The ancient fishing port of Porto Cristo is situated at the end of a long bay, where the El Rivet flows into the sea. Today it is a pleasant family resort but as early as the 13th century this was a seaport for the inland town of Manacor. As the best sheltered harbour on the eastern coast of Mallorca it was also an important naval base. During the Spanish Civil War, Republicans landed here with the intention of taking over the island from General Franco’s forces.
Despite initial successes, the attack was repelled. Porto Cristo is one of the few places on the eastern coast of Mallorca where you can find last-minute hotel accommodation during the high season. Among its attractions are the sandy beach and an aquarium with fish from all over the world.
Some 2 km (1 mile) south of Porto Cristo are the Coves del Drac. The “Dragon’s Caves” are one of Mallorca’s treasures. Although they have been known for centuries, they were unexplored until 1896. They feature an attractive array of dripstones, as well as one of the world’s largest underground lakes, 177 m (580 ft) long, 40 m (131 ft) wide and over 30 m (98 ft) deep. A ride by boat under the stalactite vault is an unforgettable experience.
The Coves d’es Hams, 2 km (1 mile) to the east, derive their name from the hookshaped stalactites (hams) found here. Boatloads of floating musicians on the underground lake produce an unusual musical ambience.