Porto Cristo, MallorcaTraditional beach resort on the east coast of Majorca
This was one of the main resorts on the east coast until Cala Millor came along. With bigger and better beaches elsewhere, Porto Cristo has carved out a role as a friendly, family resort, taking advantage of a superb position at the end of a long, sheltered inlet. It's a sweet little place, with a nice beach and a lovely blue-green sea.
Porto Cristo, also written Portocristo, was a small fishing town which was given it’s name “Port of Christ” as a boat with a crucifix was washed up on the beach at the time of the Christian invasion. Once the port for Manacor, Porto Cristo was the only place in Mallorca to be caught up in the Spanish Civil War, when it was briefly captured by Republican forces in 1936. There is not much to do but swim, sunbathe and dine at the terrace restaurants which are perfectly placed to catch the lunchtime sun - but day-trippers come in droves to visit the nearby Cuevas del Drach (Dragon Caves). Other nearby family attractions include an aquarium and a safari park.
A great way to sample the eastern coastline is by boat, there are many glass bottom boat cruises that do trips between the calas such as Cala de Mallorca, Cala Millor, Cala Bona, Cala Romantica and Canyamel, all of which have stunning cliffs and rocks with beautiful clear blue seas.Where to Stay in Porto Cristo
The Insotel Cala Mandia Resort offers family friendly all inclusive deals. With a spa and beauty centre, four outdoor pools, sunbathing terrace, 3 restaurants and cafes and bars there is plenty to do here within the hotel and if that’s not enough there’s also a small water park suitable for children of all ages.Restaurants in Porto Cristo A charming cafe in the Placa del Carme, La Magrana Cafe, serves authentic, local cuisine and is a perfect spot for breakfast or lunch. The cafe is also a great place for evening tapas. Here you can sit outside on the terrace or on the square looking out to the church.
Sa Pedra restaurant overlooks the marina and is a good place for a more special night out. Prices here are on the higher side but the setting and the fresh fish make it a lovely place for a meal.Things to do in Porto Cristo One of the most popular sight seeing activities in Porto Cristo takes you under cover into the Cuevas del Drach, the Dragon Caves. Within the caves is Lake Martel, which is said to be one of the largest underground caves in the world. Each day there are classical music performances on the lake which are another great attraction if you’re thinking of taking a tour around the caves. Tickets cost €13.50 and there are tours of the cave every hour from 10am-5pm during the summer months. There are also other nearby, more modest caves, Coves del Hams, named after the Mallorquian word for ‘fishhooks’ due to the shape of the stalactites and stalagmites.
Porto Cristo is only a 20 minute drive from Mallorca’s ‘second city’ of Manacor. Not only is Manacor the birthplace of international tennis player Rafa Nadal but has an industry of creating imitation pearls. Majorica was based in Manacor until moving to Barcelona but still has a retail outlet and factory shop in Manacor.
The network of caves and beautiful coastline along the East of Mallorca makes the Skualo Adventure Sport school ideally located to try out scuba diving, snorkelling and kayaking. The scuba school gives courses from beginner through to PADI open water scuba instructor classes. The Skualo Adventure Sport school is located on the Cap Passeig d’es Toll in front of the marina.Porto Cristo is home to many unexpected animals at the Safari-Zoo Mallorca. The zoo costs €19 for adults and €12 for children and is open 9am-6.30pm in the summer and from 10am-4pm in the winter. Here you can see animals such as lions, giraffes, tigers, monkeys and various other animals.
Danish architect Jorn Utzon, the designer of the Sydney Opera House designed a holiday home, Can Lis, for him and his wife on the coast of Portopetro before building another house, Can Feliz, more inland in S’Horta, Felanitx. Visits can be arranged to Can Lis through the Utzon Foundation and are available between July to September. Utzon’s designs married the inside of the house to the nature outside and are stunning pieces of architecture, well worth a look.