Every now and then you come across a place full of contradiction and charm in equal measure, a place where you are never sure what will be encountered around the next corner, or the following day.
Alcúdia is one of those places. Located in the north of Mallorca, it is a resort popular with families and other holidaymakers. Dominated by the nine mile long stretch of beach from Port d’Alcúdia and Platja d’Alcúdia to Can Picafort, this is where you can find most of the hotels, bars and cafes. Here Alcúdia offers visitors all the fun, excitement and entertainment of the best Spanish beach resorts.
The family friendly, relaxed atmosphere means that it is suitable for various types of tourists, including those with young children as well as couples and singles, and the emphasis is very much on providing a quality experience, suitable for those seeking relaxation and active pursuits.
However, the town also has other sides. If bar hopping and clubbing are your thing, you may well not be disappointed in Alcúdia. Arguments abound for Alcúdia not representing the true, authentic Mallorca, and this may certainly be true of the nightlife district, but it is undeniable that the town does not offer visitors an excellent choice when it comes to bars and clubs. However, the atmosphere at Alcúdia is not quite as raucous as some of its counterparts and there really is something here for everyone, so dive in and have fun.
The most popular spots for nightlife include the Banana Discos complex and Bells Disco. Sabor Latino is the place to head for salsa, while Goodfellas serves up exquisite cocktails. Other options include a range of Irish bars and upscale restaurants around the marina, and Mar y Mar Beach Club is a great spot for chilling out.
Those in search of history and culture do not have far to go. The town of Alcúdia has a turbulent past, replete with invasions and pirate attacks, and evidence for this can be found throughout the Old Town. Just outside the walls are the remains of a Roman town, the town of Pollentia. The walls themselves date from the 14th century, following Moorish invasions. The Old Town is a typical place of alleyways, plazas and medieval architecture, and there are many bustling cafes and restaurants, along with several boutique hotels, to be found within its walls. Sights include the Church of St. Jaume and the Roman theatre, and there are also markets on Sundays and Tuesdays.
Pirate attacks were especially frequent during the 16th century, and during this time the population gradually dwindled, as people chose to desert the village – for it was only a small community at this time – rather than risk their lives and livelihoods. There became a real possibility that Alcúdia would become a ghost town, consigned to the history books, before it was decided to protect the city by building a harbour.
The city itself, fascinating as it is, should not be the extent of any visit to Alcúdia. Not when the surrounding area is so scenically rewarding. Around the town are numerous coves and beaches, where you can swim and snorkel, while the natural park of S’Albufera is a great spot for bird watchers and other nature enthusiasts. Car hire Mallorca is the best way to get out of the city and explore the nearby landscapes.
Alcúdia, then, is a place of contrasts and contradictions, a place where the old intermingles with the new and the natural world sits around the border of various historical Spanish settlements. If you are happy to embrace and explore the many aspects of this intriguing and magical city, then you will be richly rewarded.
Photo Credit: Ventura Carmona