Cala d’Or, situated in the south east of the Balearic island of Mallorca is famous for its Ibizan style architecture, natural coves with turquoise waters surrounded by pine forest in the heart of the Mediterranean. Located in Santanyí, it’s the largest resort in the municipality and has several restaurants, shops, pubs and bars, plus an important marina that creates a lively atmosphere. There are many reasons this area is such a perfect holiday destination, and here we’re going to give you just four of them.
A place with a history
They call it “the little Ibiza”, probably because Cala d’Or owes much of its charm to an Ibizan artist, Josep Costa. In 1930, he visited Mallorca and discovered an unspoilt spot that he decided to make into a place where he and his friends, who were also artists, could meet. He bought a plot of land whose only inhabitants were the pine trees, characteristic Mediterranean rocks and a crystal blue sea. From then on he started to build small white houses with arches and wooden beams, without detracting from the beauty of the landscape. Almost a century later, Cala d’Or still has that spirit that Josep Costa was looking for.
A singular setting
Once you’re there, you’ll see that the cube-shaped buildings are no more than two storeys high, and that the essence of the place has been preserved by the strict regulations that control the construction of hotels. Divided into three districts (central Cala d’Or, Cala Ferrara, and Cala Egos), the village has all sorts of facilities and attractions to please all the family, such as a miniature train that runs around the area.The beaches and coves with turquoise waters are truly spectacular. As well as going for a swim at the Cala d’Or beach you can also have a dip at Cala Gran, Cala Serena or Cala Esmeralda - the last two are perfect for children. And if you’re looking for a natural swimming pool among the rocks, try the one at Cala Egos.Nearby you’ll also find the beautiful Mondragó Natural Park - it’s well worth walking one of the paths to see the many different species of birds - as well as Cala Figuera and the famous Cuevas del Drach, where classical music concerts are organised inside the caves themselves. You can also check out the town of Santanyí, where there’s a market every Wednesday and Saturday morning that’s great for browsing or a spot of shopping at the stalls selling clothes, handicrafts and fruit (in Cala d’Or itself there’s a night market on Sundays in the summer).
A wide range of sports options
Scuba diving, snorkelling, surfing and paddle surfing are just some of the water sports options you have in this area of Mallorca. Cala d’Or has a natural port, Cala Llonga, which is one of the most important marinas on the island, and one of the most beautiful of the Mediterranean. Here you’ll be able to take a stroll and enjoy the many bars, restaurants and fashionable shops. And if you feel like it, why not go on a boat trip, or even hire a yacht - this includes options such as a Mediterranean dinner. Looking for more sporting ideas? Play golf on a course with views out over the bay, or go on a tour in the Mondragó Natural Park by bicycle or on horseback.
Culture and history
A trip to Cala d’Or simply has to include a visit to Es Fortí (in the Cala Egos district). It’s a fortress that was built in the 18th century, and the original cannons are still there. This area is great for photography, and from here you’ll be able to see one of those Mediterranean sunsets that are never to be forgotten.Another recommended visit is the monastery of Sant Salvador, that stands 500 metres above sea level in the heart of the Sierra de Levante. The views of sea and mountains here are spectacular too. Very close by is Santueri Castle, the ruins of an old fortress that can be reached via a path from the monastery that takes about two and a half hours on foot.Lastly, music lovers should know that the Cala d’Or International Jazz Festival takes place here, usually in June each year, and bands from all over the world come over to perform.