Porto Cristo is part of the municipal district of Manacor, and is situated on the east coast of Mallorca. The resort has been a well known tourist destination for many years owing to the nearby Caves of Drach. These spectacular caves, together with one of the world's largest underground lakes (Lago de Martel), attract visitors in their hundreds and thousands.
In many ways, Porto Cristo is still a typical Spanish fishing village. The focal point of the resort is its vast, natural harbour, which is increasingly populated by luxury yachts, but also continues to house traditional fishing boats. There is also a distinct difference between the resort by day and by night. During the day, it becomes very busy with tour buses taking visitors back and forth to the caves. Then once evening comes, the resort empties and becomes an ideal retreat to get away from it all.
Porto Cristo is approximately 65km to the east of Palma and the Son Sant Joan International airport. Mallorca is an extremely popular tourist destination with Europeans and can be reached by direct flights from all major airports across the continent. Another way of getting to the island is on a ferry from Spain or on certain Mediterranean cruises.
Airport transfers are available via a vast number of companies, including bus, private cars and taxis. To take a bus to Porto Cristo, you need to catch the number 1 bus from the airport into Palma city centre, and catch your connection from there.
Porto Cristo’s weather, like that of the rest of Mallorca, ranges from baking hot in July and August to mild in winter. In other words, it enjoys an extremely temperate climate, and with an average of 300 days of sun every year, the weather on the island is certainly a major selling point.
For many visitors, the best time to visit the island is May-June and September-October, when you can avoid the mayhem of the peak summer crowds, while the heat remains tolerable and the landscape takes on a less parched appearance.
Spring is considered the most enjoyable time of year for hiking and cycling. At this time the landscape is beginning to bloom, the Majorca weather should be quite dry, and the days are warm enough to make non-water-based activities enjoyable.
Autumn sees similar temperatures to spring, though the sea will be warmer, which can make this a more enjoyable time to come for a beach holiday. On the down side, this is also the stormy season – October is Majorca's wettest month by some distance – and visitors risk having to spend time indoors.
Birdwatchers will enjoy both spring and autumn as flocks of migrating birds stop on the island en route to or from Africa, while the winter weather remains warm enough to sit outside in shirtsleeves during the day, though it can get nippy at night.
Porto Cristo’s jewel in the crown are the nearby Caves of Drach, which were discovered during the 1930s, and draw vast numbers of visitors throughout the year. Next door to the Caves is the Aquarium de Mallorca, which houses exotic fish from around the world including piranhas and electric eels.
Another outstanding cave formation - the Caves of Ham - lies just 2km outside Porto Cristo on the road towards Manacor. Discovered in 1905, they are as equally impressive as the Caves of Drach though not so famous. Classical music concerts take place on their underground lakes.
Porto Cristo’s main beach is fairly limited in terms of amenities, though about 10 minutes drive away to the south, you’ll find the Porto Cristo Novo beach, which has a sailing and windsurfing school.
The resort’s port is a working harour for local fishermen which shares its home with expensive boats. Just above the fishing port is an 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, there are catamarans and glass bottom boats that take you out to sea. Alternatively, you can stroll along the vast promenade which stretches through the main town and around the marina and port. The church in the main town is also worth a visit.
Porto Cristo has a fairly good range of shops for everyday essentials, and a little further inland, at the town of Manacor, you will find the heart of the Mallorcan pearl industry. Visitors are allowed to watch the manufacturing process, and afterwards are invited to purchase souvenirs from the on-site factory shop.
A couple of local markets take place each week throughout the year. The first is held in Porto Cristo every Sunday morning, with the other takes place in the Plaça Ramon Llull at Manacor the following day.