One of the many things I love about living in Mallorca is the fact that our local town hall together with the Consell Insular (the island’s governing body) provides so many cultural events and activities for local residents - often free of charge!
Your local town hall sponsors many free activities. Whether you are long-term renters or owners, you have fun and free activities available to you.
In addition to the many fiestas there are sporting events, theatrical productions, open air concerts during the summer months, and from time to time interesting cultural excursions one of which I joined recently.
It was in early March. We travelled by coach from our home town of Andratx to the town of Soller, and from there we walked with a local guide to the Port of Soller along an ancient road, the Cami de Sa Figuera which in 1561 was used by invading Saracen pirates who, I am pleased to say, were successfully fought off by the local farmers and townspeople.
The road which is little more than a path in places, passes through a lush green area known as the orchard of Soller. This area is important in the cultivation of olive trees many of which are hundreds of years old and still producing excellent olives and olive oil. There are also citrus trees heavy with fruit during this time of the year, growing on the lower slopes of the mountains.
Being part of the Tramuntana mountain range, this is a very hilly terrain but farmers, over the course of several centuries, have maximized the amount of land that may be used for agricultural purposes by building stepped terraces supported by dry stone walls thus creating a very attractive landscape.
Some of the farms are like hamlets, each with an imposing farmhouse and several smaller dwellings. ‘Possessions’ as they are known in the Mallorcan language, are the great country estates which are found all over the island, and date back several centuries.
On our walk, we were privileged to be able to visit one of these fine farmhouses, C’an Bardí where we were warmly welcomed by the owner, Xim Alcover and his wife, and were even given a tour of the house which still has an old olive press. The Alcover family has been living at C’an Bardí since the 13th century and the house is full of historical family portraits and antiques combined with a few more modern additions. It is still very much a working farm and we had the opportunity to purchase olive oil and oranges and lemons which were on display in the entrance hall.
After a welcome glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, we reluctantly took our leave and continued on our way to the Port of Soller where there was time for a walk along the seafront and a coffee before our coach came to take us home.
If you would like to take part in similar excursions, look out for posters or check out your local town hall’s website or Facebook page. In the Mallorcan language, town hall translates as ajuntament, and so is our ''Ajuntament d’Andratx.
Guides will conduct the tours in either the Mallorcan language (Mallorquín) or Spanish (Castellano) but if you don’t speak either, there will usually be someone there who can act as interpreter for the most important pieces of information, and it is a great way to interact with local residents and learn some more of the local languages. I must add that this excursion was completely free of charge.
By Cas Dollamore
18 February, 2021