July 19th, 2011
Arriving at Son San Joan International Airport on the island of Mallorca, or Majorca, hop in your hire car and head for the hills. The Sierra de Tramuntana hills to be precise, about 60 kms from the airport, and the tranquil resort of Pollensa. If you decide to visit this month, or throughout August then this is where your tranquil holiday can be interspersed with the strains of classical music and……battle-cry? Welcome to the Moors and Christians re-enactment – Visca Pollença!
Where is it?
The Sierra de Tramuntana sit on the north west of the island of Mallorca, and protect the horse-shoe shaped resort of Pollensa, or Pollença. With it’s sandy coves, turquoise warm waters, and shallow depths, this makes it the ideal family holiday if you are traveling with young children. The dearth of loud discos and all night partying makes for a tranquil holiday in peaceful Pollensa,surrounded by olive groves, and you will enjoy the many mapped walks into the mountains that shelter the resort.
Yachts are serenely moored alongside colourful fishing boats that bob on the breeze in the bay, and you can have fun exploring the beaches, both man made and the natural coves that dot the coastline. The situation was ideal against pirate attacks - and the remains are to be seen just 6kms from the coast, another nice walk. Itching for some golf? Then you can enjoy a round at the 9 hole course just 2 kms away on the Palma – Pollensa road.
If you want to experience more active days with water-sports or nightlife, take a trip to active Alcudia, another top beach destination, but for recharging and relaxing then Pollensa is definitely the destination.
The nasty Pirate Dragut invaded in 1550, the most important attack that took place in Pollensa. He and his 1500 Moorish men were taken well and truly care of by the people of this town, led by the courageous Joan Mas - the hero of the day who ran into the street to warn everyone and threw himself into the battle.
The battle is commemorated with a re-enactment every year, the local ‘Christians‘ dressed in white, ready to overthrow the ‘Moors’ dressed in multi-coloured clothes and of course a big party.Packing tip for this trip is your wooden sword….
Swords at the ready
August 1st sees an all day dance marathon, and all through the night. Then at 5 am the townsfolk wait with baited breath for the signal. The band plays ‘Alborada’ – meaning dawn – and the party commences! 11am sees the mass and procession through the town, with the battle at around 7pm. If you’re still alive at 9:30pm the church is visited once again by the valiant Christians to sing hymns, then the band once again plays the ‘Alborada’ and you can witness a huge fireworks display to the shouts of ‘Visca Pollença’, or Hooray for Pollensa!
A little light music
On a calmer note, what about a little classical music? Actually, what about 2 months of classical music?! From the 4th July right through to the 30th August, this little corner of Mallorca is host to the Festival Pollença, an international event of fine music which has been running since 1962. Originally founded by a Manchester violinist by the name of Philip Newman. A little pop and jazz as well as gospel infiltrate the classical music that characterizes the whole event, which takes place around various places, including the cafés and bars and the Santa Domingo Cloisters as well as outdoor locations. So sharpen up those soprano vocal chords and get ready to enjoy not just the sun and sea, but also the singing! Here are some of the acts still to perform this year:
6th of August Hang Nguyen
13th of August Chamber Orchestra from the Prague National Theatre
20th of August Fabián Carbone
24th of August Borodin Quartet
27th of August Leonidas Kavakos
The food of Angels
So, you’ve booked one of these lovely holiday homes to rent for your stay, and wondering what to eat? Explore the narrow winding traditional streets of Pollensa. Take a trip on any Sunday to the town square, and overlooked by the elegant church of Nostra Señora del Angels, you can choose the freshest produce to take home and cook. Obviously, an array of freshly caught fish await, mounds of spice and fresh local fruit and vegetables.
What about some fresh tomatoes for a chilled Gazpacho, juicy plump Gambas with just a squeeze of fresh lemon, followed by a plate of fresh figs drizzled with local honey? Add some locally grown olives and olive oil to your basket and you’ll be full and happy. Remember Mallorca is home to the Binissalem-Mallorca wine label, producing more than 2 million litres a year, it would be a shame to not wash your feast down with just a little….!
Music, dancing, wine and good food, mixed with sunshine and warm waters, now that’s what I call a recipe for success!
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