North of the busy southern resort of Cala d’Or, things get more tranquil. Mallorca‘s North East, stretching from Portocolom and taking in the inland towns of Manacor and Artá, up to the north east coastal town of Colonia de Sant Pere, is one of the island’s least known areas. While the south parties and the north and west continue their chic trajectory, the east quietly goes about its daily business of fishing, growing the finest sun-ripened juicy produce and lazing about looking naturally ravishing.
Known as the Serra de Llevant, it’s a mellow, green region where secluded beaches and rolling mountains blend with ‘real Mallorca’ towns and family holiday resorts.
History and culture of the East of Mallorca
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Mallorca’s influx of rich and famous property owners stay huddled in exclusive south west and places like Deia and Valldemossa, but this isn’t always the case. The quietness and laid-back vibe of the east is exactly the reason why a number of high-profile people have made it their home or second residence over the past decade or so. Boris Becker chose Arta; some of Abba’s original band members have homes along the east coast; and Jon Bon Jovi, Julian Lennon and Emily Blunt all spend time here.
Being relatively disconnected from the rest of the island, Artá is well off the tourist radar, and as such is typically Mallorcan in flavour. Sitting atop a hill, the town’s name derives from the Arabic word for ‘garden’, and it’s certainly a strikingly pretty place. Those more adventurous souls who do make it here usually do so for the impressive shrine of San Salvador, founded in the 14th century.
Festivals and traditions hold strong, with several saints celebrated throughout the calendar. Perhaps most notable is that of Sant Antoni in January, a captivating affair whereby actors dressed as demons go around the village accompanied by musicians, big bonfires are lit, and much singing, eating and drinking takes place.
Besides its usual weekly Tuesday market, Artá holds a huge fair on the second Sunday of September, selling everything from cattle and cars, to traditional island dishes.
See the abcMallorca guide to the beautiful, historic town of Arta in north east Mallorca and find out more about luxury lifestyle on offer. […] Artá
Some 8 km away lies the equally pretty ancient town of Capdepera, with its delightful Medieval fortress dating from 1300, built to protect residents from the constant threat of pirate invasion.
Hide-away in one of Mallorca’s most historic walled towns and find true luxury in east Mallorca with this abc-mallorca guide to beautiful Capdepera.
Manacor’s most famous export? Professional tennis champion Rafa Nadal, who still lives in his home town, and received a hero’s welcome upon his return from winning Wimbledon.
Conquest after conquest has played out in this modest, unassuming town – the second largest on the island. After the Romans and the early Christians came the Moors, constructing an Arab mosque in the centre – which was subsequently destroyed and replaced by a church in the 13th century.
The second largest town located on the north-eastern corner of Mallorca, Manacor is considered to be an industrial town offering lots of local shops, restaurants and bars. […] Manacor
A curious thing happened in the village of Porto Cristo in 1905. While digging rock in search of onyx, Mallorcan man Pedro Caldentey discovered a huge underground cave system. Evidence of a change in sea levels that took place thousands of years ago, they’re a mystical underwater world of eerie stillness, and spectacular rock formations. Known as the Coves del Drach and the Coves del Hams, they are amongst the island’s top tourist attractions.
Discover the history, mystery and best things to see and do with our abcMallorca guide to the tranquil harbour town of Porto Cristo in the east of Mallorca. […] Porto Cristo
Undeniably touristy, Cala Millor is the most developed resort town in North-East Mallorca, and for good reason did the hotels and high-ride blocks start to spring up in The town’s long, sandy expanse of beach is one of the island’s best, and a paradise for families and those in search of the quintessential take-it-easy beach holiday.
With its blue flag beach, the east Mallorcan resort of Cala Millor is the perfect place for a family holiday; find out more with this abcMallorca guide. […] Cala Millor
Three kilometres away and somewhat under the shadow of its lively neighbour, the village of Son Servera was founded in 1300 by the Medieval knight James I of Aragon following the Christian conquest, and today retains the feel of a traditional fishing village.
The town of Son Servera is the gateway to some interesting places in the northeast and the coastal resorts of Cala Millor and Cala Bona. […] Son Servera
In the early 20th century, much of the area’s population was struck down by plague, a dire state of affairs that seems unthinkable today when you consider the luxuriousness of Costa de los Pinos – the glamorous neighbourhood at the end of Cala Millor bay, where several Spanish celebrities own summer villas.
Sitting in the harbour of Portocolom with its colourful fishermen’s cottages and the boats bobbing on the water, you’re a million miles away from the crowds.
