Pollenca, not to be confused with the nearby seaside resort of Port de Pollenca, has lain in a steep sided valley in the foothills of Mallorca’s Tramuntana mountains for centuries, with occupation at least as long ago as the Roman presence on the island. You can feel the age of the place in its narrow and winding streets, which wrap themselves tightly around the rising slopes, sharp corners and switchbacks occasionally opening, unannounced, in to large open spaces. It is a labyrinthine town best explored on foot.
At the heart of Pollenca is the Placa Major, or main square. Here you can pull up a seat outside one of the cafes to revive yourself pre or post wanderings or seek shade from the sun inside the tranquil grandeur of the imposing 13th century church of Our Lady of the Angels, with connections to the Knights Templar.
On Sundays one of the larger, and more authentic, markets on the island is held in the square, with stalls spilling out in to the streets beyond. Arrive early to beat the crowds and the heat. If your visit doesn’t fall on market day Pollenca offers an eclectic range of boutiques offering art, crafts and tasteful souvenirs and a free to enter art gallery, Museu De Pollenca, housed in a former convent. For those content simply to explore the streets, there are plenty of hidden treasures to uncover.
Pollenca is perhaps most famous for Calle de Calvari or the Calvari steps, a street of 365 stone steps which climbs steeply from the town centre to a small chapel at the summit. The views back down the steps across the rooftops to the mountain on the other side of the valley are certainly worth the effort. At the top make sure to follow the path away from the chapel to a view point over the plains towards the sea before heading back down the hill for a well earned refreshment.
For the previous post from Mallorca, click here. Next up the treasures of Alcudia.