Visiting Valldemossa: The Lowdown On Mallorca’s True Hidden Gem

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Nestled in the verdant folds of the Tramuntana mountain range, the quaint village of Valldemossa is one of Mallorca’s most enchanting secrets. Far from the bustling beaches and the pulsating nightlife of the island’s coastal resorts, Valldemossa offers a tranquil retreat into a world where time seems to move at a gentler pace. 

The Historical Tapestry Of Valldemossa

Valldemossa’s cobbled streets and rustic stone houses are steeped in history. The village’s most famous landmark is the Royal Carthusian Monastery, or La Cartuja, which dates back to the 14th century. 

Originally a royal residence, it became a monastery in the 15th century and later housed the composer Frédéric Chopin and the writer George Sand during the winter of 1838-1839. Their stay, although fraught with illness and discomfort, resulted in some of Chopin’s most profound compositions and Sand’s evocative book A Winter in Mallorca.

As you wander through the monastery’s rooms, you can still feel the creative energy that once permeated these walls. The ancient piano Chopin used, his manuscripts, and Sand’s mementos are poignant reminders of their time spent in this secluded paradise.

The Natural Splendour Of Valldemossa

Valldemossa is not just a feast for the history buffs; it’s a haven for nature lovers too. The village is surrounded by lush, green landscapes that beckon hikers, cyclists, and outdoor enthusiasts. The paths winding through the Tramuntana mountains offer breathtaking views and connect to other picturesque villages like Deià and Sóller, making Valldemossa an ideal starting point for exploring the rural beauty of Mallorca.

One cannot talk about Valldemossa without mentioning the Miramar Monastery, founded by the mystic and philosopher Ramon Llull. The gardens here offer some of the most spectacular vistas of the Mediterranean Sea, framed by the dramatic backdrop of the mountains.

For a unique perspective of the village and surrounding area, take a hike on one of the many trails. The Archduke’s Trail, a path carved out by Archduke Ludwig Salvator of Austria in the late 19th century, is a highlight for any hiking enthusiast visiting Valldemossa. This trail offers an invigorating trek that typically takes around three to four hours to complete, depending on one’s pace and frequency of stops to admire the stunning views, of course. The route is of moderate difficulty, with some steep sections that reward the hiker with panoramic vistas of the coastline and the valley below. It’s advisable to start this hike early in the morning to avoid the midday sun and to ensure ample time to return before dusk.

For those seeking a less travelled path, the Camí de s’Arxiduc, as it’s known locally, also leads to several less frequented trails that branch off into the Tramuntana range. One such trail is the path to Puig de Caragolí, a summit that offers a more challenging climb but promises even more spectacular views of the surrounding sea and mountains. This hike can take an additional two hours or so to complete from the main Archduke’s Trail, so it’s important to be well-prepared with adequate water, snacks, and good hiking footwear.

Another rewarding hike near Valldemossa is the route to the hermitage of Ermita de la Santísima Trinidad. This tranquil spot is perched on a hilltop and provides a serene space for reflection amidst the natural beauty of the area. The hike to the hermitage is less strenuous than the Archduke’s Trail and takes approximately an hour and a half to reach from the centre of Valldemossa. The path is well-marked and meanders through the lush countryside, offering glimpses of the village from a distance and a quiet escape from the more frequented tourist spots.

The Culinary Delights Of Valldemossa

Mallorcan cuisine is a delightful blend of Spanish, Mediterranean, and Arabic influences, and Valldemossa’s local eateries do not disappoint. Be sure to try coca de patata, a soft, sweet bread roll that is a speciality of the village. Pair it with a cup of thick hot chocolate for a truly indulgent experience.

For a more substantial meal, many restaurants serve tumbet, a delicious vegetarian dish made from layers of fried aubergines, potatoes, red peppers, and topped with a rich tomato sauce. And let’s not forget the fresh sobrasada, a local spreadable sausage that is a staple of the Mallorcan diet. Try all those dishes, and more, at…

Restaurants & Cafés

  • QuitaPenas Valldemossa: For a taste of authentic Mallorcan cuisine, head to QuitaPenas. This cosy spot is known for its friendly service and traditional dishes. Don’t miss out on their pa amb oli, a simple yet delicious local staple of bread with olive oil, tomato, and various toppings.
  • Es Roquissar: Located in the old Carthusian monastery, this restaurant offers a menu that combines traditional Mallorcan recipes with modern culinary techniques. The setting is historic, and the views from the terrace are sublime.
  • Ca’n Molinas: For the best coca de patata, visit this café in the main square with over a hundred years of history. It’s a favourite among locals for a mid-morning treat or an afternoon pick-me-up.

Check out the local market, too. Held on Sundays, here you can buy fresh produce, artisanal goods, and souvenirs. It’s a great place to mingle with residents, support local businesses and eat some truly delicious food.

The Artistic Pulse Of Valldemossa

Valldemossa’s allure has long attracted artists and writers, drawn by its serene atmosphere and natural beauty. Today, art galleries and artisan shops line the streets, showcasing the work of local and international artists. 

The village celebrates its artistic heritage with festivals and concerts throughout the year, most notably the Artdemossa Fair, which transforms the streets into an open-air gallery of art, music, and performance. This one usually takes place sometime in the second half of July.

Also of obvious note, if you’re visiting in August, you’re in for a treat. The annual Chopin Festival is held in the cloisters of the monastery and features world-class musicians. It’s a celebration of the composer’s work and his time spent in Valldemossa.

When Is The Best Time Of Year To Visit Valldemossa?

To avoid the tour groups that often arrive midday, plan to visit Valldemossa early in the morning. You’ll have the opportunity to experience the village’s peaceful ambiance and take unobstructed photos of the beautiful streets and architecture.

To truly soak in the atmosphere, consider staying in one of the village’s boutique hotels or rustic accommodations. Nightfall in Valldemossa reveals a quiet, starlit charm that day-trippers miss.

Whenever you do choose to visit, please do respect the tranquillity that defines Valldemossa. This is not a place for raucous nightlife; it’s a destination where one can reconnect with nature, soak in the culture, and rejuvenate the spirit.

Getting There

  • By Car: Renting a car is the most convenient way to reach Valldemossa, giving you the freedom to explore at your own pace. The drive from Palma takes about 20 minutes, and there’s a public car park on the edge of the village.
  • By Public Transport: The bus service from Palma (Line 210) is a scenic and cost-effective option. The journey takes around 30 minutes, and the buses run regularly throughout the day.
  • By Yacht Charter: A more unique way to approach Valldemossa is by sea. Several yacht rental companies in Mallorca offer a sailing trip around the island, starting in Palma and taking in Mallorca’s gorgeous coastline before pitching up at the Port of Sóller, which is the closest harbour to Valldemossa. Once on dry land, it’s a short drive.

The Bottom Line

Valldemossa is arguably the jewel in Mallorca’s every sparkling crown, a place where the island’s heart beats strongest. It’s a village that captures the imagination and soothes the soul, a true hidden gem that promises a memorable escape from the ordinary (not saying the rest of Mallorca is ordinary or needs escaping from, of course). Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, an epicurean, or an art aficionado, Valldemossa has something to enchant you. 

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