Portocolom is the gem of the east coast of Mallorca, find out about the best on offer for holidays, living, eating and attractions with abcMallorca. […] Portocolom
Placed between the more well-known spots of Cala Millor and Cala Ratjada, Canyamel was thrust into the spotlight in 2016 with the arrival of US hotel giant Hyatt, who chose the quiet resort as the location for its first European hotel venture. Park Hyatt Mallorca overlooks the stunning Canyamel valley and is attracting a stream of well-heeled visitors to the area.
Spain’s only five-star Park Hyatt is perched above the Canyamel valley in the northeast of Mallorca. Offering luxury amenities and top services by the sea. […] The five-star Park Hyatt Mallorca
12 things to do in the East of Mallorca
Expect to unwind and relax in a part of the island blessedly free from traffic and big urban buzz. Instead, partake in a variety of pleasant activities, and feel the stress melt away.
Santuari Sant Salvador
Take in the astounding views stretching all the way down to Santanyi at this ancient hilltop monastery. After Lluc, it’s the most important holy site in Mallorca, and you can reach it via a zig-zagging 5km road which lies 6km from the town of Felantix. If you’re feeling energetic, you can also climb to the top on foot, following the marked path that can be found off the road to Portocolom from Felantix.
Once at the top of the 500-metre summit – there’s a car park at the top – you’re rewarded with amazing 360-degree vistas, and can visit the monks cells, church and refectory. There’s a nice cafe for refreshments, and the whole scene is overlooked by a dramatic statue of Christ.
Mallorca’s mountains are home to many idyllically set monasteries which are best reached on foot. We offer some ideas for your next walking holiday. […] The 5 best hikes to monasteries in Mallorca
The network of accessible caves in East Mallorca are some of the most astounding in the world, and truly deserve to be seen. Visitors can take their pick from three locations: Artá, Drac and Hams.
Sport Xperience by Rafa Nadal
Kids and sport parents alike will appreciate the interactive nature of this modern museum in Manacor. In addition to housing tennis champion Nadal’s impressive trophy collection, it features an ‘experiential room’ where visitors can feel the thrill of high-performance sport.
Enter the thrilling world of top-level professional sport at Sport Xperience by Rafa Nadal in Manacor, with ticket sales going to benefit youth initiatives. […] Sport Xperience by Rafa Nadal
Once you’ve been inspired by the legend, you might wish to partake of a game or two yourself – and what better place to play than at the superb Rafa Nadal Sports Centre in Manacor?
The world famous tennis champion from Manacor has opened The Rafael Nadal International Tennis Centre in his hometown of Manacor. Find out more here. […] Rafa Nadal’s International Tennis Centre in Manacor
Desperately seeking a little intellectual stimulation away from the beaches? Situated in the town hall building in Artá’s main square, this is the best place to learn all about prehistoric Mallorca. With one of the most comprehensive archaeological collections in the Balearic Islands, the museum shows what life was like for the very first settlers. Open from 10:00 h – 17:00 h Tuesday to Friday (10:00 h – 15:00 h in winter) and 10:00 h – 14:00 h Saturday and Sunday.
One for cyclists: Ermita Betlem
High above Colonia St Pere, the serene and peaceful monastery of Ermita Betlem presents a challenging ride for experienced cyclist. After a gently winding 2 km, the climb turns tougher for 3.5 km to the top. Much quieter than some of the more well-known routes such as the road to Cap de Formentor, it affords amazing views across to Alcudia, Pollensa and the Serra de Tramuntana. There’s no cafe, so be sure to take plenty of water.
You’ll find the signpost for the route on the road from Colonia St Pere to the town of Betlem, approximately 7 km on the right. If you prefer to walk, the round hike takes around two hours.
The 850 – 123 BC settlement of Ses Païsses
One of the best-preserved Talayotic sites in the Balearics, Ses Païsses dates back 3,000 years, to the Bronze Age. You’ll find this mysterious ancient village with its megalithic structures a few hundred metres outside the town of Artá. Predating the Romans, they are are thought to have played a part in ancient tribal ceremonies.
Follow the steps from Capdepera’s market square to reach the town’s 14th century walled town. Soaked in legend, it was built with the purpose of shielding residents from marauding pirates, and nowadays houses a small museum detailing past eras in Mallorcan history. It’s a steep climb up, but the scenery is breathtaking. Open from 9:00 h to 20:00 h in summer, and 9:00 h to 17:00 h off season (October to March).
Just a few minutes’ drive from Porto Colom, Vall D’Or Golf is a full 18-hole course commanding magnificent views, in a restful countryside setting. Some 35 km up the coast, Club de Golf de Son Servera is another excellent 18-hole course, the second oldest golf club in Mallorca.
