Santa Maria local destination guide
Things to do and see in Santa Maria del Cami
Santa Maria offers a lot of cultural heritage to explore and delve into, but also a wonderful and diversified nature to explore and b seduced by.
VISIT ONE OF THE MANY WINERIES
If you like a good glass of wine and want the taste of authenticity, then you’re in luck, because here in Santa Maria you are in the middle of the biggest Mallorcan wine district. Indulge in the exquisite taste of more than 300 years of wine making experience served in its natural element on the Mallorcan countryside. Choose from more than 10 wineries to visit and get exclusive tours with tastings, education and unique insights. Also, don’t forget the annual wine festival in Santa Maria in November where the new wines are celebrated.
A few suggestions would be:
EXPLORE THE COANEGRE VALLEY
In the north-western part of the municipality you can find the valley of Coanegre, connecting Santa Maria, Bunyola and Alaró. The valley offers a diversified wildlife of vegetation, flowers and animals living in perfect harmony. Following a trail from the outskirts of Santa Maria, you will pass some of the historical properties in the area impossible not to be taken by, the many olive, almond and carob fields which get their water from the torrent of Coanegre, as well as the pine and oak forests. In the Coanegre valley, you will discover beautiful natural waterfalls and natural caves more than 150 m deep. This is a great place to walk and trek in Santa Maria, and you can continue to the picturesque valley of Orient.
DISCOVER THE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF SANTA MARIA
Walking through the streets of Santa Maria reveals the long and interesting history of the town. There is a great range of beautiful buildings to see, each carrying a brick of the local soul in the walls. Explore the impressive parish church, the old convent of the minims, the town hall or the modernist work of Can Mort. There are also plenty of wonderful eateries and bars found in the streets, perfect for a refreshment in authentic settings.
THE OLD INN
Although this inn must have already been there in the 18th or 19th century, its current appearance is 20th-century. That is when it was done up, and acquired its current regionalist-style physiognomy.
A late 19th-century dwelling in the style of a manor house. Today it has been converted into an interpretation centre for museum items and a centre for economic re-activation and revitalization, as well as a centre for the promotion and preservation of local heritage. It hosts temporary and permanent exhibitions. One can visit the old apothecary’s shop and Cas Frares mosaic room.
An old well that dates from 1672. Its origins lie in the prehistoric period. It’s an old well connected with livestock transhumance. It remained in use throughout the period of Islamic rule and subsequently. The Gothic arcades -demolished in 1932- and the well-neck were built by Master Xorba, amongst others. In 1992 the arcades were restored, and thereby the well recovered its original physiognomy.
Weekly Market in Santa Maria del Cami
One of the most traditional and most popular markets in Mallorca, is the Santa Maria market, held every Sunday morning in the Plaça Nova. The market is a great opportunity to sample some of the delicious local produce of the area, such as varies fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, herbs, oils, meats, cheeses and pastries. But also a wide selection of nonfood articles are available at the market, like ceramics, crafts, shoes, clothes, accessories and jewelry.
The market has different sections to browse, for example the organic produce section, the secondhand section and the art section. Yes, certainly there is something for everyone.
Fairs & Festivities in Santa Maria
Throughout the year you can experience some wonderful traditional festivities in Santa Maria.
The celebration of Sant Antoni happens in many Mallorcan towns, as he is the protector of animals. In Santa Maria, Sant Antoni is celebrated on January 17 with a great party. During the day and evening, you can experience the traditional dancing demons trying to lurk people into temptation, bonfires, fire runs, fireworks, dancing and musical performances of typical Mallorcan style. There’s also food and wine where typical Mallorcan specialties are served in the streets, such as sobrassada sausage, lamb, pastries, paella and local wines. Also, during the day you can see pets being blessed in front of the church, it is such an adorable sight.
Sa Rua (Carnival)
The carnival marks Fat Thursday, the last Thursday before Lent. The streets of Santa Maria are adorned in all colours of the rainbow, and parades of creative costumes are everywhere. At the carnival, you can also sample some traditional Mallorcan specialties such as the ensaimada covered with sobrassada and candied pumpkin and roasted sardines.
