Cabrera Archipelago Maritime-Terrestrial National Park, Spain
Lying approximately 10 miles to the south of Mallorca is the Cabrera Archipelago consisting of 19 small islands covering a geographical area of approximately 100 square kilometres. The largest of the islands is Cabrera and the whole of the Archipelago is designated as a Terrestrial and Maritime National Park, 87% of which is covered by the sea.
Mallorca is made up of two mountain ranges, the highest, Serra de Tramuntana in the north of the Island and the Serra de Levante which runs parallel with the east coast of the Island from the Artà Peninsula to La Marina plain in the south.
Cabrera is an extension of the Serra de Levante and as such diving on the Archipelago’s underwater cliffs is an amazing experience although not one limited to professional scuba enthusiasts, as the waters are often crystal clear and the sea bed and submerged features can easily be viewed from a boat. There are approximately 200 species of fish within the Marine Park where the water depth ranges from very shallow down to 120 metres.
Boat trips from the port at Colònia de Sant Jordi run regularly to Cabrera throughout the summer and may sometimes be escorted by dolphins. The Loggerhead Turtle is also a common sight within the Park.
The average annual rainfall for Cabrera is only 14 inches and this, coupled with the Island’s poor soil, encourages vegetation which has adapted to summer droughts similar to much of that found on south Mallorca.
Like many archipelagos, Cabrera is a haven for birdlife and is an important stop-over for many species of birds during their migration. Approximately 150 different species of bird are known to use the islands for this purpose. Colonies of sea birds including Balearic and Cory’s Shearwaters, Caspian and Audouin’s Gulls, Storm Petrels and Cormorants thrive, nesting in the crags and rocky outcrops overlooking their feeding grounds.
In the past Cabrera has found itself home to a diverse range of human inhabitants from the Carthaginians to the Romans and from captured French Napoleonic soldiers to simple farmers and fishermen. More recently Cabrera was a base for the Spanish military and now plays host to Park wardens, ornithologists, ecologists, naturalists and biologists.
To find out more about a boat trip to Cabrera, click here.