Mallorca is considered a resort for aristocrats and wealthy people. This island attracts tourists with beautiful bays and beaches, magnificent architecture of cathedrals and castles, delicious food. There are mountain ranges, underground caves, nature reserves, ancient towns. How not to get lost in the abundance of natural and architectural sights of Mallorca and visit the most beautiful of them during the holidays? I present to you a list of the 5 main masterpieces of the island, created by nature and ennobled by man, which I recommend to visit each guest of the Balearic Island.
Cape Formentor (Cabo de Formentor)
Even if you are resting on the south coast of Mallorca, you should definitely go to the north of the island to see its most famous landmark, Cape Formentor. A long narrow cape is issued in the sea for a dozen kilometers. The height of the cliffs is more than 300 m. Once at the top, you can enjoy the endless expanses of the Balearic Sea, views of the neighboring capes, the bay of Pollensa and Alcudia with resorts, located around them, tiny islands.
Cape Formentor is the northernmost section of the island. Once it was only accessible from the sea. The path went up along the narrow mountain paths among the rocks. Upstairs, at the very tip of Formentor, at an altitude of 210 m in 1863 a lighthouse of the same name was built. Since the end of the XIX century until the 20s. XX century the cape was a private property of the famous poet Mikel Costa and Llober, a native of Mallorca. In 1922 the poet died, and the cape was sold out piecemeal. Soon Italian engineer Antonio Paretti created a project for a road, that was supposed to connect the town of Pollensa with the lighthouse Formentor. In 1925 the project was implemented. Since then, 13.5 km have connected both points and it has become easier to get here. In 1928 the Formentor Hotel, owned by rich Argentine A. Dillus, was built on the slope of the cape.
If you are driving from Pollensa to the Cape in a car, rented in Mallorca, you can reach the lighthouse through a winding serpentine. On the way you need to slow down and be careful, because the road is narrow, and there is meets the reverse transport. The first stop on your way will be Mirador de la Creueta, located at an altitude of 200 m. This observation deck is better known under the name Colomer, because from it you can see the small (300 m long and 112 m high) Colomer Island. Next to the observation deck is a monument to engineer A. Parietti. Mirador is crowded at any time of the day. During daylight hours tourists enjoy beautiful views of the coastline, in the evenings there are magnificent sunsets over the sea.
If you want to go even higher and enjoy the beautiful scenery alone, cross the road and step onto a narrow path. It will lead you to the Talaia d´Albercutx tower. In 10-15 minutes you will reach the old tower. It was built in the XVI century as a guard facility. There are usually very few people here, and no one will stop you from admiring the island and the sea from a height of 380 m. From here you can see the Formentor hotel, which is far below, and the hotel. If you have enough determination, you can climb the tower along the hardware steps. From its summit a 360 ° panorama of the surroundings opens.
Then you need to go down to the lookout, get in the car and go to the lighthouse. Part of the path will pass through a tunnel in Mount Fumat, which is the highest peak of the cape (384 meters). If you are lucky, you can see the neighboring island of Menorca from the territory the lighthouse. After exploring the northern tip of the cape, return to Mirador Colomer. Take the sign for the side road going down. Soon you will reach the beautiful beach of Cala Pi de la Posada. Its length is 850 m, width – 8 m. In summer and autumn, you can relax from rock climbing and swim in clean sea water. Near the beach is a five-star hotel Formentor, which can be booked through the Hotellook service. From windows of numbers magnificent kinds on the sea and rocks open.
Albufera Natural Park
More than 100,000 years ago, marshes formed in the north-east of Mallorca near the coast. They have become a haven for several hundred species of birds and a zone for the growth and reproduction of various herbs and flowers. Over time, near the marshland formed the port city of Alcudia, where in the XXI century a lot of tourists come. If you are among those, who decided to relax on the beaches of the resort, be sure to look at the Albufera Natural Park, which is located on 688 hectares of wetlands, and enjoy the scenery unusual for the island, as well as watch the birds and other inhabitants of the park.
