Wonderfully tranquil Sencelles
Oh, life in the Majorcan countryside is just so beautiful! In the municipality of Sencelles in the interior of the island, life is typically Majorcan, wonderfully tranquil and distinctively rural. The village is called Sancellas in Spanish. And where did the name come from? Well…people cheerfully bicker over the subject. Does Sencelles mean “100 seals”? Or is it “100 cells”? And then there’s a whole range of other hypotheses. The origin of the name hasn’t actually been pinpointed yet, but that in no way detracts from the charm of Sencelles. After all, every place needs its own little secret.
Flat land, rich in agriculture
One thing is for sure – this municipality of 3,370 inhabitants encompassing Biniali, Ruberts, Jornets, Cascanar, Sonarrossa and Sencelles itself (the administrative centre) is located in one of the flattest regions in the centre of Majorca. There are no elevations higher than 160 metres. So this fertile plain (called Pla) provides the ideal conditions for agriculture, from which Sencelles has always lived. At the fore, you have livestock farming, the cultivation of grain, vegetables, figs and especially wine. Sencelles has a long history of viniculture and still has several wineries today, including Bodegas Son Prim, Binigrau and Cap Andritxol.
Tasty home cooking
A very quaffable Majorcan white, rosé or red wine naturally goes well with some good country cooking. Perhaps the ideal setting would be a village house in Sencelles. If you love authentic food, the perfect place is the restaurant Sa Cuina de n’Aina. Literally “Aina’s kitchen” (C/ Rafal 31), here you can tuck in as if you were at your Mum’s – or in this case, the senior chef Aina and family. On the menu, you’ll find frito mallorquín, crispy suckling pig, tender suckling lamb, freshly caught John Dory or sea bass with vegetables, as well as cannelloni with a delicious truffle sauce and vegetarian options like mushroom risotto. Doesn’t it sound mouth-wateringly good?
Agricultural fair and tapas bar-hopping
Every May, Sencelles prepares for its traditional festival and it gets really lively for the agricultural fair. There is a straw battle as part of the festivities, with straw flying everywhere. In addition to local produce like wine, of course, breeders present their finest animals, so you can see magnificent sheep and goats, for example. A handicrafts market completes the colourful assortment. Music ensures a great atmosphere, well into the evening. And at some point, the beat ripples through the crowd to such an extent that the village square suddenly turns into a dance floor. Culinary options are not lacking either, because there is a tapas trail, with several establishments in the village providing the Spanish appetisers along the route. So anyone who has an appetite for these little delicacies can go tapas bar-hopping from one place to the next.
Property in Sencelles
If you like living in close touch with nature, then Sencelles is a great location and a good investment for those who want to buy their own property in Majorca. The spacious, idyllic fincas and the traditional, natural stone houses in particular are popular with many foreigners. They buy a property as a comfortable second home, or even to make the island their permanent home… and these couples and families are living out their dream of a storybook village life.
Bustling market in front of the church
You can get everything you need for daily living in Sencelles. And on Wednesdays and Saturdays, Sencelles holds a market in Plaça Nova – with the Parròquia de Sant Pere church as a backdrop. The Saturday market has a strong focus on organic products and produce from sustainable cultivation. In the church square, local nun Francinaina Cirer (1781-1855) keeps her eyes firmly fixed on the village goings-on from her stone plinth. She founded a convent in the middle of the village in 1851 and is highly esteemed in Sencelles. A series of cures and miracles has been ascribed to her, and these were apparently so remarkable that she was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 1st October 1989.
For major shopping, it’s worth driving over to Inca (about 9 kilometres) or Palma de Mallorca (about 28 kilometres). To reach the Balearic capital city and Son Sant Joan Airport takes no more than half an hour by car. This means you can have the perfect combination of city and country life.
On your bikes, get set, go!
Sencelles has great links to other places. There are direct roads to Sineu and Algaida. A wonderful way to explore the surroundings is on the numerous cycling and hiking paths through the Pla. Not only does this give you the opportunity for sightseeing – but also journeying back in time to bygone eras. The Talayotic period, for example, has left behind plenty of traces in the municipality of Sencelles. The most significant remains, approximately 2,800 years old, can be found in the Talayotic settlement Son Fred. Here, around 1.7 kilometres south-west of the village of Sencelles, you may be truly amazed by the ruins of a round tower built from massive stone blocks, which served as an observation tower and watchtower. Its diameter at the bottom measures an impressive 13.6 metres.
Sun, moon and stars
Stargazers of all ages will be impressed by the planetarium in neighbouring Costitx. The Observatori Astrònomic de Mallorca is the only planetarium in the Balearic Islands.