Porto Cristo is a seaside resort on the east coast of Majorca, in the Manacor district about 40 miles east of Palma and Majorca’s international airport. The resort has grown from a traditional Majorcan harbour town to become a popular destination for tourists who are looking for a beach-side holiday without the extensive development of the major resort areas of the island.
There has been a port on this location since since Roman times, and the town of Porto Cristo has grown up around the protected natural harbour that forms at the mouth of the Rivet river. The town was once a major naval base, and it was the site of the only battle on Majorca during the Spanish Civil War: in 1936 Republican troops attempted a landing here to wrest control the island from the grip of the Nationalist forces, but the attempt failed and the island remained under Nationalist control. Today the harbour is home to a working fishing fleet, and boasts a modern marina filled with luxury yachts and motor boats. The town’s broad white-sand beach is adjacent to the marina, and sheltered from the open sea by a small rocky point. The promenade that runs behind the town beach and marina is lined with cafés, restaurants and parks, and is a popular place for people to gather in the evenings. Most visitors who stay in Porto Cristo are happy to relax and eat in its restaurants and cafés – but for those who want to party, the lively resort town of Cala Millor is only a short drive by taxi.
Porto Cristo is the location of two of Majorca’s most popular tourist attraction, the Cuevas del Drach (Caves of the Dragon) and the Cuevas del Hams (Caves of Fish Hooks), and the town fills during the day with tour groups and travellers on day trips to see these large limestone cave systems. The entrance to both cave systems are found just south of the town, and only a few minutes walk from the centre. The guided tour of the larger Cuevas del Drach passes through 12 underground chambers adorned with stalactites and stalagmites, to the subterranean shores of Lake Martel, one of the largest known underground lakes in the world – an experience heightened by the presence of a small floating orchestra that fills the cavern with sound.
Porto Cristo is also home to a large modern aquarium, on Calle del Gambi about 200 metres from the entrance to the Cuevas del Drach. The aquarium is spread out over two floors of its purpose-built building, and features more than a hundred displays of fish and other sea creatures from all oceans in the world, as well as local undersea flora and fauna. Visitors who want to get close-up with the sea life will find many excellent opportunities for snorkelling around the rocky headlands on each side of the town, and several scuba dive operators offer guided trips to more remote dive sites in the area. The area boasts 27 kilometres of coastline, with many excellent beaches that are easily reached from the Porto Cristo. After the town beach itself, the closest is Porto Cristo Novo, about 10 minutes drive away. It is smaller than the town beach, but less crowded during the busy summer months and is also home to a sailing and windsurfing school.
Car Hire in Porto Cristo
It’s probably best (and safer) to reserve a car in Palma de Mallorca International Airport, one of Spain’s busiest. It is home to all the reputable car rental agencies familiar to most travelers: Hertz, Alamo, National, Discount, Thrifty, etc.
Just for fun, we tried doing an online reservation (some online services will not take reservations that stretch out to more than 30 days) for the period April 30 to May 15 for both a compact car (couple) and a full size van (family). This is what we obtained, rate-wise:
Compact car, two weeks: manual, air conditioning, and unlimited mileage – from £265 to £480.
Full size van, two weeks: manual, air conditioning, and unlimited mileage – approximately £690.
Car rental rates vary according to the season, so travelers must book ahead of time to avoid any unpleasant surprise. The airport also has shuttle coach and limo services.
To book a car to hire please visit our car hire page