Close to Mallorca’s southeast resort of Cala d’Or and the attractive fishing port of Portocolom, this course offers spectacular views of the coastline. […] Vall d’Or Golf
Several keen English golfers were involved in the formation of this 9-hole course in the 1960s, on the northeast coast of Mallorca. […] Son Servera Golf
Exploratory sea excursions
See the awesome East from another perspective by setting off on boat. Illa Balear organise trips by catamaran from the harbour in Porto Cristo, taking you all along the rugged hidden coves and natural sea caves of this Mediterranean paradise coast. There are seven departure points, including Porto Cristo, Cala Ratjada, and Cala Millor. Visit illabalear.com for details and to book.
Explore the Via Verde
Whether you like biking, walking, horse riding or running the Via Verde has something for everyone.
Walkers, runners, cyclists, and horseback riders are taking advantage of the Balearics’ first ‘Via Verde’. The 29km route close to Manacor is predominantly […] Exploring the ‘Via Verde’ in Manacor
Delicious wine tastings
The soils of the east, with its proximity to the sea and exposure to the north, possesses special characteristics that make it conducive to cultivating distinctive grapes. Visiting one of the following bodegas is a unique experience, giving an insight into the tradition of creating great wines in this remote corner.
For wine lovers you can explore Mallorca’s best vineyards around the area of Binissalem DO region encompassing the island’s central towns. […] Follow the Wine route
Colonia de Sant Pere
The Bodega Conde de Suyrot was the chosen location of french wine-maker Fabrice Suyrot when he came to Mallorca in search of the perfect vinyard – which he replanted in 2006. […] Bodega Conde de Suyrot
Experience the simplicity and purity of the Toni Gelabert Wine Cellar. Organic wines produced with love, care and a little magic – wonderful wines in Mallorca. […] Toni Gelabert Wine Cellar
Discover the 16 wonderful wines from Vins Miquel Gelabert. The creative and colourful approach of Miquel Gelabert is reflected in his excellent wine production. […] Vins Miquel Gelabert
Following the family tradition Cristófol Reus Amenguel at the Pere Seda Wine Cellar insists on producing fine wines for every pocket. Most is snapped up in Mallorca. […] Pere Seda Wine Cellar
Francisco Grimalt at the 4 Kilos Vinícola Wine Cellar selects the best Mallorcan vintages which feature on the wine lists of world-class restaurants. […] 4 Kilos Vinícola Wine Cellar
Chemist Javier Jara has an obsession for perfection which is reflected in the wines produced by the Son Sureda Ric Wine Cellar. Limited quantity, fabulous quality. […] Son Sureda Ric Wine Cellar
6 amazing beaches on the east coast of Mallorca
Alternatively, simply escape to a beautiful beach. You’re spoilt for choice in this corner of the island.
This dreamy beach is just the place for getting away from it all. The only thing that may detract from the feeling of escape here is its popularity with locals. The largest beach in the area surrounding Arta, it ‘s situated 10 km north of the town and is wild, rugged and free of any development. It must be mentioned that nudists in particular love this spot!
Enjoy simply prepared but delicious fish and shellfish dishes at this famous beach bar. Arrive early to get your name on the list for a lunch table. […] Seafood lunch on Cala Torta beach
The white, 300-metre stretch of sand that is Cala Mesquida, so different from the typically small coves of the south and north west, will remind you why journeying further off the beaten path is worth it. Seven kilometres from Capdepera, the clarity of the turquoise waters here is quite astonishing. Due to the wind and larger waves, this is a popular surf spot.
Cala Mesquida is a beautiful, white sand beach and quiet resort village in the northeast near lovely Capdepera and Arta. A great spot to dive or snorkel. […] Cala Mesquida
Now a prime destination for sun worshippers, blue flag beach Cala Murada was at one time where smugglers used to stash their loot, hidden in a nook in the rocks. Eight kilometres from Portocolom, it’s backed by a small natural lake formation.
Calm, quiet and sophisticated best describe the blue flag beach resort of Cala Murada in south east Mallorca. Find out more with our abcMallorca guide. […] Cala Murada
Neighbouring Cala Millor, little Cala Bona is a good alternative to the busy eastern resort. In fact a cluster of three small coves, Cala Bona has a laid-back, relaxed vibe, with a lovely pedestrian promenade, and plenty of cafes, shops and restaurants withing steps of the beach.
The holiday resort has many attractions in the surrounding area, a Blue Flag beach and is popular with families with children, couples and the elderly. […] Cala Bona
The virgin beach of Cala Agulla, just around the bay from Cala Ratjada, is located in the marine reserve area of Llevant. Backed by pine trees and mountains, it’s a sublime spot, with a few simple beach bars.
