Pollensa, or Pollença in Mallorcan, is a municipality nestled in a sunny valley and boasts one of the most stunning landscapes on the island of Mallorca. Located at the northern end of the Tramuntana mountain range, it is a World Cultural and Landscape Heritage Site.
It is located in a privileged situation as it is protected from the Tramuntana winds by a row of rugged mountains which act as a defence shield and you can enjoy various beaches only a few kilometres away: those of Cala de San Vicente (Cala Molins, Cala Barques, Cala Clara and Cala Carbó) and the one in Puerto de Pollensa.
Its Mediterranean climate, traditions and history have made Pollença a genuine destination for those who love nature above all else, culture and good gastronomy.
History of Pollensa
Human occupation dates back to the year 2000 BC in the municipality of Pollença. The natural environment of this village and its prehistoric, Roman, Arab and medieval remains forged the special character of this place and were an important part of the history of Mallorca.
It has a historical and cultural heritage that has attracted attention and inspired artists from all over the world, giving Pollença the international prestige for which it is known.
How to get to Pollensa
Most towns and villages in Mallorca are well served by public transport, by bus, train or taxi, but connections are often quite slow. During your holidays, there are occasions when you are pressed for time or you simply want to travel at your own pace, with no waiting time and decide when and where to go. If so, we recommend that you get around Mallorca by car.
If you have flown to the island and don’t have your own car, you can use a car hire price comparator and choose the car that best suits your needs and budget from the many options and companies.
To reach Pollença by car, first of all, take the Ma-13 motorway that links Palma with the north of Mallorca. Follow the signs and before reaching Alcudia you will see the moment to leave the motorway (Sa Pobla – Pollença exit) and take a national road that will take you to Pollensa without getting lost.
If you decide to go to Pollença by public transport, the line you have to take if you are leaving from Palma it is the 301, line with its final destination in Puerto de Pollença, so if after visiting the village you fancy a dip at the beachjust hop back on the bus and continue to the end of the route of this line.
If you want to know more about how public transport works in Mallorca, we recommend you read this article we have prepared for you.
You can also take a taxi to Pollença. This is another good option, although it can be expensive depending on your starting point. We recommend that you always ask the fare before starting the route. Here you have all the information you need to order a taxi anywhere on the island.
What to see in Pollensa
If during your trip to Mallorca you are going to visit this northern town, take a look at this list of 9 must-see places on your visit to Pollença.
- Puig de Maria Monastery
- Cloister of Santo Domingo
- Plaza Mayor of Pollensa
- El Calvari
- Classical music festival
- La Patrona
- Pollença Museum
- Church of Roser Vell
- Roman Bridge
Puig de Maria Monastery
It is an imposing monastery right next to the village of Pollensa, with beautiful views of the bay of Alcudia and the bay of Pollensa.
It was conceived in the 14th century as a supplication to the Virgin for the appearance of the black plague that killed 20% of the population. The place they ended up choosing was no coincidence, as it was here that a carving of the Virgin was found by some Pollensines who followed some supernatural luminous phenomena.
It lived its maximum splendour in the 15th century, only to be closed in 1564 due to the reforms imposed by the Council of Trent. With the passing of time it underwent profound architectural changes, going from Gothic to Baroque style before returning to its original style in the 19th century.
You can consult the route of the ascent to the Puig de Maria Monastery in a detailed PDF provided by the City Council of Pollensa.
Accommodation in cells
The Monastery of Puig de Maria today houses a guest house with 12 cells that can only be booked by calling +34971184132 and the price is 15€ per person per day. There are individual cells for 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 people. Toilets and showers are shared.
Cloister of Santo Domingo
In the south of the village is the Church and Convent of Santo Domingo with a beautiful cloister which hosts the world’s leading classical music meetings every year.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Dominicans erected this beautiful building in order to establish themselves in Pollensa. During its life it has had different uses, from hospice-residence to Civil Guard barracks. It has a basilica floor plan and 10 side chapels.
Pollensa Classical Music Festival
The Cloister of Santo Domingo is transformed every year into the centre of classical music in Europe with the Pollença Classical Music Festival. It has been held since 1962 on the initiative of the English violinist Phillip Newman.
These nights are engraved in the memories of the audience because of the concert setting and the music. It is usually held at the beginning of August and which should be part of the must-visit list in Pollença if you are on the island during these dates.
