Cala d’Or is a picturesque and relatively-exclusive holiday resort town on Mallorca’s east coast. Its relaxing town centre and intimate bays are perfect for a romantic escape with the one you love or if you want to take your family for a dream holiday.
And a dream holiday it will be. You could spend your days on one of Cala d’Or’s beaches or next to the pool at your hotel or villa. Alternatively, you could choose to explore some of the many highlights available in the area.
What is Cala D’or Like?
Cala d’Or translates into “The Golden Bay” in English, and nothing could be more apt. The Intrurotel Sa Marina is highly esteemed, and the charming white houses in Cala D’or are all well-maintained, contributing to the area’s relaxed, family-oriented holiday feel.
History & Culture of Cala D’or
Cala d’Or doesn’t have the historical heritage of places like Palma, but if architecture and landmarks interest you, you should visit Es Forti.
Es Forti is a cultural interest site in Mallorca and was built in 1793 as a military base. You can either view Es Forti from Cala Petita or enjoy the walk to the fort from Cala d’Or marina.
The Parc Natural de Mondragó nature reserve is not too far from Es Forti. The natural ecosystem remains intact with exquisite sandy beaches, including Ses Fonts de n’Alísals and Cala Mondragó, not disturbed by any human development. Paths to the beaches take you for a leisurely walk, with some small beach bars greeting you at your destination.
Culturally, you’ll notice that Cala d’Or is quite different from most holiday resorts in Mallorca. Buildings are usually two stories high, with white facades and cubic-type architecture. Lines of pine trees are visible on the outskirts of most properties, with Ibiza being the inspiration for the style incorporated.
The town hosts a range of tourists of different nationalities, with the summer months hosting some exuberant forms of entertainment. When the busy period passes, Cala d’Or adopts a sophisticated environment.
Beaches in Cala D’or
Cala d’Or is home to five wonderful beaches, all of which are in bays engulfed by cliffs. The most extensive beaches are Cala Gran and Cala Ferrera, with Cala Esmeralda slightly smaller and Cala d’Or and Cala Serena both smaller.
All five beaches have fine white sand and appealing clear turquoise water, with sun loungers and parasols for hire. Every beach is in superb condition, and the warm water makes swimming pleasurable and necessary! If you fancy a drive, there are other beach options, with the natural beaches of S’Amarador or Cala Sa Nau further north well worth a visit.
In season there’s not always room on the beaches for your kids to play properly, but with shallow and calm water, there’s fun to be had by the whole family.
Cala Gran and Cala Ferrera rent out pedalos, while windsurfing equipment can be hired at Cala Esmeralda. Cala Ferrera bay is probably where you should visit if you’re more into diving. All the bays make for great snorkelling, with the clear and multitudes of fish near the cliffs making this a worthwhile exercise.
Things to Do in Cala D’or
There is a lot to do in Cala D’or, so we’ve made several suggestions for you, depending on your interests.
Countless boat trips are available if you’re keen to see Mallorca from a different perspective. The Cala d’Or Marina is where you’ll find boats to charter or share a charter with somebody else. These charters are generally great value; many offer lunches and drinks as part of the deal, along with paddleboards, bodyboards, and snorkelling equipment.
All the charter boats come equipped with life jackets, so all you need to take with you is your towel and swimming costume. Larger charters are available for parties of ten people, with some available from elsewhere in Cala D’or besides the Cala d’Or Marina.
Cala d’Or Marina is also where you’ll find all the required watersports options. The Sea Riders offer a fishing boat charter, or you can sign up for a jet ski tour, which is 30 minutes long and includes your tour guide, insurance and fuel. No jet ski licence is needed!
The Starfish glass-bottom catamarans sail back and forth throughout the day, collecting passengers for the experience of a lifetime. Following a set route along the coast, the catamarans afford you a fantastic view of all the coves and gullies around Cala D’or before they head out into open water.
The dolphins are where the fish are, so you’ll meet up with fishing boats as you travel. Don’t worry about missing them, as it’s almost guaranteed there’ll be dolphins where you’re going. The trip isn’t expensive, and the catamaran will stop off at Cala Mondrago, so you can swim or snorkel too.
The Cala d’Or resort covers a massive area, and much of it you can explore on foot. It’s easy to walk from the beach at Cala Gran to Cala Esmeralda, then further to Cala Ferrara and finally to Cala Serena.
If you walk the other way from Cala Gran, you can walk down to Cala D’or Marina or across to Cala Petita. Walking a little further will find you at Caló des Pou and Cala Egos.
