Binissalem, Mallorca, Things to do and see
Welcome to Mallorca’s largest wine district, Binissalem. This suburb of Palma testifies to the magnificent wealth of wine production of the time, with its huge mansions right in the heart of the town.
Wine production is undoubtedly the area’s biggest brand. Already in Roman times in Mallorca, wine was the biggest asset in the area. When you find Mallorcan produced wine in restaurants and in supermarkets, there is a good chance that it comes from Binissalem.
It is almost like stepping back in time, Binissalem is untouched, unspoiled, innocent and untapped. People can still leave their front doors and cars unlocked overnight and children are often seen playing around the central square, unaccompanied by adults.
Things to do in Binissalem
Due to its fantastic location between the Tramuntana and the rural countryside, sports like walking, trekking and bicycling are some of the most obvious things to do in Binissalem.
ESGLÉSIA DE SANTA MARIA DE ROBINES
The parish church of Santa Maria is one of the most interesting places in Binissalem. The church is the third temple construction on this site since it was established in the 13th century, which ios part of the reason why it features several different stylistics to enjoy. Inside the church, you can admire the wonderful architecture, the side chapels and all the beautiful art works. Also, in the back of the church, behind the apse, you will find the church museum featuring unique collections of religious art and artifacts, very interesting.
VISIT CASA MUSEUM LLORENC VILLALONGA
Llorenç Villalonga, author of works such as Lady’s Death, Doll’s Room and Rebel Angel, was one of the most significant Mallorcan authors that lived in Binissalem. Today, his house has been transformed into a museum and opened to the public. After the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, Llorenç Villalonga marries a wealthy relative and moves to Binissalem to live with her in this imposing 17th century mansion of Can Sabater. Inside the museum, you can discover the interesting life of Llorenç Villalonga, his working rooms, his collections of documentation, his participation in creating propaganda during the war, but also the emblematic architecture of this mansion. The tour is build up in a such way that you follow the life of the author chronologically, experiencing the different stages of his life.
DISCOVER THE MANY IMPOSING MANSIONS OF BINISSALEM
Binissalem used to be a very prosperous area, namely because of the long traditions of wine production. Up until the late 1800’s, Binissalem was one of the wealthiest areas in Mallorca, and it shows in the many incredible mansions found in the narrow streets of the town. Stroll the streets to discover numerous examples of unique civil architecture with baroque influence.
VISIT ONE OF THE WINERIES
Being the biggest wine district in Mallorca, Binissalem is home to several wineries that you can visit during your stay. The biggest and most renown winery, is the Jose Ferrer winery situated just outside the town. But there are several other interesting wineries to visit in Binissalem such as the Tianna Negre, one of the most innovative wineries in Mallorca with focus on sustainability and climate. Visiting a winery is one of the top things to do in Binissalem all year round.
INDULGE IN A UNIQUE WINE AND GOURMET EXPERIENCE
Mallorca Wine Tours has been arranging tasteful experiences in Binissalem for a decade now, and with great success. Wine tourism is huge in Binissalem due to the rich traditions of wine production in the area, and Mallorca Wine Tours aims to show you why Mallorcan wines are so special. There are several tours you can go on, the most popular is the train that starts with a visit at the Jose Ferrer winery, then head to the picturesque fields to taste more different wines accompanied by typical Spanish tapas while learning about the process of wine making before setting off to the final destination of the tour, a visit to the oldest winery on the island where you will have more wine and tapas. The wine tour is a wonderful thing to do in this area, especially if you love wine.
Cycling is one of the single most popular sport activities to do in Mallorca and, Binissalem is just a perfect base for a cycling holiday in the Mediterranean paradise. The central location of the municipality and the great infrastructure makes is easy to reach any place on the island by bicycle. To the west, you have the winding mountain roads in the Tramuntana. To the south, you can reach the areas of Ca’n Pastilla, s’Arenal and Llucmajor with their stunning coastline, and to the est and north you can look forward to the uncrowded countrysides and the long straight roads.
From Binissalem, you are only about a 20-minute drive from some of the best golf courses in the Mediterranean, the three Arabella golf resorts of Son Vida, Son Muntaner and Son Quint.
Where to stay in Binissalem?
You will find a number of charming accommodation options in Binissalem that will surely enhance the feeling of authenticity without compromising with relaxation and modern amenities. Choose between agroturismos, fincas or villas scattered in the beautiful landscape between the slopes of the mountains and the rural countryside.
