I want to turn the clock back to when people lived in small villages and took care of each other. ~ Pete Seeger
Most people, at first glance, would not see Sineu as a vibrant village. It's got a sleepy feeling if you are there on weekdays except for Wednesday, market day. As with many Mallorcan villages, behind the persianas and in the courtyards, expats and locals enjoy everyday life with family and friends. Peaceful is a word that comes to mind when you walk the streets.
If you want to live surrounded by the rolling hills and Gothic architecture, this is your place. Sineu was the island's capital in the 13th Century. With historic architecture and easy access, the village is now one of the most livable places on the island. This is the best area on the island for farms with fertile soils and abundant water. You'll see working vineyards and farms then be able to buy the bounty at the weekly market and in local shops. Read more to see what makes this place so vibrant yet peaceful.
Palma – the one and only capital of Mallorca? What we might take for granted was not always so. King Jaume II, who reigned from 1276-1311, chose Sineu for the island's capital because of its perfect location in the exact geographical centre of the Island, making it equally easy to reach from all parts of his kingdom.
Palau dels Reis de Mallorca was built in 1309 by King Jaume II on an old foundation of a Moorish structure. King Jaume III, "The Rash," saw the last days before he died in the Battle of Llucmajor in 1349. In 1583, King Felipe II gave the palace to the Congregation of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady, who have occupied the building ever since. The Conceptionalists are a closed order and most parts of the palace are not accessible except the Torre del Homenaje (Tower of Homage) which is visible from the outside. The baroque-style church is open to the public.
Local Sights #
Lovers of architecture will find many a gem on a leisurely walk through the old town of Sineu. Most of these structures date from the 13th C. but you'll find foundations of Moorish architecture and Roman ruins in the surrounding areas.
Here are a few points of interest:
- A special highlight being the Parròquia de Santa Maria de Sineu with its massive bell tower, one of the highest in Mallorca
- The first hospital on the island, built in 1294 which represents the Gothic architectural of the period
- Bridge Pontet de Santa Bárbara,
- Boundary Crosses (Cruces de Término),
- Basilica of Sant Francesc and Rectory - not to be confused with the one in Palma by the same name
- Plaza des Fossar
- Former royal palace, now the monastery Immaculada Concepción, mentioned above.
The Local Market #
King Jaume II who granted Sineu market rights in 1306, turning the town into a major trading centre and starting a tradition that survived the ages and has given today's Sineu its biggest tourist attraction. The traditional economic mainstay of old Mallorquin life being agriculture, this market was and is mainly about livestock, agricultural produce and crafts articles that people come to sell and buy.
Sineu is one of the few livestock markets still in existence on Mallorca. The numbers of farm animals to be seen is rapidly declining because farming is expensive with families selling off properties, obtaining formal educations and moving to Palma or off the island. The market is well worth a visit as it gives a look into the traditional Island life. Fruits and vegetables are sourced from farmers around town – and offered at affordable prices. When we say, "Buy Local," this is where you go.
AM Tip for lovers of local crafts: Remember to check out the locally-made footwear!
Sineu Market Day by Steve and Anita
Enjoy a typical market day on Wednesday. Fewer people and stalls due to COVID but you can get a feel for Sineu.
Food & Drink #
Sineu has many authentic Mallorquin restaurants, bars and cafes located around the centre of town. As always, you can do an online search and find these are more places that fit your schedule and budget. Here are a few of our choices. This list is not an endorsement by us, nor are these sponsors of any content.
- Restaurante Sa Fàbrica - exceptional meat dishes
- Celler Son Toreó - traditional Mallorcan food with excellent wines. Not inexpensive but reasonable for a delicious and memorable experience
- Pamboleria PA TORRAT - versatile and creative dishes
- Restaurant Molí d´en Pau - traditional Mallorcan dishes
How to Get There #
You can travel to Sineu by bus, train, taxi or car. Sineu is an easy drive from Palma on the Ma13 motorway in the direction of Inca or the shorter old road (Ma3010). You can also take the bus or train from Palma's Plaza España. For more on traveling from Plaza España, read here >> Public Transport on Mallorca. Sineu is 26 miles from Palma and takes less than 45 minutes to travel back-or-forth.
Living in Sineu #
The lifestyle in the village is laid-back and easy. As with most villages on the island, market day can bring tourists. With 3,764 residents (2018), Sineu is not heavily populated. Many Mallorcan families maintain homes and either close them up for the week or use them for rental income. Nothing in Mallorca feels affordable these days but Sineu is a reasonably priced area, in general, for both townhomes and fincas. When you go to market day, wonder the streets and find real estate agents with local lets and properties for sale. That's a much better way to find a property than going through one of the online listing platforms.
Better yet, contact Jonathan Ralph, certified financial advisor, and ask him about his personal experience in living in Sineu. He loves it!
By Lucky d'Angelo
5 September, 2021