Several centuries ago, people tried to drain the swamps and make them suitable for farming. In the XIX century here they dug a channel through which the water had to go to the sea. Small plots of land managed to win back from the marshes. Gran Canal (Grand Canal) still exists, and you can go through it via the beautiful five-arch Pont de sa Roca bridge, built in the 90s. XIX century.
In 1985 the area was taken over by the island’s government. Soon it was decided to create a natural park, the name of which comes from the Arabic word “lagoon” (albuhaira). 12 km of paths were piled over the marshes, turning them into hiking trails, they built “aguaits” survey wooden platforms, from which it was good to watch the birds, they moved bridges over the wetlands. In the park you can walk or ride bicycles provided by Albufera employees.
Nowadays, the park still attracts hundreds of birds. Some birds live here all the time, others come for wintering from Europe. On the territory of the Albufera National Park more than 300 species of birds have been seen, including brown ibis, herons, and flamingos. Most birds can be seen on the north bank of the Grand Canal and from the Bishop I and Bishop II platforms. There also live horses, various reptiles and amphibians, large insects, 400 species of grass, shrubs and mosses grow.
From October to March the park is open from 9.00 to 17.00. The rest of the year – until 18.00. The entrance to Albufera is free. To do this, go to the Sa Roca Information Center near the entrance (first along the Grand Canal, then along the wooden floor, following the sign). There you will be given a map of the park, binoculars, and if you wish, they will conduct a free tour in Spanish or Catalan. Do not forget to bring mosquito repellent, sunscreen and a supply of food and water for the day.
Albufera National Park is located 5 km from the city of Alcudia, near the Playa de Muro beach, which you can see, using the panoramic webcam of Mallorca. The park entrance is next to the Pont dels Anglesos bridge. From Alcudia you can get here by buses No. 351-355, following to Can Picafort. Transport at your request will stop near the entrance to Albufera. On a rented car from Alcudia you will reach the park on the A12, turning from the sea inland.
Dragon Caves (Cuevas del Drach)
Mallorca is beautiful not only for its land, but also for its underground sights. To see this, you should visit the caves, kilometers of which permeate the island below. The most famous and largest of them are the Dragon Caves, which are located in the northeast of Mallorca, near the city of Porto Cristo.
These underground formations were known to the inhabitants of the island during the time of the Roman Empire. There were legends, that the bloodthirsty dragon guarded the entrance to the caves with untold treasures (hence the name of the complex). In the 13th century believed, that the Templars, who arrived in Mallorca hid a lot of jewels there. But later these myths were dispelled. Scientists began to study the caves only in the XIX century. The first was done by a speleologist from Germany, M.F. Wil. He is the compiler of the cave halls. Later the research was continued by the Frenchman E. A. Martel. He discovered an underground lake and added to the plan of underground formations. Interest in the caves increased, so it was decided to make them accessible to all comers.
During the years 1922-1935 workers were engaged in laying a route through the cave complex. Later Karl Buigas, an engineer from Spain, performed the highlight of the most impressive elements of the cave. In the XXI century the length of the route is 1200 m. The path along it lasts 60 minutes. During this time tourists will have time to enjoy the beauty of filigree stalactites and pretentious stalagmites and several lakes with blue water, see the Vampire well, Cyclops observation platform, ride the boat on the largest Martel lake, which is 170 meters long in boats in the middle of the lake. The price of the excursion for adults is from 14 to 16 euros, for children up to 12 years old – 8-9 euros.
The Dragon caves can be reached from Alcudia and Palma by buses No. 412, 416, 445, 447-448, 454. The stop is called Coves Drac. From November to March excursions in the caves are held at 10:45, 12:00, 14:00 and 15:30. In the warm period of the year (from March 16 to October 31) you can take an interesting underground route hourly from 10:00 to 12:00, from 14:00 to 17:00.
Sa Calobra Bay
To the west of Cape Formentor is the mountain range of the Sierra de Tramuntana. There are many roads among the rocks, but the most beautiful is the serpentine, designed by the Italian Antonio Parietti, already familiar to you. The route begins near the ancient aqueduct and ends after 13 km from the magnificent bay of Sa Calobra. At the very beginning of the journey the transport (bus or car) rises to the pass, the highest point of which is Nus de sa Corbata, which means “tie knot” in Catalan. Here the road turns back steeply. Behind the turn and the bridge the serpentine begins, whose length is 10 km.
