By vida villas | 17 January 2023 | pollensa
Providing an essential service for residents and visitors, of towns, cities, and villages across the world, markets are a tradition spread across cultures and continents so significant that they remain a core construct to this day.
And whilst they may not have as much significance today as they did hundreds, even thousands, of years ago, their constant existence only speaks for how symbolic and loved they are across the world.
Whilst, in our current day and age, this may seem somewhat medieval and old-fashioned, particularly with the ever-expanding evolution of online shopping, for travellers, in particular, markets are a window into the culture of a destination, each with their own traditions and not without their own unique quirks.
Like many European countries, Spain has long had a vibrant, and strong market culture spread across its mainland and islands. Its markets that originally flourished in the early 20th century were the perfect solution to end the chaotic accumulation of goods and products in streets across the country. Ultimately leading to the improvement of the country’s hygiene conditions, and, unsuspectingly, creating what is now today one of Spain’s much-loved cultural experiences.
Spain’s markets quickly gained traction and became works of art - whether it be those that were held in the hustle and bustle of some of the country's most famed streets, or those found in architectural sights built for the sole purpose of housing these havens, each developed their own unique personality and character to perfectly mirror their location.
For those who want to tantalise every sense, this is the place to be. With the striking and intense colours of the array of Mediterranean produce, the hypnotic aromas of cooked and cured meats and cheeses, and the buzz and social opportunity to meet locals, and tourists alike, Spain’s markets are brimming with opportunity.
Undoubtedly, a visit to Spain is nowhere near complete without a trip to your local market, wherever you may be staying. But during a visit to the blissful island of Mallorca, known for hosting several beautiful traditional and culturally diverse markets, you should make sure you pay a visit.
But where, you may ask, should you visit for the best markets? In our opinion, perched on the north of the island, the town of Alcúdia, often overlooked by visitors, is one of Mallorca’s best-kept secrets when it comes to its market.
This quaint coastal town is a gem in its own right. Home to beautiful sandy stretches of coastline, fantastic nightlife and, most importantly, one of the island’s best markets - Alcúdia market. You should be sure to check out this lesser-known destination during your next trip if you’re a sucker for the buzz of a market during your travels.
Here at Vida Villas, we’ve made the ultimate visitor’s guide to Alcúdia market so that you can best plan your visit to one of Mallorca’s finest markets and make the most of your day out in this unsuspecting historic settlement.
Alcúdia market is the main market held in the northern Mallorca town of Alcúdia. Home to food stalls, craft stands, and other vendors selling everything from textiles, to flowers, and artisanal goods, you’ll discover a wealth of intriguing offerings sold by any one of its market sellers.
The market itself is one of the largest in Mallorca and is an integral part of the town’s cultural heritage and way of life. You’ll also find clothes and leather goods being sold here.
Whilst the stalls may not be so impressive, each appearing somewhat samey, its consistency creates a sense of community that you can’t help but love.
Whilst there is a mix of general and typical market stalls boasting essentials that both locals and visitors, can savour, other stalls also cater typically to tourists, with souvenirs on offer for you to take home with you from your travels and remember your Alcúdia market experience for years to come.
Alcúdia market is in the centre of Alcúdia town along Paseo Mare de Déu de la Victòria. The market also stretches along the beginning of surrounding streets, meaning there’s an abundance of stalls to explore during a day trip here.
The market is found in the old town of Alcúdia, located just north of the Port d’Alcúdia and south of Platja Es Morer Vermell, almost equidistant from both. Nearby, you’ll also find some of Alcúdia’s most ancient tourist sights, symbolic of the town’s long-standing and diverse history. These include the Porta del Moll - a 14th-century stone gate with two crenellated towers, and Sant Jaume d’Alcúdia, a Roman Catholic Church built by the King of Mallorca, James III, in the 1300s.
Encircling the market you’ll also find the medieval wall of Alcúdia, housing some of the town’s most historic monuments and beautiful ancient streets. Visitors can walk along the ancient city walls whilst in Alcúdia old town and savour panoramic views of the town’s quaint cobbled roads, and narrow side streets, with the backdrop of local orchards and mountain regions encompassing its municipality.
The area in which the market is held is worth a visit in itself. With its impressive high, old walls encompassing its picturesque old town centre, you could easily find yourself getting lost on a morning visit here discovering the nooks and crannies of Alcúdia’s winding streets and colourful buildings.
Alcúdia market days are on Tuesdays and Sundays weekly, open from 8 am in the morning until 1:30 pm in the afternoon.
If you’re in search of the best produce on offer, be sure to arrive early. Markets are very much a morning activity for the locals, who will venture into town to tick off items from their weekly shopping list. So ensuring you’re there to witness and purchase the best and freshest produce on offer means waking up early and visiting the market as soon as it begins.
But don’t worry, as you’ll still find a plentiful supply of Alcúdia’s delicious local produce towards midday, but just ensure you don’t turn up too late, as many store vendors will begin to pack away before closing time.
Alcúdia market is easily accessible from many of Mallorca’s main and popular destinations. For example, you can reach Palma or Pollenca easily, with buses running regularly to the town centre of Alcúdia. Bus number 351 is your best bet for this.
Or, if you’re staying locally, why not wake up early and stroll along Alcúdia harbour and Platja d’Alcúdia during sunrise? Then, either venture upwards to catch the start of the market, or, simply hire bikes and explore the narrow streets of Alcúdia’s old town on two wheels for an exciting and fresh perspective.
Much like visiting any new destination, you should be aware of your surroundings. Thus, if you’re planning on visiting Alcúdia market, you should make sure to keep your personal belongings and valuables on your person in a safe place, or in sight, at all times.
Markets have become notorious locations for pickpockets across the world, and whilst the small town of Alcúdia may pose less risk than when compared to some of Europe’s major market attractions, you should make sure that you keep your wits about you to avoid any inconveniences or unwanted surprises during your visit.
Whilst you may find the majority of Mallorcan residents speak English, knowing at least some of the local lingo and basic Spanish phrases will do you a wealth of good when interacting with visitors, and stallholders, at Alcúdia market.
Not only will this help you in purchasing or enquiring about any tasty treats or goodies that may catch your eye, but it’ll help you build a relationship with the locals, who will appreciate your efforts.
Whilst the world is in the process of making a transition to cashless payments, having at least some spare change and cash on you will do you a wealth of good when visiting Alcúdia market.
Some stalls may possess contactless and card payments however others will only accept cash, so we’d recommend being prepared for this. If you don’t end up using it at the market, you’ll find that the majority of shops and stores accept cash, so this is always useful elsewhere during your trip.
Also, if you didn’t already know, public loos can cost in Mallorca, so any spare change you may have on you can also come in handy for those last-minute toilet trips!
Mallorca’s markets are unmissable, and during a trip to Alcúdia, you’re guaranteed a lovely experience sampling some of the best local produce, eyeing up the local crafts, and even coming away with a souvenir or two to remember your travels. Visiting Alcúdia market is a wholesome activity during your next visit to this historic town, and will leave you with an authentic taste of Spain’s market culture that you won’t forget.If you are planning a trip to Alcúdia, Mallorca and need accommodation for your visit, Vida Villas offer a stunning selection of rental properties around the island. Alternatively, you can contact our team, who will be happy to provide any help or information you may need.