When and where was Christopher Columbus born? In Majorca of course, Christopher Columbus' birthplace is Petra in East Majorca. There's some Majorca Pearls as well about this area around Manacor particularly. It's certainly worth branching out to Felanitx particularly to view the sanctuary high on a peak near Felanitx called Santuari de Sant Salvador. Did you know that Christopher Columbus named the first land he discovered in the Americas after it. It was San Salvador. Take time to explore, there's history everywhere in Majorca in the most surprising of places!
There's some real delightful treats if you're a little bored of the sunbathing scenario for a day, or if you want a base in the heart of Majorcan culture, but still close to the superb sandy beaches of the East Coast. Felanitx, for those who didn't know, is the second largest wine producing area in Mallorca after the Binissalem region! You'll see the capers or 'green pearls' as they are known grown in fields around the area. You can buy some of these capers, or why not pick up some of the superb ceramics available in this region.
Now then, on Christopher Columbus. Well he just happened to be born in Felanitx and he learnt to sail in nearby Porto Colom. When he discovered his first bit of land he called it San Salvado after the monastery Santuari de Sant Salvador. Unbelievable! Take time to do the gruelling climb upt to the top, all 1,693 feet, eek! The views at the top are majestic, and well worth it. Best to take your own picnic and plenty of drinking water. Like many of the sanctuaries scattered around Mallorca, you can spend the night at Santuari de Sant Salvador if you like to really soak up the atmosphere and spectacular views. A must see on your visit to Majorca!
On a nearby peak check out the Castell de Santueri which is a 14th century fortress, again like so many Christian significant buildings on Majorca, on the site of what was previously a Moorish castle. If you don't fancy the walk to the castle, take the C714 and drive up!
Manacor is the second largest town in Majorca, and somewhat of an industrial centre. The key attraction here is Majorica, the Majorcan grey pearl producers. Rather popular with the coach tours. The pearls themselves are pretty expensive, if attractive and certainly unique. They're made mostly from fish scales!
Really, the pearl factory is what brings visitors into Manacor. Rather a shame, as there is an interesting 19th century neo Gothic church called Nostra Senyora dels Dolors, and some remains of the royal palace built here in the 14th century. There's a Saturday morning craft market as well. Also of interest is Manacor's Museu de Manacor which is an archaeologica and ethnological museum.
Majorica, C/Pere Rich s/n, Manacor, Tel: 971 55 09 00 (website under construction, see web link to the right). The grey pearl factory is open from 9am to 1pm, from 2.30 to 7pm on Monday to Friday, and 10am to 1pm Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is Free.
Museu de Manacor, Ctra. Cales de Mallorca, km1, Manacor, Tel: 971 84 30 65. The museum is open from 10am to 2pm from Monday to Friday. Admission again is free!