Holy Week is the period between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. In this period, a range of processions takes place in Santa Maria that you can attend.
The first Sunday after Easter is known as “Angel Sunday” , where sanctuaries arranges pilgrimages and celebrations with masses and launches. In Santa Maria, the locals walk to the chapel of Son Seguí accompanied by giants. Giants are 3 meter tall costumes, traditional for Mallorcan culture.
Sa Fira (The Fair)
The last Sunday of April is dedicated to fun and activities when Sa Fira is held in Santa Maria del Cami. During the day you can enjoy various exhibitions, competitions, parades and performances. The evening is dedicated to fire runs, art exhibitions and fireworks. There will also be held a market, served traditional foods and held workshops. Sa Fira is a joyful event for everyone to enjoy, and a great way to indulge in Mallorcan traditions.
The giants of Santa Maria
The first Saturday of May is in the name of the famous Mallorcan giants. The giants represent characters of from the book Fables and Legends of Santa Maria by Monsignor Josep Capó and Juan and Mateu Morro i Marcé. The male is known as “The Banished” and the female giant is known as “Maria of Coanegre”. Along with these two giant figures, a parade of giant heads made of papier-mâché dances through town. The giant figures were made in 2007 by artist, Mariano “Kake” Portas and his wife.
Fiesta de Santa Margalida (St. Margaret)
On July 20th, the patron saint of Santa Maria del Cami is celebrated with a big party. The day is full of fun activities and folk games where villagers compete in various competitions. The entire town is full of music and dancing, activities and food, and the best thing is, everyone is welcome.
Festa del Vi Novell
The Festival of the New Wine of Santa Maria is held in November, a must attend event for gastro and wine losers. The festival is held on the last Saturday of November, and is dedicated to the celebration of the arrival of the new wine. At the wine festival, you can taste the product of this year’s harvest while learning about the wine. The wineries teams up with some of the restaurants in Santa Maria to serve tapas and pinchos for the wine.
Christmas is a wonderful and jolly time, and in Santa Maria this is not any different. The days up to Christmas, there is a special Christmas market, charity events, Christmas concerts, tours, workshops and exhibitions. In Santa Maria, it is tradition to made almond milk during the Christmas time.
About Santa Maria del Cami
History of Santa Maria
The area has been inhabited by humans since the talayotic culture on the Balearic islands (2,000 BC). Some of the most recent founds has been done in the local area of Cabàs, where 30 skeletons and some ceramics were found in the Cova de Sor Tomassa and Cova des Moro in 1903. Also discovered in the area of es Cabàs, was the talatyot of Claper des Doblers. Multiple founds have been done in the area, including a massive burial site in the Ses Fontanelles area.
The Romans conquered Mallorca 123 BC, led by general Quintus Caecilius Metellu. The Romans established two major city areas; Palmera and Pollen-tia, and connected the two by a road passing through the areas of Santa Maria and Consell. Coins and fragments of ceramics has been found in the area, however, research shows that there was more Roman occupation in the area of Consell.
In 1833, a great discovery was done of a Paleochristian basilica of Cas Frares between Santa Maria and Consell. The excavation works revealed a paved mosaic with figures of biblical characters. It has been determined that the basilica dates back from the 5th century.
The Moorish era brought water transportation and watering systems to Mallorca. The construction of karizes allowed to the Moors to extract water from the mountains and lead it towards the farms from where they could collect it using wells. Several ceramics and constructions evidences the presence of the Moors, but also the farmhouses in the area documented in the Book of Distribution written after the Catalan conquest of the island, to declare the ownership of the lands. Some of the best examples of Islamic properties are those of Cas Frares, Son Torrella, Son Verdera and Cabàs.
Following the conquest of Mallorca (1229-1232), king Jaume I distrubuted the lands of Mallorca to those who had participated in the campaign. The area of Santa Maria and Santa Eugènia was given to Bernat de Santa Eugènia, bishop of Tarragon. The name of Santa Eugènia was later given to the village in his respect. From the beginning of the 14th century, a few small local communituies started to form, especially one in the Coanegre valley (north of Santa Maria). The population quickly grew to about 700 people in the middle of the 14th century. However, the plague of 1348 caused a serious decrease, especially in the Coanegra valley which was more or less completely extinguished. The epidemic explains the massive change in surnames of landowners in the area from this time.
