SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

Sa Dragonera Natural Park is made up of three islets, Illot des Pantaleu, Sa Mitjana and Sa Dragonera. With a land surface of 274 hectares, the entire Park, along with a considerable marine area, has been declared a Site of Community Importance (SCI) and an Area of Special Protection for Birds, thus also forming part of the Natura 2000 Network.

Located just off the south-western coast of Mallorca, Sa Dragonera is separated from the main island by a small channel with a width of 800 m and a maximum depth of approximately 15 m.

The road to the conservation of this Park was not easy. In fact, the Park’s protection largely owes itself to the heavy pressures of the local people, who fought against attempts to develop the island in the 1970s. As a result, Sa Dragonera has become a symbol of Balearic conservationism. In 1987, the Consell de Mallorca purchased the island, which was declared a Natural Area of Special Interest until it finally became a Natural Park in 1995.

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

The park is open every day of the year, including Sundays and public holidays, except on bad weather days when the park staff cannot go to the island to open the access barriers. 

What are the opening hours of the park? 

Information Centre opening hours: 

  • From 10:00 to 16:30 h (1 from V to 30 of X) 
  • From 10:00 to 14:30 h (1 from XI to 30 of IV) 

The visiting hours of the park are: 

  • From 10:00 to 16:30 h (1 from V to 30 of X from Monday to Friday) 
  • From 10:00 to 18:00 h (1 from V to 30 of X, weekends and holidays) 
  • From 10:00 to 14:30 h (1 from XI to 30 of IV).

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

  • Please remain on the marked paths at all times.
  • The removal of any type of matter from the Park, living or inert, is not allowed.
  • Lighting fires is prohibited.
  • Pets are not allowed in the Park.
  • Please proceed quietly while in the Park and avoid making noise.
  • Sports activities other than hiking are not allowed in the Park.
  • Please take your waste with you.
  • Please do not feed the wall lizards or any other animals.
  • Fishing from the coast of the Park and collecting marine organisms are prohibited.
  • Camping is not allowed.

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

To access the island, there is a service via small boats that leave the docks of Sant Elm and the Port of Andratx between February and October.
Consell de Mallorca:

MAPA

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

The size of Sa Dragonera and its dry climate and relief, along with its marine influence, make for an exceptional natural wealth.

Sa Dragonera is home to 361 different plant species, 18 of which are endemic to the Balearics. The largest plant populations in the Park are the scrubland communities of wild olive (Olea europaea) and spurge olive (Cneorum tricoccon). Less extensive though extremely diverse are the plant communities that are found along the coast, on sea cliffs and in crevices and walls. In fact, it is the island’s jagged landscape that facilitates the growth of these plants.

The Park’s fauna is another of its most interesting aspects. Particularly worthy of note among the invertebrates that inhabit Sa Dragonera is the wall lizard population, an endemic subspecies (Podarcis lilfordi giglioli) that cannot be found anywhere else in the world, as well as the particular snail species (Iberellus balearicus), which is also endemic to the Balearic Islands.

The Park’s list of catalogued seafaring birds is extensive and includes the Audouin’s gull (Larus audouinii) and the Balearic shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus), one of the few birds that are endemic to the Balearic Islands. Among the birds of prey found here, Sa Dragonera boasts the largest Eleonora’s falcon (Falco eleonorae) population in the archipelago.

As to the mammals, the bats are the Park’s only naturally existing group and include at least 5 species, some of which are migrant. All of the other mammals found here (rats, rabbits and mice) have been introduced to the island, and their presence is considered a threat to the autochthonous flora and fauna.

The waters and marine floor are included in the Park’s area of marine influence, which contains a well-conserved array of underwater ecosystems representative of the western Mediterranean. Particularly worthy of note for their diversity are the Posidonia oceanicaprairies, a refuge for countless marine species and coral communities.

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

A total of 361 plant species have been identified in sa Dragonera, 18 of which are endemic to the Balearic Islands. The most extensive plant community in the Park is the wild olive garrigue (Olea europaea sylvestris) with olivilla (Cneorum tricoccon). Less widespread but with a high floristic diversity are the coastal communities, on crags, crevices and walls, favoured by the abrupt nature of the island.

Like the entire Serra de Tramuntana, the island has a northern slope of cliffs and steep slopes, very exposed to sea storms, relatively more protected from the sun's rays and with very poorly developed soils. In this environment, communities adapted to high salinity and rocky substrates develop. The most important communities are those of the genus limónium, with a large presence of endemic species and lichens such as orchella, highly valued in the past for the extraction of a purple pigment.

The southern slope, with its gentler slopes, allows the development of pine forests and wild olive groves in its valleys. In the coves, which are formed at the mouths of the torrents, we find communities of tamarinds.

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

The marine waters and seabed are included in the marine zone of influence, which contains a representative and well-preserved sample of the underwater ecosystems of the western Mediterranean. The Posidonia oceanica meadows, a refuge for many marine species, and the coral communities stand out for their diversity.

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

The fauna of the park is another of the most interesting aspects of the area. Among the fauna, we can highlight the population of lizards of sa Dragonera, an endemic subspecies (Podarcis lilfordi giglioli) that cannot be found anywhere else in the world, and in fact, together with the ferreret, it is the only terrestrial vertebrate not introduced by man that lives in the Balearic Islands at the moment. But the greatest number of endemic species is found among non-winged invertebrates, some of which are exclusive to the islet, such as the crustaceans that live in the lagoons of the Es Moro cave.

