PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

The Archipelago of Cabrera National Park is situated to the south of Mallorca ten nautical miles from the nearest Majorcan port. The protected area covers 10.021 hectares of which 8.703 is marine based the rest being the small islands that form the archipelago: Cabrera Gran, Illa des Conills, Na Redona, Illa des Fenoll, Na Plana, Na Pobra, L’Imperial, Na Foradada, L’illot Pla, L’Estell de Fora, L’Estell d’en Terra, Es Carabassot de s’Estell d’en Terra, L’Illa de ses Bledes, L’Esponja, L’illot de na Foradada, L’Estell de s’Esclata-sang, L’illa de ses Rates, L’Estell des Coll and L’illa de l’Olló. The archipelago was declared a National Park on the 29 april 1993 (Law 14/1991). In 1993 an edict approved the site as one of outstanding natural resources (PORN) and in 1995 (Royal Decree 277/1995) came into being the first plan for public use and management (PRUG) revised and ratified in 2006 by the Balearic Government. Finally in 2001 (Royal Decree 941/2110) the plan for subdividing and regulating activities was approved, commonly known as the fishing plan. Apart from this the Cabrera Archipelago is also part of a specially protected area for birds (ZEPA) and an area of important marine life (LIC). As such it is included in the Nature Network 2000 formed by the European Union. In 2003 it was declared an area of special protection and importance to the mediterranean (ZEPIM).

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

Uses and activities that are allowed: -To observe at the flora and fauna. -To take nonprofessional photographs without leaving the designated routes. -Anything that doesn’t alter the landscape and natural and cultural values of the park. Uses and activities that require written authorization: -Professional filming, photography and videos. -Bivouac and sleeping outside overnight. -Diving. -Sailing and anchoring. -Activities for large groups. -Any commercial activity that needs to be carried out in a fixed setting. -Acting as an interpreter, tourist guide or informer inside the park. Forbidden uses and activities: -Leaving waste and rubbish. -Extracting any kind of geological material. -Extracting or altering any archaeological object. -Collecting any type of material, live or inert. -Releasing animals and planting or transplanting any vegetable species. -Lighting a fire and/or smoking. -Mooring boats outside the authorised areas. -Camping anywhere in the park. -Causing a disturbance. -Taking part in any kind of hunting.v -Coming ashore anywhere other than the docks at the port of Cabrera. -Leaving the designated paths and tracks. -Free diving during the months of May and June in the coastal areas where the Scyllarides latus lays. -Sport fishing.

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

To reach Cabrera during the summer months tourist boats leave from Colònia de Sant Jordi (Ses Salines) and Portopetro (Santanyí). If travelling in a private boat don’t forget to first apply for sailing permission (or anchorage if you are planning on spending the night) on www.caib.es For anchorage: www.caib.es Oficinas del Parque Nacional Marítimo y Terrestre de Cabrera .Gremi Corredors, 10, Polígon Son Rossinyol, 07009 Palma de Mallorca. Tel. 971 177 645 / Fax 971 177 647. http://www.balearsnatura.com http://www.mma.es/parques.


 

Mar Cabrera

From: Colònia de Sant Jordi (Mallorca) More information: Telephone: 971 65 64 03, http://www.marcabrera.com

Excursiones a Cabrera

From: Colònia de Sant Jordi (Mallorca) More information: Telephone: 971 64 90 34, www.excursionesacabrera.es

MAPA

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

The fact that both land and marine life are protected on and around Cabrera makes the Park all the more special as well as offering a rich biodiversity. Amongst the endemic species belonging to the archipelago is the Rubia angustifolia subsp. caespitosa, around 10 subspecies of the Lilford Wall Lizard, besides numerous beetles, arachnids, land gasteropods and some crustaceans that inhabit the subterranean cavities (like the Psammogammarus burri). In the crystal clear waters, between rocky bottoms, underwater caves, sandy expanses and the endangered seagrass meadows, exist a large quantity of species: grouper, mediterreanan conga eels, barricudas, dolphins, norwegian lobsters, bright red starfish, etc. Around the coastal areas formed by seacliffs and rocky outcrops, the seabirds and birds of prey are the highlight of the ecosystem. Over the period of a year you are able to spot the Audouin’s Gull, cormorans, Peregrine Falcon, ospreys, the Balearic Shearwater, storm-petrels, Cory’s Shearwater and Eleonora’s Falcon. Scrubland of wild olive trees and the endemic evergreen shrub Rhamnus ludovici-salvatorislargely dominate the land. Besides orchids, sabines and fungi, bird species easily spotted are the Balearic Warbler and the Sardinian Warbler. The five species of bats that inhabit the island of Cabrera are the only indigenous land mammals.

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

(Català) El castell (del final del segle XIV), que presideix majestuós l’entrada al port de Cabrera, i el far de l’Enciola (acabat de bastir el 1870) constitueixen dos dels elements més característics del Parc Nacional. Així mateix, és destacable la riquesa del patrimoni arqueològic. En les seves aigües hi ha nombrosos vaixells enfonsats d’època clàssica. Molt a prop del port, al conjunt arqueològic del pla de ses Figueres, es concentren les restes d’una factoria de salaons de peix, un taller de producció de porpra i part del que devia ser la necròpolis d’un monestir de l’antiguitat tardana, a més de les restes del campament dels presoners francesos (de principi del segle XIX). Al museu etnogràfic, instal·lat a l’antic celler, l’exposició permanent «Home i natura a Cabrera» permet fer un recorregut per la història, l’etnografia i els recursos naturals de l’arxipèlag.