As with most other areas of the Raiguer region, Santa Maria was affected by the Revolta Forana (Revolt of the Foreigners) between 1450 and 1453. The fact that foreigner was an expression used of the small landowners and peasants, very well stated how society was split in classes. This exact fact was the initial reason for the revolt. The small landowners felt neglected and without influence versus the nobles and horsemen who widely controlled how things were to be, and especially who paid what in taxes. Blood was shed all over the Mallorcan countryside in those years, but in the end it was the nobles and cavaliers who won.
The conflicts, however, was not settled yet. About 70 years later, in 1520, the movement of the Germanies saw the light of the day. The Germanies movement had its origin in the artisans’ guilds, and unlike the Revolta Forana, this was a far more organized revolt that included peasants of the entire island. During this conflict, we know that the Germanies had control of the Coanegre valley, from where they could assault merchants and nobles. The conflict ended in 1523, when the king of Aragón had enough and sent over his royal troops to fight the Germanies.
During the 17th century, the town start to take form. In 1620, the first school is established and in 1670, the building for town hall, jail, slaughter and courtroom was purchased and inaugurated. Also, the convent and church of the Minims was established in 1682. Both town hall and convent is credited to the Mallorcan architect Lluc Mesquida. The minims of Santa Maria were early proponents of the vegan lifestyle, they dissociated themselves from products and foods made from animals. Actually, almond milk is documented in 1690. A couple of days before Christmas, the Minims put a mill for grinding available for the people of Santa Maria, today, this mill is preserved in the town hall.
The population continued to grow, at this time there was about 500 people living in Santa Maria and Santa Eugènia. From this period, we also know of the establishment of a cavalry to guard and protect the municipality. The cavalry was owned and ran by Captain and Governor Jaume d’Olesa, whom was also the owner of the Son Seguí hermitage. Olesa was supporter of Felip V during the War of Succession, as a consequence, French soldiers occupied Santa Maria and endured great losses, thus Olesa was defeated. In 1796, the cavalry building was sold to nobles.
Following the fall of the Olesa family, Joan Sureda, marquis of Vivot and Antoni Cotoner, marquis of Ariany, owned the biggest of the farms and fincas in the area, thus controlling most of the municipality.
In the 19th century, the population continued to grow. The economy was mainly based on wine production and agrarian cultivation of olives, cereals, almonds, figs etc.. In 1817, there were almost 400 owners of vineyards. The opening of the railway connection in 1875 allowed for more sales and increased the living standards significantly in Santa Maria. In 1890, the town council agreed to have the first telephone operator installed. In 1898, the Sunday market was inaugurated.
The wine industry was undoubtedly the most profitable and continued to grow each year, until 1891 when an epidemic of phylloxera broke out causing all vineyards to be destroyed.
In the 20th century, the agricultural industries starts to really flourish in Santa Maria, but also other industries such as textile production, blacksmiths and carpenters were needed. With the introduction of electricity in 1912, production ratios increased significantly in most sectors, but also the use of gas engines in flour mills and sawmills was a part of the increased production. In this period the urban nucleus developed in a fast pace with new streets opening every year.
It seemed as if Santa Maria was facing a new and dynamic societal structure, but with the Civil War and later the introduction of mass tourism, Santa Maria saw a remarkable reduction in income. The Franco regime caused isolation and banned unions of workers, as well as the forming of political parties. Later on, the tourism industry demanded a whole different set of skills.
Where is Santa Maria del Cami found in Mallorca?
Santa Maria del Cami is located about 20 minutes from Palma by car, in the region called Raiguer.
The western part of Santa Maria is located at the feet of the Tramuntana by the Puig de Son Agulla and Puig de Na Marit, while the main part of the municipality is characterized by the plain landscapes and does connect with the Pla de Mallorca region.
