What is it?
The Cabrera Archipelago Maritime-Terrestrial National Park is to the south of Majorca, ten nautical miles from the harbour at Colònia de Sant Jordi. The whole protected area covers 10,021 hectares, with 8,703 being marine and the remainder being the islands and islets that make up the archipelago: Cabrera, Es Conills, Na Redona, Es Fenoll, Na Plana and other even smaller islets.
It was declared a national park in 1991. The archipelago is also included in a special protection area for birds (ZEPA), is an important community marine area (LIC) and is part of the European Union Red Natura 2000.
Visiting hours and prices:
Cabrera National Park:
Visiting the park is free-of-charge.
To get there, see the timetables and prices for the maritime transport services.
There are maritime transport companies that offer trips to Cabrera from Colònia de Sant Jordi, with many trips daily in summer. If you wish to travel you must make reservations beforehand.
Cabrera Visitors Centre:
Winter opening: from 10.00 to 14.00 and from 15.00 to 18.00
From June to September: from 10.00 to 19.00
Adults and children from 13 years old: €8
Children between 3 and 12 years, students and teachers: €4
Children up to 3 years: free admission
Residents in the Balearic Islands: 50% discount
Groups: €4.50 per person
School groups: €2 per person
Location and contact:
Tourist Information Office - Colònia de Sant Jordi
Avinguda de Gabriel Roca, s/n (esplanade in front of the harbour), 07638 Colònia de Sant Jordi, Mallorca
Telephone: +34 971 656 073
Information Office - Cabrera:
Telephone:+34 630 982 363
Winter opening: 8.00 to 14.00 and 16.00 to 18.30
Summer opening: 8.00 to 14 and 16.00 to 20.00
Web site: www.balearsnatura.com
Cabrera Visitors Centre:
Avinguda de Gabriel Roca, s/n, on the corner of the Plaça des Dolç, 07638 Colònia de Sant Jordi, Mallorca
Telephone: +34 971 656 282
Web site: cvcabrera.es
Available public transport
|Monday to Friday|
The fact that both marine and terrestrial life are protected gives Cabrera National Park a rich diversity, with many endemic species, sub-species of Lilford’s wall lizard, beetles, arachnids, land snails and some crustaceans that live in underground cavities. In its crystalline waters, among the rocky, sandy floors, the caves and the meadows of Posidonia oceanica (Neptune sea grass) a wide variety of species also live: grouper, sea bass, dolphins, starfish, etc.
On the terrestrial side, the marine birds and birds of prey are highlights of the coastal ecosystem. Species such as the Mediterranean gull, Audouin gull, cormorant, peregrine falcon or osprey can be seen.
There is a castle on the island of Cabrera dating back to the end of the 14th Century which presides over the entrance to the small harbour and the L’Ensiola lighthouse built in 1870. These are the stand-out features of the park. Nevertheless, the richness of its archaeology is significant as there are many classical era shipwrecks in its waters. In fact, the Pla de Ses Figueres archaeological site is near to the harbour and holds the remains of a fish salting factory, a workshop that made purple fish die and a part of what could be the cemetery of a Late Antiquity monastery, along with the remains of a French prisoners’ camp from the beginning of the 19th Century.
To get to know a little more about the history, ethnography and natural resources on the archipelago, a visit to the ethnography museum is recommended. This is located in the old wine cellar where Man and Nature on Cabrera is a permanent exhibition.
Cabrera offers visitors various walking route plans:
- L’Ensiola lighthouse. This is an 11 kilometre route (5 hours). In spite of the difficulty in getting over the accentuated ruggedness of the land, it is well worth the effort. The first climb is from S’Espalmador to Coll Roig, where the màquia (scrub) becomes more and more dense. After crossing the pass, we are taken by surprise by a landscape that is much more arid and inhospitable. Reaching the lighthouse, the view of the sea stretches out to the horizon.
