Santa Ponsa is a relatively large tourist resort, some 20km from the island’s capital, Palma. It’s actually of immense cultural and historic importance to Mallorca as it marks the location where King James I of Aragon landed on 12 September 1229 in a successful quest to conquer the island and take it back from the Moors after more than 300 years of Muslim rule. A cross at the entrance to the marina indicates the spot where James came ashore – it was erected in 1929 to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the landing. Another good spot for understanding the Santa Ponsa of 800 years ago is Puig de sa Morisca (Moor's Hill) an archaeological park with artefacts from the Talayotic era and a quite spectacular panoramic view that stretches kilometres in every direction.
Throughout the summer months Santa Ponsa is popular with all nationalities – particularly German and British holidaymakers. Boasting a sweeping sheltered sandy bay lined with supermarkets, medical centres, shops, hotels, sea view eateries and bars, the centre is lively, but it also has a sleepier smarter residential side – Nova Santa Ponsa.
Encompassing three golf courses (Santa Ponsa I and Santa Ponsa II with 18 holes and Santa Ponsa III with nine holes), the all-new Santa Ponsa Tennis home to the WTA Mallorca Open tournament, and the very pretty 1975-established marina of Club Nautico Santa Ponsa with 522 moorings for boats up to 20 metres, Nova Santa Ponsa is host to the largest villas on the smartest streets. With some priced in excess of 25 million euros, this is a neighbourhood that is in demand and on the up.
A 3-minute drive along the coast from Nova Santa Ponsa and you’ll find Port Adriano. Starting out as a humble unassuming 404 berth marina, a 90-million-euro revamp in 2012 by uber-successful eccentric French designer Philippe Starck has transformed Port Adriano into a 488 berth superyacht haven for yachts up to 110 metres. As famous for its events as its berths, to date it Port Adriano has hosted Earth Wind & Fire, Supertramp founder Roger Hodgson, Gloria Gaynor, Slovenian-Croatian cello duo 2Cellos, Buena Vista Social Club’s Omara Portuondo and Spanish flamenco singer Diego El Cigala, ELO spinoff The Orchestra, guitar maestro George Benson, 90s chart-toppers Ace of Base, Corona, Snap! and Whigfield, and Welsh heartthrob Sir Tom Jones in concert as well as short film contests, renowned illusionists, a cooking master class from a two-Michelin-starred chef, the annual Street Food Festival, and Sunset Yoga attended by upwards of 400 people each year. There’s also the ‘Best of Yachting’ boat show, The MultihullCup, Moto Club Calvià’s Trial Competition, Mallorca Classic Week and the marina’s signature Fun Parade which surprises unsuspecting visitors with carefully-choreographed comical sketches and whimsical mime acts.
In wider terms, the Ma-1 motorway delivers you straight to Palma in 20 minutes and just a little further to the international airport. Palma is the only city in the world that connects to every British airport - all 27. It also has more direct routes to Scandinavia and France than to Spain - and easyJet’s first and only tourist-only base. German low-cost Eurowings tripled its fleet in only three years and will operate 300 flights a week next year. A plane takes off or lands in Palma every 90 seconds throughout the summer and it is Europe’s most-connected airport with 182 connections throughout peak season