Located on the southeastern coast of the island Cala d’Or is a beautiful beach resort popular among both holiday-makers and residents. There is a reason why this spot is called the golden bay. The stunning beaches in and around Cala d’Or are perfect for a relaxing holiday and also offer great activities. Fans of hiking and excursions will love the well-preserved surrounding nature while younger visitors will fully enjoy the vibrant nightlife scene Cala d’Or offers. Read on for the best activities, restaurants and hotels in Cala d’Or.
History and Culture of Cala d’Or
Cala d’Or was one of the first touristic, coastal resorts in Mallorca. It belongs to the municipality of Santanyi and is in summer the most populated and most touristic centre of this municipality. The building of Cala d’Or started around 1933 inspired by Ibiza’s architecture and image which makes it different from other holiday resorts on the island. You will find predominantly two floor-high whitewashed houses with a cubic architecture and flat roofs. This image was also kept when hotels were built. Their construction happened under strict control to ensure the preservation of this charming character.
Today Cala d’Or is a typical Mallorcan holiday resort with numerous hotels, restaurants, bars and shops that attract a great number of visitors but close during winter. The resort offers lively summers and quiet winters. During the hotter season a mixed, international crowd of tourists of all ages flocks here. Families, couples, students and also yacht fans love the resort.
The popular Festival de Jazz de Cala d’Or, which first took place in 1994, yearly attracts jazz lovers from all over. For six days during May visitors can listen to great jazz concerts and participate in fun activities.
In August the resort hosts the festival of Santa María del Mar. This festival features a great fair and parade in addition to activities, delicious food and live music.
How to get there
It only takes you a bit more than an hour by car to get to Cala d’Or from Palma. The best buses to take from the capital are number 500 and 501. It’s well worth the ride because the area around Cala d’Or offers more stunning places and beaches to visit such as the lovely village of Santanyi or the coastal towns of Portopetro and Portocolom.
Beaches and a Marina
The resort of Cala d’Or is ideally located on Mallorca‘s southern coast and close to numerous sandy beaches or smaller magic coves. Among the most popular ones is the resort’s eponymous Cala d’Or beach. However, there are many more stunning beaches and coves worth exploring. There Cala Gran, Cala Serena and Cala Petita, Cala Ferrera and Cala Egos as well as Cala Esmeralda, Cala Galera and Cala d’es Forti to name a few. Some of them are smaller and more intimate, perfect for those who seek ultimate relaxation in a quiet place. All in all, there are beaches for every taste.
Cala d’Or also features a well-equipped marina popular among sailing lovers and yacht fans. They love the Cala d’Or Yacht Club. The marina was built in a natural opening on the coast in 1969. Almost 600 moorings, along with many high-end amenities, make the Cala d’Or marina one of Mallorca‘s larger and more luxurious ones. Around the marina you will find several restaurants, bars, shops and supermarkets. So not only sailing and yachting fans will enjoy the marina.
Did you know that the environmental conservation organisation SOS La Santa Maria regularly organises sea and beach clean ups in the area of Cala d’Or? Their aim is to raise awareness about the plastic pollution in our oceans. For more information about their clean up events check the Look Mallorca Instagram stories regularly.
What to do in Cala d’Or
The main attraction in Cala d’Or is surely its beautiful beach which makes it the perfect spot for all beach lovers. You will be able to practice all kinds of watersports, such as paddle boarding or scuba diving. Or you can rent a boat or yacht in the marina.
In addition, hiking and nature fans will enjoy exploring Mallorca‘s stunning south coast by foot. There are many natural parks, coves and hidden caves. The Parc Natural de Mondragó is one of the more frequented nature reserves thanks to its beautiful beaches with crystal-clear water at the end of the park, Cala Mondragó and S’Amarador.
Cala d’Or is furthermore a great destination for history lovers. At the eastern end of the avenue of El Fortín you can find El Fortín, also Es Fortí. This monument was built in 1730 as garrison during the War of Spanish Succession. Today it is one of the Balearic’s protected cultural heritage sites. On your way there you will pass Mallorca’s rugged coastal landscape, an enjoyable and easy walk.
There are lots of commercial pedestrian streets in Cala d’Or. For example the Avenida de Bélgica and the Calle de Andrés Roig. These pedestrian streets offer a good mix of shops with some chic boutiques. Keep in mind that most of these shops are closed in winter. If you are more into authentic and handmade Mallorcan products, visit one of the surrounding towns for more shopping opportunities. Santanyi is home to some lovely stores.
There are many restaurants in Cala d’Or that offer similar, typical and simple dishes. However, there are a few that stand out with more interesting menus. One of our favourites is Restaurant Diferent, a hip restaurant that serves a unique culinary fusion of Eastern and Western cuisine. The restaurant Lola Mallorca offers a great selection of beer and pinchos. As well as a feel-good atmosphere created by the best DJs and live music. Fans of Asian food and sushi will love the unique dishes at Restaurant Soy on Avenida de Bélgica. Whereas meat lovers will enjoy a great steak or burger at Meatclub Mallorca. Rucula del Puerto offers exquisite Mediterranean dishes, including heavenly seafood, and Mallorcan wine. If you like to lunch or dine with sea views visit Port Petit Restaurant, where you can enjoy a creative cuisine with a Mediterranean touch on a terrace overlooking the harbour.
Where to Stay
There are numerous great hotels in Cala d’Or, most of them have three or four stars. They offer wonderful rooms with a top service. One of them is the Monsuau Sensory Hotel with its exceptional design, spacious rooms and unique Sky Restaurant and Lounge from where you can enjoy fantastic views.
Another marvellous place to stay at is the Hotel Cala d’Or (HCD) which is Mallorca‘s second oldest hotel with about 80 years. It was recently renovated and modernised by G4Deco and now features a beautiful interior and exterior that still remain true to the hotel’s roots. For those who like it more intimate and quiet, or for bigger families there are also many villas available for rent in the surrounding area of Cala d’Or.