Manacor is the second largest town on Mallorca, after the capital of Palma. The town’s reputation as Mallorca’s home of industry has left Manacor with a very distinctive feel. The largely residential town is situated on the North Eastern tip of the island, with many of the nearby coastal resorts and attractions falling within its municipality.
Here we provide all the information you want to know about making the most of a visit to this ancient and industrious town.
History & Culture
The town of Manacor can be traced back farther than much of the island, with humans appearing to have been inhabiting the area since around 2000 BC. In more recent times it was occupied by the Romans before it became home to the Moors.
Manacor’s modern history starts around 1200, when it was first granted a municipality. The site of the parish church, Nostra Senyora dels Dolors, has been home to many churches. The earliest church dates back to 1232 and was probably the first church here after the Arab occupation.
The year 1879 saw the opening of the railroad between Manacor and Inca. Just 18 years after this the world famous pearl manufacturer, Majorica, was founded. The success helped Manacor to establish itself as a major player on Mallorca. In 1912 as the population grew Manacor was officially upgraded to a town.
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Major Attractions in Manacor
The parish church, Nostra Senyora dels Dolors, is a must see. It’s best to arrive early if you want to see inside, as the doors are often closed in the afternoon.
The large pedestrianised area can be leisurely explored, but if you want a little more variety then visit on a Monday, when the local market is in full swing. Here you will find traditional stalls, as well as the olive wood products Manacor has become well known for.
For those looking to get to know Mallorca through its nature, Manacor is home to the only ‘Via Verde’ in the Balearics. The 29km eco-path begins in Manacor and offers changing scenery along the way.
For those who enjoy practicing and playing tennis, Manacor is a very important city for this sport on the island. Rafa Nadal was born in Manacor and is now building ‘The Rafael Nadal International Tennis Centre’ to attract talented youngsters from all over the world.
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Things to do in Manacor
The municipality of Manacor has something for everyone. There is the coastal beauty of Porto Cristo, or the mystery and wonder of two sets of magical underground coves. The most popular one is the Coves del Drac; where you can enjoy a guided tour of the stalactites and stalagmites before settling down to enjoy a wonderful light show on the underground lake, accompanied by classical music.
It is also possible to visit the very popular Majorica. You can learn about the history of the flawless imitation pearls, and browse their factory shop.
Not far from the coves you will find Porto Cristo. While it is undoubtedly a tourist destination, the quaint little port is quieter than its neighbours. It’s a great place to relax and soak up the views of the Mediterranean.
The resorts and bays near to the town of Manacor provide plenty of options for those looking for a beach day. While close by, it is too far to walk in the Mallorcan sun, and a car is recommended.
September and October tend to be the busiest months of Manacor’s theatre season. If you are visiting at this time of year be sure to check what’s on.
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Restaurants in Manacor
Being the second most populated part of Mallorca means there is plenty of dining options. Moli den Sopa is a popular restaurant with both locals and tourists. It sits on the main road between Manacor and Porto Cristo, and has a large windmill in its grounds making it easy to spot.
For those looking to spice up their diet La India serves traditional Indian cuisine. Its central location makes it easily accessible to anyone staying in Manacor. If you have a hankering for Italian then Tutto Pasta serve typical Italian dishes between midday and 11pm daily.
The most well-known restaurant in the area is Sa Rotana Restaurant. Located inside the Sa Reserva Rotana hotel, it offers creative dishes with top quality ingredients and service.
Nearby, in the village of Sant Llorenc you will find Taronja Negre, by Michelin star chef Tomeu Caldentey‘s original restaurant that now offers a new culinary concept which is a must to try when you are in the area.
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Hotels in Manacor
Manacor offers a choice of hotel styles, with small central hotels like Ca’n Guixa offering a great location for exploring the town, while more rural hotels sit just on the outskirts of town.
One of the most popular and exceptional of these rural hotels is the La Reserva Rotana. The luxury 5-star hotel offers guests magnificent rooms in a stately rural setting, while being close to Manacor town. Guests also get to take advantage of the hotel’s own golf course and highly rated restaurant.
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Events in Manacor
At the end of May and beginning of June every year the Fires i Festes de Primavera takes place. The celebration lasts for days and there are many activities. To finish off the festivities there is a large parade of floats.
For those looking for more traditional entertainment there is the chariot racing at the hippodrome.
Manacor has a unique tradition dating back over 100 years. A willow tree located in the grounds of a nearby country house is believed to have special healing powers for children. Children are passed through the branches of the tree on the 24th June each year.
Living in Manacor
While Manacor undoubtedly has a large international community, its industrial nature makes it largely a traditional town. The bulk of the international community can be found in the outlying rural areas or the smaller more tourist focused ports.
Manacor is a heavily developed area, and properties of all shapes and sizes are available. While the town itself tends to be mainly apartments and townhouses, there are plenty of rural luxury villas and fincas just outside the town.
Due to its size the transport links to Manacor are excellent. It has its own train station where there is an hourly train to Palma via Inca. The journey takes about one hour.
Due to the large variety of properties in the area the prices also vary greatly. There is always a good choice available and the market is buoyant.
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Surrounding areas of Manacor
Its location in the heart of the north east of the island makes it ideal for exploring this whole side of the island. Nearby Porto Cristo is a charming port to relax and pass some time. Nearby Sa Coma and Cala Millor have excellent beaches and all the amenities you’d expect in a seaside resort.
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More Places on Mallorca
The Balearic Island of Mallorca has a wealth of interesting towns and villages, plus the stylish capital Palma. Explore them all here!