Mallorca’s East Coast Bay by Bay: Cala Santanyí, Cala Llombards, Cala Figuera

Apart from long sandy beaches, there is an amazing number of picturesque coves surrounding the island, and on Mallorca‘s east coast, you can even explore them hiking from bay to bay – from Cala Llombards to Cala Santanyí to Cala Figuera.

View from Mallorca's east coast at Cala Llombards.
From the beach of Cala Llombards overlooking the turquoise waters all the way to more mesmerizing Calas on the horizon.

Hiking through the rural Hinterland between fields lines by olive and almond trees and Mallorca’s iconic terrace orchards, you’ll most certainly break a sweat. No problem, since the turquoise waters of the countless picturesque bays are awaiting you to take a refreshing dip.

Mallorca’s East Coast from Cala to Cala

A rough’n’rocky coast with waters glistening in all shades of blue and turquoise. Small fishing villages and old castles. On her east coast, Mallorca has much more to offer than a beach holiday.

Everything is quieter and more relaxed between Cala Mesquida, hence, the northernmost holiday resort on the east coast, and Cap de Ses Salines on the southern tip.

Road between Cala Santanyí and Cala Llombards on Mallorca's East Coast.
Getting to know Santanyí’s Hinterland.

Due to the precipitations, fruits like lemons, oranges, and apricots grow in abundance on the mountainous west coast. Whereas here in the east, the sceneries deem rougher, drier, more austere. Nevertheless, there is vegetation like forests of pine trees and holm oaks, olive and almond trees, but also aromatic rosemary and even colorful bougainvillea.

Almond Tree
Almonds in their festive, plushy attire.

As a matter of fact, it is precisely these contrasts and the relaxed mentality that have transformed the east coast of Mallorca from an insider tip to a popular destination with those who prefer to stay away from the wild party life.

However, the strongest suits are definitely the mesmerizing small bays with waters in incredible shades of turquoise and deep blue.

A Day on the Bay

I assume you’ve read the former posts on my recent trip to Mallorca so that you know that for nine days, that I stayed in the capital city Palma. Obviously, it was the best gateway to the island’s many amazing places.

Since Mallorca has an east-west extension of 98 kilometers, frequent trips to the east coast were off the table. However, I managed to include one entire day at three of the most precious Calas, hence, bays.

So if you’d like to follow my lead and spend a day between Cala Santanyí, Cala Llombards, and Cala Figuera, you should check out the itinerary I put together below. Although the net of public buses on Mallorca is amazing, the service to these places is very limited so that my schedule will help you make the best of your tour.

Cala Santanyí

At the beginning of the 20th century, Cala Santanyí consisted of only a few fishermen’s houses. Only around 1960, the authorities recognized the touristy potential of the bay. Hence, first hotels and holiday villas were built.
Today, there are numerous villas and apartment houses as well as three larger hotels around the waters of Cala Santanyí.

Beach of Cala Santanyí on Mallorca's East Coast.
Life is a beach at Cala Santanyí.

The fine sandy beach of Cala Santanyí is gently sloping and therefore also great for smaller children. Since the bay is sheltered by two large ledges, there are also no dangerous currents or waves.

Especially on the east side of the beach are many bars and restaurants.

The clear waters of Cala Santanyí on Mallorca's East Coast.
The clear waters of Cala Santanyí.

Compared to many other beaches on Mallorca, Cala Santanyí is still a hidden gem. Nevertheless, the number of visitors is steadily increasing. While it’s a good place for a day trip – especially in combination with a visit to the other bays – I would not make it to my base camp when touring the island.

Es Pontàs

Yes, apart from the beach, there are actually some quite interesting spots to visit in the vicinity of Cala Santanyí.

View from the beach of Cala Llombards in Mallorca.
View of Cala Llombards.

About ten minutes west of the beach is the Mirador des Pontàs from where you have an amazing view of Cala Macs and Cala Llombards.

Es Pontes at Cala Santanyí on Mallorca's East Coast.
This arch rocks.

However, the Mirador is mostly famous for the Es Pontàs rock arch. This arch is admired and photographed by tourists, but also used by climbers. As a matter of fact, in the summer of 2006, Chris Sharma first climbed a deep water solo route here.

To this date, it is considered the most difficult deep water solo route in the world and was since then been repeated only twice. The route is one of the subjects of the film King Lines.

