The island of Mallorca is a popular destination for millions of visitors every year with exceedingly little buildings and hardly any SPAIN HOLIDAY HOMES. It is not surprising how many people miss the best parts of the island though as so many take to the beaches then head back to their holiday haven for a quiet night or prepare to go out for the evening’s festivities. Artà is one of those hidden regions. Its main town is called by the same name and large parts of the region are unspoilt due to sparse settlement and perhaps the reason why it is missed by the general public.

In the north is the Parc Natural de la Peninsula de Llevant, an area of Serres de Llevant which became barren as a result of forest fires. In the east the bordering communities of Capdepera and Son Servera, both of which along with Artà were once part of the Peninsula de Artà up until the 19th century when they were separated. That is the reason why the caves of Artà are called that although they are in Capdepera. Part of the region to the north of Artà known as Caps de Ferrutx has many walks with stunning views across a gentler landscape than the rest of the island. It has turquoise seas, mountain views and lots of small coves and secluded sandy beaches plus some fascinating rock formations and an occasional view of the island of Menorca. The rock formations provide excellent nesting opportunities and a perfect refuge for osprey and peregrine falcons, and also commonly seen are the wild goats that live freely in the region. Almond figs and carob trees are cultivated in an area known as Serra Artana where the lower hills are covered with olive trees grown on steep slopes and protected by dry stone walls. Beds of reeds and fan palms can be found amongst the natural vegetation typical of the region. The fan palm is the raw material used by Mallorcans in their basket manufacturing.

The town has only been known as Artà since the 15th century. Previous mention of the town was under its former name Yartân, as mentioned in the Libre de Repartment de Mallorca. Later though it had been called Jartan or Jertan, although possibly both are spelling mistakes. The name Jertan is a derivative of the word Gertan, the Arabic for garden. The region of Artà was inhabited since Mallorca was first colonized with many archaeological finds in the area proving it. Coins dating back to prehistory and vessels from the Talaiotic culture have been found there and most discoveries are on display in the Regional Museum at Placa d'Espanya in Artà.

Still standing is an ancient fortress above the town of Artà. Although just a wall with thirteen towers, it is believed that the original fortress predates the Moors when they controlled the island. Today the fortress walls are one metre thick and hide the little pilgrimage church of Santuari de Sant Salvadore and its outbuildings. At the foot of the hill is a Calvary staircase with 180 steps linking the parish church Esglesia Parroquial of Transfiguració del Senyor to the pilgrimage church at the top of the hill. The Priory of Santa Maria del Bellpuig, 6 kilometres from Artà, was found after the arrival of the Norbertines or white monks. The fortress at the top of the hill was known as Almudaina. During the 15th and 16th century the population rose drastically but was then hit by an outbreak of the bubonic plague in 1820 which resulted in 1200 deaths.

The islands are all worth exploring and without the construction sites of SPAIN HOLIDAY HOMES that effects almost every other holiday destination there are so many open vistas to enjoy.

Author's Bio: 

Travel writer writing especially about my adopted home of Spain for providing Holiday Rentals from the OWNERS DIRECT.