Sineu local tourist guide
Things to do and see in Sineu
PARISH CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA DE SINEU
The imposing parish church of Santa Maria is one of the biggest churches in Mallorca, if not the biggest. It is a spectacular sight with its beautiful detailed Gothic architecture, its 7-storey high bell tower and the captivating collections of artworks inside.
MONUMENT OF THE SANT MARC LION
Patron saint of Sineu, Sant Marc (Saint Marcus), is honored with this beautiful monument standing in front of the massive parish church. Sant Marc was already a patron saint of Sineu in the 14th century after King Jaume II devoted a chapel in the Bellver castle to this saint. The little square in which the lion stands, has for centuries been used as a place of veneration where peasants would come to pray for rain and good harvests.
This is the old royal palace of Sineu that was built by King Jaume II in 1309 as a secondary residence, and later a place for the political superior to reside in his post and function as a judge of the rural Mallorca. During the Middle Ages, King Philip II granted the Conceptionist nuns permission to move in and start a community here. Inside this walled enclosure you can see the beautiful idyllic courtyard garden and the many interesting rooms full of history.
MONASTERY OF MINIMS / TOWN HALL
The former monastery of the Minims of Sineu is today the transformed into town hall. Inside, you can discover the tranquil courtyard featuring many stunning details, and inside the buildings you can find a series of interesting collectables such as an old grain weight from the 13th century.
CHAPEL OF SANT JOSE / MEDIEVAL HOSPITAL
This beautiful Gothic temple was the first ever documented hospital in the rural Mallorca, dating all the way back from the 13th century after the Catalan conquest. In the 14th century, it was transformed to a meeting place for counselors. In the beginning of the 20th century, a secondary building was added to the property housing a hospice. The medieval hospital building is a very interesting point of interest in Sineu featuring many stunning details.
This house used to belong to Joan Gili, an official of the La Germania revolution, who was executed in the Bellver castle in 1522. Today, Can Gili is owned by artist Ricardo “Gago” Aparicio, who exhibits many of his interesting artworks here. This is an interesting visit every lover of art should not miss.
THE RECTORY & CHURCH MUSEUM
The rectory is found on the Placa de Sant Marc on the lateral side of the parish church. Inside, there is a small museum with more than 80 pieces of ceramics dating back from the Muslim times, Middle Ages and Renaissance.
MILL OF D’EN PAU
On the way in/out of Sineu, you find the old windmill of d’En Pau dating all the way back from the 18th century. The mill was closed in 1930 and restored in 1992, and now serves as a splendid restaurant. The round tower rises from a rectangular base which used to be the home of the miller, if you sit inside you will get a true authentic feeling. Outside, there is a beautiful garden of various species and a great collection of cactus. Moreover, the garden features an aviary full of Mediterranean birds. The house parrot is usually outside accompanying those sitting close to the bar.
THE OLD TRAIN STATION
When the Palma-Inca-Sineu railway connection was inaugurated in 1878, this station building was built. The railway connection expanded to also reach Manacor and the building was renovated and finished in 1926. The line to Manacor closed in 1976, and since 1988 the building has been an art museum and bar.
Markets & Events in Sineu
The weekly market in Sineu is held on Wednesdays in central square and the surrounding streets. The Sineu market is a great tourist attraction and has been so for years. Coaches, cars, cyclists and walkers arrive from every side of the town to attend this incredible market, and the streets fill up with thousands of people. The sineu market is a great opportunity to find unique items and do a good bargain on things you already know you want to bring home such as leather products, oils, almonds, clothes, accessories, pearls etc. While at the market, don’t miss out on the opportunity to try one of the great restaurants and cellers of Sineu.
Annual fairs and festivities
Sant Antoni (Saint Anthony) is protector of animals and very closely related to the rural parts of Mallorca. On the evening of January 17, come and indulge in a range of Mallorcan traditions such as demons dancing around bonfires, music, typical foods and much more. Also, people bringing their pets to the church during the day to receive blessings is quite a sight.
The annual spring fair, in local mouths simply “Sa Fira”, is the most traditional and popular in all of Mallorca. It was established already back in 1318 by King Sanç, and every year it seems to exceed itself in terms of visitors.At the spring fair, you can look forward to an extended market, traditional muc and dance performances, games, sports and exhibitions all related to the agrarian lifestyle. The spring fair in Sineu is held on the first Sunday of May.
Festes de la Mare de Déu d’Agost
Sineu welcomes summer during the first two weeks of August with a series of fun and interesting activities to enjoy. During these two weeks, you can experience games, food stands, markets, performances, parades, sports competitions, exhibitions and much more.
