Alcudia (Old Town)
The ancient town of Alcudia, not to be confused with the popular modern resort two miles (3km) to its south, has a fascinating and turbulent history. The Phoenicians and Greeks settled here and the Romans made it their capital in the 2nd century BC. Destroyed by the Vandals in the 6th century it was rebuilt again by the Moors before being liberated by King Jaime I of Spain in the early 1200s. The Spanish sensibly fortified the city, and its massive city walls date from this era. Today, visitors still enter the narrow streets of the old town through one of the two gates, which are guarded by large towers. Strolling along the ancient walls is a good way to explore the town. There are lots of little cafes and a great market twice a week, on Sundays and Tuesdays, which brings the old town to life and attracts big crowds. The market is the perfect place to go souvenir shopping in the area. On other days, when there is no market, Alcudia is quiet and sleepy, which some travellers prefer. Near the town, at Polentia, there is a well preserved Roman amphitheatre and the Orator de Santa Anna, one of Mallorca's oldest churches. There are a couple of boutique hotels in Alcudia for those who want to spend some time in the charming medieval town.