Category: Castle

Category: Castle

Manacor to Alcudia

The Manacor to Alcudia route begins in Manacor, Mallorca's second-largest city, best known as the birthplace of tennis great Rafael Nadal and as a centre of furniture manufacturing.

There’s not a lot to see here; however the Esglesia dels Delors de Nostra Senyora church is worth a visit, so is the Manacor History Museum.

When you leave Manacor, follow the signs for Porto Cristo where you have the opportunity to visit the Caves of Drach, one of the largest caves in Europe and considered by many to be the 8th Wonder of the World. Within the caves is Lake Martel, one of the largest underground lakes on the planet; which today plays host to a boat-borne classical music program; which attracts visitors from far and wide.

From Porto Cristo follow the signs for Son Servera and Cala Millor, a lovely road; which meanders through orchards until you arrive at Cala Millor; which is a good place to stop for a short beach break.

The route then takes you east into Son Servera and then to Capdepera, largely undiscovered by the majority of visitors to the island. The biggest attraction in Capdepera is the ‘Castell de Capdepera’, it is a quite demanding walk uphill but the views are outstanding.

From Capdepera, take the road to Artà, a quiet, attractive rural town with a maze of narrow streets, medieval buildings and pretty cafes with an impressive hilltop fortress built in the 14th century.

From there, continue along the coastal road around the bay to Alcúdia, a beautiful medieval walled town of quiet charm and character.

Surrounded by mighty walls that contain historic mansions, scenic plazas, cafés with beautiful terraces & warm-stone houses, this vibrant town is a year-round destination, providing a rich taste of history and culture.

The Manacor to Alcudia drive is an excellent way to spend a day taking you through some great locations and with some incredible views.

Bellver Castle

Bellver Castle is a well-preserved 14th century circular castle straddling a wooded hillside to the west of Palma with spectacular views of the Bay of Palma and the Tramuntana mountains in the distance.

Surrounded by fragrant pine woods, the castle is unique in design and is Spain’s only round castle. Now a renowned Palma landmark located at the top of the hill Puig de Sa Mesquida, the former grand fortress and Catalan Gothic masterpiece attracts visitors by the hundreds who come to admire the architecture, the views and visit the interesting ground-floor museum.

King Jaume II gave the order for Bellver Castle to be built back in 1300 and the job was given to Pere Salva, the architect who designed the Almudaina Palace (The Royal Palace).

Bellver has three large towers surrounding a two-level central courtyard and a moat. You’ll see a contrast of architectural design as you explore the castle ranging from Gothic arches to rib-vaulting to semi-circular arches. The best way to see these contrasts is to look down at the courtyard from the roof.

The castle was built to serve as a royal residence; however with the exception of residencies by King Sanç and Joan I of Aragon, the building has spent more time as a prison than a home. Bellver Castle has hosted many prisoners over the years including King Jaume IV & King Jaume III’s widow and sons and has been used as a penal institution during both the Napoleonic and Spanish Civil wars and World War II. If you visit the roof of the castle, you can see prisoners’ graffiti, carved into the stonework.

On the ground floor is Palma’s museum of municipal history (Museu d’Història de la Ciutat) which follows the development of the city from the prehistoric Talayotic civilisation to the present day via its artefacts including pottery from Talaiotic, Roman, Arab and Spanish periods and classical statues from the Despuig Collection.

The central courtyard is the stage for a series of classical music concerts performed by the Balearic Symphony Orchestra each July. These open air evening concerts are very popular.

The best way to get to Bellver Castle is via car, there is parking available, alternatively combine your visit with the Palma City Sightseeing open-top bus, which stops at the castle as part of its circuit. If you use public transport, then the closest you will get is Plaça de Gomila, from there it is a 15 minute, 1km walk up a steep hill.

A great way to get to the castle is via the Palma Old Town & Bellver Castle Bike Tour. This bike tour offers two very different takes on Palma. You’ll explore the flat and mazy old town, getting the lowdown from your guide on sights such as the Cathedral, Almudaina Palace and city walls. And you’ll power your way to the Gothic Bellver Castle, at 110 metres above sea level, for epic views over the city and bay. An activity packed with sightseeing.

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