Day out at Pollensa Market

The market in Pollensa is one of the biggest on the island, people travel from far and wide to visit the town on a Sunday morning. Starting at around 08.00am with the fruit and vegetables in the Plaça Major, it is a local tradition and weekly social event. The men sit reading their papers in the cafe bars, whilst the women jostle around the busy square in the shade of the impressive church and over looked by Puig de Maria mountain. Puig is Catalan for mountain or large hill.

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The fruit and veg market is a vibrant mix of colours, sound and smells. Moving from the square and around the church you will find stalls with jewellery, arts and crafts, many hand made items and unusual artifacts. The streets are narrow and you have to be patient to move along the stalls. It is best to tackle it in bursts of 30 to 60 minutes at a time, knocking off the sections. Pitch up at one of the cafe bars in between,  my favourites there are Il Giardino, they have a pâtisserie around the corner from the restaurant where you can buy the cakes and pastries and enjoy them with a coffee at the restaurant. Another is Numero 8 brasserie, here you can enjoy a range of breakfast specials from toasted sandwiches to pancakes, bacon with Maple syrup and fresh fruits, not local delicacies but delicious none the less. Grab an ensaimada from a local bakery if you are looking to sample something a little more authentic from Mallorca. Be warned as light as these little pastries appear they are loaded with animal fat (lard), part of the frugal locals traditions of making sure that they do not wasted any part of their farm animals, the pig in this case.

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Heading off the Plaça Major and along the side of Club Pollença you will discover sellers with kaftans and leather goods, here on the corner is my children’s favourite stall, the puzzle store A range of handmade puzzles with varying difficulties from very easy to downright impossible.  Turning left and continuing past the Policia Local Station you will arrive at the Plaça Munnares, a new square that I have often seen and heard of new tourists mistaking it for the Plaça Major and depart Pollensa disappointed and wondering what all the fuss is about. If it is your first visit don´t make this mistake, you will know when you reach the Plaça Major when you are confronted with the huge church and the pavement cafe bars. At the Plaça Munnares is a range of hardware, shoes together with clothing goods that are aimed at the local community rather than the tourists.

By the time you have negotiated yourself around the whole market you will be ready for some refuelling, if you are on a day trip to Pollensa then it is an ideal time to stop for lunch. I would recommend somewhere away from the main square, as soon as the clock strikes 1.00pm, there is a melee of white vans clearing the stores quickly followed by the clean up operation which lasts a couple of hours. It is not the prettiest site after your leisurely day enjoying the delights of the market. I advise heading along to the Trencadora, just 100m off the main square, stand facing the church and turn right and walk off the square past Café Plaça and the Birrieria (over 50 different types of beer) after 100m or so you will arrive at the Trencadora on the left, set in a lovely garden with a great selection of reasonably priced food and drink and often very busy. My personal favourite  is the Lamb shoulder, slow cooked and great value at around 15€. For those looking for some authentic Mallorcan cooking try the Bar Nou or the slightly more up market La Fonda, both can be found on the street behind the olive sellers on the main square. Same starting position as before stand facing the church, this time turn left and then immediate left will bring you to the Bar Nou and a little further along you will will find La Fonda on the right. If you are visiting in winter then you will find a water downed version of the summer market with less bars and restaurants open but still worth a visit particularly if the weather is good.

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After lunch those of you with any energy left may want to tackle the 365 steps of the Calvari hillside, great views at the top to the Puig de Maria and the bays of Pollensa and Cala San Vincenç. The rest can head for the beach for a bit of chilling out time.