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Arta - ancient hill town with an artistic appeal

Arta is a delightful little town situated up in the north east corner of Mallorca. Surrounded by the picturesque Llevant mountain range and some particularly attractive countryside, this ancient hill town, which nestles in a valley close to the coast, is a lovely place to own a holiday home in Mallorca.

One word that probably describes Arta best is 'authentic'. Even though popular with day-trippers in the summer months, and particularly lively on market day, Arta is relatively untouched by mass tourism compared with many other places on the island.

Here traditional houses with sun-bleached roofs, artisan shops, narrow twisting lanes and shady tree-lined avenues compliment perfectly the old town's ancient fortress and tiny church.

Arta's beauty has, over the years, attracted many creatively-minded people to set up home here. Indeed, art and artists fill the place contributing to the town's pleasant bohemian feel. The town particularly has a prosperous feel to it.

A little history

Arta is an ancient town, its origins stretching back to prehistoric times. To the south of the town lies Ses Paisses, the impressive remains of a Bronze Age village. You enter the site through the monolithic gateway - a visit here is most recommended.

You'll also find traces of Greek and Roman occupation in Arta, as well of course, of the Moorish settlers who called the peninsula 'Yartan', which is probably where Arta got its name.

The Sanctuary of San Salvador

Undoubdedly Arta's star attraction (apart from the nearby caves!) the Sanctuary of San Salvador is an absolute must on anyone's itinery when visiting the town.

The whole town is overlooked by a dramatic hill on which perches the Sanctury. It's a 10-minute walk up from the town centre. You initially come across the huge church of Sant Salvador and then proceed further up the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) which leads to the Sanctury itself. The views from here are absolutely spellbinding.

Caves of Arta

The Caves of Arta offer the visitor the opportunity to explore what is generally regarded as Mallorca's finest cave system. Deep underground you'll find cavernous chambers that boast gigantic stalagmites and stalagtites.

Special lighting gives the caves an eerie appeal, in particular in the Hall of Flags where giant, 50-metre long stalactites hang dramatically. When you exit the cave system you will enjoy a breathtaking view thanks to the impressive stairway which leads up to a huge natural hole in the cliffs overlooing the bay.

Ermita de Betlem

Roughly 10km northwest of Arta lies the remote hermitage of Ermita de Betlem. Here you'll find a collection of old stone buildings and a rather impressive church featuring religious paintings. Situated in the Llevant Natural Park, the scenery overlooking the Bay of Alcudia viewed from the hermitage is spectacular. Events in Arta

Like most ancient Mallorcan towns, Arta is no stranger to amazing festivals.

The big one is the fiesta of Sant Antoni which originally dates right back to 1581. It takes place in January (mercifully away from the summer heat) and unusually features dancers with effigies of horses strapped to their hips.

There is the smaller festival of Sant Antoni de Padua which occurs in June. Here local children perform traditional Mallorcan dances.

You can also enjoy the various festivities that take place in the town every August in honour of Arta's patron saint, Sant Salvador.

And if that's not enough, Arta celebrates a traditional agriculural Autumn Fair in September with plenty of market stalls selling the region's tasty produce. Yes, they certainly know how to party in Arta!

Around Arta

As you can imagine, Arta and its environs offer a very attractive proposition for people looking to buy their dream home in Mallorca. There is so much to enjoy here and in neighbouring resorts such as Colonia de Sant Pere, Cala Rajada, Cala Agulla, Ca'n Picafort and Puerto de Alcudia.

And don't forget the activities associated with the Llevant Natural Park, where you'll find opportunities to follow spectacular hiking and cycling routes. Tennis and golf can be enjoyed, and sailing at nearby Colonia Sant Pere is also an appealing option.

How to get to Arta

Arta is about an hour away from Palma's International Airport and the main Ma-15 road will take you there direct from the airport. Several buses stop on the southern edge of the town centre, connecting Arta with Cala Rajada, Capdepera, Playa Canyamel, Manacor train station and Palma itself.

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The Arta Museum is a pleasant diversion. It’s not a massive place but you will find plenty of relics here dating back to the Roman occupation – all discovered locally. However, all this seems relatively recent when you visit the Talayotic village of Ses Paisses. The artifacts here date back to 1000 years BC.

The office of the specialists in this region

Mallorca Southwest Office

+34 971 68 40 00 or [email protected]

Iris Gruenewald

Gemma Marr
Sales consultant

Cecile Bal
Sales consultant

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