The Ciclop is a rather new festival which was inaugurated in 2016. This is a fun and colorful festival dedicated to everything related to performance art, theater, dance, circus, video etc.
You know those pictures of little Spanish squares and narrow streets only lit a few lamps and the moonlight? Well, in Sineu they have made that into a cultural event that stimulates most of your senses. For a few hours, all regular lights are turned off in the streets and only candles, lanterns, the stars and moon will illuminate the historical house facades and the irregular narrow streets between them. You follow a planned out route of about 10 stations through the historical town center, each has its own feature and story to tell you explained by the lights. The is a truly magnificent experience you should really attend.
Fira de Sant Tomàs
On the second Sunday of December, Sineu celebrates the traditions of the pig slaughters (matances) with a fair dedicated to meats. At the fair, you can enbjoy various exhibitions of animals and tools, purchase products at the market, learn about the making of traditional Mallorcan sobrassada and botifarron sausages, participate in workshops and much more related to this subject.
The annual Christamas market is a tradition in almost any Mallorcan town, and so it is in Sineu. However, here they have decided to make it more of a recycle and upcycle market rather than just a traditional Christmas market. Of course, there are plenty of typical Christmas market activities and things, but the focus has for years been on the reuse of the items sold.
About the area of Sineu
Sineu is a municipality located in the very heart of Mallorca. The municipality comprises a territory of 4,769 hectares and 3,764 inhabitants (2018), and borders the municipalities of Llubí, Maria de la Salut, Ariany, Petra, Sant Joan, Lloret de Vistalegre, Costitx and Inca.
History of Sineu
The area of Sineu has been occupied by humans for more than 4,000 years. Discoveries of caves such as Conills, Son Costa, Son Mas, Comellar Fondo de Son Rossi-nyol and Pou d’En Banys, are some of the most remarkable evidences of Pre-Talayotic activity dating from around 2,400 BC.
From the Talayotic period (1,100 – 300 BC), the talayotic constructions of Creixell, Sa Ritxola, Son Rossinyol, Son Ven-rell, Son Alcaines, Puig de Sa Creu and the necropolis of Serral des Moro (Son Estela) stand out as the best examples of settlements from this time.
From the Islamic time, the area was part of a bigger district known as “Yiynau-Bitra” which also comprised the current municipalities of Petra, Ariany, Lloret de Vistalegre, Sant Joan and Vilafranca de Bonany. The Berber Moors lived in farms and little country houses mostly scattered all over the Yiynau-Bitra district, which at the time of the Catalan conquest in 1229/32 counted for 82. The biggest farm with lands was the one of Alhoffra al-Djawfiya, while the most interesting and significant for the Moorish period was the one of Adefla Exarquia, today referred to as “Delfa”. Unlike many other Moorish settlements on the island, there was actually a small urban nucleus of houses or huts where the current town of Sineu is found today, as well as a necropolis, baths a mosque and an alcàsser (Arabian medieval palace) which belonged to the Emir, Mubashshir Nasir Al-Dawla.
Post the Catalan conquest of Mallorca (1229-1232), the king distributed the lands of Mallorca between lords, knights, counts and bishops who either participated or supported the conquest, however, this area corresponded to the king himself. Sineu was conquered in the period between 1229 and 1230, without much resistance from the Moors. In the book called “Llibre de Repartiment” (Book of Distribution), all areas of Mallorca was carefully described and renamed according to the Catalan language. In 1237, this place was referred to as “Sixneu”.
The new Christian settlers soon destroyed the Moorish mosque and replaced it with the first parish church of Santa Maria de Sineu. At this time, the parish also included Sant Joan and Llorit, later Lloret de Vistalegre, which segregated in 1295 and 1298 respectively. The parish church was founded in 1236 by Ferrer de Pallerè, Archdeacon of Tarragona, and mentioned in the papal bulletin of Pope Innocenci IV in 1248.
In the beginning of the 14th century, the road between Palma and Sineu is mentioned as the most important connection in Mallorca for multiple reasons. In 1309, King Jaume II of Mallorca had the royal palace constructed on top of the former Arab palace, a place the king often spent time. From this time, the king also created a set of ordinances in order to establish and define the villages of Mallorca, which basically meant that any nucleus with at least 100 inhabitants or houses would be given the right to have a trade market, Sineu was one of these. In 1319, King Sanç appointed the first “Veguer de Forà”, a criminal judge and royal representative of the rural areas (the Part Forana). This person usually resided in the royal palace, as well as held meetings with the Great and General Council and the Sindicat de Forà which represented the areas of Part Forana.
