Most people associate Mallorca with stunning coastline and sweeping beaches but it is also home to some of the most beautiful inland towns that Spain has to offer. One of my favourites is historic Santa Maria del Cami (or just Santa Maria to the locals).
Situated on the fertile central plain, it offers magnificent views across to the the Tramuntana mountain range. Easily reached by car ( Santa Maria del Cami meaning literally – ‘of the roadside’) or just as easily reached by bus or train from the central terminus in Palma in 20 minutes.
At first glance you will see a sleepy Mallorcan town, its locals passing the time in one of the many pavement cafès with a glass of coffee or something stronger. But don´t be fooled. Santa Maria has many hidden treasures.
The fertile plain has allowed Santa Maria to enjoy a long history of wine production and, surrounded as it is by vineyards, it is home to several bodegas such as Maciá Batle , Sebastia Pastor, Celler Romanya and Jaume de Puntiro. Mallorca Wine Tours offers a unique ‘wine train’ tour which wends its way through the fields of vines stopping for commentary and wine and nibbles along the way.
Also home to several artisans, I never visit Santa Maria without dropping into Bujosa Textil, a family workshop which hasn’t changed for generations and is the oldest cloth producer on the island. You can see the iconic Mallorcan blue and white fabric Tela de Lengua being handcrafted before your very eyes. You will not leave empty handed I can guarantee that.
But the piece du resistance is when this sleepy town really wakes up to the largest and most impressive market on the island every Sunday. Full of tempting fresh produce, huge bright red tomatoes, pimentos and all manner of cheese, chorizo, artisan foods, clothes and of course homeware. Handmade ceramics and basket ware are in abundance. Dozens of stalls snake their way around the huge plaza and spill out into the neighbouring streets while shoppers jostle for position. It is a wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning.
And having worked up an appetite, whatever day you decide to visit, there are some fabulous restaurants to tempt you. For traditional Mallorcan fare, Celler Sa Sini is a great choice, hugely popular with locals and watch out for the dessert trolley ! For international cuisine, the new Living Dreams concept store just a few doors away has a restaurant that is also being talked about. Another newcomer is Villa Wesco ,the well-known German kitchen accessories store who have recently opened a shop in town and also hold events in their gorgeous garden.
Santa Maria has something for everyone and is a must for a day out on the island.
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