Alaró: a rural idyll with flair
It feels really cosy, the small town of Alaró by the Tramuntana mountain range with just around 5,600 inhabitants. Mind you, as the first municipality in Majorca to have electricity, Alaró was once way ahead of its time. Electrical power was introduced here way back in 1901.
The marketplace is the heart of the town. In the “Plaça de la Vila” square, you’ll find the town hall, bars, restaurants and a bakery called Ca Na Juanita, which is famed for its “ensaimadas” – typical Majorcan pastries made with lard. And as you’d expect in a marketplace, it is always the meeting place for traders, who promote their fresh and mainly local produce there on Saturdays.
From the baroque period to the modern era
If you feel like escaping the hustle and bustle for a couple of minutes after your shopping, you can immerse yourself in the silence of the baroque church Sant Bartomeu, which is right by the market. Every Saturday morning, you can listen to half an hour of organ music ringing out in the church – free of charge. This valuable instrument dates back to 1758 and was lovingly restored in 2006 by German organ builder Gerhard Grenzing. Alaró also offers contemporary art. You can go and see art exhibitions in the town cultural centre, Casal Son Tugores. Admission is free also.
So close to the heavens
However, the town’s greatest attraction is the Castell d’Alaró (Alaró Castle). At 825 metres above sea level, the remains of this former castle complex sit majestically on one of the town’s twin mountains – the Puig d’Alaró. The two distinctively-shaped mountains, which face each other, have been cheekily slapped with a nickname by the locals. The Majorcans call them “the molars”, and they really do look like molar teeth.
Lamb and local wine
From the town centre, you’ll need about 2.5 hours to hike up to the castle. It’s certainly a staunch uphill trek. Luckily, there’s a former mountain farm called Es Verger about half-way up, inviting you to make a stop. In this traditional restaurant with its rustic tables, the roast lamb is legendary. You can also savour a simple local wine along with it. Those who are less athletically inclined can drive to the inn on a dirt road and go up the rest of the way on foot from there. It’s not possible to get all the way to the castle by car.
Get a general overview for starters
This is worth the effort in any case. The view is breathtaking and it’s particularly beautiful in January and February when the almond trees are blossoming. It extends across the interior of the island and as far as the Bay of Palma. To get a sweeping, panoramic view like this is great for anyone who’s dreaming of having a property in Majorca – and wants to look out for a suitable location for an apartment or villa.