The fishing village of Port d’Andratx lies at the southwest end of Mallorca and has developed into one of the island’s most elegant holiday destinations. Locals rub shoulders with holiday homeowners, some of whom are celebrities with stylish villas that can be seen stretching up the overlooking hills.
Besides the film stars, Port d’Andratx is also popular with the yachting community, with many considering the village to have the most picturesque harbour in the Mediterranean.
What is Port d’Andratx Like?
Those that live and stay in Port d’Andratx will tell you that the hilly harbour perimeter and vibrant social scene make the village what it is. In reality, although festivity and working fishing boats certainly contribute to the local economy, the burgeoning real estate demand is causing the true financial boom in Port d’Andratx.
Property prices in the region have shot up recently, with well-off potential buyers taking an interest in the villas covering the surrounding hills.
Port d’Andratx has a population of about 3,300, with German ex-pats being the largest of an evergrowing foreign resident base. While the summer holiday influx swells the population substantially, many of Port d’Andratx’s businesses cease operations when the visitors depart.
The port is constantly busy, though, with some foreign homeowners seeking off-season sunshine too.
History & Culture of Port d’Andratx
Since the days of the Renaissance, the port at Andratx Town has been a vital coastal hub. During the Renaissance, people transported from the mainland used the harbour as a base. Since the late 1700s, the harbour has been used as a fishing port, although currently, mainly yachts occupy more of the harbour than fishing vessels, thanks to the Club de Vela marina.
The existing docks were built sometime during the 19th century and have undergone consistent upgrades and renovations ever since.
The watchtowers of Sant Francesc and Sant Carles were built as a defence against pirates, and the abandoned remains of the 19th century La Trapa Trappist monastery close to Sant Elm provide some incredible views of the legendary uninhabited island of Sa Dragonera, which was afforded national park status in 1995.
Port d’Andratx should not be confused with the much older Andratx Town, with the former formed in the 1950s as a resort around the long-established fishing port. Port d’Andratx has grown with residents, including an eclectic mix of local fishermen, media people, celebrities, and other visitors.
Beaches in Port d’Andratx
There are no recognised beaches in Port d’Andratx, although a few coves and small bathing areas offer instant access to the sea’s clear and fresh waters. With transport, you can call on the next-door resorts of Sant Elm and Camp de Mar, which offer more renowned sandy beaches with lifeguards, sun loungers, umbrellas and other beach-related amenities.
The primary attraction in Port d’Andratx is the Club de Vela marina, which many say makes up for the lack of a natural beach. The marina is situated on the north side of the bay and, since the cosmopolitan and somewhat-elite sailing club opened back in the late 60s, has become the social epicentre of the resort.
Recognisable and affluent people from all over the world frequent the marina, including Brad Pitt, ABBA’s Anni-Frid Lyngstad, and some of Michael Schumaker’s family, who all own property in Port d’Andratx.
Along with the 500-berth marina, the club provides a range of water sports and a sailing school. There’s also a highly-rated Mediterranean restaurant that caters to locals and visitors, who often call to mingle and enjoy the bay’s spectacular vistas.
Things to Do in Port d’Andratx
There’s no shortage of activities to keep you busy in Port d’Andratx. Apart from taking in the amazing sea views or visiting the marina, the resort is engulfed by spectacular scenery, encouraging many cyclists and hikers to visit the region through the years. As a nautical village, much can also be done in the harbour and the sea. Here are some ideas:-
Many coastal roads with slight inclines make for a relaxed ride, and the more intrepid cyclist can also challenge themself up and down the steep slopes that make up the Tramuntana mountains. The route that takes you from Andratx to Port de Pollença is reputed to be one of the most interesting in the cycling world.
This specific route includes Estellencs and Banyalbufar, some scenic coastal townlets, before moving into the mountainous area and the historic villages of Valldemossa, Deia, Lluc and Pollenca. You don’t need to bring your bike on holiday, as many local rentals are available in the resort.
With Port d’Andratx located at the foot of the Serra de Tramuntana mountains, there are several trails for hikers in the region. If you’re looking for great views, the hiking route from Saint Elm takes you to Sa Trappa, an abandoned Trappist monastery, and then down into a mesmeric Mallorcan valley.
