"A lovely surprise!"
Arta was one of the inland list of places I wanted to visit in Mallorca. Over on the east coast there aren't a whole lot of places to visit that are off the beaten track. Arta isn't off the beaten track in so much as it's not exactly 'undiscovered', but it's much more 'Mallorcan' than the dreadful coastal resorts that most people will end up in. It's a lovely little town, a place where people actually live, with some rather good quality places to eat.
The main street of Arta, Carrer Ciutat is pretty difficult to miss and this is where you'll find some really nice restaurants. As you approach Arta from the plains, you'll see the Esglesia Parroquial de la Transfiguracio del Senyor and the Santueri de Sant Salvador perched above the town. These are both worth a visit, as are the arty type shops along Carrer Ciutat.
"A place to return to."
Buses from Palma to Arta leave fairly regularly, but we were driving which gave us the opportunity to come and go as we liked. We had two lovely evening meals here and an afternoon just wandering about that included a visit to the Esglesia (the parish church) which has an entry fee and a little museum. It is well worth the 1.30 euro entrance to explore the interior.
The main foreign language spoken here is German, and what you'll notice is the number of German speakers, probably ex-pats who are milling about. This is also a town with money - the whole feel of the place is of somewhere that Mallorcans, who possibly own hotels on the coast, keep their family homes.
"Worth a return visit..."
Arta was one of the places that made this visit to Mallorca well worthwhile and led me onto make the effort to drive on to some of the other towns and villages inland that for some reason That Guidebook really talked down.
Nice restaurants, arty little shops... I knew of Arta before my visit as many of my friends while I lived in Barcelona back in the 90's were from Mallorca and I had always been curious. It's a fair sized town by Mallorcan standards and just goes to prove that Mallorca is not all beaches, massive tower block hotels and sunbeds. Still difficult to escape the German language language though!