Wine is the word when it comes to Binissalem! Nestled in the centre of the island, where the Tramuntana mountains meet the plains, this sleepy village is home to some of the best wines on the island. Amongst the extensive array of bodegas, there are authentic restaurants and bars, and rows of enchanting properties that are built from golden sandstone. Binissalem really is picture perfect, and almost untouched by tourists - meaning that the town has maintained its Mallorquin authenticity.
Getting There #
Binissalem feels worlds away from the busy city of Palma, so it’s hard to believe that it’s a mere 30-minute drive, along the motorway, from the Capital's centre! Part of Binissalem’s appeal is that it’s transport links are so fabulous! Located directly between Palma and the coastal resort of Alcudia, you really couldn’t ask for a more perfect location! Although hiring a car would be your quickest option, and of course allow for further explorations, it’s certainly not difficult access the town via public transport.
Mallorca operates a fantastic rail service, that connects many towns across the island. Almost every route on the T2 line, direct from Palma, stops in Binissalem. This journey will take no longer than 30 minutes, and bring you into the town centre - certainly the preferred option if you’re going to sample the wines!
Affordable Mallorca Tip: As a treat, take a drive to the neighbouring village of Biniaqual. This tiny village is the home of an 18th century finca, which has recently been restored and turned into a Bodega. It makes a great backdrop for a romantic wedding, or the perfect place to make the dream proposal.
History and Local Sights #
The Gothic architecture within the town is a sight to behold, and the most impressive display of all is the local church of ‘Santa Maria de Robines’. This 15th century building wasn’t fully completed until the late 18th century, and in 1983 the local Government declared it a historic site, preventing any developments in the area. The church can be seen from the motorway, proudly towering over the centre of Binissalem.
Although Binissalem encompasses many stunning displays of architecture, it’s history really is cemented by its connection to wine. The town has been renowned for its wine production for an eternity although the plague of Phylloxera, in the 19th century, significantly damaged the trade. Over the last twenty years the town’s wine industry has been revived, putting the heart back into Binissalem. In 1990 the town became the first area to be awarded a Denominacio d’Origen, planting it firmly on the map as Mallorca’s greatest area for wine.
In order to sample the best local wines be sure to head into as many bodegas as possible! Here you can sample multiple different varieties and purchase bottles to take home. The red wines are made with a local grape called ‘Manto Negro’, and you can purchase Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, depending on what takes your fancy. I’d recommend purchasing all three…!
The Market #
Binissalem offers a wide-ranging market catering for fruit and veg as well as clothing, textiles and iron works. The town is renowned for its fantastic stone and still has many working quarries, at the market you can be sure to find fabulous hand carved stone works - unique pieces that will make you the envy of all your friends!
Wine Tours in Binissalem #
There are more than seventy wineries on the island, but Binissalem is home to the best! Can Ribas Vineyard, although slightly south west of the town, is one of the oldest (and most highly rated) vineyards in Mallorca. This exquisite winery is certainly worth checking out for yourselves, although it’s important to know that visits are by appointment only.
Fiestas & Special Events #
Mallorca is an island with a never-ending events calendar. Coming up first on the agenda is the Festa des Vermar, which takes place September 29th through the 30th in Binissalem. This fiesta includes a grape throwing competition and a delicious wine tasting extravaganza, where people come from all over the island to participate!
Food and Drink #
It’s important to soak up all the alcohol that you’ll consume on a trip to Binissalem, so where better to do so than in a beautiful Mediterranean restaurant located in the centre of the square!
Es P’dal is situated in the main square, overlooking the church. Their menu is comprised of various well-known dishes, combining Mallorquin cuisine with Italian and other Spanish influences. Offering a menu of the day, it certainly is an affordable option - and the views over the square are priceless! Two courses and an alcoholic beverage will set you back around 35 euros (based on two people dining), although Thursday nights are tapas nights! On these evenings, pintxos(small tapas samples) are only 1€ - although, be warned, this is the busiest night of the week - so be sure to book!
Contact: 971 51 10 61
Paseo del Borne, 8, 07350 Binissalem
For a unique dining experience, it’s worth sampling the menu as Sa Caragolera. Mallorca is renowned for its snails, and this menu incorporates locally farmed snails in every way imaginable! Although it's possible to just book a table for lunch or dinner, I recommend taking part in the tour of the farm, where you can see exactly how the snails are farmed and understand quite how fresh your food will be! Offering set menus, or buffet style and à la carte dishes, Sa Caragolera offers traditional cuisine at affordable prices! Whether you’re a snail lover, or just feeling brave, you won’t be disappointed!
Contact: 639 37 44 88
Cami des Botadors, 07350 Binissalem
Affordable Mallorca Tip for holiday makers: In the countryside, you’ll find Agro-Tourism fincas where you can book a set of rooms for family and friends.
Sports and Recreation #
Binissalem’s location means that it is often stumbled upon by weary walkers, who have travelled across the mountainous trails from nearby Selva! The town itself doesn’t boast to have too many sporting activities or facilities, however it’s a great stop off point for anyone cycling or hiking across the Tramuntana mountains
By Zoé Holmes
14 February, 2019