At first glance, the port appears to be a cosmopolitan hubbub of bars, restaurants and nightlife which can be found, framing the golden shores of Alcúdia Bay. This has resulted in Port Alcúdia – or Port d’Alcúdia - having a reputation as the ‘classic British break abroad’ consisting of sun, sea and sangria, whilst laying sedentary by the pool. Although it does deliver on this aspect, there is far more to this secretive section of the island. Forget your towering, all-inclusive hotel blocks, and instead open your mind to rocky coves of crystal waters and an abundance of marine life. The clear, shallow waters and 14km of bright white sands are perfect for swimmers, bobbers and bathers alike, it’s fair to say Alcúdia Bay could challenge many a Caribbean resort.
Getting there #
Port d’Alcúdia can be easily reached via car or public transport, with fantastic airport links throughout the year via the A32 bus. At just 8€ per person, with a journey time of one hour this route is brilliant for those who are either a little nervous to drive in Mallorca or who simply wish to relax after their flight. If you prefer to hire a car and take your own journey, then there are various companies which offer this service from the airport at relatively affordable prices. Driving will shorten your journey time to around 45 minutes, across the Ma20 and onto the Ma13, straight into the heart of Port d’Alcúdia.
Port d’Alcúdia's history is quickly told as everything here is really is of rather recent origin. When the first of many hotels was built in 1930, the place quickly lost its feel of a quaint little fishing port. 4- to 5-storey hotels and the architecture of the 1980s are characteristic to the place, but much has been done in recent years to improve the seafront promenade, completely re-designing its outlay, re-paving it and planting many palm and pine trees, thus giving it a more glamorous, inviting touch. Sitting in a bar terrace, having a café con leche and looking out across the bay dotted with white sails it can actually be quite pretty.
In 1957, under Franco, a coal-fired power station (Centrál Térmica Alcúdia) was built in the Port, and although it was shut down in the 1990s and replaced by Es Murterar, a more efficient, state-of-the-art plant (albeit also fuelled by coal) further away from the tourist area, its two tall chimneys have been a dominant feature to this day – and to be frank, they are a bit of an eyesore. There have been plans to convert the old building into one of Spain's most modern industrial museums, and even an architectural competition was held, but whether there will ever be enough money to make this dream come true is written in the stars… or not.
For those interested in history and the cultural heritage of Mallorca, there is always the possibility to head up to Alcúdia Old Town which is steeped in history and dating all the way back to the Roman era – and only a stone's throw away.
Port and Town – What's the Difference? #
The modern Port is full to the brim of bars, restaurants and hotels which line the promenade in an almost uniformed fashion. As you trundle along your ears are awakened to the hum of music, laughter and a wealth of different languages and cultures coming together as one. It is important to understand that Alcúdia Old Town and Port d’Alcúdia provide two very different locations, whilst both are geared up for families, couples and single people alike, they hold varying enchantments. If you prefer a raw insight into how the locals live, then Alcúdia Old Town will be tugging at your heartstrings, whereas those who prefer unspoilt beaches and lively nights will feel drawn to Port d’Alcúdia , and all it has to offer.
Market in Alcúdia Town #
Although group excursions aren’t currently offered by any local tour or travel operators, the market in Alcúdia Town is easily accessible via bus, taxi or even walking. From the Port d’Alcúdia expect to take a leisurely 30-minutes stroll, directly to the walls of the old town. Alternatively, you can hop on the TIB 351 bus, which will drop you right outside the entrance and costs a mere one euro and fifty-five cents. For those of you who don’t fancy being a sardine on the buses, then a taxi from Port d’Alcúdia will only set you back around six euros, although they can be difficult to come by on market day.
