The Golden Bay is sure to take your breath away!
Located along the south east coast of Mallorca lies Cala d'Or- translating in English as ‘Golden Bay’, this area has been a popular family holiday destination for many years. From picturesque beaches to quiet sandy coves, this area really does have something for everyone; including a variety of excursions and nightlife too! Whether it’s yachting, sunbathing or wining and dining that you’re into, you can guarantee that Cala d'Or has it all!
Getting There #
Reaching Cala d'Or is easy, as during the summer months the A51 bus runs directly from the airport to the resort, taking an hour and a half and costing just 9€! However, if you prefer to travel independently, then car hire is always a great option and your journey time will be reduced to around an hour (more time to lie in the sun!).
History and Local Sights #
Cala d'Or in itself is no place you'd call "historic" as it does not go back to an ancient fishing village or Roman settlement, but was planned from scratch in the 1930s. Ibiza-born architect Josep Costa Ferrer recognized the development potential of this beautiful section of Mallorca's coastline with its hidden coves, sandy beaches and crystal clear water. His idea to replicate the style of his native lands with flat white-wash buildings and distinguished cubic shapes certainly worked out. Cala d'Or dies exude a sense of holiday paradise… As well as the pretty buildings there is a range of spectacular sights located within close proximity to the resort- giving you a real taste of Mallorca.
This 18th century fort is within walking distance of Cala d'Or and allows you to transport yourselves back to a forgotten time. A protected heritage site, Es Forti is perfect for a family visit, incorporating culture and history with excitement as you pretend to be at battle with one another from behind the canons! As well as withholding its own charm and beauty, the walk to the fort allows you to embrace Mallorca’s rugged wilderness and breathtaking landscape.
For those of you who have access to a car, why not venture a little further afield and explore the ancient ruins of Santueri Castle. Boasting some of the best views of the south east coast, these Roman ruins are situated 423 metres above sea level (maybe not for those with a fear of heights!) and, on a clear day, you can see for miles around. Entrance fees are 4€ per person and you can visit daily between 10.30am-18.30pm during the months of April- October.
Market in Nearby Santanyi #
Wednesday and Saturday- 9-1
Although Cala d'Or doesn’t host its own market, the nearby town of Santanyi offers a wonderful market every Wednesday and Saturday morning. Recognised as one of the liveliest markets on the island, visitors can expect fresh produce, locally made handicrafts, clothing, artwork and much more. Stalls line the tiny, winding streets and you lose yourself in the Medieval ruralness of this pretty little place.
Travelling from Cala d'Or to Santanyi will take around 20 minutes, and is accessible via car, taxi or bus.
Tours and Excursions #
It’s no secret that Cala d'Or has been incredibly popular with the yachting community for many years bringing an international hubbub of people together to embrace and enjoy their passion for sailing across the tranquil waters of Mallorca.
Due to the sheer number of yachts in Cala d'Or Harbour, there are many available for private hire and certain packages even include skippers and onboard chefs (prices vary depending on the package).
However, if you are searching for something more active, why not try snorkelling or paddle boarding? These water sports, and more, are available from the harbour. Head over to the town hall's official website to see exactly what’s on offer: http://www.visitcalador.com/en
Fiestas and Events #
Every town on the island of Mallorca loves a party- fact! Here in Cala d'Or they host some of the most prestigious fiestas of the summer; kick starting in May with the ‘Festival de Jazz’. This fiesta brings together some of the islands most fabulous musicians and celebrates both classic and contemporary jazz. For 6 whole days, at various locations across the resort, the sweet sound of jazz can be heard echoing through the air. Be sure not to miss it!
Santa Maria del Mar Folk Festival
Cala d'Or also hosts a folk festival in the month of August. This fiesta incorporates traditional food, dance and sports as well as a procession and fair. It’s great fun for all the family!
Sa Fira - Santanyí
Activities from all over the world, with traditional Mallorquin activities with culture, music and children’s games. An assortment of tapas and other local foods make this a must do! Held 22- 24 October 2021.
The Department of Commerce, Fairs and Markets of the Santanyí City Council decided to hold its Fair after last year’s COVID lockdown. This weekend, there are activities for everyone, from traditional stalls, to cultural activities, music, children's activities and a tapas route.
The activity will begin on Friday 22nd with a great day of Mallorcan dance that will begin at 6.30 pm at the Puerta Murada square.
Saturday 23 is the big day, with its Fair, the Art Show, Gastronomy Booths and the Firafest. The opening of the fair will be at 10:00 am, and takes over the main streets of the town center. In the Plaza Mayor, as always, the fruit and vegetable stalls, and distributed throughout the nucleus, will be those of different associations of the term.
From the exhibition of partridges, game birds and dogs, of the Association of Hunters of Santanyí to a sample of rally cars, among many others. At 10:30 a.m. at the plaza de su Cruz, the concert of the Municipal Music Band takes place, and then there is time for the guided visit to the Museum Parochial.
Food and Drink #
La Bodega Mallorca
For authentic tapas and Spanish food, where better to eat than La Bodega. This quirky restaurant has a large courtyard, as well as indoor seating, and is frequented by locals and tourists alike. Serving up fresh Mallorquin dishes, accompanied by great local wines and beers; a mixed tapas meal for two (including 2 glasses of wine) will cost around 40€ which is very affordable given the standard (and size) of the portions! Be sure to book as tables are in high demand during the summer season. You won’t be disappointed!
Address: Calle Andreu Roig, 5, Cala d'Or, 07660, Telephone: 971 65 74 66
For a real dining experience, try Yaya’s. Located in the marina, this restaurant exudes sophistication and style, and it’s hard to top the view across the open water and eye catching yachts. Yaya’s aims to deliver fusion food and takes an innovative approach to tapas, replacing traditional dishes with tantalizing combinations designed to trick your taste buds! Whilst not as affordable as La Bodega Mallorca, Yaya’s will set you back around 80€ (based on 2 people sharing a selection of tapas and 2 glasses of wine) but it really is the perfect setting for a romantic meal or dining experience whilst here in Cala d'Or.
Address: Port Petit 313, Cala d'Or, 07660, Telephone: 971 65 80 27
Sports & Play #
For lovers of the great outdoors, and those with a sense of adventure, Cala d'Or is conveniently located to the fabulous Parc Natural de Mondragó. This nature reserve offers a variety of hikes and trails for keen walkers, as well as one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, so you can rest your weary feet and soak up the sun in between exploring!
The area is also in close proximity to the Serra de Levante mountains; which offer an abundance of cycling routes for those who wish to explore the rocky mountain range and capture the essence of Mallorca.
Living in Cala d'Or #
Primarily a tourist resort, Cala d'Or can resemble a ghost town during the winter months, and while this may be perfect for some people it’s not for everyone. Although, if you have access to a car, the residential towns of Santanyi and Felanitx are close by and offer all the essentials that you may need when living on the island!
Rental prices can range from 650-1,800€ (based on 2-3 bedroomed property with shared garden/pool area) and purchase prices from 200,000-400,000€ (based on 2-3 bedroomed properties) making Cala d'Or one of the more expensive areas to live. However, it really is spectacularly beautiful and within close proximity to many other towns and beaches here on the island, making it a desirable location in most people's book.
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By Zoé Holmes
21 October, 2021