The wetland south of Port d’Alcuia, occupying the shores of Lake Grandeup to C’an Picafort, was once a swamp. Most of it was drained in the 1860s, but a portion remains, which in 1985 become the Parc Natural de S’Albufera. The marshes can be explored on foot, following the marked trails. A major conservation project, this is an excellent place for observing over 200 species of birds including grey and purple herons, summer osprey and Eleonora’s falcon. The park reception is in Sa Roca where you can obtain a free map and a list of some of the park’s birds.
The agricultural town of Murois a pleasant, sleepy place, situated at the centre of the plain, surrounded by cultivated fields. It is full of old mansions built by rich landowners, which give the town its unique charm. Each year on 17 and 18 January, Muro is the scene of the Revelta i Beneides de Sant Antoni Abat – a big fiesta on the eve of St Antoni’s day. The town’s inhabitants and visitors gather around bonfires, drinking wine and eating sausages and espinagades – delicious pies made with eels caught in the S’Albufera marshes.
The town is dominated by the church of Sant Joan Baptista, remodelled around 1530. This large structure, built in the Catalan Gothic style, features colourful stained glass windows and a beautiful rosette on the facade. The interior includes Baroque furnishings and a vast main altarpiece. Adjacent to the church is a huge, seven-storey belfry that once served as a watchtower. The view from the top can be stunning and encompasses all of the surrounding area.
The Convent des Musims and the church of Santa Ana are in Plao de Joso Antonio Primo de Rivera, once the venue for bullfights. Nearby is the Museu de Mallorca, Seccio Etnoloic, which is situated in an old mansion house. Here, you can see a collection of local furniture, folk costumes, agricultural tools and a series of workshops including a blacksmith’s and a cobbler’s. The museum also has a collection of siurells – whistles.
Some 11 km (7 miles) east of Muro, on Badia d’Alcuia, adjacent to the Parc Natural de S’Albufera, is the sandy beachof Platya de Muro with its stone-pines growing amid the dunes. About 3 km (2 miles) north is Sa Pobla, which has a lovely 17thcentury Baroque church and two museums: Museu d’Art Contemporani and Museu de la Jugeta, which has a collection of toys from the 19th and 20th centuries. The town’s main square, Plao Constitucia hosts a busy Sunday market, selling mainly agricultural produce.
Santa Margalida, situated 5km (3 miles) southeast, has a history reaching back to Roman times. The views of the mountains and plain are outstanding from here. (photo:Gt-man,Chixoy)