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

Cabrera National Park offices Gremi Corredors, 10, Polígon Son Rossinyol, 07009 Palma de Mallorca. Tel. 971 177 645 / Fax 971 177 647. Open to the public from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm Web: http://www.balearsnatura.com http://www.mma.es/parques Information office in the port of Cabrera:Telephone 630 982 363 Opening hours: daily 8 am to 2.00pm and 4.00 pm to 8.00 pm. Ses Salines Visitors Centre C/ Gabriel Roca, s/n. 07638 Colònia de Sant Jordi Telephone 971 656282. Historical and Ethnographic Museum Es Celler Opening hours: daily 11.30 am to 1.00pm and 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm. Price: The entrance to the museum is free to children under 12, and 2€ for adults. Cabrera National Park Refuge Accommodation has been prepared in one of the buildings that made up the old military complex in Cabrera, there are 24 beds in 12 double rooms, each with a private bathroom. The building has a microwave, fridge and common room to be shared by all guests. Reservations can be made online at cvcabrera.es up to three months in advance for a maximum two night stay. The refuge will be closed during the months of December and January. The prices per night are 60€ per room in high season and 50€ per room in low season. Multiple activity room Cas Pagès Guided and self guided tours

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

The permits for anchoring and diving, as well as cancelation procedures, are all made through the CAIB computer application using the following links: Anchoring reservation in Cabrera: www.caib.es Cancelation ancoring in Cabrera: www.caib.es Reserve diving area in Cabrera: www.caib.es Permit for navigation www.caib.es

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

NTERPRETATION CENTER C/ de Gabriel Roca, s/n. 07638 Colònia de Sant Jordi. Phone Number 971 656282. Same timetable for the season (1 February

  • 30 November)
10:00h
  • 14:00h (13:00h last entry )
15 :00
  • 18:00 ( last entry 17:00 )
--- Consult ttp://cvcabrera.es/horarios-y-tarifas-temporada-alta-2014/

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

       
  • El far de l’Enciola
  •    
  • Na Picamosques (*)
  •    
  • La Serra des Canal de ses Figueres (*)
  •    
  • El Castell
  •    
  • Ses Sitges (*)
  •    
  • La Miranda (*)
  •    
  • El museu, el jardí i el monument als francesos
  •    
  • Visita arqueològica

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

El far de l’Enciola

Dificultad:Medium/ Low
Distancia:11 km
Duración:5 h
Requisitos:To request information and to count up visitors, please contact the office's guide of the port of Cabrera
Recomendaciones:-
Temática:-

Color:   

This excursion to the L’Enciola lighthouse is very rewarding, even if steep ascents present some difficulty. The first ascent is from S’Espalmador to the Coll Roig hill, where the Maquis shrubland gets denser. There is a pine wood on top of the hill. After this hill you will be surprised to find yourself in much drier and inhospitable surroundings. When you arrive at the lighthouse the views of the sea and the south of Cabrera are lost in the horizon.

Etapas

Leaving the port, take the trail that skirts along the bay to arrive at the only tarmac path there is on the island. The path ascends in a way that makes it difficult to miss. Once you have left Sa Platgeta behind, you start walking towards another beach: S’Espalmador. Allegedly, this little bay gets its name from being the place where boats would be taken out of the sea to be cleaned: marine organisms were removed to they could be caulked (espalmar in Catalan). If you walk this route towards the end of spring tree spurges (Euphorbia dendroides) will greet you with their spectacular red colour while Lilford’s wall lizards (Podarcis lilfordi) cautiously cross your path.
To you right as you leave S’Espalmador you will see an area that lacks vegetation. This is an old crop field where a dry wall, still in reasonable state of preservation, kept goats and sheep from entering. Nowadays there is no livestock on the island. Continuing onwards the ascent begins. This is scrubland where the evergreen shrub Pistacia lentiscus and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) predominate together with wild olive trees (Olea europaea) and narrow-leaf phillyrea (Phillyrea angustifolia) among others. On top of the hill there is a small group of Aleppo pines (Pinus halepensis).
This dock was used to offload material, oil and provisions when the lighthouse was built. Just before you reach this point you pass an isthmus known as Sa Barreta. It unites the Enciola peninsula with the rest of the island. The area is populated with prickly, rounded plants, such as the Balearic milkvetch (Astralagus balearicus) and Dorycnium fulgurans as well as other species such as Limonium caprariense (Limonium minutum ssp. caprariense), rosemary and olive trees, shaped by harsh conditions and well adapted to the extreme conditions of the coastline (wind, salty residue, stony ground, summer draughts and so on). Towards east you see the Estells, a group of five islets (Estell de Fora, Estell des Coll, Estells Xapats and Estell de S’Esclata-sang), as well as some reefs ¬— all of them tiny but fairly high in relation to their small surface areas. Eleonora’s falcon (Falco eleonorae) breeds on the islets. These birds of prey migrate a long way from the Indian Ocean, a distance of approximately 8,000 km. Their breeding season starts later than that of most birds in order to coincide with the migration patterns of autumnal migratory birds, which they hunt in the air to feed their young. On one of the Estells and on the island Ses Bledes the woody plant moon trefoil (Medicago citrina) grows and you can also find the Rubia angustifolia ssp. caespitosa here, a species only found on Cabrera. Nearby is the Ses Rates island, a curious name that seems to be coined relatively of late since older cartography marks the island as Freda island. Its profile resembles a tortoise drinking where an arch forms the neck, standing more than 20 metres high. In this dry and isolated landscape you come across the fresh-water spring Dolç de l’Enciola where animals were watered, and the Cocó de sa Sal, where accumulated salt was collected. A little bit further on you can make out houses used during the lighthouse construction.
The lighthouse rises an impressive 102 metres over sea level on point L’Enciola to the south-west. Emili Pou was the engineer in charge of the project in 1864. Before construction of the lighthouse could begin they had to build a road from the dock to the building site, a distance of a kilometre and a half, to transport the construction material. Another six kilometres were later added to the road so it would reach the port of Cabrera. Even if construction was finalised in 1868, the lighthouse could not be taken into use until the 15th of August 1870, when the optics finally arrived. These days the focal plane shows a white light flashing every 30 seconds, visible at a distance of 32 nautical miles. The lighthouse has a square base of 360 m2 and is made of stone from Santanyí. The building typology and the interior distribution are the same as the lighthouse on Formentor, the north-west point of Mallorca, another project Emili Pou was in charge of. The housing area had to be big enough for at least two families, isolated on the island for long stretches of time. The lighthouse was automated in 1958, which meant the lighthouse keepers could move back to Mallorca.

