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As is common with many of the other rural communities on Mallorca, the range of accommodation available around Vilafranca de Bonany is very limited,
and as far as we are aware the town doesn't as yet feature in any of the major tour operators brochures.
As a result, anyone considering a visit here must make provision to either collect a hire car from the airport, or make the journey into the town by one of the many taxis that will be waiting outside of the airport arrivals hall.
For those visitors who do prefer to make the short journey by car, in preference to a taxi ride, the main Ma-15 Carrer de Manacor does run less than 1km to the south of the town, making it quite a short journey.
On a good day an experienced driver should be able to complete the journey in around 20 to 25 minutes, however, as in the UK if you get stuck behind a lorry or tractor, this may increase the driving time substantially.
The municipality of Vilafranca de Bonany lies approximately 20km to the west of the industrial town of Manacor, on the main road from Palma, and is situated in the central Es Pla district of the island. Statistics taken from the Consell de Mallorca show that the population of the area has slowly been expanding from around 2,518 in 2002 and reaching 2,908 in 2009, although of these less than 500 are recorded as being non Spanish residents.
The community here is a very rural one and is most well known for its melons and brickworks, although it also grows an assortment of other dry-irrigation crops and has done so for thousands of years. The landscape of the area is very flat and the economy of the village is still largely derived from agriculture. As you drive through the village you will often see vegetables hanging outside some of the shops, such as aubergines, tomatoes, garlic and peppers.
The patron saint of Vilafranca de Bonany is Santa Barbara and you can see a carving of her, holding a tower in her hand, on the doors of the 18th Century church in the town. This is also the tower that is depicted on the coat of arms of the village and on the flag. Although built in the 18th Century, the church has been extensively renovated, and at some point in the last 300 or so years a square bell tower was added.
There are also several other interesting features in the village. At the village entrance is an arc shaped viguet or Arab well and the Casa de Son Pere Jaume, which is the oldest house in Vilafranca de Bonany has recently been restored and is now open to the public. Sant Marti is also one of the old estates in the area and some of the buildings were believed to have once been used as a prison.
Even in Mallorca, Vilafranca de Bonany is a little known town, although its history will tell visitors the true stories of the island and its people. Historical remains indicate that there was a settlement in the area in pre Roman times and that the population grew during the days of the Islamic rule; a fact that is proven by the number of Arabic names that are still in use in the area.
The Catalan invasion of the Island also saw the town pass into the hands of the royal jurisdiction of Villefrance and the town as we see it today started to be born, with the first church and streets being noted as appearing in 1620. Religious orders had a strong presence in the area including in the form of the Templar's and, as is the case with all of Spain the churches here have a deep and strong history. Many of the most illustrious members of the town's past are connected with the church.
This is still very much a traditional Mallorcan town with a strong rural heritage, and with no major hotel options in the area, the town is popular as a day trip option with many of the larger tour operators. Those who do wish to stay in the area would find accommodation in nearby Manacor, or alternatively at the nearby coastal resorts of Cala Bona and Calla Millor.
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