Descovering Cala d'Or
The beauty of the area together with it's quality and safety joins with the port of Cala d'Or, a marina which is considered to be the most important of the south east coast of Mallorca and which offers all the nautical services necessary to make your stay a very welcoming experience in a magical and quality filled environment.
In Cala d'Or you will find comercial traffic free areas where you can stroll around and enjoy all the best shops and restaurants of great gastronomical variety and culture.
It is an area full of activity, golf (Vall d'Or Golf), fishing, all types of water sports, touristic cycling routes along which you can visit hidden and magical places in the area.
Visiting the coast of Santanyi, our municipal borough, you will find places of incredible natural beauty to enjoy. We can start with the Natural Park of Mongrago´, which is situated only 5 kilometers from Cala d'Or and is accessible either by road or by sea.
Cala d'Or celebrates weekly markets of hand made articles of great touristic interest which are very well worth a visit. There are also other markets to visit in the area such as the market in the main town of Santanyi.
WHEN PICAROL DISCOVERED PARADISE.
CALA D'OR, THE FIRST TOURISTIC URBANISATION IN MALLOCA, WAS BORN AS AN ARTISTS COLONY.
The founding father of Cala d'Or was called Jose Costa, but he was fondly known as "Picarol". He was not Mallorcan, but Ibizan. He was not a builder, he was an artist. He was not a genius but he was a visionary. The creation of Cala d'Or has a direct connection with another great Mediterranean legend - Adan Diehl's Hotel Formentor. Very close to the peninsular where the Argentinian millionaire built his touristic palace "Picarol" bought some land, but the establishment of a hidroplane base in the area anulled his plans to create a summer urbanisation.
Therefore, "Picarol" turned his attention to the Santanyi coast. The beauty of the bays reminded him of his own island of Ibiza and immediately he bought an enormous amount of land which, at that time, cost virtually nothing because nobody had seen the future value of the area other than the sentimental value.
"Picarol" called all the area "Cala d'Hort", the same as the bay he considered to be the most beautiful bay in Ibiza. However, very shortly the locals converted the name into Cala d'Or. and the Ibizan artist and writer soon realised he had been defeated. He divided his land into numerous plots and firstly invited his friends to establish there their own summer residencies. Consequently, the first people to enjoy the charms of Cala d'Or were persons typical of the environment belonging to the artisitic group. People like Olegario Junyent, set designer of the Liceo Theatre of Barcelona, the film producer Ramon Balet, Natacha Rambowa, Ruolph Valentino's ex-wife and also artists such as Felipe Bellini, Domingo Carles and Sebastian Junyer. Later they were joined by other artists amongst whom were the novelist Bernhard Kellermann and the Belgian painter Medard Verburgh who had met "Picarol" in Ibiza.
Verburgh exhibited his works in the "Galeria Costa". The publicity that Verburgh gave to the area was also responsible for the so called Belgian invasion in Cala d'Or in 1934. That same year the artist built the first hotel in Cala d'Or, of course this was called "Hotel Cala d'Or. At that time the hotel had just nine rooms. Today it is the third oldest hotel on the island still funcioning.
The Civil War not only interrupted the first romantic epoch of the artisits, writers and the followers of the scenic arts, but also shattered the project of establishing a film studio in Cala d'Or and the conversion of the area in a mediteranean Hollywood.
The tourism boom started in the 50's. Somewhat timidly at first, but lead by a Mallorca which was becoming better connected and was given more and more promotion. Cala d'Or participated in this boom, but always managed to maintain the character that "picarol" had given to the urbanisation right from the start - that of an ibizan village with it's low built white houses and an architecture that compliments the natural beauty of the mediterranean. The creator of Mallorca's first holiday urbanisation spent the last years of his life in Cala d'Or where, in 1971, the same year as his death, he did his last drawing.
The rest is history. Strolling through the streets around the bay called Cala d'or where it all began in the 30's, one can still percieve the spirit of those legendary years when some artists descovered paradise for us.