Today of course I played tennis, training for 90 minutes in the morning.
After lunch I drove past Andratx (west from Palma) and up Ma10 along the coast past Estellencs to Banyalbufar, a terraced town situated between and the sea and the Serra de Tramontana mountain range.
I stopped first at a “mirador” or lookout, the “Mirador d’en Ricardo Roca”, which was near a restaurant located on a cliff. The views to the north were amazing and the water was a deep but clear blue.
Between Estellencs (another quaint mountain town) and Banyalbufar is Torre del Verger, a watch tower dating back to the 16th century, where a series of watch towers were built all over the island. I walked to the tower and the views were nice even from where I parked my car, but inside the tower was a metal ladder leading to the top and from there the views were gorgeous of the coast to the north and to the south.
Banyalbufar (which means “vineyard by the sea” in Arabic), was settled by the Moors in the 10th century, They cultivated around 2000 dry stone terraces and a system of aqueducts still in use today. Now the terraces are mostly used for vegetables and fruit growing but wine is making a comeback. The town is very pretty with lots of dry stone buildings and great views of the sea.
The west side of the Island is far less touristy than other parts, though biking is popular everywhere it seems. There were a couple of small hotels and restaurants and there are beaches far below, and hiking is also popular. The west side originally did trade more with boats than by land until the cliffside road was built.
As for parking, I found a big space a few hundred meters south of the official parking lots, and it was free to park there, though walking on the road with no shoulders is a bit dicey.
After leaving Banyalbufar I drove through the middle of the island back through Santa Maria to my apartment. Had I continued up the coast I would have driven through Valdemossa, Deia and Soller, three more lovely towns, but I’d been to them recently and it was getting late…so another visit for another day.