- Na Picamosques. This lasts around 3 hours. It is a climb to the highest point on the island (172 metres), where there are spectacular views of the harbour, Llegeig headland and L’Ensiola lighthouse. It starts from the harbour, where the Tourist Information Office, the bar, the fishermen’s shelter, the command post, the medical dispensary and the old military oven can be found.
- La sierra de Es Canal de Ses Figueres. This is a circular route around a very high up area from where marvellous panoramic views of the south and east of the archipelago can be enjoyed, including the main bay, L’Ensiola lighthouse, Els Estells, the L’Imperial stones and La Miranda, or Bellamiranda. The route is about 8.5 kilometres long and takes about two and half hours.
- The castle. This is the shortest route plan (1 hour). The route starts at the arrival jetty on the path leading to the little beach. After 50 metres, turn to the left on a wide track that leads directly to the castle.
- Ses Sitges. This route goes around one of the least visited areas on Cabrera. It is a circular route that starts at the harbour and goes around Santa Maria bay, one of the most important marine reserves in the park. It goes through a wooded area where the various traditional uses that have been made of the island throughout its history can be seen while enjoying delightful, tranquil scenery. The route is approximately 9 kilometres long and takes around 3 hours.
- La Miranda. Setting off from the harbour and on the way to the little beach, take the path that goes into the interior of the island. After a climb, and once past the Sa Font and Can Feliu houses, you reach one of the best vantage points on the island. Its name is indicative of the magnificent panoramic views over the harbour and the north and east of Cabrera. The route takes around 2 hours.
- The museum, the garden and the monument to the French. From the harbour take the path that goes around the main bay and leads to the little beach. From this point, follow the wide path to the left that goes into the island up to the old wine cellar building. This is a journey into the past and traditional ways of life which still existed, in some cases, well into the 20th Century. The route passes the monument to the French prisoners, the botanic garden, the wine cellar (which is now an ethnography museum) and the Can Feliu houses and market garden. The 3 kilometre route can be walked in about an hour and a half.
- Archaeological visit. El Pla de ses Figueres is the archaeological site and there are three points of interest – a Byzantine necropolis, fish salting tanks and the structure of the French soldiers’ camp. It stretches over about ten hectares and occupies part of the little beach, Cas Pagès and the weather station. The route is approximately 1.5 kilometres long.
Cabrera Visitors’ Centre and Experience
The trip to Cabrera can be rounded off by going to the visitors centre and experience, which is in Colònia de Sant Jordi. The centre simulates submerging into the marine world of the Mediterranean sea and then going progressively deeper. Stepping on coral, rocky or sandy floors, breathing deeply by the posidonia meadows or coming across Roman amphora make the visit to the centre like being in a dream.
The caves and aquariums with animal and plant life that change with the decreasing depth, and a virtual scuba dive, amongst other things, increase the weight of the hyperrealism that the centre has possessed since the beginning under a breakwater.
A total of eighteen aquariums hold more than seventy species. They are spread over various heights depending on the habitat and show the most typical Mediterranean sea bed in optimum conditions. A glass lift inside one aquarium leads to the terrestrial room clothed in a magic that is almost dream-like.
The origin of the Cabrera archipelago and the Mediterranean as a whole is shown with a spectacular set of special effects that lead to a rising platform that shows all the secrets of life on Cabrera along the way. Afterwards, the viewing point is reached from where the archipelago can be seen 10 nautical miles away. From this point, at the top of an original conical building, the route goes down a spiral walkway around a huge mural that reveals the myths and most important points in Mediterranean history and legends. At the bottom of the building there is a shop and a walkway leading to the exit. The final passage, over a pool, runs among sculptures symbolising four of the most iconic islands, real or fictitious, in the Mediterranean – Djerba, Samos, Vulcano and Ithaca.
The Mediterranean is undersea life and terrestrial ecosystems, it is alive and makes its own light and water. It is also the history of human lives, chance meetings of cultures and civilisations and misunderstandings still to be resolved. It is navigation, art, business, a sea of evolving islands. The Mediterranean is, above all, an opportunity for understanding.