Pollenca: The Complete Guide

Nestled at the eastern edge of the Serra de Tramuntana, Pollença, also spelled as Pollenca or Pollensa, is a captivating rural town steeped in history. This charming Mallorcan town boasts a wealth of ancient architecture crafted from blonde stone, setting it apart from many other tourist-driven destinations. While tourism has long been a draw here, Pollensa has managed to embrace and adapt to it without sacrificing its authentic character.

The town’s inhabitants are predominantly locals, making it a favored haven for those seeking a more culturally immersive Mallorcan experience, away from the bustling tourist beach resorts. Pollença thrives on café culture, especially on Sunday mornings when Plaça Major transforms into a vibrant marketplace, drawing both locals and visitors for leisurely café gatherings. While boutique hotels are available in town, the lush countryside and surrounding hills offer luxury retreats and spacious villas for those seeking a quieter escape.

Rich in history, Pollença boasts numerous points of interest that beckon travelers from afar. Some noteworthy highlights include the ancient Roman bridge known as the ‘Pont Romà,’ the 18th-century Mare de Deu dels Angels church adorned with a renowned rose window, and the Convent de Sant Domingo. The picturesque countryside surrounding Pollença also features enchanting ancient monasteries.

A few kilometers to the north, you’ll find Pollença’s port, Port de Pollença, which boasts magnificent beaches and a diverse selection of restaurants and cafés for further relaxation and enjoyment.

Visiting Pollenca for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in Pollenca on the first visit. Top help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!

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History of Pollenca

Although the majority of the buildings in Pollenca were built in the 17th and 18th centuries, this is a town rich in history dating back to medieval times.

Roman times
In 123 B.C., the Romans landed in Mallorca and set up their base in an area close to what is now known as Alcúdia. Their settlement was named Pollentia, from which Pollenca later got its name. This was a time of peace on the island, until 440 A.D. when vandals caused destruction and those who survived the attack fled the island.

Pollença in the Middle Ages
Pollenca, as we know it today, was founded in the late 12th century by the Arabs who set up a settlement in its current location. After King Jaume I conquered Majorca between 1229 and 1231, Pollenca was gifted to the Knights Templar by the king. During this time, the church in the main square, Parròquia de la Mare de Déu del Àngels (Parish of Our Lady of the Angels) began to be built. Following a conspiracy led by the King of France, this period of calm and prosperity came to an end during the 14th century, and the knights fled the island.

From the 16th to the 20th century
From this time onwards, there were continued attacks on this part of the island by pirates and watchtowers such as the Atalaya de Albercutx were built along the coast. The most famous one took place in 1550 when Joan Mas led a small band of locals armed only with sticks to fight off the Moorish bandits. This is celebrated with La Patrona Festival each August. The Jesuits arrived in Pollença and in 1697 constructed the iconic church, Monti Sion, situated close to the foot of the Calvari steps.

The arrival of tourism
Until the early 1900s, Pollença was mainly an agricultural town and, in fact, its coastline was sparsely populated. It all changed with the turn of the century when its port town, Port de Pollença, was developed as a tourist hub, mainly thanks to the artists who arrived here attracted by its landscapes and light. The “Escuela Pictórica de Pollença” included famous Catalan painters such as Hermenegildo Anglada-Camarasa, Santiago Rusiñol or Joaquim Mir as well as local artist Dionis Bennassar. It was in the 1960s when the tourist boom really reached Pollença so much that around a 70% of the town’s economy today is based on this industry. However, Pollenca still remains very much untouched, providing a glimpse into the traditional life of the Mallorquins.

8 Best places to See in Pollenca

This complete guide to Pollenca not only tells you about the very best sights and tourist attractions for first-time visitors to the city but also provide insights into a few of our personal favorite things to do.

This is a practical guide to visiting the best places to see in Pollenca and is filled with tips and info that should answer all your questions!

