Artà is a picturesque town situated on the north-east coast of Mallorca. Tucked away in a beautiful valley, the town is surrounded by lush mountains of the Llevant Natural Park.
The residents of Artà are primarily from Mallorca but the town attracts some tourists for its natural beauty and weekly market. There are also an array of historical landmarks as well as the legendary Caves d’Arta. Being relatively untouched by tourism, the town is a wonderful opportunity to soak up authentic Mallorca. In addition the coast is situated close by with the area having excellent transport links.
The origins of Artá can be found in the many prehistoric remains around the town, tracing back to Roman and Moorish times. The fortress of the area was built during a Muslim reign when the peninsula was called Yartan. Its walls still surround the 16th-century pilgrimage church of Sant Salvador, a Gothic-style church and one of the town’s most iconic landmarks. It proudly sits at the top of a hill overlooking the town with stunning views across the island’s landscapes.
How to get to Artà
Artà is just over an hours drive from Palma Airport. There is no direct bus to Arta from here, however you can catch bus number 1 from Plaça d’Espanya and then take 411 TIB bus which travels to the town and takes just under an hour and a half. The bus also will connect you to Manacor, Capdepera, Cala Ratjada and Cala Agulla.
Attractions in Artà
The town of Artà is dominated by Calvary Hill where the Sanctuary of San Salvador sits. The landmark really gives visitors to the area an insight into the towns past with fantastic views of the surrounding countryside. To get here you can follow a winding road from the town or by the steps outside of the parish church, Transfiguració del Senyor.
The Sanctuary of San Salvador is home to a carved and multi-coloured wooden statue of the Virgin Mary which is said to have been brought to the island by Jaume I during his medieval conquest of Mallorca. Around the sanctuary, you will discover amazing remains of a fortress wall with nine towers, including that of Sant Miquel.
Ses Païsses Talaiotic Settlement
Just outside of town sits the settlement of Ses Païsses, one of the most important and preserved prehistoric sites in the Balearic Islands. Its origins are thought to date back to 900-800 BC and feature a huge entrance portal made of stone. Inside there are several rooms and a watchtower, making the site a must see during your visit.
The Caves d’Arta are one of the most popular attractions on Mallorca’s northeastern coast. They are caves of over a thousand years with various natural spaces created and adorned in truly awe-inspiring shapes.
Llevant Natural Park
To the north of Artà you will find the spectacular Llevant Natural Park, a mountainous area with a dramatic coastline. To reach the chapel of Ermita de Betlem which which can be found inside, you will descend on a steep climb but will be rewarded with amazing views of the surrounding area.
Llevant Natural Park is Mallorca’s second largest mountain range and has emerged as a popular destination for bird watching. Thanks to its varied terrain, the area has also become a particularly attractive spot for hiking and cycling.
Artà also is home to one small museum called the Regional Museum of Arta. To get there you will have to go to the main square of Plaça de Espanya. Here, visitors can feast their eyes on an array of archaeological discoveries along with a collection of stuffed and preserved local birds.
Golfers are well catered for with Capdepera Golf and Club de Golf Son Servera being within easy reach of the town. Capdepera Golf is located near Artà and was designed by the famous golf architect Dan Maples as an oasis of peace and tranquillity. You will find both easier and more-difficult holes here with stunning mountain and coast views. If you are planning a longer golf trip, stay at Villa Capdepera which is right next to the course.
The Club de Golf Son Servera is in the area of Costa dels Pins. Most of the course’s holes offer stunning views over the bay of Cala Millor. The 72-par course features a bar and restaurant that provide a variety of amazing meals. These will help you recharge your batteries for the next game.
Shopping in Artà
Artà is a lovely village to wander around, that boasts a great market every Tuesday. It is recommended to tie your visit in with this as you will get a real sense of the authentic charm from the town’s local community. Expect lots of fresh produce and for your senses to be awakened by local ingredients from Mallorca.
There are also some artisan shops selling traditional ceramics and textiles, along with “llatra”, traditional products made by braiding palm leaves such as in beautiful handcrafted baskets.
Beaches in Artà
The nearest beaches are in the resort of Cala Ratjada, which is around 15 minutes away by car and 20 minutes on a public bus. You can catch either the TIB bus number 411 or 446, which travels throughout the day.
Eating out in Artà
There are a great selection of restaurants in Artá, generally serving local Mallorcan cuisine. For an authentic experience do check out Restaurante Finca Es Serral, which offers a cosy ambience and delicious fresh produce from their own garden and the local markets.
Just outside of town, Sa Tafona de Son Fang is a wonderful rural finca with a picture-perfect outdoor terrace. Here you can expect to eat homemade Mediterranean cuisine with dishes such as paella as well as excellent local wine.
Hotels in Artà
There are a lovely selection of hotels within Arta, while in the surrounding area you will find some great rural establishments. In the town centre, Hotel Palacio Sant Salvador is housed in an old palace awith an outdoor pool, courtyard style restaurant and lush gardens.
Alternatively, Hotel Forn Nou is more intimate and boasts an authentic charm with exposed beams and stone floors complemented by modern fixtures and fittings.
Agroturismo Na Set Centes is a rural escape with plenty of authentic character in a tranquil setting. Outside of town, Son Cardaix is a fantastic choice being once a 15th-century estate. The garden features a small swimming pool, and the location is the perfect spot for sports enthusiasts.