The dragonfly lizard is the result of the glaciations of the last geological era, known as the Quaternary. These caused successive rises and falls in sea level that have united and isolated the islets surrounding the larger islands, and the islands themselves in pairs (Mallorca and Menorca on one side, and Ibiza and Formentera on the other). This has made it possible for the same species of lizard to evolve in a different way on each islet, even if only a few hundred metres from the sea, until it became a new subspecies. The arrival of man, some 5,000 years ago, and the fauna introduced by man has exterminated the Balearic lizard on the larger islands, making the need for conservation on the islets even more important.

The list of catalogued seabirds in the Park is extensive, among which we should mention the red gull (Larus audouinii), the black-legged storm petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus), the Balearic shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus), one of the few birds endemic to the Balearic Islands, and the Cory's shearwater (Calonectris diomedea). Among the birds of prey, sa Dragonera is home to the largest population of sea falcon (Falco eleonorae) in the archipelago, especially in autumn. Other birds of prey include the kestrel, peregrine falcon, sparrowhawk and barn owl. These coexist with other more common seabirds such as the sea raven and Audouin's and common gulls.

Finally, we would like to highlight the presence of migratory birds during their prenuptial and post-nuptial flights in spring and autumn respectively.

As for mammals, bats are the only naturally occurring group in the Park. At least 5 species have been detected, some of them migrants. The rest of the mammals present (rats, rabbits and mice) have been introduced and their presence is considered detrimental to the native flora and fauna, although in fact they are practically absent from the park thanks to several eradication campaigns.

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

The island of sa Dragonera has become a point of contact and a provisional location for the different Mediterranean civilisations that have visited us. It has been the scene of the most important historical episodes, a refuge for pirates, corsairs and smugglers.

The ships of Jaume I and the first steamers that connected Palma with Barcelona sailed along its arm of the sea.

Numerous buildings and place names from different periods bear witness to this: The cova des moro (Moorish cave), the Llebeig watchtower, the lighthouse of na Pòpia, the mountain of the orxellers...

The size of the island, its aridity, with one of the driest climates in Mallorca, with less than 400 mm of rainfall per year, its relief and the marine influence mean that sa Dragonera has an exceptional natural wealth.

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

AT THE PARK

-Cala en Lledó Visitors’ Centre.

  • From 10:00 to 16:30 h (1 from V to 30 of X) 
  • From 10:00 to 14:30 h (1 from XI to 30 of IV)

-Far de Tramuntana (Lighthouse) Exhibition “En els camins de la mar” (“On the Roads of the Sea”)

OUTSIDE OF THE PARK

-Tourist Information Office in Sant Elm, Andratx (open between May and October)
Avinguda Jaume I, 18. Telèfon 971 239205.

-Park Office at the Consell de Mallorca:
C/ General Riera, 111, 07010 Palma. Telephone 971 17 37 00

-IBANAT (CAIB):
C/ Gremi de Corredors, 10-1r. Polígon de Son Rossinyol, 07009 Palma. Telephone 971 177639

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

       
  • Itinerari de na Miranda
  •    
  • Itinerari del far des Llebeig
  •    
  • Itinerari del far de Tramuntana
  •    
  • Itinerari del far Vell

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

Itinerari de na Miranda

Dificultad:Low
Duración:30 min

Color:   

This is a very short itinerary, perfect for the hottest days of summer. Next to the lookout is a pine grove with tables and benches: an ideal spot for a picnic in the shade. The path crosses the most developed area of Dragonera, which is also the most diverse.

