Porto Colom Majorca Mallorca Travel Destinations Spain

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Porto Colom, one of several places in the world claiming to be the birth place of Christopher Columbus, is among east coast Majorca's more charming resorts.

Located 20 kilometres south of Porto Cristo, it grew up around an existing fishing village and is more atmospheric than some of the entirely manufactured developments up and down the coast.

Porto Colom is based around an attractive natural harbour, the source of the village's early wealth. The area boomed in the 19th century when the harbour was used to export wine from nearby Felanitx to France. However, a virulent vine disease put a stop to local viticulture, and the village gradually returned to fishing.

Fishing boats still bob up and down in the harbour at Porto Colom, and at the northern end of the quay the colourful fishermen's cottages provide a charming counterbalance to the hotels.

The main beach, Cala Marcal, is 500 metres from Porto Colom, backed by apartment blocks and hotels, with the hills of the Serres de Llevant further behind in the distance. It is a blue flag rated piece of sand which gets cleaned every night and has a gently sloping entry to the water, making it popular with families. It's worth buying a mask and snorkel to check out the fish. Some people staying here never make it to the actual port, which is a pity, since the port area has a more genuinely Majorcan feel. Locals wanting to sunbathe often prefer to use the less crowded pair of beaches in Porto Colom itself.

Not a whole lot happens in the resort in the evenings, and out of season you might find that many of the bars have shut down. Much of the entertainment in Porto Colom is hotel based, although there are some excellent restaurants lining the harbour. Celler Sa Sinia restaurant is one of the best; while Ollie's Bar is a reassuringly British establishment for those wanting to watch football.

Public transport in the east of Majorca is not impressive. There are regular buses to Felanitx, but if you want to go much further abroad than that, you would be better off hiring a car, which you can do in Porto Colom.