Although it’s long been a favourite with holidaymakers, Majorca still remains an isle of hidden gems.
Once clear of the high-rise beach resorts, secluded bays and coves, rugged mountains and charming rural villages are yours to uncover. Likewise, the island is home to a vibrant programme of traditional festivals for the discerning traveller to seek out.
Often historical, religious or agricultural in origin, the annual events offer a chance for you to see Majorca in a whole new light. Make sure you plan your next holiday to coincide with one of the following festivals.
One of the first festivals of the year is in honour of Sant Antoni, the patron saint of animals. Celebrated across the island on 17th January, the biggest festivities take place in the northern town of Sa Pobla and date back to the agricultural life of the 14th century.
On the eve of the event, bonfires are lit and local bagpipers, known as xeremiers, and traditional dancers entertain the crowds. The following day, carnival floats and townspeople parade through the streets with their domestic animals in tow heading towards the central square for a blessing from the local priest.
Fira and Firo
Across four days in May, Sóller commemorates the victory of 1561 when the townsfolk triumphed over the Moorish invaders. Broken down into two parts – the fira and the firo – the festival starts with a country fair where arts and crafts go on sale and livestock unique to the Balearics goes on show.
The action then revs up a gear in the second part as the locals re-enact the battle. Expect lots of firecrackers and frivolity as the crowds make their way up from the port into the town where a party soon gets underway.
Saint Joan Fiesta
On the eve of Midsummer Day, many towns across the Balearic Islands celebrate the Saint Joan Fiesta, paying tribute to John the Baptiste. Parties take place in many different forms across Majorca, but fire processions are always a highlight.
In Palma, the main event, known as ‘Nic de Foc’, takes place in Parc de Mar by the city’s cathedral. The evening features a percussion band dressed as devils, the infamous fire run, flame throwing, fireworks and partying until the sun comes up!
Verge Del Carma
The Virgin, the patron of fishermen, is celebrated in coastal towns across Majorca every year on 15th and 16th July.
Usually the celebration starts with an evening procession. Local people carry statues of the Virgin to the town’s port, which is taken aboard a boat decorated especially for the fiesta. A parade of similarly adorned boats then sail out to sea. Catch this spectacular site in villages such as Cala Ratjada and Port de Pollença in the north, Cala Bona and Porto Cristo in the east, and Cala Figuera in the south.
Fiesta des Vermar
In September, the month of the grape harvest, the town of Binissalem, located at the foot of the Sierra de Tramuntana mountain range, celebrates the Fiesta des Vermar.
For nine days, the town transforms into a hub of activity revolving around the fine wine of the region. To kick things off, grape harvesters are welcomed at the town hall accompanied by xeremiers.
An extensive programme of activities follows including music, floats, wine tasting and lots of open-air parties in the square.