About Son Marroig
Son Marroig is a traditional Mallorcan country estate – or ‘posesió’ – in the northwest of Mallorca. It was the former residence of the Archduke Ludwig Salvator of Austria, who fell in love with the region’s stunning natural landscape.
Few are unaffected by the scenery and the landmark attracts streams of visitors throughout the year. Many pass by to feast their eyes on the breathtaking views from the vantage point, but there is also a restaurant and bar for those wanting to prolong the pleasure.
Son Marroig has been converted into a museum, which pays tribute to the adventurous Archduke. The gardens of the house make for a beautiful wedding venue; certainly the white Carrara marble pavilion set against a backdrop of deep blue sea is a perfect place to say, ‘I do’.
History & Culture
The country estate dates as far back as the early 17th century, and first belonged to Gabriel Masroig de la Foradada. The name ‘Foradada’ derives from the Catalan word ‘forat’, meaning ‘hole’. It refers to the striking rock formation jutting out of the sea below the property.
In 1863 Archduke Ludwig Salvator of Austria purchased the land for a sum which was considered exorbitant. The Archduke felt the price was worth it for the rocky enclave alone. He used it as a natural marina for his yacht, Nixe.
His other reason for purchasing was due to his desire to restore the territory which was once so important to the 13th century theologian and philosopher, Ramon Llull. The first site the Archduke bought was the neighbouring, Miramar Monastery.
The Archduke originally came to Mallorca to study beetles, though his interests spanned many subjects. His book ‘The Balearics’ is one of the most important works about the island. As a result, Son Marroig is now a shrine to the highly cultured Austrian; who was happy to labour in peasant clothes in his orchard, yet entertained guests as illustrious as Empress Sisi.
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The spectacular views are the number one draw of this landmark. Savour the panorama from the veranda windows, as you wander through the living room and dining room at Son Marroig. It will be hard to resist taking a photo of the Cararra marble pavilion too, which enjoys a privileged backdrop of mountain and sea. Hikers also love to descend to the rocky cliffs of Sa Foradada below.
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Things to do
The country estate is open to the public for an entrance fee of €4. Explore the bedroom, living room, dining salon and pretty garden. The living room is full of objects related to the Archduke’s studies. There are old notebooks, maps and drawings. On the walls are numerous paintings, including works by the Mallorcan landscape artist, Antoni Ribas Oliver. Unfortunately, there aren’t many labels explaining what exactly is on show.
If you’re left wanting to connect more deeply with the Archduke, why not follow in his footsteps with a hike from Son Marroig to Sa Foradada. A round trip takes approximately 2h 30, and for the entire duration you’ll be able to feast your eyes on breathtaking sea views. It’s not hard to understand why he fell in love with the area.
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Son Marroig doesn’t offer shopping possibilities. If you’re after a gift or souvenir, it would be best to head to the bustling town of Valldemossa. The picturesque Tramuntana town is just 7kms away and has plenty of enticing boutiques.
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Situated beside Son Marroig, and also a stone’s throw away from the car park, is Sa Foradada. Mediterranean cuisine is the focus of their menu; which includes fresh fish, rice-based dishes, salads and pasta. Their balcony takes full advantage of the captivating views.
The much-loved Sa Foradada is for the more energetic diner. The gastronomic gem is located down where the Archduke once moored his yacht. Their authentic paellas are an exquisite reward for the hour hike – just don’t forget to book ahead!
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Son Marroig provides the setting for Deià’s annual International Festival of Music.
Son Marroig is an idyllic stop for anyone looking to soak up Mallorca’s history. Alternatively, enjoy a beer on the terrace, overlooking a rock formation which has featured on maps for centuries.
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