This quiet little town in the foothills of the Serra de Tramuntana mountains is the administrative centre of Calvia Province, which includes the resorts from Ses Illetes to Santa Ponca. Standing on a hill in the centre of Calvia is the church of Sant Joan Baptista; its forecourt provides a fine view over the surrounding farms and olive groves. The original church was built here in 1245; the present structure dates from the late 19th century.
The ceramic tiles lining the walls of the neighbouring public library provide a crash course in the town’s history. Few tourists make it to Calvia, where life proceeds quietly, according to a long established rhythm. Bars and restaurants serve authentic Mallorcan cuisine.
Santa Ponca is a small port, situated 7 km (4 miles) southwest of Calvia. Nearby are golf courses, good beaches and opulent residences. It was here that Jaume I landed in 1229, freeing Mallorca from Arab domination. The event is marked by the Creu de la Conquesta.