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Attractions and Amenities
The resort of Porto Cristo is part of the municipal district of Manacor, and is situated on the east coast of Majorca approximately 65km or 40 miles to the east of Palma and the Son Sant Joan International airport.
Once you have collected your luggage and cleared customs, a coach transfer into the resort will usually take around 1.1/4 to 1.1/2 hours, but as with all airport transfers this may vary on the time of day or night of the journey. For the independent travellers who prefer to hire a car at the airport and make their own way into the resort, driving to Porto Cristo from Palma is fairly straightforward, once you've adjusted to driving on the "wrong side of the road", as the main C-715 takes you all the way to Manacor and from there it's quite well signposted for the final few miles over to the east coast. A more detailed version of this route, complete with links to maps where appropriate, is available from the Route Map link on the left hand frame of this page. On a good day an experienced driver should be able to complete the journey in around an hour, but as in the UK if you get stuck behind a lorry or tractor, this may increase the driving time substantially.
If for whatever reason you do not have the luxury of a coach transfer and prefer not to drive, there are always plenty of taxis available from the ranks outside of the arrivals hall, although on occasions you should be prepared to queue. In theory at least, they should all operate on a fixed price basis, typically charging around €60 to €65 for the journey to Porto Cristo, however experience has shown that this "fixed price" may vary slightly depending upon the number of suitcases, the time of day or night of the journey, and of course the number of passengers carried. Also an important consideration for families with small children, is that these taxis do not as a rule carry child seats, therefore children may have to sit on their parent's knee for the journey. If this is a cause for concern, we strongly recommend that you make arrangements for a pre-booked taxi to be waiting for you, and clearly specify at the time of booking that a child seat is needed for the journey.
There are two popular theories on how the town got it's name, which literally translates as "The Port of Christ." The first comes from a legend that in 1260AD, around the time of the earliest Christian conquest of the Island, a fishing boat carrying a crucifix was washed ashore here. The other is, two oxen who were carrying an icon of Christ to Palma, stopped here and refused to move any further. So the icon stayed, and the town was renamed in its honour.
Unlike so many of the other municipalities of Majorca, the economy of Manacor is not solely dependent upon the the tourist. Porto Cristo is still a very typical Spanish fishing village, whilst Manacor has a long tradition with the manufacture of quality furniture and is also the centre of the island's pearl industry. These artificial pearls are produced in a special process that somehow combines glass and pulverised fish scales. The resulting article is then barely distinguishable from the genuine article.
The focus of Porto Cristo is it's natural harbour, which along with nearby Porto Colom is one of the largest along the east coast. Over the years it has provided a safe mooring for both fishing boats and in more recent years an ever increasing number of leisure craft.
During the evening Porto Cristo is a very quiet resort, perfect if you want to retreat and get away from it all, but still within easy reach of the more lively Cala Millor which is only a short taxi ride away. However, during the day the resort can become very busy with tour buses due to the close proximity of both the Caves of Drac and Caves of Hams, which between them are possibly the biggest tourist attractions on the island of Majorca.
Porto Cristo is very popular with middle aged couples and the accommodation here is quite modest and low key, which is in keeping with the rest of the town. There is a generous handful of hotels and apartments here but certainly nothing above the 3 or 4 star standard. For visitors in self catering accommodation, there is also a good selection of cafes, bars and restaurants, along with a number of SPAR type supermarkets that should cater for the everyday holiday essentials as most stock a wide selection of UK recognised branded goods, albeit at slightly higher prices than you would expect to pay back at home in the UK. The underlying principle of consumer choice was once explained to me by a local shopkeeper as "if you don't like the price, you don't have to buy". However, the reality is that unless you have access to your own transport, and are prepared to travel out of the resort, "you do have to buy", a fact of which the shopkeepers are only too fully aware of.
All things considered, Porto Cristo is a quiet family oriented resort, that will be more suited to those who don't require constant entertainment, but take enjoyment from strolls around the town and along the quayside.
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