Passion for country living in Porreres

Country air is just so healthy. And you can enjoy it in the heart of Majorca, far from the madding crowd – in Porreres in the municipality of the same name. Or Porreras, as it’s called in Spanish. This village of 5,500 inhabitants between Llucmajor, Campos, Felanitx and Sineu owes its name to the valiant knight Guillem de Porrera, who was at the side of the Christian King James I when he conquered Majorca from the Moors in the 13th century.

Village atmosphere

Small squares, narrow streets, the sundial on the 17th/18th century church of Nostra Senyora de la Consolació – Porreres, 30 kilometres south-east of Palma de Mallorca, is one of Majorca’s authentic Majorcan villages. The parish church here is something special, its considerable size having earned it the name “the cathedral of rural Majorca”.

Otherwise, everything is very tranquil here. In the bars on the main street Avinguda del Bisbe Campins in the village centre, you can find locals meeting in a relaxed atmosphere over a coffee or a drink. Or you may find them living it up in the restaurant Es Centro, where you’ll be dining in a former theatre.

Not a trace of holiday resort commotion

The weekly market on Tuesday mornings offers many local products, a lot of them from the surrounding agricultural area. And of course you can also buy one of the best-known products of the island here, famed for their full-flavoured fruitiness – apricots from Porreres. Because of their appearance, the Majorcans call them “orejones”, meaning big ears. Every June, there is an apricot fair, the Fira de l’Albercoc, where you can get to know this sweet little fruit in all its forms. Fresh or dried or coated in chocolate…

Pioneers in terms of quality

The business of winegrowing is also alive and well in Porreres. At the local bodega belonging to Bàrbara Mesquida Mora, they press an organic wine. It was her father, Jaume Mesquida, who even spearheaded a wine revolution in Majorca. Focusing consistently on quality rather than quantity, very early on this trailblazer was using quality as his yardstick. And so, in addition to native grape varieties, he began cultivating the French quality grape variety Chardonnay for the first time on the island. Derided at first, he was actually one of the first taking action to ensure that the image of wine produced in Majorca got better and better.

Santuari de Monti-Sion monastery

You can wend your way to the Santuari de Monti-Sion monastery up in the heavens, the origins of which date back to the 14th century. It’s barely four kilometres from Porreres. This complex at an altitude of 248 metres is enchanting and the views across the island are stunning! At Easter time, a procession is led from the centre of the village up to the monastery. Out and about, you’ll see half the village – at the very least.

Cycling and hiking

Since Porreres is so centrally located in the interior of the island, it’s a great starting point from which to explore Majorca. Or indeed, to enjoy the beach life on Majorca’s south coast or east coast, say. On the other hand, Porreres itself also gets plenty of visitors. You’ll see streamlined cyclists in their flashy, skintight jerseys taking a welcome break in the Plaça de la Vila. They use the less-travelled rural roads. Speaking of cycling – one of the best known Spanish racing cyclists, Joan Llaneras Roselló, comes from Porreres.

Discovering a slower pace

Now, who says that everything always has to be about speed? You can get great pleasure out of exploring the area surrounding Porreres in a much more leisurely fashion with relaxed bike rides or hikes through the plains. That way, you’ll discover many of the corn fields, vineyards and apricot orchards along the way.

So it’s no wonder that many international residents have a property of their own here, having been attracted by the village charms of Porreres. And from the comfort of their own residence, they can indulge in their sheer passion for country living.