Porto Cristo on Mallorca’s east coast has been a well known tourist destination for many years thanks to the amazing discovery during the 1930s of the spectacular Caves of Drach. These caves together with one of the world’s largest underground lakes (Lago de Martel) attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year represent one of the island’s premier tourist attractions.
There are coach excursions from resorts all over the island to see the Caves of Drach, however, if you’ve got your own transport or are using public transport then try to spend a few extra hours in the lovely seaside town of Porto Cristo which has a lot more to offer than just its caves.
The beach at Porto Cristo has golden sand and is sheltered by a rock wall at its northern end. It’s a popular spot for the local children who turn it into a football pitch once school is over. At lunchtime there’s a lovely restaurant raised above the beach at the northern end with views out to sea and across the port to the south side of the beach. Overlooking the beach on the other side of the road is a stretch of small shops, bars and restaurants that are also worth a look. The 4* Hotel Felip stands amongst them if you fancy staying overnight.
The port itself is very interesting in that it serves as a mooring place for some fancy boats just beyond the beach but as you walk a little further it houses many small fishing vessels. This is a working port for local fishermen which shares its home with the expensive boats owned by wealthy Mallorcans and foreigners alike.
Just above the fishing port is another ideal spot for lunch where you can dine at the stylish restaurants of Siroco or Sa Pedra whilst watching life in the marina and port below you. If you fancy a boat excursion from Porto Cristo on the resident catamaran or on one of the glass bottom boats there’s a ticket office at portside offering a range of trips. If that seems a little risky after a fine lunch then just take a stroll along the fine promenade which goes all through the main town and around the marina and port. The church in the main town is also worth a visit.
The Caves of Drach are only a short walk from the town of Porto Cristo though there’s plenty free parking if you’ve got your own car. Just 150m from the caves is the popular Porto Cristo Aquarium which exhibits exotic fish from the Australian Barrier Reef, piranhas from Brazil and a fabulous selection of flora and fauna from the Mediterranean.
Another outstanding cave formation lies just 2km outside Porto Cristo on the road towards Manacor. These are the Caves of Hams which were discovered back in 1905. They are as equally impressive as the Caves of Drach though not so famous. Look out for publicity for classical music concerts on their underground lakes. Another novelty is in the thematic area of the caves where a Jules Verne virtual adventure show has been created.