Banyalbufar: built next to the sea.
Banyalbufar is a municipality located in the south western Tramutana mountain range on the north coast of the island of Majorca with an extension of 18.05km2. This town is open to the sea from the Canonge port to the ‘Raco de s’Algar’ and is made up of three wide valleys. ‘Son Coll’, ‘Banyalbufar’ and ‘Planícia’.
The full name of Banyalbufar is Banyalbufari or Banaylbufarina and has a population of 600 inhabitants. The village is characterised by its ‘marjades’ (terraces) that go all along the coast. The important ‘possesions’ (stately homes), Planícia, Son Valentí, Son Bunyola, Son Bujosa, Son Sanutges, Son Balaguer and Es Rafal can be found within the municipality. All this countryside paints the sides of the very rugged slopes that reach their highest point of 920m in Planíca.
Its name has its origins in what was an Arabic settlement, Banyalbufar comes from the archaic place name Banyalbahar where ‘Banya’ can be interpreted with the meaning of founding construction and ‘Bahar’, the 13th century Majorcan documentation has Catalonianalised it as ‘la mar or sa mar’ meaning the sea, and sometimes as in Latin ‘juxta mare’ meaning near or next to the sea. All in all, this Muslim place name for the village of Banyalbufar means ‘built near the sea’.
With the Catalonian conquest of Mayurga (1229) the village of Banyalbufar was given to the noble knights Gilabert de Cruïlles and Ramon Sa Clusa. During this time local rule by the lord of the manor was established, ‘The Barony of Banyalbufar’ where the Lord of the Barony had both civil and criminal jurisdiction over the inhabitants of the village.
Agriculture had always been the only occupation of the people of Banyalbufar, but nowadays tourism has become the main source of income with fishing as a secondary sideline. Their main products were: wheat, barley, legumes, oil, linen, hemp, saffron and above all wine.
The vineyards of Banyalbufar were very famous for their malvasia grapes, which ceased to be grown although they are undergoing a process of reintroduction by local companies who have got together to recover this autochthonous species.
To avoid the dangers of pirate raids, a series of buildings were erected throughout the village located at the high points, called defense towers or watchtowers. The most famous watchtower is the one known as ‘Verger’ tower – recently restored - and the watchtower par excellence is the one found in the Barony cloister.
One of the most recommendable excursions for the visitor to this paridise location is the Banyalbufar to Canonge port one, quite an easy excursion (apt for all kinds of excursionists) which takes approximately 2.00h; through the so called ‘Volta del General’ this pleasant stroll joins the village of Banyalbufar with the summertime colony of the Canonge port. This route owes its name to F. Cotoner (1811-1888), the first Marquis of Cenia who created it.
General information: Average height: 100 metres. Extension: 18.09 km². Distance from Palma: 25 km. Number of beaches: 5. Km of coastline: 0,52. Local holidays: ‘Mare de Déu’, 8th September, Patron Saint. Recommended visits: Sa Baronia, Ses Ànimes tower, sa Galera, marjades, sa Baronia tower. Shopping: Embroidery, vegetables, malvasia grapes.
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