Etapas

You can get to the island Dragonera from Sant Elm or Port d’Andratx. The shortest boat ride is from Sant Elm, which means the timetable from there is more flexible, with more departures. The catamarans from the Port d’Andratx are bigger, on the other hand, and give you a near complete view of the Andratx coastline. Once you arrive at the small pier Lledó you can speak to the Park staff and get all the information you need to make the most of your day out. You can access the cove directly from here, so if you want to take a quick dip in the sea you are just a few steps from the water. But be careful and look out for jellyfish — at times they concentrate in the port area. The beach is a tiny pebble beach shaded by tamarisks. The Sa Cova torrent ends here and has shaped the ground into a terraced landscape. Mastic grows so well here that they are high as trees. Pebbles guarantee clear, clean water. The cliffs around the inlet are made of conglomerate from the Miocene: different size stones cemented into a calcareous mould. The marine part of the Park consists of the waters and seabed around Dragonera up to the Mallorcan coast, including the islets Calafats, L’Illa Mitjana and Es Panteleu. It has a special protection status. The ten kilometres of Dragonera coastline host a representative and well-preserved example of western Mediterranean underwater ecosystems. A quick dive will show you a great variety of sea creatures: from limpets and stone crabs to various coastal fish species such as damselfish, comber, sand perch, white sea bream, common two-banded seabream, salema etc. Do not miss the opportunity to get to know them all.
From the houses you can see the Colomer tower on the other side of the beach. Walk towards it along the first path to the right, past some old henhouses and a pine grove. After a couple of bends you enter the Tancat de Tramuntana where some cultivated land and olive groves are preserved. These days they are only kept as a reminder of the area’s agricultural past, but they provide many bird species with olives and seeds. Behind the olive grove you see the small Lledó port, open towards southeast and with boats docked by the pier. The path makes a final turn that takes you to Na Miranda. To the left there is a little pine grove with some tables. From the lookout you can see the Punta des Calafats and just next to it a file of jagged reefs. To the right is the Illa Mitjana (island), it almost looks like it is part of the Santa Elm coastline. If you turn to face west there is a magnificent view of Na Pòpia with the top cut off by the Tramuntana hill, and the Far Vell lighthouse at the highest point. The walk continues among pine trees and olive terraces. Walk past the Torre des Colomer. The tower looks like it should feature in an operetta with its crenellations, the rounded gate and small window with a platform where doves take flight. The path joins the main path to the lighthouse just before the small Tramuntana hill. If you keep walking you will get to the lighthouse and if you take a left you will descend towards the port again.
Walking back and looking to your left is the path you took on the way up: terraces, olive groves, fields and the Torre de Colomer sticking out of the pine wood. Walk towards the south-west looking towards Na Pòpia. This 352-metre hill is the highest point on the island. Its incline towards the north follows the same pattern as the Serra de Tramuntana on Mallorca. They were shaped as a result of powerful folding action during the Early and Middle Miocene ages. As a result of a north-westerly compression the rock of the original platform rose and started overlapping, creating the outline you can see today. Na Pòpia is a name that was saved from obscurity and frequent visitors to Dragonera are well acquainted with it. The origin of the name is uncertain. One theory is that it is derived from the word popa in Catalan, meaning ‘breast of a woman or female animal’. Linguists confirm that using the image of a breast is not uncommon in place names. Na Pòpia is also known as the Puig el Far Vell or Cingle de na Guinavera. The latter perhaps derived from Catalan gavina—gull, alluding to the numerous colonies found there.
Gulls and lizards are the most common animals on the island. Their presence around you in summer is constant. The rustling of reptiles echoing footsteps and the screeching of gulls mix with a chorus of cicadas to provide a unique musical backdrop as you walk along the trails on Dragonera. Birds are one of the most interesting things to see on Dragonera. There are important colonies of sea birds nesting here, like the Cory’s shearwater, (Calonectris diomedea), the European shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) and Audouin’s gull (Larus audouinii); birds of prey like Eleonora’s falcon (Falco eleonorae), and migratory birds using the island as a stop to feed and rest. The black-headed gull, on the other hand, is subject to population control since their colonies might negatively affect the other birds on the island. The lizards (Podarcis lilfordi ssp. Giglioli) belong to a subspecies exclusive to Dragonera and are therefore important to protect. Lizards used to live all over the Balearic Islands, but the arrival of humans and other predators saw them disappear. They are now confined to small islands and islets.

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

Itinerari del far des Llebeig

Dificultad:Medium
Distancia:4532 m
Duración:3 h
Recomendaciones:-

Color:   

This is the longest route, but possibly easier than the ascent to Far Vell. You can make a detour to the Llebeig tower and from there take the path leading down to the cove. The tower is the oldest building on the island, built towards the end of the 16th century.

