04 Apr Around the Coast in 80 Hours: Sant Agusti to Puerto Andratx
This is a guest post written by Katie Belle about her trip around the Mallorca Coast. Katie is a cake and travel addicted blogger who spent February and March 2013 travelling around Europe. You can follow her trip on Twitter.
The picturesque Balearic island of Mallorca has been a favourite amongst tourists for many years. The northwest coastline is a continual stream of resorts that cater for everyone from the billionaire to the clubber on a budget.
The first resort we hit when heading west along Paseo Maritimo and out of Palma is Sant Agusti. Although there is no shortage of hotels and holiday villas this is definitely one of the less touristy areas. It is only a couple of kilometers outside of Palma and provides good access to the city, as well as having a quaint port lined with bars and cafes. There is no shortage of amenities with supermarkets and restaurants never far away.
The next resort you will come across is Bendinat. This area is well known locally for the large quantity of expats who live in the area. Like Sant Agusti it‘s primarily a residential area, but it does provide a good base for the surrounding resorts and is home to one of the islands many golf courses.
Portals Nous/Puerto Portals
Leaving Bendinat and continuing west you will shortly reach the town of Portals Nous. This area is really geared towards the British tourist. There’s a British doctors and dentist (hopefully you won’t need either) as well as a supermarket that imports all its stock from England; as well as plenty of choice for those that would rather stick to the local cuisine. It is also the home of Marineland, a great place for families; they have dolphin and bird shows at regular intervals as well as many other exciting attractions.
A short walk toward the coast brings you too one of the most exclusive ports on the island, Puerto Portals.
With supercars and mega yachts a regular sight, this really is a must for anyone who likes to sit back and watch the world go by. There is an abundance of very nice coffee shops, bars and restaurants all along the port, as well as some high-class boutiques and luxury estate agents.
Whether you are mega-wealthy or just stopping by for a coffee, having a wander around is an experience in itself.
A short trip up the road leads us to Palma Nova. This area is really geared for tourism. With beautiful beaches and lots of family friendly facilities it could be an ideal holiday destination for young families. There is an array of restaurants catering to different tastes and budgets. The local hotels tend to cater more for young families, with kids clubs and activities at most. Palma Nova is also within easy reach (walking distance) of Magaluf and its many attractions.
Whilst Magaluf is renowned for its nightlife, there are still plenty of other reasons to visit. To start with there is the Katmandu Fun Park, which offers two excellent 18 hole crazy golf courses, a 4D cinema and a giant fun house that is good fun for the entire family.
Just a short distance from Katmandu is the Wild West Water Park, with large slides and plenty of different activities, this can be the perfect fun way to keep cool on a hot Mediterranean day. Located just down from the water park is Karting Magaluf. They have an excellent range of different size Go-Karts as well as three different circuits for those of varying skill levels.
The nightlife in Magaluf is world renowned, with everything from super clubs like BCM Planet Dance to little local bars with a friendly atmosphere; there is something to suit most people. One of the main attractions in Magaluf is the award winning Pirates Adventure show. It is on most evenings, with an earlier showing for those with young children and a later showing for those with none; if you would like to see the show then its strongly recommend booking as early as possible to avoid disappointment, as the show can quite often be fully booked months in advance
Santa Ponsa is one of the larger resorts, located approximately half way around the coast it is an ideal spot to use as a base if you’re planning on exploring.
The Globales Pionero Santa Ponsa Park Hotel is well located and within easy reach of all amenities for enjoying Santa Ponsa. With bars and cafes that are open all year round as well as plenty of shopping and a beautiful beach, there is always something to do. There is another great golf course for those that play, with a course for visitors called Santa Ponsa I (booking your round in advance is recommended). If you fancy being a little more adventurous then there is a scuba diving school located at the Marina; where you can also hire small boats and jet-skis, the perfect way to have some fun and enjoy the Mediterranean.
After Santa Ponsa the coast becomes more sparsely populated, with residential towns and ports making up the most of this stretch of coast. The longest stint of this journey sees us driving through a valley in the stunning Tramuntana Mountains, leading us down to Puerto Andratx. Like Puerto Portals this is another exclusive area, but a lot more unassuming. Recent house hunters here include Jennifer Lopez and Sebastian Vettel, and after a short time spent taking in the picturesque views and the quiet beauty of the area it will quickly become clear why. There are many designer boutiques and plenty of exclusive shops to help sate the appetite of the dedicated shopper. Andratx is still a working port, and it is not unusual to see the fishing nets stretched out being repaired for the next trip, this adds to the port’s ambience and authenticity.
Although you will be hard pressed to find anyone in these areas that doesn’t speak at least some English, still use Spanish wherever you can. Even if you don’t know much, a little effort goes a long way.
If you plan on doing a spot of shopping then be sure to take Photo I.D. with you. No Spanish retailer will accept a debit or credit card without corresponding photo identification. This can be awkward, but it applies to locals as much as tourists and greatly reduces the chances of anyone being able to use cards unlawfully.
If hiring a car be sure to pay particular attention to the speed limits and road signs, as the Policia in the tourist areas can be very strict. The Policia Local also operates a zero tolerance on Drink Driving.