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LEISURE AND CULTURE
There is no typical dish from Santanyí that distinguishes it from the other municipalities in Mallorca . However, you can enjoy some of the most typical Mallorcan dishes in the wonderful restaurants scattered around the municipality. Three of the best recipes are Mallorcan soups, frit – made with lamb giblets – and tongue with capers. The various cold meats and sausages made in the area are highly recommended.
One of the culinary features to be highlighted in Santanyí is that it has an important cheese-manufacturing industry – much of it using traditional techniques – producing classic Mallorcan cheese. The Grimalt cheese factory, in Llombards, is one of the biggest. Set up in 1941 by Mateu Grimalt, it distributes cheeses, made in the traditional way by marinating them, all over Mallorca . Different kinds are made, although the most highly thought of is the medium mature.
Also in Santanyí, there is a considerable ice cream industry, making the brand Bon Gelat, which is produced traditionally using water, fruit and sugar. Among its specialities are ice creams made with all kinds of fruit, including figs, prickly pears, chocolate, hazelnuts and almonds.
The Santanyí area has ideal characteristics for practising water sports. It has marinas in Portopetro, Cala Figuera and Cala d'Or. From all of them you can go sailing, windsurfing or diving, and you can hire the equipment necessary for all of these sports at the marinas. The Santanyí coast has many attractions for divers, as the seabed is rich in all kinds of animal and plant species.
Golf lovers also have a fantastic 18-hole golf course at Cala d'Or for practising their sport. Other courses can also be found a few kilometres away, to add variety to the activity.
Enjoying nature in all senses is one of the main attractions offered by Santanyí. The Mondragó Natural Park has diverse ecosystems: beaches, rocky coasts, wetland, dunes and pine groves. It also has some unspoilt, sandy and rocky paradise-like beaches.
And for plant enthusiasts there is one place not to be missed. This is Botanicactus, a centre on the Ses Salines road, where you can see all kinds of cacti, native plants and a wetland where there is an exuberant palm tree plantation.
The nightlife is another of the attractions offered by the area, which has skilfully combined peace and quiet with night-time fun. As well as the many open-air parties in various places throughout the summer, the most popular tourist areas have lively bars, restaurants and discos, as well as places offering live music. For this kind of thing, one of the most highly recommended places is Cala d'Or.
Santanyí has considerable cultural wealth. In terms of architecture, it maintains in perfect condition some buildings that are magnificent examples of the different architectural styles developed here over the centuries. The most important are the Porta Murada (Walled Gate) – remains of the old wall that surrounded the town, built between the 14th and 16th centuries – and the church of Saint Andrew , which is a magnificent reflection of the transition between Romanesque and Gothic and preserves a splendid 18th-century organ. In Calonge, the outstanding feature is the Neo-Romanesque church, and in Alqueria Blanca it is the Oratory of Our Lady of the Consolation, with its Gothic altarpiece. Also worth highlighting are the remains of the Talayotic culture.
The area has also given great names to Mallorcan literature. Top of the list is Blai Bonet, one of the most important 20th century writers in the Catalan language. Bernat Vidal i Tomás, Antoni Vidal Ferrando and Antònia Vicens should also be highlighted.
Santanyí is also open to art. In the municipality you can also find galleries showing the best of local, Spanish and international art. The most outstanding are: Kunstmann Galeria de Arte (Plaza de Canal, 16), Galería Barceló (c/ Llaneras, 38) and Gemma Leys (c/ Mayoral, 3).