Etapas

Heading towards south-west you leave the reception centre behind and to the right of it another building that houses staff working on the island. The path ascends slightly and you will soon be high enough to see the small port known as Lledó. Arriving at the Garrots torrent there is an area with pine trees. Along the path you can see friar’s cowls, Arum pictum and sea onions. The torrent runs into Cala de S’Art (beach) where fishermen would fish for picarel using an artet — a kind of trawling net they threw out from land. The trail now skirts along the island’s south coast. Every now and then an old pine tree lends some shade to the path, letting you catch your breath. Wild olive trees and tree spurges dominate the landscape together with olive trees and buckthorn. In spring the tree spurges will catch your eye with their brilliant yellow colour, then as the year moves on their leaves turn red and eventually fall in the middle of summer, to combat the draught. You pass a water trough built next to the path to collect water from the rock — all this ingenuity to collect a little bit of moisture. Further on, by the lower part of the Cala Cucó torrent, you can see a water cistern built in the 19th century. This is a more significant construction that collected runoff water and watered cattle scattered around the fields.
A detour to the right lets you visit a lime kiln and a charcoal storage hut made of stone, not far from the path. They are still in a relatively good state of conservation. The lime kiln is from the 18th century, built to supply lime for the continuous reparations that had to be done to the island’s two towers after repeated pirate attacks. It was used again during the 19th and 20th centuries, when the two lighthouses were built. The kiln was built here by the Cala Cucó river bed to be near the largest woodland area on the island; the pines provided the firewood necessary to produce lime. The kiln can almost be seen from the Camí del Far des Llebeig even if it is a bit hidden by vegetation. The oven itself has a diameter of six metres. Right next to it is the hut used by the workers. You can see Cala Cucó from here, the only beach on the island with pebbles and sand. Further along the path you come across more torrents: the Cala en Begur, the Ses Fontanelles and the Cala des Llebeig. Between the first and second torrents the walk traverses an area with outcrops from the Miocene, like those in the Lledó and Na Miranda areas. This is conglomerate rock where you can easily see the different-size pebbles that were a result of ancient fluvial erosion and got imbedded in a calcareous mould. Next you come to a point with a great view of the lighthouse and the Llebeig tower. The path approaches the peak and turns west, following the south slope of the Puig des Aucellers. Mascaró Passarius in his study of place names concluded that this was the name given to the hill, but according to Rosselló Vaquer the original name was Puig des Orxellers, referring to the age-old activity of collecting orxella — orchil, a natural carmine, purple or violet colour that was obtained from various species of lichen growing on the mountain rocks, mainly those of the genus Roccella. The dye was extracted using ammonium and sold in jars as ‘orchil paste’, very valuable during the Middle Ages.
The Llebeig tower has recently been restored and you are welcome to visit it. A small trail descends to the cove by the same name. One of the first known references to Dragonera’s usefulness as a watchtower can be found in the chronicles on the conquest of Mallorca written by Pere Marsili (1314) where he says “that piece of rock is not completely useless, the hand of God put it in the middle of the sea to serve as a watchtower”. A document from 1342 refers to an ‘old tradition’ of sending men (called dragoners) to the island to watch for dangers arriving by sea, and alert the mainland if that were the case. But the first news about the construction of a watchtower on Dragonera come from 1550. The chosen location was the highest point of the island where centuries later, in 1851, the Na Pòpia lighthouse was built. In 1585 a second tower was built, the Llebeig tower, and that tower still stands. It is located on the Cap des Llebeig (cape), on top of a 60-metre cliff. Its purpose was to stop vessels from landing on Cala des Llebeig, which was not visible from the Na Pòpia tower and therefore not part of the signalling system. The tower is round and the inner chamber has a vaulted ceiling. Next to the tower are the remains of a system collecting rainwater in a water cistern. Near the cistern you can still see the remains of four large earthenware jars that were used to collect rainwater and that were mentioned in writing when pirates had destroyed them in 1658. In 1749 they were substituted by new ones. Birds of prey still watch the sea from the old tower and the surrounding scrubland protects smaller birds such as the Balearic warbler, endemic to the islands.
Very near the old watchtower and at the end of the path stands the Llebeig lighthouse at a height of 121 metres above sea level. The lighthouse is lit up by the soft light of the west, a grey slab just a little bit lighter than the cliffs it rises from. A small terrace surrounds it, an empty square inviting you for a walk. This is an ambiguous place; a little bit separated from the Cala des Llebeig, the area around the lighthouse feels like an island on the island. It was built by Eusebi Estada and taken into use in 1910, substituting the Na Pòpia lighthouse. The lighthouse used an incandescent petrol vapour lamp and the beam of light was three equidistant white flashes every five seconds. In 1971 the need to retire personnel off the islands lead to a major reform and the original lantern was replaced. It is now an acetylene gas system with automatic lamp changer and solar valve. The light pattern changed to a white flash every seven and a half second. Nowadays it has a 12V solar array with solar cells on the roof and the light reaches 20 miles.

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

Itinerari del far de Tramuntana

Dificultad:Low
Distancia:1758 m
Duración:1 h
Recomendaciones:-

Color:   

This itinerary works well for a winter’s day, but also during the hottest days of summer when you can enjoy a swim in the cove. Remember to request the key to the lighthouse building if you would like to see the exhibition there and the lighthouse keepers’ quarters.

Etapas

Es Lledó is the start and finish of this walk, the natural port where you arrive at the island. The interpretation centre is located in one of the houses by the water and almost as soon as you set off from there you come to a crossroads. The Tramuntana path leads to the right and is quite an easy walk with pine trees lending their shade to parts of the trail. Around the houses garden plants mix with the island’s natural vegetation. Even though they keep being removed, 46 species have recently been introduced. Another thing you find near the houses are lizards, always ready to catch a breadcrumb. There is no other place in the Balearics where they venture so close. Biologists patiently study them and recent work published show how they help pollinate certain flowers. The lizards have a taste for the nectar. The little Lledó cove has a long history. A talaiot tower stood where the houses are now. Hundreds of graves from Roman times were destroyed among the olive groves around them when the land was transformed into crop fields. A bit further inland the 20-metre Sa Font cave leads to a pool that used to supply the island with fresh water. Next to the pool are shards of jugs, handles, pots from various periods and a little Islamic lamp: an archaeological treasure that arrived from the Eastern Mediterranean.
To begin with you are immersed in the comfortable shade of a pine wood filled with scents of rosemary and thyme (in summer), flowering heather (in autumn) and the brief and fragile steppes (in spring). Almost all year round you can see the delicate green of the Anthyllis cytisoides and the ash-grey houseleeks flecked with yellow. A bit further on and after a bend in the trail you can see the stretch of water separating the island from Mallorca. It is easy to see the reefs known as the Calafats. But others are not as easy to spot: the Escull Negat and Carnisser, for example, remain hidden just under the surface and make it impossible for boats to pass through. Every now and then a break in the waves or a bit of foam gives them away. The pine trees you have left behind contrast against the treeless mountainsides that border a good part of the path. They are steep slopes where undergrowth clings to the stone in round shapes to resist the beating of strong winds. The thorny, pillowed-shape Launaea cervicornis covers the entire coastline. As you approach the top gulls fill the sky. During breeding season you walk through their territory and this provokes such a clamour that it drowns out the constant murmur of the sea. Visitors to Dragonera carry with them the memory of gulls and bold lizards. You can see them up close: the eyes, the beak and the yellow legs stand out against their white feathers, a most brilliant white on the abdomen and grey towards the back. The yellow-legged gull is sometimes called ‘blue-caped gull’ locally — a pretty name for a bird that has lost its charm; it often happens when something multiplies in excess. More popular is the Audouin’s gull, earlier displaced by its relative, but now visibly recuperating.
Dragonera still has some secrets to discover. Islands are like small, separate, simplified worlds, which is why they are considered the best natural laboratories for studying animal evolution. They are also ideal for the study of ecologic relationships between animals and plants. The study of ecologic interaction between the inhabitants of islands is a lot easier to do than on entire continents. Recent studies have been carried out on a species that might be difficult to spot, but plays a key role in the ecosystems on the island: bats. They are the ancient inhabitants of the caves and live in places that remain undisturbed, like the cracks in the rocks. Six different species have been found on Dragonera. The most common one is the ratapinyada de coa llarga (long-tailed bat) distributed more or less over the entire island apart from where the concentration of gulls is very high. Man-made constructions like houses and lighthouses are habitats for species that are more adapted to human environments, such as the ratapinyada comuna (common bat). The Tramuntana area shows the greatest diversity of these mammals. The north-east of the island is the most probable breeding ground for the Balearic shearwater. The colonies are not very well known, but important from a nature conservation point of view. Invertebrates, among which there are several endemic species, are other little jewels on the island. One of the best known is the l’escarabat de sang (‘the blood beetle’ — Timarcha balearica)
The Tramuntana lighthouse is two kilometres from the port and at a height of 65 metres above sea level. Its light reaches out 14 nautical miles. It is a four-sided building on top of an excavation into the limestone. The walls are rough-cut stones with edging made of sandstone. The interior of the building was restored in 2003 when separating walls inside the lighthouse keepers’ quarters were taken down to create a reception room for visitors. The current exhibition ‘On the Paths of the Sea’ complements the information on Dragonera natural park at the reception centre. This is a vision of the island as a place of passage on the maritime routes leading to the Spanish peninsula, with all that it implies from a geographic, historic and human point of view.

