Surely, the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a holiday on the island of Mallorca is a towel lying on the sand on the beach or a good hiking route through the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range. But let us tell you that the largest of the Balearic Islands goes much further and has a wealth of history and culture worth adding to your route.
That’s why, at ROIG, we want to help you create that route by car, so that you can discover the best sanctuaries and Monasteries in Mallorca that are worth a visit and soak up the traditions of this coastal town. Read on to discover them!
We begin our selection of Mallorca’s monasteries that are worth a visit with one of the most famous places: Lluc Monastery. It is located in the municipality of Escorca, so it is perfect to include on your route through the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range. The monastery has been declared a historic-artistic monument. It is a spiritual centre for many and a symbol of Mallorcan identity.
It is the oldest and most venerated Marian monastery in the Balearic Islands. It belongs to the Diocese of Mallorca and has been run by the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts since 1891. It was founded in the 13th century when, according to legend, an image of the Virgin was found among the rocks and it was decided to build the church on the same spot.
The complex is made up of several buildings. Highlights include the 17th-century church, which was renovated in the 20th century by Antoni Gaudí, and the Botanical Garden, which contains numerous plants from the island, many of them medicinal. This is an essential visit that appears in all the guides to Mallorca, so you can’t miss it.
The Monti-Sion Monastery is one of the Marian monasteries in Mallorca that is worth visiting and offers spectacular views of the centre of the island, reaching as far as Cabrera. Inside is one of the oldest linguistic classrooms and has a pentagonal cloister that is unique on the entire island.
This monastery is 250 metres above sea level and can be reached by a road built by the inhabitants of Porreres in a single day, as a sign of their devotion to the temple. The altarpiece of the temple is in neoclassical style and has a marble image of the Virgin of Monti-Sion.
It is truly a spectacle to visit, as you will find yourself in front of a monastery that is very different from the others. We recommend that you take it easy on the road to get there, because the views are worth it.
Parish church of La Mare de Déu d’Atotxa
This stop on our route through the monasteries and sanctuaries of Mallorca takes us to the municipality of Ariany. This village in the Pla de Mallorca region formerly belonged to Petra and is located on a strategic hill that affords it excellent views. The silhouette of Ariany stands out mainly for its star monument: the parish church of Mare de Déu d’Atotxa.
This church was built in the 18th century using the ruins of an old oratory. In front of the church you can contemplate the Sa Creu viewpoint, a unique space where you can stop for a moment, leave your watch in the car and enjoy the views over the Pla de Mallorca for as long as you need. It will be a refreshing moment in your holidays.
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Santuari de Cura
Another of the best monasteries in Mallorca is the Santuari de Cura, as well as possessing many curiosities. The word “cura”, in Mallorcan, means “care” and according to some interpretations it refers to the care that was taken of the children and students who went to this place to be educated. But the truth is that there are many theories related to the name of this temple.
In the Sanctuary you can visit a small museum, recharge your batteries in the restaurant or even stay in one of its guest cells for a little spiritual retreat. However, just by enjoying the temple, the surroundings and the landscape, the Santuari de Cura is worth a visit.
It is located on a natural viewpoint which, for many, is the point with the best panoramic view of the island. If you look to the West you will see the Bay of Palma, if you look to the North, the Bay of Alcúdia and Inca. If you look to the east you can see the Serra de Llevant and Manacor, and if you look closely you can catch a glimpse of the Serra de Tramuntana, Pollença and even the Cap de Formentor.
We continue our route through the best sanctuaries and monasteries in Mallorca with Sant Salvador, a sanctuary located at the top of the mountain of the same name. At the top you will find the Creu de Picot and Crist Rei viewpoints, from where you will have the opportunity to enjoy fantastic views.
The summit of Puig San Salvador is one of the starting points for some very interesting hiking routes, such as the one that takes you to the Castell de Santueri, which lasts about two and a half hours. The Sant Salvador Sanctuary also has a cafeteria-restaurant with a varied menu that can be booked for your own special events.
It is 510 metres above sea level, so you can enjoy the magnificent scenery. You can get to the Sanctuary by car, but you can also do it on foot on a hiking route. If you don’t have the strength to make the return journey, you can spend the night at the Hotel Sant Salvador Hostatgeria.
Santa Catalina Chapel
The Santa Catalina Chapel is located in the village of Sóller, one of the most visited in Mallorca. A leisurely stroll to the upper part of the town will take you to one of the most beautiful places to see in Port de Sóller, this small temple. Its construction dates back to the 13th century and for a long time it was the most important place of pilgrimage in the Sóller Valley.
