Santa Ponsa, also known as Santa Ponça, is a holiday resort situated in a beautiful sheltered cove in the south-west of Mallorca. Popular with the British for more than 40 years, it’s surprising that it has managed to avoid the high rises found in some of the resorts around Mallorca’s coastline. The bay boasts a stunning mountain backdrop with more tastefully constructed villas and apartment complexes littering the area.
Its large blue flag beach is the main attraction here, a wide, long stretch of silky soft white sand lined by a lively promenade. Santa Ponsa is a family-friendly resort but welcomes a whole host of age groups due to being well equipped with restaurants, bars, shops and all sorts of activities for holidaymakers. Over the years, expats have been drawn to the area which means that, unlike many other resorts on the island, you will find some of the restaurants and bars stay open all 12 months of the year.
The town has its very own private marina, Club Nautico Santa Ponsa sitting within a natural cove known as “Sa Caleta” which houses boats up to 20 metres long. Just up the road, you will find the more energetic and prestigious Port Adriano marina which accommodates the super yachts of the rich and famous and is renowned for its jam-packed calendar of events throughout the summer months.
History & Culture in Santa Ponsa
Santa Ponsa may look like just another beach resort but it does have a permanent place in Mallorcan history. The name actually comes from a Roman villa called Sancta Pontia. And it was here that Jaume I landed in 1229 to begin his conquest of Mallorca. Sa Caleta, the cove where he landed, is now home to Santa Ponsa Marina and has been marked with a large stone cross since 1929 in memory of this historical event. The festival Rei en Jaume takes place annually at the end of August, beginning of September to commemorate this landing. Tourism hit Santa Ponsa in the early 1960s, as the area fully embraced package holidays, and now very little remains of the original village.
Beaches in Santa Ponsa
Santa Ponsa Beach is more than 500 metres wide, relatively deep and boasts ‘Blue Flag’ status. There are sunbeds and parasols to rent, public toilets and showers so you can make the most of enjoying a day on the beach. If in need of a break from lounging around in the Mediterranean sunshine, you can try out some of the watersports available on the beach. This beach is backed by a promenade which has a selection of bars, cafes and souvenir shops. There’s also another small beach within the cove called Caló d’en Pallisser if you fancy a change of scenery or want to hang out with the locals who tend to prefer this beach as it is usually less crowded.
Events in Santa Ponsa
The main event in Santa Ponsa is the Festes del Rei en Jaume, a celebration in reference to the aforementioned King Jaume I conquest in 1229. It is held at the beginning of September and the star attraction is the mock battle between the 'Moors' and the 'Christians', generally held on Saturday.
Things to Do in Santa Ponsa
With two marinas close by, boat trips are very popular in Santa Ponsa. From snorkelling trips through to glass bottom boats, dolphin watching, and trips over to the nature reserve island of Sa Dragonera, there’s certainly something to suit everyone.
There are a few yacht charter companies to choose from, with both sailing and motor yachts of various sizes on the menu. These can be charters for varying lengths of time, from a half day through to weeks or even months. Be sure to check out Club Nautico Santa Ponsa and Port Adriano up the road to find the boat you desire.
There are a whole lot of watersports you can try here. It’s easy to find family-friendly activities like pedaloes, kayaking, SUP paddle boarding around the beaches and marinas. Thrill seekers will be pleased to know jet skiing is available in Santa Ponsa and Port Adriano.
Whether you are a beginner diver or learning to be an instructor, ZOEA Scuba Diving Centre in Club Nautico Marina will provide a trip to suit your individual ability. There are more than 30 diving sites available off the coast of Mallorca, including marine reserves, caves and sunken ships.
Golf enthusiasts are spoilt for choice if staying in this area on the island as there are several golf courses in the vicinity. Golf Santa Ponsa is located within the resort and has played host to the PGA European Tour six times. It is a long course of 6,543m with 18 holes (Par 72). The 10th hole (Par 5) is one of the longest in Europe with 590 meters.
Tennis enthusiasts can pop down to Santa Ponsa Tennis Club where there are both clay and grass courts available to rent. There’s also an academy if you fancy improving your tennis skills whilst holidaying on the island.