This round trip will take about three hours to complete and provides some of the most incredible views of Sa Dragonera.
Andratx Golf Club provides an 18-hole championship golf course within a couple of kilometres of Port d’Andratx, near Camp de Mar. The course’s signature hole, the 6th, is 609 metres from the back tee and has the reputation of being the “Longest Hole in Spain.”
Boat trips are commonplace from Port d’Andratx, with popular sunset tours joining half and full-day trips on the prospective programme. Motor boats and motorised yachts offer various excursions, including the short trip to Sa Dragonera, where you can check out the coves and trails while familiarising yourself with the local plant species and bird and reptilian wildlife.
Chartering one of a host of available private luxury yachts is potentially the most comfortable way of exploring the Port d’Andratx coastline, as you’ll have the opportunity to experience many of Mallorcan west coast’s coves and gullies at your leisure.
Many charter companies will be willing to negotiate long-term yacht charters.
Club de Vela offers canoe hire and sailing lessons all year round, and you’ll have the opportunity to take up diving if you approach one of the several local diving schools.
Art & Sightseeing
Art appreciators should undoubtedly make a turn at the Liedtke Museum, which displays the artist Dieter W. Liedtke’s distinctive art pieces. The art is impressive, and the clifftop housing the villa-based museum offers some awe-inspiring Mediterranean sea views.
Hotels in Port d’Andratx
There are a few hotels in Port d’Andratx, ranging from luxury to more cost-effective. Andratx Town is a few kilometres away, and you can extend your options to include a boutique hotel or two by including the town in your search. The best options available in Port d’Andratx are as follows:-
Mon Port Hotel & Spa
Mon Port Hotel is arguably your most upmarket option in the resort, with refined rooms and the Blue Spa Wellness Centre, which includes therapeutic massages, in-depth body treatments, hot tubs, hammams and saunas. You’re also treated to a fully-equipped gym, swimming pool, outside al fresco bar, tennis court, and a piano bar to sip a cocktail or two.
Hotel Villa Italia
This boutique-style restored mansion overlooks the bay with its rooms encompassing the hotel’s traditional style but including contemporary furnishings to enhance their guests’ comfort.
Restaurants in Port d’Andratx
You can visit many restaurants while staying in Port d’Andratx, and they cater to varied tastes. A list of a few of the most noteworthy follows:-
- La Gourmeda: Modern Mediterranean and Asiatic
- Sumailla: Japanese-Peruvuan fusion
- Urbano: International, Mediterranean and European
- Trespais: Italian, German and Spanish
- Oliu: Mediterranean
Nightlife in Port d’Andratx
Monkey Mind is the only actual nightclub in Port d’Andratx, hosting speciality nights featuring pop, house and Spanish music. Other venues in the resort offer sundowners and after-dinner fare as opposed to partying the night away. Tim’s Bar and Romeo’s Lounge Bar fit into this category and are among the most popular venues in Port d’Andratx.
Events in Port d’Andratx
Port d’Andratx plays host to a few annual events with special meaning to the locals:-
Virgin del Carmen
This festival, held over five days in mid-July, honours Virgin del Carmen, the patron saint of fishermen. The port’s largest festival combines festooned boats in the harbour with multi-coloured, bright parades through the Port Andratx streets.
Landowners and farmers gather annually at the end of March for this local event, which takes the form of a craft market and livestock auction in Andratx Town centre.
Festes de San Antoni
This festival takes place all over Mallorca in January, but it’s tradition for Port d’Andratx locals to light bonfires in the Plaza de la Iglesia, followed by dancing and concerts.
Shopping in Port d’Andratx
Port d’Andratx has a wide variety of stores selling everything from clothes to jewellery. There are several gift shops and local vendors that stock almost anything and everything.
How to get to Port d’Andratx
Catch a flight from London to Palma airport in Mallorca, which will take approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes. Once there, you’ll have to catch the 547-Aeroport bus to Arribades and switch to the 1078-pl. d’Espanya, which will take you to Port d’Andratx.
Surrounding areas of Port d’Andratx
Areas close to Port d’Andratx include:
- Cala Falco
- Camp de Mar
- Playa de Santa Ponsa
- Puerto Portals