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Porto Cristo

Porto Cristo

Porto Cristo - charming resort on Mallorca's southeast coast

Porto Cristo is a charming harbour town on the southeast coast of Mallorca. In a picturesque bay, framed by low cliffs, this has become one of the island’s major tourist destinations. Unlike many other resorts in Mallorca, Porto Cristo has preserved its original character to this day. Exuberant hotel complexes and noisy discos are not what you will get in the magical place.

porto cristo mallorca

Porto Cristo’s most special is the Cuevas del Drach (The Dragon Caves). The widely ramified cave system near the coast is a tourist magnet and often very crowded in summer. This is no wonder, as the stalactite cave houses the largest underground lake in Europe, Lake Martel. Holidaymakers especially appreciate the well-kept beach of Porto Cristo, which extends over a length of about 300 m between the rocky coast and the marina. The crystal-clear water glows turquoise blue in the bright sunshine and yachts with their pearly-white hulls bob up and down on the waves.

History of Porto Cristo
Although Porto Cristo was only founded in 1888, the bay itself is a protected natural harbour that has been home to various settlements for several millennia. Until the end of the 19th century when Porto Cristo was given its own name, the place had been little more than the fishing port of the inland town of Manacor. Excavations in the municipality revealed evidence that points to the existence of a Roman settlement on the bay. In 1909, archaeologists found the stone foundations of an early Christian basilica, including a baptismal font dated back to the 5th century.

watchtower porto cristo

The name of the harbour town is closely linked to an old legend. Tradition has it that in 1260, a drowning sailor in coastal waters was rescued. In gratitude, the sailor erected a cross in the bay, although no trace of this cross remains. The watchtower of Torre del Serral dels Falcons dates back to the late 16th century. It stands at the entrance to the bay and was built for defence purposes. The coast of Mallorca was repeatedly targeted by pirate attacks until the 18th century. You can visit the restored building today. In the Spanish Civil War, Porto Cristo was occupied in 1936 by republican troops and later conquered by General Franco’s forces in the putsch.

Stunning sands and turquoise blue sea
The beach, which is approximately 300 m long, is one of the main attractions of Porto Cristo. It consists of fine sand and extends between the marina and a steep rock face on the east side. The beach facilities are excellent. Beach chairs and umbrellas are available for rent and there are sanitary facilities and fresh water showers.

The beach is just below the road, where parking is limited. In the main season it can get quite crowded and finding a parking space can be a time-consuming business.

porto cristo beach

The beach of Porto Cristo can be reached by descending a few stone steps. Behind it are the streets and the promenade, where souvenir shops, cafes, fashion boutiques and restaurants are huddled together. A gentle stroll along the wharf of the marina takes you past white sailing yachts and colourful fishing boats. Numerous eateries with sun terraces on the harbour side invite you to enjoy regional fish specialties and Mallorcan lamb dishes. Since the water is very shallow, it is particularly suitable for families with children.

Activities in Porto Cristo
Porto Cristo is a typical seaside resort and the leisure activities are mostly tailored to the needs of water sports enthusiasts. Diving plays an important role in the harbour town. Adventure Sports Skualo offers guided diving trips to the most beautiful underwater areas off the coast. The rugged and rocky south-eastern coast of Mallorca is one of the most attractive diving areas on the island. If you do not have any diving experience, you have the opportunity to take part in a taster course or to improve your diving skills with professional support.

In addition to diving trips, several other water sports activities are on offer in Porto Cristo. There are guided snorkelling tours and you can borrow equipment for stand-up paddling or kayaking. Popular tours include the Glass Bottom Boat “Illabalear”. The ship has huge glass panes in the keel, through which you can marvel at the colourful, iridescent underwater world of the coastal waters without getting wet.

A stroll through the historic old town takes you to the neo-Romanesque parish church, which was inaugurated in 1922. If you have booked self-catering accommodation you can get fresh food at the weekly Sunday market on Passeig de la Sirena.

Stalactite caves Porto Cristo

Excursions in the area
The main attraction near Porto Cristo are the Cuevas del Drach caves. Although the crowds can be intense in the summer months, you should not miss a visit to this bizarre cave labyrinth. In the stalactite cave is the largest underground lake in Europe, Lake Martel. The highlight of a visit to the caves is a concert in which live artists travel by boat across the lake and interpret classical works. Lake Martel is 170 m long and if you it takes your fancy, you can take a boat for the last hundred metres.

A destination near Porto Cristo is the Jumaica Tropical Park. The small nature park is home to a banana plantation, a small zoo and numerous tropical plants. A stroll through the gardens is for many tourists a welcome change from the beach. The mini-zoo is home to some exotic species such as parrots and also some domestic Mallorcan species such as ponies, ducks, goats and peacocks.

The small city of Manacor in the interior of the island has great shopping. It is the centre of Mallorcan pearl processing. You will have the opportunity to visit a pearl factory and buy locally made jewellery with high quality Majorica pearls.

Restaurants in Porto Cristo
In Porto Cristo you have a huge choice of dining options. From the outside, the restaurant Sa Sal surprises with a romantic courtyard. It is located in a quiet side street and offers home-made bread and Mediterranean dishes in addition to numerous Mallorcan specialties.

At the port there is a restaurant called Quince where you can enjoy a glass of house wine and Mediterranean delicacies as you enjoy delightful views of stylish yachts and colourful fishing boats. The interior features many decorative elements in vintage style.

Restaurant Roland is named after its German chef and offers international dishes of first-class quality. The restaurant is not located directly on the harbour but not far from the Club Nautico de Porto Cristo. The menu includes many seasonal fish and meat dishes. The fish comes from the nearby fishing port and is delivered freshly caught daily.

The Café-Bistro La Magrana boasts a lovingly designed courtyard. Small and intimate seating areas, stone floors and wicker chairs exude cosiness. The menu is clear and the hosts focus on light Mediterranean fare.

With this report we hope to have aroused your interest in the small harbour town of Porto Cristo. Why not visit the picturesque coastal town of Porto Cristo?