Equilibrio Sur by Rolf Schaffner

Then, as you turn your back to the arch, you’ll spot a strange stele made from rocks. It is Equilibrio Sur, the first sculpture of a European art project performed by German artist Rolf Schaffner.

Rolf Schaffner was born in 1927 and made Santanyí his home for the first time back in 1962.

Later, in the mid-1970s, Rolf Schaffner left Mallorca for over ten years as he lived and worked in Munich where he created works in stone, concrete, bronze, and aluminum. He returned to Santanyi in 1987.

Stone sculpture Equilibrio Sur by Rolf Schaffner
The Equilibrio Sur at the Mirodar des Pontàs on the outskirts of Cala Santanyí.

In the 1990s, he began creating his monumental sculptures. Of those, the multinational project Equilibrio is the most impressive one, obviously. From 1995 till 2009, Schaffner created a project for peace and responsible treatment of nature. After all, Equilibrio means balance.

Schaffner erected his steles made of natural stone at five locations in Europe starting in 1995 with Equilibrio South in Santanyí. Then, this piece was followed by Equilibrio Center in Bensberg, Germany in 1997, Equilibrio North in Trondheim in Norway in 2000. In 2005, he built Equilibrio East in the Russian city of Volgograd. Finally, his project was completed with Equilibrio West in Cork in Ireland in 2009 only the year after his death on Mallorca in 2008.

Cala d’es Macs

Assumably anyone who spends their holiday around Santanyí gets to know Cala Llombards since it’s a small, family-friendly sandy beach with incredibly clear water that I’m introducing below.

Cala Macs on Mallorca's East Coast
Picturesque – yes. But cozy?!

Therefore it’s funny that practically just around the corner is a small bay that only very few visitors enjoy.

This Cala d’es Macs is a small swimming area very close to the famous Es Pontàs that I’ve introduced above. Due to the quite challenging access, it’s never crowded. Also, the bay is very small and rocky, definitely not for smaller kids or the elderly.

View from the beach of Cala Llombards in Mallorca.
Inhospitable yet impressive Cala Macs – and more cozy Cala Llombards in the backdrop.

Obviously, you can get there by car and then just descend the stairs. However, it’s also reachable from Cala Llombards by passing in front of some small fishermen’s huts. Better yet, you wade through the water if you are not bothered by the seagrass.

Cala Llombards

Just like Cala Santanyí, Cala Llombards consists of holiday homes as well as a small hotel. The settlement and the homonymous bay can be reached by car via the MA-6100 between Santanyí and Ses Salines.

Hinterland at Cala Santanyí,
Mallorca’s iconic red soil at Santanyí’s hinterland.

But coming from Cala Santanyí, it’s a very pleasant twenty-minute walk where you can enjoy the sight of Santanyí’s austere hinterland from close.

View from Cala Llombards in Mallorca.
Mind your step when walking down the stairs to the Calas!

Once you reach the end of the road next to some dry barren fields, you’ll have to descent some quite steep stairs down to the sandy beach.

View of Cala Llombards in Mallorca.
Don’t let the beauty distract you from being very cautious when walking around on those rocks.

In the morning, the bay is shaded and also usually very well suited for swimming thanks to the shallow beach and weak waves. Nevertheless, there are no shops or restaurants right next to the beach and a quite limited choice in the vicinity.

Cala Figuera

Cala Figuera is located in a fjord-like bay and was formerly the port of Santanyí. The bay consists of two water arms called Caló d’En Boira and Caló d’En Busques. At the hidden end of the left arm are the fishermen’s houses with their characteristic boat garages.

Cala Figuera on Mallorca's East Coast
Cala Figuera lies in a tranquil Fjord.

The first mention of Cala Figuera was way back in 1306. Nevertheless, the first residential buildings were built only at the end of the 19th century. The first church of Cala Figuera was constructed in 1938. Today, it houses a French restaurant.

Fishing boat at Cala Figuera on Mallorca's East Coast
Visitors and seagulls are checking the catch of the day.

Tourism in Cala Figuera had its peak in the 1970s and 1980s. Since then, tourism has decreased and shifted to the neighboring calas. As a matter of fact, this makes Cala Figuera pleasantly sleepy and authentic.

Fisherman fixing a net at Cala Figuera on Mallorca's East Coast.
Some repairs have to be done.

It is the perfect place for a relaxed stroll alongside the water arms.

In the afternoon, you can observe fishermen bringing their catch in. Then you sit on one of the beachfront terraces, enjoying views, snacks, and drinks. If you want to enjoy fresh fish and seafood, Cala Figuera is one of the island’s best options.

