Sunlight flashes through the high tops of the palm trees. Water splashes and bubbles everywhere. A walk through the Jardines de Alfabia with the historic manor and surrounding gardens is full of fabulous discoveries. The estate at the foot of the Tramuntana mountains is a rare piece of paradise.
Entire colonnades are covered in dark purple by bougainvillea, while lavender, wisteria, and agapanthus compete for the most intense blue. It was the Arabs who laid out the sophisticated irrigation system in the 13th century, turning the dry mountain lot into a fertile oasis. Over time gardeners and landscape designers created one of the most beautiful parks.
An avenue of tall plane trees leads you to the entrance as if you were king or queen who comes visiting. And it weren’t for the first time. You can still catch a glimpse of the bedroom where Isabel II slept when she was on Mallorca. Follow the signs and learn about the eventful history of the mansion and its inhabitants.
Or simply get lost in the garden with its enormous variety of Mediterranean plants, fanciful shapes and colorful outfits. Stroll along the lemon, orange and olive groves and marvel at the unique perspectives of the surrounding mountains. And don’t miss the pergola with its water fountains, a cool surprise on a hot summers day.
You’ll find many places to linger, to stay around for a little while and enjoy the scenery. The perfect place to take a break is the cafeteria right behind the house. Ivy entwines slender columns and pergolas, lilies spread out on the pond as if in a Monet painting. I enjoyed the semi-shade with a piece of cake and a cup of coffee. And tried to imagine how life in the Jardines de Alfabia must have been like in the past.
The secluded gardens can be easily missed although the entrance is located right outside the tunnel to Sóller. A trip that you can make by car or bus, cycling via the Coll de Sóller or even by train. Actually, the historic railroad can drop you off at the Jardines de Alfabia. It is not a regular stop of El Tren but if you let the conductor know beforehand, the locomotive driver will stop the train just for you.