-perfect views (and their tapas are pretty good too).
- Deià - No trip into the Tramuntana would be complete without a visiting Deià, the stunning village high in the mountains with spectacular sea views. The English poet Robert Graves made Deià his home in the 1930s, and drew many other famous faces to the area over the years, with the village becoming known as a haven for bohemian, creative types. The village is one of the prettiest on the island, and these days has become a playground for the rich and famous thanks to soaring property prices and the presence of the five-star luxury hotel, La Residencia. The nearest ‘beach’ (Cala Deià) is a picturesque rocky cove with two fish restaurants perched on the rocks, one of which, Ca’s Patro March, starred in the popular BBC television series, The Night Manager.
- Valldemossa- the ancient town of Valldemossa, which was famously the one-time home of Chopin, has a maze of stunning, narrow, plant-lined streets to wander around (and lots of great places to eat).
- Cycling - Mallorca is a top holiday destination for cyclists of all levels, but it is also where many professional cycling teams come to train over the winter months. This is partly due to the mild and mainly sunny weather, cyclist-friendly hotels, and good quality roads, but for many it’s all about the challenge and drama of the mountainous terrain. Cyclists come to Mallorca specifically to tackle routes such as the famous Sa Calobra (or Colls Dels Reis) which involves a dramatic descent down into to the village of Sa Calobra first, before making your way back up the 10km ascent with its incredible 26 hairpin bends. One of the most unusual roads in Europe, and with spectacular views every step of the way, it is most certainly something to tick off your bucket list if cycling is your thing. The stunning ride to the Cap de Formentor, the most northerly point of the island, with yet more hairpin bends, is also a popular one. n+1 Bicycles - Bicycle rental service in Pollença at Carrer del Jonquet, 40, 07460 Pollença tel: 07447 084502
- Lluc Monastery - The Lluc Monastery or Santuari de Lluc, was historically an important place of pilgrimage and is still a key religious site on the island. High in the mountains and surrounded by forest the sanctuary is quite hidden from the world. Legend has it that Lluc was the son of a local farmer who found a wooden figurine of the Virgin Mary in the woods, but after giving it to the local church it kept mysteriously re-appearing back where he had found it, and so eventually the sanctuary was built in that very place. These days, as well as the chapel, there is a shop, restaurant, and a museum, and you can stay in accommodation formed from the old monk’s cells.
- Pollenca - At the far eastern end of the mountain range, lies Pollença, with its pretty streets and historic Calvari steps (all 365 of them) leading up to the hilltop Calvario chapel, passing many beautifully rustic houses along the way. Regarded as the cultural centre of the north of the island, it is the gateway to the peninsula of Formentor. You can also visit Port de Pollença and stop at one of the many bars or restaurants along the waterfront. Having been conquered time and time again through the centuries, the town bears signs of a rich history. More recently, in the early part of the last century a colony of artists, writers and musicians discovered the inspiring beauty of the area, settling in, and Pollensa has been a major draw for tasteful visitors ever since. The town has several places of interest to visit, including the Roman bridge, signposted ‘Pont Roma’, which is still in use, and the Puig de Pollensa – a small mountain topped by a monastery, just outside the town.
Where to Eat
You will be staying in Pollenca which has a variety of restaurants and cafes in the town.
- Es Guix Restaurant - Hidden in the forest, not far from the LLuc Monastery, is Es Guix Restaurant, a must-visit if you are in the area. The interior of the restaurant is rustic and cosy, but really it is all about the shady terrace overlooking a fresh water pool, hewn out of the rocks, with a small waterfall cascading down one side . Not only is the food fantastic, but after lunch you can take a refreshing dip in the water and enjoy drinks on the poolside terrace in the dappled sunshine. The setting of this restaurant is absolutely magical, and although a little out of the way, it is well worth the drive. Reservations are essential. 07315 Lluc, tel: +34 971 51 70 92
- Restaurante La Braseria Pollensa - La Braseria takes its grilling seriously, but there is a lot more to this restaurant which is located just outside of Pollensa centre, near the main road to Port de Pollensa. Ctra. Pollença, Port de Pollença s/n, Rotonda Can Berenguer, Pollença tel: +34 971 534 474
What's the best time to go to Pollença in Mallorca? Here are some average weather facts collected from historical climate data: On average, the warmest months are July and August, the average annual maximum temperature is: 22.0° Celsius (71.6° Fahrenheit). Pollença has dry periods in June, July and August. On average, the warmest month is August. On average, the coolest month is January, when the average annual minimum temperature is: 15.0° Celsius (59° Fahrenheit). October is the wettest month.
How to get there
Fly into Palma, Mallorca from London, Manchester, Bristol, Glasgow and Birmingham – flights are from as little as £60. Flying time 21/2 – 3 hours.
Included in the riding itinerary is a pick up from the airport in Palma, Pollenca is just under an hours drive and about 40 miles from the airport.
If you decide to rent a hire car from Palma Airport for your holiday route, it’s a relatively easy drive. All the big car hire providers operate from Palma.
First, exit the airport following the signs for Palma and join the Ma-19 to Palma city. If you had to get a shuttle bus to collect your hire car at the east of the airport then you will join the main highway by the gas station, which is just one junction further.
Continue on the Ma-19 for approximately 4.3km, 3 minutes, until junction 3 and take the Ma-20 road signposted Alcudia.
Stay on the Ma-20 for around 2 minutes, 2.6km, until junction 3 and take the Ma-13 signposted Port d’Alcudia. This junction is also signed at one point as junction 3B.
Once on the Ma-13 stay on this road for around 39km then exit at junction 40 signposted Sa Pobla and Pollenca. This is the point where the motorway ends but just before the road turns to single track carriageway.
At the roundabout take the exit on the left following the signs for Pollenca and join the Ma-2200.
Port de Pollenca by Bus
You can only get part way to Pollenca by train and then pick up the bus at Inca, which is the same bus that can be taken from Palma.
Mallorcan buses are air-conditioned and comfortable. Bus routes on the island are extensive and it is possible to travel by bus to a lot of different places. However, most bus routes do not run at night-time and are less frequent at weekends as well as during winter. In cases where a direct bus route does not exist, waiting times between connecting buses can increase the overall travel time considerably.
Route 340 runs at fairly regular intervals all year round. From the airport, you will need to travel to Palma City Bus Station (Intermodal Station – Placa d’Espanya), where route 340 departs.
Palma Airport to Intermodal Station – bus route 1
Take the Route No.1 bus from Palma airport to Palma City Intermodal Station. A single ticket is 5 Euro and under 5’s are free. Buses go every 15 minutes on average, although after 21:30 only every 30 minutes. At the main Palma Bus Station, you will need to purchase a ticket from the bus driver on the bus. A single ticket to Pollenca town is 5.30 Euro and to Port de Pollenca 6.25 Euro. The journey time from Palma city to Pollenca is just under one hour and to Port de Pollenca is approximately one hour and ten minutes. The route and timetable vary slightly throughout the year, but the buses run fairly regularly all year round.
Radio Taxi Pollenca tel 0034 971 866213
The terraces of Tramuntana
The Port of Soller
Valldemossa - one time home of Chopin
Sa Colabra popular for keen cyclists with its incredible 26 hairpin bends
Chapel at Lluc Monastery
Pollenca the location of your stay