Cala Mayor is the first resort west of Palma. Back in the 1980s it was a boom town packed with visitors and with some of the liveliest bars and clubs on the coast. However, the resort suffered a severe decline which it has only recently started to climb out of. Today it is more residential than touristy though new businesses catering to both markets are starting to reappear.
Arriving from Palma you’ll pass Marivent Palace on your left as you enter Cala Mayor. This is the occasional home of the King of Spain where he welcomes international dignitaries from time to time. Charles and Diana spent a holiday there overlooking Cala Mayor’s sandy beach below the palace. How do I know this? Because at the time I lived in the main block of flats on Cala Mayor beach with direct views across to the palace though I didn’t spot any royalty!
The 5 star Nixe Palace Hotel with its stunning sea views and private beach is on your left as you descend into Cala Mayor. On both sides of the street you’ll find a selection of shops, bars and restaurants. Take a left at the bottom of the hill which takes you onto Cala Mayor’s very pretty beach where the Cala Mayor hotel has a limited seaview.
The rest of the town has a range of services for locals and tourists alike. One outstanding little restaurant is Shu-Bi-Dua next to Scots Corner on the road opposite the taxi rank. This place has been serving up the best stroganoff on the planet since the mid-eighties and all his other dishes are excellent. If you’re in the area don’t miss it!
Beyond Cala Mayor is the exclusive residential area of Illetas which has a fine beach and a few small hotels. Neighbouring Bendinat was originally just a golf course but has since expnded to include some exclusive residential areas. In the hills above Cala Mayor is the traditional village of Genova which is well known by citizens of Palma for its fine Mallorcan restaurants. Tourists also visit the village to take a look at the Genova caves.