Weekly Market in Binissalem
The weekly market in Binissalem happens on Fridays in the heart of the town. At the market, you can browse through and sample many delicious delicacies and traditional edibles from the local area, such as cheeses, meats, sausages, fruits, vegetables and of course wines. Beside from commodities, the market is also a great place to find shoes and leather products, oils, spices and herbs. Yes, there is indeed reason to come here and mingle with the locals in a joyful atmosphere.
Events and festivities in Binissalem
The town of Binissalem sure knows how to party and celebrate. Several times a year, local traditions are celebrated by the inhabitants of the town, including sports events, competitions, concerts and lots of food served in the streets.
The first event of the year held on January 17 in honor of Saint Antoni Abat, the patron saint of animals. This festive event is an excellent reason for a visit in Binissalem during the winter. The festivities begin on the evening of the 16th, with igniting small bonfires in the streets which the locals are sitting around and singing traditional songs and fry ‘botifarrons’ – local blood sausage. Later, during the evening, everyone dresses all up as devils and demons dancing around in the streets, as they move from one bonfire to another. The following day a colorful parade is going through the city, culminating in a joint blessing of the animals on the square in front of the parish church.
The next event of the year is called ‘Pancaritat’, which is a large communal picnic, that takes place on Easter Sunday each year at Can Arabi, a recreation area. Pancaritat is an old tradition in Mallorca, which dates back to around the year 1407.
On July 25, patron saint of Binissalem, Saint James is celebrated. This is a typical Mallorcan fiesta with a colorful parade through the winding streets of the town, and a number of other sports and musical events that take place during the day.
In September the grapes are picked in the surrounding vineyards, and the whole town celebrates the harvest with ‘Fiesta La Vermada’. Festivities will take place the third week in September, and famous throughout the island. It all starts at the Placa de l ‘Esglèsia, where all gather together and kick-off. The event attracts locals and tourists alike, and after the starting signal has sounded, the huge crowd starts walking to the vineyards to the sound of pipes and drums. One of the highlights of this event, is the grape throwing competition where a group of people meet in a circle and starts throwing grapes at each other, it’s quite fun to watch.
History of Binissalem
The history of Binissalem can be dated back to the Talayotic culture about 2,000 BC. However, it was probably the Romans who started cultivating the soil in the area after their conquest of the island from the Carthaginians 123 BC. At that time, the area of Binissalem was part of the main road connecting Palma with Pollen-tia, the two biggest cities built by the Romans.
During the Moorish dominance of Mallorca from about 902, the area belonged to a district known as Qanarussa, where the three farms Robines, Beni Salam and Beni Rasjell was the only habitations in the area. The Moors implemented agricultural and horticulture techniques for efficient cultivation and extraction, to grow grapes, olives, figs and cereal.
Post the Catalan conquest of Mallorca (1229 – 1235), the king ordered a church build on the very site where there was a mosque, in the area called Robines, which was found north of the current town. However, in the year 1300 king Jaume II of Mallorca moved the church to its current position, as well as the urban nucleus.
The town and congregation started growing, people from the mainland was offered land and slaves for a low price in a campaign to get people to move to Mallorca. It did not take many years for the new town of Binissalem to prosper from the flourishing agriculture the area could deliver. Already at this time, the Binissalem was known for its wine production, it was the only place it was produced.
Up through the Middle Ages, Binissalem saw a series of civil wars between peasants and feudal power.
In the late 1700’s, the wine production starts to take off again. New techniques and oenological knowledge allowed Binissalem develop and produce wines which was in high demand not just in Mallorca, but also from the mainland and from many other places in the Mediterranean region.
However, things turned dark again as a terrible epidemic of phylloxera in the late 19th century caused all vineyards, almond and olive groves to be burned to the ground. The many landowners had no choice but to sell their properties and move to other parts of Europe or even South America to seek new opportunities.Today, you can stroll the streets of Binissalem to see how many amazing mansions there is from that time, evidencing the former wealth of this area.
In the beginning of the 20th century things starts going in the right direction again, vineyards are being cultivated, agriculture and horticulture flourishes, stone quarries and lignite mines becomes a great part of the industrialism, as well as shoe making.
Today, Binissalem has its main income from wine making, agriculture and stone.
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