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

Na Picamosques (*)

Dificultad:Medium /High
Distancia:11 km.
Duración:3 h.
Requisitos:To request information and to count up visitors, please contact the office's guide of the port of Cabrera. (* This itinerary is guided)
Recomendaciones:To follow this itinerary please visit the information office in the port of Cabrera to request the guided service and to get an updated timetable since times will vary depending on the time of year and guide availability
Temática:-

Color:   

This route is a climb up to the highest point of Cabrera island (172 m) and we will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the port, cape Llebeig and the L’Enciola lighthouse. We start our tour in the port, the obligatory landing point for all tourist vessels. This is also where you find the information office, the bar, the fishermen’s shelter, the headquarters, the clinic and the old military oven.

Etapas

We start the tour from the usual meeting point, the information office. After a first incline we will be able to see a large cross erected in memory of master Damià Sunyer, leaseholder and peasant farmer who was in charge of providing the L’Enciola lighthouse with oil as well as working as barman and telegraphist on Cabrera since 1914, and his sons Joan and Gaspar, who on the 31st of July 1937 were taken prisoners by the crew of a republican submarine that appeared on the island. They were transferred to Menorca and executed by firearm a couple of days later. As we follow the trail we pass the solar arrays and the petrol station to the left and the small inlet Caló de ses Aguelles to the right. Further ahead, on top of a hill and dominating the bay, rises a chapel dedicated to Saint Petronilla, L’esglesieta, ceded to the Church by Sebastià Feliu together with 6,300 m2 of land. In 1911 Emili Sagristà Llompart, vicar of Cabrera, presented the idea of building a temple on the island to the bishop of Mallorca. In 1915, the inhabitants of the Villa Cristina farming community, the fishermen, the lighthouse keepers and the military personnel finally had a place to go for their church services. Nowadays it is one of the properties maintained by the Ministry of Defence on the island, since they also retained Church property when they expropriated the island from the Feliu family on the 30th of June 1916. The chapel is also known as Cas Rei and Sa Vicaria. Leaving the chapel we encounter the old military barracks. As mentioned previously, military presence during the 20th century was marked by the expropriation of the archipelago from the Feliu family by Royal Decree on the 7th of July 1916 for 362,148 pesetas. The encampment was built during the first part of the 1970s. Nowadays the barracks house park offices and provide housing for park staff, scientists and military personnel. One of the buildings does not bear the characteristics of military construction and stands out as such. It is a house that used to belong to the Humbert family, who owned the island prior to the Feliu family. As we continue our excursion towards Sa Platgeta we pass the Cas Pagès houses and the Mollet de sa Madona (small pier), pre-1860. It is well known that the main activity on Cabrera was fishing, but cattle- and forest-related activities as well as farming were also important and they have left interesting traces. Can Pagès was inhabited by families who rented the land and farmhands in charge of the non-irrigated fields and cattle (pigs, sheep and goats). The nucleus consists of a Mallorcan farmhouse with double-slope structure, a threshing floor, a hayloft, a mill, a pigpen and a small pier. The house has been inhabited for the last forty years by Joan Vidal (Es Pagès), his wife Maria and their family, who arrived on Cabrera in 1968. The Sa Plageta area has three archaeological sites of great interest to us as we walk past: the remains of the French prisoners’ camp, the Byzantine monk necropolis and the salt ponds, probably from Roman times. Nearby is the top of a cistern and basins that were used to water animals. The cistern collected water from the Ses Figueres pass and its thick sandstone walls also filtered seawater. Looking ahead towards the Sa Platgeta and S’Espalmador landscape we can see that it is deforested, or featuring sparse growth and that there are remains of walls, enclosures and fences here that kept the livestock from entering fields that were once cultivated.
Shortly after the climb commences, once we leave the path leading towards the L’Enciola lighthouse, we see an old restored lime kiln. A bit further on we get a good view of another kiln, which has given name to the Caló des Forn inlet (Catalan for kiln is forn). These two kilns together with numerous charcoal kilns show evidence of activities related to forest and scrubland, such as production of lime and coal. The location of these kilns always followed two principles: the raw material had to be easily accessible (wood and limestone) and they had to be near transport points. On Cabrera the two lime kilns are located near inlets so it was easy to get to them by sea and to load vessels with lime or coal headed for Mallorca, where it was sold. As we climb, the landscape changes. We walk through scrubland where mastic (Pistacea lentiscus), wild olive trees (Olea europaea) and Phoenician junipers (Juniperus phoenicea) predominate. They later give way to much more scattered vegetation; the landscape is open and adapted to adverse weather conditions such as wind, isolation, abundant rainfall and poor soil. Here the predominant species are rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and Hypericum balearicum, and this final stretch of our excursion looks a bit desolate. The final part of the track loses itself in the middle of rocky terrain popularly known as the ‘dent de ca’ (karstic, or lapiés formation). The top is crowned by a triangulation pillar and there are some specimens of Balearic boxwood (Buxus balearica) here as well. We enjoy the splendid view and then return to the port by the same path.