In addition to being a beautiful chapel, it has one of the best viewpoints in the area. This viewpoint has benches where you can sit for a while before heading to the other side and seeing the most spectacular part. This viewpoint is located right at one end of the hermitage and is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular sights to see in Port de Sóller.
This window to the sea is an ideal spot to see the best sunsets on the island, so you can’t miss this spectacle.
Nostra Senyora de Gràcia Chapel
This simple chapel of Nostra Senyora de Gràcia became one of the most important pilgrimage sites on the island of Mallorca. The church we see today was built in 1819 and is located at the top of Mount Randa, an elevation of land that offers spectacular views.
According to legend, the mountain on which the chapel is built is hollow inside and is only supported by four golden columns inside it. The origin of this sanctuary comes from two Franciscan friars who settled here in the middle of the 15th century and who gradually built it into a chapel with their own hands.
It has a small interior with a single nave and several side chapels. The most important element is the sculpture of the Virgin of Grace, by the sculptor Gabriel Mòger in 1500. There is also an interesting collection of tiles from Valencia with biblical scenes.
Santuario de Bonany
The village of Petra was founded in the 13th century, after the conquest of Mallorca, and preserves a beautiful town centre with cobbled streets where you can learn about the history of Mallorca’s most internationally revered figure: Fray Junípero Serra.
At the top of Puig de Bonany, 300 metres above sea level, stands the Sanctuary of Bonany. This is a large temple that was built on top of an old hermitage built in the 17th century. It is a very nice place to visit and it won’t take you too long, so you can include it in your route as a quick stop.
Ermita de Sant Honorat
The Sant Honorat sanctuary is located in the southernmost part of the Cura mountain. Its origins date back to the 14th century, when Arnau Desbrull asked the bishop of Mallorca for permission to found a spiritual refuge there dedicated to Saint Honorat. When you arrive, you will find yourself in a beautiful esplanade of holm oaks that will lead you right up to the Neo-Romanesque façade.
On the façade of the church you will see a lintel doorway with the image of Sant Honorat. It is a church with a regular floor plan and inside you will find the rooms of the congregation and the oratory of Blessed Francesc Palau. Further up there is an impressive viewpoint with a wide and breathtaking panoramic view.
Puig de Maria Sanctuary
This sanctuary was built in the 14th century to implore the Virgin Mary for protection against the epidemic of the Black Death, which was ravaging society at the time. It is located in beautiful surroundings and has therefore become one of the sanctuaries in Mallorca that are well worth a visit.
We recommend that you stay nearby and get up early to witness one of the most beautiful sunrises in Mallorca. You will have sweeping views of Pollensa and the Bay of Pollensa. You can reach the sanctuary on foot, as the route that links the temple with the town of Pollensa will only take you an hour and is suitable for the whole family.
Once you reach the top you will have access to use the barbecue to prepare the food you have brought with you. If you prefer, you can book a table at the sanctuary’s restaurant, where you will have the opportunity to taste a typical Arrós Brut. If you are more of a sunset person, you can book your stay in one of the small rooms of the sanctuary and live a very complete experience of peace and quiet.
Palma de Mallorca Cathedral
We know that the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca is not exactly a sanctuary in itself, but it is one of the main religious sites on the island that we cannot ignore. This temple, which was built from the 13th to the 17th century, is in the Levantine Gothic style and has one of the largest rose windows in the world.
The Cathedral of Santa María de Palma de Mallorca, popularly known as La Seu, is located on the site of the old Muslim mosque. The Levantine Gothic style is characterised by the fact that it does not follow classical French models, but uses a Hall plan copied from the German style. It is undoubtedly a site worth visiting inside and out, as it will leave you open-mouthed at such immensity.
Sanctuary of Son Corró
To finish off our selection of the best sanctuaries and monasteries in Mallorca that are worth a visit, we want to bring you something quite different, something that will break the mould. This is the Sanctuary of Son Corró, a Talayotic sanctuary that is an interesting archaeological visit on the island.
The peculiarity of this temple is that it was here that the famous bronze bull’s heads were discovered, which are now on display in the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid. Nowadays, the sanctuary is made up of six columns in two parallel rows and your imagination will have to do the rest, but the setting is incomparable!
Which of Mallorca’s sanctuaries and monasteries are worth a visit for you? You can design a route by car that will take you past each of them and allow you to admire the beautiful buildings and idyllic landscapes that surround them. If you need to hire a car for your getaway to Mallorca, at ROIG Rent a Car we will be delighted to help you, finding the vehicle that best suits your needs, always at the best price.