Sports & Recreation #
Port Alcúdia sits right on the Bay of Alcúdia, offering 15kms of perfect, golden sandy beaches all the way down to Can Picafort which make the resort a favourite of families with kids. Also, it is home to several secluded coves, which are a mecca for lovers of kayaking and paddle boarding. Possibly the most alluring bay and my special recommendation is Mal Pas. Just a short twenty-minute stroll from the centre of the Old Town you will find yourselves stumbling across this area of outstanding natural beauty. Mal Pas is host to a fabulous harbour, which draws the attention of many water babies and wave riders. For around fifteen euros an hour you are able to hire paddle boards for solo trips, or if you’re a little nervous you can enter into a group class which is led by an instructor; perfect for families.
Mal Pas also contains a vivid variety of marine life. The clarity of the water makes it the perfect location for snorkelling, and if you’re feeling adventurous you can throw yourself off of one of the many diving points, heading straight into one of nature’s finest rock pools.
Affordable Mallorca Tips for parents: If you have young children then the small cove is a haven for hermit crabs and barnacles, and if you’re wanting to head out a little further then expect to see schools of ‘Garfish’ swimming right before your eyes.
Art & Culture #
As mentioned earlier on, Port d’Alcúdia has a very recent history and is a tourist centre rather than a hub of artistic or cultural activity. However, Alcúdia Old Town has a variety of museums, as well as the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Pollentia and the historic bull ring; so I recommend taking a walk or ride there and experiencing this for yourself.
Fiestas & Annual Highlights #
The majority of fiestas occur in the old town, but Port d’Alcúdia does have one event which is spectacular: the San Jaume celebrations in July, a week-long fiesta celebrating the fishermen in Alcúdia, and their patron saint San Jaume. With various events such as a ‘Holi Festival of Colours’ (where powdered paints in all colours, known as gulal, is fired at those partying on the port), fabulous food and handicraft. On the final day (25th July) the end of the fiesta is marked by a firework display, and families and friends party late into the night with picnics and drinks on the beach - it’s a fabulous event!
A Family Resort #
As mentioned before, Port d'Alcúdia is a lively hub of tourism and a lot of partying is going on during the summer. However, it is considered a safe place for women travelling alone, and more a family resort than a hotspot of booze tourism of the likes of Magaluf, Palmanova, Arenal and Cala Ratjada where drinks tend to be served by the bucket. Since 2017, new laws are in effect against alcohol excesses and there has been an increased police presence in the area along the Avenida Tucan and near to the "Banana Roundabout" (named the club in the centre) where the botellón – the drinking of alcoholic beverages in public – is most common.
The Ferry Terminal #
Besides Palma, Port Alcúdia has a ferry port linking Mallorca to Barcelona, Ciutadela (Menorca) and Toulon in the south of France. For further information see www.directferries.com.
Living in Port d’Alcúdia #
Rental properties in this area of the island will cost around 750€ - 1000€ per month (based on a 2-3 bedroomed apartment) with purchase prices (for similar sized properties) averaging 195,000€ - 300,000€. Although not the most affordable area on the island, Alcúdia benefits from a year-round influx of tourists and a large community, making it a brilliant place to raise a family, set up business or simply retire and relax!
What a Resident Says About Port d’Alcúdia #
As a previous resident myself, Port d’Alcúdia will always hold a special place in my heart. The summer months are full to the brim of excitement and energy, with countless events, warm sunny days and sultry summer nights. The sense of community is incomparable to any other area of the island that I have experienced, and no matter what your job or hobby, you’re bound to meet a supportive network of people inside and out of the workplace, which is vital when setting up home in a new place.
Although the busy summer is a bonus for workers, and those who enjoy a lively lifestyle, there is a downside to it as well. The traffic jams can cause delays, and getting from resort to resort can become stressful (especially if you are working in nearby Playa de Muro or Can Picafort). However, the season is only six months, and whilst Port d’Alcúdia benefits from year round tourism, it certainly tails off and becomes quieter from November onwards.
Although I’ve now moved for work reasons, I would move back to this area in a heartbeat - nothing can beat a morning walk along the golden bay of Port d’Alcúdia, it is simply extraordinary.
Charm Factor #
Oozing with sophistication, yet still maintaining a warm family-friendly feel, Port d’Alcúdia is the perfect year round getaway.
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By Zoé Holmes
27 January, 2020