Santa Margalida is a historic region in Majorca’s north-eastern plains, best known for its two seaside towns of C’an Picafort and Son Serra de Marina on the bay of Alcúdia. The region offers visitors a blend of modern beach resorts, charming inland towns and villages, and unique wilderness areas.
The regional centre of Santa Margalida is set inland about 10 kilometres from the coast. The town has a reputation for handicrafts and has been an important centre of agriculture since ancient times. Before the Spanish Reconquest in the 13th Century, Santa Margalida was part of Moorish agricultural estate – today it lies at the centre of a traditional rural landscape that gives visitors a glimpse of Majorcan life that has all but disappeared on the coastline. The town’s central square features an impressive gothic-style parish church, alongside many bars and restaurants. The surrounding countryside is some of the flattest in Majorca, but the centre of the town is built on a small hill, and the church tower offers visitors a wide view of the surrounding countryside.
Ca’n Picafort lies roughly in the centre of the long stretch of white sand beach that rings the Bay of Alcúdia from Port d’Alcúdia in the west to the mountainous Peninsula de Llevant in the east. It is a busy modern resort with extensive facilities for tourists, and many cafes, restaurants and bars line the beachside promenade. Daytime activities on the beach include windsurfing, scuba diving, and boat tours around the bay. Ca’n Picafort also has one of the largest go-kart racing tracks on Majorca, which includes a 700 metre-long professional course that hosts international karting competitions. Horseriding is also available nearby, as well as golfing at any of northern Majorca’s six excellent golf courses.
The Albufera wildlife reserve separates Ca’n Picafort from the resort of Playa de Muro to the west. This protected wetland is the largest on Majorca, and an important nesting site for large flocks of birds that make the journey from mainland Europe each winter. The reserve covers almost 2000 hectares, and well-marked tracks allow easy access on foot or bicycle.
The small seaside town of Son Serra de Marina is about six kilometres south and east of C’an Picafort. The strip of tourist development that begins in the west of the Bay of Alcúdia has yet to reach this far down the coast, and so Son Serra remains quiet and low-key. There are three popular beaches along this stretch of the coast, joined by a hiking and cycling trail that reaches to C’an Picafort. The long stretch of beach east of the town is popular with wind and kite surfers.
The necropolis of Son Real is an ancient burial ground on the coast just a short distance west of Son Serra de Marina, and can reached on foot from the town in about 20 minutes. It features more than 100 stone-walled tombs that date from Majorca’s Talayot culture more than 2500 years ago, and is one of the best-preserved iron-age sites in Europe. Many of the tombs were used for centuries, and held burial sites from different periods. Today, the jumble of stone walls and chambers resembles the ruins of an ancient city overlooking the bay.