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

La Serra des Canal de ses Figueres (*)

Dificultad:Medium
Distancia:8,5 Km
Duración:2,5 h
Requisitos:To request information and to count up visitors, please contact the office's guide of the port of Cabrera. (* This itinerary is guided)
Recomendaciones:To follow this itinerary please visit the information office in the port of Cabrera to request the guided service and to get an updated timetable since times will vary depending on the time of year and guide availability

Color:   

This tour is a loop that starts and finishes at the same point. It will take us high up to enjoy an amazing panoramic view of the archipelago’s south and east, including the main bay, the L’Enciola lighthouse, the Estells, the Codolar de l’Imperial and La Miranda, and more. The view of our loop will also give you an idea of the island’s dimensions.

Etapas

We begin our walk skirting the port area to reach Sa Platgeta and from there continue to the island’s interior towards the old winery, passing the solar arrays, Sa Vicaria, the encampment, Cas Pagès, the Sa Platgeta crop fields and the old winery.
Once we have the Sa Platgeta crop fields behind us we will take the path to the right, leading up to the Ses Figueres pass. This little valley is tucked in between the Penyal Blanc and the Ses Figueres mountains and features abandoned cropland. There is a group of common figs (Ficus carica) as we enter the pass and the area is probably named after them. Walking through we cross an area of scrubland before entering the pine wood where there are bushes such as Mediterranean heather (Erica multiflora), mastic (Pistacia lentiscus) and narrow-leaf phillyrea (Phillyrea angustifolia). Depending on the time of year there are also different kinds of mushrooms here. The only ethnographic element on this tour is a well that was used for watering animals. There is water in winter thanks to infiltration.
Once we reach the top we make a short stop to rest after the steep stretch we have just climbed and to enjoy the views — even if we still have an amazing view to come — of the bay to the left and the sea and the steep cliffs to the right. After our rest we continue to a viewpoint from where we can see the L’Enciola lighthouse outlined by the sea and the Estells, five islets on the park’s southern border where moon trefoil (Medicago citrina) grows and Eleonora’s falcon (Falco eleonorae) nests from May until the end of autumn. This bird of pray, unlike a majority of birds, breeds at the end of the summer when thousands of migratory birds arrive from the north of Europe. The falcons feed them to their chicks until they are ready to leave the nest and prepare for their own migration. We have a view of the port to our left. On the same side we see the Quatre Quarterades, an area where vines grew in the past, when the Feliu family cultivated the land. Next to it is the Cas Garriguer. On the other side wer can see the S’Aigua channel, the island’s torrent. If enough rain falls during winter it flows all the way to the sea. A large part of the mountains is covered in scrubland where Mediterranean heather (Erica multiflora), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Alypo globe daisy (Globularia alypum) and Montpelier cistus (Cistus monspeliensis). predominate. Depending on the time of year we are rewarded with numerous plants that paint the landscape with the colour of their flowers, such as the purple of felty germander (Teucrium polium), the yellow of bunch-flowered narcissus (Narcissus tazetta) and the white of sea onions (Urginea maritima). A very curious plant we find in bloom during spring is the giant fennel (Ferula communis), with a yellow flowerhead that can reach a height of two metres. We may be able to see indications of animal presence along the road. The most common being traces of rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in the form of holes and droppings. With any luck there may be feathers from warblers (Sylvia sp.), hoopoes (Upupa epops) and common wood pigeons (Columba palumbus). In winter rains will leave puddles on the path where tracks can easily be seen.
This is where some of the park’s most spectacular cliffs rise up from the sea. From here and towards SE we can see one side of the islet L’Imperial and in the other direction, towards NW, we see the Ses Bledes islet named after a variety of wild chard (Catalan for chard is bleda). Also found here is moon trefoil (Medicago citrina), a kind of alfalfa with very reduced distribution that is only found on the Columbretes and on some of Cabrera’s islets. Looking more towards the north we see the bay L’Olla, part of the cape Ventós peninsula and the northern islets. Strong winds in this area have shaped the wild olive trees (Olea europaea) and other plants. They are modelled by the wind and their leaves are narrow and crowded. As a curiosity, slightly difficult to make out, we can also perhaps spot an abandoned nest used by ospreys (Pandion haliaetus), made of branches and very large.
We follow the last mountain stretch until we arrive at the Bellamirada path crossing. This last part of the trail lets us enjoy a panoramic view of Na Picamosques, the highest part of the island, the pine woods on cape Ventós, Es Burrí, the Santa Maria inlet, the marine reserve and La Miranda, an exceptional viewing point. Heading back we take the track to the left and it is quite steep in the beginning. As we descend we see, almost from a bird’s-eye perspective, the botanical garden, the old winery and the lime kiln at Can Feliu as well as, of course, the bay and the port. Once we get down the path leads us past the Sa Font, or Can Feliu, houses and garden. We return to the first stretch of road again to get back to our starting point: the port.

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

El Castell

Dificultad:Low
Distancia:1,5 Km
Duración:1 h
Requisitos:To request information and to count up visitors, please contact the office's guide of the port of Cabrera
Recomendaciones:-

Color:   

Short, but with a steep incline this excursion is the most popular on Cabrera. From the castle at the top you can see the entire Tramuntana mountain range on clear days – from Sa Dragonera to the hill Puig Tomir – as well as the mountains of Artà. The route starts from the main pier where you take the trail towards sa Platgeta. After approximately 50 meters, branch off to the left on a wide path that will lead you up to the castle.

