Andratx, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

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Andratx

Puerto Andratx (Andraitx) is located in the south west corner of the island, 32 kms west of Palma and the Son Sant Joan International airport. It's part of the municipal district of Andratx which contains towns of S'Arracó, Sant Elm and the resort of Camp de Mar.

This one of Mallorca's best kept secrets. So far, it has remained completely undiscovered by the major tour operators. It's a far cry from your average package holiday destinations. Most of the people you'll find here are either independent travellers or else own their own homes here.

The district of Andratx has a resident population of around 8,000 but during the summer months this figure can increase to around 24,000. It's one of the most important (non-package holiday) destinations on the island and contributes significantly to Mallorca's tourist industry.

Over the years Andratx has become one of the most sought after and exclusive areas to live on the island, attracting various celebrities including the wife of Rudolf Valentino who lived here during the 1930's. It's certainly no stranger to the rich and famous. Claudia Schiffer, Tom Cruise, Michael Schumacher also own property in this area. You'll see some spectacular houses and villas here.

During the 13th Century the Bishop of Barcelona and King Jaime I both had homes here. At this point, it was one of the most important cultural centres on the island.

The actual town of Andratx is located slightly inland. It was built here initially as a defence against pirate attacks. It's very pretty, with narrow cobbled streets and superb views out to towards Puerto Andratx. Remember to bring your camera!

Puerto Andratx used to be a very small traditional Mallorcan fishing harbour. Nowadays it's a huge marina with a provision for over 300 moorings. Commercial fishing is still carried out here but on a much smaller scale than in the past. Despite the impact of tourism, Puerto Andratx still has a very traditional Mallorcan feel to it.

The best beaches in this area can be found at the nearby resort of Camp de Mar. It's about three miles down the coast. Most visitors use Puerto Andratx as a convenient base from which to explore the more remote and stunningly beautiful parts of the west coast of the island

Getting to Puerto Andratx from the airport is very easy. You'll find plenty of taxis waiting outside of the arrivals hall. It normally costs around 45 euros. If there's more than four people it's best to make provision for a pre-booked taxi and make sure you tell them that you will need a larger vehicle.

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