The Raiguer region
The Raiguer region is perhaps the most versatile of all regions in Mallorca, because of its unique location between the foothills of Tramuntana and the rural countryside of the Pla region. The Raiguer region stretches from Santa Maria in the south to the La Victoria peninsula in the north. Below you will find a list of all the municipalities located in the Raiguer region.
Alaró is a charming and typical village located in a valley formed by dramatic mountain formations, which has also given the area its unique characteristic. Traveling to Alaró means beautiful natural areas, meeting an international audience and dining in delicious restaurants and bars. During the recent years, Alaró has really grown in the hearts of its visitors, especially hikers and cyclists are fond of this amazing area, where they can find restitution for body and mind. Moreover, Alaró is not just a great place for tourists to settle, it is also a highly popular place for foreign settlers to buy property.
Alcanada is a beautiful peninsula parting the bays of Pollenca and Alcúdia. Alcanada is known for its lighthouse island and exclusive golf club. Alcanada is the perfect destination if you seek a quiet base, yet still connected to popular tourist areas. From Alcanada, you have only 5 minutes in car to the popular area of Port de Alcúdia where hundreds of restaurants and activities awaits. Alcanada is a typical adult destination, there are no Mickey Mouse clubs or other children-friendly amenities. Most of the accommodation in Alcanada are small hotels and holiday rentals, like villas and apartments/flats, a great place for a self-catered holiday on Mallorca.
Alcúdia & Port d’Alcúdia
The historic town of Alcúdia is perhaps one of the most popular holiday destinations in Mallorca! Alcúdia offers a wide range of cultural treasures and activities to indulge in, such as the Roman ruins of Pollentia, the amazing architecture of the manors and the impressive city walls and defense towers which are also the main trademark of Alcúdia. Alcúdia is an obvious choice of travel destination in the Raiguer region regardless of what time of year you plan your holiday. Alcúdia offers one of the best beach holiday destinations on Mallorca, as well as a cultural mecca full of sights, town life and activities.
Biniamar nestles at the feet of the Tramuntana, a sleepy and quiet village where you come to find solitude and tranquillity. Biniamar is perfect for renting a holiday home, because of the great location close to both mountains and rural countryside. The local area surrounding Biniamar offers plenty of activities and sight to explore, especially walkers, cyclists and cultural enthusiasts will find a lot of value in this area. Most accommodation in Biniamar consists of private holiday homes such as villas, perfect for a self-catered holiday in Mallorca.
Binibona is a quite overseen area located on the slopes of Tramuntana not far from the villages of Moscari and Caimari. The beautiful and scenic area extends from the small hamlet surrounded by olive and almond groves, a particularly beautiful area during blossom of these in February. If you are looking to combine tranquility, romance, nature and luxury, then Binibona is your choice.
Visit or stay in the biggest wine district of Mallorca, located at the feet of the dramatic mountain range. Choose Binissalem as your travel destination in the Raiguer for a versatile and tranquil rural holiday on Mallorca. Most accommodation found in Binissalem are holiday homes, villas and rustic fincas that has been transformed to accommodate the modern human with all desired amenities. The area surrounding Binissalem is perfect for road cycling and walking. Moreover, Binissalem is located very close to the free-way of MA-13 connecting Palma and Alcúdia, which makes it easy to access almost any local area in no time.
Búger is a typical Mallorcan agricultural community built upon traditional Mallorcan values. Renting a holiday villa here will take you back in time and let you enjoy a simple and completely uncomplicated life. Búger is located somewhere in the northern part of the region, with easy access to mountains and beaches, thus the can’t miss attraction in the local area, the amazing stalactite caves of Campanet. Accommodation in Búger mainly consist of wonderful holiday villas and homes packed with modern amenities to offer you the best frame for a holiday on the Mallorcan countryside.
