The island of Mallorca surely has more to offer than beach resorts and mass tourism. The pretty rural town of Valldemossa in the Tramuntana mountains is just 20 kilometers from Palma. Despite its proximity to the major tourist hotspots, Valldemossa feels like another world. It is the perfect place for recreation and also a great base for excursions in the surrounding countryside. In our post you will find all information about this small, charming town.
How to get there
Valldemossa is located in the western part of the Serra de Tramuntana and only about a 15 to 20 minute drive from Palma. With the bus it will take you about 30 minutes to the pretty town. Take the TIB bus line 210 which runs frequently in the direction of Port de Sóller from the Estació Intermodal at the Plaça d’Espanya in Palma.
Once you approach Valldemossa, coming from Palma, you can already admire this postcard-like hilltop village and its surrounding terraced terrain from the road. The town has a rich cultural heritage.
The village’s name Valldemossa comes from the area’s Moorish landowner’s name, Musa Valley. The Moors were also responsible for the terracing and thus the cultivation of the hilly landscape around the village. Later, in 1229, Jaume I dispersed the Moors and the local philosopher Ramon Llull founded a monastery just outside Valldemossa.
Furthermore, the island’s saint Santa Catalina Thomas was born in Valldemossa in 1531. You can admire small tiles with prayers or drawings of her next to the entrance door of almost every home in Valldemossa. In Carrer Rectoria you can visit her birthplace that has been turned into a shrine.
In addition, the kings of Mallorca built a summer residence and the Carthusian of Tarragona a monastery community in Valldemossa.
The Polish composer Frédéric Chopin and French writer George Sand, who lived here for three months in the winter of 1838/1839, made the village famous. Sand dedicated a book to her stay on the island, called “A Winter in Mallorca”, in which she describes their rather unpleasant stay due to Chopin’s illness. However, she introduced the small town to many foreigners through her book and tourists began visiting Valldemossa.
Residents and visitors not only flock to the small village for its charme and tranquility but also its popular festivals. With the traditional Festes de la Beata in July the town honours Santa Catalina Thomas, the first saint of Mallorca. One of the most visited festivals is Artdemossa, an art night in the streets with open-air exhibitions and concerts. It takes place in July every year. There are also several piano festivals and concerts such as the Festival Chopin de Valldemossa that the town hosts in August. Listen to international musicians perform some of the best known compositor’s pieces. If you visit the town on a Sunday don’t miss the weekly market. You will find quality local produce and typical Mallorcan products there.
What to do in Valldemossa
If you are planning to spend a more relaxing day in Valldemossa, simply explore the little town. There are numerous restaurants, cafés and shops for every taste. As soon as you leave the cobbled livelier streets, you get to walk through narrow alleys adorned with flowers and plants where you find fewer tourists. Here you can stroll in peace and enjoy the views of the well-kept houses and surrounding mountains.
The stunning nature surrounding the town makes Valldemossa a well visited area among hikers. Adventure lovers will choose it as a base for hiking excursions in the breathtaking Tramuntana mountain range. One of the more popular hiking excursions around Valldemossa is the walk to the Puig des Teix, one of the Tramuntana‘s most visited peaks. You can also take the famous GR221 drystone route to Deià, another picturesque town nestled in the mountains of the Serra de Tramuntana. Wherever you go, get ready for stunning panoramic sea and mountain views in marvellous natural surroundings.
If you’re a real foodie you shouldn’t miss the 14th century agricultural Son Moragues estate. You can find it a bit out of town. Try or buy their excellent organic and typical Mallorcan products made in the Serra de Tramuntana. The most popular ones are their organic olive oil and delicious jams.
One of the more well-known cultural institutions in Valldemossa is the cultural centre Costa Nord that the famous actor Michael Douglas founded and where concerts and other events take place.
Another popular spot to visit in Valldemossa is the Real Cartuja monastery. You can discover its church, cloisters and even an old pharmacy. Cell number four of the monastery was where Chopin and George Sand stayed during their three month trip to the island. It was turned into the Chopin museum where you can still admire the pianist’s original piano and other artefacts the couple left.
