Sant Joan local tourist guide
Things to do and see in Sant Joan
The overall attraction of Sant Joan, and most of the Pla region, is the imposing finca of els Calderers. During your visit, you will see and learn about the life on a farm in the Middle Ages. You will be passing through the many rooms, wine celler, men’s lounge, women’s lounge, hunting room, kitchen, bedrooms etc. At the attic there’s a splendid collection of machinery and tools used at the farm that has revolutionized the agricultural production in all of Mallorca. Outside, enjoy a nice stroll in the gardens and visit the donkeys and black Iberian pigs. A visit to the els Calderers is an activity the entire family can enjoy.
SANTUARI DE BONANY
Ascent to the summit of the Bonany hill parting the three municipalities of Sant Joan, Vilafranca and Petra, and enjoy the divine panoramic views of the Mallorcan countryside all the way to the bay of Alcúdia. On the top of the hill, in 245 meters altitude, discover this ancient place of veneration and hermit lifestyle that has resulted in a beautiful church and hermitage.
SANTUARI LA MARE DE LA DÈU DE LA CONSOLACIÓ
Come discover this holy place rising high above the rooftops of Sant Joan. At the hill of Puig de Consolació lies the monastery of same name built on top of the first chapel from the 13th century. From up here, take in the stunning views of Sant Joan town and the charming surrounding areas of fields and green hills. Every year, on the fourth Sunday of Lent, the town’s people walk to this monastery to celebrate their traditions eating bread and fish.
PAROCHIAL CHURCH OF SANT JOAN
The parochial church of Sant Joan is as imposing from the outside as it is on the inside. Impressive wooden carvings, religious artworks and multiple architectural styles are some of the key features of this church that has been expanded many times since the original construction was erected back in the Middle Ages. Inside, you will also find the parochial museum, a great exhibition of religious art collected and donated.
CASA MUSEU PARA GINARD (HOUSE MUSEUM OF FATHER GINARD)
The birthplace and museum of Mallorcan writer Rafel Ginard i Bauçà is one of three museums established in 2007 to spread knowledge of influential Mallorcan writers, the other two houses are those of Llorenç Villalonga (Binissalem) and Blai Bonet (Santanyí). Ginard was a priest, poet and songwriter of Mallorcan folklore, he was particularly dedicated to encouraging children through poetry. The visit will give you a unique insight in the Mallorcan folklore and culture, which is only enhanced by the authentic setting in this typical rural townhouse in Sant Joan.
The old catholic center of Sant Joan was built in 1922, a project founded by Monsignor Francesc Mas Galmés, rector of Sant Joan. The catholic center was meant as a social and cultural center which included a theater, but could also house the rectory of the town. The building is crowned with a statue of Fray Luís Jaume Vallespir, a son of Sant Joan whom was killed in 1775 in California during a mission.
CASA PAIRAL DE FRA LLUÍS JAUME VALLESPIR
This was the home of Fray Lluís Jaume Vallespir, whom died a martyr in California in 1775. The small and modest house witnesses a humble lifestyle of a person dedicated to religion. On the building facade is a memorial plate in honor of him.
Enjoy a relaxing walk or bicycle ride in the rural countryside air of Sant Joan and pass by this historical property that was the very foundation of the town.
WINDMILLS OF SANT JOAN
Wheat is one of the most common products of Sant Joan, and in the urban nucleus of the town you can enjoy 6 of the old windmills hidden in the streets. Here we reveal the addresses of the old mills for you to enjoy.
Market and events in Sant Joan
Weekly market in Sant Joan
The weekly market in Sant Joan is held on Thursdays from 8 in the morning in the heart of the town next to the parochial church.
Annual fairs and festivities in Sant Joan
Festes de Sant Antoni
On the night of January 16, the town of Sant Joan celebrates the patron saint of domestic animals, Saint Anthony. Bonfires are lit all over the town and traditional music is played in the center square.
Sa Rua is the celebration of carnival in Mallorca and in Sant Joan there will be parades of curious and colorful costumes, along with dancing and traditional Mallorcan music.