Cala Agulla is a large, white sand beach surrounded by beautiful, natural landscapes in the northeast. A relaxed beach offering water sports & boat trips. […] Cala Agulla
Clean, clear waters and fine golden sand make up the large beach of Son Moll, in the resort of Cala Ratjada, 3 km from Capdepera. There’s a cafe – bar right on the sands of this long, wide stretch, some 150 metres long and 50 metres deep.
Cala Ratjada is a beautiful fishing port in east Mallorca. See the abcMallorca guide for the best hotels, eating out, beaches, things to do and much more. […] Cala Ratjada
Places to stay in the East of Mallorca
Less touristic it may be, but the North East region is magnificently well equipped to host visitors with a number of superb hotels, both on the coast and further inland.
Son Corb Boutique Hotel is close to the resort of Cala Bona and the town of Son Servera with a large pool, a spa area an outdoor gym, a restaurant and beautiful gardens to explore. […] Son Corb Boutique Hotel
Drenched in restful rustic ambiance, Son Gener Hotel is a former 18th´century farmhouse in Son Servera, Mallorca, placing great emphasis on natural décor and organic cuisine. […] Son Gener Hotel
Luxuriate in heady natural surroundings and the fine modern interior of Ses Cases de Fetget. This renowned hotel near Son Servera in Mallorca’s north east is among the island’s best. […] Ses Cases de Fetget
Enjoy some of the most typical majorcan features in this 18th century hotel in the country side. […] Hotel Son Gener
This secluded spot with an excellent location is a great place for romantic breaks, featuring a terrace offering beautiful views and a delightful restaurant. Book now! […] Son Mola Vell Hotel in Son Macià
Gain the sense of being on your own private estate at Sos Ferres de Morey. A wonderfully serene rural hotel with 60 hectares of land in Mallorca’s North. […] Sos Ferres de Morey
Located in Mancor, the Son Amoixa Vell offers 15 guest rooms and suites along with their award winning restaurant that provides a variety of international dishes. Book now! […] Son Amoixa Vell
This luxurious hotel offers junior suites for all guests as well as featuring a spa that offers a range of facilities, and is superbly located close to Porto Cristo and Porto Colom. Book now! […] Son Mas Hotel Porto Cristo
Located in Cas Concos, this hotel with tradtional Mallorcan architecture offers 9 rooms with a light and airy feel, some including a private terrace, and fantastic gardens. Book now! […] Son Terrassa Hotel Rural in Cas Concos
Located in Artà, one of Mallorcas most unspoilt villages, the stylish Hotel Sant Salvador hosts 8 suites, each including a different explosion of colours and styles. Book now! […] Hotel Sant Salvador
If serenity is what you need, Son Cardaix Hotel close to unspoilt Artà in north-east Mallorca will deliver. Centuries old with a sumptuous interior and heavenly pool, this is pure escapism. […] Son Cardaix Hotel
Located in northeast of Mallorca by the sea, this 5-star adults only hotel with 28 guest rooms and suites offers spectacular views and gardens, a great place for relaxation. Book now! […] Can Simoneta Finca Hotel Canyamel
The splendid Park Hyatt Mallorca opened its doors in June 2016: the very first response in Europe from the powerhouse US hotel group. […] Hotel giant Hyatt chooses Mallorca for first opening
Cases de Son Barbassa Hotel in the northeast of Mallorca is a collection of restored houses set in the beautiful Llevant natural park is a dream location for holidays. […] Cases de Son Barbassa Hotel
Located close to the town of Capdepera, this hotel offers 26 bright and welcoming guest suites. A great base to explore the northeast of Mallorca. Well-known for its Michelin star chef. Book now! […] Predi Son Jaumell Hotel Capdepera
Great restaurants on the East coast
A succession of appealing eateries await the foodie visitor in North East Mallorca. The great thing is, prices are often markedly less than in glitzier, more established areas.
The north & east coast of the island is less known but offers an understated charm, with off-the-beaten-track restaurants, sure to create lasting memories […] Best Restaurants in the Northeast Mallorca
The waterfront location in the garden of the finca hotel Can Simoneta, the exceptional service and delicious cuisine makes this restaurant highly recommended. […] Can Simoneta Restaurant
Canyamel is becoming a cool corner of Mallorca. abcMallorca dined at Cap Vermell Beach Hotel’s stylish “Vintage 1934” restaurant to find out why. […] Restaurant Vintage 1934
In this restaurant enjoy Michelin-starred cuisine made from produce freshly picked from land cultivated by Andreu Genestra.
