Impressive hilltop fortress
Arta (Artà) is a quiet, attractive rural town with a maze of narrow streets, medieval buildings and pretty cafes with an impressive hilltop fortress built in the 14th century. Tucked away in a picturesque valley and 10 km inland from the northeast coast of the island, it is framed by mountains and beautiful rugged hills courtesy of the Llevant Natural Park.
The town has stayed relatively untouched by tourism, the main visitors being German resulting in the German language becoming Arta’s unofficial third language. Tourists arrive in Arta mostly on market day, which is Tuesday each week to purchase local products such as weaved baskets and pottery.
The mainly Mallorquin residents cling rigorously to their heritage and quite righty too, they have lots of it to protect. The whole area is a magnet for culture vultures arriving to explore the many historic landmarks including the Sanctuary of Sant Salvador, Ses Païsses (a bronze age Talaiotic settlement), the Parish church of the Transfiguration of the Lord and the much-visited Caves d'Arta.
Overlooking the town is the fortified 14th century Santuari de Sant Salvador, a 4000 sqm walled fortress, without question, the biggest attraction for visitors to this historic town. The walk-up Cavalry Hill to the fortress is challenging with 180 steps; however, it is well worth the effort just for the views from the sanctuary’s courtyard.
Another must-see attraction is the Artà Cemetery, which is considered one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Europe. The cemetery is surrounded by lush greenery and features an impressive array of elaborate tombstones and mausoleums.
In addition to its natural beauty, Arta is also well-known for its rich cultural heritage. The town has a number of museums, including the Museum of Ethnology and the Museum of Fine Arts, both of which are housed in historic buildings and showcase a wealth of artefacts and artworks from the region.
If you're a fan of adventure and the hidden natural world, this is the excursion for you. Experience these stunning caves and take some unforgettable memories home with you.
Caves of Arta
The Caves of Arta is a large underground cave system that was formed over millions of years. The caves are open to visitors and offer a unique and captivating insight into the geological history of Majorca. The caves are home to a variety of stalactites and stalagmites, and are considered one of the finest examples of cave formations in the world.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Artà and its surrounding areas offer a wide range of activities, from hiking and cycling to water sports and wildlife watching.
Not a lot of people know about Arta’s dark history – the bubonic plague. It was one of the last places in Europe to suffer an outbreak, which occurred in 1820 killing 1200 residents. Many people moved out of the town to escape infection and the nearby village of Colonia de Sant Pere was developed by survivors.
Overall, Arta is a charming and picturesque town that offers visitors a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage and modern-day amenities. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an action-packed adventure, Arta has something for everyone and is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Majorca.
Rolling hills, endless olive groves and romantic hilltop villages – the Serra de Llevant mountains in the east of the island offer an unbeatable snapshot of rural Majorca. You'll visit an aloe vera farm, a weekly country market and a cave system in one great day. Elisabeth, one of our expert guides, says, ‘When I have visitors from home, I take them to the same places visited on this tour – this is the authentic Majorca.'