High in Tamuntana Mountains, filled with golden light and olive trees, is the old stone city of Valldemossa, built around a graceful monastery dating to the 1300s. It is a place of marvelous beauty and legendary inspiration, where Frederic Chopin composed some of his finest work, even as he lay dying of tuberculosis, and writers like George Sand and Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío wove together their prose from its sights and sounds.
Today, Valldemossa remains a quiet escape, with fine lodging and dining, and wonderful outdoor adventures. One of the classic day trips is to La Granja, a former convent surrounded by spectacular gardens, with fountains, flowers, and botanicals from throughout the region and world. Free tastings of La Granja's ("The Farm's) jams and cheeses are heald throughout the week, but try to come on a Wednesday or Friday, for a crafts festival, equestrian show, and folkloric dancing.
Though Valldemossa lies just 17 kilometers (10 miles) from Mallorca's capital, La Palma, allow extra time to navigate the winding roads up into the mountains.
Buses to Esporles take you to La Granja, 7km (4mi) south, but run considerably less frequently, and taxis may be more difficult to arrange in Valldemossa than in La Palma. Day trips are easily arranged.