Caimari, in local mouths referred to as “Olive Town”, is a small sleepy village situated at the feet of the Tramuntana, with direct access to the road network leading in to the green valleys of the mountains. As with other destinations in the El Raiguer region, Caimari enjoys a versatile landscape of both rural fields and mountainous terrain, which makes Caimari a perfect retreat for cyclists and hikers/walkers, who come to Mallorca to explore the scenic nature. Accommodation in Caimari mainly consist of rustic fincas and villas in the surrounding area, all in the rural flat area, but with the majestic mountains rising in the background creating an amazing scene from your terrace or swimming pool.
Campanet is a beautiful and very versatile holiday destination on Mallorca, simply because of its unique location between mountains, countryside and beaches. Choose accommodation in Campanet as your holiday base, if you want to combine unique nature, cultural heritage and luxury. Especially recommended accommodation in Campanet, is the beautiful and authentic old manor of Monnaber Nou, which has been transformed into a luxury hotel. The surrounding area invites to close exploration, there are so many places of interest and so much scenic Mediterranean nature.
Consell is mainly an industrial area where mass tourism has not yet made its entrance, making it an authentic and calm rural area full of charm. Consell was one of the first areas of Mallorca to have a winery, and the traditions for the wine making industry has been a part of the local business life ever since. Consell is a great place to enjoy a relaxing vacation in the Mallorcan countryside; close to mountains, close to roads and even close to Palma.
Inca is a great place to absorb some Mallorcan cultural heritage, enjoy some of the best restaurants on the island and of course, shop for leather products. Inca is indeed a versatile city and area, there is so much to indulge in here, so much to taste, see and feel. The city of Inca is home to a vibrant restaurant and shopping life, moreover, to a lot of interesting places of interest. Accommodation offers in Inca mainly consists of authentic fincas and villas situated in the surrounding areas, giving you direct access to the best of the Mallorcan nature, both mountains and rural countryside, a true versatile holiday base.
Lloseta is a small town and suburb to Inca. The town is situated directly on the mountain slopes giving it a unique character, as you ascent and decent in the narrow stony streets. Lloseta has a rich cultural heritage, which is also why it is so interesting to explore closer. Accommodation in Lloseta is equally unique, as you can stay in the charming and highly rated boutique hotel, Cas Comte, in the centre of the town. This luxury boutique hotel, is an obvious choice for an authentic hotel experience. When based in Lloseta during your holiday, you have great access to the Mallorcan road network, the rural countryside and the impressive Tramuntana mountain range.
Mancor de la Vall
Mancor de la Vall is a cosy little mountain village nestled in a valley at the feet of the green mountain slopes of Tramuntana. The village has a sought for restaurant and hotel, as well as a stunning natural local area perfect for hiking, MTB and walking. You want to choose accommodation in Mancor de la Vall if you prefer a quiet and authentic holiday base, in sync with the Mallorcan soul and nature. Moreover, travelling to Mancor de la Vall lets you completely escape mass tourism and screaming infants, you will completely forget all about your day job and any worries you might have.
Moscari is a very sleepy small village belonging to the municipality of Selva. Moscari is the perfect escape for couples and friends looking for solitude and romance in a tranquil scenery. The accommodation offers in Moscari includes a few small finca hotels in the village itself, and a bunch of rustic fincas and villas nestled in the hilly terrain that surrounds Moscari. If you choose one of the petit finca hotels in Moscari, be sure that you will find both luxury, great food and tranquillity.
Sa Pobla is one of those area you don’t hear much about due to the very little impact of commercial tourism in the area. Sa Pobla offers an interesting history full of events, a series of stunning mansions and architecture witnessing the wealth of the area and a lot of natural spaces such as the s’Albufera wetlands. Sa Pobla is a wonderful place to either visit or stay in, you’ll have a lot of charm, authenticity and tranquility. At the same time, you are close to the stunning beaches of the Alcúdia bay and the mountains to the west. Sa Pobla is also a great place for dining experiences.
Selva is a charming village at the foothills of Tramuntana. Selva offers a large selection of wonderful and charming holiday villas, fincas and flats for rent. Selva is a great area for hiking, walking, mountain biking and cycling due to the great location between mountains and countryside. Selva is an obvious choice of holiday destination for self-catered couples looking to enjoy each other in the most authentic frames.