Mallorca Road Trip, Day 2
Destination: Lluc & Fornalutx
As the foreigner in town, people say things to me like, “You should go to [city name]” or “[city name] has a great [church, market, beach].” I love getting these sorts of recommendations and add them to my list of things to do on Mallorca.
On this list were two places in the Serra de Tramuntanas, the mountains that run along the western edge of the island: Lluc and Fornalutx. Here’s the reasoning for these recommendations: “the monastery at Lluc is definitely worth visiting” and “Fornalutx is one of the most beautiful old towns on the island.”
Well, both of these recommendations were right on the money.
I started off Day 2 by heading towards Lluc’s monastery. I hopped on the autopista and drove through Inca, Selva, and Caimari before arriving at Lluc. After a coffee break at the local cafe outside the monastery, I went inside and started exploring.
The chapel’s basilica is simple, humble, and welcoming. It’s much smaller and more modest than the monastery that I wrote about at Montserrat, that’s for sure. The first sanctuary in this area was built during the first half of the 13th century after Mallorca was conquered by Jaume 3rd. People would often make pilgrimages there, and by the 14th century the rough path that people used to get there was made into a stairway; along this stairway were (and still are) seven monuments made of stone that represent the seven joys of “Our Lady”.
After walking up to the cross atop the nearby hill, and seeing the seven joys of Our Lady, I journeyed on to visit Fornalutx. This small town is difficult to get to, only because it’s in a mountain valley and accessed by a very winding road.
To make things more difficult, this road is used by bicyclists in training or those out for some quality exercise. This wouldn’t be a problem, except here in Spain (from what I’ve heard from the locals) cyclists are considered equals on the road and must be treated as such. For example, if you want to pass them, you must pull out into the passing lane completely (like you would a car). On a road that’s entirely full of switchbacks, passing bicyclists can be both dangerous and scary; luckily for me I only encountered several. It was nearing the daily siesta time so I can only assume people were off the roads and eating a hearty meal.
Also, the views along this road are insane! Steep, sharp mountains to one side and glorious ocean views to the other. Sa Calobra is near here, and I’d like to go back and visit this area sometime soon.
Fornalutx lived up to its reputation as one of the prettiest cities. It was quaint, quiet, and easily walkable. I did get a parking ticket in this town (I didn’t see the parking meter), but así es la vida (that’s life). I enjoyed some p’amb oli and vino, and then headed back to Alcúdia to return the rental car.
Deciding to stay in town this weekend was so much fun! I might actually do another stay-cation later this month and explore other parts of the island that intrigue me. There are still plenty of places on my Mallorca list!
Images credit: Jet Set With Mary