The resort of Porto Colom is the principle coastal development of the Municipality of Felanitx, along the southern east coast of Mallorca. The Municipality as a whole covers an area of around 170 km2, and along with the administrative town of Felanitx encompasses a handful of picturesque inland villages, and the two other coastal resorts of Cala Ferrera and Cala Serena.
The name of “Felanitx” originates from the Latin word “fenalicius”, which roughly translates into English as “a place where fenas grows”, although records show that the first signs of human settlement in the area actually took place over 2000 years before the birth of Christ.
Porto Colom is the site of one of the most important, and best preserved, “Naveta” or prehistoric burial sites on Mallorca, and for this reason in 1996 the Department of Prehistory of the University of the Balearic Islands established the archaeology project known as “Projecte Closos of Can Gaià”, in an attempt to further understand the ancient civilisations of the island.
Porto Colom is near the centre of the east coast, (40 mls SE of Palma and its international airport). It is situated on a rocky coastline characterised by lots of small coves and bounded by almond trees, pastoral land and pine woods sloping gently to the shore. Backed by mountains.
This area of Mallorca has a number of very good beaches, most of which are very accessible from Porto Colom. The main beach of Cala Marcal is about 500m from the centre of town, and takes around 10 minutes to walk to. During the summer months it’s cleaned every morning and has a lifeguard on duty, and as a result it has been awarded the internationally recognised blue flag.
The beach slopes gently into the sea and is still only a few feet deep some 15 to 20 yards away from the shore, making it ideal for children. During the summer months it’s not uncommon to see organised sports competitions like volley ball and beach football being held here, and sea taxis also depart throughout the day to the nearby beaches at Cala d’Or and Cala Figuera.
At the entry to the harbour are the twin beaches of s’Arenal “gran”, which literally translates into English as “a place where there is a lot of sand” and the smaller s’Arenal “petit”. If you are lucky enough to be visiting Porto Colom in July, s’Arenal beach is the site of the “sopar a penyes” dinner which forms part of the the fiesta celebrations.
The beach of Cala Sa Nau is 2km to the south of the town, and at weekends becomes very popular with the local residents of the village of s’Horta. Realistically, Cala Sa Nau isn’t walkable from Porto Colom, so you would have to have access to a hire car to get there.
The beach at Cala Ferrera is the last beach going south, on the border between the municipalities of Felanitx and Santanyi. Although technically still part of Felanitx the nearest town to the beach is Cala d’Or, which is the principle resort of Santanyi. Again, as with Cala Sa Nau this beach would only be accessible from Porto Colom if you have access to a hire car.
If you don’t fancy the bus ride into Felanitx for the Sunday market, many of the same traders also have stalls at the twice weekly market held at Porto Colom every Tuesday and Saturday throughout the year. Markets on Majorca tend to usually star quite early in the morning, most at around 8am, and the traders will then start to disappear early in the afternoon before the heat of the day starts to set in.