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This charming miniature village in the north-west of the island has been linked to wine cultivation since ancient times. Grape vines flourish in the fertile red farmland surrounding the village. Today a handful of vineyards have settled near San Mateo, producing a variety of good wines. In December the village holds a wine festival, inviting hundreds of visitors to sample the island’s typical wines and cured meats, and to celebrate and dance to live music.
The village itself consists of the whitewashed church, built for the devout in the 18th century, the obligatory bars, and a handful of houses. Particularly popular with both locals and foreign residents is the restaurant Can Cires, where you can accompany delicious quiches, fresh salads and other international delights with a fine wine. Just a few kilometres from the town centre is the spectacular Cala Aubarca, a protected nature reserve with steep, impressive cliffs and a wild, archaic, untouched feel. To date, this area has been kept free from excessive development. If you don’t mind dealing with the rough descent – and in summer, the extremely sweaty climb back up again – you will enjoy a secluded beach experience in a romantic cove. The views of the sea and the uninterrupted horizon are unique.