Festa del Quart Diumenge / Es Pa i el Peix
I March, on the fourth Sunday of Lent (Quart Diumenge), one of the most beloved traditions is held in Sant Joan. Accompanied with the sound of the Mallorcan xeremiers (bagpipes), the people walk together to the sanctuary of Mare de Déu de la Consolació outside town, where coquettes and fish is served according to the tradition that has existed since the 16th century. A mass is held and flowers are offered to the Virgin of Consolation, and afterwards various activities and dance performances happens here.
On Easter Monday, the inhabitants of Sant Joan gather to walk by foot to the sanctuary of Bonany to have a mass and picnic. After the mass, popular folk games start and various performances are held. Traditionally, on this day the leftover bread from Easter is eaten, however, nowadays fresh sandwiches and delicious rubiols de Mallorca (pastry) is eaten here.
Festa del Llibre
On April 23, the organization of Obra Cultural Balear organizes a book event in Sant Joan.
Sol que Balla
June 24 is a special day in Sant Joan, especially to the youngsters of the town. This is the end of a school year and the kids meet and go to the sanctuary of La Mare de la dèu de la Concolació to watch the sunrise as the bells of the parochial church plays for them. Until 1919, this day was celebrated as the day of the patron saint, but to the peasants this was the time of the harvest so they did not have time to celebrate, so instead they celebrated on August 29, which is now the official day of the patron saint.
Sant Joan Degollat
On August 29, it is time for the town of Sant Joan to celebrate itself. Exhibitions, games, concerts, performances, contests and plenty of food are the key ingredients in this festive tradition that gathers the entire town.
Festa del Botifarró
This is a great event to look out for if you are on the island at this of the years, and, you like sausage. This day is dedicated to grilling traditional Mallorcan sausages and serving them with pies. There are typically a lot of dancing and music to experience as well.
About the area of Sant Joan
Sant Joan is the quintessence of a rural and agrarian area in the Mallorca countryside.
Typical products of Sant Joan
History of Sant Joan
About 42 archaeological sites has been found in the area of Sant Joan during the years, unfortunately, most of them in a very poor condition. Among the sites dating from the Pre-Talayotic era (2,400 BC), some of the most significant founds are the caves of de la Bastida, del Camp Rafal, dels Calderers, and la coveta del Camp Vell. From the Talayotic period (1,100-300 BC), the necropolises of Carrutxa and Son Gil are the most interesting.
Evidence of Roman occupation is present too, especially the artifacts found in Son Munar, el Pujol, el turó de Pinyella and Puig de Sant Onofre. However, it is quite unlikely that there has been a Roman village in the area.
During the Islamic era (902-1229/32), the Moorish emirs divided the island in twelve districts, so called “Juz’s”. The area here was located in the most southern part of the district of Yiynau-Bitra, which also comprised the current municipalities of Sineu, Petra, Ariany, Lloret de Vistalegre and Vilafranca de Bonany. The Moors settled in farmhouses and huts scattered all over the area, from where they were able to cultivate the lands by building some of the first hydraulic systems like water tunnels and wells. Some of the most well-documented farms from the Islamic era are the Alhamar, Binifarda and Maham.
When the Catalan army conquered the island in the years between 1229 and 1232, the king distributed the districts and lands among knights and bishops. The new landowner was Pere de Palau, however, already in 1235 the area passed on due to either death or exchange. The area was given to Arias Yánez, a knight of Portuguese Sant Joan de Verí from Coïmbra. From the farm and lands of the Alhamar, a small community started to slowly grow and changed name to Sant Joan de Sineu. The new Christian settlers were quick to mark the new religious dominance, and already in the 1240’s the first chapel was established on the hill of Puig de Consolació. Until 1298, this chapel was under ecclesiastical management of the parochial church of Santa Maria in Sineu, but thanks to Bishop Ponç de Jardí a segregation was possible and the permission to build a new church in Sant Joan was granted. Moreover, the segregation and establishment of a parish church in Sant Joan came from a quickly growing congregation which was evidenced just a few years later. In the year 1300, King Jaume II of Mallorca signed a set of ordinances which stated that any urban area of at least 100 inhabitants was given the rights to establish a town council and the right to trade products at the market. This was the official establishment of the town of Sant Joan.