The most popular theme park in Santa Ponsa is Jungle Parc, an outdoor adventure playground aimed at both adults and children who love an adventure. It’s a high-rope course up in the trees, where adventurers climb from tree to tree along bridges, ropes, vines and lots of zip wires. There are a variety of circuits available, some are tailored for adults and others for young children.
Down the road, in the neighbouring resort of Magaluf, you will find Western Waterpark which caters for people of all ages with wave pools, outdoor rapids and slides for the adrenaline junkies. At the other end of the spectrum, there’s a baby pool with slides for the tiny tots.
There are plenty of convenience stores found within the resort alongside the typical holiday resort souvenir and beach shops selling local ceramics, inflatables, towels and sun cream. There is a small market held in Santa Ponsa on Saturday mornings on Avenida Riu Sill but the closest big market is held just down the road in Andratx every Wednesday. It’s well worth the visit. If you don’t have your own car you can get a bus or a taxi there.
Dining in Santa Ponsa
There’s a good mix of international restaurants distributed around the resort of Santa Ponsa. Head down to Restaurante Las Olas for spectacular views of the bay and the freshest seafood. Restaurante Grill Manolo's claims to serve the best paella in town and has a loyal following. For a special occasion, 7 Fuegos, located in the prestigious Club Nautico in Santa Ponsa Marina, is the place to go for creative Mediterranean cuisine in a sophisticated setting with spectacular sea views. If meat is more your thing, then Bistro Steakhouse 800º Celsius might be up your street. There are also lots of Italian eateries here. For a refined restaurant experience, head down to Parco Verde Restaurant or, for a casual vibe, try Pizzeria Gusto DiVino.
Nightlife in Santa Ponsa
Santa Ponsa has a good variety of pubs and live music bars. As the sun goes down, the main strip, Ramon de Montcada, lights up. It’s the liveliest area in the resort, home to many of the late night bars. For some late-night fun on the dance floor, then Manhattan's is popular for its feel-good music and atmosphere. If a live music bar is what you are after, then McTavishes is sure to deliver.
Villas in Santa Ponsa
Families and large groups will find some lovely villas that offer more characterful accommodation with plenty of space for a more private holiday. These are located in the areas surrounding Santa Ponsa, especially towards Port d'Andratx and Costa d'en Blanes.
Apartments in Santa Ponsa
Holiday Park Aparthotel is a unique Spanish-style holiday resort perfect for families with young children. The accommodation is formed of self-catering apartments overlooking the swimming pool and boasts a wide range of leisure facilities and daily entertainment for children thanks to a children’s club. There’s also a restaurant and poolside bar. The Mediterranean-style Jutlandia Family Resort offers 3 outdoor pools and air-conditioned apartments with a private balcony and pool views. There’s a varied entertainment programme for both adults and children, along with a playground, a pool table and table tennis table as well as a café serving international food, a poolside bar and an outdoor terrace.
Hotels in Santa Ponsa
There is a wide range of hotels on offer in Santa Ponsa. Many holidaymakers come here on a package holiday. However, here you can choose from self-catering right the way through to all-inclusive.
The only five-star option in the area is Pure Salt Port Adriano Hotel just down the road in the prestigious Port Adriano Marina. In Santa Ponsa, Iberostar Suites Hotel Jardin del Sol is an adults-only, all-inclusive hotel boasting first-class views over the bay, a couple of restaurants, one of which serves Japanese cuisine. It has a spa and wellness centre, a fitness centre and a range of activities on offer like aquagym and pilates. Casa del Mar Hotel is a stylish beachfront hotel overlooking the bay. Along with modern rooms, it features 3 swimming pools (including an adults-only pool and indoor pool), a spa and a garden with BBQ facilities.
How to get to Santa Ponsa
Santa Ponsa is just over 30 minutes from the airport and around a 20-minute drive from Palma. Take exit 17 off the Ma-1 motorway, which goes around the south west of Mallorca, from here follow the signs to Santa Ponça. Note that there are quite a few roundabouts on the way there so make sure you stay alert.
By public transport
Santa Ponsa is very easy to get to from Palma. The direct TIB bus number 102 is the one to catch, it travels between Palma’s Plaça d'Espanya and Santa Ponsa at least once per hour and takes around 35 minutes. It also connects Santa Ponsa to Peguera, Camp de Mar, Andratx and Port d’Andratx.