Etapas

On your right you will soon spot the first point of interest. It is the cave Cova des Teatre or Cova de Sa Cantina. It is approximately 22 m deep and 13 m wide; the ground inside is level and progressively turns into what looks like a rising set of steps, similar to an amphitheatre. There are no signs of water circulating inside the cave. The French prisoners used the cave to put on theatre shows, the entertainment making their captivity on the island a little bit more bearable. The wall closing the cave entrance was built when there was livestock on the island (goats and sheep) and the cave gave shelter to the animals. The floor of the cave became covered with a layer of manure that was used to fertilise vegetable gardens on the island. Please remember that you must stay on the paths and that the caves are restricted access areas, which means entry is not allowed. As you continue up the incline you will see thin Maquis shrubland with tree spurges (Euphorbia dendroides) and joint pines (Ephedra fragilis). At the foot of the castle there are plants native to the Balearic Islands such as Hypericum balearicum and Rhamnus ludovici-salvatoris, a dioecious shrub. You might be able to spot a Lilford’s wall lizard (Podarcis lilfordi), a very characteristic species. Scientists have catalogued up to ten different subspecies distributed over the archipelago’s islands. You can still see some marine birds, such as the yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis) and Audouin’s gull (Larus audouinii).
Before arriving at the castle you come to terrace with a graveyard; the graveyard itself is a square enclosure only accessible through a gate topped by a small cross. This is not the graveyard used by the French prisoners, who dug two mass graves near the old winery. It is, however, the place where Johannes Böckler was buried. Böckler was a German Luftwaffe pilot who died when his plane crashed near the L’Enciola lighthouse during a bombing mission aiming for an Allied fleet. He flew from Marseilles to Ténès (on the Algerian coast) on the 1st of April 1944, during the 2nd World War. The Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge (German War Graves Commission — a German charity organising central cemeteries for all German soldiers who died in conflict abroad) moved his remains to the Yuste graveyard on the mainland in 1982. Johannes Böckler rests there in grave 142, row 7. A legend about the German pilot started circulating soon after the tragic event. The remains of a fisherman from Santanyí, Lluent, and those of a child were already buried here before Böckler. In April 2003 the ashes of Francisca Sunyer were also laid to rest in the graveyard. She was the daughter of master Damià Sunyer who used to be the leaseholder of the island. The following year those of Sebastià Feliu and Maria Lluïsa Truyols, the last owners of Cabrera, were the last ones to be deposited on the island. It is not allowed to enter the graveyard.
The final ascent before reaching the castle starts from the terrace and is 72 m above sea level. The castle is the oldest building that remains on the island, with the obvious exception of archaeological remains. Towards the end of the 14th century a new fort was built, probably a tower, and this fort is mentioned in a document from 1410. Documentation from that time shows that the island was inhabited in order to defend it against pirate attacks and privateers. The lookouts on duty would light a fire on top of the tower to alert the nearest tower on Mallorca, in Sa Ràpita, that a possible attack on the coast was underway. In 1423 an agreement was made between the provost of Tarragona, the University of Mallorca and the King of Mallorca to maintain a permanent garrison to defend the island. During the 16th century pirate attacks were common: in 1502, 1509, 1511 and 1531, lead by Barbarossa; in 1537 and 1550 lead by Dragut; and again in 1583. The attacks caused considerable damage and the castle had to be restored and reconstructed. In 1716 the castle no longer functioned as a dependency of the University and received regular army troops. The mayor was replaced by a military governor, appointed by the king. Between 1809 and 1814 Cabrera became a prison for Napoleonic soldiers and the castle was set up as a field hospital and residence for the priest Damià Estelrich. Carved into one of the castle walls from that period is an inscription that reads: “Fleury Grapain, prisoner in 1809 and 1810”. It was also used as a place of quarantine during epidemics. The castle was declared heritage of cultural interest on the 22nd of April 1949 by the Decree on the Protection of Spanish Castles, and the last refurbishment was undertaken in 1982. From the tower you can see the small island Sa Conillera, the estuary of the port with point Sa Crueta and the cape Cap de Llebeig, the islet Es Form, S’Espalmador, Sa Platgeta, the museum, Cas Pagès, the chapel and the pavilions that were built in 1830. In 1878 they accommodated the Military Command as well as the island’s doctor and chaplain, because the castle was in such a dilapidated state. Around 1840, when Francisca Font i Roig was the owner of the island, the pavilions were used as a prison for forced labour, prisoners that the mayor of Cabrera Castle needed since there were not enough soldiers. Some attempts of escape are documented, such as the one in 1582 when a group of forced labourers tried to escape from Cabrera on the boat linking the island with Mallorca. Also installed in the pavilions were border guards in charge of controlling smuggling. Later on Civil Guard police officers posted to the island lived here and members of the army transmissions stayed in the small house next to it. These days, and after a total refurbishment of the facilities, they are the headquarters for the Civil Guard and those working for its maritime services who are posted to Cabrera.

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

Ses Sitges (*)

Dificultad:Medium/ High
Distancia:9 Km
Duración:3 h
Requisitos:To request information and to count up visitors, please contact the office's guide of the port of Cabrera. (* This itinerary is guided)
Recomendaciones:To follow this itinerary please visit the information office in the port of Cabrera to request the guided service and to get an updated timetable since times will vary depending on the time of year and guide availability

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This excursion takes us through one of Cabrera’s least visited areas. The tour is a loop that starts and finishes at the port. First we skirt the Santa Maria bay, one of the park’s most important marine reserves, then we walk through a forest area where we get to know the various traditional activities undertaken on the island throughout its history whilst enjoying the inviting, silent landscape.

