Set on the east coast of Majorca – the biggest of Spain’s Balearic Island’s – Cala Ratjada is the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for great beaches, guaranteed sun and plenty for the little ones to do.
A former fishing village, the resort still retains some of the charm of its traditional past but has long since bowed to the necessary demands of tourism. There are plenty of bars and restaurants along the resort’s harbour and in the town’s centre, a good range of watersports, and plenty of facilities to make its beaches the perfect place to spend the day with young children.
It may be unlikely, but if the kids ever do tire of playing in the sand and paddling in the calm waters around the resort, then there’s a local forest for you to explore with them, a nearby waterpark and, of course, the town itself to wander round.
Family Days on the Beach
Being Majorca there are, of course, plenty of beautiful beaches around the resort, at least five of which are particularly recommended for families. Check out a new stretch of sand every day or do what I do with my family: pick your favourite and stick with it. At Cala Ratjada there are plenty to choose from.
Playa Son Moll
Don’t be put off if you’ve heard of Playa Son Moll as a party hotspot – during the school holiday months of July and August the partying stops and the families arrive. The closest beach to the centre of the resort, Playa Son Moll is a wide stretch of golden sand with plenty of sunbeds and uninterrupted views of the calm water so you can keep an eye on your paddling little ones. Also, refreshingly, there are no watersports offered here so you don’t have to worry about boats or jet skis when you’re playing with the children in the sea.
Take a short stroll down the promenade and you’ll discover the beautiful cove of Cala Gat. A compact beach lapped by stunning turquoise water, there’s always a great family atmosphere here that makes it a lovely place to visit with children. The cove is on the edge of the forest, a short walk through which will take you to the lighthouse at Punta de Capdepera, which is a great shaded area for the kids to play in. There’s a friendly beach bar here offering snacks and drinks.
Travel a little up the coast and you’ll be rewarded by the wide sandy beach of Cala Mesquida. Fewer crowds here mean the kids can play happily in the sand and the swimming is good, as is the stunning Majorcan scenery. Don’t worry about packing a lunch either as there’s a good kiosk here selling snacks, a restaurant and even a beach bar to relax in as the sun goes down. The local dive centre offers speedboat trips along the coast for kids who enjoy a little exhilaration.
Keeping the Kids Happy
If your children are keen explorers then they’ll love wandering through the forest and discovering the lighthouse at the far eastern tip of the island, the historic castle Castell de Capdepera, or the stunning limestone caves at Canyamel. If, however, they’re like mine and just want to spend the entire holiday splashing around in the water, then you could take a break from the beach and head to the Hidropark waterpark up the coast at Alcúdia. The park has two dedicated areas for smaller guests: ‘Children’s World’ and ‘Minipark’. It also has a mini-golf course.
Where to Eat
Finding places that serve the kind of food small children like can be a challenge on holiday but, thankfully, whether you’re looking for pizza and chips or kid-friendly local fare, there’s plenty on offer in the resort. I asked my kids which restaurants they liked best and these were their favourites.
Café Son Moll
For somewhere to go for a quick lunch or early supper after sunning yourself on Son Moll beach, Café Son Moll is a great choice. They serve a great variety of food from traditional Spanish tapas to burgers, pizza and pasta, so even the fussiest eater will find something to enjoy. There’s a great view of the sea and a really funky interior that the kids will love.
If your kids love pizza (and which kid doesn’t?), but you are looking for something a little more adventurous, then the Italian menu at Mama Pizza will please everyone. The pizzas are outstanding but make sure you try the homemade pasta, risotto and local fish dishes too.
Osteria Del Porto
Set just beside the harbour, Osteria del Porto offers fantastic Italian dishes including pizza and pasta and more traditional Spanish seafood. Ask to sit outside and you’ll get great views of the harbour and the people passing by.
How to Get to Cala Ratjada
Getting to the resort couldn’t be easier (or cheaper) as the nearest airport is Palma, which is served by a fantastic range of budget airlines. Book a shared group transfer with Shuttle Direct before you set off and you can guarantee a shuttle bus will be available to take you and your family to the resort. Or, if you’ve found a bargain for the flights, why not splash out on a private car with Shuttle Direct and your driver will meet you when you land and drive you and your family straight to the door of your accommodation.
Where to Stay:
Hostal Cala Ratjada – The small, friendly, family-run guesthouse Hostal Cala Ratjada is a great option for families. Set opposite the harbour and just seven minutes’ walk from the beach, the hotel has its own restaurant onsite and does a great deal for families that have a child under two.
Apartamentos Ponent – Enjoy the peace and reassurance of having your own apartment in which the kids can run about without disturbing anybody and you can cook the food they like at the Apartamentos Ponent. The spacious apartments, five minutes’ walk from San Moll beach, all have their own balconies or outdoor space.
Bellavista Hotel & Spa – At the Bellavista Hotel & Spa the kids get their own playground, mini-golf course and swimming pool and you get an onsite spa to relax in! There are family rooms available and restaurant downstairs.
About Shuttle Direct:
Take the stress out of travelling with young children by booking a Shuttle Direct airport transfer to your resort before you leave home. Avoid the queues for buses and taxis at the airport by arranging your transfer with Shuttle Direct in advance. The leading provider of private and shuttle transfers in Europe and North Africa, Shuttle Direct offers group or private car transfers to a huge range of destinations.