Unspoilt Majorca at it's best: Andratx is an charming old town in south-west Majorca, with winding, cobbled streets, famous street market and fabulous views.
Andratx is a quaint, traditional Mallorcan town in the south west of the island. Packed with narrow winding streets, the town offers a taste of 'real' Majorca, away from the main tourist trail. The town is about 35km (about 22 miles) from Palma and the airport. Like many coastal towns in Majorca, the town is set about 5km (about 3 miles) inland from the port area known as Puerto Andratx.
The pace is relaxed and the vibe is quite cosmopolitan here - Andratx is off the beaten track as far as package holidays go, and the area is popular with countryside lovers and walkers. Surrounded by lush greenery, citrus and olive groves, almond trees and countryside dotted with traditional Mallorcan fincas, Andratx is perhaps more of a base for explorers than a typical holiday resort.
This pretty little town is not particularly tourist-orientated, and is not really featured by any major tour operators. However, Andratx is popular with foreigners who own second homes here, and the town has many impressive private homes and villas, and it's beauty and relatively secluded location has been attracting the rich and famous for decades. The ex-pat community here ensures a cosmopolitan vibe, and the town has bags of character and appeal. Quiet by day, and jovial at night, with a welcoming, friendly atmosphere in the local bars and cafes.
Andratx has some great restaurants and bars, and is home to a large renowned market, held weekly on Wednesdays selling fresh local produce. For art lovers, there is a large private art gallery in at Centro Cultural Andratx, which has a large collection of contemporary art.
Visitors to Andratx town will appreciate the stunning views over Puerto Andratx and beyond. The port area still has working fishing boats that bring home their catch each evening.
The old town of Andratx is very pretty and retains many traditional features. Split into two districts, Pantaleu and Pou Amunt, the higher end has traditional shuttered town houses and narrow, stepped, cobbled streets leading to traditional town squares. There is a very impressive 13th century church (Santa Maria) at the top of the hill, from where you can enjoy magnificent sweeping views back down over the town to the port area and beyond to the sea. Camera essential!
Andratx was once protected by walls, protecting the town from pirate attacks, and you can still see remnants of the old wall today. (Protection from invaders is also the reason why Andratx town, like many others in Majorca, was built a couple of miles inland.)
Another notable feature in Andratx is So Na Gaiana's tower, which was also used to protect the town from pirate raids. You can also see 19th century Son Mas castle, now the town hall, and a tower from the 15th century, Sagrament Tower. The town of Andratx has an important place in Mallorcan culture and history, having been a major town and home to several prominent figures in Mallorcan history, including King Jaime I and the Bishop of Barcelona back in the 13th century.
As there is only one very tiny beach (in Puerto Andratx), this is not a place that attracts beach-lovers. It is an ideal base for anyone wishing to explore the area, which has some stunning countryside and walking trails. For those wishing to have a little beach time, the resort of Camp De Mar is just 5km (about 3 miles) away. Another nearby town worth a visit for those hiring a car is San Telmo (Sant Elm), from where you can take boat trips across the Es Freu channel to the curious 'island' of Dragonera, which is a designated Natural Park area. On this tiny island you can visit remains of a Roman settlement and a small museum.
Andratx is also a good base for anyone wishing to explore the Tramuntana Mountain range, which begins just north of the town and continues to the north of the island. From Andratx it is also easy to visit Paguera, Illetas and Santa Ponsa by car.
For golfers, it's not too far to Golf de Andratx, a championship standard course, which is in fact closer to Camp de Mar than Andratx, nonetheless is within easy reach. You can get more details about the course at their website: Golf de Andratx.
Transfer time from Palma airport to Andratx is typically half an hour or so.
“For authentic Mallorca, look no further than the traditional old town of Andratx, with cobbled streets, old town houses and amazing views.”