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The beautiful Balearics
Mallorca and Menorca have long been popular with tourists, but if you think it’s just bucket ‘n’ spade delights, think again. Mallorca’s capital, Palma de Mallorca, has a fascinating history, and the island’s varied landscape includes rugged mountains and a rural interior little-touched by tourism. Boutique hotels, delicious paella, and peaceful villages show there’s much more than the islands' beaches. The likes of Magaluf still supply cheap thrills, but in quiet corners of Menorca or Mallorca’s Tramuntana mountains, it all seems ages away.
Famous Historic home of noble Veri family
Historic home of noble Veri familyStay.com Editors' Note
Just outside Sant Joan is Els Calderers (signposted at Ctra. Palma–Manacor, km37). The rambling old manor house of Els Calderers once belonged to the Verí family, who employed 38 people at one point to oversee the vineyards that surrounded it until the 1870s phylloxera epidemic wiped out the vines.
The house, which dates from 1750, has been restored to its late 19th-century condition and the well-organised self-guided tour takes you through more than 20 rooms around a light-filled central courtyard. The restoration is exquisite. Among the rooms are a private chapel and atmospheric wine cellar (where you can sample vino tinto from the barrel), a vaulted reception room and the master of the house’s office. Outside there are pens containing the types of animals that the family would have kept – a cow, goats, pigs, sheep, hens and turkeys.
A café serves snacks; take them outside and enjoy this lovely spot.