Agricultural hub and pretty town near the island’s south coast.
Until a decade or so ago, Campos wasn’t on the radar of most tourists. The actual town of Campos is the administrative centre for the municipality of the same name. It is rural, and agriculturally focused and notably the most arid part of the island. All in all, it was a bit of a backwater.
Not very sexy stuff for the brochures, is it?
Well, fast forward to today. Campos is on the map and being fully appreciated for being all those things, plus a whole lot more. Get to know Affordable Mallorca’s Campos!
Getting there #
Campos lies roughly 35 kilometres southeast of Palma Airport. Drive time takes about a half an hour and is a fairly straight shot on the Ma-19 motorway. A taxi will run you roughly €45. Bus service is available on the A51 line and takes 50 minutes.
Founded in 1300, but settled far earlier by the Moors and Romans, Campos has an interesting place in Mallorcan history as it was initially built up to protect the rest of the island, specifically Palma, from the waves of Barbary pirates that plagued the Mediterranean between the 16th and 19th centuries. This may seem odd as the town is 8 kilometres inland, but there is a logic. The pirates were insidious, and raids on coastal villages were so common that many people stopped settling on the coasts out of fear. Seven defence towers were erected in the town, and they still exist, though some have been repurposed and converted into grand hotels or municipal services buildings.
Despite this distinction, the town was traditionally agricultural due to the rich earth, another distinction as it is red in colour. The inhabitants grew capers, almonds and alfalfa as a livestock crop to feed the many cattle raised here, which provided a lively dairy industry… one that is being revived to great success today!
Local Sights #
The parish church of Sant Julia is a hodge-podge of styles, but houses Sevillian artist Bartolomé Murillo’s “Christ of the Passion” and a Gothic altar piece created by Mallorcan sculptor Gabriel Moger. The Sister Maria Rafaela Museum houses a collection of the forward-thinking and beloved 19th century nun’s personal items and gives visitors a taste of what life was like in a convent of that era.
Food & Drink #
Moli de Vent
Beautifully presented food, peaceful outdoor patio and nice servers all come together in this more upmarket establishment. Fans like the large portion sizes and yummy desserts.
Address: Calle Norte, 34, 07630 Campos +34 971 160 441
Taverna Sant Julià
The rustic, charming outdoor terrace is the perfect foil for simply cooked delicious local dishes. The staff are helpful and the wine selection is great.
Address: Carrer Nou, 68, Campos +34 971 160 182
Rosso Peperone Campos
For cheap and cheerful, you can’t beat this. The pizzas are raved about, the portions are large and the service is lovely. Address: Carrer de la Rambla, 44, 07630 Campos +34 971 652 700
Shopping and Markets #
The somewhat quiet town comes alive for the Thursday and Saturday weekly market days. There you can find a wonderful selection of fresh produce, but the real must-haves are the local cheeses, a happy bi-product of the dairy industry, and a raw, cured sausage of the area, sobrasada.
As a good-sized residential town, Campos has all the regular amenities such as supermarkets, pharmacies, clothes, furniture and souvenir shops, as well.
Sports & Recreation #
Situated on a flat plain, Campos and the surrounding areas are fantastic for cycling. The endless tiny byways mean a new surprise could lurk around any given corner.
Only a short drive away are some of the island’s most spectacular beaches. Es Trenc is particularly popular and has the added bonus of being located just off the island’s largest salt flats. The beach itself is wild and natural compared to many of the more built up resort areas and is protected by law to stay that way. The only permanent structures on the beach are Spanish Civil War era bunkers that had been built to prevent Republican troops from landing.
Cala Figuera is also impressive, situated on a deep cove where local fishermen still bring in their daily hauls and mend nets on the shore. There is no beach, but it is reportedly the island’s best scuba diving spot.
Fiestas & Annual Highlights #
Campos celebrates several fairs and festivals. January 8th and 9th are the annual celebration of the town’s patron saint, Sant Julià, where bonfires are lit and a traditional dance is performed. The May Fair, or Cattle Fair, is an annual agricultural fair where local livestock are on display. August sees the town’s Summer Festival, where street parties, food and dancing go on for days. Finally, October brings the Harvest Festival punctuated by the Feria de Sobrasada and featuring local crafts and art.
Living in… #
As already mentioned, Campos is not a particularly touristic place, so life here can be a bit on the quiet side. It is pretty heavily local, but has a decent expat population, mainly German, who have become interested in the reasonable prices and access to beautiful beaches. Because of its location off the beaten track, having a car or other motorised form of transport would almost be a necessity. It is not on a major motorway, and it does take time to get to other points on the island from there.
That being said, housing prices are moderate with a selection of flats, in varying degrees of move-in-readiness, coming in under the €250,000 range. Country homes and farms that are set a bit outside the town are also available, but as these come with much more land they also come with a higher price tag. You would be looking at €600,000 and up for this kind of property.
Charm factor #
Pleasing and attractive, Campos is a rural, residential kind of place. If you want a slower pace, this is a great choice for you!
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By Stephanie Horsman
9 August, 2019