Departing from Palma, you will drive inland to the sleepy town that was the birthplace of Mallorca's most famous son, Miguel Serra. Born in 1713 he later became a priest and after working as a missionary in Mexico, was sent to California where the missions he established eventually grew into some of California's largest cities including San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
After entering the Franciscan friary at age 16, he took the name Fray Junipero Serra and was soon known as a bright, articulate scholar, but he did not remain in the academic life as the call for Franciscan missionaries to the New World beckoned him.
He landed in New Spain (Mexico) where he remained for nine years, preaching to the Indians and strengthening the two missions already established in the wilderness area beyond the urban areas such as Mexico City. He then went on to coastal villages and mining camps, preaching retreats and administering the sacraments.
In 1767 the King of Spain banished the Jesuit Society from New Spain. Junipero Serra was assigned the new Superior of Baja California, where thirteen Jesuit missions had been left abandoned. From here, he moved into Alta California, (now the state of California), and was later appointed padre president of California.
On orders from the Spanish king to occupy additional territory, he joined expeditions that reached the current day location of San Diego in 1769. Over the next fifteen years, he established nine of his 21 missions, each a one-day walk apart (about 30 miles), and linked by a dirt road called El Camino Real.
Fray Juniper Serra died at the mission in Carmel in 1784. Today, he is known as the "Apostle of California" and his birthday is a public holiday in California. There are museums in San Diego and San Francisco named after him and he is a candidate for canonization.
Upon arrival in Petra, you will visit the small museum of Fray Juniper Serra. A stop will also be made at the small house where he lived. Guests can still see items from his time here.
Next, visit a local wine cellar and bodega founded in 1912, Miquel Oliver. Here, you will have a quick look around the cellar, and have a chance to taste two of their wines. There will also be the opportunity to purchase wine if you wish.
After that, you will drive up to the Hill of Bonany, where you find one of the most beautiful oratories on the island: the Ermita de Bonany, where Fray Serra preached his last sermon before departing for New Spain. On a clear day, the views from the terrace allow you to see across the plains below to the mountains in the distance. The monastery on the site has just a chapel, a shop selling religious trinkets and a few simple rooms.
To top off the day, lunch will be taken at Embutidos Matas, whose homemade sobrassada (pork sausages) carry patents. Lunch will include some of the famous sweet and spicy sobrassada and botifarrones sausages, camiot (spiced pork coldcut), homemade Mallorcan bread, and ensaimada, the traditional sweet bread of the island. Drinks included are water, local wine, and a chupito (small shot of liquor) to finish off the meal.
From here, you will drive back to the cruise pier.
Reviewer: A F
Mallorca is a must visit place. It is so unique and beautiful. Our tour guide was from Britian who is so knowledgeable about this island and answered all interesting questions from us.