Mare de Deu dels Angels church

Plaça De L’església De Nostra Senyora Dels Àngels De Pollença
CC BY-SA 3.0 / RafelJuan
The parish church, established in 1236, underwent a significant transformation when it was entrusted to the Knights Templar just four years later. These knights had been granted substantial land in northern Mallorca by King Jaime I of Aragon in recognition of their crucial assistance during the Conquest of Mallorca in 1229. It was around this […]
Location: Església Santa Maria de Pollença, Plaça Major, Pollença, Spain | Distance: 0.00km
Visiting Mare de Deu dels Angels church

Convent of Sant Domingo

Majorque Pollenca Placa Convent Sant Domingo
CC BY-SA 3.0 / rene boulay
The Convent and Cloister of Sant Domingo stands as a defining landmark in the town, its construction taking place between 1588 and 1616, and its aesthetic appeal truly remarkable. The Baroque cloister, renowned for its four arched walkways, is nothing short of breath-taking. Since 1962, this cloister has been the venue for Pollenca’s annual Classical […]
Location: Carrer de Sant Domingo, Pollença, Spain | Hours: May-October: Monday to Friday from 8.30 to 16.00. Sundays from 10.00 to 13.00. Saturdays and holidays closed. November-April: Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 10:30 and 11:00 to 15:00. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays closed. | Distance: 0.20km
Visiting Convent of Sant Domingo

Calvari Steps in Pollensa

Calvari Steps In Pollensas
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Adam Loader
The town of Pollensa is situated at the base of Calvari Hill, which features a charming chapel and a stairway lined with cypress trees, comprising a total of 365 steps. The Calvari Steps, also known as Calvary Way, are a fascinating attraction. These ancient stone steps lead to a beautiful old chapel. Good Friday in […]
Visiting Calvari Steps in Pollensa

Pont Roma, Pollença

Pont Romà
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Olaf Tausch
The Pont Roma stands as one of the most exceptionally preserved relics of Roman influence on the island of Mallorca, offering a tangible link to the past. In the year 123 BC, the Roman army, under the leadership of consul and general Quintus Caecilius Metellus, finally succeeded in conquering Mallorca after years of fierce conflict […]
Location: Pont Romà, Carrer del Pont Romà, Pollença, Spain | Distance: 0.60km
Visiting Pont Roma, Pollença

Santuari del Puig de Maria

Santuari De La Mare De Déu Del Puig De Bellver
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Enfo
Perched atop the 330-meter high Puig de Maria hill is the Santuari del Puig de Maria, crowned by a fortified monastery designed in the Gothic style. Originally inhabited by nuns in 1371, it experienced periods of abandonment over the years. Today, the sanctuary has been lovingly restored, offering simple rooms for those in search of […]
Location: Santuari de la Mare de Déu del Puig, Pollença, Spain | Distance: 1.00km
Visiting Santuari del Puig de Maria

Santuari de Lluc

Santuari De Lluc
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Michiel1972
Lluc is not only a spiritual haven but also a haven for hikers who appreciate its excellent amenities and the numerous hiking trails that originate from here. These include sections of the Dry Stone Route and the challenging trek through the Torrent de Pareis canyon leading to the picturesque Sa Calobra bay. The journey to […]
Location: Santuari de Lluc, Plaça dels Pelegrins, Lluc, Spain | Hours: You can visit the museum from 10:00 to 14:00 (except Saturdays), while the botanical gardens are open from 10:00 to 13:00 and 15:00 to 18:00. | Price: €5 | Website | Distance: 12.80km
Visiting Santuari de Lluc

Cap de Formentor Lighthouse

Cap De Formentor Lighthouse
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Elgaard
The Cap de Formentor Lighthouse is a picturesque beacon perched at an impressive altitude of 384 meters above sea level. It graces the eastern tip of Majorca’s Formentor peninsula, marking the northernmost point of Mallorca. Originally inaugurated in 1863, the Cap de Formentor Lighthouse was established to enhance the safety of nighttime navigation for boats […]
Location: Lighthouse of Cap de Formentor, Pollença, Spain | Distance: 19.20km
Visiting Cap de Formentor Lighthouse

Cuevas del Drach

Cuevas Del Drach
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Sergiy Galyonkin
The Cuevas del Drach stands as one of Europe’s largest cave systems, conveniently situated on the eastern coast within walking distance of Porto Cristo. Although knowledge of the cave dates back to the Middle Ages, it wasn’t comprehensively mapped until the arrival of the French geologist E.A Martel in 1896. In his honor, the expansive […]
Location: Cuevas del Drach, Carretera de les Coves, Porto Cristo, Spain | Hours: 01 November to 12 March: 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. 13 March to 31 October: 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. | Price: €16,50 | Website | Distance: 46.50km
Visiting Cuevas del Drach

Best Time to Visit Pollenca

Mallorca is an excellent year-round holiday destination with its Mediterranean climate and consistent warm sunshine across all seasons. With a diverse range of activities and events available every month, customizing your trip to suit your preferences can be a delightful but challenging task.

