While some of our group set out on a grueling, hill-climbing 100 kms cycling ride (painful just to hear about it!), I chose to go on a much tamer adventure: shopping in a large street market in nearby Alcúdia. Boarding the large, very comfy transport bus (for under 5 euros return) in Port de Pollença, the 20 to 30 minute journey winds past the exquisite beaches on the Balearic Sea. Stopping in front of the market entrance and witnessing the miles long stalls, I knew I was in for some serious fun. Haggling for bargains in an ancient formerly walled city heightened the experience. Alcúdia dates back to 123 BC when it was first inhabited by the Phoenicians and Greeks, and has had a bloody history as the city has struggled to survive over the centuries. After fending off attacks from numerous groups including the Byzantines and Arabs, the Katalan Christians finally won out and conquered the city as their own. Then in the 14th century, King Jaume II had a giant stone wall built to enclose the centre. The market winds through various sections of the wall that are still standing.

I was delighted to discover that many of the stalls featured tops, pants and dresses made or styled in Italy. I bought a lovely scarf for 2 euros, pants were 10 or 20 euros and a top for 3 euros. Big-time score! Later, my sister in law I discovered many of the same goods in our market in Port de Pollenća for cheaper. But seeing the ancient ruins was well worth the “premium” prices I paid on the pants.

Streets spin off from the market every which way and one could seriously get lost so I didn’t venture too far from the centre, but plan to return to fully explore this delightful ancient town.

There are many options for a drink/food breaks all around the market.

Handmade Leather Goods

Many stalls sell leather goods (jackets, bags, belts) for bargain prices and shoe stores can be found on off-shooting streets. These Dakota boots were priced at 90 euros. But if you seriously want to find exquisitely handmade shoes, boots, jackets etc., head to the town of Selva, Spain to the leather outlet Kollflex. Family members scored some great goods there and I want to visit the Camper factory outlet, called Recamper, located in the industrial outskirts of Inca, Majorca. Another time.

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