Visit these archaeological sites in the Balearic Islands from the comfort of your yacht
The Balearic Islands are known for their beautiful beaches and hidden bays, but did you know they also have multiple interesting archaeological sites well worth a visit? When you are putting your itinerary together for your next charter, keep these fascinating sites in mind.
The Balearic Islands
Nothing better than learning a bit about the area you are visiting, combined with a relaxing lunch onboard afterwards, or even better, on one of the beaches nearby! We have highlighted three sites, one in Mallorca and two in Menorca.
Roman Town of Pollentia, Mallorca
To visit the archaeological site of the Roman town of Pollentia in North Mallorca, your captain will dock in Port d’Alcúdia or drop the anchor in one of the nearby bays, the bay of Pollença and the bay of Alcúdia. Like the other Roman cities founded by consul Metellus, it is believed that Pollentia was a Roman camp until 70 BC, when, according to the excavations in the forum area, the urbanization of the city was reorganized and monumentalized. Pollentia was a rich and prosperous city with the Romans using the beaches of Alcúdia to keep an eye on both the bay of Pollença and the bay of Alcúdia and thus keeping the area safe. The city was famous all the way to Rome since it produced excellent fabrics that were used in the most exclusive togas.
After Rome lost its position as the dominant power in the western Mediterranean, Pollentia was attacked by pirates and several times by the Vandals. Finally, the city was abandoned, and the remaining population left, to create a new town at a more protected location. This town became Pollença and the area where Pollentia stood was left to ruins
Photo Copyright: Mallorca Daily Bulletin
Traditions in Alcudia
In Alcúdia, the old town is well preserved with houses dating back to the 13th century. The old town is surrounded by a medieval wall and it is possible to step up onto the wall and follow it almost all around the village. There is also a small Roman theatre here and north of the town you can visit a bullring from the 19th century.
Try to visit Alcúdia during the nine days at the beginning of July, when the city celebrates the festival of St. Jaume. Before the festival starts, the town is decorated and each street picks a theme for that year’s look. During the festival, several traditional evening festivities are arranged in the old town, such as the Night of the Romans where the streets are full of locals dressed in traditional ancient Roman dresses. There are also outdoor theatres, sport tournaments, exhibitions and the traditional bullfight. The fiesta is finished with La Noche de Sant Jaume, a fireworks display and a philharmonic concert by the old walls.
Taking place every three years is the Triennial of Sant Crist, a religious procession where the population slowly walks barefoot through the town in silence, for several hours. The origin of this procession dates back to 1507. According to tradition, the image of Sant Crist sweated blood and water, thus putting an end to a drought. If you can make it work to witness this procession you will end up with a once in a lifetime experience.
The captain will talk to you about which nearby cove or beach to visit for your picnic lunch and some sunbathing, swimming or snorkeling after all this sightseeing. Time to relax and soak up some rays!
Photo Copyright: Ultima Hora
Coastal Settlement El Coll De Cala Morell, Menorca
The settlement of Cala Morell is a Menorcan archaeological site which is located in the Ciutadella de Menorca. Your captain and chief stewardess will arrange the most comfortable way to get you and your loved ones to the site. The settlement is situated on a 35 meter high coastal headland and protected by a dry-stone wall. It is one of the 32 Menorcan prehistoric sites that compose the series for the Talayotic Menorca nomination to become World Heritage by UNESCO.
Around twelve dwelling navetas (chamber tombs that resemble an upside down boat) can be seen throughout the site. These navetas are unique to the island of Menorca. On site, there are also two large hollows which were cut through the bedrock towards the settlement’s central area, which could have been used to collect rainwater.
Photo Copyright: Wikipedia
During the past few years two dwelling navetas and the circular construction erected on the highest part of the settlement have been excavated. Both navetas are oriented to the south and are domestic units. Inside these navetas there are benches surrounding a hearth. There is a grinding stone base and a clay structure outside and facing its façade, and both elements are most likely related to food preparation, like cereal grinding.
All the evidence, including the structures, the recovered artifacts (pottery, bone tools such as awls and spatulas, and grinding stones) and the huge quantity of domesticated animal bones, suggest that the function of these navetas was domestic. Moreover, the complete absence of marine animals like fish, mollusks and crustaceans seems to indicate that the inhabitants of this place, despite living by the sea, did not consume or use marine resources. This fact, even though it can seem surprising, is something attested in all sites dating to the prehistory of the island.
Photo Copyright: Minorca
Es Tudons Prehistoric Burial Site, Menorca
The Naveta d’Es Tudons, or Naveta of Es Tudons, is the most remarkable megalithic chamber tomb in the Balearic Islands and is located nearby, so try to combine both sites in one day, your chief stewardess will arrange transportation for you!
The tomb stands on slightly rising ground in a sloping valley and contains the remains of at least 100 graves with their respective funerary belongings like bronze bracelets and bone buttons. A fascinating experience not to be missed.
After visiting both sites, relax onboard in the beautiful turquoise bay of Ciutadella, where your chef will have all your favorites ready. With a view of the unique archeological site you just visited, you will enjoy your favorite chilled cocktail even more!
Photo Copyright: Wikipedia
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