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Attractions and Amenities
Although the quiet residential town of Binissalem is a mere 12 miles inland from the capital Palma, it's a million light years away from the popular sun, sea and sand image of Majorca that is so widely promoted by the major tour operators.
Public transport for the short journey from the Son Sant Joan airport isn't really a practical option, and most visitors would certainly either be collecting a hire car from the airport, or making the transfer by one of the numerous taxis waiting outside the arrivals hall. Since the opening of the new PM27 Palma to Inca motorway, Binissalem is now bypassed by almost all of the lorries and coaches heading north, which makes the trip along the old C713 north road, which links the town to Palma, quite a relaxed drive. Looking to the west on a clear day, there's also quite spectacular views over the plains of central Majorca towards the Sierra Tramuntana mountain ranges that dominate the western coast of the island.
The first regonisable landmark when driving into the town, will undoubtedly be the magnificent Gothic church of Santa Maria of Robines, which sits proudly in the “Placa de L’esglesia” or Church Square, and is clearly visible for many miles around Binissalem. Construction of the church originally began in the 15th Century, although in typical Mallorcan tradition the addition of the neo-Gothic bell tower wasn't actually completed until 1908. Since the year 2000, the church as also been the site of the local parish museum.
The town today is home to around 5,000 people, known on the island as “Binissalamers”, who make little, if any concessions, from their traditional Mallorcan way of life to the small numbers of tourists who make it here. Tourism has really had very little impact on the town over the last 40 years, and many of the buildings in the old centre actually date back to the 18th and 19th Century. In recognition of this unique cultural heritage, in 1983 the Municipal Government of the Balearic Islands declared Binissalem a historic-artistic site, thus affording it special protection from future development.
The small numbers of visitors who do make it here are often middle aged, and use the town as a convenient base to see what still remains of the undiscovered Mallorca, away from the over developed beach resorts and all night karaoke bars along the popular south coast.
Over the years historians on Majorca have put forward two theories on how the town got it name. Both appear to originate from around the time of the Arab occupation of the island, before the Christian conquest by Jaime I in 1229, when Binissalem was known as either as "Banu Ssâlam", which translates into English as "Children of Peace" or as "Banu Ssâlim" the "Children of Ssâlim". However, history as shown us that it was in fact the Romans, and not the Arabs, who made the greatest contribution to the local economy. The Roman occupation of the island saw the construction of the Palma to Pollensa road, which we know today as the C713, which made Binissalem an important stop on the north/south trade route across the island.
It was also the Romans who recognised that because of the protection from the cold northerly winds
afforded by Sierra Tramuntana mountains, the area around the town would be ideal for planting
vineyards and growing grapes. Over the ensuing 2000 years, Binissalem has grown to be recognised
as being at the heart of the Mallorcan wine industry, and vineyards currently cover an area of almost 400
hectares of the municipality. If you are looking for more information, or possibly trying to arrange a visit
around one of the wineries, the local trade association can be contracted via their website at:
Towards the end of September each year is the time when the grapes are picked, and to celebrate a successful harvest the town celebrates the Fiesta of La Vermada, which is a very popular event that attracts people from all over the island into Binissalem, and is something that we'll cover in more detail on our Attractions page.
So what attracts visitors to choose this as a holiday destination? Binissalem has been described as untouched, unspoiled, innocent and unexploited, where people can still leave their front doors unlocked at night and young children can play safely in the town’s main square. For most visitors this is reason enough.
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