South east Mallorca includes the western Migjorn province, from the idyllic beach of Es Trenc to the charming fishing village of Portocolom. Just 45 km from the capital, Palma de Mallorca, the area has been able to escape the tourist hustle and bustle and keep an authentic flavour of its own.
Inland towns like Santanyi, Campos or Felanitx keep their old urban layout, with charming narrow streets departing from the main square, a social hub where the inhabitants still gather to enjoy the local festivals or shop at the weekly market. The high-rise buildings that are common in other parts of the island are scarce here and some coastal villages, like Portocolom or Portopetro, still maintain their old fishermen’s houses around the harbour. Even at Cala D’Or, one of the few tourist resorts in the region, the few two-storey white buildings almost seem to hide, ashamed, among the pine trees.
In south east Mallorca, tourism took a different path, maybe under the influence of a myriad of turquoise-sea coves that invite a feeling of intimacy. Local businesses, some of them founded by Central Europeans and Scandinavians, have focused on quality rather than on quantity, transforming 17th century “fincas” into excellent restaurants or turning small townhouses into quaint little shops that prefer to deal in artisan products rather than holiday souvenirs.
It does not mean that the region has turned its back to the facilities tourism demands. Coastal villages have their own yachting clubs and near Portocolom, the golf-lover can find Vall D’Or, selected as one of the 25 best golf clubs in Europe. However, local authorities have succeeded in balancing growth and sustainability, preserving natural areas like Es Trenc, Mondragó Park or the Cabrera National Park while offering all the services the holiday industry requires.