Artà is a small town and the administrative seat of the municipality in the region (Comarca) of Llevant.
It is a historic place mainly for its fortified castle, who served as a fortress for constant attacks during the middle age, and it is also known for its caves.
Capdepera is a small municipality and a historical village just 8 km from Artà. Originally there had been a watchtower where the Castle of Capdepera stands today which was used to guard the coast. In 1300 James II of Aragon ordered the construction of a fortified village which would control the uninhabited land below and the maritime routes with Majorca.
For centuries the town survived behind its walls protected from pirate attacks. As the danger of such attacks disappeared residents of the walled town started to relocate themselves at the bottom of the 162m hill which led to the development of modern-day Capdepera.
The better known town of nearby Cala Ratjada actually developed as the fishing and trading port of Capdepera and to this day operates a ferry service with neighbouring Minorca.
Manacor has one of the busiest street markets on the island, held every Monday morning. Manacor is famous for furniture manufacture, artificial pearls and for being the birth place of the tennis player Rafael Nadal.
Though in no way a primary tourist destination in Mallorca, Porto Cristo promotes itself as a quiet resort and tries to encourage foreign visitors, the main tourist attractions are two sets of caves, the larger Coves del Drach and the Coves dels Hams.
To improve the traffic flow in the main tourist season a by pass road around Porto Cristo has now been opened. This new road connects the PMV 4023 to the MA 4020 and MA 4014.
Porto Cristo remains a modern but unspoilt all year round location.
The name Porto Cristo means “The Port of Christ” given to it back in 1260 AD at the time of the Christian invasion of Mallorca, A fishing boat was found washed up on the beach containing a Crucifix . Legend has is that an Oxen was carrying an icon of God through the Town and the Oxen stopped and refused to walk anymore. Hence the people saw this as a sign and the name was derived from that belief it was a clear sign that Christ wanted to be here.
What sets Porto Cristo apart from most of the Mallorca resorts is that its income is not solely dependant on Tourism, Porto Cristo still maintains its Spanish fishing village features. Its larger Municipal Manacor is the centre of the pearl manufacturing industry on Mallorca.
Porto Cristo Harbour is a natural Harbour which still homes the small fishing boats and gives shelter from any storms, The addition in recent years of the New Marina now homes the high end pleasure boats. The mix of the new and the old has been done tastefully as the Porto Cristo method is of ensuring it retains its Heritage.
Porto Cristo is a quiet town perfect for a stroll along the main front or a romantic meal overlooking the breathtaking ocean . Crime is rare in Porto Cristo and it has a very active police presence ensuring it retains its reputation as a safe place to Holiday or visit on the island.
Cala Millor consists of a small bay in the municipalities of Son Servera and Sant Llorenç des Cardassar.
With 5,665 inhabitants, it is the largest tourist development on the east coast of the island. The area is within an hour’s drive of the capital Palma de Mallorca. Cala Millor (which means “Better Bay”) is also situated close to the tourist resorts of Sa Coma and Cala Bona(“Good Bay”).
The island’s main airport, Palma de Mallorca Airport, on the east side of Palma de Mallorca, is 70 kilometers south of Cala Millor.
The first tourist accommodation, the Hotel Eureka was built in 1933. At present the town has 61 hotels and about 65 self-catering apartments.
The beach at Cala Millor is 1.8 kilometres long. On average it has got an amplitude of 30m to 35m.
Sa Coma is close to the towns of Cala Millor and Cala Bona in the municipality of Sant Llorenç des Cardassar. To the south it merges with the small town of S’illot.
The principal industry is tourism, based around its golden sandy beach, and a variety of bars and restaurants. Spanish, Germans and British visitors are catered for, and the resort has a relaxed atmosphere in contrast to the lively resort of Magaluf on the west coast of the island. Sa Coma is more family oriented, and evening entertainment centres on hotels, rather than in bars or clubs.
Some of the shops in Sa Coma also cater for tourists, with many products in the supermarkets being imported from tourists’ home countries. In addition to the duty-free and sport shops, there are ‘Perfumerías’ (perfume shops) and an Eroski hypermarket within Sa Coma town.
Sa Coma has some of the best hotels and Bars and Pubs and beautiful beaches.
As Coma caters for touring Rugby Union teams (15 aside) throughout the year.