The Middle Ages brought several crises to Mallorca; plagues, droughts and societal turbulence as the most remarkable. During 1521 and 1523, a rebellious movement formed in Mallorca as a reaction to a severe debt to the crown from prior conflicts, which made it almost impossible for craftsmen and peasants to earn money. Many locals from the town of Sant Joan participated in the revolution fighting for the rebellious army. Sant Joan took great damage during the clashed between peasants and the royal army that was sent to the island to stop the chaos, leaving the town in massive debt and a highly reduced population.
As earlier stated, Sant Joan is a municipality quintessence to agriculture, this is partly manifested in the finca els Calderers, a manor that became renown all over the island for introducing new techniques. The introduction of new machinery and techniques at els Calderers revolutionized the entire agrarian community of Mallorca. Today, els Calderers serves as a ethnological museum where you can examine all these tools.
Today, Sant Joan is still one of the only places in Mallorca where agriculture predominates the main occupation in the area. Tourism is limited to but a few agroturismos scattered over the rural countryside.
From Palma airport
The Pla de Mallorca region
Pla de Mallorca is a region consisting of municipalities located in the geographical centre of Mallorca. Pla de Mallorca has gotten its name from the plain flat countryside that dominates most of the local areas in the region, only with exception of a few. When you travel in the Pla region, you will notice that tourism is far from the main source of income in strong contrast to the many coastal areas of the island. Out here, agriculture and production are the main sources of income and occupies most people.
What makes Pla de Mallorca an interesting region to travel in, is the authenticity and charm that dominates these rural districts. Moreover, traveling around in the Pla region is really easy due to the great infrastructure, broad roads, low traffic load and flat landscape.
Algaida is to many people the manifestation of the Mallorcan soul and cultural heritage. The town carries a rich and long history going all the way back to the Catalan conquest of Mallorca, stunning nature and an indulging kitchen. Algaida is a great place to spend your rural holiday on Mallorca, because of the unique location just 20 minutes from Palma. Accommodation in Algaida is just as unique; do yourself a favor and try a few days at the epic sanctuary of Cura and enjoy the most amazing views overlooking the bay of Palma and the stunning countryside.
Ariany is a small and sleepy village in the north-eastern area of the es Pla region. Ariany is beautifully situated on top of a hill allowing for stunning views overlooking the rural countryside up here. Selecting Ariany as your holiday destination in the rural Mallorca, means complete solitude and tranquility. There is almost no noise in this area, no car traffic and no stress.
Ca’n Picafort is a highly popular holiday resort located in the bay of Alcúdia, with its roots in the rural village of Santa Margalida. Yes, Ca’n Picafort is a mass-tourism holiday destination, especially during high season in the summer, but offers splendid accommodation all year round, especially the many villas and fincas situated in the back of the area are very popular during the winter season due to the rise of cycle tourism in this period.
Costitx is one of the smallest villages in the es Pla region out here on the rural countryside, yet one of the most popular holiday destinations amongst tourists looking for beauty, tranquillity and rural ambience. Costitx is well-known for its many interesting places of interest to explore closer, therefore, it is not a rare sight to see tourists walking or driving in the local area with the cameras ready. Your accommodation in Costitx will be in one of the many beautiful fincas or villas in the rural surroundings, offering modern yet authentic facilities.
Lloret de Vistalegre
Explore rich agricultural heritage of the es Pla region, Mediterranean wildlife and vegetation, while relaxing and enjoying in the charming village life of Lloret. Accommodation offers in Lloret consists of charming fincas and villas situated in the surrounding countryside around the village itself. There are also a few holiday rentals and flats inside the village, if you really want to get close to the local community and the soul of Lloret.
Llubí is known as the “honey town” of Mallorca, due to its rich traditions within beekeeping and honey production. In Llubí, you can enjoy real silence, an undisturbed and unspoiled agricultural area that has not yet seen much impact from tourism. Llubí only have one single boutique hotel in the village itself, meaning that most accommodation here is fincas and villas in the rural areas surrounding the town. You should choose Llubí as your rural holiday destination, if you are going self-catered and want to enjoy the tranquillity and central location of this base.