There are two children’s fun parks in Cala d’Or. Happy Park and Fantasy Park are close to each other, and they’re both lots of fun for the youngsters. There are air hockey tables, bungee trampolines, giant inflatable slides and coin-operated go-karts, among other attractions. Depending on your kid’s age, you’ll also need to ride in the Happy Park go-karts.
Public toilets are on-site, and there are several places to buy refreshments. The parks open at 4 pm and close their doors around the witching hour. It’ll be best to arrive early in summer as parking can be hard to find. A way around this is to catch the bus to the venues.
Some of the best golfing in Mallorca is hosted by the Vall d’Or golf club. This elevated 18-hole course has amazing vistas of the coast and all of the amenities offered by high-class golf clubs, including a first-rate meal at the Máxime restaurant.
Rancho Jaume riding stables offers holidaymakers the chance to explore Cala d’Or on horseback with some excellent riding packages. These include excursions to the beaches, the coves and out into the country. You should note that these tours aren’t on offer during peak season, but ride-outs are available for novices through to experts during other periods.
A short bus trip to Porto Cristo will bring you to the Caves of Drach and the Caves of Hams. These two cave features include some fascinating rock formations and will allow you a break from the beach and the beating sun for a while. Once you’re done underground, perhaps consider a stroll through Porto Cristo before heading back to Cala d’Or.
A 10-minute bus trip from Cala d’Or will find you in Portopetro, a fully operational fishing village. Watch the fishermen at work while strolling through the harbour before experiencing a fresh fish dinner at one of the many fish restaurants in the village.
Cala d’Or is on the coast, but near the Serra de Levante, so there are plenty of cycling routes on offer. You can take a leisurely cycle along the coastal roads to call in at nearby resorts or beaches or challenge yourself on inland routes, like the trails to the monasteries. Racing and mountain bikes can be hired in Cala d’Or.
Hotels in Cala D’or
Several top-class hotels in the town cater to visitors’ every need. Some of the more prominent include:
- Hotel Cala D’Or
- Petit Hotel Sant Miquel
- Blau PortoPetro Beach Resort & Spa
- Prinsotel Alba & Spa
- SENTIDO Tucan
- Meliá Cala d’Or Boutique Hotel
- Hotel Rural Sa Cala Galera
Restaurants in Cala D’or
In Cala d’Or, numerous restaurants provide a variety of different cuisines. Some of the more notable ones include:
- Churchill’s Tapas Bar: Mediterranean, European and Spanish
- Port Petit: French
- No 17 Bar & Restaurant: Modern Mediterranean
- Yacht Club Cala d’Or: Mediterranean and international
- Different: Fusion
- Da Marcello Pizza e Pasta: Italian
- Yaya’s: Mediterranean and Japanese
Nightlife in Cala D’or
Cala d’Or is not renowned as a nightlife hotspot like southwestern Mallorca, where the Magaluf or El Arenal resorts are famous in this regard. There is nightlife to enjoy, however, with the primary areas being the string of restaurants and bars along Cala d’Or Marina and Cala d’Or Centre.
If you want to dance the night away, you should go to Club Tiempo for their 10 pm opening time.
Events in Cala D’or
There’s always some gastronomic or religious event in Mallorca, and Cala d’Or’s summer festival is the pinnacle of the town’s year. The festival is held over the first fortnight in August and includes open-air music concerts, sporting events and craft markets.
The festival closes on 15 August with a flotilla of boats commemorating La Virgen de Agosto, or Assumption Day.
Shopping in Cala D’or
If you’re looking to shop in the town, you should know which areas to find the wares you’re looking for.
Central Zone (Avda Tagomago)
Here you’ll find perfume stores, boutiques, jewellery shops, sunglasses shops, souvenir shops, toy shops, and fashionwear shops. The central zone has everything you’d expect to find in a tourism centre like Cala d’Or.
Porto Petro is the prime shopping area for fashionwear in Cala d’Or.
Cala d’Or centre night market
In the Summer months, there are a few night markets that take place in the town. The most popular of these is in the Cala d’Or centre in Plaza Toni Costa. A variety of holiday souvenirs and arts and crafts are on sale.
Another night market is hosted weekly by the Cala Egos centre, where the same types of products are on sale.
How to get to Cala D’or
To get to Cala d’Or, you must fly to Mallorca’s Palma Airport and then take a taxi for the 50-minute drive to your destination. Most UK airports fly to Palma, which is an approximate two-and-a-half-hour flight.
Surrounding areas of Cala D’or
The town is part of the municipality of Santanyí and is located 62.2 km from Palma and 21.9 km from Manacor. The closest neighbouring towns are Felanitx, Santanyí, Portocolom and Portopetro.