Plate of mussels and drinks at Cala Figuera on Mallorca's East Cost
At the end of a great day, a light plate of the freshest mussels accompanied by a Sangria made with Cava instead of wine. However, this way, it doesn’t look like sangre – which means blood – where the drink got its name from….

Summertime and the living is easy – doesn’t that ring a bell?

A Small Flaw

Following my itinerary, Cala Figuera should be last on your list for two reasons – a good and a not-so-good one. The good one is the above-mentioned opportunity to enjoy a fantastic fish dinner on the waterfront.

The other one is the fact that beach life is far more enjoyable at the other two bays since they have sandy beaches and smooth access into the water.

Cliffs at Cala Figuera on Mallorca's East Coast
Amazingly, there are still bushes and trees growing from rocks.

There is no sand beach at Cala Figuera. Nevertheless, you can sunbathe on huge rocks from where you also take refreshing dips in the deep blue waters. This is cool and fun for young adults. Smaller kids and elderly visitors will probably refrain from jumping in the waters.

Itinerary

As I said, I’ve explored this part of Mallorca’s east coast on a day trip. Since the bus connection from Palma to Cala Figuera via Cala Santanyí is quite limited, you might want to plan your itinerary ahead. There are actually only three suitable connections per day: At 8:30 a. m., 12:45 p. m., and 4:45 p. m., whereby the latter is basically only suited as a return trip for those based on the east coast. For your return to Palma, there are three options, albeit the first one at 2:45 p. m. is too early if you want to get to enjoy all three bays.

Between Cala Santanyí and Cala Llombards, you’ll be mostly walking on a comfortable dirt road. There won’t be any opportunity to stock up on snacks or water on the way so that you better buy something at the small supermarket in Cala Santanyí. Since you are hiking between fields and stony terraces, there is no shade whatsoever. Make sure to put on sun protection and better wear a hat – the sun in the Mediterranean can be brutal.

Going from Cala Santanyí to Cala Figuera, you can comfortably walk on a paved promenade. It’s a bit less charming, yet very comfortable. Also, depending on the time of the day, there is much more shade from the high trees and small groves along the way.

Timetable

My itinerary for an entire day on the east coast looked like this:

DepartureArrivalTransportRoute
8:30 a. m.9:15 a. m.Bus #501Palma to La Verge 2 at Campos
9:45 a. m.10:10 a. m.Bus #516La Verge 2 at Campos to Cala Santanyí
10:10 a. m.11 a. m.Getting Refreshments, Es Pontàs, and Equilibrio Sur
11 a. m.11:20 a. m.Hike from Cala Santanyí to Cala Llombards
11:20 a. m.1:30 p. m.Cala Llombards
1:30 p. m.1:50 p. m.Hike from Cala Llombards to Cala Santanyí
1:50 p. m.3 p. m.Lunch at Cala Santanyí
3 p. m.5 p. m.Cala Santanyí
5 p. m.5:30 p. m.Hike from Cala Santanyí to Cala Figuera
5:30 p. m6:15 p. m.Cala Figuera
6:15 p. m.7:30 p. m.Drink and Dinner at Cala Figuera
7:45 p. m.8:20 p. m.Bus #516Cala Santanyí to La Verge 2 at Campos
8:30p. m.9:20 p. m.Bus #501La Verge 2 at Campos to Palma

Clearly, this is just a rough plan and you can prolong or skip certain points. The only parts that won’t be flexible are the buses, obviously.

Also, since bus schedules are subject to changes, check the timetables before you go. The fastest way to do so is by typing tib 501 respectively tib 516 in google search. This will lead you straight to the bus company’s page.

How to Get There

Cala Santanyí is located in the area of ​​the municipality of Santanyí in the island’s extreme southeast. It is 62 kilometers from Mallorca’s capital Palma and can be easily reached by road.

If you’re not driving, you can get there easily by bus, however, there are far fewer connections than to other places around the island. Also, it’s possible that buses between Campos and Cala Santanyí do not circulate during the low season on Sundays, hence, always check the schedules before planning your day.

Bus at the Estació Intermodal in Palma de Mallorca
One of many buses that take you across the island for a reasonable price.

There is no direct bus between Palma and Cala Santanyí. Nonetheless, the connection is easy and reliable at the stop La Verge 2 in the rural town of Campos.

