The formerly small fishing village Porto Cristo, in the east of the island, was more and more touristically developed but has nevertheless retained its charm. The town became known as a city, with a marina, beach and the actual attraction, the “Coves del Drac.” You can call them „dragon caves“ either. What awaits you here and whether a trip is worthwhile, you will learn in the following article.
Not far from Manacor is the small port town of Porto Cristo. Despite many hotel complexes, this place has retained its maritime flair. In the center of the old town is the early local church, surrounded by many small streets. This always invites and everywhere for a little stroll. If you have a towel and bathing clothes, you are also welcome to take a short trip to the beach in the bay. Attention, you will not find idyll here, because behind the beach countless bars and restaurants have settled on the promenade. In the south of the bay is the marina, which you can explore on foot. If you are interested in boats, you will enjoy it here. But not only that, because where there are boats, there is also a boat rental not far.
No matter if you want to be at the wheel yourself or prefer to navigate with an experienced skipper, here everyone should find something. The area around Porto Cristo is surrounded by cave systems and rocky coastlines. Small coves and the turquoise waters definitely invite you on a boat trip. If you like it romantic, you can sail into the sunset and share a probably unforgettable experience with your loved one. Of course, there is also the complete opposite, because where tourists frolic, there are also the racketeers. We are talking about the big catamaran tours. Here masses of people are brought on board to take you from A to B and most of them at overpriced prices. Take a close look and do some research to avoid a nasty surprise.
Where we are talking about the cave system right now. In the south of Porto Cristo, on the outskirts of the city are the dragon caves. This is a 1.7 km long and mostly developed stalactite cave system, which grants multiple daily admission. The opening hours and prices can be found directly on the website (http://www.cuevasdeldrach.com/en/precios.php). As far as the prices are concerned, an online ticket is 50 cents cheaper than a ticket straight at the cashier.
It costs 15.00 EUR instead of 15.50 EUR per adult. This is a handsome price for a visit to a cave, and one or the other will undoubtedly come pondering. Especially if you want to do the excursion with the whole family. For this reason, I would like to give a little insight into the cave landscape and what else will be included in the entry fee. We are talking about a live concert and a boat trip on the underground lake. But more on that later.
Near the cave, there are public parking lots that are, to my astonishment, free of charge. Super that is ever a big plus for a trip to Porto Cristo. We bought two tickets for 15.50 EUR each at the cash register, before we walked to the entrance. It was approximately a distance of 200 m. Clever, cause as we got closer, a line queue of several hundred people formed in front of us. Such a crap! If I had known that before, I would not have gone to the cave but now it’s time to queue.
It went faster than expected but nevertheless, right at the beginning masses of people are jostling down together in the aisle. Again and again, people stopped walking to take pictures of the stalactite formations because they were really breathtaking. The operators set this skillfully, with the appropriate lighting, in the scenery.
The more steps we descend, the deeper it continues into the cave. While taking a picture here and there, we were reaching a small theater where countless people found space. I get an idea of how much fluctuation takes place here every day. In front of us, the lake “Martel” spreads, Mirror smooth and only sporadically, illuminated. He is one of the largest lakes of his kind in the world.
Music is heard from afar, and the audience becomes silent. Small boats with musicians slowly approach, pass us until they disappear again on the other side. A bit too much cliché, for my taste but of course a somewhat subjective feeling. After the concert, you can go by a gondola trip on the lake for approximately 5 min. This itself would be super nice, but at the same time, all the other visitors are running on a bridge next to you.
Furthermore, you have to wait for a boat trip, because the rush is accordingly massive. At the end of the bridge, it’s off for the ascent to the exit, which is much faster than the descent. All in all, I would say that the caves are really worth a visit but a bit too commercial. Too much people too much focused on mass tourism and generally a little too much of everything. Entire busloads from the surrounding towns are brought here. If you do not have a problem with that and you accept 15,00 EUR, you will have fun here. Everyone else should think twice.
There are a few other cave systems in the area, but it is not advisable to explore them by yourself. The entrances are at sea level or lower which makes a trip here a dangerous undertaking.
A day in Porto Cristo
You can wonderfully combine a trip to the “Coves del Drac” with a stroll through the old town. Head north from the car park to the marina and explore the city from there. Take your bathing clothes with you and then spend some time on the beach or on a boat trip. Look for a small restaurant offside the promenade and enjoy some tapas and a glass of red wine. Well, how does that sound to you?
Look around when you’re in the area, because Porto Cristo has more to offer than the “dragon caves,” even if they are worth a visit for many. As always, everyone has to decide for themselves, but I hope to have left you a small appetizer again.
If you like please check out my other posts of Mallorca:
Sunny greetings – Uwe