Discovering Mallorca: Porto Colom – Porto Cristo
The island of Mallorca is simply awash with little caves and ports, calas and bays, embarcaderos and beaches… after all, it is surrounded by the sea. But it is the uniquely mountainous, richly geological landscape of the island which means that where that land meets the sea, it does so with a series of stunning natural results. One such consequence of this relationship are the caves I featured a few posts ago, and those incredible underground chambers are far from unique on this island of plenty. But only a few minutes from those caves, and indeed extending all the way along the Eastern coast of Mallorca, are a series of little bays and ports all of which betray a certain tranquil nature much removed from the bustling city of Palma.
So now that the intense heat of the summer has past, we recognised that the time to set about discovering more of Mallorca was surely upon us, and with my mother’s visit in part coinciding, we set about discovering two of the ports on the East Coast.
The Porto Colom was all about its embarcaderos… the little boat houses with their whimsically painted doors, lined up in a row just like the typical English beach hut, but having the distinctly Mallorquin advantage of plunging straight into a turquoise blue sea. Spreading across a zig zagging craggy coast line, the port had something of a dual character, with a charming old town, a two-towered church at its centre, on one side, and a more commercial fishing port lined by gently angled pine trees on the other.
Just up the coast, and 3 minutes from the Cuevas Drach, the Porto Cristo was an altogether more touristy affair. Chasing the nostalgia of my mother who had holidayed there in the 70s, the port remained in part exactly as she had remembered it, with a horrifying array of crass tourist menus displaying row upon row of numbered photos of food, without even a description to explain what the dish was.
However happily our initial shock was replaced by the happy coincidence of our discovery of the port’s beautifully sandy beach, with cerulean waters splashing gently against the cliffs which plunge dramatically into the sea along the beach’s egde. We were also glad to find that not all the restaurants relied upon a catalogue of photos, and a short walk along the waterfront led us to a more salubrious slice of town, where we wiled away the early afternoon with a glass or two of wine and a few delicious Italian dishes… with no numbered photo in sight.
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