Cala Estreta, also known as Cala Salpella, is a tiny and secluded cove near Portocolom, in the municipality of Felanitx, in the east of Mallorca. The cove is a sea inlet that goes more than 200 m inland. At its narrowest part it is barely 5 m wide. At the end of it there was a small stretch of sand of about 4 m, but the successive storms of recent years have swept it away. The cove still preserves the sandy bottom.
Its access is not easy, we will have to walk a little more than half an hour from Portocolom along dirt roads and bordering the coast, so it is only suitable for people in good physical condition, especially in summer, due to the absence of shadows. It is not at all recommended to go with young children or for people with mobility problems.
The effort to get to Cala Estreta is rewarded with a virgin environment where there is no trace of human work. The landscape is of a particular rugged beauty, and bathing in its transparent and normally calm waters is a delight.
It is a good place to anchor, but with caution. The bottom is made of rocks, and given the narrowness of the cove it is preferable not to go too far, especially if there are already other boats.
How to get to Cala Estreta
To get to Cala Estreta we must first go to Portocolom. From Palma we will take the Ma-19 motorway towards Campos / Santanyí / Felanitx. When we get to Campos we can go through both Felanitx and Santanyí, and then follow the signs to Portocolom, the distance is practically the same. From the north of the island we will go first to Manacor, and from there to Felanitx and then continue on to Portocolom.
If we get to Portocolom from Felanitx, we will do so on the Ma-4010. We will arrive at a roundabout next to the yacht club where we will take the second exit, towards Ronda Nadal Batle. At the next roundabout we will take the third exit, towards Vapor Santueri street, and we will turn right onto Cavall Marí street, which we will continue to the end. We will turn right, on Cala Marçal street, which borders the cove of the same name. This street becomes Calle Gavina, which we will continue until the intersection with Calle Fotja. We will turn right and continue for about 250 m, until the street turns to the left, and in that area, or on Mascarell street, we can find a place to park. From there we will have to continue on foot.
If we have followed our route through Santanyí we will arrive at Portocolom precisely where the streets of Cala Marçal and Gravina meet. At that point we will turn right and follow the previous indications.
We will follow Calle de la Fotja for about 200, and just when it turns gently to the right in front of us a dirt road begins. Vehicle access is closed by a barrier, but to your right there is a path between dry stone walls. Just another 200 m more and we will be in the vicinity of Cala Brafi. From there we will follow the coast across country. The path is a little less than 1 km, but the steepness of the terrain means that you have to follow carefully and not very fast. It is convenient to carry a good amount of water since there is no shade in which to shelter.
If we want to get there by public transport at Cala Marçal beach there is a bus stop, about 800 m from the start of the road to Cala Brafi and Cala Estreta. Line 491 is the express that connects Palma with Portocolom, and stops in Cala Marçal. A little further, about 2 km, on Gravina street, line 490 stops, which also connects with Palma, but passing through several other towns.
As might be expected in a secluded and unspoilt cove there is no service available for bathers. Everything we may need we will have to bring with us.
The main activities in Cala Estreta are hiking, starting with the route to be taken to get to the cove, and then taking a dip in its waters. In the part closest to the end of the cove is like swimming in a natural pool with turquoise waters.
After enjoying its waters, the rocky area surrounding the cove is very flat, providing a perfect place to spread out your towel to sunbathe. There are points where you can climb the rocks very easily as if we were coming out of the pool by a ladder.
The calm and crystal clear waters are perfect for snorkeling. We can explore the bottom between sandy and rocky, and the small holes in the walls that flank the cove. If we have come by boat it is also a good place for diving, but from land it would be tremendously uncomfortable to carry the equipment.
In addition to the indicated path (the shortest), it can be reached from Portocolom along the coast. Apart from Cala Brafi, through which we will have passed to reach Cala Estreta, from here we can continue to the nearby Cala Sa Nau bordering the coast and passing through the Cova des Moro. And by lengthening the route a little more we can reach Cala Serena and Cala Ferrera, already in Cala d’Or, following the Camí de sa Ronda, where police and civil guard made their rounds guarding the smuggling entries in this part of the coast from Mallorca.
If we are fans of mountain biking, the roads and lands that surround Cala Estreta are perfect for practicing our sport. The same routes that we can follow on foot to explore the nearby coves can be done by mountain bike, with small variations.
Lovers of historical and cultural tourism are also in luck. In Portocolom is the Es Closos de can Gaià site, near the entrance of the town and just 500 m from the bus stop. It consists of a set of navetas from the pre-Talayotic era (1800 BC) that was inhabited until the beginning of the Talayotic period (750 BC). The site has been excavated, restored and museumized.
And we cannot forget to recharge after the excursion to Cala Estreta. As a good fishing village, the local specialties of Portocolom are fresh fish and seafood, although the gastronomic offer is very varied in food styles and prices.
In the urbanization of Cala Marçal, near the beginning of the road to Cala Estreta, there are several three-star hotels, apartment complexes and tourist rentals of various types (apartments, single-family homes…).
In Portocolom, the offer is very varied, for all tastes and budgets: from simple but functional one-star hotels and hostels, to four and five-star hotels, as well as aparthotels and tourist apartments.