Beaches on the island Mallorca
Anybody who flies to Mallorca for beach holidays will surely get his money worth. Although there are no dream beaches to expect like perhaps the ones of Fuerteventura or the beaches surrounded by palm trees like the ones we are used to in the southern islands, Mallorca offers a wide variety and different types of beaches. There are spacious dunes and cosy little bays surrounded by cliffs amidst forrests or seaming the boardwalk within the locality right beside the harbour.
Similarly, the bustle which comes across also varies. If everyone pilgers to the so-called "dream beaches" described by the travel guides that in fact are mere natural beaches, the nightmare is preprogrammed. Soon, the joy of having a nice and relaxing beach vacation is spoiled by the crowds and the commercialization. Thus, bit by bit, we realized that in Mallorca, the smaller beaches and bays are rather those places where you are not squeezed between the towels and do not smell the neighbour's suncream.
Due to the reason we spent our holiday in Porto Petro, a little harbour town at the east coast in the south of Cala d'Or, our review is mainly focused on the beaches and coastal locations of the eastern part of Mallorca; We will describe the beaches in accordance to their course from north to south, beginning with Cala Ratjada, Cala Millor, Sa Coma und S'Illot, Porto Cristo, Porto Colom, Cala Mondrago and then, further to the south-west, the little town Colonia de Sant Jordi and the Platja Es Trenc.
Cala Ratjada - a peninsula with plenty of beaches
Cala Ratjada is located in the northern strip of the east of Mallorca in a peninsula which outmost point is formed by the Cap de Capdepera. Due to the reason that Cala Ratjada straight offers different and bigger beaches, it can be already considered as a typical bathing resort. There are plenty of hotels everywhere as far as the eye can reach and german markets on each of the streets.
The beach Platja son Moll is not a continuously wide beach but rather a wide oval running backwards. So, if you are unlucky and lie in the row of towels no. 12, there are some metres to walk to get to the water. But in return, the water is very clear and the beach is very well-kept. Indeed, it is not as flat sloping as we were used to in other beaches, but it also does not go into depth like a riff. There are an abundance of kiosks and ready lifeguards but in general, the panorama appears to be rather poor: the high hotel buildings are not very attractive, but instead, the boardwalk is. If you walk the boardwalk further in direction to the harbour, you will arrive at Cala Gat which is a wide bay of Cala Ratjada.
In order to get to Cala Gat there is no obligation to walk along the boardwalk, even though the view to the bay is worthwile. You can also get there straight on the way to Cap de Capdepera, the look-out of Cala Ratjada. Indeed, Cala Gat is a tiny, cosy bay surrounded by cliffs and trees but, according to the crowds there, definitely too small. Thus there is a bigger hotel behind the bay, there is barely space and people seek after places for sunbathing up to the kiosks and the dust bins beside it; Also, the places of shade are rare. Unfortunately, at the time we were there, we were not only unlucky to have to lie squeezed among the others, one towel after the other, but there was also a plague of jellyfishes. We could not see any lifeguards or rentals for parasols.
Cala Agulla is a dune beach extended over approximately 600 metres which can be also reached very well on foot. Although there can be a lot of bustle there due to the abundance of hotels, the crowds are widely spread all over the beach. The places for sunbathing on the beach are widely used up to the dunes and we finally could get a feeling of a certain quietness. In general, the panorama appears to be very wide and open - this is not only caused by the view to the leafy hills in the background but also by the opportunity to swim far into the open sea. The light sand beach runs even and wide-ranged into the water and plenty of little ledges arouse curiosity for skin-diving.
Sa Font de Sa Cala: little posh place with a quiet beach
Sa Font de Sa Cala is a little beach in the south of Cala Ratjada and the Cap de Capdepera.
At first sight, the little area appears to be unimpressive but if you drive further alongside the beach you will arrive at a posh, leafy district where one mansion follows the next. Accordingly, the beach also appeared to be a little and exclusive highlight. Indeed, the dimension is rather dapper but therefore very well-kept and quiet, we could calmly enjoy our coffee at the beach bar.
Cala Millor: it is hard to spend a more typical beach holiday
On the way to Cala Millor, the hotel complexes and the high rise buildings are already visible. At each corner there are signs of the german supermarkets Lidl and Spar so that you realize immediately that it is a touristic area without any tradition. But it doesn't matter, as the beach that Cala Millor offers simply appears to be miles away. Thus, it is basically regardless which of the many streets you choose to get to the beach.
We got a free parking place rather quickly which was located right on the street close to the beach. Thus the hotel rows are not fully located at the beach but separated from it by a wide boardwalk, it creates a feeling of wideness. In this way, it is possible to put the hotels in the background of one's attention, although they may appear to be quite beamy. But we doubt this works as well as for the crowds which came across. At the time we were there, we probably had bad luck. The cleaningless left to be desired, however, this can be different in other seasons.
Besides, we have seen anything which can be important for a typical beach holiday: a wide long sand beach which runs flat into the water, many snorkeling tourists and families with children, lifeguards and deck-chair rentals.