Maria de la Salut
Historic old fincas and agritourism is what can you expect to find in Maria de la Salut, an old and wealthy area in the northern part of es Pla. Located in the northern areas of Mallorca, Maria de la Salut makes a perfect rural holiday destination if you want to combine the windless countryside with fresh sea breezes found in the bay of Alcúdia running not far from here. Recommended accommodation in Maria de la Salut, includes the historic olive farm and agritourismo of Roqueta and the rebuilt finca hotel of Finca Son i Roig named after one of the children of the village.
Medieval village located at the summit of a mountain here in the middle of everything. Montuïri offers a wealth of stunning natural spaces to explore. Moreover, Montuïri is home to the emblematic prehistoric settlement of Son Fornés. Your rural holiday in Montuïri can be in a finca situated in solitude, or in the amazing SPA & Wellness hotel of Can Manera. Whatever choice triggers you the most, you are sure to meet the real soul of Mallorca here in Montuïiri.
Muro is mostly known for its popular summer holiday destination of Playa de Muro, but the main town holds a great treasure of local cultural heritage and charming village life. Muro is located in the northern part of the es Pla region, allowing for easy access to the coastline in the Alcúdia bay, as well as the many great roads for road cycling. Accommodation offers in Muro includes some amazing and very charming rebuilt fincas and finca hotels, offering every facility and amenity to complete the perfect rural holiday in Muro.
One of the most pastoral and charming little villages in the rural heart of Mallorca. The village breaks record of how many religious buildings a village of this size can hold, nevertheless, it offers a great selection of places of interest to explore, as well as ambient bars and restaurants. Choosing accommodation for your rural holiday in Petra, typically includes a charming finca or agroturismo in the local area, especially the latter is highly recommended trying here. Another choice is the cosy and charming small boutique hotel situated in the very heart of Petra.
Playa de Muro
Playa de Muro is the perfect holiday destination in the north of Mallorca if you are looking for stunning beaches and a versatile local area. Playa de Muro offers a wealth of fantastic accommodation options, thus more than 500 local restaurants and bars. You probably won’t associate Playa de Muro with a typical Mallorcan rural holiday, and during high season it probably isn’t either, but that the charm of this huge area, it is indeed versatile. During autumn, winter and spring, Playa de Muro is packed with active tourists enjoying the combination of beach and rural countryside.
Porreres is located in the southern area of es Pla, a wonderful small village with a rich cultural heritage to explore and indulge in. When it comes to accommodation in Porreres, it is highly recommended to go for one of the agroturismos in the local area, producing fincas equipped with all modern facilities and amenities to complete your perfect rural holiday on Mallorca. The village of Porreres is quite interesting too, a bunch of new and interesting restaurants has seen the light here in the middle of the traditional urban core, giving you even more dining options to choose from.
Santa Eugénia exemplifies an agricultural rural escape, yet keeps its touch to bigger urban areas. Santa Eugènia is located in scenic nature, with great views and surrounding by a varied natural environment. Santa Eugenia enjoys a unique location just a 10 minute drive from Palma, yet not a sound of a car is to be heard out here. Choose Santa Eugenia for your rural holiday, if you want luxury and access. Especially golfers rents fincas and villas in Santa Eugènia because of the many golf courses close by.
Sencelles is located in the heart of es Pla and exemplifies what es Pla is, an agricultural community developed throughout thousands of years. Sencelles consist of the town itself, with three other small hamlets located in the nearby area. Accommodation offers in Sencelles are petit finca hotels in the rural countryside and holiday villas for rent. You will find everything you need for your rural Mallorcan holiday in Sencelles thus a wonderful central location.
Sineu was home to the first jurisdiction of the rural areas on Mallorca, thus home the king’s summer palace. Sineu is by locals not only seen as the heart of Mallorca, but as the heart of the world. Sineu is very popular among tourists on Wednesdays when one of the biggest markets on Mallorca is held in the town. Accommodation offers in Sineu includes some of the most charming rustic fincas in the local area equipped with everything you need to complete the perfect rural holiday here.
Vilafranca de Bonany
Known as the “melon town” of Mallorca, no doubt you are in for a tasteful experience when visiting Vilafranca de Bonany here in the centre of Mallorca. Accommodation offers in Vilafranca de Bonany mainly consist of rebuilt fincas and villas in the surrounding countryside, offering true tranquillity and solitude to the self-catered rural holidaymaker.