Ses Païsses

Top choice in Northeastern Mallorca

Just beyond Artà proper lies the remains of a 3000-year-old Bronze Age settlement, the largest and most important Talayotic site on the island's eastern flank. The site's looming stone gateway, composed of rough, 8-tonne slabs, is an impressive transition into the mystery-shrouded world of prehistoric Mallorca. You can traverse the tree-shaded site in under 30 minutes, but may appreciate a longer visit. From the large roundabout east of Artà's tourist office, follow the signs towards Ses Païsses.

We know little about the inhabitants' social or religious lives, but security was clearly an issue: they lived behind a double ring of stone walls, built between 650 BCE and 540 BCE. Within them, small stone houses were built in a circular pattern around a central atalaia (watchtower). This was a centre of some size – the walls' perimeter extends 320m – but was abandoned after the Romans arrived in 123 BCE.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northeastern Mallorca attractions

1. Museu Regional d'Artà

0.63 MILES

This little museum opens a window on Artà's fascinating past. There's a natural history section, and another tracing the development of the city through…

2. Transfiguració del Senyor

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This church, built atop the foundations of a Moorish mosque, was begun soon after the Christian reconquest, although the restored facade dates to the 16th…

3. Santuari de Sant Salvador

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Rising high and mighty above Artà, this walled fortress was built atop an earlier Moorish enclave and encloses a small church. The 4000-sq-metre complex,…

4. Torre de Canyamel

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Just 3km inland from Canyamel and signposted off the main coast road, the striking Torre de Canyamel – a 23m-high, restored 13th-century defensive tower…

5. Mirador de la Ermita de Betlem

3.77 MILES

Breathtaking viewpoint (not just for exhausted cyclists) high up on the way to the Ermita de Betlem, with glorious views of the Badia d'Alcúdia and Cap…

6. Ermita de Betlem

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7. Ermita de Betlem

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8. La Antigua Farmacia Melis Cursach

4.25 MILES

The former home and workplace of Antònia Melis Cursach, bequeathed to the city on her death, is now a museum, preserved to look just as an 18th-century…