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

Itinerari del far Vell

Dificultad:Medium/ High
Recomendaciones:-

Color:   

Every ten steps you will be going up one metre: from the sea level to the highest point of the island. During summer months protect yourselves from the sun and take plenty of water. At the top of the Na Pòpia peak don’t go too close to the rocks and remember that the lighthouse Far Vell is in ruins. It is an excursion that won’t disappoint you.

Etapas

Every ten steps you ascend a metre — a hike from sea level to the highest point on the island. Protect yourself from the sun in summer and bring a lot of water. Stay away from the cliff edges at the top of Na Pòpia and remember that the Far Vell lighthouse is a ruin. All the same: this excursion will not disappoint.
You leave Lledó walking towards the Far des Llebeig lighthouse. 400 m further along there is a signpost for Coll Roig and the Far Vell lighthouse. Go through the entrance to the Tancat and you will see old terraces invaded by undergrowth, mastic and some wild olive trees that have made themselves at home on the best land on the island. This used to be a bit of a garden with fruit trees and some barley or oats for the sheep. The animals also used the fields as pasture. The Tancat house has been restored and has a porch that can be used as shelter in winter and shade from the sun in summer. It is a good spot for a little snack. Apart from the shelter provided by the house itself, you are also protected by the symbolic presence of the Es Tancat wall: a dry stone wall covered in lichens and gull droppings. Gulls use it as a watchtower during breeding season, one every twenty metres, just like sentinels. From the Tancat house the Camí de na Pòpia, restored in 2005, takes you up to Coll Roig where you can enjoy a view of Mallorca’s northern coastline and the cliffs of Dragonera. Further ahead, more or less in the middle of the hike, you will get to the flattest part of the trail. This is where the Des Garrots torrent begins. Vegetation on the island is slowly recovering from traditional exploitation that was particularly intense on the riverbeds; some old wild olive trees give the trail some shade here and there.
The northern crags are very inaccessible and as such an ideal area of conservation and protection for two shrubs that used to be more common: fan palms and boxwood. They were important to a small manufacturing industry. Fan palms — that you can also see next to the houses at Es Lledó — were used to make handicraft: brushes, baskets, fans… The soft core of the stem is edible and the palm hearts from Dragonera were especially big. Pere Marsili in his chronicles from the early 14th century speaks of the large and tasty fan palm hearts found on Dragonera, not like anything else on the Balearic islands: No ha neguna cosa de fruyts, ni de terra alscunas cosas naxents, sinó solament rayls de palmna fada, las quals en cathalanesch apeylam bargueyons, e d’aquests ha sobremanera molt beyls e grossos e saborosos, que semblants no’n són atrobats en las ylas balears... But more commonly the vegetation near the cliffs will be horse-shoe vetch (Hippocrepis balearica) with its sweetly-scented yellow flowers, the Helicrysum ambiguum with narrow, silky, silvery-grey leaves and flowers gathered in bright-yellow inflorescence heads (when they are dried they get the consistence of an old silk paper) and the pincushion flower (Scabiosa cretica) with large inflorescence heads, full of attractive blue or slightly pink flowers.
The cliffs are home to birds that you can almost see face-to-face. The rising air currents here will let you enjoy their ever-changing display of flight, the acrobatics and play on air of gulls and falcons, so different in everything. Eleonora’s falcon (known locally as queen falcon, marine falcon or black falcon) is an expert flyer. It lives on the Dragonera cliffs, arriving from Madagascar and east Africa. Breeding season is in autumn to coincide with the arrival of small migratory birds, its preferred prey during that time. In summer it hunts insects in flight, making difficult pirouettes to catch them with its talons. The black silhouette of the falcon is not to be confused with that of a raven, the latter has rounder-shaped wings and a more unhurried flight and is also seen sometimes on Dragonera.
The old Na Pòpia lighthouse, or Far Vell (old lighthouse) for short is one of the oldest lighthouses on the Balearic Islands. It was built in 1851 when it replaced an old defence tower. Work to demolish the old tower began on the 16th of September 1850. It is a unique lighthouse in many ways: its position 352 metres up on the Na Guinavera crag; its architectural beauty, placed inside the stone itself, tiered to follow the contours and incline of the landscape, and with an access path held in place by dry stone walls; its location in an exceptional landscape, on an island that is especially valuable from an ecologic point of view, now a natural park; and also its brief history. In 1910 it was replaced by the Tramuntana and Llebeig lighthouses, because especially in winter it got lost inside the mass of clouds concentrating around the top of Na Pòpia and was not visible from the sea. For all the above reasons it is one of the most emblematic lighthouses on the Balearic Islands — definitively the one that has been written about the most. It might be the lighthouse that best exemplifies this sentence from Predrag Matvejevic’s Mediterranean Breviary: “Lighthouses are a special kind of Mediterranean temple…”