Plaza Mayor of Pollensa
For its weekly market on Sundays (and Wednesdays in Port de Pollensa), because of its Mare de Déu dels Àngels parish church baroque style and the bars which give a break to cyclists passing through the village and looking for refreshments before continuing on their cycling route, the Plaza Mayor has become, by its own merits, the heart of Pollensa.
If you are wondering where to eat in Pollensa, in this very square you will find different options and some bars that are an institution in the village and that we recommend to you, as Ca’n Moixet, which has adapted to the new times, although renovated and very well cared for inside, still retains all the charm and magic of its beginnings with marble and metal tables and wooden chairs and bar.
Another option is the Club Pollença, one of the old manor houses and an institution in Pollensa that was founded in 1910. It was originally a cycling group and over the years has become a bourgeois society promoting art, cultural diffusion and leisure. It has established itself as an open door for the exchange of ideas and debates more typical of a modern society than of the rural world, something uncommon at that time in the villages of Mallorca, as the rural world was normally predominant.
Also at the Club Pollença you will be able to eat one of the tastiest, most generous and original “variats” in Mallorca: the famous “rosco de variat”.
El Calvari is the most iconic hill and place in the village of Pollença due to its imposing location and the staircase built at the beginning of the 19th century, which is made up of 365 steps, one step for each day of the year. The walk takes you past cypress trees, well-kept traditional houses and sculptures. All this makes climbing the many steps quite enjoyable and beautiful.
The starting point will be the ‘Plaça dels Seglars‘, which is very close to the Town Hall of Pollensa and the Church of Monti-sion.
At the end of the 365 steps, a small square awaits us with a hermitage and the impressive view of the steps we have left behind with the imposing Puig de Maria in the background. Here you can sit down to recover a bit of the air you lost climbing so many steps and then visit the small chapel while listening to a guitarist playing his fandangos and bulerías as you can see in the video.
If we continue walking to the right of the hermitage, we will reach a viewpoint where we can see an almost postcard view of the village of Pollensa, the bay of Pollensa, the bay of Alcudia, Cala Bóquer and Puig de Maria.
If you travel to Mallorca in summer, on the 2nd of August the day of the Patron Saint of Pollensa is celebrated, the day of Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles, its main festivity par excellence.
It is a civic-religious celebration in which a mock victory of one of the battles fought by the Pollencines against 1500 corsairs (Moors) of Dragut in the 16th century is represented. The addition of this event to the programme of main activities has turned it into a major tourist attraction that brings the whole town together on that day.
After an economic crisis that hit the islands in 1863, this festival ceased to take place and was resumed in 1883, but only with men.
In 2019, a female cadre of 180 women took part in the battle of the Moors and Christians during the Patron Saint’s Day after more than a century of absence. This group of Pollença’s women, led by the association “La mala pécora” demanded to join this representation claiming that “they are also Pollencinas and that they had all the right to join in as well as the men’s table”, with the resulting opposition from a group of men who claimed that women had been treated differently.
After the crisis caused by COVID19, the festival of La Patrona was suspended and resumed in 2022.
Museum of Pollensa
The Museum of Pollença is located in the same convent of the Dominicans in the Cloister of Santo Domingo and was officially founded in 1975. Pollensa became linked to the world of painting after the arrival of Anglada Camarasa and Tito Citadini from Paris, thus attracting other international artists such as Mir and De Creeft.
This led to the creation of the Summer Exhibition of Painting in the 1960s and after 34 editions it has become the museum’s basic collection. Exhibitions of well-known artists are organised, as well as an art competition every two years.
It is completely free of charge, but if you book for a minimum of 8 people you can get the assignment of a guide for free as well.
Church of Roser Vell
It is a temple that was probably built in the 14th century and dedicated to the Virgin of the Rosary, Patron Saint of the Battles. It was the first place where the Dominicans settled before later moving on to live in the Cloister of Santo Domingo.
In the 19th century, the temple was extensively remodelled, leaving it practically as if it had been built in that century, although it still retains its splendour.
It is a bridge that crosses the Torrent de Sant Jordi and which is a mystery for the people of Pollença, as it is known as the ‘Roman Bridge’ since the 19th century, although there is no record of its existence until the year 1403 with the arrival of Jaime I of Aragon to the island, during the time of the Knights Templar, and which was then known as the ‘Bridge of Cubelles’.
Some believe that it formed part of a supposed water conduit between the town of Pollensa and the ancient town of Pollentia, now known as Alcudia.
