Mallorca is an incredible island, full of picturesque landscapes, idyllic little coves and clear, turquoise waters. It is the perfect place to get away for awhile, unplug, and enjoy some perfect relaxation. Or if you prefer to stay active, there are a ton of hiking opportunities with jaw-dropping views along with many extreme sports to cater to every taste.
My husband and I went to both relax and also see as much of the island as possible (which proved difficult in our short 5 days – I’d love to go back for longer!). In this post, I will be writing about Day 2 of our adventure on this gorgeous Balearic Island! These day guides can also serve as an itinerary for those of you considering to visit for yourself. For a general guide of what to see and do, the best beaches, and top-notch restaurants, check out my Complete Island Guide to Mallorca.
As I was planning our trip, one subject kept popping up – the Drach Caves. One of my students mentioned it in our private class, my husband’s parents raved about it, and it was all over the internet in my research. So, of course we had to go. When I checked the site, it said that it was best to buy tickets in advance and go either for the first visit in the morning or one of the late afternoon visits (supposedly there were generally less people at those times). As a planner, I had no problem with this, so I bought our tickets for the first visit in the morning on our second day in Mallorca.
My husband and I woke up early and headed to the Drach Caves from our hotel in Campos (about a 30 minute drive). When we arrived, I was super surprised by just how big (and corporate) the whole attraction was. On our way there, we noticed several billboards advertising other caves. However, Drach Caves seems to be the biggest and most popular.
In front of the main building, there is a large, free parking lot. When you enter the main area, there are machines to buy your tickets (seems to always have a line, and visiting times go fast – buy ahead of time or risk waiting for hours!), a small cafe, a gift shop and restrooms. We arrived about 15 minutes before our visiting time, so we decided to head straight to the line to enter the caves, which was about a 3 minute walk from the main area. We were shocked at just how many people there were!
After a short wait, we entered. People were kind of antsy to get to the front, but in the end there wasn’t really any point. You go down some stairs and are led down a winding pathway through the caves. The path is cement and has rails and everything to keep you going the correct way. When you first enter, it is really quite cool to look around, especially if you’ve never been in a cave.
There are rules not to stop or obstruct the path, but stopping for a photo for a moment is okay. It made me a little nervous being surrounded by so many people, but you eventually get over it.
I had been in a cave once many, many years ago – I don’t even remember where, but it was somewhere in the States. It was pretty cool because we were in a small group, perhaps max 8 people, and we were all wearing legitimate gear (helmets with lights, harnesses, etc). Everything was in its natural state in the cave, and I remember it being an incredible experience.
Unfortunately, this was nothing like that. The path you’re on is man-made, cutting its way through natural formations that have been growing for the last hundreds, or even thousands, of years. That thought disturbed me, and took away a bit from my experience. At some points, the path goes through tunnels the height of an average person (I’m sure some of those were not natural), and you could see where they had cut the stalactites from the ceiling to allow easy passage for everyone. Another twinge of disgust.
Before entering, you are told that you’re not allowed to take any photos with flash, and you can’t touch any of the natural formations in the cave. They have tons of employees with flashlights lighting your way throughout the cave, and I suppose they’re also there to enforce the rules. However, my husband and I encountered numerous people touching the stalagmites, taking photos with flash, etc. And the employees did nothing – I was shocked. To me, if you truly appreciate the things you encounter in your travels, it is important to be respectful and keep them in the same state so that future travelers can enjoy them, too. But I digress.
Anyway, we continued down the path (which took us about 30 minutes) and ended in a large part of the cave, where they had set up numerous rows of benches facing an underwater lake. Imagine enough seating to sit hundreds of people. We took a seat and waited a good 10-15 minutes for the show to start.
It was a classical music concert, which consisted of 3 small boats coming from one end of the lake, decorated with little lights. On one of the boats, there was a pianist, a violin player, and some other instruments. I was impressed by just how much weight that little boat could carry!
They went from one end of the lake to the other, playing the music. I was a little confused because the boats spent the majority of the time on the far end of the cave, where it was difficult to see. But it was still lovely to experience.
Once the concert was over, an announcement was made that everyone who chose to could go on a short boat ride across the lake. Everyone stood up and practically ran for the line. We were lucky because we were near the entrance (front left of the stadium when you’re looking at the lake), so we didn’t have to wait too long. Plus, it seems like they’ve got it down to a science. They have 4-5 boats going around on a loop, and you’re only on the boat for about 2 minutes. Still, it is worth it to take the short trip and get a closer look at the formations around the cave walls and under the water.
Once you get off the boat, you start making the ascent back up to ground level. At the top, you’re back at the main building with the cafe and gift shop. We stopped for a quick drink, then took advantage of the restrooms to change into our bathing suits so we could visit a nearby beach.
Using a quick Google search, I found a little cove called Cala Murta nearby the Drach Caves in easy walking distance. We walked directly from the Drach Caves there, about a 7 minute walk. It was a little difficult to find, but thankfully we saw some other people walking that way and just followed them. We only planned to stay for about an hour and didn’t expect a lot, but it actually turned out to be one of my husband’s favorite coves of the entire trip.
The cove is rocky and without sand, so I would highly recommend bringing hiking or water shoes. We stayed along the side of the cove and just sat straight on the rocks – not super comfortable, but the views were worth it. There were only a couple small other groups there with us, so it was very peaceful.
My husband decided to jump in, and I decided to sit that one out and just enjoy the view. Unfortunately we didn’t have water shoes, and having seen the rocks and slight climb to get back out of the water, I decided not to stress or even try it. My husband said the water was perfect, though! Many people were jumping in and snorkelling.