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

Access to the park

How to get to the park?

The park is an islet separated from Mallorca by an arm of the sea, between 800 and 1500 metres away. Therefore, it can only be reached by boat, either private or tourist.

How many entrances are there?

The Cala en Lledó dock is the only access point from the coast to the inland itineraries of the island.

Disembarkation is also permitted at Cala Cuco and Cala Llebeig.

In cases of maritime emergency, you can access any other cove or refuge offered by the island's coastline.

What is the nearest port or dock to the park?

Sant Elm is the nearest quay on the Mallorcan coast and the only tourist boats that provide regular and exclusive transport leave from there.

How do I get to Sant Elm?

From Palma, take the Ma-1 road towards Andratx-Port de Andratx, then take the Ma-1050 turn-off towards Arracó, and finally the Ma-1030 road to Sant Elm.

Can Sant Elm be reached by public transport?

By public transport, you can get there on bus line 100 (Palma-Andratx-Sant Elm). Consult timetables at https://www.tib.org/es/web/ctm/autobus/linia/100

Apart from Sant Elm, are there boats from other ports?

Yes, you can get there with other boats that come from Peguera, Camp de Mar and Santa Ponça and make a one-hour stop at the park.

If you come with a private boat, where can you disembark?

Disembarkation is only allowed at the Cala en Lledó quay, where boats may not remain moored. These must remain anchored at least 50 metres from the coast, respecting the current regulations for the protection of posidonia.

Visitors must stop at the information centre to communicate the number of visitors, origin and purpose of the visit, and follow the instructions of the information staff.

Groups of more than 10 people must have prior authorisation from the park management.

Is access to the park free of charge?

Yes, access to the park is free of charge, except for the fee paid by tourist boats for each client who disembarks.

However, access is limited to the hours when the park is under surveillance. A barrier next to the information centre indicates whether the park is open or closed.

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

Accessibility

Is it possible to visit the park in case of reduced mobility?

It is not recommended. Neither the itineraries nor the public facilities (toilets, information and interpretation centres) are adapted for people with reduced mobility, and in no case for those in wheelchairs. Neither are the boats that make the regular routes adapted for wheelchair users.

In any case, and depending on the degree of limitation, access may be possible with assistance.

 

Is it comfortable and safe to walk on the routes?

The ground on all the routes, with the exception of route 3 of the Llebeig lighthouse, which is partially asphalted, is not very comfortable due to the orography of the terrain and its stony and uneven ground.

You should wear comfortable footwear, sports shoes or boots, which secure your ankles.

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

Services

Where can I ask for information about the park?

At the Park Information Centre (from May to October): E-mail: parc.sadragonera@gmail.com.

At the Park Office of the Consell de Mallorca: C/ General Riera, 111 Palma; Tel. 971 173700; E-mail: parcdragonera@conselldemallorca.net.

In the Department of Natural Spaces of IBANAT (CAIB): C/ del Gremio de Corredores, 10 1r. Polígono de Son Rossinyol Palma; Tel. 971 177639

Does the park have an information and/or interpretation centre/s?

Yes, in Cala en Lledó you will find the park's Information and Interpretation Centre, where visitors will find an exhibition on the history of the park and its natural and cultural heritage.

There is another interpretation centre at the Tramuntana lighthouse about life in the lighthouses "Los caminos del mar". You can apply for permission at the information centre at the time of your visit, but access is subject to availability.

Are there public toilets?

Yes, they are located in Cala en Lledó next to other buildings. They are not adapted for people with reduced mobility.

Is there a bar service or vending machines for snacks or drinks?

No. The park does not have a cafeteria or vending machines for snacks or drinks.

The only way to get a drink once on sa Dragonera is to buy it directly from the tourist boats that make the trip to the island.

