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Mallorca days out

Sa Bassa Blanca Museum

I'm afraid museum is a word that simply doesn't do justice to this wonderful place near Alcudia that is an eclectic mix of art old and new, architecture, sculpture, botany and wildlife. The Museo Sa Bassa Blanca (MSBB) is situated in a protected natural area about 8 minutes by car from Alcudia and is a perfect morning or afternoon out from the rigours of the beach or pool is you're staying in the area in summer, or as a break from cycling or hiking in the low season.

The building itself is a splendid example of Spanish/Moorish style, designed by an Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy who had never worked in Europe before. He incorporated many features of Arabic architecture in the design; crenellated walls, vaults, domes, a central courtyard with fountains and wooden lattice shutters at the windows brought from Morocco and Andalusia.

Inside, as our slideshow illustrates, you'll find spacious galleries with cool modern art, or in another with over 150 portraits of children from the 16th to 19th centuries. Outside, giant sculptures of animals and stone circles can be found in the large gardens, as well as over 100 varieties of old and English roses.

A visit to MSBB's observatory is a must, though you'll need good shoes for the uphill hike to the stark stone building overlooking the bay. There, a camera obscura projects an inverted image of Alcudia bay and the islet of Alcanada are projected onto a white concave wall.

The opening times and admission charges vary from day to day and depend on how much of the museum you wish to visit. All the info is on the MSBB website as well as directions how to get there. I'll certainly be visiting on my next trip up north, how about you?