Cala Major is an established Mallorca resort only a short distance from the city of Palma. Unlike those of Parma, Cala Major’s beaches are sheltered from the elements and as such, they draw quite a crowd over summer.
Cala Major is a great holiday venue for those who want to intermingle their urban flair with relaxing beach time.
What is Cala Major Like?
The resort is a suburb of Palma on the southern coast of Mallorca, about 20km to the west of the Son Sant Joan International airport.
Cala Major was discovered earlier than most of Mallorca as a tourist destination but lost much of its popularity with visitors after the development of more up-to-date resorts like Arenal, C’an Pastilla, Magalluf and Santa Ponsa. Cala Major slowly deteriorated, becoming more residential than a tourist attraction.
The local city council has recently invested a great deal in an attempt to restore the resort to its former glory, and it seems this is beginning to pay off.
History & Culture of Cala Major
Historically, Cala Major has quite a rich heritage. Visitors to the region will not want to miss the Cathedral of La Seu in nearby Parma or the Castillo Bellver Fortress. For art fans, Cala Major houses Mallorca’s most important art collections, including those of the renowned Joan Miro.
The Castillo Bellver fortress is a gothic-style castle situated on a hill outside Cala Major. It was built as a royal residence, and all three of Mallorca’s kings stayed there for different lengths of time. At the end of the 14th century, Joan I of Aragon lived in the castle for four months to escape the plague active on the Spanish mainland.
Interestingly, the current Spanish Royal Family have their official holiday home, the Marivent Palace, in Cala Major.
Beaches in Cala Major
Cala Major beach is the resort’s primary drawing card and attraction. It is a blue flag beach within a few kilometres of Palma de Mallorca. The beach is well sheltered due to outcrops of rocks on each side, which makes it different to many Mallorcan beaches. The stretch of white, fine-grained sand is divided into two by a small pier, which is an excellent sunbathing location.
The sea is immaculate, with its turquoise colour encouraging bathers. Bathing areas, where no boats may enter, are demarcated over the summer months. Sun loungers and parasols are available, while ramps facilitate access for wheelchairs, and public showers and toilet facilities are ample and well-positioned.
There aren’t many watersports happening on the beach, but you can rent water bikes for a bit of ocean enjoyment and will be able to find a beach bar or cafe on your beach holiday afterwards.
No pets are allowed on the beach-front.
Cala Major beach is easily accessed from the resort’s main road, along with access from the Playa Cala Mayor and La Cala hotels.
Things to Do in Cala Major
Cala Major is so close to Palma that it doesn’t compete when finding ways to spend your time when you’re not on the beach or in your hotel. Palma de Mallorca is only 15 minutes away by taxi, and a bus runs between the venues every half an hour, so it makes sense to pop across to the bustle of the big city if you’re looking for excitement or entertainment.
Leave Cala Major for when you’re enjoying the relaxing part of your summer holiday.
Hotels in Cala Major
Cala Major has an impressive selection of luxury and boutique hotels which holiday-makers will certainly appreciate. With its prime location and easy access to Palma, Cala Major affords hotel residents the best of both worlds, with a pristine beach on your doorstep and all the amenities of the city only a short distance away. Some of the hotels in Cala Major are:-
Hotel Santos Nixe Palace
The 5-star Hotel Santos Nixe Palace overlooks Cala Major beach and was one of Mallorca’s first luxury beach-front hotels built during the 1950s. It stands as a reminder of the glory days of Cala Major and a driving force to restore the resort to its former status. Hotel Santos remains a lavish venue with a grand lobby and spectacular facilities.
Guests can enjoy the hotel swimming pool with sea views, a fully-equipped wellness spa and five-star Mediterranean fare at dinner time.
Hotel Be Live La Cala Boutique Hotel
The adults-only La Cala Boutique Hotel has recently been renovated and exudes a modern and functional style. Its rooms are designed to offer peace and quiet to guests while not neglecting their comfort. The hotel is in a great location, is open from May until October and carries the ISO 14001 Certification, a testimony to its effective environmental management system.
Hotel Be Live Marivent
The Marivent is an adult-only hotel designed to cater specifically for couples. Located on the Cala Major beach-front, it offers guests a range of products and services, including its ‘BaySpa’ relaxation zone (at an extra charge), exclusive Beach Club, impressive menu, good facilities and professional treatment.
Hotel Eurostars Marivent
Eurostars Marivent is located 800 metres from the Cala Mayor beach, directly across from the Marivent Palace, and only 5 minutes away from the Joan Miró Foundation. The Marivent’s rooms include wi-fi, are air-conditioned and spacious, with a private terrace. There is an outdoor pool with both child and adult areas.
The Porto Pi shopping centre and the Club de Mar are within walking distance of the Eurostars Marivent.
Restaurants in Cala Major
Cala Major has a fine choice of bars and many restaurants to wind down after a busy day in Palma or on the beach. The beach bars are cosy, with many offering music and cocktails to patrons, which adds to the already-fine atmosphere at a beach-front venue. The beach restaurants provide a variety of different cuisines perfect for discerning guests.
Some of the most noteworthy restaurants in Cala Major are:-
- The Crow’s Nest Restaurant Mallorca: South African and International
- Cyrano Resto Bar: Italian
- Zhero Beach Club: International
- A Popa: Seafood
- Il Paradiso: Italian
Nightlife in Cala Major
If you’re looking for clubs and dancing while on holiday, spend your days on the beach at Cala Major and then hop in an Uber to enjoy the busy nightlife of the capital city in Palma.
The Cala Major beach-front bars will cater for relaxed evening entertainment with music and a few drinks, but that’s the extent of the resort’s nightlife.
Events in Cala Major
The most significant event in Cala Major happens when the Spanish Royal Family spends time at their Marivent Palace holiday home. King Juan Carlos and various members of his family visit Mallorca annually over July and August during July and August and attend several official and unofficial functions. This includes the King’s Cup yacht races held in the Bay of Palma.
It’s always something of an event when the Royal Family is in residence. The police presence in Cala Major increases tenfold with all of the bridges over the Paseo Maritimo on Palma’s seafront guarded, with frequent vehicle checks carried out.
One highlight for locals and tourists alike is the chance to spot Queen Sophie walking the streets of Cala Major or Palma as she carries out her holiday shopping. There could also be an evening when you find yourself in the presence of royalty, as you might find yourself dining at the same venue as the King and Queen.
Local events are few and far between in Cala Major as the proximity to the capital city means the locals more often join in with events held in Palma.
Shopping in Cala Major
Cala Major does have a few shops, but there aren’t many gift shops or clothing shops in the resort. The covered Porto Pi shopping centre, which includes a cinema complex, bowling alley and casino, is close to Cala Major, but, once again, due to its proximity, the vast majority of shopping expeditions will take place in Palma.
How to get to Cala Major
There are 11 flights from London to Palma city in Mallorca daily. The flights take about 2 hours and fifteen minutes, and once you land, you’ll want to catch a bus or taxi from the airport to your destination. The fare is not expensive, and the trip will take 15 to 20 minutes.
Surrounding areas of Cala Major
The most notable area in the nearby vicinity is the capital city, Palma, of which Cala Major is a suburb. Other south-west resorts, like Santa Ponsa, Illetas, Paguera, Portals Nous, Magalluf and Palma Nova, are all located within 20 kilometres and see regular busses travelling between them.
The neighbouring municipality of Calvià is also nearby, with the town of Calvià located about 15 kilometres from Cala Major. The town holds a traditional market along the main street every Monday morning, with over 60 stands selling food, clothes, shoes, and arts and crafts.