The Spanish Balearic island of Majorca receives more than three million visitors each summer, though relatively few visit its north-east corner. Furthest from Majorca’s international airport and without the south-west’s enticing infrastructure and glamorous super yacht marinas, the north-east was more the preserve of in-the-know families from the Spanish mainland.
Reiner Fischer of Engel & Volkers adds: “The connections with Palma were not great but seven years ago a new road was built, bypassing many villages and putting the airport 45 minutes away rather than 80 minutes.”
Add in a soon-to-open new international school as part of the Rafa Nadal Academy in Manacor and the recently opened and striking five-star Park Hyatt Mallorca in Canyamel and the lifestyle in the north-east looks interesting.
The area stretches from Porto Cristo to Colònia Sant Pere and among its charms are many small harbours and five golf courses. Beautiful beaches, clean water, delightful historic towns and quiet, undeveloped countryside have attracted generations of Spanish families to buy local holiday homes.
The atmospheric medieval town of Artà has narrow alleys and whitewashed townhouses mixed with tree-lined avenues. There are delis, plenty of small shops and restaurants, even a cinema, and a popular market is held every Tuesday in Plaça Conqueridor.
“On average there is a 30 per cent price difference between homes in north-east Majorca and the prime south-west,” says Fischer. “While the south-west is more showy this is a quieter, off-the- radar place.”
Germans easily comprise the main international market in the north-east. The most famous second-home owner is tennis star Boris Becker.
Expect to pay from £255,000 for apartments and town houses and from £510,000 for an older house with sea views in the pretty seaside town of Canyamel.
Small fincas (farmhouses) start from £467,000 but most are closer to £850,000 and the best reach £4.25 million. Fischer’s average sale last year was £765,000, which would buy a three-bedroom villa close to the coast or four- or five- bedroom house inland.
Eight miles from Artà two- and three-bedroom new-build apartments in traditional Mediterranean design in the fishing village of Colònia de Sant Pere, start from £164,000 through Taylor Wimpey Espana. Bahia Sant Pere is a rural development surrounded by vines and almond groves and close to the protected sandy beach at Sa Canova.
In the centre of Artà a five-bedroom townhouse including an unusually large roof terrace with views to Canyamel is £318,700 through Engel & Volkers. It is selling an attractive stone finca with four-bedrooms including a separate guesthouse close to Manacor for £679,000 and a four-bedroom detached house on a quiet road in Canyamel, also with a pool and garden, for £425,000.
A PLACE TO STAY WHILE YOU HOUSE-HUNT: HOTEL CALA SANT VICENÇ
In the north of Majorca, five miles from Port de Pollença, Cala Sant Vicenç is a beautiful fishing village with several bays and beaches caught between rocky cliffs. The resort is within one hour of Palma airport but well away from the buzz and bright lights of the capital.
Hotel Cala Sant Vicenç in the centre of the resort, an easy walk from all three beaches, has a long and happy history. The 38-room and suite hotel is a favourite with British holidaymakers (one London family I met were on their 14th annual stay) who come to hike or cycle in the Tramuntana mountains before relaxing by the enticing pool.
Last year the hotel was bought by Voyager Hotels whose management team includes two former vice presidents of Orient-Express Hotels, responsible for arguably Majorca’s most famous hotel, La Residencia in Deia. Its plans for Hotel Cala Sant Vicenç include some refurbishments while keeping the charming friendly spirit of this low-key but upmarket home from home.
Double rooms from £157 a night including breakfast.