Etapas

We begin our walk in the port of Cabrera and soon reach a hill where we get a great view of the bay. We see boats anchored at buoys installed to avoid damage to the Posidonia oceanica sea-grass meadow, one of the treasures of the sea surrounding Cabrera. It is a higher, flowering plant species that carries fruit and has stems and leaves. Its cycles contribute to the formation of beaches, provides alimentation for numerous types of fish, stabilise the marine substratum and oxygenate the Mediterranean seabed. We continue along a track that takes us into a shady pine wood with Phoenician juniper (Juniperus phoenicea), small wild olive trees (Olea europea) and different varieties of cistus (Cistus sp.). To our left we see a little inlet known as Cala en Ganduf featuring an old telegraph house that was connected to another house on the sout coast of Mallorca’s by a submarine cable. We carry on through scrubland with a variety of endemic cyclamen (Cyclamen balearicum) and, depending on the time of year, numerous sea onion leaves (Urginea maritima). Turtle doves (Streptopelia turtur) and other small birds such as Sardinian warblers (Sylvia melanocephala) keep us company on our way in the skies above.
We keep walking and arrive at the Caló des Forn (small inlet) where one of Cabrera’s lime kilns is located. It consists of a cylindrical shape almost completely covered by vegetation. The lime kilns were usually built on sloping ground to take advantage of fallen stones that could be used to shape the structure. The kiln would convert limestone to quicklime by burning and the resulting lime was used for whitewashing and disinfection, among other things. Along the path we can see many specimens of tree spurge (Euphorbia dendroides). A little bit further on we come across old sandstone quarries. Cabins were built into the very stone and are worthy of a quick look. Sandstone is a very porous material composed of sand-sized grains of a calcareous nature and it has traditionally been used for construction on these islands. Among the stones on this stretch we also find a plant with yellow flowers and very sticky leaves. It is the frilled restharrow (Ononis crispa), a curiously distributed plant: it is only found on Cabrera and Menorca. We may also be able to spot marine birds such as the Audouin’s gull (Larus audouinii) or the osprey (Pandion haliaetus), choosing Cabrera as their breeding ground. Following the coastal path we arrive at the Caló des Palangrers (small inlet) featuring one of Cabrera’s very few boatyards. This would have been a place for fishermen and their vessels to rest or escape bad weather. Not long ago the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus), a great Mediterranean marine mammal, lived in the archipelago’s waters. There are numerous testimonials describing its presence and this is why some caves near this bay are named after or refer to this animal. These days it is considered extinct in the Balearic region even if some visits have been recorded of late.
In the pine wood there are remains of charcoal kilns (sitges in Catalan), abandoned and covered in lichen. They show us where charcoal was produced on the island, an activity that took its toll on the forest cover. During the 1950s farming was phased out and trees started to extend over the island. Near the charcoal kilns there is a second lime kiln, the biggest one on Cabrera, which has recently been restored. Walking through the pine wood we spot the hoopoe (Upupa epops) and the common wood pigeon (Columba palumbus). Pink-flowering Mediterranean heather (Erica multiflora) grows next to Aleppo pines (Pinus halepensis) and strawberry trees (Arbutus unedo) are tucked in between scrubland and pine wood. Our tour finishes as we descend towards Can Feliu. The last owners of the archipelago, the Feliu family, constructed this building towards the end of the 19th century when they were establishing a farming community on the island called Villa Cristina. Nowadays it is used as storage for the national park.

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

La Miranda (*)

Dificultad:Medium
Distancia:6 Km
Duración:2 h
Requisitos:To request information and to count up visitors, please contact the office's guide of the port of Cabrera. (* This itinerary is guided)
Recomendaciones:To follow this itinerary please visit the information office in the port of Cabrera to request the guided service and to get an updated timetable since times will vary depending on the time of year and guide availability

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The tour up to La Miranda, or Na Bellamirada, is one of Cabrera’s classic excursions. After a steep incline and once you have passed the Sa Font, or Can Feliu, houses, you will arrive at one of the best watchtowers on the island. The name bears reference to the expansive, beautiful view of the port and Cabrera’s north and east. The itinerary starts at the port of Cabrera. When we arrive at Sa Platgeta we continue along a path that takes us to the interior of the island.

