Fancy combining a hairpin mountain drive with some of the most succulent slow roast lamb? Then head to the rustic Es Verger restaurant, home to UK chef Rick Stein’s favourite lamb.
This is an adventure of a day out and one popular with the locals and intrepid travellers alike. The first challenge is locating the road up the hill side, although google maps has now made that a whole lot easier. Head towards the ancient and pretty old town of Alaro, which is located off the main Palma – Inca – Pollenca road. The town itself is worth a visit and a coffee in the main square is always a pleasant diversion. Once you reach Alaro, head east and follow the signs for Alaro Castle (Castillo) which sits beyond Es Verger. Don’t make this journey in a prized car as you are greeted by a potholed single tracked road that winds up the hillside. There are amazing views all the way and at the top there is fortunately a large sized car park to leave the car.
For those who don’t fancy the single tracked, hair pinned road, it may be best to work up an appetite and walk up the hillside to the restaurant (1 and half hours walk).
Once there, you can saviour the rustic atmosphere that seems unchanged since it opened. It’s a unique and quirky place with deer heads, agricultural artifacts and budgerigar cages smattered along the old barn walls. This is not a curated interior design look, but merely what the owners have fancied showcasing. Sit in the main barn area along with the vast ancient wood fired ovens used to slow roast the lamb, enjoy the cooking aromas and the bustling atmosphere. You could be seated amongst walkers, local businessmen popping snails or the great grandma of the establishment shelling peas at a table.
The lamb is super fresh, reared on the surrounding land. Make sure you have the slow roasted shoulder of lamb to truly experience the Es Verger food.
This isn’t really an ideal spot for vegetarians, although if you prefer seafood, the giant prawns are delicious, well priced and worth a try. If meat’s not your thing, it may be worth just opting for the delicious traditional Mallorcan homemade almond cake.
To work up an appetite or to work off some of the calories, head further up the mountainside to Alaro castle which sits perched on top. It is a bit of a climb, so even if you make it part way up you can enjoy walking through olive groves and looking down for miles around. The route starts off as a rough wide track and then turns into more of a defined path. If you reach the castle there are 360 degree views to reward your efforts.
A trip to Es Verger and Alaro Castle makes for a memorable day out, with sweeping views, delicious authentic local food and a challenging drive – something you will all be talking about for long after the holiday.
For more information on the local area and places to stay in the North West Mallorca /Tramuntana Mountains and for free advice and a free hotel booking service (ABTA bonded), email us via our contact page or call us and speak directly to a travel adviser on 0800170 1020 or + 44 (0) 207 118 1020. Alternatively you can browse all our places to stay in North West Mallorca here.
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