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Arta, Mallorca

Attractive rural town in the north-east of Mallorca

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Arta, Mallorca

Artà is a prosperous little town near the north-east coast of Mallorca that gets particularly lively each Tuesday, which is market day.

Situated in a valley in the centre of the Llevant region, Artà is surrounded by mountains and beautiful countryside, as well as very close to the coast. This ancient town has a beautiful fortress and a small church. Having stayed relatively untouched by mass tourism, Artà is a great destination to discover the authentic rural Mallorca.

History & Culture in Arta

The origins of Artá are lost in time, but many prehistoric remains have been found around the village, as well as traces of Roman and Moorish domination. Artás fortress was built during Muslim reign, when the peninsula was called Yartan.

The town started to grow along the base of the small hill after the Catalan conquest, always keeping a safe distance from the sea, where pirates roamed ready to plunder coastal towns. Fairly untouched by the large tourist development of the 1970's, Artá is an authentic rural Mallorcan town.

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Also see: History of Mallorca, Majorca

Sights & Attractions in Arta

The town of Artà is dominated by a hill on which the Sanctuary of San Salvador sits, giving the visitor wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. It also has a small museum, housed inside Sa Nostra bank, which exhibits archaeological discoveries from Greek and Roman periods and a collection of stuffed and preserved local birds.

Just outside town is the Bronze Age settlement of Ses Païsses, a must-visit if you're in the area. To the north of Artà there is the Llevant Natural Park, a wild, hilly area with a dramatic coastline. Inside stands the Ermita de Betlem, founded by monks in 1805.

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Also see: Attractions in Mallorca, Majorca

Beaches in Arta

The nearest beaches are by the resort of Cala Ratjada around 15 minutes away by car and 20 minutes on public bus services.

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Also see: Beaches in Mallorca, Majorca

Events in Arta

Artà's big festival, Sant Antoni, dates back to 1581 and features dancers with cardboard horses strapped to their hips. It takes place on the 16th and 17th January. Sant Antoni de Padua is a smaller festival on the 13th June where children perform traditional dances. The patron saint of Arta is Sant Salvador and festivities in his honour take place during the first week of August.

The town also celebrates an autumnal fair is held on the second Sunday of September. This is a traditional agricultural fair with markets, children's activities and other events. The market in Artà is held on Tuesday mornings on Plaça Conqueridor.

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Also see: Main Events in Mallorca, Majorca

Things to Do in Arta

Artà is just a nice village to wander around, with a mix of tree-lined avenues and small winding alleys. There are some artisan shops selling traditional ceramics and textiles, along with Llatra, traditional products made by braiding palm leaves (baskets and bags are particularly popular in this craft).

Active visitors should head to the Llevant Natural Park, which offers plenty of opportunities for hikers and bikers to explore. Both tennis and golf fans are catered for within the locality, and you can also go sailing at nearby Colonia Sant Pere, where there are also horse riding facilities.

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Also see: Sports & Activities in Mallorca, Majorca

Dining in Arta

There is a good selection of small restaurants in Artá serving traditional Mallorcan cuisine.

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Also see: Where to Eat in Mallorca, Majorca

Hotels in Arta

There are a couple of nice hotels within Arta itself, while in the surrounding area you will find some nice small finca hotels ideal for enjoying the peace and quiet.

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