Inspiring inland adventures
Think of Mallorca and you're probably picturing rose gold beaches. After all, this Balearic beauty has drawn those in search of sun and sublime coastlines for decades. And while Palma has sky-rocketed to the top of many people's city break wishlists in the last 12 months, there's a part of Mallorca that remains enticingly undiscovered: its heartland. Here's where to go from the in-the-know, taking you to the core of island culture.
1. THE WINDMILLS OF MONTUIRI
If you're after Instagram-perfect photos, head to the hilltops (twist our arms and we'd say Puig de Sant Miguel is the best) and snap the Molinar windmills. They circle the toffee-coloured town of Montuiri and, although largely dormant, paint a sublime picture of rural Mallorcan life.
Down the hill, spend an hour strolling around this small town's medieval and Moorish streets, and drop by the Gothic church Sant Bartomeu. Its namesake, Saint Bartholomew, is the reason for the festival atmosphere in August, when locals celebrate their patron saint for a whole week of music, dancing and feasting.
2. THE SPIRIT OF SINEU
If you've only time to explore a single inland town, Sineu makes a good case for being 'the one'. With Roman origins and a rural community preserving local traditions, it's authentic Mallorca all over.
Come for the Wednesday market and you'll get a flavour of local life, as people come to buy everything from leatherwork to livestock. Grab a coffee from Plaça Es Fossar or a sweet treat from the nuns of Convent de la Concepció who sell pastries from their door.
Speaking of food, Celler Can Font is an atmospheric dinner venue, with little wooden tables set up alongside gigantic old wine barrels. Or if you're not stopping over, try to drive away at dusk – the town has a peachy glow that's beautiful in photos.
3. THE PEAKS OF PUIGPUNYENT
On the west coast of Mallorca, the mountain village of Puigpunyent (said to mean 'sharp mountain) puts you on the cusp of the spectacular Tramuntana range. And if beach-within-reach is a deal breaker for you, the close-by coves and bays will tick that box too.
This sleepy village will lull you into a slower pace of life. That said, the surrounding forests of ancient pine and almond trees make this beautiful hiking country. It's also where you'll find La Reserva del Galatzo – a national park criss-crossed with walking trails, 15 waterfalls and wild swimming pools. Cooling off from the Mediterranean sun with mountain views and eagles circling above you is an unforgettable experience. Bring a picnic or BBQ and make a day of it.
4. THE FOLKLORE OF FELANITX
The hills are alive with the sound of... folk music. Visit Felanitx in August and you'll be in town for the Festival of Sant Agustí, a timeless tradition where locals perform folk dances and fireworks punctuate the night skies.
Though many visitors head straight for the hills, in particular to Sanctuari de Sant Salvador. Its soaring stone cross stands over the circling countryside – a small-town Christ the Redeemer that presides over incredible, far-reaching views. If you can handle a few more hairpin bends, climb to Castillo de Santueri for even more panoramic views.
On your way out of the town, travel via Closos de can Gaia. Most people who come here stumble upon this Bronze Age settlement that's an active archaeological excavation site.
5. THE FINE LEATHER (AND FINE WINE) OF INCA
In Inca, you're at the heart of Mallorca's leather-making history. Here, Thursday is market day, but it's a pleasant place to browse the little leather shops and cellar bars all week long. There's also a museum for serious leather aficionados.
Before it became famed for leatherwork, the town was the 'capital of wine'. It's an industry that's flourishing again, thanks to wineries such as Finca Son Bordils, which has been producing wines since the 15th century. This hilltop heritage vineyard even offers tours, if you ask.