Beyond the tourist attractions of places like the Tramuntana mountains, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2011, Majorca can boast many other destinations with an offer capable of convincing any traveler. One of them is Porto Cristo, or Portocristo, on the east coast of Majorca, which belongs to the municipality of Manacor. Would you like to discover why it is such a special place? If so, you can’t miss this article on what to see in Porto Cristo and its surroundings.
With our rental cars in Majorca, you will find it very easy to move around and get to know the many treasures of this part of the island. Almost as easy as falling in love with this small and picturesque fishing village and its charming corners.
Places of interest in Porto Cristo
Without doubt, one of the main attractions of Porto Cristo is its privileged location, at the end of a long bay. The place has a sandy beach with a blue flag, beautiful turquoise waters… and deckchairs and pedal boats for rent. Hence the creation of important tourist complexes in the area. One of them is Cala Magrana, a small urbanization near Porto Cristo and some of the best coves in Majorca, such as Cala Magrana itself, which has a hotel in Punta Reina a few meters away (this is the name of the street where it opens its doors).
Cala Anguila, Cala Bona, Cala Mendia, Cales de Mallorca, Cala Murada, Cala Romántica and Cala Varques, a beautiful virgin cove with transparent waters, are also very close by. Choose yours!
In any case, you don’t have to leave the town of Porto Cristo to soak up the essence of Majorca. There you will find old stone houses and other more recently built villas, perfectly integrated into the local landscape. However, the port is the main attraction. There you will find numerous restaurants where you can taste the typical dishes of Majorcan cuisine.
If you like history, don’t miss the remains of a Roman basilica located in Avinguda de Joan Amer, or the remains of a Roman port in the current port, where parts of a ship from this period were discovered a few years ago. In any case, in the surroundings of Porto Cristo you will have the opportunity to see other archaeological findings, such as the prehistoric burial sites of Sa Gruta and Son Moro.
We also recommend you visit the church of Mare de Déu del Carme, the patron saint of sailors. It is also worth taking a look at the statue of the mermaid, in Carrer de Sant Jordi. To the south and on the coast, you can see the Torre des Falcons, an old watchtower dating from 1577 and located on top of a cave.
Festivities in Porto Cristo
Do you want to enjoy some of the most spectacular festivities in Majorca? If so, you should know that Porto Cristo organizes a wide variety of festivals and fairs throughout the year. One of the most popular events is the Verge del Carme festival, which takes place around the 16th of July. During these, you can enjoy concerts, markets, family entertainment, correfocs and fireworks.
Another festivity in Porto Cristo that should not be missed is Sant Antoni. Every 16th of January, the locals light bonfires and roast botifarrons to share in the open air. The next day, there is a parade in the streets followed by a blessing of animals by the parish priest of Porto Cristo.
The caves of Porto Cristo
Among the many things to see in Porto Cristo, the possibility of visiting the Coves del Drach, one of the main tourist spots in Majorca, stands out. This attraction consists of four magnificent caves that reach a depth of 25 m and 4 km in length. Mentioned for the first time in a letter dated 1338, these caves, which are connected to each other, have the following names: Cova Negra, Cova Blanca, Cova de Lluís Salvador and Cova dels Francesos.
The caves have been formed by the action of the Mediterranean waters, and some experts place the origin of their formation in the Miocene era, between 11 and 5.3 million years ago. Another of their characteristics is the presence of an underground lake called Lake Martel, which is about 115 m long and 30 m wide, while its depth varies between 4 and 12 m. This lake surface takes its name from the French explorer and scientist Édouard-Alfred Martel, considered the father of speleology, who explored the cave in 1896. During his visit, he located two more caves, as well as the aforementioned lake, which today is the scene of classical music concerts performed by musicians on board a boat.
Near the Coves del Drach, there is also a small aquarium that provides space for exotic fish, such as electric eels and piranhas. It is undoubtedly an ideal option for those who have in mind travelling to Majorca with children.
In any case, the area around Porto Cristo also has another one of the best caves in Majorca: the Coves dels Hams, 1 km west of the town. Discovered in 1905 by Pedro Caldentey, they have an underground lake, known as the Venice Sea. The caves are named after the unique formations of stalactites and stalagmites (ham means ‘hook’ in Catalan), although the process of formation is a mystery even to experts. Lorenzo Caldentey, the son of their discoverer, equipped the caves with an electric lighting system, which today makes musical performances possible. The visits include a walk of about 500 m through 12 areas of these caves.
So far, our proposals on what to see in Porto Cristo, if you decide to spend a holiday in Mallorca and, specifically, on its east coast. There is only one thing left for you to do: rent a car in Mallorca with ROIG Rent a Car. Or if you prefer, book a taxi to Majorca airport so that you can make the most of your stay in this town. Don’t let them explain it to you!