Etapas

This first section leads us through the most developed part of the island. We will come across the following buildings, in this order: the port houses; the old chapel (Cas Rei) dedicated to Saint Petronilla who the last owner of Cabrera was named after; the old military barracks, now restored and used by the park staff; Cas Pagés; Es Celler, where the museum is located, and the Sa Font, or Can Feliu, houses. You will also see some of the park infrastructure: solar arrays and a petrol station. If it is a sunny day you will be able to spot some Lilford’s wall lizards (Podarcis lilfordi) during this first part of the walk. These lizards are a characteristic feature of the Cabrera archipelago and endemic to the Balearic Islands. You will also see goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis) and common kestrels (Falco tinnunculus). In winter there are plenty of robins (Erithacus rubecula) here and in the evening you may be able to hear stone-curlews (Burhinus oedicnemus). We might also come across a warbler or two (Sylvia spp.), an insectivore hiding in the scrubland. Walking towards the interior of the valley we pass the old Sa Platgeta crop field with a healthy little Phoenician juniper copse. This area was cultivated until the second half of the 20th century. Towards the end of the 19th century the Feliu family, the last owners of the archipelago, established an agricultural colony called Villa Cristina. They planted vineyards and made wine in the winery at a time when no wine was produced in France because of the phylloxera epidemic. Nowadays, and mostly due to the abandonment of traditional land use, the Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) and Maquis shrubland have extended rapidly. In general we speak of young growth, but the trees already hide the view of the French monument from the port. This happened quite a while ago, as can be seen on old photographs.
At the beginning of the incline you come across the Sa Feliu houses, also known as the Sa Font houses because of the nearby spring. This natural spring provides most of the water on the island. The houses were built in one of the most privileged spots on Cabrera. The location is well protected from the sea (strong winds and storms) and benefits from being near the island’s main source of water. Nowadays the interior shows no signs of the old dwelling; the dividing walls are gone and it is used as a workshop and for storage.
Above Sa Font and to our left there is a massive hole in the ground lined with dry stone walls. This is one of Cabrera’s lime kilns where quicklime was produced through the calcination of limestone, abundant throughout the archipelago. The resulting lime was transported to and sold on Mallorca. The kiln has recently been restored with the help of a master stonemason and a group of volunteers.
Much of the hillside we walk across is covered by young, dense Phoenician juniper. The Phoenician juniper (Juniperus phoenicea) is common in many parts of Cabrera. Other shrubs are Pistacia lentiscus, wild olive trees (Olea europaea), tree spurges (Euphorbia dendroides), prickly juniper (Juniperus oxycedrus), and more. As we ascend the hill, and from the top of La Miranda itself, we may be able to spot birds of prey soaring in the sky: the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) and the osprey (Pandion haliaetus) both nest on Cabrera; the booted eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus), the western marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus) and others are only present in winter, or during migration. Along the path we might also see rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) crossing and quickly hiding under the nearest bush.
From the top you can enjoy an amazing panoramic view of the port and a large part of Cabrera, such as the island L’illa des Fenoll a l’Olla or the cave Cova Blava by the Santa Maria inlet, and more. On a clear day the view will have you looking out across the island L’illa dels Conills all the way to Mallorca, where you can see the near south coast and even make out the Llevant mountains and the Tramuntana mountain range in the distance. The stone here is limestone, just like the majority of hills on Cabrera, and it was formed at the bottom of an ancient sea with calm and shallow waters. Tectonic movements later lifted the material above sea level and shaped the landscape as we see it today. Once we have reached our goal — the top of La Miranda — we return the same way we came. But proceed with caution: it is easy to slip on the loose stones on the path. If you wish, please speak to your guide about the option of taking a different path on the way back and make it a loop instead.

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

El museu, el jardí i el monument als francesos

Dificultad:Low
Distancia:3 Km
Duración:1,5 h
Requisitos:To request information and to count up visitors, please contact the office's guide of the port of CabreraPer sol·licitar informació i fer un seguiment dels visitants contacti amb el guia de l'oficina del port de Cabrera.
Recomendaciones:(Català) -

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Before you set off it might be a good idea to visit the information office in the port, since this visit is dependent on the museum opening hours and they vary depending on the time of year. On this tour you will travel through the past and get to know a traditional lifestyle that persisted in some areas until the beginning of the 20th century. You will see abandoned crop fields, the monument for the French prisoners, the botanic garden, the old winery that houses the ethnographic museum, and the Can Feliu houses and garden. Leaving the port, follow the trail that skirts the main bay towards Sa Platgeta. Once you get there, continue on the wide path branching left. It will take you to the island interior, up to the old winery building.

Etapas

Leaving Sa Platgeta behind you walk through an area where the original scrubland vegetation is gone. This land was used for non-irrigated crops, cultivated here until the mid-1960s. Once the fields were abandoned herbaceous plants and a copse of Phoenician juniper (Juniperus phoenicea) that already grew in the valley took over. The landscape is alive with a multitude of small birds looking for food and during migration times you will see nets used by ornithologists for bird ringing. All year round there are goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis), common linnets (Carduelis cannabina) and greenfinches (Carduelis chloris). Other birds, such as song thrushes (Turdus philomelos), robins (Erithacus rubecula) and redstarts (Phoenicurus sp.) can only be observed in winter.
Follow the trail along the old field as it leads you to the middle of the valley until you see a little track to your right ascending through the pine wood. This track will take you to the monument for the French prisoners. The monument is an obelisk rising up through the pine wood. It was erected in 1847 by the Prince of Joinville and reminds us of the plight suffered by soldiers and officers of the Napoleonic army between 1809 and 1814 during the War of Independence. After being defeated at the Battle of Bailén and after having spent some time in captivity aboard prison hulks in Cadiz harbour, nearly 5,000 soldiers were transferred to the island of Cabrera. It has been estimated that more than 9,000 French soldiers and officers were held on the island at some point during the conflict. During the five years they spent on the island they lived in caves and barracks in very poor conditions. They were forced to organise themselves to some extent in order to build the barracks, ensure a water supply and divide the provisions — provisions that arrived most irregularly to the island. The prisoners tried to improve on their captivity by for example putting on theatre shows and making wooden objects out of juniper and boxwood that they would trade for food from Mallorcan fishermen arriving at the island. The imprisonment of the French soldiers ended after five long years and a mere 3,600 men returned to their homes.
Next to the old winery are terraces built of dry stone at different angles. This is the botanical garden where you can see some of Cabrera’s most unique and characteristic vegetation, vegetation that can be difficult to encounter in its natural environment because it grows in places that are difficult to reach, or even in reserved areas that are inaccessible. Moon trefoil (Medicago citrina), frilled restharrow (Ononis crispa), Mallorca foxglove (Digitalis minor) and Rubia angustifolia sp. caespitosa, endemic to Cabrera, are little-known gems that thrive on the island next to other, better know species such as the Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis), tree mallow (Lavatera arborea) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis).
Adjacent to the garden is the old winery, an impressive building from the end of the 19th century. It was built for agricultural use and functioned as a winery — even if it was never completed — during the years grapes were harvested, introduced to Cabrera by the Feliu family. Later it was used as shelter for sheep flocks and for storing hay. After years of abandonment the building was restored and adapted, and now houses Cabrera’s historic and ethnographic museum with an exhibition on ‘Man and nature on Cabrera’. The museum is divided into three floors. The ground floor is dedicated to Cabrera’s natural resources such as fauna, flora and the marine environment; there is also a replica of the Byzantine necropolis Pla de Ses Figueres to introduce visitors to the history of the island. On the first floor you get to know how people have lived on the island and its ethnography through texts, illustrations and old photos as well as fishing equipment. On the upper floor you travel through time and the history of the archipelago, from prehistoric times up until the 20th century through archaeological remains from both earth and sea. There are Punic and Roman amphorae, pottery from different eras, a model of the castle, items gathered from the time of the French prisoners and more. Do not miss the splendid panoramic view of the port on offer through the upper-floor picture window.
From the museum you can see a house on a slope that was built during the end of the 19th century and restored during the 1990s. It was part of the farming community on the island together with the winery and the crop fields nearby. In front of the house there is a garden, which benefited from a freshwater spring. The palm trees on the terraces complete the picture.