Famous residents include the Earl of Hounslow Ben Dunsby.
S’illot is a small tourist town, divided between the council areas of Manacor and Sant Llorenç des Cardassar. “Illot” is Catalan for “islet”, and the name is derived from a small island in front of the resort. At the entrance to the village there is prehistoric settlement that is well preserved.
The town is reached from Palma and the airport by using the Autovia MA-15. Tourism is its primary economic activity, although there is still a very small working boatyard, with working fishing boats. It is near the larger town of Porto Cristo, and other tourist resorts such as Sa Coma which seamlessly joins it to the north and Cala Millor. The resort works well for young, old, singles, couples and families.
The town which has many Mallorcan people living there as well as many hotels is mostly flat and easy to walk around. There are a number of bus services which run through the town and mostly go to local places along the coast but also go as far afield as Inca. Cars, motorcycles, electric scooters, cycles and other forms of transportation can be hired. There is ample free parking. There is also a Dive shop where diving gear can be hired.
The town has a small crazy golf course and a tennis court. Also a bowls area (bring your own balls). It has a beach which is of fair size and there is another beach in Sa Coma about ten minutes walk away. There is also a headland of craggy rock sticking out into the sea. Some people fish from various places in the sea and river and at times like when it rains, a school of slim fish about a foot long can be seen.
It has a wide selection of small shops, with tourist souvenirs, clothes, nick-knacks and such as well as many mini-marts, most of which are Spar stores, many of which are open on Sundays. There is a small Eroski store called “aprop” which is cheaper as well as a large Eroski hypermarket at the other end of Sa Coma, about 15 minutes walk away. There is a pharmacy and a number of doctor’s clinics near the beach. There is also a tourist office (open 9-3, Mon to Sat) at Carrer dels Sipions and Carrer Del Tamarell, close by “aprop”. Not many places to change money though so best to change it at the airport. There are ATM’s.
There are many eating places and some bars. The liveliest nightspot in the town is Pub Sauba, the Crazy Monkey which opens till 6am and the karaoke bar Olympic nearby. It is a very quite place where most of the entertainment takes place in the hotels or small bars and restaurants. Some hotels have wifi.
The one downside to the town is that there seems to be a fair amount of litter in the streets, though there are ample litter bins, and some bits of dog poop on the pavements which is left there to decompose.
The main season is beginning of May till end of October. Things are very quiet outside of that.
Tip: Visit the Manacor market on Monday morning. It is an easy 15 minute drive away and it is a huge market (as big as the Inca market) in the centre of town, radiating from the church, whose spire you can see when approaching town, down to the Mercadona store. Manacor also has a Lidl.
Monuments and places of interest:
Central part of the Talaiotic village settlement of S’Illot
Within the current town there are the remains of the Talaiotic village of S’illot, dated to around 1100 BC. The site reflects the Talaiotic cultureof the Balearic islands between the late 2nd millennium BC and the Punic Wars in the late 1st millennium BC. The inhabitants of the settlement mainly practiced agriculture.
Of great importance were hunting and the breeding of pigs and sheep. At the village’s centre was a square talaiot (a megalithic structure of uncertain purpose) surrounded by 35 houses, which in turn were surrounded by the defensive wall of the town.
In 123 BC the settlement was abandoned as a result of Roman colonization of the island. The remains of a settlement built of many, many stones from tiny to large can still be seen. It is well documented with a series of viewing platforms and diagrams and is unfortunately largely overlooked, not being sign posted.
Son Servera was founded in 1300 by James I of Aragon, in the lands of the Servera family, It was first documented in 1354 with the name of Benicanella, which would later become two towns: Son Fra Garí and Ca l’Hereu which would then become Son Servera. In 1814, king Ferdinand VII puts Son Servera municipality in Arta.
In 1920, the population was struck by plague, but in 1934 the population reached 1,000 inhabitants and returned to the status of municipality.
With more than 10,000 inhabitants, Son Servera contains Cala Millor, a popular summer tourist area, with a large German community. Costa de los Pinos is a summer destination for Spanish high society.
San Joan is the patron saint of the town and is celebrated on June 24 with a fiesta. The fiesta runs for a week with a local fair, farmers market, agricultural stalls, and the local dancers perform traditional mallorquine dance of Ball de bot.