Banyalbufar is perhaps one of the best kept secrets in Mallorca. Still without mass-tourism, it is located in the Sierra de Tramuntana but, at the same time, looks directly at the sea. We propose a visit to this small town of great and varied charms: what to see, what to do and what to know about Banyalbufar and its surroundings.
The history of Banyalbufar
Banyalbufar is located in the southwest of the Sierra de Tramuntana, about 25 kilometers from Palma de Mallorca. Its situation, history and power are defined by its own name: we can translate it as “nailed in the sea”, in a curious mixture of Arabic and Catalan. To start with, we could add it to the list of the most beautiful villages in Mallorca and, of course, it is one of the most dazzling towns of the Sierra de Tramuntana, at the height of Sóller, Valldemossa or Deià. Without a doubt, it is a perfect place to enjoy peacefully.
Its origin goes back to the tenth century. The Arabs came to build almost 2,000 houses there and developed an irrigation system based on aqueducts that, today, remains operational. The area gained importance thanks to the cultivation of Malvasia, a grape variety especially appreciated by Jaume I. In fact, it seems that this was one of the incentives that encouraged the king to reconquer the island. Grape cultivation was abandoned for a long time, but in recent years, and after grouping in cooperatives, the local vine growers have managed to recover it with care and traditional techniques.
What to see in Banyalbufar?
Having said that, it is evident that one of the essential visits in Banyalbufar must be to its small, hand-crafted, exclusive wineries: Son Vives and C’an Pico. Both offer guided tours and tastings, as well as the possibility of acquiring their Malvasia wines. You can also visit the vineyards themselves. A perfect place to taste this delicious white wine – and other local delicacies – is the Café Restaurante Bellavista. Of course it lives up to its name: from its terrace you can see the entire coast, and enjoy one of the best sunsets in Mallorca. Other restaurants that we can highlight: Son Borguny, Can Paco or – attention to the name, which is traca, Pegasón and Pajarito Enmascarado.
Also worthy of a visit in Banyalbufar is the watchtower of the coast (Torre de Ses Ànimes), built in the 17th century to repel attacks from pirates and offering beautiful coastal views; the possession (or possessió , in Catalan) of the Barony of Banyalbufar, a set of typical rural homes in the Balearic Islands where the Baron dependencies of these lands were located; or the small but very beautiful Cala de Banyalbufar, which can only be accessed by a staircase.
What can we find in the surroundings of Banyalbufar?
In the surroundings we find a very picturesque fishing port, Es Port des Canonge. Lovers of hiking can enjoy a route that unites Banyalbufar and this port and it runs between pine forests, first, and curious rock formations, later. It is a moderate difficulty route that can be done in about an hour. It was traditionally known as Camí des Carabineros or Camí de Baix de Son Bunyola; currently it is called ‘Sa volta des General’. Next to the port there is a cove of the same name, which is especially beautiful and in which you can find abundant remains of posidonia; a perfect place to take a good bath as long as the water is calm. Other coves near Banyalbufar are Es Corral Fals, Sa Galera or Son Bunyola. All of them offer a very special charm due to its proximity to the Sierra de Tramuntana.
It is essential to visit the town of Estellencs, about 8 kilometers by road from Banyalbufar. Its bad historical communication with the rest of the island and the fact that it doesn’t own sandy beaches has taken it away from the tourist circuit until only a few years ago. It stands out for its cobbled streets, the Torre de Tem Alemany or the church of San Juan Bautista, which dates back to the 17th century. From its public laundries, another point of interest, part of the Camí Reial, a complex hiking route of almost 10 kilometers – and four hours – that ends in Puigpunyent.
Banyalbufar is therefore an idyllic place, charmingly caught between the sea and the mountain. A treasure not well known in the Sierra de Tramuntana to enjoy with tranquility and in which to get away from the hustle and bustle of other areas of Mallorca.