S'Illot and Sa Coma: bargain beach holidays
S'Illot and Sa Coma are in fact two bathing resorts which merge into one another. Both are of a similar style: many hotels, tourists-ghettos with buildings partly as high as high-risers, not to say dosshouses as far as the eye can reach. But therefore surely a bargain. So, this isn't for people who attach importance to aesthetics but rather for those who perhaps seek this giant beach at a bargain price for their whole family.
But in return, there is plenty of beach offered. The beach not only has a length of a few kilometres but is also quite broad. Despite of the crowds we still got a rather quiet impression. So, despite the bargain price, there is no audience like "Ballermann" (german pub in Mallorca with a bad reputation) but rather beach holidays for the whole family. In general, the place appeared to be very well-kept and the beach is apparelled with the usual offers which can be expected in a local beach. Beside the lifeguards and the deck-chair rentals there are an abundance of opportunities alongside the beach to have a snack in between. Whether it is a takeaway, coffee bar or a restautrant - there is a choice for everybody. We were very pleased that quite soon we found a free parking place very close to the beach between the hotel rows which are built up to the beach.
Porto Cristo: beautiful harbour beach full of live
Porto Cristo is mostly renowed for its dragon's lairs highly praised by the travel guides. Accordingly, the traffic and the heavy rush of buses is huge and if you finally find, after a long exercise of patience, a chargeable parking place available in the harbour and you went to the beach on foot, you may be very amazed. Porto Cristo should not be praised for its lairs but for its beautiful beach!
We saw a very well-kept, long extended and light sand beach; The water was very clear and shallow so that you can walk well into. Here, you will feel specially comfortable if, beside an extensive sunbath, you also want to sit for betweentimes in a litte coffee bar or restaurant or buy some swimming togs for the kids in the shops at the boardwalk. This is specially recomended if you have not rented a parasol and there is the need of getting some shade, as there are no natural sources of shade there. But there was a lot of space for us to spread out on the beach.
People who like water sports are definetely in the right place; Next to the lifeguard station, there was a kiosk discreetly placed which offered paddleboats etc. for rental. There were also little water slides placed so that the kids got something else offered than just building sandcastles. By setting the sight on them, there was not only the beautiful dock in sight but also on the left, alongside the bay, a hillside built on with private houses.
Porto Colom: absolute relaxing bay for individualists
In many travel guides, Porto Colom is described as a place without beaches or at least as a place with lack of beaches. This is excellent! Because then, Cala Marcal remains to be an insider tip for those beach vacationers seeking for calmness. Actually, this really beautiful little bay beach is unique.
In order to get there, you have to drive all over the long extended dock around Porto Colom until you get to the villa district at the other side. We were very surprised about the fact that we immediately got one of plenty parking places on a shady street right at the front of the bay. Indeed, some people were already there but rather the kind of people who seek less action but
the possibility for undisturbed bathing. The children enjoyed the slides which were positioned in the water and ourselves, we enjoyed a drink at the kiosk while listening to lounge music and getting the Cafe-del-Mar spirit. In order to get absolute quietness it was possible to lie on one of the numerous rocks or straight on the fine sandy beach.
The versatile panorama was also beautiful but unfortunately, it does not appear on the pictures as nice at it really is. The view one obtains while lying on the beach is up to the dock of the other side of Porto Colom and by swimming a little deeper into the sea, on the way back it was possible to have a view to the newly built villas on the hillside and to the forests. The smell is of stone pines and there was enough space for deck chairs, parasols and towels. Additionally, there was the possibility to sit on the stone chairs located at the right and the left of the bay. There was an abundance of shady places provided by the plenty of trees at the edge of the bay. The water was very clear and shallow so that children could have a lot of fun there. The toilets were very well-kept and also the lifeguards seemed to take their job seriously although the water was calmed.
Cala Mondrago, Cala S'Amarador & Calo d'es Burgit: nature in the essence!
The Park Mondrago which is under monumental protection is located between Santanyi and Porto Petro in the south east of Mallorca and its characteristic are three beautifully located bays with a fine sandy beach. The most famous of the bays is Cala Mondrago that also got in the year 2006 the blue flag due to its excellent water quality, high bathing safety and its accounted measures of environment protection.
From S'Alqueria Blanca, Santanyi or Porto Petro, the way to Cala Mondrago is perfectly signed and leads to a bigger and free parking place upside the bay; Persons who are interested in the protection of the environment and the natural park with its flora and fauna get free brochures and informative literature from a cabin located at the right side of the path. In order to get to the bay it takes an approximately 15 minutes walk on a well paved road that can be only passed by the local residents of the domiciled hotels there.
Cala Mondrago is a beautiful little bay which is protected on the part of the sea (approximately 200 metres length/70 m width) with lovely blue water and a fine sandy beach sloping even into the water. The bay watched over by the lifeguards is perfect for families with children, surf beginners and snorkeling tourists. The panorama is characterized by dense stone pine forests and aleppo pines and the little sail boats that can be seen from the beach.
Indeed, it is not completely lonesome and idyllic, particularly because of some few (view-hedged by trees) hotels there. But in relation to the other beaches there are enough offers to find some space not only under the burning sun but also in the shade. It is possible to lie there and rent a parasol on the beach, have something to eat in the restaurant or get prepared at the kiosk with stuff for a picknick on the park benchs and tables at the park forest at the edge. There are plenty of tables and due to the shade trees, the place invites to stay there for a longer time. There were opportunities for children to swing and play and the toilets were appropriately well-kept.
