We set to explore Mallorca Island once again, this time taking the southern route to Cap Blanc, then to the Santanyi market, the fishing villages of Cala Figuera and Portopetro, to the laid back resort of Cala d’Or, and the beaches of Campos.
Perched on steep and rugged cliffs, Far de Cap Blanc keeps an eye on the Mediterranean from over 300 feet above the water. Built in 1863, the lighthouse is still in operation. Although the lighthouse is not open to visitors, we found our way to the edge of the cliffs (but not too close) to take in the views.
As usual, we found our way to food. The market of Santanyí has been around since the 1300s and continues to dazzle with its wealth of local produce and crafts every Wednesday and Saturday. We marveled at the wheels of cheese that came in many colors, including green, purple and orange. We tasted olives and fresh fruit, then sipped on a Mahou beer and people-watched.
After lunch, we strolled through the quiet streets of Santanyí, among stone buildings illuminated by soft sunshine and dripping in colorful bougainvillea.
The fishing village of Cala Figuera is tucked away in the bay bearing the same name. The facades of its typical island houses are brightened by colorful shutters, while green pine trees, palm trees, and fig trees adorn the rocky terrain leading to the turquoise water. An abandoned cave overlooks the bay where small boats and yachts pass through. The pristine water is perfect for scuba or snorkel enthusiasts.
Close by, Parc Natural de Mondragó is a 765-acre nature reserve, home to more than 70 species of birds, wild goats, weasels, rabbits, and turtles. Further south, the picturesque bay of Cala Llombards offers a beautiful white beach and crystal-clear water.
From Cala Figuera we drove among farms and past a horseback riding ranch (Rancho Jaume). Sheep grazed under olive trees, oblivious to the dark clouds hanging above them.
Past Portopetro, we found Cala d’Or—The Golden Bay, a pretty waterfront area, another peaceful Mediterranean retreat. On a hilltop to the north, the medieval Santueri Castle overlooks the coastline.
We drove through the town of Campos and its famous Es Trenc beach, then marveled at the well-preserved vestiges of the paleo-Christian basilica of Sa Carrotja, in Manacor. The basilica dates from the 5th century and the cross-shaped baptismal font is visible through a glass cabinet.
We finished the day with what else but a healthy helping of paella and a stroll down the beach, where the locals were playing petanca, the Spanish version of the French petanque, similar to the Italian bocce (for those curious to know the difference between boule, petanque and bocce, here is an article that goes into the details).
A magnificent sunset wrapped up our wonderful day on the island and our lovely vacation in Spain.