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Valldemossa

Valldemossa

Valldemossa - Picturesque mountain village with Carthusian monastery

Panorama Valldemossa Mallorca

Valldemossa is an idyllic mountain village in the Serra de Tramuntana, which is one of the most charming sights in Mallorca with its narrow streets and sand-coloured buildings. Valldemossa is a tourist attraction in the northwest of the island around 18km from the island's capital Palma de Mallorca.

This village of 2000 inhabitants was built as a hillside terrace and perched at a height of 436 m above sea level. The town centre is completely car-free and is criss-crossed by a labyrinth of cobblestone streets lined with stone houses with red-tiled roofs and sand-coloured façades.
 
The history of Valldemossa
The history of Valldemossa can be traced back to Moorish times in Mallorca. The name of the mountain village is said to date back to a Moorish provincial governor named Musa, who is said to have owned an estate in this part of the Tramuntana Mountains. After the expulsion of the Moors in the 13th century, King Jaume II of Mallorca had a palace built, which his son Sancho I had expanded.
 
Successive Mallorcan kings appreciated the place because of the pleasant midsummer climate. While it can get hot in the south of the Balearic Islands from June to August, the temperatures in the Tramuntana mountains are much more bearable. In 1399, the Carthusian monastery was founded in Valldemossa. The abbey is one of the top tourist attractions in Mallorca, although most of the buildings date back to the 18th century.
 
Valldemossa was made famous by the Polish composer Frédéric Chopin, who spent the winter of 1838/39 with his partner, the French writer George Sand, in the mountain village. Inspired by the picturesque mountain scenery George Sand's famous novel "A Winter in Mallorca" was created. The author was able to describe the mountains in a very vivid way and to give his readers a colourful first-hand impression of Valldemossa. In addition to Chopin's living quarters, a printing works founded in 1579 with a17th century printing press is one of the main features in the monastery grounds. Valldemossa has become a tourist magnet in the present. In the high season daily several coaches park on the outskirts of the village.

Valldemossa village

Attractions in Valldemossa
The mountain village of Valldemossa due to its remote location on a high plateau in the Tramuntana mountains has meant that it has retained its historic charm to this day. Cobblestone alleys wind their way through the centre, which stretches around the church of Santa Catalina Tomás. The saint was born in Valldemossa in the 16th century and his birthplace next to the parish has long since become a place of pilgrimage.
 
Most of the buildings in the mountain village date back to the 16th and 17th centuries and are adorned with colorful tiles bearing the face of Mallorcan saints. Blooming oleander bushes in large terracotta tubs stand in front of the entrances and small cafes and tapas bars invite you to enjoy regional delicacies.
 
One tourist magnet in Valldemossa is the Costa Nord Cultural Centre, which was an initiative of American actor Michael Douglas. In 2000, the Hollywood star acquired the estate S'Estaca, where he occasionally lives with his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones. The Cultural Centre houses an exhibition on the flora and fauna of the Tramuntana. In addition, Michael Douglas addresses the audience in a short documentary film. Visitors can sample Mallorcan products and attend a traditional dance performance.
 
Carthusian monastery in the heart of the mountain village
The old Carthusian monastery in the centre of Valldemossa was consecrated in the late 14th century and is one of the main attractions for visitors on the west coast of Mallorca. A tour of the monastery complex will take you across the cloister to the abbey apothecary, which is still equipped with historic furniture from the 18th century. You will visit the monastery library, the audience hall and the former residential cells of the monks.

Frederic Chopin Bust Valldemossa Mallorca

Cell no. 4, was once home to a famous visitor who spent the winter of 1838/39 there. Over 170 years ago the world-famous composer Frédéric Chopin believed that the mild climate of Mallorca could cure his tuberculosis disease. The hope was not fulfilled and after a few months, the composer left together with his partner, Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin (known by the male nom de plume of George Sand) the island again.
 
In memory of their most famous guest, a bust with Chopin's head was placed in front of the Carthusian monastery. Sadly years later it had to be dismantled, as millions of visitors clearly saw a lucky charm in the composer's nose and as millions of visitors stroked the nose for luck it became so worn down that removing the bust was the only viable option. Meanwhile, the bust now stands safely enclosed behind prickly rose bushes in the gardens of Joan Carles I.
 
Things to do in Valldemossa
Due to its location in the middle of the Tramuntana mountains, the mountain village is an excellent starting point for hikes. The goal of most outdoor sports enthusiasts is the summit of Puig des Teix. The 1,064 m high mountain dominates Valldemossa and from its summit you have a fantastic view over the northwest coast of Mallorca. The most frequently used trail leads through the Finca publica de Son Moragues to the summit.
 
Further hiking trails start directly in the centre and lead through a rugged rocky landscape. This mountain region has significantly more precipitation than in coastal areas. For this reason, olive trees, dwarf palms, pines, almond trees and holm oaks thrive on the slopes.
 
If you fancy a dip, follow the road in the direction of Andratx until you see the signposts for Port de Valldemossa. After a winding road you arrive at the coast, where a small pebble beach is the perfect spot for a swim. In the tiny village you will find a restaurant called Es Port with a car park and a restaurant terrace overlooking the sea. Slightly off the beaten track is Caló de s'Estaca, which is best reached on foot. You can combine the swimming trip with a short hike under the shade of the holm oaks.

Streets of Valldemossa

Shopping and restaurants in Valldemossa
In the centre of Valldemossa, in addition to numerous souvenir shops, individual leather goods shops, fashion boutiques and craft shops it's real worth a gentle stroll. One local speciality which has gained fame throughout the island, is Coco de Patata. The sweet tasting potato pastry is available in every bakery and you must try it during your stay in the mountain village. Freshly pressed olive oil directly from the manufacturer can be found at Son Moragues, where the farm shop also sells home-made jam. Sunday is market day in Valldemossa. At the stands, traders offer freshly caught seafood, fresh fruit and vegetables, sheep's cheese and Catalan ham.


Just behind the church of St. Bartomeu is QuitaPenas, a small and completely authentic tapas bar serving exquisite delicacies. Inside you will find a cosy atmosphere with a wooden tables and benches. In front of the tapas bar is a small table and a wooden bench directly on the stone steps.
 
The Casa de Sa Miranda restaurant serves up a real rustic atmosphere. It is housed in a natural stone building that used to mark the entrance to the Carthusian monastery. Mallorcan specialties are served and you have a fantastic view over the valley from the outdoor terrace. Directly on the rocky coast, about 1.5 km as the crow flies from the centre of Valldemossa, there is a restaurant named Es Port. Overlooking the waves, you can savour authentic Spanish cuisine in this truly tranquil spot.
 
With authentic Mallorcan charm, the mountain village of Valldemossa in the Tramuntana mountains welcomes you warmly. A detour to the picturesque village should definitely be planned for your next trip to Mallorca.