Valdemossa


Valdemossa is situated in the centre of the Tramuntana mountains, and is the most famous and visited village of Mallorca. Thousands of tourists come each summer to Valdemossa and itís a highly worthwhile trip. Original 16th century houses with picturesque churches and a monastery blend in delightfully with the surrounding landscape. A trip to Valdemossa is an exhilarating experience.


Valdemossa

Valdemossa has a claim to fame: the famous composer Frederic Chopin spent the winter of 1838/9 here with his girlfriend, the writer George Sand. Chopin had a serious lung disease and came to Valdemossa to escape the cold Parisian winters. Later on, Sand wrote a book about their time together, called A Winter in Mallorca. Inspired by the book, many tourists started coming to Valdemossa in the 1960s and 70s. The residents quickly saw their opportunity and renovated almost all the villageís houses. Today, Valdemossa is car-free, and all the houses look beautifully old with floral decorations. Itís like a giant open-air museum.

The Monastery of Valdemossa and the church: Chopin and Sand rented a flat in the monastery. Today the monastery and its church are the most visited buildings in Mallorca outside the capital Palma. You can see the old pharmacy of the monastery and a room with the original furniture from the time of Chopin and Sand. Inside lies the piano the composer used during his Valdemossa sojourn. Those who like art must check out the world famous paintings hanging in the monastery, from Joan Miro and Pablo Picasso. The monumental church is well worth a visit, even if the entrance fee grows every year. In 2008 it was Ä8. I recommend reading George Sandís book before you visit to get a feel for the time. You can buy it in almost any bookshop in Mallorca in many languages.

Surprisingly, prices in cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops in Valdemossa are not higher than in other towns on Mallorca. Most places are around the big car park and wide pedestrian street from the car park to the village square. I liked the souvenir shop Caín Gotxo which lies behind the church Ė their spirits and liqueurs are very popular. You can try all 20 over them. Not entirely surprisingly, many visitors leave drunk, with or without a bottle in their hand. If you donít want to try them all, make sure not to miss the almond liqueur Ė Mallorca is famous for its almonds and almond by-products.

Barrels with Liqueur on Mallorca

You should also try the famous local biscuits from Valdemossa, the Cocas de Potatas. There are many confectionists in Valdemossa which sell individual Cocas de Potatas for around Ä1.

A Coca de Potata

The weekly market of Valdemossa (Sundays) is not so great Ė most offerings are Made In China. There are a few vendors offering good cheese and Spanish ham.

If you have the time, try to visit the lower portion of Valdemossa. Here, the alleys have also been renovated. The advantage is less crowds. Itís worth going to see the surrounding countryside, with its flowering almond trees, olive trees, forests, mountains and mountain tracks.

Unfortunately Valdemossa is expensive when it comes to accommodation. Even simple rooms are Ä70.

Buses to Valdemossa: Depending on the season, there are at least six buses a day from Palma de Mallorca (20km away). There are also 3 buses daily to the nearby villages of Deia (a village populated with artists) and further on to Port de Soller.

 

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