Sineu also had 2-3 counselors in the Great and General Council, which was the highest political authority as the kingdom did not yet have any courts. The Great and General Council was founded in 1249 and came of the Catalan municipal councils, but was abolished in 1718 due to the governmental changes of Philip V.
However, the political references were not the only thing that made Sineu an important area in the 14th century, also the extensive production of wheat stood out from other areas of the island. At the town hall, you can see the old bronze tapered “barcella de Sineu”, a container and measurement tool used for weighing cereals and grains which dates back from the 13th century.
In 1318, King Sanç established the traditional spring fair in Sineu, the oldest of its kind in Mallorca.
In 1521, a twin society came to arise in Mallorca known as “La Germania”, a movement adopted from Valencia. La Germania was essentially a continuation of a conflict between the nobility and peasants back from the middle of the 15th century known as “Revolta Forana”, which came from corruption scandals that allowed the nobility to have paper on most lands of Mallorca leaving the small peasants and landowners with almost nothing and no influence, which basically meant that the nobility could charge massive rents and tax loads. The Germania started diplomatically trying a political approach, but soon turned to violence occupying Palma and started murdering high standing people. The governor of Mallorca, Miguel de Gurrea, fled to Ibiza while the remaining part of the nobility that fled from Palma took shelter within the walls of Alcúdia, the only town that remained faithful to the monarch and which the Germania could never take. Sineu, however, was taken under control of La Germania in the years between 1521 and 1522 and many people from Sineu participated in the revolt. In the late 1522, the king sent his royal troops to Alcúdia to put a stop to La Germania, which ended with a surrender in 1523 in Palma. The surrender to the king’s troops meant execution of more than 100 men from Sineu, including the notary Joan Gili, of Can Gili, who acted as spokesman for the La Germania whom was executed in Castell de Bellver. The consequences of the war was a great recession leaving Sineu with high fines and increased taxes.
In 1583, the former royal palace of Sineu was converted into a convent on concession of King Philip II.
In the middle of the 17th century, the bubonic plague was at its highest causing hundreds of deaths in Sineu. The inn of Son Joan Arnau was used as a quarantine site, and the farm and lands of Binitaref was converted into a hospital and cemetery.
The beginning of the 18th century brought a new municipal system to Sineu as a consequence of the War of the Spanish Succession. The Great and General Council disappeared and a town hall made up of a mayor and four counselors was instituted.
The Peninsula War (1807-1814), which led to the Constitution of Càdiz in 1812, left Spain in a chaotic condition with economic stagnation, political instability and social turbulence. Even though Sineu did not take part in the war, the consequences were felt with extra taxes and donations to help reestablish Spain.
During the Liberal Triennium between 1820 and 1823, a confiscation of all religious monastics with less than 12 nuns or monks was a reality. The convent of Minims in Sineu was one of those affected. The Minims did return, but only for a short time because in 1833 the First Carlist War broke out in Spain and prime minister, Juan Álvarez Mendizábal, confiscated all monastic properties and auctioned them to private investors in order to raise money to support Queen Isabel II. In 1877, the town hall of Sineu purchased the convent.
From the beginning of the 20th century, Sineu saw an increase in extraction of raw materials due to the opening of several mines and stone quarries which enhanced the economy remarkably. Today, the economy is still mainly centered around agricultural activities such as wheat, cereals, livestock, almonds etc., all products of the dry plain lands of the Pla region.
The origin of the name is quite uncertain, as numerous theories by several etymologists has been suggested. The name of the area first appeared in the 13th century after the Catalan conquest of Mallorca where four different spellings of the name was seen; Sixneu, Xisneu, Sisneu, and Xineu. With this many different spellings it has been difficult to figure out exactly from where the Catalan conquerors got the name. The first commonly believed theory was one that suggested that the place name derived from the Latin “Gium” as in Cinium, which could have been the name of a Roman village. This theory was, however, later discarded as the Arabist, Miquel Barceló, tried to interpret the place name of “Yiynau”, part of the district name from the Moorish period called “Yiynau-Bitra”. His theory was that this name could derive from the Arab word “J.jnu”, which again could come from the Berber word “Ignawen” meaning “Mule”. The word “Yiynau” or “Jijnau” is found several times in places around the area which supports the theory that this is the word that was translated to the Catalan “Xisneu” or “Sixneu”.
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.
Sant Joan is the core essence of Mallorcan agriculture, located in the heart of the island. The area is so agricultural, that each year an entire fair dedicated to agritourism is held here in the town. Choose Sant Joan as your rural holiday destination, if you are attracted to silence and solitude, because that is what you will find here among the many interesting places of interest and fields of almond trees covering the surface. Moreover, Sant Joan enjoys a central location in the Pla region, allowing for easy access to most other small villages in the region.
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.
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.