[…] Michelin star cuisine at Andreu Genestra Restaurant
Named after the hilltop castle that dominates Capdepera, this attractive restaurant is very popular with foreign and Spanish visitors. […] Restaurant Es Castell
Port Colom is one of the most interesting gourmet towns on Mallorca. Within a very close proximity you will find five excellent restaurants. Bon profit! […] Restaurants in Portocolom
A superb location on the top floor of a hillside golf clubhouse makes this perfect for fine weather eating out, on the large terrace, enjoying sweeping views down to Portocolom and along to Cala d’Or. […] Restaurant Máxime
Modern art, a splendid bull sculpture, stone walls, dark ceiling, candlelight, and large stone fireplace are combined with great cuisine and views here. […] Restaurant Colón
One of the splendid restaurants in Portocolom. Delicious plates of modern Spanish food, a wide range of long drinks and a great ambiance. […] HPC Restaurant
Located in a privileged position overlooking Portocolom’s old fishing village and natural harbour, the attractive design and the fresh fish on offer, make it a popular choice for diners. […] Sa Llotja Restaurant in Portocolom
Views over Porto Cristo’s harbour are offered from this former old house, where tasty regional and international dishes are accompanied by friendly service. […] Quince: A waterside eatery in Porto Cristo
One of the best restaurants on the east coast and while not offering sea views, the excellent food more than compensates! […] Roland Restaurant Porto Cristo
Discover MIquel Gelabert’s ‘new Mallorcan’ cuisine in this popular family-owned restaurant-with-a-heritage, tucked away in Manacor. […] Can March: A hidden gourmet gem in Manacor
One of Mallorca’s few hotels with a golf course, La Reserva Rotana near Manacor is also home to Sa Rotana restaurant, offering alfresco terrace dining. […] Restaurant Sa Rotana
Discover this cosy dinner restaurant in a residential street in Sant Llorenç – and enjoy its surprise 5-course tasting menu. […] Es Pati
Located in the ‘palacio’ Hotel Sant Salvador in Artà, this restaurant offers traditional Spanish cuisine with French refinement. […] Gourmet dinner at Gaudí restaurant
This cosy 10-bedroom hotel in the town of Artà in the northeast of Mallorca has a good – but small – restaurant, with rooftop dining option in summer. […] Forn Nou Restaurant Artà
Cala Ratjada is the location of this French restaurant in the north-east coast of Mallorca. It’s a family affair with father, mother and son maintaining the high culinary standards since 1974. […] Ses Rotges Restaurant Cala Ratjada
House specialities: roast duck with Mallorcan orange sauce, and roast lamb with rosemary. […] Restaurant Sa Punta
Living in the East of Mallorca
The North East presents some interesting possibilities for those willing to stray further off the beaten property path, with considerable lower prices and better value than elsewhere on the island – and a new international school for 2016.
Cala Millor belongs to the community of Son Servera. The landscape is quite hilly in this area, thereby providing fincas with stunning panoramic views of the sea and countryside. Some of the nicest golf courses of the island can also be found here, explaining why nearby Costa de Los Pinos is a favourite with Spanish celebrities.
Further east is the former fishing village of Cala Ratjada, known for its picturesque harbour. There have been many positive changes here during the last years, encouraging designer boutiques and charming restaurants to open up along the new promenade and main Street. Beaches Cala Aguila and Cala Mesquida lure locals and visitors alike with their crystal – clear waters, and again, like most places on the east coast, there is not a high-rise building to be seen.
Artà has dressed itself up as well. The new pedestrian zone makes this medieval town even more inviting and a variety of interesting shops, finca hotels and excellent restaurants attract the more knowledgeable travellers. There is a maze of narrow streets to be explored and the scenery is simply spectacular, especially viewed from the castle hovering high above the village. Those seeking nature, tranquillity and a more sophisticated atmosphere have come to the right place.
The entrance prices for properties are below the Mallorquin average, but are increasing as the region becomes more popular. Real estate prices in the picturesque fishing village Colonia Sant Pere, for example, where the Spanish once had their holiday homes, have been rising quickly due to an influx of artists who see the value of such a pristine area.
Overall, the number of residents living year-round in the east continues to rise, which is good news for cultural diversity, the restaurant scene and the general service sector. Families with children at school age, however, have in the past faced a problem as international schools are generally all located in the Palma area. Their only alternative were local Spanish schools which, while being excellent, teach solely in Catalan.
All this looks set to change from 2016, with the arrival of the American International School of Mallorca. Located in Mancor, the educational facility is part of the Rafa Nadal Academy and offers high-performance tennis training alongside academic studies in English and Spanish.