Not a traditional stop on the tourist trail due to its somewhat industrial appearance and distance from both the coast and mountains, Manacor is however not to be overlooked entirely, it is home to a beautiful old town area, several churches and watch towers of architectural interest, Mallorcan history museum, Mallorcan pearl exhibition factories and is also well known for its olive wood and furniture manufacturing.
Easy to get to from the south Manacor is an hours bus (€6.70) or train (€4.30) ride from Palmas Placa d’Espanya, both buses and trains run hourly but stop rather early in the evening so check return times before you head off. If you’re driving then just get onto the Ma15 from Palma – Arta and Manacor is well signposted along the way. If you’re visiting from the north then public transport is a little trickier, your best bet is to get the bus to Inca and catch the train from there.
Before you reach the town you will pass two famous Mallorcan pearl manufacturers Majorica and Orquidea, their large exhibition factories both offer guided tours of the production process and have large shops located on site, if you are on public transport however it is easier to visit their secondary shops, both are located in the town centre.
If you do visit the pearl shops then be sure to look out for the large ceramics shop located on the same road. A bright blue shop front decorated with all manner of ceramic objects the shop is hard to miss, and hides a world of curiosities inside. Aside from every ceramic kitchen, home and souvenir item you could ever want this shop is also a purveyor of Mallorcan spirits and has no less than 30 strange and potent alcohols for sale, all of which you can try tasters of for free. Just collect a tasting glass from the shelf and work your way around the room sampling apricot brandy, blackberry schnapps, banana, coconut, violet and peach liquors and many others including Tunel de Mallorca the green herbal alcohol traditional to Mallorca.
Don’t be put off by the main towns urban-decay vibe, if you follow the signs to the town centre you will be led through tree lined avenues into the old town of Manacor, not very large but beautifully made up of narrow winding streets of old houses with decorative balconies, some of which can rival the beauty of Alcudia and Pollenca’s old towns, especially in the main square of Placa del General Weyler where you can sit at one of a number of pavement cafes in the shade of the large and beautiful 19th century church Englesia de Nostra Senyora Verge dels Dolores whose dramatic bell tower stands tall above the rest of Manacor and is a handy orientation point as you wander the streets.
Dotted around the old town area are several other architectural spot of interest such as the old watch towers, once a part of the cities defences and now turned into all manner of other buildings including most noticeably the Torre de ses Puntes which is now a gallery for contemporary art.
Also worth a visit is the Manacor History Museum located just out of town in a 14th century house, take time to find the Englesia de Sant Vincenc Ferrer whose 18th century cloisters are a truly beautiful and peaceful place to spend some time and if you fancy it no visit to Manacor would be complete without a visit to the Moli de Fraret, Manacor’s windmill museum.
Start your day at the tourist information centre (open 9-2 mon-fri) where you can pick up a map of all the sights of interest as well as information about each point. Be wary of the blue signs dotted around the old town pointing you to various sights as they seem to take the truth with a pinch of salt and you’re better off wandering with your own map and no time constraints.
For a town with no real tourist reputation you could easily fill a pleasant day in Manacor with interesting cultural sights and stops or just whiling away your time in pearl shops and pavement cafes, visit on Mondays and Saturdays to take advantage of the craft and produce markets in the town, or enrol in one of the many tennis academies that offer to turn you into the next Nadal!
- Tours / Excursions