If you swim far enough from Cala Mondrago you will soon have a wonderful view to the widely extended Cala S`Amarador at the right.
In order to get there, you must either have a 10 minutes walk from Cala Mondrago alongside the rocky road or park the car at the parking place located right there but we could not find it due to the confusing signposting.
Cala S'Amarador can be surely described in good conscience to be a nice located bay with a widely extended and even sand beach surrounded by pine stone forests. Unfortunately, the time we were there was unconvenient, as it was a few days after a storm through which lots of green stuff was washed ashore. In order to get into the water it was not only neccessary to struggle through several meters width of dry waste but also first to wade through a dogged mush in the water until we were able to swim undisturbed in the clear water.
Apparently, this did not bother the people who were there at the same time; Either in the beach as also in the water there was a lively hustle and bustle and the rental for deck chairs and parasols must have been pleased. Indeed, we did not see any guard but instead, a kiosk with snacks and beverages.
The real insider tip of Park Mondrago is a tiny hidden bay, Calo d'es Burgit, which can be only discovered by walking through the forest. It is not specially signposted and you get there through a path that first leads behind the park at the level of the hotel into the forest.
Who has robust sandals and can abstain from parasol and deck chair rentals, kiosks, lifeguards and toilets can look forward to the footpath to Calo des Burgit. Indeed, the path is rooty and partly with stony ground but soon you realize that this is something different: the ease and quietness that can be experienced there. You hear the whispering of the trees in the tree tops - nothing else.
Also the bay itself appears to be still very primordial. We just met 15 persons there and a part of them were lying naked on the rocks or the sand beach having a sunbath. Everything appeared to be very natural, discreet and particularly very clean.
Colonia de Sant Jordi: cosy beaches - simply good!
From the travel guides, Colonia de Sant Jordi is particularly known for its famous sand beach Es Trenc, however it is a few kilometres by car. If you really believe that it is absolutely nessessary to visit THE man-made beach Es Trenc, you will not have even the idea that you can bath much more stress-free in Colonia de Sant Jordi, at a little port beach or in Platja es Carbo which is approximately 500 metres in the range of sight.
This is more than just a pity. We enthusiasticly took pictures of this little beach which limited straight with the harbour. We parked our car on a free parking place proximate to the beach and really wondered that there was few bustle. The fine sand beach was clean and sloped mostly even into the water. The guards ensured safety, although due to the protected area in the dock the water should have stayed calmed.
Many little coffee bars and restaurants surrounded the promenade that was free of cars and let arise a calm and cosy atmosphere to wish to stay longer. Beside the common beach rental there are some little shops offering all sorts of things. If you walk alongside the beach promenade you get in the range of sight from the harbour to Platja d'es Dolc. We did not go there as we thought that Es Trenc will surely be more gorgeous. But soon we had regrets of our decision.
Es Trenc - nightmare at expensive commercialization
In every travel guide about Mallorca it is written: Es Trenc is one of the most beautiful man-made beaches of Mallorca. Indeed, it is not anymore an insider tip but still worth to visit. Well - the disappointment was very nasty and we only can warn those who really think on having a bath there.
The access road to the beach which is much too narrow is already the first obstacle and the chance to be trained in the serenity needed for what in general will follow. We partly really had to stop the car in order not to bump into the cars coming in the opposite direction. The next incident was the little queue at the cashier. Yes, money is deeply cashed up here. We paid full 6 euros parking fee in order to catch a parking place in the afternoon at the other end of the slightly plashy parking place.
The march to the beach through the dunes took only a few minutes but the stream of people and the garbage that seemed to lie between the dunes for quite a time was not really appealing to us. The first impression of the beach was a big sign with the fees for the rental of deck chairs and parasols. This was a thing we were used to from the other beaches, but here, there was milelong no chance to lie somewhere on the towel.
You can first walk for a long time alongside the narrow beach and pass closely the people squeezed in the beach, each deck chair close to the other. Not to be overlooked that at the same time, people will continuously come from the opposite direction. But what was really daunting to us was the beach-fashion show held in front of a bigger restaurant-kiosk with noisy disco bluster. For a short time, we really had doubts if we were really right here or perhaps in Ballermann.
Once we found, after a march of some kilometres, an adequate spot for us on which we finally could lay our towels, we still were squeezed between the others. Those, who is a fan of nudism, will be pleased. There were many nudists among the people. But there is to pay attention without fail if you go to the water. The even beaches entice to run enthusiasticly into the water. But there are many wholes and rocky stones which can chafe your skin.
Once you have enough from bathing, you should in any case take into account the long way back. Again, passing the deck chairs, you have to go back with the crowd on the narrow paths through the dunes to the parking place. Disappointment and annoyance were clearly visible in the people's face; Afterwards we read that in the year 2006, Es Trenc did not get a blue flag. We are not surprised.
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Copyright: Patrick Wagner, www.tourist-guide.biz