Mallorca's favourite titbit of tabloid gossip has turned the monastery in the small town of Valldemossa, on the west coast, into a tourist attraction. In 1838 Frederic Chopin arrived with his lover, George Sand, to stay in a former monk's cell in the Cartoixa Reial monastery and carry on their affair away from the eyes of Paris. The shocked locals shunned the tubercular Chopin and his lover, and the couple were so unhappy that their relationship never recovered from the wet, windy and miserable winter in the monastery. Today the cells occupied by the lovers are open to visitors. The library and old pharmacy can also be visited and there is a small art museum with works by Picasso, Miro and Juli Ramis. Valldemossa is a picturesque town; in fact, it is one of the prettiest villages in Mallorca. It is quiet and traditional, with narrow cobbled streets and a backdrop of forested hills. The 13th-century monastery is the most famous attraction of the town, but many hours can be spent happily wandering the streets and exploring the lush countryside. There are lovely cafes, restaurants, art galleries and gift shops in Valldemossa. It is not a coastal town, but the port of the same name is very close and many beaches are within easy reach.
Opening times: Cells open Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 6pm, and on Sundays from 10am to 1pm