Manacor is Mallorca’s second city and is a popular choice with tourists to the island
It is situated towards the north east of the island and archeological finds suggest it has been in existence as far back as 2000BC. Artificial coves used as burial places in this era have been found locally, of the type used by isolated groups that used to inhabit the island. It is known that the town was well established before the Islamic occupation of Mallorca, and relics found in the sea at Porto Cristo, which is next to Manacor, suggest the area was occupied in Roman times.
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Each time new rulers have taken occupation of Mallorca, changing the religion at the same time, a new church has been built in Manacor on the same spot as the old one. In the late 16th century the church was built on the same area as all the others had been, the original one being a Mosque. This church was demolished and the current one built at the end of the 19th century.
In 1879, a railway between Manacor and Inca was opened, a line that is still in regular use today, although now it will take you as far as Palma stopping at several other towns on the way.
In 1897 the first Mallorca Pearl factory was opened in Mallorca. These artificial pearls are made by fusing glass with fish scales and it is only experts that can tell the difference between these and real pearls. They are world famous, and because of superstitions relating to real pearls, many buyers purchase them in preference. Over 5 million of them are made every year, but be warned, they are almost as expensive as real pearls.
Manacor has a large choice of shops, bars and cafes but the liveliest days are Mondays when the biggest market on the east coast is held. There is very little you will not be able to buy in Manacor market, even locally made furniture is available. It is wise to note that Mallorcan markets are always in the morning, most of them starting to close at lunchtime.
Tourists flock to Manacor because of the caves – Caves del Drach and Caves del Hams. These are an experience like no other. Visit Caves del Drach (Dragon Caves) and you will be taken down below the earth’s surface to what is reputed to be the largest underground lake in the world. Take a seat and enjoy a concert of classical music, played on the lake, and then take of short boat trip out of the caves. At just a few euros entrance fee, this is a Mallorcan excursion not to be missed.
Manacor also boasts one of the longest underwater caves in Europe; the Gleda-Camp des Pou system is over 13km long.
The very short trip to the coast will take you to Porto Cristo among many other bays in the area. Porto Cristo is one of the larger east coast resorts, Cala Millor being the largest of them all. Both resorts are child friendly and family orientated, although they manage to cater for all ages. Whether you want to quietly relax, or live it up, you can do both in these two resorts.
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