Winter in Pollenca: This is an ideal time for those seeking a quieter shopping experience in Puerto Pollensa, with fewer crowds and cooler weather. The region boasts numerous markets, designer boutiques, and shopping centers, providing an excellent alternative to beach lounging during less favorable weather. The Three Kings Celebration, which commemorates the 12th day of Christmas for many Mallorcans, is a prominent event marked by procession floats that traverse several towns on the island. As the parades wind through the villages, the Three Kings distribute gifts to children.

The fiesta of Sant Antoni, celebrating the patron saint of animals, is observed in various towns across Mallorca, featuring parades and street festivities from January 16th to the 17th. However, Puerto Pollensa’s celebration has a unique tradition known as ‘Pujada del pi,’ signifying ‘the climb of the pine.’ Local residents journey to Formentor, where they fell and strip a 20-meter pine tree, transport it back to their town, and lather it with soap. The tree is ultimately hoisted above the church, a time-honored tradition that has persevered through the years and offers a captivating glimpse into the local culture.

It’s important to note that some restaurants and bars may be closed during the winter season, although accommodation options remain available.

Spring in Pollenca: During this period, temperatures start to rise, reaching highs of 23°C, but occasional rainfall is expected, and evenings become noticeably cooler.

Easter in Mallorca is a significant celebration, with each village hosting its unique traditional festivities. In Pollensa, Formatjada is a springtime treat where locals prepare formatjada, a pastry filled with cream cheese, pumpkin jam, or chocolate at home.

In Pollensa, the events commence on the Thursday before Easter (April 18th), with the most captivating event being the Devallement, or the devilment, taking place on Friday. Locals, dressed in traditional attire, transport the statue of Jesus down the Calvari steps into town. This solemn procession is a spectacular sight, with the steps illuminated by naked flames, reenacting the events of Good Friday.

May brings a prestigious wine fair to Pollenca, set within the picturesque cloisters of Santo Domingo. Renowned for its high-quality local wines, the town hosts special events featuring over 40 wine producers and thousands of visitors. For a modest entrance fee, guests can savor a variety of Mallorcan wines and meet some of the region’s top producers.

Summer in Pollenca: Peak summer temperatures in Pollenca can climb up to 30°C, with the sea temperature reaching 24°C. Rainfall is unlikely, and daylight extends for up to 11 hours a day. The coastline becomes considerably more vibrant as visitors take advantage of the scorching days and balmy evenings.

Autumn in Pollenca: As summer winds down, Pollenca becomes an idyllic destination for relaxed travelers seeking to avoid crowds and the peak temperatures. The weather remains warm, with highs around 25°C, although the possibility of showers increases during September and October. In November, temperatures dip to approximately 18°C, and evenings become significantly cooler, but the sea remains a comfortable 20°C.

Average Temperatures in Pollenca

  • January 15°C 6
  • February 16°C 5
  • March 17°C 5
  • April 19°C 6
  • May 23°C 4
  • June 29°C 3
  • July 32°C 1
  • August 32°C 3
  • September 28°C 8
  • October 25°C 7
  • November 20°C 10
  • December 17°C 5

How to get to Pollenca

Getting to Pollenca By Plane

The Son Sant Joan Airport of Majorca is located about eight kilometres from the capital Palma. And Pollensa is located about 58 km. from the capital city Palma de Mallorca.

Getting to Pollenca By Car

Pollenca is conveniently reachable from Palma airport via the MA-13 motorway, offering a smooth 40-minute drive. To reach Pollenca, exit the MA-2200, which is clearly marked with signs pointing in the direction of Pollenca.

Getting to Pollenca By Train and Bus

Although there are no direct bus routes from the airport to Pollenca, you can take bus number 1 to the bus station located at Plaça Espanya. From there, you can board the 340 TIB bus, which departs once per hour and takes less than an hour to reach Pollenca.

Tours and Activities from Pollenca