Sights & Attractions in Arta
Sights inside the town of Artà
The town of Artà is dominated by Calvary Hill on which the Sanctuary of San Salvador sits, giving its visitors some insight into the town's past as well as wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. It can be reached either by a windy road from the town or via steps from outside the Transfiguració del Senyor, the parish church of Arta. The Sanctuary of San Salvador is home to a multi-coloured, carved, wooden statue of the Virgin Mary which is rumoured to have been brought to the island by Jaume I during the medieval conquest of Mallorca. Surrounding the sanctuary, you'll find the remains of a one-metre-thick fortress wall with nine towers, including the main tower of Sant Miquel.
Arta also has a small museum, the Regional Museum of Arta which can be found at Plaça de Espanya inside Sa Nostra bank. It exhibits archaeological discoveries from as far back as the Roman period, along with a collection of stuffed and preserved local birds.
Ses Païsses Talaiotic settlement
Just outside of town resides the Bronze Age Talaiotic settlement of Ses Païsses, a must-visit if you're in the area as it's one of the most important and best-preserved prehistoric sites in the Balearic Islands. Its origins are thought to date back to 900-800 BC. Most notable is the massive entrance portal, formed from three stone slabs weighing up to eight tonnes each. Inside there are several rooms and an 'atalaia' (watchtower) while the entire settlement is surrounded by a Cyclopean drystone wall.
Sights in Llevant Natural Park
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, complete with a solar clock, a rose window and an ancient water mill. It’s a steep climb to reach the chapel but you are rewarded with wonderful views and a little taster of what life was like for these monks. This landmark is particularly popular with cyclists and hikers.
The Caves d'Arta are one of the biggest tourist attractions on the northeastern coastline. These thousands-year-old caves are a spectacular sight with various natural rooms created and adorned with countless stalactites and stalagmites of imaginative shapes. Guided tours are available every half an hour from 10:00 throughout the year and last around 45 minutes.
Also see: Attractions in Mallorca, Majorca