Olive Fair in Caimari

After my trip to Girona, I am back home in Mallorca and now is the time that all the villages have their local fairs.

While many northern countries are already planning Christmas, we are still enjoying the sunshine and the autumn fairs, which are always bustling with people enjoying themselves, eating, drinking wine, dancing and demonstrating the town’s traditional trades.

As well as being the major social event of the year for the townsfolk who use the fair as an excuse to sit down with their friends whom they see everyday anyway and celebrate – that means wine for breakfast, lunch and dinner like these old boys who we saw getting into the swing of things at 10am.

wine at 10am - well it is the day of the fair!

We went to the Olive Fair in Caimari and our friends Michael and Joan came to pick us up at 0930 to drive the half hour to Caimari; a small picturesque town famous for its olive oil with a dramatic setting at the foot of the Tramontana Mountains.

Caimari Olive Fair 2012 The narrow streets were jam-packed full of stalls, people and exhibitions. There were pony rides for the kids, a sheep-herding display and the main town square had been converted into an exhibition of different trades that were once used on the island, with a big steaming mound for making charcoal, a straw wigwam that the kids enjoyed going in and out of and various other things related to the ways of yore that the old men of the village had totally taken charge of and were enjoying themselves re-living the past and demonstrating their expertise in old skills that are rarely seen these days… as well as giving themselves minor heart attacks from the effort!

Caimari Olive Fair 2012 Caimari Olive Fair 2012 Caimari Olive Fair 2012

There was a good positive atmosphere around Caimari and plenty of banter and chit chat. The stalls all had interesting wares on offer and so there was plenty for us to look at, always with the idea of unusual Christmas presents in the back of the mind.

As this was the olive fair many things were based around the olive theme: there were plenty of varieties of olives on sale of all shapes, sizes and colours; a lot of the island’s olive oil producers had turned up to present their oil; there was olive flavoured soap, olive candles and all sorts of cakes and pastries with olive flavour.

Caimari Olive Fair 2012 Caimari Olive Fair 2012 Caimari Olive Fair 2012

It’s very easy to spend money at these fairs: a tenner here and there soon accumulates, as does the number of carrier bags you end up carting round. We all had a great time and a very successful day, we bought: olive oil (of course), olives (of course), artisan cheese, three salchichones of different flavours: fig, wild boar and blue cheese, we bought all sorts of dried fruits, jam and pastries and we also enjoyed looking around a man’s exhibition so much that we have arranged to go for a visit to his workshop in Puerto Pollensa where he makes all kinds of furniture and art out of recycled materials. Maybe you’ll hear more about him and his business in a future Spotlight Sunday.

Caimari Olive Fair 2012

Something that is always on display at the olive fair in Caimari is the old olive press in the old mill.

Now there is a big impressive factory on the outskirts of the town that produces olive oil, bottles it and sells it to the mass market, but in the centre of town in an old stone room they still have the old press which is no longer used and they decorate it with olives and plants especially for the fair and there’s plenty of information about how they used to make olive oil in the old days. It is very nice to see and people can just wander in and out, read the exhibition and see the old press.

Caimari Olive Fair 2012 Caimari Olive Fair 2012

However, something that I had never seen in Caimari until this year was the old almond press. It is housed in an old stone room in the town which you would just think was an abandoned shed from the outside, but on this occasion it was open to the public and people could wander in and out and see how they used to crush the almonds.

Caimari Olive Fair 2012 Caimari Olive Fair 2012

There was a little old man sitting there ready to pull a lever whenever inquisitive eyes wanted to see the machine rumble to life, grinding and clanking, great fan belts pulling the old contraption to life. Then the man would give the visitor a handful of almonds to feed whole to the machine and watch as they came out ground at the other end. Even now, if you have your own almond trees you can gather the almonds and take them here to be ground at 5€ a sack.

Caimari Olive Fair 2012

We were very lucky with the weather as it had rained a little the night before and the forecast had been rain for the day of the fair, but for the afternoon. We went in the morning and just as we were getting back in the car to leave Caimari, the heavens opened! So there will have been those who were not quite so lucky because as we were leaving there were queues of cars going into Caimari and people who had abandoned their cars and had parked further back were streaming down the main road towards the centre.

We have it down to a tee now with the fairs because we have been to so many:

  • You have to go early in the morning so that you are able to walk through the streets and look at whatever you want without being jostled from every direction and fighting for the attention of the seller.
  • You have to park in the special “fair car park” which the local police will be waving the cars into. This is usually someone’s field that has kindly let the council use it as a car park for the fair (for a sum that one can only imagine).
  • If you park on the main road where there is a yellow line because you are panicking that there will be no space in the car park then you will get the same nasty surprise that many car owners would have got in Caimari: the police walk around and issue parking tickets to every car that is parked on a yellow line on the main road. Remember, just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t mean that it’s okay. On the other hand if you think that you will find somewhere to park closer to town after the big car park/field, you are mistaken. The police will either turn you back around and away from the centre or you will manage to go too far and get stuck.

Read more about Local Fairs

Don’t forget to enjoy my photos of the day on Flickr:

Filed Under: Caimarifairs in mallorcafeaturedLocal FairsmallorcaspainWhere I Am Right Now

About the Author: Based in Mallorca, obsessed with the world and have a lot to say about both... Step into my shoes and join me on a journey...

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  1. Teresa says:

    Me ha encantado tu crónica de la Feria de la Oliva, que espero no perderme el año próximo, y las fotos una pasada, como siempre, sobre todo por fin he podido ver esta mesa con la bicicleta tan chula!! que pasada!!
    Enhorabuena por el post 😉

    • Lisa says:

      Gracias por ser tan positiva Teresa, me alegro mucho de que te haya gustado y espero continuar de darte inspiración para visitar los sitios que a mi me encantan xx

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