Things to do in and around Pollença
The range of activities that are possible in Pollensa are numerous and include deciding whether you prefer to do activities in the mountains or at sea. Here are some ideas for things to do in Pollensa and the surrounding area.
We recommend that you download our Mallorca map here so that you can find your way around the island and get to know all the areas around Pollensa so that you don’t miss out on anything.
If you decide to stay close to the town centre of Pollensa, we have already recommended you to visit Puig de Maria by rental car. Now our recommendation as an outdoor activity is to climb the Puig on foot.
This walk is a steady climb for 287 metres along a concrete road, the last part of which is paved. Nature will flood you from both sides and as you gain altitude you will start to get panoramic views of the breathtaking surroundings.
In case you had any doubts, you will understand why Pollensa is one of the most beautiful villages in Spain, along with Alcudia and Fornalutx, here in Mallorca. The ascent to Puig de Maria will take you about 40′ if you walk and 25′ if you cycle.
Hiking in Pollensa
If you love trekking, take a look at our article about hiking routes in Mallorca. The Sierra de Tramuntana is a World Heritage Site, deservedly so, as it has thousands of paths and dozens of routes where you can find sublime landscapes worthy of admiration.
You can consult and take with you the Biodiversity routes recommended by the City Council of Pollença (not all of them are here as the council has not yet updated the website) in the following links:
Cycle touring in Pollensa
Another activity we recommend is to explore the area by cycling. This is one of the most widespread and popular activities in the Pollensa area. due to the cycling heritage that this town has always had and to the beauty of the landscapes and roads, in many cases secondary roads with less traffic, providing a certain degree of safety for cyclists.
Mountains, paths, valleys, beaches, wetlands and cliffs are some of the protected natural areas where the most interesting and appropriate routes for cycle touring can be found.
If you feel like enjoying the area of Pollensa, and Mallorca in general, on two wheels, don’t miss this article we have created for you about cycle touring in Mallorca. You will be able to download a free map with the best cycling routes in Mallorca.
Beaches of Pollença
If you decide to change the scene, the area of Pollença has a multitude of wonderful beaches and coves. You can check them all out here, but if you were to ask us to recommend any of them, these would definitely be the ones:
Water activities around Pollensa
Do you like the sea and practising aquatic activities? Then check out this list of activities that will interest you for sure.
Cape and Lighthouse of Formentor
The peninsula of Formentor is part of the municipality of Pollença and is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating places on the island and well worth a visit during your trip.
Once you pass the Port of Pollença, the road begins to climb up to the area where you will find some of the best viewpoints in Mallorca, such as Es Colomer viewpoint, the most famous on the island, and the Talaia d’Albercutx until you reach the Formentor Lighthouse, the most majestic of the island’s lighthouses.
Where to stay in Pollensa
Pollensa has a wide range of places to stay as it is a very tourist-oriented town, although we have to tell you that prices can be somewhat increased due to the high demand throughout the year.
In summer the demand is higher than in winter, but with a lower difference than in other destinations in Mallorca, as the tourist offer in Pollensa is wide and adapted to each season.
We provide you with a list of accommodation for different budgets. In the search box you can check other options that suit you better. Simply enter your dates and check availability at that time.
- House in the centre of Pollença
- Bewitched Granny’s House
- Pollensa Central
- Agroturismo Can Guillo
- Mon Boutique Hotel
Festivities in Pollença
Pollensa has a great heritage of festivities spread throughout the year:
- 17th January, Feast of Sant Antoni
- 20th January, Feast of Sant Sebastià with the standard and the “cavallets”.
- In April the Fira del Vi (Wine Fair) stands out
- At the beginning of June, the Dance of the Eagles and “Sant Joan Pelós”.
- 2nd August, the seafaring celebrations of Sant Pere and the Virgen del Carmen del Port and La Patrona with its Moors and Christians festivity which we have mentioned above
- In November, the Fira de Pollensa, one of the oldest fairs in Mallorca, stands out.
And so far all the information about Pollensa. We consider this town to be one of the jewels of Mallorca worth seeing and one that best exemplifies the essence of Mallorca with its top cultural, scenic and gastronomic content.
It is a place that should be on your priority list if you decide to go a little off the beaten track of Mallorca’s beaches.
What do you think? Have we convinced you to visit this wonderful village in the Sierra de Tramuntana? Leave us a comment!