A few kilometres from Valldemossa you will find its small harbour, Port de Valldemossa. You have to take a narrow serpentine road to get there. Be careful because in some places only one car can pass. Because of this narrowness you can only go slow, so you need about 20 minutes for the short distance.
Once at the bottom of the mountains you will find a tiny harbour with a cosy restaurant. On a small but lovely and secluded stone beach, you can also swim or have a picnic. If you do not want to eat or swim in Port de Valldemossa, you will probably not spend more than 10 minutes there. So think about it well before you take the narrow road down to the harbour.
Where to eat in Valldemossa
The center of Valldemossa offers numerous traditional rustic or romantic restaurants, cafés and family bakeries. Here you can eat well for lunch and dinner or have a coffee.
For great coffee and cake, European dishes and delicious cocktails head to Grand Café Cappuccino, you will find the well-known sophisticated café on the village square.
If you feel like indulging in something sweet head to the traditional Ca’n Molinas bakery and pastry shop. You should try the town’s typical coca de patata, a sweet bun best served with coffee or hot chocolate.
Another great café is Aromas. When it’s cold out you can sit in what feels like a cosy living room. Or you have a cup of coffee, some hearty snacks or sweet pastries on the beautiful outdoor terrace when the sun comes out.
Es Roquissar offers beautiful seating away from the mainstream, yet centrally located in town. The food is prepared with much love and thought. Try the tuna tartare with guacamole, the cod with baked herb ajoli on spinach bed.
Simple but ingenious. In a narrow alley you will find QuitaPenas Valldemossa that serves only one dish in an authentic and friendly atmosphere. You will taste delicious Mallorcan bread with fresh cold cuts exclusively from the region with a good wine and olives.
The more modern Es Taller Restaurant is located just outside the center of Valldemossa near the bus stop. Here, fantastic food and modern influences merge to a culinary delight. Try calamari with wasabi mayonnaise or their tasty quinoa salad. Creative and original, recommended for those who want to try something special. You will not be disappointed!
For unique, thoughtfully prepared dishes, such as lamb on couscous or lemon grass cream with meringue and popcorn, head to Casa de Sa Miranda. The restaurant’s special location, in the building that was the former entrance to the Real Cartuja monastery, guarantees a great view of the Valldemossa valley.
You want to eat like a local? Then lunch or dine at the family-run restaurant Ca’n Mario. Their hearty food is not only typical Mallorcan, but also incredibly good. The restaurant itself is beautifully situated on the first floor with a fantastic view over the valley. You feel like a guest in a family living room.
Last but not least, leaving Valldemossa you will find typical Mallorcan food in the middle of the Serra de Tramuntana at the charming restaurant Ca’n Costa restaurant, an old converted mill. It serves local rustic food, the perfect treat after a hiking tour around the town.
As a real seafood fan you can’t miss the only restaurant in Port de Valldemossa. Great fish and lobster, friendly service and a cosy location. Es Port serves the freshest seafood on a beautiful terrace overlooking the sea.
Where to stay in Valldemossa
When in Valldemossa you can choose between rustic but charming boutique-style hotels or old manor house hotels on the countryside. Most of the hotels are small, intimate and often family-run rather than internationally known. Perfect for those seeking some relaxation and peace on the island.
Not far from the centre, high on a hilltop, the famous Relais & Chateau Hotel Valldemossa is located. It is one of the village’s most beautiful historic buildings and also one of the biggest hotels in town. A beautiful interior with rustic beams and stone arches, luxury facilities and impeccable service will make you want to stay forever. Lunch or dine at their highly praised restaurant. They offer beautifully presented dishes with a contemporary twist in a unique setting.
If you prefer it a bit smaller and more intimate with a homely feel, stay at Es Petit Hotel. The traditional stone building with its stylish rooms and breathtaking views offers eveyrthing you need to disconnect and fully enjoy Mallorca.
One of the most romantic places to stay in the village is Hotel Mirabo de Valldemossa, set in the hills just across the valley. This 16th century four-star, family run manor house was turned into a beautiful boutique hotel with eight stylish rooms and enchanting panoramic views from a cosy terrace and the fantastic pool.
Photos by Laura Pott