There are some places in Mallorca where you can enjoy little pockets of authenticity, vestiges of local traditions and culture surrounded by agriculture and a beautiful natural environment. These lovely Mallorcan villages often go unnoticed as travellers head for better-known locations, but if you enjoy discovering rural life, you should make sure you don’t miss them. In the local Mallorcan dialect, these villages are known as llogarets.
These small villages, often with only a handful of houses together with areas for agriculture and livestock, mostly date back centuries, some of them even to the age of the Muslim occupation. Abandoned at times due to the decline or disappearance of farming, in recent years many of them have enjoyed a new breath of life thanks to the increasing popularity of tourism on the island.
JS Hotels would like to suggest two routes that will allow you to soak up some genuine Mallorcan authenticity. There are many more that are worth exploring, so don’t hesitate to set out on your own and discover them all!
LOCAL TRADITION IN SENCELLAS
Sencellas is surrounded by beautiful villages full of country charm. We suggest below a route around the area to discover six villages that takes around 40 minutes by car, but which if we add stops to eat and admire all the fascinating sights on the route up close, could easily last the whole day. A greener alternative would be to do the route by bike, which would take around about two hours. The area is relatively flat, with a slight climb in the middle of the route and a descent over the second half, making it an activity that is fine for the whole family.
The JS hotels nearest the route are in Alcudia Bay, specifically in Can Picafort (JS Yate, JS Sol Can Picafort, JS Can Picafort, JS Miramar and JS Horitzó). Just over half an hour away by car is the first stop, Jornets, which takes its name from the Jornet family, owner of the property alongside which the rest of the village was built. The village still retains the oratory dedicated to Sant Josep built in 1799.
Biniagual, the next beautiful village on the route, is one of many examples of communities which came back to life after the phylloxera plague parasite that decimated Spanish vines at the end of the 19th century. Abandoned for almost a century, the current owner of Bodegas Biniagual, Klaus Graf, restarted wine production in the area in 1999 after buying the entire village, except for its oratory, for restoration. You can freely explore the cobbled streets and oratory, consecrated in 1737 and dedicated to the Immaculate Conception.
Another monument that you should not miss is the parish church of San Cristòfol, built in 1671 in Biniali, the next village on our list. When you finish admiring the village, Ses Alqueries is just a few minutes away. The village gets its name from its two Islamic farmhouses mainly dedicated to olive oil production which date back to the 13th century.
The penultimate stop on this tour of rural Mallorca is Ruberts, where you can admire another 18th-century oratory dedicated to the Mare de Deu del Carme and located next to the Son Jorda estate. Nearby is the last stop, Cas Canar, whose main attractions are a craft brewery and two talayotic sites.
MALLORCAN TRADITIONS STARTING FROM PORTOCOLOM
The route we propose below can begin from any of the JS hotels in Portocolom (JS Cape Colom or JS Portocolom Suites) and takes in six nearby villages. By car it takes about one hour and by bike just over two hours. The toughest climbs are in the first third of the route, with moderate ups and downs in the middle and an almost permanent descent over the last third. So if you’re feeling strong, don’t think twice about enjoying the route on two wheels!
To start the route, head for S’Horta, a village dating back to the 18th century when its oratory dedicated to San Isidro was built. Several of the manor houses in the area have defence towers, one of them being the 14th-century Cas Saliner. The estate is private, but you can admire the manor house, fields and crops that surround it from the roadside.
Next to S’Horta, the next stop is Calonge. The parish church is dedicated to San Miguel Arcángel (Archangel Michael) and is neo-Romanesque in style, built at the beginning of the 19th century and renovated in the middle of the century and at the beginning of the 20th century.
Then head back to the road and on towards L’Alqueria Blanca. After exploring its streets, head for the beautiful Plaza de la Virgen de la Consolación and admire the parish church of San José, especially its recently restored 19th-century organ. If you have time, you can climb the surrounding mountains on foot and visit the Santuario de la Consolación to enjoy the privileged view of the entire area.
On the way to Son Negre, you can stop off in the pretty village of Cas Concos des Cavaller, which get its name from the fact that it was owned by the Obrador Conco family back in the 16th century and that it also used to be an ancient horse stable. The most outstanding building is the parish church of the Immaculate Conception.
When you get to Son Negre, you will see it is the most typical village of them all. Just a handful of stone houses set around an 1817 oratory dedicated, as in Cas Concos, to the Immaculate Conception. After this feast of Mallorcan traditions, the last stop on the route is at Es Carritxó, a small village with scattered houses that is known, first and foremost, for the church dedicated to San Antonio built at the end of the 19th century on the grounds of the estate of Carritxó Vell that gave rise to the village.
After such a long and intense day, what better way to end it than to return to our JS hotels in Portocolom to enjoy our Spa & Wellness services? Your body will be so grateful!