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At a little under 20km, or 12 miles to the west of the
Son Sant Joan International airport,
the transfer into Cala Mayor is possibly one of the shortest on the island, and should usually take no more than 15 - 20
minutes from the time you leave the airport grounds.
However, bitter experience of the Palma motorway system has shown that this journey time can, and will, vary depending upon the time of day.
Also in theory at least, this is one of the few resorts on Majorca where it is possible to make the transfer from the airport by public transport, although I'd personally never relish the thought of getting on a bus with a suitcase and flight bag, and then trying to find the right change.
However, the very thought of using public transport would certainly not be a consideration for most of the visitors here.
Cala Mayor still remains relatively undiscovered by almost all of the major UK tour operators, and most visitors to the resort do tend to be independent travellers who make the short trip from the airport either by taxi, or by hire car.
For those visitors who choose to drive, this is the nearest resort to the west of Palma, although for an inexperienced driver it is very easy to completely miss the Cala Mayor turn altogether. As a result, and in response to the large number of requests that we have received over the last few months, we have now attempted to produce a detailed version of this route, complete with links to maps where appropriate, which can be found on the Route Map link on the left hand frame of this page.
Looking at a map of Mallorca, for most people it will be almost impossible to spot the resort of Cala Mayor altogether, as most don't even formally recognise it. However, Cala Mayor is conveniently situated slightly to the east of Sant Agusti.
Cala Mayor is the first resort that you come to as you head west from Palma, and although it lies close to the islands capital city, it does however still manage to retain its distinct feel and has very much its own identity. Indeed, what makes the area unique in this respect, is its contrast in scenery to that of neighbouring Palma and Magaluf. This invariably brings about its own advantages!
Cala Major is in fact just about walkable from the western part of Palma from around the commercial centre at Porto Pi and the nearby port, and what you will discover is a mixture of older style hotels, apartments, a few villas and a super beach.
As resorts go, Cala Mayor is an old hand, having been one of the first to welcome the island’s influx of pioneering package holiday visitors back in the early sixties. A mere 3 km or 2 miles south west of the capital Palma, Cala Mayor has always been regarded as a more classy holiday destination than its more streetwise and flashy brother, Magaluf, further along the south coast.
When tourist hot spots began opening up around Palma and Son Juan airport, the area lost its appeal and became more of a residential urban area mostly attractive to residents needing easy access to Palma for work. However, from the time of the restoration of the Spanish monarchy in the seventies, Cala Mayor began to enjoy a new lease of life.
The Spanish Royal family has its summer residence, Marivent, here and makes frequent trips to Mallorca throughout the year, particularly during the summer holidays when, unlike the British Royal family, it is not unusual to see them at close hand dining in a local restaurant or casually shopping in Palma.
The Royal Palace has an enviable panoramic view of the Bay of Palma, probably much appreciated by King Juan Carlos whose penchant for competitive sailing while on the island with his international Copa del Rey race in August, is well documented.
In recent years, the local municipality has striven to improve and enhance Cala Mayor with a major restoration of the well maintained large sandy beach and the planting of trees on an ambitious scale. It still suffers from overly zealous construction in the seventies and eighties and exhibits some tired and forlorn edifices in the town but thankfully the worst are now being pulled down and replaced with low rise, contemporary buildings.
One of the jewels in the crown of Cala Mayor - for art lovers at least - has to be the Fundació Pilar I Joan Miró which is home to 2,500 of Miró’s works, as well as 100 paintings by the artist Pablo Picasso. The artist arrived in Mallorca in the fifties and he and Pilar Junosa, his Soller-born wife kept a house and studio in Cala Mayor until his death in 1983. The studio, house and exhibition are open to the public and well worth a visit.
For some reason, Cala Mayor has always attracted a cosmopolitan community and many British have settled in the area which could explain why the main international schools are based here. Just up the coast is Illetes, considered a more plummy and discreet resort, which has a fine sandy beach and several little coves to explore, and nearby Sant Agusti has a small and very nice harbour, which is home to fishing boats and also to a range of small to medium leisure craft.
For those of a nautical inclination, Cala Mayor has its own sailing school offering training courses during the holidays to children as well as adults. It is also in close range of many sporting facilities, such as the Royal Bendinat Golf Club and the splendid yacht marina at Puerto Portals which also boasts some of the island’s more pricey and celebrated restaurants.
Cala Major is at its most busy in the summer months when it is a popular "alternative" beach holiday destination. It is however an all-year-round town as many young people from also Palma choose too live there due to the nightlife, attractive sea-front location, and the relatively low cost of property compared to the capital.
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