The tap water in the public toilets is not suitable for drinking.

Does the park have a picnic area?

Yes, there is an area in the park with wooden tables and benches 5 minutes from Cala en Lledó, following Miranda's itinerary 1, designed for simple and quiet meals for visitors.

Are there litter bins?

There are no litter bins or waste collection services. Therefore, the waste generated must be returned to Mallorca.

Is there access to bathing areas?

Yes, Cala en Lledó is the only accessible area for accessing the sea and bathing. It is important to make sure that there are no jellyfish.

However, you can also access Cala Cucó and Cala Llebeig with your own boat.

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

School visit service

Is it possible to visit the park with a school group?

Yes, the park has an educational programme for pupils of all ages that runs throughout the school year. Visits must be arranged at least 7 days in advance by calling 971 17 37 00.

Can we make the school visit on our own, i.e. without the park's education team?

Yes, but you need an authorisation from the park that can be processed online at parcdragonera@conselldemallorca.net where you must indicate the date, the characteristics of the group, the time of arrival and departure and the contact details of the person in charge.

What is the price of the school activities?

The itineraries guided by the education team are free of charge. Transport to the park is paid for by the school.

What is the timetable for school activities?

In general, the activities take place between 10am and 2pm.

How many pupils can come on the visit?

The size of the school group, including pupils and teachers, may not exceed 70.

How many adults must accompany the school group?

There must be one adult for every 20 pupils.

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

CAS GARRIGUER. HOUSE OF SCIENTIFIC STAYS

Who can use the facilities of the Cas Garriguer Scientific Stays House?

Only researchers, professionals or non-profit associations that carry out studies, work or volunteer work in the park.

What is the capacity of this restricted-use refuge?

It has capacity for 9 or 10 people.

What services does it offer?

It has two rooms with two double bunk beds each, a sofa bed in the dining room, a bathroom with hot water and a living-dining room, equipped kitchen and gas fridge.

How to make a reservation?

Write an email to parcdragonera@conselldemallorca.net, explaining the project to be developed and the park management will evaluate your request.

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

Cave "Vell marí"

Why did we find a cave called "cueva del vell marí"?

Because, once upon a time, it was the burrow of a Mediterranean seal Monachus monachus, popularly known in Mallorca as the monk seal or "vell marí".

The monk seal inhabits from the eastern Mediterranean to the Atlantic coast of the Sahara and is critically endangered. Only a few hundred individuals remain alive in the world.

Until the arrival of tourism (1950s and 1960s) and the occupation of the beaches where they bred, they were common everywhere along the Balearic coast. This fact and the persecution by fishermen for damaging their fishing gear caused them to take refuge in caves far from the most humanised areas, such as sa Dragonera.

The last sighting of a specimen in Mallorca and sa Dragonera was in 2008, after 50 years of absence.

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

Itineraries

Are the park's itineraries and facilities signposted?
Yes, the four itineraries in the park are signposted according to a colour code and numbers that are easy to follow. The information leaflet given to the information centre contains basic information about the park and a map with the routes.

How many routes are there?
The park has 4 itineraries of medium-low difficulty, ranging from half an hour to 3 hours. They allow you to cross the island from end to end, along and across. The starting point for all these routes is just past the Cala en Lledó information centre. Itineraries 3 and 4 have hardly any shaded areas, so it is advisable to avoid going on the hottest days and at the hottest times of the day.

Miranda route 1 is the only circular route, with a 2 km walk that takes 30 minutes. Its highest section is staggered. It is the only itinerary suitable for visits lasting less than an hour. It takes you through the old cultivated areas surrounding Cala en Lledó, which have now been recovered to increase the food areas for migrating granivorous birds. There is a picnic area and a viewpoint over the Freu and the coast of Sant Elm.

Itinerary 2 of the Tramuntana lighthouse is 1,758 metres outward and 1,758 metres return, has a height difference of 60 m and takes 1 hour to complete. The ground is uneven and stony. It offers several beautiful views of the two sides of the island:
Looking east you can see the "freu" in all its immensity. From the Tramuntana lighthouse you can look out over the entire northern slope of the southernmost part of the Serra de Tramuntana. On the other hand, it is also very interesting to observe the aerial acrobatics of the sea hawks on the cliffs of the northwest face in the autumn months.

Itinerary 3 of the Llebeig lighthouse is 4,532 m long, to which must be added the same length on the way back. It reaches a height difference of 110 m and takes about two and a half hours to complete. It is the only asphalted itinerary and all along its route you can admire the coastline of the Mallorcan west as far as Port d'Andratx. The 110-metre-high Llebeig lighthouse makes it possible, on clear days, to catch a glimpse of Ibiza and Formentera to the southwest. Along the route you can take a detour to the Llebeig watchtower and admire this historic building from the late 16th century, built to protect the population of Mallorca from the frequent attacks by pirates and corsairs.
Itinerary 4 of the Far de na Pòpia or Far Vell is another out-and-back itinerary of 4,840 metres in length and 352 metres in height. Along the route you will have the opportunity to contemplate the cultivated areas of Es Tancat and all the culminating vegetation.
It is necessary to wear hiking shoes and bring plenty of water. It offers good views of the Tramuntana cliffs and is a good place to observe sea hawks. At the top you will find the remains of the old lighthouse of na Pòpia (one of the oldest in Mallorca), built on top of the old defence tower of na Pòpia. It ceased to function in 1910 when the Llebeig and Tramuntana lighthouses, which are still in operation, were put into operation.

