We, the students from the university Ascenso in Palma, received an exciting task: As part of our sports, media and event management studies, we were asked to find activities that would show tourists the original Mallorca and bring unique experiences to the guests of the new Bikini Island & Mountain Hotel.
We knew that olive oil had been produced on the island for many centuries and the area around Soller used to be a focal point for both production and commerce of olive oil. Thus, my group decided to visit the Finca "Ca'n Bardi" in Sóller. The owner, 69-year-old lawyer Xim Alcover and his wife Paula produce the purest olive oil in the original way that has been around for over 800 years.
Paula welcomed us in the courtyard with a glass of fresh orange juice and a stunning view of orange and olive trees. The couple owns grounds of about 25 hectares with thousands of olive trees, which are 700-1000 years old. The get harvested between mid-October and no later than mid-April. The olive trees with the gnarled, enchanting roots and the small silvery-green leaves are also much older than all almond, orange or lemon trees, which could also be found in impressive numbers on the property.
After the warm welcome, Paula showed us the entire residential complex. The tour began in a simple room where Xim was arranging the picked olives according to a specific pattern.
After the pre-selection, the olives were carried to the mill. Paula explained in detail how it works and what is essential for the production. The type of production and the utensils showed that this olive production and the production site had a long tradition. The manufacturing process and tools have not been changed since hundreds of years ago. There was one exception: Instead of using a donkey, today a generator moves the mill, which grinds the olives to a dark mass.
The oil is stored in two stone cisterns, also over 100 years old, for up to two years. Paula also showed us all the other equipment and objects which had been used by the Alcover family for centuries. In the past, even bread was made here and the family was self-sufficient for the most part.
Next to the "production plant" is the house where the couple lives. We were even granted access to their private life. The living room, the kitchen, the bedrooms - almost everything looked royal and time-honoring. Behind the walls of this manorial estate, time actually seems to have stopped - it is like a true museum. The last restoration happened in the 17th century.
You will not easily find another production where olive oil is produced in such a historic way and on such an original estate. If you want to get to see the original Mallorca off the beaten track, you should definitely not miss this tour
PS: Of course, we could not resist and bought a couple of bottles of the delicious velvety, "liquid gold" to take home with us.