Santa Maria is a municipality in the heart of Mallorca. With a backdrop of the Tramuntana mountain range, it lies just 14 kilometres from Palma and is exceptionally well connected to the city by road, rail and bus routes. The train journey into the city centre takes only fifteen minutes.
The area is known primarily for its wine production and there are nine major vineyards here, some of which offer tours and wine tasting. On the last Saturday of November each year there’s a festival to celebrate the arrival of the new wines (the fiesta del vi novell). The oldest vineyard in Mallorca is here, Bodegas Ribas (1711) which offers tours of the cellars and a chance to sample their blue wine, Cape Saline.
Santa Maria town holds a weekly Sunday market which is one of Mallorca’s largest traditional markets with over 500 stalls. Not only does it attract local farmers with their own produce, but also flowers, arts and crafts, ironmongery, leather goods, clothes, furniture and second hand items.
On the last Sunday of April this market is supplemented by even more stalls, for “The Fair” (Sa Fira). There are food outlets, attractions for children, animals and other entertainment, bringing thousands of visitors from across the island.
In addition to the fiestas held throughout Mallorca such as Sant Antoni in January, carnival (usually February) and Holy Week, Santa Maria has its own special “Giants meeting” (Gegants de Santa Maria) on the first Saturday in May, featuring giant papier-mache figures from popular folklore.
Life in the town revolves usually around the central square, Plaza dels Hostals, with its good selection of bars, restaurants and cafes. There’s an impressive parish church dating back to 1718 and the surrounding architecture is a mixture of 17th, 18th and 19th century buildings.
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