Like most resorts in Mallorca, Cala d’Or (Golden Cove) evolved from a local fishing village after its charms and idyllic setting were ‘discovered’, in this instance, by a group of avant-garde artists who settled here in the 1930s.
They built their white, flat-roofed houses around the picturesque fishing harbour, and soon the word spread. Cala d’Or became a desirable spot to have a holiday home, or for a relaxing seaside vacation. The original village and harbour was situated in one of the small rocky coves with sandy beaches, called ‘calas’, that abound on Mallorca’s east coast.
The resort has now spread out to encompass several of these coves, all now beset with attractive hotels, apartment blocks and villas. It is a very chic resort, recommended for families because most establishments cater extremely well for children. There are numerous adjacent smaller resorts and quaint villages clustered around the calas all along the south-east coastline, connected by a good bus service, which means visitors can make excursions to explore the delights of places like Cala Egos, Puerto Petro, Cala Mondrago, Cala Figuera, Cala Santanyi and Cala Llombarts. The Cala d’Or marina is the heart of the east coast resort area, attracting the fashionable yachting set.
Cala d’Or is situated on the SE coast, 8 mls NE of Santanyi, 10 mls SE of Felanitx, 40 mls SE of Palma and the airport. The area is set on a series of 8 or 9 coves that go by the collective name of Cala d’Or. Most are deep inlets edged with grey rocks and pine woods.
Shopping: Cala d’Or is known as the best shopping district on Mallorca, its main shopping street, Avinguda Tagomago, filled with chic boutiques, leather shops and galleries. Designer clothes and shoes, in particular, are available at reasonable prices. For designer wear a good port of call is Irocco on Avinguda Tagomago, and for a classy pair of shoes to match the outfit visit the exclusive Farrutx store near Placa Ibiza. Trendy clothes are available at two Piscies outlets in the town centre. Souvenir shopping is fun with the wide variety of local crafts, traditional pottery and glass, and olive wood carvings available at several stores, and at the Sunday morning flea market in Felanitx. Visitors can also find bargains in designer sunglasses, jewellery and perfume.
Cala d’Or’s has a varied range of eateries with upmarket restaurants situated around the marina, which is usually abuzz with a lively international crowd enjoying a variety of cuisines. The centre of town offers fast food outlets, tapas bars, pizza parlours, burger joints and several British pub ‘n grub type establishments. At the marina try the Café Continental for snacks and sandwiches, or Blanco y Negro for pizzas and seafood. Port Petit is a high-class seafood restaurant renowned for quality and service. Aquarius and El Yate are two other good choices for top quality international cuisine at the marina.
By night Cala d’Or is tasteful and stylish, rather than frenetic, centred around the many cocktail bars and discos.
Most hotels offer full entertainment programmes for children, and there are trampolines and mini go-karts at Mallorcalandia, as well as mini-golf in the town centre. Cala d’Or is definitely a family-oriented resort, not catering for the 18-30 single set, particularly those who enjoy a wild night-life. The music bars and discos are usually quiet by 2am. The main resort beaches can become enormously crowded, particularly during July and August, and holiday-makers have to be up and about early if they hope to secure a sunbed for the day. It is possible to bus, or hire a car, to travel to nearby less populated beaches and coves, but these are not likely to offer all the facilities of the resort beaches.
Excursions: This part of the E coast is not ideal for tours, as the roads tend to be narrow and winding and many of the principal sights are on the opposite side of the island. Caves of Drach and Ham are, however, a convenient half-day trip. Other tours, including Palma, are generally full-day tours. Alcudia old town and Formentor Peninsula. The NW mountains; monastery at Lluc, Soller, Deya, Valldemosa. Boat cruises. Jeep safaris.