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Alcúdia

Photo credit: bortescristian / Foter / CC BY
Alcúdia
  • (worth a trip)
  • NA
  • Easy
  • full day
  • 3 3

A medieval town with Roman ruins in the north of Mallorca

Alcúdia, Islas Baleares, Spain
You will find many restaurants serving typical food around the main square and along Carrer del Moll and its surroundings.

The charming, medieval town Alcúdia is located at the Majorcan north coast, on the mountain saddle between the bay of Pollença and the bay of Alcúdia. For this reason, the Arabs named the town “Al-Qudya”, meaning “the hill”. The walled city impresses with a maze of narrow streets, an ancient Roman settlement, Moorish and Arabic influences and modern restaurants paired with typical Majorcan charm. Visiting Alcúdia is like walking through a history book: you will come across ancient Roman ruins, you will get a sense of the middle east while walking through Arab quarters and you will feel like a medieval knight when passing through the gates of the old city walls.

 

The first human settlement in Alcúdia dates back to 2000 BC. From this time the ‘Cova de l’Hort del Rectoria’ – artificial caves serving as a burial place – still remains to this day. The town reached its heyday under the reigns of the Romans. In 70 BC they constructed the city ‘Pollentia’ – which is situated directly south of Alcudia’s city walls – and made it the capital of the Roman province Balearica. They constructed a proper town with well maintained streets and an impressive roman theater used for plays and acrobatics. The whole town as well as the seating area of the theater are well preserved and open to the public. For a better understanding of the Roman remains, you can visit the ‘Museu Monografic de Pollentia’.

 

The Roman empire declined in the 3rd century BC and after that vandals destroyed and plundered the city. It was not until 902 BC, under the Moors and Arabs, that the city got back its splendor and greatness. They build the city Al-Qudya on top of the hill as you see it now, with its narrow streets and the typical Arab quarters. The city wall was built later in the 14th century, after the Spanish conquest. You can enter Alcúdia through one of the two town gates: Porta de Sant Sebastià or Porta de Moll. The latter is the symbol of Alcúdia with its two square towers guarded by the massive palm trees.

 

Entering the old town, you will stumble upon many 14th century architecture and townhouses, the neo-Gothic parish church of Sant Jaume until finally reaching the main square Plaza Carlos V. On market days (Tuesday and Sunday) you will find leather goods and other souvenirs here, apart from the normal groceries and vegetables. The main square and the streets are full of life and the city radiates warmth and a summer feeling with its yellow-orange and ochre-coloured houses. The narrow streets shade you from the hot and burning sun, making it a pleasure to discover this charming old town. You will find many stylish cafés, traditional restaurants and small boutique hotels. Among the odd gift and typical souvenir shops, you should look out for the small, individual boutiques, selling souvenirs different from the normal presents you find around the island.

 

Close to the old town of Alcúdia are the northern beaches, regular buses leave to Puerto Alcúdia and Playa de Muro. The water is pale blue and shallow, perfect for families with small children. Also all sorts of water sports are available here, including sailing, wind surfing, kite surfing and para-sailing. To the west, you will find the smaller bay Mal Pas-Bon Aire and the peninsula Alcanada with quiet beaches and the interesting portrait museum and sculpture park ‘Yannick i Ben Jakober’.



How to get there

Take the bus L351 from Palma to Alcúdia. This same bus will also stop at the beaches going all the way to Platja de Muro.

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