Felanitx is a rural town and municipality in the region of Pla & Llevent in southeast Mallorca. Situated around 50 kilometres from the capital city of Palma, it is now the centre of Mallorca’s second largest wine region.
Santanyi town in the island’s south-east, is pretty, rural and authentically Mallorcan. Occupying a privileged position slightly inland from more than 48km of ravishing coastline, next to the second-largest nature park in the Balearics, this golden-stone village is blessed with stunning natural surroundings.
Combine this with a serene atmosphere and some fine places to eat, you have the ingredients that give Santanyí its special quality.
Near to Felanitx town you can literally find castles in the air. The Castell de Santueri dates from 1228AD and is carved in the rock on the site of a former Saracen fortress. The monastery of San Salvador dates from 1348 and was rebuilt in the 1700s. Both of these magnificent historic buildings are perched at the highest point up in the hills and allow views which stretch for miles around the surrounding countryside. There is also the imposing church of San Miguel within the town which dates back to the 16th century, has a sweeping staircase entrance and once suffered a major collapse which took the lives of hundreds of worshippers. There is a monument within the church to memorialize this.
Be it for the scenery, curiosity or interest in art, Santanyí is well worth a visit and the best time to go is at the weekend. Saturday is market day in Santanyí, so you better start off early. Enjoy a breakfast in one of the cafés and watch the continual coming and going on one of the nicest markets on the island. Take a look around the galleries or stroll around the market stands with their vast selection of curiosities.
As a traditional fishing village, Portocolom retains much of its original charm. The village nestles around one of the largest, most sheltered bays on the island, where the boathouses, lighthouse and boats add to the picturesque nature of the place. There’s a long quay where pleasure craft mix with local fishing boats, and you can take boat trips from here too. The main beach in Portocolom is the blue flag Cala Marcal which enjoys sandy shallow waters making it family-friendly and a good place to find all the waterfront facilities you would expect from a Majorcan holiday. Nearby, there ae also the beaches of S’Arenal Grand and S’Arenal Petit – not to be confused with the major resort of Arenal in the south of Mallorca.
World-famous ancient limestone caves, mapped by French geologist Edouard Martel in the late 19th century. There are four enormous main chambers, numerous romantically named formations of stalactites and stalagmites, and one of the world’s largest underground lakes – the scene of several daily classical music concerts.
The picturesque harbour of Cala Figuera is only a few kilometers away from Santanyí, and the romantic Mediterranean feeling is hard to match. Here you will get an authentic idea of what the island was like before the times of mass tourism. Some 6km from Santanyí village, backed by a cluster of large hotels, Cala Sanyanyí is slightly more developed, and can get busy. It’s still a lovely beach, though, with pristine shallow water, surrounded by pines and palms.
Es Trenc is one of the best known beaches on the island of Mallorca because of its Caribbean blue waters and bright white sand that extends over 2 kilometers along the south of the island. Located between the popular beach resort town, Colonia San Jordi, the flat wetlands of Ses Salines, where some of the best salt in the Balearics is produced, and Sa Rapita, Es Trenc, which translates as “ravine,” is a beach for nature lovers, who will appreciate the sense of remoteness, wild beauty, and heat. Es Trenc is a relaxed beach, though it mainly draws a younger crowd of 20 and 30 year-olds, and families, but you will also find older people here as well. There are few, if any water sports and with only one main restaurant and a few chiringuitos, the Majorcan-style beach bar that serve casual but good food, there is not much in the way of restaurants and outside tourist activity. Lounge chairs and umbrella rentals are available, some of which are self-service, and there is plenty of space to find your own patch of sand to place your towel but definitely bring an umbrella as there is no protected area for shade. The water is truly spectacular here, and a major draw for visitors. Shallow, calm, with occasional waves from the wind, it has a turquoise clear blue color that is more typical of a Caribbean island. The beach is backed up by sand dunes, some rocky outcroppings, shrubs and pines, which extend back into Salobrar de Campos, a beautiful, 1500 hectare natural wetland with salt flats, birds and a small lake.
Cala Varques is one of the most relaxed and low key beaches on Mallorca. Located in the southeast of the island, between the resort towns of Porto Cristo and Portocolom, Cala Varques has a touch of a hippy vibe to it, and indeed you might find some free spirits selling jewellery, drinks or other small souvenirs while you are there. The secluded, cove beach is 90-metres long with white sand and deep, blue water. It is surrounded by low, rocky cliffs and trees. The beach is popular with locals and tourists, particularly couples, who are looking for a chilled out beach day. It is a favorite beach among naturists as well. There are no restaurants or facilities at Cala Varques, nor any water sports for hire, so it is less family-friendly in that regard. There are also no sun loungers or umbrellas for hire. In the peak summer months you may find vendors selling drinks and snacks but as it is not guaranteed, you must bring your own food and drinks for the day as the nearest town is about 10 kilometers away.
Cala Mondragó is one of Mallorca’s top beaches in the southeast of Mallorca, about 10 kilometres from the rural town of Santanyi and the popular resort beach of Cala D’Or. Cala Mondragó is one of Mallorca’s best Blue Flag beaches in part because it was declared a natural park in 1992, protecting the area from development and mass tourism. Though the beach can certainly get crowded in summer months, it remains a clean and relatively low-key, with beachgoers respecting its natural beauty and eco-responsible status. Cala Mondragó, also known as Caló de sa font de n’Alis, is a cove beach, 75 metres long, in between two rocky outcroppings, with white sand and calm, clear water. It is backed up by pine tress and desert plants, which offer lovely paths to wander among or find a bit of shade if needed. And just 400 metre walk away is Mondragó’s larger, sister beach, Cala S’Amarador, a great option if Cala Mondragó is already crowded with people. Cala S’Amarador is larger at 145 metres long and in 2008 was selected as Europe’s “best beach” out of over 3000 submissions at onbeach.com. It is also surrounded by Mondragó Natural Park, full of pine trees and plants.