Where is Llucmajor? is it a town or the general name of the largest municipal surface area of Mallorca? The answer is, it is both. The Town of Llucmajor was my destination this week as I wanted to visit a real inland town, home to the most local of populations. My first impression was the number of Italian restaurants dotted around the place. There must be a reason for this which doesn’t appear in the census for the area. There is no numerical domination of Italians but the locals must just love the cuisine.
Llucmajor is a municipality of 16 urban areas with the town of the same name, as one of them. A resident population of around 9,000 here under the watchful eye of the southern tip of the Randa mountain range. To get there you drive past all the signposts to the beaches of Arenal, Cala Blava, Cala Pi and the golf courses of Son Antem and Golf Maioris.
The town has a long, pedestrianised Ramblas to get to its heart. A few shops and businesses here but largely a residential sidewalk until you approach the very centre. Here, The Church, the swings and a square full of restaurants await you, under the flags of the Town Hall.
The walk to the centre is past a delightful stone sculpture of the history of this place as the centre of the shoemaking industry. This is situated in Carrer Obispo Taxaquet. The shoe trade came the end of its domination in the 1970’s. Today the industry continues in a smaller way and still contributes to the income of this thriving inland town.
These days, business and light industry are all around but it is fair to say that it is largely a commuter town to Palma, Campos and the bustling Arenal area. It is the municipality centre of the area but in the middle of the week ordinary life goes on. The people I saw, were part of busy school and family life, a cluster of the retired and people like me having a day out.
In recent years’ inland village and town tourism has taken off and the population welcome visitors and are proud of the activities on their doorstep. Golf, cycling, hiking, wine tasting and horse riding in the Valley of Randa. This has caused the development of rural boutique hotels and fincas to accommodate those who don’t want to stay in the large golf hotels.
It was fascinating to sit in the square here and contemplate urban planning. Someone had a vision to pedestrianise a very large part of the centre of this town. A magnificent place for a huge fiesta or festival with lots of play space for the children. Even if all 9000 inhabitants turned out on a ‘The Saturday night, walk the walk and see and be seen’ it wouldn’t appear that crowded.
Car parks and supermarkets exist here but they are towards the main road back to Palma. The centre is sacrosanct for easy walking and passing the time with your neighbours.
The beach is very important to inland Mallorca dwellers, particularly at weekends. Everyone has their favourite drives and from Llucmajor many will drive 20 km to Es Trenc.
Others a 15-minute drive in the opposite direction to get to Arenal and the beaches of the Playa de Palma. The routines are very similar all over Mallorca and summer beach picnics are a way of life.
I wandered back the way I came to where I had parked the car. I had enjoyed an Italian lunch, had a chat with a few people, in the way you do when you stick out as a visitor. Then set off for a quick look at Arenal Yacht club and the small local beaches behind it. Arenal is an article all of its own as it is such a diverse community and it is home to one of my favourite buildings in Mallorca.
Have you ever been to Iglesia La Porciuncula (la Iglesia de Cristal) Avenida Fra Joan Llabres 1 El Arenal, 07600? Iglesia La Porciuncula is described as a spiritual oasis. The walk through lovely gardens to the Round Church, with the most magnificent stained glass windows, is a wonderful moment. The idea that such a treasure is minutes from the busy life of downtown Arenal makes the word ‘oasis’ come to life. This is a detour worth making when you explore this area.
Time to move on, back through the lanes of cross country Mallorca and home via Bunyola. The local heartland of Mallorca still exists in the town of Llucmajor as it sits in the middle of the beach and golf tourism which gives the people work and income. To do all this exploring, accompanied by the glorious weather of the moment, is a double blessing.
Now, where shall I go next week?