Cala Mandia is a small resort about 5 kilometres south of Porto Cristo, on the east coast of Majorca. It is also also known as Porto Cristo Novo, and sometimes as Cala Romantica (“Romantic Beach”) after the main beach in the town.
The town is built around three small rocky bays. Each shelters a fine sandy beach with a long and gentle slope out into the bay that is perfect for young children and inexperienced swimmers. The beaches at Cala Mandia are smaller but less crowded than the beach at neighbouring Porto Cristo – especially during the busy summer months when Porto Cristo is filled with tourists who come to visit the nearby cave systems, Cuevas del Drach and Cuevas del Hams. Cala Mandia usually escapes the attention of the crowds.
As a result, Cala Mandia has kept closely to its origins as a quiet seaside area. The tourist developments in the area are relatively new, and most are oriented towards families on holiday and older couples. There is a wide range of accommodations available, from independent apartments to luxury resort hotels. The night-life in Cala Mandia is generally limited to the hotels, restaurants and bars – but the major resort areas of Cala Millor and Cala Bona are just a short taxi drive away for visitors who want to party. A frequent local bus service connects Cala Mandia with nearby Porto Cristo, giving visitors easy access to the wider range of shops and restaurants there, as well as to the famous caves and other tourist attractions such as the Porto Cristo aquarium.
The coastline south from Cala Mandia is a sparsely populated and unspoiled landscape of rocky coves and sheltered sandy beaches. Cala Varques and Cala Magraner, a few kilometres to the south, have the reputation of being two of the most beautiful beaches on the island, and feature on many postcards of the island. Cala Varques is surrounded cliffs that plunge directly into deep water, which are a favourite spot for jumping and diving. This part of the coast is rural and undeveloped, and so there are no facilities for tourists on these beaches – visitors are advised to bring their own food and water.
About six kilometres further south, the purpose built resorts of Cales de Majorca and Cala Murada have three sandy beaches where of beach-side activities for visitors are on offer, as well as numerous restaurants targeted to foreign tourists. These beaches are clean and sandy, but not large – and so they do become crowded. The main beach of Cala Marcal is staffed by life-guards, and has a gentle slope and shallow water – making it an excellent place for children to swim.
This stretch of coast ends at the seaside town of Portocolom. The town retains much of its original character as an important fishing harbour, but has become popular as a destination with tourists who want to experience a part of Majorca that has escaped the mass commercialisation. Portocolom is also the site of one of the best preserved ancient burial sites on Majorca, and the scene of a major archaeological investigation by the University of the Balearic Islands into the local prehistoric peoples.