The general lack of commercialisation of the east coast, has made it possible to see evidence of mans earliest occupation of the island. A short distance away from the town, there are prehistoric remains at Sa Gruta and Son Moro, and within Porto Cristo itself there’s a Roman basilica on the Avinguda de Joan Amer. Also behind the existing harbour, it is possible to see the site of the original Roman port, and it was here that a few years ago the remains of a Roman ship were discovered.
The main town beach isn’t particularly large and can become quite crowded at times. However, in all fairness, it is both clean and sheltered and does offer the usual range of sun loungers and pedalos for hire. About 10 minutes drive away to the south, you’ll find the Porto Cristo Novo beach.
Although being somewhat smaller it is however, less crowded and has a sailing and windsurfing school. The local council are very proud that along the 27km of coastline that form the municipality of Manacor, no less than 9 of its beaches have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag for cleanliness.
The town does have a fairly good range of shops for the everyday essentials whilst you are away from home, and a little further inland, at the town of Manacor, you will find the heart of the Mallorcan pearl industry. As we briefly mentioned on the general introduction page, these artificial pearls are produced in a special process that somehow combines glass and pulverised fish scales.
The finished pearl is then barely distinguishable from the genuine naturally formed article. The general public are welcomed to watch the manufacturing process, and afterwards visit the on site factory shop.
This is a quiet family resort with relaxation the principal holiday activity, there is limited entertainment, especially for the 18-30 age group. The accommodation is mainly modest hotels and a few apartments, mostly located to the south of town, near the caves. A couple of 3-star establishments are outside of the town.
Porto Cristo is in the middle of the eats coast, (40 mls E of Palma and the airport. 8 mls E of Manacor). It is situated on a gently sloping ground with a rocky coastline; surrounded by low pine- and scrub-covered hills, orchards and cultivated farmland.
An active regional town first and resort second, Porto Cristo is appealing rather than beautiful, with authentic character and some very good sea views.
It boasts an old centre with plenty of shady trees, greenery and flowers lining its narrow streets, a natural harbour protected by rocky headlands, and a small, sandy beach. The harbour has more of a leisure than working feel with gleaming yachts and pleasure boats visible from the promenade.
The town beach, is situated below the main road in a small, sheltered bay, it is 300 yards long by 14 yards wide, with fine sand, it can become very crowded, especially at weekends. There are sunbeds, thatched parasols, pedalloes and showers available.
There is reasonable range for the shopper, such as one would expect in a small, thriving town. Many warehouses and pearl stores in nearby Manacor, which also has a Monday market.
For restaurants there is plenty of choice, if no great variety. Terrace restaurants overlook the harbour. Several near the caves, including fast-food outlets.
Manacor is just an ordinary town with a population of around 30,000. Narrow streets radiate randomly from its large, central Gothic-style church, whose spires soar above the surrounding low-rise buildings and tree-lined streets and squares.
Manacor is famous for its pearl factory and, more locally, for its good-quality wooden furniture. Apart from its attractive old centre, this is one of the lesser attractive towns on the island, and most visitors are simply passing through on the way to somewhere else.
However, Manacor is lively, restless, accessible, rapidly growing, and a great centre for sport activities, shopping, industry and culture, including art and is a commercial and industrial town and regional capital. The town of Manacor is situated in a hollow which experiences the freezing fogs of winter and the burning heat of the summer.
It is surrounded by a diversity of landscapes and a countryside where large manor houses with defence towers dominate the horizon, former refuges for those fleeing Burber pirate attacks. Today several of such towers have been reconverted into establishments catering for agricultural and rural tourism.
Manacor has recently experienced a great boom in tourism and the nearby beaches are well attended in the summer. The recent boom has encouraged an increase in the number of hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions. It has also enabled the area to become more organised. Most of Manacors beaches have been awarded the Blue Flag for safety and facilities.
Another industry for which Manacor is famous, and indeed Mallorca in general, is olive wood. There is a good factory on the entrance road to Manacor that allows visits. You can visit the showrrom and see thousands of items hand crafted from olive wood. You will also see some of the antique machinery once used in the factory. The visit is free and prices are reasonable for the olive wood items. You will see everything from coffee tables to coasters, dominos and pens.
Typical of a small town, with modest everyday shops and supermarkets. No real choice for tourists, apart from shops selling locally made pearls. There is a Monday market and daily vegetable market.
During the daytime activities include walking, cycling and relaxing. There is a small local museum, and guided tours of local pearl factory.
The nightlife is limited to hotel bar/restaurant and low-key cafe/bars towards resort centre.
Sandwiched between the resorts of Fuengirola and Torremolinos, Benalmadena is another of the Costa’s home-grown tourist resorts.
The municipality is actually divided into three separate smaller towns. The first is Benalmadena Pueblo (village), which is located on the mountain side. It is a typical Andalusian village with heavy Moorish influences characterised by winding narrow streets and white-washed homes.
It has a wide variety of amenities including museums, a castle, sports centre, shops, bars and restaurants. One of the most popular attractions in Benalmadena Pueblo is the unique Castillo de Colomares, the town’s lookout castle. It represents architecture from five centuries and despite the haphazard result, it is well worth a visit. Arroyo de la Miel is the second town and lies between Benalmadena Pueblo and Benalmadena Costa. This is where most of the population in the area live and where the majority of businesses are located. It too, has a wide variety of amenities including a sports complex, bilingual library as well as a selection of bars and restaurants.
The world famous theme park, Tivoli World is also located here. The area has an array of differing attractions such as its own casino, nightclubs and golf course.
Benalmadena Costa has 9kms of coastline with beautiful beaches and coves. It also boasts a fully equipped marina with more than 1,000 berths. The Paseo Maritimo in Benalmadena Costa is lined with small shops and bars.
At night the port in Benalmadena is illuminated with such great effect that it has been awarded the Blue Flag accolade.
Situated on the S coast of Spain, in the centre of the Costa del Sol, Benalmadena is 14½ mls SW of Malaga town and 12 mls SW of Malaga airport. It is postioned on the coast, backed by hills of the Sierra Mijas.
Benalmadena offers a wide range for the holiday maker, from the upmarket casino-going, yachting crowd to more budget-minded self-catering sun, sea and sand lovers.
It consists mainly of families in the summer and mature holidaymakers in the winter. The beaches are not as good as in neighbouring resorts with short stretches of sand, some of which is imported, are interspersed with rocky outcrops. At the W end, the sandy sections are very narrow and close to the busy main road.
Attractions consist of:
An archaeology museum with exhibits of Neolithic finds from the local area, plus artefacts from pre-Columbian Mexico and Central America.
The mid-size amusement park “Tivoli World” in Arroyo de la Miel has themed Wild West and flamenco shows and a cable-car ride.
The large Paloma Park which has a children’s play area.
Benalmadena Pueblo has a museum, walled gardens around the church, a monument to Columbus (Castillo de Comares) and the Jardin de las Aguilas, a sanctuary for birds of prey.
Walking, mountain-biking and horse-riding in the mountains behind the resort is also pupular.