The hugely successful recent television series The Night Manager, based upon the book by John Le Carré, owes much of its appeal to the stunning scenes and spectacular views which are set in and around north Mallorca. In particular it owes its glamour to the house of the arch villain (played by Hugh Laurie) the beautiful 17th century fort of the sa Fortaleza Estate situated on the Punta de l’Avançada, a promontory on the north side of the Badia de Pollença. This area, unbeknownst to many visitors, is the location of a third airport on the Island which was established, along with a military base, by General Franco during the period of the Spanish Civil War. Predominantly used for seaplanes, the area still contains many buildings of interest although as of today’s date it continues to be occupied by the Spanish Military and access and photography is strictly prohibited in some areas.
Port de Pollença and its surrounding region is rich in history, culture and nature, whilst at the same time providing the visitor with wonderful iconic views across Cap Formentor to the Mediterranean or westwards across the stunning vistas of the Serra de Tramuntana Mountain Range, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are many wonderful apartments and hotels in and around Port de Pollença, one of which is the beautiful beachfront 4 star Hotel Illa d’Or. During its history this recently refurbished hotel has hosted many celebrities including Winston Churchill and the author Agatha Christie. Agatha Christie first visited Mallorca in 1932 and found Port de Pollença almost by accident. She was passing through by taxi on her way to Formentor to find an hotel in which to stay having been unable to get any accommodation in Mallorca’s capital, Palma. It was whilst she was staying at the Illa d’Or that she wrote her now famous novel, ‘Problem at Pollensa Bay’ in which her hero Parker Pyne features. The story was initially published in the Strand Magazine in 1935. Christie was to return to the Hotel Illa d’Or again a few years later and clearly loved the area. Her collection of short stories entitled ‘Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories’ was first published in the UK in 1991.
Port de Pollença is a haven for birdwatchers and is the ornithological centre of Mallorca with a large number of natural sites, wetland areas and reserves close by which are home to thousands of indigenous and migrating birds. Located just off the seafront within Port de Pollença itself is the small reserve of La Gola where you will be able to see grey herons, egrets, Spotted Flycatchers, Hoopoes, warblers, crossbills and the occasional Osprey to name but a few. The reserve also contains an information centre and the Centre for Bird Tourism for the whole of Mallorca (CTO) from where free maps and information for all of the Island’s natural parks can be obtained.
Just south of Alcúdia, a short drive from Port de Pollença, is Albufera, the largest wetland reserve on the Island. This is an ideal spot to watch for the Kentish plover, woodchat shrikes, purple herons, Eleanora’s Falcons and Ospreys. A wide variety of flora and fauna can be enjoyed elsewhere within the vicinity of Port de Pollença including birding sites at Mortitx, S’Albufereta Nature Reserve, Son Bosc & Depuradora, the Ternelles Valley, Cases Velles, the Cuber Reservoir and Cap de Formentor where you can view spectacular sights of Eleanora’s Falcons swooping down from the cliffs. An ideal way to enjoy bird watching combined with sightseeing complete with amazing views, is to take a cruise around Cap de Formentor which run from the harbour in Port de Pollença.
No visit to the area would be complete without a trip to the very reasonably priced Bellaverde Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurant which is situated just a few yards from the seafront in a wonderful enclosed garden. The restaurant uses only the freshest locally sourced produce and is a big hit with tourists, just check out Tripadvisor! The restaurant has a fully licensed bar and is open every day except Monday, from 08.30 am until midnight. Why not pop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner or simply to enjoy a cool drink in peaceful shady surroundings?
If you find yourself in Port de Pollença on a Wednesday then a visit to the local market is a must. Most markets in Mallorca start around 8.00am and this one is no exception. It consists of up to 200 stalls grouped together around the main square near to the church and runs until 1.00pm to 2.00pm depending on the number of tourists visiting. The market is an extremely colourful affair and sells wonderful locally produced fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers, meat and fish, cheeses and olives together with clothing, souvenirs, leather goods and jewellery. There are many cafes and bars around the square which are ideal to sit at whilst sipping a coffee and watching the bustle and sights of a typical Mediterranean market.