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An administrative town by definition, Santanyi is a constituent of what is essentially a larger municipality.
The municipality itself is, rather surprisingly, not one of the smallest on the island and is of moderate size with a total land area of 124 km2.
Also set within these parameters are the towns of s’Alqueria Blanca, Calonge and Cala d’Or.
With a municipal population count of only 12,303 people, a corresponding population density of just 98 people per square km is indicative of a sparsely populated region where much of Mallorcans natural appeal remains intact.
Since much of Santanyi has been spared of the mass commercialisation that has swept across Mallorca in recent decades, the visitor might well expect the town to be rather cut off from all forms of hustle and bustle that exists elsewhere.
Much of the journey is relatively straightforward, and unlike many other airport transfers, can be completed on a single highway. This makes the 50km distance appear quite insignificant. Upon leaving the Son Sant Joan International Airport, you will simply need to take the MA-19 which will head straight into Santanyi via the towns of Llucmajor and Campos.
It might be worth noting at this point however that any further journeys to nearby towns and villages are taken along minor roads. As this can introduce confusion and uncertainty even to the calmest of drivers you are well advised to study the area in advance!
Whilst not matching the modern day vibrancy experienced elsewhere on the island, Santanyi is home to an abundance of historical remains which point to a rich and varied past. Over 150 archaeological sites in the form of talayotic caves and villages exist in and around the town and indicate the earliest of settlements by pre-historic civilisations.
Roman and Islamic conquests followed when during the later, Santanyi was known as Adia and formed part of the Manacor district. Indeed, many towns and villages still retain evidence of their Islamic past, notably Albocora, S'Almunia and Benilassar. However, it was during the Catalan conquest that Sentayi took much of its character.
The earliest mention of the town dates back to 1229, but it was only in 1300 when King Juame II issued orders to found the town and subsequently outlined how it should be built. The municipal district experienced consolidation during the 14th Century with the election of a royal mayor and a representative for the council of Mallorca.
Although the late 19th and early 20th Century saw a rapid fall in population due to disease and emigration, this trend has been reversed considerably since the onset of tourism on the island. Whilst not as significant here as in other areas, the effect has still been felt with the steady arrival of immigrants to help sustain economic growth generated around Mallorcas tourism boom.
Additional increases in population are also observed through the inclusion of foreign residents in local census counts. It is not hard to see what brings them here. The surrounding countryside is home to a wide range of attractions set amongst pleasant scenery , friendly locals and warm sunshine.
Attractions of note include the parish church of san Andres and the old town hall. Available to explore at your own leisure, both of these historic buildings contain interesting artifacts from times gone by and provide interesting insights into the history of the town. Should you wish to look a little further a field, the nearby Parc Natural de Mondrago is a natural park covering 785 hectares of Mallorcan rural countryside.
Home to a wide range of wildlife, the visitor can immerse themselves in the beauty of the landscape with a good choice of trails to follow, either by foot or bicycle. Finally, if your travelling with children, you will be sure to enjoy the clean sandy beaches that are located within the park and stretch along the remote eastern coastline.
If the idea of relaxation sounds appealing to you, then a visit to Santanyi could be the answer to what you are looking for. Tucked away in the heart of rural Mallorca, the slow pace of life here is sure to provide you with a relaxing and refreshing break from the stresses of everyday life. You are bound to be captivated in the rich and cultural heritage that Santanyi possess.
It seems that the only conquest to be unsuccessful in its pursuit is that of tourism. It is for this reason that you are still able to enjoy rural Mallorcan authenticity at its best. A pleasant and rewarding experience by any standard.
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