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Taxi Transfer Costs:
As you would expect Capdepera and the surrounding area, doesn't as yet feature in any of the major tour operators brochures,
and since public transport from the Son Sant Joan airport just isn't really a practical option, anyone considering a holiday
here must make provision to either collect a hire car from the airport, or make the transfer into the town by one of the many
taxis that will be waiting outside the arrivals hall.
For those visitors who do prefer to make the short journey by car, in preference to a taxi transfer, once you have adjusted to driving "on the wrong" side of the road, the main Ma-15 road will take you almost all of the way from the airport to the town, and on a good day an experienced driver should be able to complete the journey in around 60 minutes, however, as in the UK if you get stuck behind a lorry or tractor, this may increase the driving time substantially.
The historic town of Capdepera itself lies approximately 3km inland of the large coastal resort of Cala Ratjada, and the inhabitants of the town are known locally in the Majorcan dialect as "Gabelli" for men and "Gabellina" for women.
The town itself is rich in history. After the Christian conquest of the island overthrew Arabic rule, Capdepera was identified as the best spot for heavy fortifications to protect the island’s east coast from marauding pirates, and in 1300 King Jaume II ordered the construction of a fortified village on high land that was occupied by a Muslim farmhouse.
The fortifications were designed to control the uninhabited land below and the all important maritime routes to neighboring island of Menorca. The reign of King Sancho saw a bustling community begin to establish itself within the castle walls and by 1386 the huge walls of the castle were completed.
Four new towers were later built to further protect the village from attack and the castle became one of the most important fortifications on the island. One local legend tells of the citizens of Capdepera hiding in the castle when under siege and, fearing imminent capture, placing an image of Our Lady of Hope on the castle’s battlements. After this a thick fog descended and the invaders were unable to attack and were eventually driven away.
For centuries the town survived behind its walls, well protected from the pirates and other potential foes. However, as the danger of such attacks disappeared so did the need to live behind such heavy fortifications and residents of the walled town began to relocate themselves at the bottom of the steep hill on which the castle is perched. They used the stones from their former houses inside the castle walls to build themselves new houses outside the fortifications. This process eventually led to the development of modern day Capdepera.
Nearby Cala Ratjada actually developed as the fishing and trading port of Capdepera and is now the main population centre of the municipality. The town’s name literally translates as ‘The Bay of Rays’, and it has developed from a little fishing village to a tourist resort, although it largely caters for the Germans rather than the British, so while you will be unlikely to be offered a Great British breakfast, there will be plenty of cafes advertising "Fruhstucke"!
The resort of Cala Ratjada has a good beach, although at times it can become rather crowded and perhaps the main attraction for the independent traveller is that a ferry service operates from there to the lovely neighbouring island of Menorca.
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