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In a sunswept valley on the eastern coast of Majorca stands Manacor, the second-largest town on the island and the beating heart of its pearl industry. Caked in layers upon layers of history, Manacor offers much to the adventerous tourist: whether you're basking in sunshine at one of her Blue Flag beaches, exploring sublime prehistoric villages, listening to classical recitals by an underwater lake or buying pearls from a local factory, you will find yourself submerged in a different world. Check out our collection of the best places to stay in Manacor to find out more.
Manacor's beaches are pristine and golden and many of them have been awarded the Blue Flag. Her relationship to the sea is best shown by her booming pearl industry, one of Mallorca's greatest assets: there are several factories in town where you can take guided tours and see the process in action. The bonus is being able to buy items of jewellery from the makers themselves! To immerse yourself in Manacor's history, you should check out the Musee D'histoire de Manacor - which also holds some fascinating archaeological remains from the prehistoric to the modern era.
Manacor has been inhabited since 2000 BCE and the surrounding area is a treasure trove of prehistoric remains. The megaliths of S'Illhot San Vaquer and Son Ribot are evidence of this, but the truly astounding site is that of S'Hospitalet Vell, a large and sprawling Talaiotic village. The caves in nearby Porto Cristo are evidence of an even more ancient life: in the Caves of Drach you can find one of the largest underwater caves in the world, which holds daily classical music recitals.
The Balearic Islands have long been manically wrestled over by different groups: the Romans established trading posts there until the Moors annexed the territories, but the Aragonese took control in the 13th century. Her importance as a trading centre has carried on until this day, because Manacor has the biggest and busiest street market on the island.
It is because of the presence of the Kingdom of Aragon that much of the islands' culinary culture is profoundly Catalan, like the ensaimada spiral-shaped yeast bun. In 1200 the islands were granted the status of a municipality of Aragon and as such, many of the buildings have the mark of Aragon all over them: the remains of the glorious Torre del Palau, the royal palace inhabited by King James, is a must-see. The site of the parish church, Nostra Senyora dels Dolors, was the home of many churches dating back to 1232. But the real architectural jewel in Manacors' crown lies in the tranquil cloisters of Saint Vicente Ferrer, now a national monument.
Not to miss
- Lounge with a good book at one of Manacor's Blue Flag beaches, the best being found in Porto Cristo, an outlying village.
- Immerse yourself in the town's chaotic history at the Musee D'histoire de Manacor.
- Check out Son Pereto, the archaeological site of an ancient church where mosaics and treasures are still being unearthed!
- Head out to S'Hospitalet Vell, a sprawling prehistoric village.
- Buy some pearls from one of their countless pearl factories.
- Meander down the cloisters of the beautiful Saint Vicente Ferrer!
- Get yourself to the Caves of Drach, the site of one of the world's largest underwater caves, and listen to one of their daily classical recitals.
- Marvel at the glorious remains of the royal palace, Torre del Palau.
Manacor is often overlooked by tourists in favour of the flashier Balearic places like Ibiza and Majorca. But this is to their detriment. Manacor has a wealth of historic sites, gorgeous caves and fantastic beaches, making for a fascinating and fun holiday destination. Our collection of the best places to stay in Manacor will make you fall in love with this beautiful town.
The best places to stay in Manacor
- Son Amioxa Vell: a beautiful 16th century country manor set on a farm on the outskirts of town, offering spacious and elegant rooms with balconies and are decorated with antiques. Enjoy a massage beneath the trees, a swim in the pool or taste wine at the restaurant.
- Son Mas: a rural idyll with rooms of exposed wooden beams and whitewashed walls. The restaurant sources food from their own farm, and guests can enjoy being pampered in the spa, swimming in the spacious pool or watching the sunset from the terrace. Romantic.
For an apartment or villa
- Our partner Booking.com has a wide range of villas and apartments in the nearby area.
- The best time to go is during the autumn, when the streets are bereft of the heaving summer crowds, and when the temperature ranges from 10 to 28 degrees.
- Fly to Palma de Mallorca and get a taxi or bus to Manacor.
- If you want to rent a car, contact our partner Rentalcars.
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in Manacor
Son Amioxa Vell 15 rooms from £140Manacor (Carr. de Cales de Mallorca)
A 16th century manor estate decorated with elegant, antique furniture. Rooms are spacious with balconies, private hot tubs and double sinks. A solar heated pool, restaurant with excellent food, good local wines and massages under the trees add to the relaxed atmosphere of this rural hotel.Country Escape - A finca (farm) offering wonderful views from its sun terraces and sit-out balconiesFamilies - Offers an apartment as well for large families. Lots of activities for everyoneDiving - A dive centre situated about 10 minutes drive awaySailing - Trips can be organised for individuals and groups
La Reserva Rotana 23 rooms from £246Manacor (Aptdo. 69)
A golden stone country manor with its own golf course. Sprawling buildings house sunny and traditional rooms and suites. Two fantastic restaurants, pool, lush gardens, fitness tracks and golf golf golf! A luxurious spot for golfing pros and food lovers.Golf - The hotel has its own golf course and driving range. Room rates include free use.Views - Beautiful views over the valleyActive Holiday - A golfer's paradise.Foodies
Son Amoixa Vell 16 rooms from £224Manacor
Traditional gourmet country hotel, formerly a 16th century estate, with tennis courts, a swimming pool, in-house masseuse and award-winning restaurant. Characterful rooms have exposed wooden beams, cream-white hues and abstract art on the walls. A tranquil base to explore the region.Beach Life - There are no-less than four beaches in a five minute radius. Boat tours and hire as well as diving can be organised too.Total relaxation - Find an on-site spa and sauna, professional masseuse, physiotherapist and tennis coach.Swimming Pool - Outdoor poolSailing - Can be booked nearby.