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

Public use regulations

Is there an entrance fee?

Yes, if you enter by tourist boats you will have to pay a fee of 1 euro, which is charged on the boats. Visits made on Saturdays by Mallorcan residents, children under 14 or over 65, professionals who come to work on the island and, with prior authorisation, visits by schoolchildren, NGOs, cultural or sporting activities, research or volunteering, are exempt from the fee.

On the other hand, access by private boats is exempt from payment.

Do I have to apply for a visitor's permit?

A visitor's permit is only required for groups of more than 10 people, scientific research activities, overnight stays, off-road traffic, filming or professional photography. This permit implies acceptance of the rules of public use and may be withdrawn in case of non-compliance. It can be requested by email to parcdragonera@conselldemallorca.net.

The visit permit is free of charge and must be requested at least 7 days in advance.

Is it possible to enter the park outside visiting hours?

No. For security reasons the park gates are closed at the end of visiting hours.

What happens if the park is closed when we are still inside?

The park is closed for conservation and security reasons. If you have not left the park at closing time, please go immediately to the exit.

Is it possible to leave the marked itineraries?

No. It is not possible to leave the paths.

Is smoking allowed in the park?

No. Smoking is not allowed in the whole park, except in the area of the cove dock in Lledó.

Is it allowed to light fires?

No. It is forbidden to light fires.

Is it allowed to listen to music?

No. Silence must be respected. In any case, if you wish to listen to music, you may bring headphones.

Can I collect living beings or minerals from the park?

No. You are not allowed to collect any kind of material, living or inert. Nor may you cut down, amputate, kill or disturb any animal or plant specimen, or extract, break or collect minerals or fossils, except for management reasons.

Can I fish in the park?

No. From land, the collection of marine organisms and fishing of any kind is prohibited, except for the mooring of traditional fixed fishing gear.

Is it allowed to feed the animals?

No. It is not permitted to feed lizards or other fauna.

Can I enter with a dog?

No. Pets are not allowed. Only users with their guide dogs are allowed to enter.

Is it allowed to camp?

No. Camping is prohibited throughout the park.

Can I fly a drone?

No. The regulations prohibit the flight of any aircraft on the whole island.

Can I come to practice sports such as running, cycling, Nordic walking, horse riding...?

No. Sports other than hiking are forbidden in the park.

Does the park have an anchorage area/ buoy field?

No. There is no buoy field.

Can I access the Pantaleu?

No. For conservation reasons, unauthorised landing on this islet is prohibited.

Is sailing allowed in the marine area of influence of sa Dragonera?

Yes, sailing is allowed more than 50 metres off the coast of the islet.

Approaches to the three coves where access is authorised must be perpendicular to the coastline and for the sole purpose of disembarking passengers.

Is scuba diving allowed in the marine reserve of the freu de sa Dragonera?

Yes,

Free diving is allowed in all its extension.

Scuba diving requires an individual or collective permit issued by the competent body.

Is fishing allowed in the marine area of influence of the park of sa Dragonera?

Yes, following the regulations established for the Freu de sa Dragonera Marine Reserve (Decreto 62/2016 de 7 de Octubre)) and the Dragonera Marine Reserve of fishing interest that regulates the uses of the outer waters (in Orden APA/1024/2020 de 27 de Octubre).

If I have a collective transport boat, can I disembark the clients in the cove?

No. The collective transport boats for lucrative purposes are subject to conditional authorisations issued by the park management and the park management authority and must pay an entrance fee to the park per disembarked visitor between 14 and 65 years of age.

Is it possible to visit the park with an organised group, and what is the maximum size of the group?

Yes.

Groups may not be larger than 70 people and authorisation must be requested at least 7 days in advance via email parcdragonera@conselldemallorca.net.

They must be accompanied by a guide for every 35 people.

SA DRAGONERA NATURAL PARK

Recommendations

What are the best times of the year to visit the park?

The non-summer months are usually the best times to come on an excursion, as the longest routes, Far de Llebeig and na Pòpia, have practically no shaded areas.

If you want to come bird-watching, the spring and autumn seasons, especially April and October, coincide with the peak of bird migrations.

What do we need to bring to have a successful visit?

If the weather conditions are favourable, it is enough to wear comfortable shoes that secure your ankles, a hat or cap, sunscreen, jellyfish sting cream or lotion, sufficient water and food.

Binoculars, a camera and a diving mask are also very useful.

What should we take into account if we want to swim in the cove?

Cala en Lledó is a small cove with crystal-clear waters that allow us to observe the richness of its seabed, fish and other aquatic invertebrates among the posidonia meadows. That is why it is advisable to wear diving masks if you want to enjoy this underwater life.

On the other hand, we must be aware of some invertebrates such as anemones or jellyfish. It is therefore a good idea to carry creams or lotions against these stings.

Is it advisable to swim around Dragonera Island?

No. For safety reasons it is not advisable to leave the swimming area protected by the dock dike and Punta Lladó.

Is it advisable to go to the park by kayak or canoe from Mallorca?

No, unless you are an experienced navigator and/or the sailing conditions are optimal.