PARC NACIONAL MARÍTIMOTERRESTRE DE L’ARXIPÈLAG DE CABRERA

Visita arqueològica

Dificultad:Low
Distancia:1,5 Km
Duración:1 h
Requisitos:To request information and to count up visitors, please contact the office's guide of the port of Cabrera
Recomendaciones:There is a general information board by the Sa Platgeta well. Every archaeological site also has its own information board. Please do not cross the protective fences. The tour can be completed by a visit to the museum

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The Pla de ses Figueres (flatland) lends its name to the archaeological area where the three points of interest are located (the Byzantine necropolis, the fish-salting sites and the remains of the French soldiers’ encampment). It extends over an area of approximately 10 hectares over Sa Platgeta, Cas Pagés and the meteorological station. To get here you just follow the path leading from the port, skirting the bay. It is a short walk that should not take more than 15 minutes.

Etapas

Arriving at Sa Platgeta and next to the cistern you will find the itinerary’s first information board. There is a general description of the area and the archaeological remains as well as a map marking all the places you will visit on this tour.
The researcher Antoni Vallespir found this site and excavations were later undertaken by doctors Margalida Orfila, Miguel Ángel Cau and María José Hernández. The results of their discoveries were published in 1992, explaining how they had located various size deposits dug into the rock or constructed by stone and mortar. The deposits lie side by side on the seashore and have since been subject to various actions and archaeological projects (removing vegetation, excavation, restoration and consolidation). The basins were used to produce garum or to salt fish. The French prisoners (1809-1814) later used them as living spaces, opening up small doors and turning them into homes. Towards the end of their captivity the soldiers set the encampment on fire and this means archaeologists have been able to find practically intact objects such as a metal frying pans, clay pans, pots, lids, buckles and uniform buttons. Organic items have also been found, for example a bone comb and charred beans.
The Spanish War of Independence began on the 2nd of May 1808. In July the same year the French troops under general Dupont capitulated in the Battle of Bailén and were taken prisoners by the Spanish army. They were transported to the Port of Santa María (Cadiz) and eventually ended up on Cabrera where nearly 4,500 Napoleonic soldiers and officers arrived in May 1809. We know that in February 1812 more than 9,400 prisoners had at some point been sent to the island. Their confinement on the island was far from easy. There was a lack of water and food as well as basic sanitation. Numerous factors contributed to their high mortality rate: illnesses and war wounds, lack of medical care, no funds to buy provisions, irregular supply of food from Mallorca — especially in winter when storms are more common, and so on. A peace treaty was signed in the French town Valençay on the 10th of December 1813. This brought an end to the war and the imprisoned French soldiers could return home at last. Only 3,600 men survived their captivity. At this archaeological site it is easy to imagine small rooms, square or rectangular, most of them containing a bench and a fireplace. During the 2007 archaeological season (January and February) the restoration team finished the work of consolidating them. During their confinement the prisoners named the Sa Platgeta and Cas Pagès area ‘Palais Royal’. This place was like a little hive with tiny, more or less organised, huts that sheltered a large number of soldiers. Food and other items where traded within the improvised encampment: dry bread, salted fish, thread, needles, tobacco, beans, mice (worth five beans) and rats (worth twenty-five beans). Soldiers skilled in trade set up little workshops where they mended clothes, shoes and so on. Others worked with hair, bone or shells. There were also those who used Balearic boxwood (Buxus balearica) to make everyday items and tools, for example spoons.
During the second half of the 4th century AD the Christian tradition of monasticism rapidly spread ascetic groups all over the western Mediterranean. It was common to find settlements of small groups who had withdrawn to isolated places, choosing to live a hermitic life. Gradually more and more of these communities appeared and as the monastic centres became more important they were equipped with basic infrastructure such as ports and workshops. Cabrera is not mentioned until the 7th century AD. A small community is documented, but not much is written about it. A letter written the year 603 by Pope Gregory I to a certain Defensor Johannes urges the latter to control the unsatisfactory conduct noted among the monks on Cabrera. This is the only written source referring to the monastery. Archaeologists have been able to locate part of what must be the monastery necropolis. Three of the five graves found have been completely excavated. They are shaped like bathtubs and covered by stones. So far three skeletons have been found corresponding to three males, buried without coffins, between 35 and 45 years of age and between 1.60 and 1.80 m tall. Crockery shards have also been found, leading the archaeologists to believe that this was an inhabited settlement or a monastery where monks probably lived as a community. Next to the graves there is a small pit where four walls made of different size stones bound with clay rose to form a basin. Outside this construction a large number of seashell shards were found, all of them from two species: the banded-dye murex (Murex trunculus) and the Thais haemastoma, both used to produce purple dye. Experts believe that the monks had a little workshop here where they produced purple dye and made decorative objects using the shells.