To start with, Alcudia (on the North Eastern coast of Mallorca) was hotter than I was expecting or prepared for. I don’t know whether Alcudia Bay is protected or something but the predicted forecast did not match the ‘real-feel’ temperature – the digital clock-temp sign in the centre reached the late 30’s everyday. Hydration was key & i wasn’t always on top of it – but my headaches aside, this holiday was RELAXING!
Our first step was to explore the familiar. Away from the port area, there is one main road through Alcudia & our hotel was situated just off it. Following this road away from the harbour & the tourist areas get busier. This was not a bad thing though, more bars, more restaurants & more little shops to wander in & out of. It was also where we found our obligatory Irish bar – The Jokers Irish Pub (& for those of you who know me well, they served Kilkenny beer, which appears to be a rarity in the UK, so I was over the moon!)
Like many Spanish towns, Alcudia also has an ‘old town’, slightly inland & uphill. I do mean slightly here too – 30 mins walk (approx.) & you’re there. Alcudia’s old town has a market twice a week – Tuesday & Sunday – & given the size of the town, the market is not small. With food, drink & sweet stalls, clothes, jewellery & shoe stalls, handmade craft stalls & fresh juice stalls – there’s plenty to do, see, smell, buy & listen – an assault on the senses, again in a good way.
The old town is also a gem in its own right. It has two rings of walls – one medieval & one from the Renaissance period. Most of the inner medieval wall has been rebuilt & you can climb the steps & stroll along sections of them, looking down across the town’s rooftops – though certain sections remain original, such as the arched gates & towers. Another wonderful place to visit here is the Church of Saint Jaume, dating from the 14th century with a partial rebuild in the late 19th century. Inside, in a side chapel, there is a large & elaborate altarpiece containing a woodcarving (crucifixion) statue of Christ behind glass. This is a relic reported to have sweated blood & water in 1507, ‘leading to’ the end of a severe drought which was affecting the townspeople. There is also – & much more wonderful to my eyes – an inner domed roof in this side chapel – I honestly could have sat there for hours, watching how the light filtered through the multiple openings in it.
Just outside the town walls stands the archaeological site of the ancient Roman town of Pol.lèntia – but there’ll probably be another blog post just for that 😉
On the road back down from the old town, there is a little cemetery with a garden & seated area between it & the road. The shaded area in front is a wonderful place to catch your breath, cool down & enjoy the view & the moment. But please walk through the Bougainvillea-enveloped gateway into the cemetery & take a (respectful) stroll around the art, the faith, the life & the death.
Other highlights of the holiday included evenings at the harbour, with its restaurant & bar filled side streets surrounding the main square & the main promenade of the marina, plus an evening market on weeknights.
A boat trip around the beautiful Cap de Formentor, including a stop to go swimming in the sea which is always welcomed.
& several trips to the beach which is a long thin strip down the coast from the marina. Beautiful white sand and a lovely blue sea which remains shallow for quite a long way out, allowing for reasonable & refreshing swimming & ball games.
These shallow waters also provided the setting for my favourite decadent holiday moment; bikini & sunglasses on, sun to be soaked in, wandering through the shallow water from ankles to knees, with my book in my hand & the world milling around me. (Psst. The book was American Gods- reviewed in my last post.)
Alcudia was familiar yet new. I felt comfortable whilst I was exploring new places. I’m normally more of a city girl but this was the perfect place to relax whilst still maintaining enough to do & explore, & the weather- once dressed right & hydrated – was divine.