On weekdays, the first bus #501 leaves Palma at 5:55 a. m. Then, from 6:55 a. m. onwards, buses to Campos are going about every 20 minutes till 22:30 p. m. Yet, the schedule of bus #516 that will then take you from Campos to Cala Santanyí is much more limited. Actually, during high season, there are connections at 7:30 and 9:45 in the morning and 12:45, 2:40, 4:40, and 6:40 in the afternoon. However, service on Sundays is even more limited.

Also, during the low season, service is limited to fewer buses on weekdays and there is no connection on Sundays. However, you have the option to go to Santanyí town from where you can take a cab to the beach resorts.

Saving Big Bucks

A single ride from Palma to Campos costs 7.50 €uro if you pay cash on the bus. As you pay with your credit or debit card, you get a discount – in this case, you pay 40% less. The ride from Campos to Cala Santanyí is 4,50 €uro and you’ll get just a small discount of 10%.

As a matter of fact, if you are planning on taking the bus more often, paying by card will save you a lot of money since discounts go up to 60% depending on your route.

Check out on a bus in Mallorca
Your credit or debit card needs to have an NFC symbol.

In case your card is not equipped with Near Field Communication – short NFC – you can simply obtain a so-called intermodal card for instance at the Estació Intermodal in Palma and just charge and recharge it as needed. This way, you’ll get the same discounts.

Not only is the network of public transportation comprehensive, comfortable, and reliable, the CTM company also has a very informative website in five languages.

Well-Organized Activities

Although I’m an avid solo-travelling woman, I sometimes like to join organized tours. Not only are they a valid option to go to remote places since I’m not driving. They also allow me to meet fellow travellers – for just a short moment or a lifelong friendship.

Therefore, here are some great ideas of what to do when visiting Mallorca. Especially during high season, pre-booking online will guarantee your place at the activity of your choice*:

Map

This map should help you to find the wonderful spots in the area:

My day trip to the bays on Mallorca’s east coast between Cala Llombards and Cala Figuera was only one of many amazing tours during my nine days on the island. To read about the others, go to the main post and take your pick! There you’ll also find valuable general information that will make your own trip much smoother and more enjoyable.

Pinnable Pictures

If you choose to pin this post for later, please use one of these pictures:

Pinnable Picture for the Post on Mallorca's East Coast Bay by Bay: Cala Santanyí, Cala Llombards, Cala Figuera
LLOMBARDS
Pinnable Picture for the Post on Mallorca's East Coast Bay by Bay: Cala Santanyí, Cala Llombards, Cala Figuera
FIGUERA
Pinnable Picture for the Post on Mallorca's East Coast Bay by Bay: Cala Santanyí, Cala Llombards, Cala Figuera
MACS
Pinnable Picture for the Post on Mallorca's East Coast Bay by Bay: Cala Santanyí, Cala Llombards, Cala Figuera
SANTANYI
Pinnable Picture for the Post on Mallorca's East Coast Bay by Bay: Cala Santanyí, Cala Llombards, Cala Figuera
ARCO ES PONTAS
Pinnable Picture for the Post on Mallorca's East Coast Bay by Bay: Cala Santanyí, Cala Llombards, Cala Figuera
MALLORCA EAST COAST

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17 Replies to “Mallorca’s East Coast Bay by Bay: Cala Santanyí, Cala Llombards, Cala Figuera”

  1. This is a great guide to the east coast of Mallorca. Even if some of the calas are not easily accessible, I prefer to see this, than the mass beaches crowded with people. It really shows you the natural beauty of the island.

  2. I remember seeing pictures of the rock arch everywhere, but I just knew that people can climb up on it. The calas in east Mallorca are definitely beautiful! I like Cala Llombard the bests.

  3. Lovely beautiful place. Such clear waters and great activities. This is a wonderful holiday destination

  4. I like how you included a map with several places marked off. It makes it easier to get a visual of how far away each place is from another.

  5. The pictures are all so beautiful! I have learned so much about this area by reading your posts – I would love to see these places in person!

  6. What a great way to enjoy the beauty of Mallorca hiking from bay to bay. We would certainly enjoy the relaxed atmosphere on the east coast more than the party life in other parts. I know those clear waters would draw us in for a swim regularly – sweaty or not!

  7. I wouldn’t mind following in your footsteps and going “cala to cala” 🙂 A hike amid that scenery, jumping in the water when it gets too hot, followed up by fresh local seafood? That sounds like my kind of day!

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