After about an hour, we headed back to the car. By that time (around noon), some other groups had arrived. As with most of the beaches in Mallorca, it is a good idea to arrive early to reserve your spot! We got back in the car and headed to the nearby town of Porto Cristo. We hadn’t really heard anything about it, but we were hungry, so we decided to give it a visit.
The day we were there (a Sunday), there was a little market along the beach, with local food products and artisanal crafts. We found a guy selling wine holders that he made by hand out of Mallorcan olive trees. I just had to have one (or two)! We had seen a few different shops in Palma that sold similar things, but not hand-crafted. If you have time, take a look around the little stands and you’re sure to find something interesting!
The port itself was nice, but definitely not the most beautiful of the island. Plus, the beach was quite crowded. We enjoyed the views for a minute, then headed straight to a little bar I had found on Google that was about a 5 minute walk from the coast.
Bar PortoCristo is a casual local’s bar on a small side street. There’s no great views or decorations, but sometimes the best places are like that. We had decided to come here because people had commented that it was very authentic and affordable.
When we arrived, the waiter didn’t really greet us in the most welcoming way. We asked about tapas, and he replied curtly that there were only a few types and that it was quite late to be arriving for tapas (it was 1:30pm… that is normal Spanish lunch time). However, he also let us know that the tapas came complimentary with every drink, which isn’t super common outside of Andalucia. So we ordered some cañas and he brought us a big plate of shrimp. We were quite hungry, so we kept on ordering, and also got to try the potato salad with alioli and the chicken skewers. Everything was delicious, and at an incredibly affordable price!
The longer we were there, the more the waiter warmed up to us a little. Sometimes service in Spain isn’t nearly as friendly as in the States, but it can still be worth it for the experience and authentic food. However, try to brush up on your Spanish a bit before coming here – I highly doubt anyone here speaks English!
Overall, I would still recommend this place for people looking to have a simple, affordable and authentic experience.
We were definitely in the mood to relax at a beach by this point, so we decided to head north to Cala Petita, a relatively unknown cove. We were a little wary based on some recent comments that it wasn’t that clean, but we decided to give it a try anyways because there were a ton of amazing comments as well.
To arrive to this cove, you have to take some small little dirt roads until you arrive to an area where there’s probably some other cars already parked. There’s no signs or anything, so you kind of need to know where you’re going. There were rock walls on the border of the path surrounded by farms with olive trees and sheep.
We had no idea which direction to go, but were able to ask a family who was just leaving. They drew us a little handwritten map and off we were! Don’t be afraid to ask the locals for directions!
We hopped over the little stone wall (there are steps, it isn’t too difficult) and headed down the path about 5 minutes until we could see the cove in the distance. It’s an easy walk, and a small climb down some rocks to get down to the water. There’s some sand on the far end, which would probably be more comfortable, but there also seemed to be a lot of algae on that end so we decided to stay along the rocky sides of the cove.
That day, there were a few other people and also some boats enjoying the beautiful weather. Both my husband and I swam here, but the water was quite murky and unfortunately there was some trash (not a terrible amount, but not conducive for snorkelling). We enjoyed our time here, but probably wouldn’t return (especially after having seen many of the other coves on the island).
We had a plan to watch the sunset at the lighthouse to the north, but decided to walk around the nearby town of Cala Ratjada first to admire the views and grab a bite to eat. We hadn’t heard anything about it before going, so we went without expectations.
The coastline itself is quite nice, with lovely views of the nearby towns and mountains. We apparently didn’t get to the main area, because we didn’t see a lot of people and shops around until later when we were back in the car (thankfully – it probably would’ve turned us off a bit).
We stopped at a restaurant called Euforia Tapas, which was a lovely experience! They have tables right on the water, but I’d recommend trying to reserve one to ensure your spot – we got lucky with our seat. They have a large variety of tapas available, and the menu has pictures so you can see what you’re getting (I’m generally against menus with pictures/translations, but we made an exception here).
The waiter recommended we only get 2-3 to share, and we apparently decided to ignore his suggestion because we were super hungry. We ended up getting 5, and it was way too many! However, each one was quite delicious, well-presented, and creative. I would highly recommend this place for tapas! They also seemed to have some creative cocktails, but we didn’t partake.
On the northeastern part of the island, there is a small little peninsula with the Capdepera Lighthouse. It is a common place to go and watch the sunset, but it is important to understand two things: 1. You can’t enter the lighthouse, and 2. You won’t be watching the sun fall over the water – rather, you’ll see it setting over the mountains. Which is still great, but better to know ahead of time!
The road to arrive there is quite narrow and curvy, but not particularly difficult. Just drive slowly and keep an eye out for pedestrians and other drivers! I would highly recommend arriving early in order to secure a parking spot (there’s very limited space) and also a place to sit. And, of course, be sure you time your trip correctly. We looked up the time of sunset, but didn’t take into account that the time would be early since the sun would fall behind the mountains.
Thankfully we arrived just in time to see it, and were able to relax and enjoy the views. There’s some areas off the beaten path that you could explore as well – the natural beauty in this area is lovely! You could easily spend hours here wandering along the rocky coastline and cliffs.
One important note – I highly recommend bringing insect repellent. There were a million mosquitoes everywhere! And they seem to just LOVE me. So, if you’re like me, do yourself a favor and come prepared.
Besides that, though, it was a lovely experience! And that was the end of day 2 of our trip… The best days always end with a beautiful sunset, don’t they?
Headed to Mallorca? Check out this Complete Island Guide, which includes an interactive map of all the best things to see and do, along with the details of our first day there.
Have you been to Mallorca? What was your favorite part? Which of these things would you most like to see?
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