07170 Valldemossa, Balearic Islands, Spain
ValldemossaLess than a half-hour north of Palma by car and just a little inland from the coast, Valldemossa is best known thanks to two visitors who spent several months here almost two centuries ago. The composer Frédéric Chopin and the writer George Sand lived in the Charterhouse of the Carthusian Monastery (easily spotted with its distinctive turquoise tower) from roughly November 1838 to February 1839. It was a period in their lives that Sand captured in her novel A Winter in Majorca, and which is covered by the museum in the Charterhouse. (It is also home to an important art collection that includes several works by Miró.) While the locals of 1838 were shocked by the unmarried couple, today the fewer than 2,000 residents welcome visitors who come to wander the town's narrow streets lined with houses of golden stone (many now converted to small inns, restaurants, and boutiques). Others come to see the site where Santa Catalina, the patron saint of Mallorca, was born in 1531.