From all sides the vehicles surround the mountains, and the road winds now to the left, then to the right, gradually descending from the mountains to the sea. Here, among the rocks, is the beautiful bay of Sa Calobra. Leaving the bus or car, go along the paths and tunnels to the small beach. The water here is aquamarine in color. Here I want to spend the whole day, but the impressions spoil the numerous crowds of people: the place is very touristy. It is better to come here in the evening or in the winter-spring period, when it is not so crowded. After swimmming in the sea and relax on the beach, you can go in trekking through the gorge Torrent de Pareis, starting near the bay. The length of the route – 3 km. The trail will lead you to the beautiful monastery of Luke.
You can get to the bay once a day from Can Picafort at 9:30, Alcudia at 10:15 or Puerto de Pollença at 10:30 by bus number 355. On the way the bus makes a half-hour stop at the monastery of Luk. Transport arrives in the vicinity of the bay at 12:50. Back bus leaves at 15:00. The fare from Ca’n Picafort to Sa Calobra is 17:80 in two directions, 8:90 in one direction. Persons, who are under 25 years old can get to Sa Calobra in just 4:45 euros. It is better to use a rented car or take a tour.
If you are interested only in the bay itself without serpentine, you can take a walk here on a rented yacht from the Port de Soller. Cruises start at 10:00, 11:15, 13:00 and 15:00. From Sa Calobra to Puerto de Soller ferries depart at 1:45 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. A ticket for adults in one direction costs 21 euros, for young people from 12 to 22 years old – 15 euros, for children 6-11 years old – 11 euros. In two sides, respectively, 30, 23 and 15 euros.
Cabrera National Park
Nature lovers should visit another unusual attraction – Cabrera National Park. It is located not in Mallorca, but 10 km from its southern extremity: in the sea on the small island of Cabrera, which is the largest of the 19 islands of the archipelago of the same name. Its name translates from the Spanish “island of goats.” There are a lot of wild goats, that are fed by reserve workers. On Cabrera you can also look at the colonies of gulls and hundreds of lizards, which scatter in front of you in different directions.
A ship from Mallorca arrives at Cabrera’s marina. There are no waves in the bay, because high cliffs protect it. Up to the fortress you can climb a narrow path and from there admire the picturesque surroundings. The 72-meter high fortress, built in the 14th century, served for a long time as protection against pirates, and later under Napoleon it was a prison. It contained 9,000 prisoners of war soldiers, who were fed so badly, that by the end of the conclusion (by 1810 year) about 3,000 people had survived.
Now there is a small museum in the fortress, there is a souvenir shop. Part of Cabrera is owned by the Spanish military (from the mainland). On the island built only 15 buildings. To get here, you need to take a tour. At the same time on Cabrera can be no more, than 100 people (together with the park workers). Here you can not litter, tear flowers, smoke and make fires. Overnight on the island is consistent with the park administration.
In addition to the magnificent landscapes, animals and birds, here you can see the rich underwater world. Enough to dive into the crystal clear sea on one of the beautiful beaches, such as Sa Platcheta, as you are surrounded by colorful fish. This is a paradise for lovers of diving and snorkeling. In the evening a boat sailing to Mallorca will take tourists to Cova Blava (Blue Cave). When the sun illuminates the entrance to it, the water becomes turquoise. This is an unforgettable sight.
To get on a day trip to Cabrera Island, you need to take bus 502 in Palma at 5:45 or at 8:10 and take it to the town of Colonia Sant Jodi. From its pier at 9:30 a.m. the ship leaves for the National Park. The excursion boat to Cabrera sails from Porto Petro, Sa Rapita. Tour price from 40 to 48 euros. Children’s ticket (up to 11 years old) costs 25-29 euros.
Of course, this is not all natural attractions, which Mallorca can boast. Arriving on the island, you will find, that it is full of beautiful places, caves, reserves and bays with luxurious beaches. If you liked the article, write in the comments, whichever area you want to visit Mallorca. Share your impressions of her natural wonders. Enjoy your stay on the largest Balearic island.