Puerto Pollensa /Port de Pollenca is a very pretty town with a strangely Greek favour despite its Roman origins and Spanish occupants. The pleasant jumble of dilapidated buildings, narrow streets and sleepy squares sweep around the broad bay backed by magnificent hills; no wonder Pollensa means powerful in Latin as it certainly strikes a stately pose against the backdrop. Be sure to add this delightful port to your sailing holiday route.
To avoid confusion later on it is best I point out now that the Puerto Pollensa lies a few kilometres away from the old town of Pollensa. Below I am describing the port unless otherwise indicated!
There are several options for mooring within Puerto Pollensa. The two with walk ashore access are the Club Nautico and the Port Authority berths both located at the main harbour. The Port Authority area can be found by making a sharp left hand turn after the fuel pumps. As usual the Port Authority provides the cheaper alternative but it is difficult to find space and booking is nigh on impossible. If you are really keen try anchoring off and then go ashore and ask at their office. Most visitors opt for the easiest alternative which is the long visitors quay located on the outside of the north harbour run by the Club Nautico. Here there is power, water and lazy lines. As this a popular port of call it pays to get in reasonably early if you want a berth.
Next best possibility for mooring is to anchor in the bay in front of the harbour. There is plenty of room here but holding can be “soft” so as usual aim for sand and check your anchor before going ashore. Katabatic winds tend to blow during the afternoon in this area but things settle down at night. Dinghy’s can be left at the shore end of the visitor’s quay.
There is a large mooring field north of the harbour at Puerto Pollensa which can be confusing as it would appear that some are available for pick up but no one is sure which ones! If you feel you want to pick up a buoy ask around the harbour if there is one available. There have been reports in the past of threatening behaviour if you pick up a private one by accident but generally the locals here are very laid back.
Across the bay from Puerto Pollensa, near Punta del la Avanzada (Esta d’en Ros), there is an excellent anchorage that offers good protection in extremely pleasant surroundings. Sometimes there are buoys laid here in the summer as part of the Poseidon Weed protection programme. In 2013 there was a boycott (no pun intended!) of these and as a result in 2015 none were laid. You can still anchor here if the buoys are out as long as you stay clear of the mooring field and the seaplane landing area – an approximately 100m wide strip of water directly in front of the military base marked with buoys. The Old fort/castle on shore is privately owned and not open to the public.
The harbour on the northern side of the bay is a military zone and access is prohibited.
Onshore provisioning is excellent and there are all the restaurants and bars you could need. Go a couple of streets back from the main harbour and you will find a large shady placa (square) surrounded by cafes, bars and restaurants which is popular with the locals and wonderfully relaxing after the sometimes frenetic waterfront.
The seaplanes are kept in the military harbour are part of the rural fire fighting team and make for fascinating entertainment. When I was there a major forest fire kept the planes busy for four days. Even if they are not engaged fighting a real blaze they still practice several days a month. While it can be quite un-nerving to be sitting on your yacht or on a small beach only to have them roar over at mast height on a practice run, it must be even more so for the pilots as they lower the belly of the plane into the water and scoop up thousands of litres before climbing into the sky again. Cala Vall de Boca is one such bay they like to use in particular. You can walk to this lovely little cove from Puerto Pollensa (approximately 1 ½ hours walk through some lovely scenery). Here the planes seem to touch the sandy saddle before dipping down into the narrow bay and then continuing on to perform a water bombing run.
There are many walks available in Puerto Pollensa catering for all ability levels. A walk along the foreshore towards the military base provides a good opportunity for people watching and you won’t go thirsty or hungry along the way. In the hills behind there are a number or rural walks of varying distances and intensity. As I said before the walk to Cala Vall de Boca is lovely route if you have the time and inclination. I would suggest visiting the tourist office (located next to the harbour) for a map before setting off and take plenty of water as there is not much shade.
Near the port there is a long beach for those among the crew who like to feel that soft sand between their toes.
The Old town of Pollensa is a short distance away from the port and regular buses run between the two. The old town has a lovely atmosphere and a café style culture. Small enough to visit in a morning, it makes an enjoyable trip out before heading on for the day. Most of the town dates between the 16th and 18 centuries but Pont Roma (Roman Bridge) on the edge of town dates back to the 14th century. On Sundays, there is good market in the main square and at the end of July and early August there is a festival, La Patrona, depicting the battle between the Moors and the local Christians during the 16th century.