Calvia Guide Mallorca

Good to know about Calvia

Calvià is a municipality on the island of Majorca, part of the Spanish autonomous community of the Balearic Islands. It is located in the southwestern part of the island of Majorca, between the Serra de Tramuntana and the Serra de Na Burguesa. The municipal seat is the town of Vila Calvia.

Calvià has an approximate area of 145 km2 (56 sq mi). It is bordered on the north by the municipalities of Puigpunyent and Estellencs, Palma de Mallorca (Palma), the island’s capital to the east, Andratx to the west and to the south by the Mediterranean Sea.

According to the 2008 census, the municipality had a population of 50,777 inhabitants, of whom 18,046 were foreigners. Today, it is the second most populated area of the entire archipelago Balearic after Palma, and also an area that has the largest number of tourists in the islands. Its population is scattered around the different urban centers created as a result of tourism development and twentieth century urbanization.


The first seed of the modern tourism-based economy came when steamboat service from Barcelona to Palma began in 1838. This made travel to Mallorca easier for travelers from the Iberian peninsula and beyond. Some came to visit the municipality’s coves and beaches. At this time Mallorca drew visitors who were motivated by the desire for adventure, an interest in exploring a different world and society than the one they knew, but also those who came to the island for therapeutic reasons. Among this last group was the composer Frédéric Chopin. Works published by travelers, learned people, artists and geographers increasingly promoted Mallorca as a preferred destination.

In 1962, Calvià had four butcher shops, three bakeries, a dairy, ten grocery shops, three cafés, two haberdasher’s, five carpenter’s shops, two blacksmiths, a bicycle shop, and one bus line. Its scant industry consisted of five master masons, various concerns in shipping and transport, two cement and plaster factories, a trader in nuts and dried fruit, a machine for shucking almonds, a flour mill, a carob crusher, a wood dealer, and an oil press.


The area contains many of Majorca’s major tourism hotspots, with the localities of Magaluf (3,865), Santa Ponsa (8,188), El Toro (2,002), Paguera (3,400), Illetas (3,286), Portals Nous (2,395) and Palma Nova (5,975). There are 14 beaches and 4 sport ports. The proximity of Palma with major road connections means that it can be take as little as 15 minutes to reach the city centre. With massive tourism, estimated at 1.6 million visits per year and with a resident population that itself includes many expatriates, it is impossible to evaluate municipal income or expenditure as it relates only to the residents. What one can say is that Calvià appears to be one of the wealthiest municipalities in Europe, based on per capita public investment. There is also a huge inflow of money into property from Britain, Germany, and increasingly, Russia.

In the early 1960s, Calvià began building a complete infrastructure for massive tourism, such as rapid construction of hotels. Later, more touristic features were added which included four professional golf courses (Club de Golf Poniente, Golf Sta Ponça I, Golf Sta Ponça II, Golf Sta Ponça III and Golf Bendinat), water parks, a modern promenade called Paseig Calvià. The 2004 World Chess Olympiad was held in Calvià.


Most of the people are either Spaniards from the mainland, mainly from Andalusia, or their descendants, who reached the island in the early 1960s, or they are foreign immigrants. According to the 2008 census, the municipality has a population of 50,777 inhabitants, of whom 25,548 were males and 25,229 were women ( 50.31% versus 49.69%). The municipality has the second highest population in the Balearic Islands, second only to the capital, Palma de Mallorca.


Calvià is located in the western part of the island of Majorca, next to the Sierra de Tramontana, the main mountain of the Balearic Islands, and extends to the Sierra de Na Burguesa, a mountain located in Calvia. Calvia has an area of about 145.02 km ². Of a total of 14,372 hecatares, 81% is protected rural land, 18% is developed urban land and 1% are soils with low protection. It is bordered on the north by the municipality of Puigpunyent and Estellencs, Palma de Mallorca (Palma), the island’s capital to the east, Andratx to the west and to the south by the Mediterranean Sea. The highest point of the municipality is the Puig de Galatzó at 1,026 m (3,366 ft) above sea level.

The peninsula on which the municipality is located is marked by the presence of wetlands to the east and west, at Magalluf, Palma Nova and Santa Ponsa, that lead to a narrowing similar to an isthmus to the north. The urban area has expanded around its coastline, becoming several villages on the main beaches. The coast extends from Cape Andritxol, until the area of Cas Català Ses Illetas. It is 54 km long and very rocky, but still has 34 beaches and coves.

The municipality contains eighteen settlements. The most important are the resorts. Palma Nova was one of the first tourist resorts to be built on the island within the grounds of an old farm called Ses Planes and began as a project intended to build a residential type Garden City, but due to the Spanish Civil War, this idea was discarded. In 2009, it is considered one of the most important tourist areas of Majorca. It is bounded on the west by the busy town of Magalluf which contains the largest hotel and greatest infrastructural services of the municipality to accommodate the many tourists. Another of the localities, Santa Ponsa, has historical significance as the place that James I of Aragon landed. The town of Portals Nous is also a renowned meeting point for businessmen, celebrities, high society figures and members of the Spanish Royal Family during their summer stays in the Marivent Palace. Another of its main tourist areas is Paguera, where many residents spend their summer holidays, as well as a number of German tourists.Similarly, the urbanized residential areas of El Toro, which has a marina and a small beach, and Son Ferrer, are of note.